Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror
07/01/2017 – 07/07/2017
The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.
If you missed the first post you can find it here.
It’s a perfect week! How cool is that? Hopefully pretty cool since things are getting hot this summer.
Lovelocks – Brian McNaughton
Caleb Hopkins is in love with Abishag Barebones but her father doesn’t like him very much. Caleb decides to bind Abishag to him using magic but which witch is the bewitcher?
A pretty good story and the image of a man ” bumping down the street on his hindquarters” is definitely…different.
Magpie – Brian McNaughton
Dwight likes to steal things, particularly ladies purses. Especially since it gets them to his house for the night. the suspicion falls on an unknown woman who my have lifted the purse. The tables are turned though, when he finds out that this particular lady he’s trying to lure back to his house has lifted his nitro pills. They were in her purse…
Two stories by the same author right in a row! I don’t think that’s happened before. A pretty enjoyable story with a nicely dark twist of humour at the end. Although her excuse that she didn’t think the pills were important is kind of lame. Most pills that people bother to carry on them usually are important. and nitros in particular are pretty recognizable.
Making it Right – Bob Stein
While driving drunk Charlie narrowly manages to not hit a child crossing the road but does hit the little boy’s dog. Despite trying to talk his way out of it the boy insists that Charlie must “make it right”. Charlie thinks the boy wants money but he doesn’t. He just wants Charlie to “make it right”.
Loved this story. Some people can be very heartless when it comes to accidentally hitting an animal. I like the little boy’s method of making it right.
Mall of the Dead – Del Stone Jr.
When Beverly comes out of the dressing room everyone is dead. She thinks there must be something going on since displays in the mall are broken and even mannequins are scattered amongst the dead bodies. The police arrive as she makes it to the front door and they tell her it’s happening everywhere. The mannequins are getting even.
This actually gave me the creeps because mannequins creep me out. Although with the weird torso only ones now they wouldn’t get very far.
Many Happy Returns – Brian McNaughton
A man who has lost his wife has moved into a new home. At first he notices strangers appearing and disappearing quickly in the alley. After that he notices a door into his home that’s been bricked up. Coming home one night he sees that the door is ajar and people who have passed away are inviting him in.
Aaaah! He’s back again! But with a very good story so we’ll let it slide. A little sad but a little hopeful at the same time. I like to think he found his Susan through the doorway.
Memory – Mollie L. Burleson
Impersonal office work really gets under Sarah’s skin. That and air conditioning. Co-workers she feels are whispering behind her back, a boss that is constantly looking over her shoulder so today she decides to quit. And discovers she can’t. The whiff of brimstone reminds her why she’s there and why she’ll always be there.
I’m so happy I found this story again! I’ve always remembered it and I loved it but since I read a lot of anthologies and collections I could not remember where it came from. That being said I’ve always liked (that might be a strange term, maybe intrigued would be a better word) by the idea of Hell as a personalized thing. As it says right in the story “what bothers one person may not bother another”. So a ‘one size fits all’ Hell never really made sense to me.
The Midwife’s Temptation – Michael L. McComas (I don’t usually put trigger warnings before the synopsis but I felt this story deserved a few from the subject matter).
Trigger Warning – Highlight to read: Baby deaths, religious themes in the story and review
A fallen angel, the fallen angel one can presume, tells a midwife that she has a gift. The gift of fore-telling when a child is born whether he be good or evil. After dispatching the first child that she surely knows is damned the ‘angel’ reappears to her. His advice is to hurry the blessed ones to heaven and the born damned to leave. his argument being that ‘evil done to evil matters not to God’. She believes him and carries her task out with zeal. Soon the witchcraft fever is kindled and they come for her one night. She begs the angel to tell them of the gift he has bestowed upon her. Revealing his true form he tells her he gave her no gift. It was all a lie.
A very good, very interesting story. The temptation spoken of could be meant to reveal the midwife’s pride in being so singled out and a feeling of power at a time when women had little power or agency of their own. And, if you believe in religion, it could also be a way of testing her faith. Because, according to most religions God does care even for the ones who have strayed so if the midwife had thought about it then the angel’s explanation makes no sense.
Favorite of the Week:
This has been a great week for stories. It’s always hard to choose just one but this week it’s very hard. I loved Memory by Mollie L. Burleson. I also loved The Midwife’s Temptation by Michael L. McComas. Of the three by Brian McNaughton my favorite was Magpie.
Thanks for joining us this week and please come back next week for more spooky stories.