Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #31

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

08/05/2017 – 08/11/2017

 

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.

August is getting on. Just a few more weeks before the true horror begins…school. So, shall we get in a few more stories around the fire before the shades of fall are upon us?


Odd Jobs Jason A. Tanner

Synopsis:
Chris Tanner has a job to do. He is to meet a certain woman at a certain time. She doesn’t know they will be meeting, nor what they’re meeting for. She is to be executed for crimes committed during a previous life, one hundred years ago.

Review:
Great story and an interesting idea. I think it would make a very good full-length novel and even, possibly, a series.


The Odor of SanctityWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
On the day that two people are to be awakened from cryo-sleep in the future, something has gone wrong. very wrong. A man just awakened has gone insane, welts and burns spontaneously appearing on his body. The second to be awakened, a young girl with a then-inoperable tumour, lies sleeping peacefully. In her presence the cryo-team feels serenity and a calming, lovely smell. It is then that the cryo-team realizes their grave mistake. Would you tear a soul from paradise and would they be happy about it?

Review:
I’ve always loved this story. I’m not exactly religious but it certainly gives the imagination something to work on. Was the first man in Hell? Is that why his skin was scarred and he was crazy? It doesn’t really say but the difference in the two awakenings makes me think so.


On Spending the Night Alone in a Haunted House: A User’s GuideBruce Boston

Synopsis:
A list of very strange and explicit set of instructions as to how to spend the night in a haunted house. If it drives you mad, so be it. That’s the risk you take when venturing into the unknown.

Review:
An entertaining, if bizarre list. The instructions seem to be a bit arbitrary. And odd. But I guess that’s what you get when you take instructions from a madman.


On the Panecraft TrainTom Piccirilli

Synopsis:
A man out walking, looking for his ‘dog’ Topaz. As he walks he studies the possible ruin of the Panecraft Asylum. Meeting up with his brother they study the names of the dead and ride the Panecraft Train back into madness.

Review:
An…interesting story but a little odd. I read it twice and I’m still not sure if they’re former patients, escaped patients or ghosts. All are possible and it makes you wonder. It also makes me think of the Ozzy Osbourne song, ‘Crazy Train’.


One for the Road Judith Post

Synopsis:
A man is doomed to take a ride in his ghostly Camaro each year. Cursed by the woman who’s husband he hit while drinking and driving he now wakes up once a year to prevent the same thing happening.

Review:
Great, great story. Well told and just all the way around excellent. Even though the man cursed well deserves his curse you eve feel sorry for him a bit as well.


One Romantic Evening… Greg McElhatton

Synopsis:
A blind date between a vampire and a human isn’t going so well. He’s a bit boring and things take a downturn when he lunges for her neck. Good thing she has mace.

Review:
A pretty funny spoof on the ‘vampire tells his life story’ trope. And the mix up with the perfume and mace was a nice touch.


One WayHugh B. Cave

Synopsis:
Up in the mountains there is a cave where people vanish without a trace. two local men are guiding a reporter to go see it. A reporter who doesn’t believe them. So of course he has to check for himself. Next time the guides better get their pay up front.

Review:
A funny little story. Short and to the point but a good story nonetheless.


Favorite of the Week:
Oh, this week is going to be a tough one to choose. So many good stories. I loved Odd Jobs by Jason Tanner. I think it would make an excellent series if done right. Or even just a stand-alone novel. The Odor of Sanctity by William Marden was very good, as well. I either remembered this story or another story uses the same theme. But that should show you the staying power of it as this year is the first time I’ve read this book in ages. One for the Road by Judith Post is a haunting (literally) story on the dangers of drinking and driving. But it’s told in such a way that the sympathy goes for almost everyone in the story, including the cursed driver. One Romantic Evening by Greg McElhatton was a funny spoof on blind dates and vampires.


Join us again next week for another round of scary tales told by candlelight Ok, computer light but it’s close!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #29

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

07/22/2017 – 07/28/2017

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


My Wound Still WeepsMichael A. Arnzen

Synopsis:
A childhood wound inflicted by his father’s cigar has left the narrator wounded in more ways than one.

Review:
I have to admit the description of the wound grosses me out but it’s left up to the reader if the wound is real or psychological.


A New LifeWilliam Rotsler

Synopsis:
It’s rather hard for a modern day vampire to just ‘disappear’. Of course, before one can do that, there’s always a score or two to settle.

