Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #47

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror 

12/02/2017 – 12/08/2017

 

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.

The one upside to that nasty white stuff falling outside my door is that no one questions it when you curl up with a book. In fact, I truly believe that is what winter was invented for just that purpose. So let the snow fall (or the sun shine, lucky) and let’s get to some wintry horror…or whatever comes our way this week!


UpstairsLawrence Watt-Evans

Synopsis:
All the couple upstairs do is fight and yell. They are also very inconsiderate about leaving the tap running and something is stinking the place up. Jack says he’ll go talk to them…now something else is leaking through the ceiling. It’s not water though.

Review:
An ok story. I’m assuming the upstairs neighbors are probably serial killers hence all of the thumping and stink. However, they are usually smart enough to not kill their neighbors unless he literally walked in on them killing someone.


The Valley of the ShadowFrancis Amery

Synopsis:
A reading of the Bible leads one man to the conclusion that God smiles on industry…and industry requires sacrifice.

Review:
I don’t mind a little Biblical horror every now and then (which is different than horror or thrillers geared to Christians) but this was just weird. I almost think that they might have gotten inspiration from Centralia, perhaps.


Vampire NationThomas M. Sipos

Synopsis:
Count Farkas has awakened to a nation and a time of apathy. No one believes in the old superstitions anymore. What better climate for a vampire to exist in? But apathy can be contagious.

Review:
A good story about contagious indifference and boy, is it ever! It made me want to curl up and go to sleep!


The Vampire’s BurdenTippi N. Blevins

Synopsis:
While hunting among the vampire pretenders at the club Teddy finds the perfect victim. He thinks she’s all too human. He’s mostly right.

Review:
A little on the eh side. Miranda doesn’t really give Teddy an actual chance to change and she seems to be a forerunner of “Oooh, pretty vampires!”.


The Vampire’s CaravanIlona Ouspenskaya

Synopsis:
One enchanted evening a peasant girl watches the majesty of the Vampire’s Caravan and is offered a place in it. What will her choice be?

Review:
Very beautifully described and it makes me curious which path she is trying to take.


Vengeance is MeTom Piccirilli

Synopsis:
A woman sleeps, imagining her husband’s death, over and over while he lies awake amidst hallucinations born of his guilt. Or are they?

Review:
I did not like this one. It had a good guilt theme to it but there are two refrains repeated over and over that are just gross and unnecessarily repeated.


VocabularyAdam Troy-Castro

Synopsis:
Trying to find that word that’s on the tip of our tongue can be frustrating. So frustrating, in fact, that you might try checking other people’s tongues. And you’ll let them go, of course. They just need to figure out the word.

Review:
A rather gruesome story. Not torture porn descriptive but your imagination does the work for you.


Favorite of the Week:
Hmm. While not a terrible week it was sort of blah, wasn’t it? It would have to be Vampire Caravan by Ilona Ouspenskaya for the sheer loveliness of the prose and description.


Thank you for joining us this week and come back next week for another seven days of Horrors!

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #46

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

11/25/2017 – 12/01/2017

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.

We’re getting to the end of the year. While I have enjoyed sharing these wonderful stories with you guys, I’m also very excited to get a new project started that I hope you’re going to love! I’m also flattered and so happy you all have been following along with me for this long. It’s made me very happy. Ok, ok, enough with the gushiness, my fellow ghouls. Let’s get on with the gore-fests!


Trigger MomentYvonne Navarro

Synopsis:
After decorating for her Halloween party Ellen wants nothing more than a brain-numbing, seasonally appropriate movie. Afterwards, though, began the dream. A dream where a creature is stalking her with a deadly implacability. But it’s just a dream, right? And she’s sure the young man her mother introduces her to is only in costume. They can’t be real claws, right?

Review:
A good story with a slasher movie feel. I was wondering about the strange doors she can reach over. I thought for sure it was going to be a movie screen and she was in a horror movie.


TunnelAnne Bishop

Synopsis:
She doesn’t like driving through tunnels. They’re dark and she gets panicky. At least he can see the light up ahead. Until the tunnel starts to close in on the car. And then her.

Review:
A very good, claustrophobia inducing story. Tunnels freak me out a bit, too. Bridges even more.


