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.
Horrors! 365/7: 01/14/17 – 01/20/17
Welcome back to another week full of horror! There are some very good stories this week so come join me…in the dark.
1. Asylum – Brian Hodge 01/14/17
Truly gives new meaning to the phrase “I’m fine, it’s everyone else that’s crazy” and “If you can’t beat them, join them”.
Very good with a nice twist to the end. Kind of makes you wonder what if the rules were flipped and crazy became sane and vice versa.
2. At 3:00 A.M. – William McMahon 01/15/17
A man finds out the hard way that he’s becoming a werewolf.
A basic werewolf story. There’s not much that can be done that’s original with the werewolf story so I applaud the author for trying to do something with it in the limited space given.
3. At the Bus Station – Alan Rodgers 01/16/17
In the very early morning at a bus station a man meets a woman. A woman who may not be all that she seems. A woman whom he dreams about later, but cannot remember the dreams.
I wasn’t too keen on this one. There’s so much story space given to mundane details that what the author is trying to get at is a little obscure. I’m thinking maybe the girl was supposed to be a succubus? I’d mark it as a spoiler but the succubus thing is only a guess.
4. Autumn in the Clockwork Forest – Michael Scott Bricker 01/17/17
Before Dorothy and The Wizard we get a glimpse of the Tin Man’s desolate and torturous life in The Clockwork Forest, questing for a heart.
A rather grim tale about the Tin Man and how he became the way he is. Written before the flood of alternate adaptations of classics it is still unique. In just a few pages the writer evokes the feel of The Clockwork Forest. It’s springs, rust and heart. It also gives a slight background for the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the East and why exactly she cursed him.
5. Bad Feelings – Don D’Ammassa 01/18/17
A psychiatrist gets a bit more than she bargained for when she tells a child to let out all of the ‘Bad Things’ troubling him.
This story definitely has a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ feel to it. The psychiatrist’s smugness a nice counter-point to the twist at the end.
6. Ball of Blood – Karl Schroeder 01/19/17
The inside view of why a killer kills. To feed the ‘ball of blood’ within. I think.
I can’t say I really liked this one. It was a series of random gross images with something to tie it together loosely at the end.
7. Base of a Triangle – Nancy Kilpatrick 01/20/17
A ghost waits for the third of the triangle of his/her death to join it.
It’s a little unclear if the person the ghost is trying to get to join it was actually instrumental in his/her death or just in the vicinity when it happened. The other third of the triangle is the train.
Favorite of the Week:
Again there’s two contenders for the favorite. Asylum was very good. The plot and pace are perfect and Brian Hodge ends just when he should. But I think for creativity, setting and story I’ll have to go with Autumn in the Clockwork Forest. It was beautifully written and made you feel the Tin Man’s (non)emotions. All in a couple of pages. So bravo to Michael Scott Bricker.
Join me again next week for your weekly dose of horror shorts!