Review:
Just a short, snappy little story. It’s fun and makes sense, really.


New OldiesJohn B. Rosenman

Synopsis:
Sam has managed a few bands back in the day. He knew Elvis, Fabian and all the rest but he never got to manage any of the really big stars. Until one day in 1966 he met a man who could change all of that. But he couldn’t share him, now could he?

Review:
A very good story with a creepy ending. It definitely conjures up a great metal image of a skeleton clutching a guitar with a tinny recording playing in the background.


Night ChaseSara Simmons

Synopsis:
A man is being slowly stalked by a plain little man with an army of masks, bleeding from the eyes. He is almost upon the narrator but there is plenty of night left for the chase.

Review:
I’m not really sure what to make of this one. I kind of got the impression that it was perhaps a nightmare as the surroundings seemed a bit surreal.


The Night ClubScott David Aniolowski

Synopsis:
Jimmy’s found some new friends. Friends like him, who really get the Goth style. He’s very eager to join their club. And they’re more than happy to have him over for dinner.

Review:
A great story and it actually kept me on my toes. I was constantly wondering which would be the hunter or hunted. The choice of creature was surprising as well and not at all what I expected.


Night EyesTim Waggoner

Synopsis:
A midnight dream-snake coils about Jerome and into him. But is it a dream? Or literally all in his head?

Review:
A good story. And I was very relieved that it was not bugs. Very relieved.


Night TerrorsBlythe Ayne

Synopsis:
Tim and Tracy have only been married a few months when Tim begins to dream of a gorgeous woman that turns into a nightmare creature. It terrifies him and begins to disrupt his marriage. The doctor jokingly diagnoses a succubus and gives Tim some sleeping pills. The nightmare is over. For Tim. For Tracy the nightmare is just beginning.

Review:
A very good story with a Tales from the Crypt-like ending. Yes, I’ll admit I took a tiny bit of pleasure in Tracy’s misery since her being jealous of a terrifying dream is ridiculous.


Favorite of the Week:
It would definitely have to be The Night Club by Scott David Aniolowski. It was surprising all the way around.


This was a week of very short tales. In fact, one or two were barely half a page long. Join me again next week for more tales to give you Horrors!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #28

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

07/15/2017 – 07/21/2017

 

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.

 

Hello and welcome back to this week’s round of small, frightful delights! So get ready to hide under the covers but make sure you bring a light. It’s dark under there.

 

 

 


Mother LodeOjvind Bernander

Synopsis:
Finn is amazed to find an egg in a hole in his lawn. He’s even more amazed when it hatches out a Griffin. A Griffin that eats junk an excretes gold. Finn thinks he’s hit it rich but he’s forgotten one thing. Where there are babies there’s usually a mother…

Review:
I loved this story and I’m jealous. I want a Griffin. Preferably one that won’t eat me.


Mr. Bauble’s BagScott David Aniolowski

Synopsis:
Old clowns never die, they just wait in the shadows.

Review:
This was a very good, creepy clown tale. It’s not the usual serial killer clown or child eating clown. In fact, it’s a little unclear what it is that Mr. Bauble eats. But he seems genuinely disappointed that children fear him. Or whatever he is.


Mr. Brubaker Goes to WorkLyn Nichols

Synopsis:
Mr. Brubaker jauntily heads off to his work. He’s a butcher, happily carving good steaks and he takes pride in his work. Just don’t ask where the steaks come from.

Review:
I started out assuming that Mr. Brubaker was a killer but it took a slight zig-zag that I didn’t expect. A wonderful twist.


Much More Than You KnowBrian A. Hopkins

Synopsis:
Love can make people do crazy things. Especially disappointed love.

Review:
it’s a story that has been done before but this caught my eye because it was well written. Almost musical in that it flows so well.


Mud Juleen Brantingham

Synopsis:
A guy who’s rough on his women, especially the ones that can’t be bought with the price of popcorn and a movie, is leaving a girl in the rain as he drives out of the bayou. Little does he know that his friend Wes knows about the bayou, and what it will do for the people who care for it.

Review:
Loved, loved, loved this story. Great set-up and a great monster.


The Music BoxLisa Lepovetsky

Synopsis:
Julia holds the music box that her mother treasured and would never let her open. Now, more than anything, Julia wishes her mother was there with her. She’s about to get her wish.