Twelve All HallowsLou Kemp

Synopsis:
For twelve All Hallows Margaret has been meeting Glenna. For twelve All Hallows her father doesn’t know. On this twelfth All Hallows, Glenna will have her revenge.

Review:
I love a good ghostly revenge story. It puts me in mind of the traditional murder ballads.


Two Shades, Hearts in ShadowsMichael Scott Bricker

Synopsis:
A knight, dusted down to bone searches endlessly for Eldorado. In his quest he meets his creator, Poe. And they ride, boldly ride, together. Forever.

Review:
I liked it but I was confused as to why Poe was referenced. Did he do a story about a knight? I will admit to not having read every single story of his so if there is one please let me know!


Unfinished JourneyHugh B. Cave

Synopsis:
The next-door neighbor, Henry keeps having the same dream. A dark alley, a long walk through the street where dark shapes lurk in doorways. But Henry always wakes up before the dream ends. So when the doctor gives him a prescription to help him sleep, enabling to finish the dream and leave the alley Henry decides to try it. What could go wrong?

Review:
Somewhat peculiar and I was a bit disappointed in the more mundane monsters. And I wasn’t sure how to read the doctor, exactly. It seemed he was complicit in the dreams but how?


Until the Next TrainBenjamin Adams

Synopsis:
Jourgenson has been battling an unseen tagger. Every morning Jourgenson awakes to the name ‘Malo’ tagged on his shop and every day he washes it away. On this day Jourgenson realizes that the paint is still wet, ‘Malo’ is nearby. He’ll soon wish he weren’t.

Review:
This had a way creepier ending than I was expecting. The ‘Malo’ and his brethren is described as…I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it’s freaking creepy.


Up Our BlockBenjamin Adams

Synopsis:
Jenny wakes up, unhappy to be alive again. She now has an indent in the back of her skull. Blunt force trauma, perhaps. Perhaps she was a nurse…before. Now she’s just a zombie slave. And the family likes it just fine.

Review:
Another by Benjamin Adams. I have to say, he writes in a subtly creepy way that sneaks up on you. Or makes everything normal until the horror slaps you in the face.


Favorite of the Week:
So many good ones this week! It’s hard to decide. The two by Benjamin Adams (Up Our Block and Until the Next Train) have a creepy neighborhood horror that creeps up your spine. Twelve All Hallows by Lou Kemp was a great ghostly revenge story.


Thanks for joining us again this week and be sure to come back next week for more Horrors!

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #44

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

11/04/2017 – 11/10/2017

 

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.

 

Fall has fallen (all over the yard) and it’s officially cold enough to start being invaded by by all of the four-legged furballs who are trying to take over the bed. It’s a stalemate at the moment. They seem to have a hatred of books as that seems to be their preferred layabout spot. I shall prevail!

 

 


Summer RetreatKevin Shadle

Synopsis:
The Copse family has a lot to do before their summer retreat. They have to bring in the harvest, mulch it into the ground and avoid the inquisitive neighbors. It’s tough being a were-tree.

Review:
Enjoyable with a bit of a different spin on the ‘were’ creatures.


Swamp FlowersDavid C. Woomer

Synopsis:
On their honeymoon Lynette and her new husband made the mistake of going out into the Great Dismal swamp. Lynette never returned. Every year her husband takes a skiff into the swamp for their anniversary ritual.

Review:
A beautiful and sad story. I’m a sucker for ghostly anniversaries.


Sympathy for Mad ScientistsJohn Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
A series of letters from baron Frankenstein to Dr. Schmidt on attending the Hamelberg Conference for scientists. Between a punctured assistant and tending to the boiling oil ones needs as defense against ignorant peasants a mad scientists has a lot on his hands.

Review:
I’ve always liked epistolary stories. This one is hilarious and I love the asides about annoying peasants and Igor’s puncturing.


Sympathy for MummiesJohn Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
On an Egyptian dig they are uncovering the tomb of an ancient bureaucrat. So what would a bureaucrat curse someone with? Paperwork, lots and lots of paperwork.

Review:
Another funny one by Mr. Betancourt. There are a few of them in a row by hi.


Sympathy for Psychos John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
Crane has been hiding in the cemetery, ever since the spiders first attacked. They are sneaky, though. They look like humans but Crane knows better. He knows the spiders are just using them.