Review:
A very good story that did not turn out how I expected it would. It also, in a weird way, reminded me a bit of Hellraiser.


My Evil TwinBrian Craig

Synopsis:
Two twins, separated by divorce. Assuming he is the ‘good’ twin our narrator has learned to keep from becoming what he thinks his brother must be. Deciding to track his brother down the narrator gets the surprise of his life…he may not be the ‘good’ twin, after all.

Review:
Another great story. It’s interesting to me how much twins are used in horror. No offense to any twinnies out there. There always seems to be a good one and an evil one. I have to admit that I have always found it pretty fascinating that a lot of identical twins seem to lead very similar lives. However, that rarely happens with fraternal twins. It kind of makes me wonder about genetics and whether or not our behavior is truly ‘individual’.


Favorite of the Week:
Oh, lord, do I have to pick? They were all really, really good. Even the Mr. Bauble one was good and I’m not usually gung-ho on clowns. They are creepy but the formula for using them in horror stays pretty basic. If I had to pick then these three are definitely the tops for this week: Mother Lode by Ojvind Bernander, Mud by Juleen Brantingham, and My Evil Twin by Brian Craig. They all had a little something more to them.


Well, this was a great week for stories. Let’s hope the awesome streak continues and I’ll see you guys next week for another week’s worth of tales to chill you.

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #27

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

07/08/2017 – 07/14/2017

 

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.

Aaah, a rainy night. Thunder, lightning and a lot of rain. Oh, you’re lights went out? Well, grab a couple of candles and snuggle in. Don’t mind that noise out there. I’m sure it’s just the wind…

 

 

 


MirroringTim Waggoner

Synopsis:
Greg is convinced that his reflection is not his own. But how to prove it when his mirror image can copy him so perfectly.

Review:
Mirrors are quite creepy anyway so I always enjoy a good scary story with a mirror. The ending is great as well.


Miss Courtney’s BeauMichael Mardis

Synopsis:
Father always told Miss Courtney that men only want one thing from her…money. and perhaps liberties. So when her new suitor shows up and wants a check she decides to teach him a lesson. Just like all the rest of the electric company men.

Review:
Great story with a great ending. No wonder utility men don’t like coming to the door anymore.


Miss Hitchbone Reclaims Her Own Will Murray

Synopsis:
A man complains to his neighbor about the “cat” scratching at his neighbor’s door in the wee hours of the morning. Queet, the neighbor, says that he’ll trade the story for a beer. And what a strange story it is. A couple of souvenirs from a tomb and now a skeleton wants them back.

Review:
I love the name Miss Hitchbone in a ghost story. It’s just weird enough to fit and just realistic enough to believe it could be a settler name. Also, for anyone in the Boston area or just anyone who knows. is Copp’s Hill an actual cemetery? It’s also mentioned in Lovecraft’s ‘Pickman’s Model’ as the burying place of Cotton Mather.


Misunderstanding James Robert Smith

Synopsis:
A father warns his son to watch out for “lawn sharks” so when a collector comes calling the little boy does his best to warn the leg-breaker to sty on the paving stones. Luckily, for the boy, he doesn’t listen and the lawn sharks get him.

Review:
I actually love stories about creatures born from children’s imaginations. Especially if it’s a misunderstood word or phrase.


The Monster WithinS. Darnbrook Colson

Synopsis:
A man kills werewolves before they can change into one during the next full moon. But are they really monsters or is he the real monster?

Review:
Great story with an unreliable narrator. Is the guy really killing werewolves? Or does his mind see them as werewolves and uses that as an excuse for his rage?


Monsters Richard T. Chizmar

Synopsis:
A necking adventure oes a bit awry and wanders into urban legend territory. But the real monster isn’t who you think it is.

Review:
great story that gives a little twist to The Hook story. I don’t want to say anymore because the ending was morbidly delightful.


MothJoe Meno

Synopsis:
A landlady calls an exterminator to get rid of the bats that have been eating all of the bugs. After Dick has carried out his task the moth-lady desires vengeance for his extermination of her brethren. Too bad Dick’s a fast thinker…and his extermination tablets are flammable.

Review:
A good if somewhat predictable story. Although, I do feel a bit bad for the moths. And a little curious as to how they would actually be able to kill a man. Now spiders on the other hand…


Favorite of the Week:
I loved Monsters by Richard T. Chizmar. It had a great flip on the urban legend of The Hook. You get the feeling that something isn’t quite right during the story but you’re not quite sure what until the end. I also loved Misunderstanding by James Robert Smith because the lawn sharks thing is really awesome.