Review:
A very good story. Crane’s character is at once horrifying and sympathetic.


Sympathy for Vampires John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
Shelly has had it with her neighbor. He hovers outside of her window at night, waiting to be invited in for a bite. His wife declares he’s just going through a phase but Shelly is getting irritated. Finally, she strikes on the perfect way to get him to leave her alone. It seems wannabe vampires don’t see the romance of scrubbing the shower.

Review:
Another funny one. Especially Shelly’s idea of getting rid of him. There’s nothing worse than a man going through a mid-vamp crisis.


Sympathy for Wolves John Gregory Betancourt

Synopsis:
A man stands at his window, his pack calling for him to join them. But he’s a man now and it’s so cold out. He’s not heartless though. As the pack files into his house they all share a common ground, briefly.

Review:
A nice story and the ending made me happy because I thought it would have been really mean not to let his pack in to spend the night.


Favourite of the Week:
Well, um, there’s a lot of John Gregory Betancourt isn’t there? While his titles aren’t exactly creative his stories were certainly varied, thank goodness. He shows a talent for switching between laughter and heartbreak with ease. That being said my favorite for this week was Swamp Flowers by David C. Woomer. It’s heartbreaking but beautiful as well. As for Mr. Betancourt’s entries I loved Sympathy for Mad Scientists and Sympathy for Wolves the best.


Join us again next week for another round of horror stories to make you laugh and cry.

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #43

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

10/28/2017 – 11/03/2017

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.

 

I hope everyone had a great and safe Halloween. If you were able to get out there…I’m jealous, lol. It rained here but since we are horror geeks and proud of it we had a full costume session of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. Although it must be admitted that The Keeper did not sound very fearsome with a stuffy nose.

 

 


StainsLawrence Person

Synopsis:
Can an act bbe so damning that you can never wash the blood off your hands?

Review:
Some people might not like it because it has a Biblical tone to it but really, you could apply it to many historical figures and have the same story.


StakeoutDon D’Ammassa

Synopsis:
Carter has been stalking the thief, Nils Kaszlow for a very long time. Unfortunately, Kaszlow is an immortal vampire and Carter is not, so his time is a bi more limited. When the tools of his FVH (Fearless Vampire Hunter) trade are stolen he has to rely on furniture in the house. Too bad today’s standards don’t meet the wood-crafting trades of yester-years.

Review:
A great vampire story with a clever surprise at the end. I have to wonder what Kaszlow’s intentions are. Does he plan to kill Carter or make him an all instead of an enemy?


StaticLouise Rowder

Synopsis:
An alien and human are broke down by the side of the road. After her Yelling at the Machinery Ritual is completed they set off on foot towards Bladrej’s home. Once there Bladrej is curious to record Lark’s “unprepared reaction” towards their attempt to help the missionaries do the rituals of their faith by painstakingly recreating their icons and medallions. At Lark’s seemingly enthusiastic response Bladrejwonders if he should perhaps help her worship as well. After all, being helpful is the cornerstone of his faith.

Review:
An excellent story and quite apropos. What could be seen as kindness and in one culture could be seen as arbaric and vice versa.


Stone FaceBlythe Ayne

Synopsis:
Alesia has stared across the street at the gargoyle on the corner for a very long time. He appears to have intelligence in his stony face. One stormy day, she notices his mouth clogged. During a n irrational act of kindness by clearing it she cuts herself, drawing blood. Bringing a gargoyle to life is one thing…but what’s she supposed to do with him?

Review:
I loved this story! I love gargoyles and I’d be more than happy to bring him home. I have to wonder, though, about the pillows. For the life of me I can’t think why she’d need them. Perhaps to keep him from chipping in the bag? I’ve always enjoyed Blythe Ayne’s stories but they’ve always struck me as fantasy, sometimes dark fantasy but fantasy nonetheless.


Straight to the HeartDavid Niall Wilson

Synopsis:
Once, long ago beneath a tree, Hiram was trysting was another man’s wife. Sid tried to shoot Hiram down but Hiram’s aim was better. After leaving Sid’s wife after the trial she hung herself from that fateful tree. The tree that’s been haunting his dreams for years. So Hiram decides to cure his nightmares with a chainsaw. But the dead can wait a long time for vengeance.

Review:
I loved this story. It has the feel of an urban legend but a similar accidental death has been recorded. So now I’m curious. Was the actual report actually an ‘accident’.


The Stranger’s TombTerry Campbell

Synopsis:
While making the rounds for his photography book – Memories in Stone: Rural Graveyards of the South, Wylie stops at a small town in Texas. Their claim to fame is The Stranger’s Tomb, a tomb for a man passing through town and dying the next day with no identification. According to legend. Wylie thinks the stone looks suspiciously new. And the graveyard seems very full of Stranger’s Tombs.

Review:
Very interesting and it took a turn that I didn’t expect. The multiple tombs seem a little odd, though, in light of the reason The Stranger’s Tomb needs to be ‘refilled’.


SudsAdam-Troy Castro

Synopsis:
On Lydia’s day off she spends a good part of it soaking in the tub. When she tries to turn on the hot water tap, however, she discovers to her horror that she seems to be melting into the tub. Literally. I guess you should be careful of using extra-strength skin softener. It might get a tad too soft.

Review:
A fun story that makes a fun play on how people always wish to just melt into a cozy bath.


Favorite of the Week:
The Halloween gods have blessed us with an excellent week of stories! And I can honestly say that the story that fell on Halloween night was my favorite. Even though it’s not quite scary or creepy how awesome would it be to have a Gargoyle such as the one in Stone Face by Blythe Ayne. I also very much liked Stains by Lawrence Person.

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #42

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

10/21/2017 – 10/27/2017

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.

 

Halloween draws near and hopefully it’s a good one for everyone. With the rain we’ve been having here I’m starting to despair of  a warm Halloween. But, if rain is good for one thing, it’s good for reading some cozily frightening horror stories.

 

 

 


Sometimes the Answer is YesRon Collins

Synopsis:
In debt to the really wrong people, Johnny makes a desperate plea to God to get him out of the ocean and get revenge. Something answers. Something from an area a little South of Heaven.

Review:
A little bland, really. With the creature answering I was kind of hoping for a bit…more.


The SoundLawrence Greenberg

Synopsis:
You wake up in the middle of the night by a noise. A loud, irregular thumoing that seems to move through the house with you. What could it be? Why does everything seem to be stifled, murky? Why does your face look so wan in the mirror.

Review:
Not too bad. I thought, though, that it was going to be the narrator was going to be a ghost. In that regard the ending was a bit surprising but I still thhink it woould work as a ghost story.


Special Interests Lillian Csernica and Kevin Andrew Murphy

Synopsis:
True love can be found online, occasionally. For a girl interested in duct tape, kitchen utensils and a hairy chest what could be better than finding a man interested in duct tape, knives and large breasts. It’s a match made in…well, somewhere I’m sure.

Review:
I liked this story immensely. It was darkly fun and playful. I also like that two authors wrote it. It gives it a feeling of reality. Just not too realistic, I hope. I’m also curious…if she doesn’t care for knives then what other kitchen utensils is she using?


SpeedT.W. Kriner

Synopsis:
Marasigan wants nothing more than to beat Reignbos in a marathon. After losing to Reignbos for a second time at the Boston Marathon, Marasigan makes a literal deal with the devil to beat Reignbos’ best time ever. This includes many physical changes that make him look like a bat out of hell. And when Reignbos sees the brand new Marasigan running behind him…well, wouldn’t you run faster than you ever had before?

Review:
A bit of a departure from the usual deal with the devil story, this one involves actual physical changes rather than just being made magically faster. It does have the usual “you got screwed” ending. however.


Speed Demon Jay R. Bonansinga

Synopsis:
After a fatal car accident in which two teenagers got killed, Dickie has learned to be more careful on the highway. It’s easy to avoid irritants like speeding tickets and accidents if you just get behind someone going faster than you. You might want to be careful which car you choose though they could be cruising for something else entirely…

Review:
I loved the story. Especially the use of an El Camino for the ‘demonic’ car. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Dickie’s comeuppance was certainly a bit satisfying.


Spring Joe Meno

Synopsis:
Up at his parent’s cottage for what Brody thinks will be a romantic weekend. When his girlfriend storms out a whole bunch of crazy comes barging in. Brody is confronted by a naked man being stalked by a lonely wolf.