Thank you for joining us again this week and be sure to come back next week for some more scary stories around the campfire!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #26

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

Synopsis:
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?

Review:
A pretty good story and the image of a man ” bumping down the street on his hindquarters” is definitely…different.


MagpieBrian McNaughton

Synopsis:
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…

Review:
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 RightBob Stein

Synopsis:
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”.

Review:
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 DeadDel Stone Jr.

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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.


MemoryMollie L. Burleson

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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.

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #25

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/24/2017 – 06/30/2017

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.

 

Step into my parlour said the GracieKat to her readers and let me tell you some tales.

 

 

 

 


 

Like a Charm David Niall Wilson

Synopsis:
Exiting a bar Lucky finds three guys beating up an old man and drives them off. As a thank you the old man gives Lucky a charm in the shape of a bird. Maybe Lucky’s luck will change soon, after all.

Review:
I generally liked the story but it’s full of stereotypes about country people that are a little insulting.


A Likeness of MeDawn Dunn

Synopsis:
John thinks he got lucky when a woman invites him back to her place to see her paintings. Experiencing an odd feeling of deja vu he suddenly knows the awful truth.

Review:
I really liked this one because I love creepy paintings. Especially when the line between creation and creator becomes blurred.


The Little Black DogLinda J. Dunn

Synopsis:
A little girl’s dog runs off when her parents make a stop. The new owners find Blackie and give her a new home. Blackie’s just a little thing but it’s appetite is a little larger than the new owners think it is. Of course, you can’t ask them, they’ve disappeared.

Review:
I loved this story and the twist at the end is great. I thought at first that Blackie might be a werewolf but the answer is a little more…galactic.


Little ManScott M. Brents

Synopsis:
A little boy tells the neighbor about the strange little man he found in the woods. A little creature he killed and now he’s scared he’ll get in trouble. Even though he doesn’t believe him the neighbor says it’ll be ok.

Review:
For such a short story it was kind of all over the place. So it was kind of meh.


Lopez Benjamin Adams

Synopsis:
A wrong number in the middle of the night for a man named Lopez turns into a bizarre mystery for a couple.

Review:
I didn’t really get this one at all. It was a little confusing whether it was a conspiracy or a case of mistaken identity.


Lost Pao Jessica Amanda Salmonson

Synopsis:
A you boy named Pao wanders away from his home when he’s young and returns as a young man speaking cryptically. Then he turns into a monster.

Review:
A good folk tale type of tale but a little blunt and short.


Love Sat Alone on a Foggy PierTerry Campbell

Synopsis:
A man out hunting a ghostly lady on a foggy night meets one but doesn’t realize it. so he keeps coming back, hoping to meet his own Lady of the Lake.


Favorite of the Week:
Kind of slim pickings for this week. I did really like Love Sat Alone on a Foggy Pier by Terry Campbell. I like a good ghost story, especially one with a bit of a romantic element. Scratch that, a mysterious romantic element.


Join us again next week for another round of chilling tales.

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #24

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/17/2017 – 06/23/2017

 

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 am enjoying the warm summer evenings. So pull up a log, grab a marshmallow and let’s tell some ghost stories.


The Lamia’s SoliloquyS. May Amarinth

Synopsis:
A lamia tells her victim three things about herself and her kind, counting on a human’s short memory. For the blood they take they give inspiration for poetry and art.

Review:
Short with beautiful description. I liked it quite a lot.


Last FightPeter Cannon

Synopsis:
As the widow of a famous occult writer lies dying her fans and caretakers scoop up her husband’s books. An enterprising young leech gets a bit more that he bargained for when he swipes a writing award.

Review:
I liked the story but the statuette in question just doesn’t seem to have a price tag high enough to make it worth conning for.


The Last ResortRichard Gilliam

Synopsis:
Bobby “Music-in-the-Morning” Walters is a dj on the radio who enjoys his job. The talking part of it anyway. He’s not too fond of the notion of the new Respect Radio, radio that doesn’t talk over your music. And now he’s been taken to the Orientation Center to cure him of his nasty habit.

Review:
I loved this story. No offense to the people out there who do like the talkative dj’s but that is one of the reasons I quit listening to the radio. Too much talking and not enough music. MTV stopped playing music and now look at them.