Review:
This story was very confusing for what should have been a fairly straightforward werewolf story. It sounds like the naked man running from the wolf is the wolf’s mate but if so, why would he be running away? And it’s not really clear what it has to do with the title. It feels like this was a half-idea that was just jotted down and sent in.


St. Louis #2Michael Grisi

Synopsis:
Jim tells his buddy Larry about the ‘oven vaults’ in the cemetery but Larry doesn’t believe him. What can you do to answer a challenge like that but visit the cemetery and check out the vaults? You might want to make sure its occupants appreciate visitors first, though.

Review:
A nice little story with a bit of a Tales from the ‘Crypt’ feel to it (I couldn’t help myself).


Favorite of the Week:
Well, with so many good weeks of stories I guess a week of indifferent ones was to be expected. Not that they were terrible, just not up to the standards of some of the previous weeks. The best of this week, though, was one I loved – Special Interests by Lillian Csernica and Kevin Andrew Murphy. It was great. Creepy yet a touch humorous. I still wonder which kitchen utensils she uses. Is it possible to whisk someone to death?


Join us next Friday for another round of horror stories. Have a happy and safe Halloween, my pretties.

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #38

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

09/23/2017 – 09/29/2017

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.

Even though it doesn’t feel much like fall with the temperature in the nineties we have some wholesome fall goodies for you. And by wholesome we mean undead, drooling and gooey goodies.

 

 

 


SarcophagusStephen Dedman

Synopsis:
While on an archaeological dig Hubbert finds a skull in what was the belly of a raptor. No big deal. It could be a hoax. But Hubbert has a vindictive ex-wife who just won the Nobel Prize for proving that time travel is possible.

Review:
It’s a good story but it makes me wonder how, after finding his skull, she figures out how to trick Hubbert into the time machine.


ScanningRichard Gilliam

Synopsis:
Marvin Duran knows how to save his company money by changing prices and screwing his employees out of their hard-earned bonuses. Unfortunately for him, one of his employees takes drastic measures and Marvin finds himself waiting to be born again. Surely it’ll be fair, won’t it?

Review:
I liked this one a lot because who hasn’t been screwed over by a store or employer?


Scarecrow’s DiscoveryJeff Strand

Synopsis:
Ray is sick of ‘those darn kids’ tearing his scarecrows apart each night. So he dresses up like a scarecrow to scare the heck out of them, figuring it will scare them off for good. Too bad these aren’t ordinary children and the scarecrow mutilations are just ‘practice’.

Review:
I liked it even though it was a little obvious how Ray would end up. dressing up as a scarecrow never ends well.


ScreamerGordon R. Ross

Synopsis:
Gerald the ventriloquist was a stiff person, alive and dead. Sam the mortician is his only friend. So when Gerald dies it’s only natural that Sam take care of the arrangements. So Sam buries Gerald and throws the dummy on the fire. Or is it the other way around?

Review:
A good story with a nice twist at the end. It makes you wonder if he ‘knew’ which was which but ignored it for the money left to him by Gerald. After all, I would think a mortician should know the difference between a dummy and a person.


The Second Time AroundAdam-Troy Castro

Synopsis:
Frankenstein has built a new monster, a better monster. One with the face of a poet and an angel. Igor even made sure to get a brain marked ‘normal’ this time from the lab next door. Unfortunately for him ‘Lab’ is short for Labrador.

Review:
A pretty good story with a pretty funny and cute twist at the end.


The Second VialLawrence Schimel

Synopsis:
Wendy is in the doctor’s office to get her physical so she can get insured. Even though they need ‘just a little vial’ of blood they take two vials. Wendy doesn’t ask what the second vial is for, who ever does. Although it’s a little odd that they’re having her sign a contract in red ink…

Review:
I found this one funny but I have to wonder about someone who signs a contract without looking at it.


The Secret of BeesTim Waggoner

Synopsis:
When David was little and was stung by a bee his father taught him the secret of bees: Don’t run and don’t show fear. If you can do that then bees (and other animals) will leave you alone. So naturally when David meets a monster on a hiking trail he decides to give it a try.

Review:
At the end David thinks that his dad is an idiot but to me David’s not exactly the sharpest tool either. The secret might work in theory with regular animals but I don’t think I’d try it out on monsters.


Favorite of the Week:
I really liked The Second Vial by Lawrence Schimel. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good deal with the devil story.


Thanks for joining us and come back next week for another round of titillating tales!

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #37

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

09/16/2017 – 09/22/2017

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Root of the MatterWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
Diana has long suspected that her dentist is doing unnecessary dental work. The next visit she comes armed with the knowledge that her teeth are just fine. She thinks he’s doing it for the money but she’s wrong. Very wrong.

Review:
Poor dentists. Everyone hates them. Well, not them personally but the drilling and pulling is not fun at all. In fact, if anyone ever told me they enjoy their dental visits I think I’d wonder about their sanity. This story would be better if it weren’t so unbelievable that she would confront him right then and there. It seems such a thin excuse to get to ‘the good stuff’.


Rosa Two-CoinsBillie Sue Mosiman

Synopsis:
Rosa walks the streets of New Orleans, peddling her flowers. some call her a saint. Some call her a demon. She can make your fortune or end your life. It’s up to you. But one thing you do not do is cheat Rosa.

Review:
I really like Billie Sue Mosiman’s short story collections so I was very pleased to see her in here. And this story is just as good as others I’ve read from the same author. I like the tiny touch of mysticism to it.


Rosner’s HatYvonne Navarro

Synopsis:
Rosner and his buddy find a hat in an alleyway. Ros immediately claims it. And something else claims Ros.

Review:
Third week in a row with some killer clothing. I’m going to start keeping track. The only issue with it is that its a little muddled on what the Big Bad is, exactly. If it’s the hat or the alleyway where he found it. Or both. And whether or not the hat takes a piece from each ne’er-do-well that wears it or if it’s just one dominant personality that takes over whoever finds it. And I’m probably really overthinking a two page story.


Rubber-FaceBrian McNaughton

Synopsis:
Richard and Lucien grew up as childhood friends but ever since Richard won Isabel, Lucien has been working his rubber plantation like a madman, trying to shame Richard and take what’s his. But Richard has been learning the magical properties of a certain tree. a tree whose sap was used to create the first man. But magic has a price.

Review:
This one was really nothing special. If anything really stands out it is its ickiness. Not normal ickiness but an ickiness that seems quite a bit equal parts racist and sexist.


Rude AwakeningsTim Waggoner

Synopsis:
Stephen hates when his dreams don’t go away when he opens his eyes. Literally. It’s a bit jarring to be woken up by a giant, ruby-eyed lizard and to have to share the bathroom with a human-headed spider.

Review:
I liked this story. It was cute, whimsical and (in the case of the Leech Woman) a bit gross. I don’t think that I’d like to share a breakfast with her. It did surprise m that they were dreams, however. I thought the apparitions would be the product of a writer’s creativity.


Runaway Don Herron

Synopsis:
When you’re young a bit of destruction and spray paint doesn’t seem like a big deal. Just make sure the occupants of the cemetery approve of your ‘art’.

Review:
I don’t think that I would mess with a graveyard that had a tombstone bearing the name ‘Drkula’. Probably not a good idea.


Rural Legend Nancy Kilpatrick

Synopsis:
There’s a legend about Mother Rainey. But all it really is is an old tree that resembles an old woman. And stories are just stories. Right?

Review:
Ok with a nice legend flair to it. However, the Cthulhu name drop doesn’t make much sense. Neither does the end. If it just looks like a tree causing accidents then how do they explain missing women?


Favorite of the Week:
Hmm. Another tough week. Rosa Two-Coins by Billie Sue Mosiman had a very nice atmosphere of creepiness. While Rude Awakenings by Tim Waggoner was chock full of colorful and interesting characters.


Thanks for reading along with me and join us again next week for more creepy crawlies!

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #36

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

09/09/2017 – 09/15/2017

 

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.

Counting down the days to Halloween? I know I am! So why not relax with some good old creepy stories while we’re passing the time?

 

 

 

 


Revival Meeting at the Breakfast BarGary Jones

Synopsis:
It’s been so long since the poor old woman has had anything to eat. Seeing a church-sponsored breakfast buffet she sits down with some very nice young men. When she leaves she’s not hungry anymore and the nice old men at the table are done with their breakfast. And so is she.

Review:
I really liked the subtlety of this story. It happens so gradually that at first you don’t even realize what’s going on.


The Riddle of the SphinxBrian Stableford

Synopsis:
A homeless man has struck it rich, won the lottery! But he doesn’t know exactly what to do with himself now. Or, maybe he’s been planning for some time.

Review:
I really liked this story. It certainly took a turn for the bizarre that I wasn’t expecting. I do have one question though. It makes me wonder if he’s going to stay married to his mother.


Road StoryBenjamin Adams

Synopsis:
A couple are on a road trip and caught in a storm. Mona is worried about a serial killer and an impending storm. As the storm gets more fierce they take an ‘Exit’ ramp to wait it out. The state trooper who pulls up behind them just wants to help.

Review:
Ok. I’m going to ruin this one. Skip ahead to the next one if you don’t want to see. I liked the twist of Harry being the serial killer but I cannot buy him taking down the trooper. The trooper is already suspicious, sees that Mona is dead but yet an unarmed Harry is able to take down an armed cop. Ok, enough grousing, on to the next one.


The RobePhyllis Eisenstein

Synopsis:
Alison buys a robe at a secondhand store, the cashier whispers to her that someone was murdered in it. Strangled to death. It doesn’t bother Alison at all and the robe quickly becomes her favorite. But the robe has ways of keeping itself nice and clean.

Review:
More killer clothing. It seems to be a small sub-genre but a popular one. Probably because clothing is your most intimate possession.


Romance for Violin and Knife, Op. 1Trey R. Barker

Synopsis:
Carmine wants to be a world famous violinist but he just doesn’t have it in him. But Ana does.

Review:
This is an old theme but one I love. It’s creepy but true. I love stories of instruments made from people. For a good movie check out The Red Violin. They always seem to be stringed instruments, don’t they?


RomanyJanet Berliner

Synopsis:
J.J. gets his fortune read by ‘Romany’. She sees pain and blood and death. But is it for him or for her?

Review:
A good story if a little stereotypical.


Romeo and Juliet Jessica Amanda Salmonson

Synopsis:
Romeo and Juliet each keep just missing the other until finally, accidentally each tasting virgin blood they become vampires and are finally together forever. Happy ending?

Review:
I loved this story. It was a bit gory but hilarious. I would probably pay to see a short movie done of this story. And, since I’m a persnickety little bookworm, I do have to point out that Romeo and Juliet did spend their wedding night together so I don’t think they’re virgins.


Favorite of the Week:
Romeo and Juliet by Jessica Amanda Salmonson definitely takes the cake. It was hilarious. Romance for Violin and Knife by Trey R. Barker is a close second. I always love stories with a bit of ‘The Twa Sisters’ theme to it.


Join us again next week for more creepy concoctions!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #34

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

08/26/2017 – 09/01/2017

 

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.

 

Labor Day is here and summer is officially over. That might be a depressing thought but cheer up! Halloween is almost here!

 

 

 

 


Plant KingdomScott M. Brents

Synopsis:
Cirus plants cucumbers, the biggest and best anyone’s ever seen. His parents are not the nicest, however, so Cirus decides to try to grow some new ones. It makes me wonder what he planted to make them grow.

Review:
A very good, creepy story. It leaves the ending kind of open so I’m curious what will grow.


Porky Pig in the MirrorRandy Miller

Synopsis:
A gymnast looks at herself in the mirror and sees nothing but the Porky Pig her coach calls her. What follows are her internal thoughts on how she has to stay thin and her horrifying solution if she grows breasts.

Review:
Wow. This was truly terrifying.


The PredatorDon D’Ammassa

Synopsis:
Detective Ryan is on the hunt for a serial killer, spurning the offer of help from a pair of Russian siblings. However, this killer is not human. And neither are the siblings.

Review:
A great story. I love a ‘good’ werewolf story. Or werewolfhounds. Whichever.


Prime CrimeWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
The executive of a failing network makes a deal for exclusives with the devil. Well, not the actual devil but a serial killer. Who has found a way to make sure that the executive has a solid alibi for himself.

Review:
A very good story with a great line “the doors to hell had been flung open and he was sliding down through them”. Maybe not super-creative but very evocative.


The Proof in the PictureLisa Morton

Synopsis:
Derek works for a tabloid, retouching photos if needed for effect. Called to take pictures of a possessed kid he gets good pictures all right. But more than Derek had bargained for.

Review:
An awesome story. I love a good demonic story. And this one is mixed in with a serial killer. Even better.


The Pull-Out Atlas of the Unseen WorldMichael Gillis

Synopsis:
Jack has created his own religion, claiming to have found an Atlas of the Unseen World. He’s so convincing that a mass of people have gathered outside. Now Jack has to figure out a way out of his lie. Without getting himself and his friend killed, if possible.

Review:
A great story with a really good twist at the end. It was also a very unexpected twist which makes it that much better.


PulloverRobert Devereaux

Synopsis:
Frazell is dressing for a night out but becomes entangled in his sweater. We’ve all done it. But getting out again? Not so easy.

Review:
This one was pretty creepy because I absolutely hate getting tangled in a sweater. It’s claustrophobic and creepy feeling. Almost as bad as getting lost in a sleeping bag…which I have done. It’s a long story.


Favorite of the Week:
This was a bit of a better week. My favorite is definitely The Proof in the Picture by Lisa Morton. I love the mix of it and the retaliation of the aggrieved serial killer. I guess you don’t retouch their work. Good to know. However, Porky Pig in the Mirror by Randy Miller is truly chilling. All the more so because of it’s realism.


Thanks for joining us yet again! Keep coming back for more scary stories as Halloween draws ever closer. I know, I know, it’s only September but I can dream.

Horrors! – A Full Year of Horror #33

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

08/19/2017 – 08/25/2017

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.

 


A Perfect LadyDavid Niall Wilson

Synopsis:
Eric has always loved his boat, the Old Mary. She’s always been there for him through hangover, troubles at home or bringing in a good day’s catch. On the night he escapes from his family a killer storm strikes. And Eric finds out how much Old Mary loves him back.

Review:
A good story, clearly illustrating how much a professional fisherman loves his boat. Like a cowboy and his horse.


Phone TagJohn R. Platt

Synopsis:
A very deadly game of phone tag with a family…and the monsters who have kidnapped their little girl.

Review:
Thinking about the actual logic of the story it falls apart a bit. I mean, if you’re a kidnapper and keep getting the answering machine, then obviously they haven’t gotten you’re message. But, it’s so creepy while you’re reading it that logic doesn’t really occur to you.


Picnic Under the SkyGreg van Eekhout

Synopsis:
A man and his girlfriend are lying under the sky, looking at the clouds, finding what pictures occur to them. Unbeknownst to his girlfriend, however, the men in his family can read the future in the clouds. And the future isn’t promising. He sees the horses of Armageddon and rockets lifting into the air.

Review:
A very interesting story that uses a unique form of divination.


Picture ThisScott Edelman

Synopsis:
A man thinks his soul has slowly been stolen through the lens of the camera. How could his family have not seen it?

Review:
A decent story about a killer. Not much more to it, really.


The Piggy BankDon D’Ammassa

Synopsis:
Old Man Crenshaw lives alone and keeps to himself. He only comes to town every now and then with two nice, crisp hundred dollar bills. Buster wants to ‘liberate’ a bit of that money from him. Searching Crenshaw’s house Buster finds a large pig-shaped bank. Filled with cash. It’s a shame that Buster didn’t notice the long, sharp teeth of the bank.

Review:
A good story. It kind of reminds me of The Legend of Wooley Swamp by The Charlie Daniels Band.


Pine SupineRobert Devereaux

Synopsis:
A reverend of a town plagued by vampires is approached by a hunter. But which is the hunter and which is the hunted?

Review:
A good story but it tries a little too hard at the olde tyme language. It sounds a bit unnatural.


Pinning DanteRandy Miller

Synopsis:
Grandma likes to watch wrestling. The latest villain, Dante, has her poking random people with hat-pins, thinking it’s Dante. Finally, in the home, she goes quietly in her sleep, her final wish being to get Dante right in the butt. Does she succeed?

Review:
A good story with a cute twist at the end. Also a very clever pun on the name.


Favorite of the Week:
A rather slow week. Phone Tag by John R. Platt is creepy as heck. If you don’t think too much about the realism of it, it definitely gives you chills.


Kind of a slow week but that’s what is great about short story collections. You never know what’s coming next. Join us again next week for another round of spooky stories to give you the creeps.