The Last WishScott Edelman

Synopsis:
A man who has trouble making up his mind about everything is on death row. He couldn’t even make up his mind about his last meal. So what does a guy who can’t make up his mind do when he gets one wish?

Review:
A dark and humorous story. I love the reason for there being only one wish (cutbacks are a bitch).


A Late DateTomi Lewis

Synopsis:
A woman is sitting at home, waiting for the phone to ring. Maybe this time he’ll actually talk to her.

Review:
A kind of weird story. The woman gets all snazzied up for a creep call. I’m guessing she must be a very lonely woman.


Liar’s DiceAdam Niswander

Synopsis:
When you call someone a liar you get to play Liar’s Dice. Somehow I think Liar’s Dice is more unfair than a floating craps.

Review:
If your kid ever tells you there’s a monster in the house it’s best to give them the behefit of the doubt. Just in case.


The Light of Truth Benjamin Adams

Synopsis:
The Cult of Inner Vision is a fast growing cult that has attracted the attention of the F.B.I. Too bad the last guy that got sent in became part of the cult. Now they have to send more in. What could possibly go wrong?

Review:
I liked it until the end. The ending doesn’t tell you what they see and frankly, I’m a bit annoyed. It’s kind of a cheat.


Favorite of the Week:
The Last Resort by Richard Gilliam caught my eye this week. Mostly for the reasons I mentioned above. Every time I actually try to listen to the radio it’s just people talking. And, worse, they’ll start talking over the song itself. If we’d had streaming services when I was growing up I would have been in heaven. and maybe not screw over some of those tape clubs (sorry Colombia).

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #23

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/10/2017 – 06/16/2017

 

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 was a dark and stormy night, GraciKat sat alone at three in the morning, trying to convince herself that the chill was from the rain…and that the lightning wasn’t showing strange and dark shapes moving outside…

 

 

 

 


I’ve Seen That Look BeforeLarry Segriff

Synopsis:
I am not the man I was. Our narrator was someone else, once upon a time. Before They spoke to him. Now he’s not sure who he is. Are you sure you’re you?

Review:
It kind of reminded me of that saying: “It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you”. It also shows how quickly paranoia can spread from person to person. Like a virus.


The Jack-o’-LanternScott David Aniolowski

Synopsis:
You might want to think twice the next time you brutally gut a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern. They just might get even.

Review:
Of course, you could always not give your pumpkin teeth. But the rinds themselves are pretty thick and a tad sharp. Maybe we ought to just leave them alone.


Just Another Good Ol’ Haunted House Terry Campbell

Synopsis:
When two boys break into a haunted house attraction they soon find out why the owners don’t need security. And the creatures might not be as fake as the audience thinks they are.

Review:
Kind of an updated version of the wax museum stories but still very cool. wax museums always freak me out and really, how different are the statues in a Haunted House? If they are statues, that is.


Just DessertsRobert Weinberg

Synopsis:
A prolific author finds himself at the end of his life and is surprised to find himself in Hell (apparently all writers go there, for whatever reason, it doesn’t say) an finds that his punishment will be much more terrible than an eternal lake of fire and torture. Those unsolicited manuscripts have to be edited somehow don’t they?

Review:
In the first paragraph alone there are references to Lovecraft (The Silver Key), The Wizard of Oz or Pink Floyd but since the main character is a writer I’m betting on Oz (over the rainbow), The Never-Ending Story and the Twilight Zne. The story itself was pretty humorous. It’s ok Martin, e-books will come along soon and relieve you of your work load.


Just Suppose – Darrell Schweitzer

Synopsis:
From childhood a man hears voices in the wind and trees. Whispering to him to do things. Things like cut his wrists and even more terrible thoughts. But are the voices really there to help and take him away from his drab life? Or are they just in his mind?

Review:
It was well-written but also a little plain at the same time. Just kind of your typical crazy/not crazy guessing game.


KnockEdward Bryant

Synopsis:
A killer answers the door on Halloween fully expecting to find the usual assortment of costumes. But underneath the masks is something far more terrifying.

Review:
another kind of iffy one. There wasn’t a whole lot of suspense to it because you know before he even answers the door what be waiting for him.


Lady of the NightJames Anderson

Synopsis:
Stan’s wife keeps sneaking out at night. One night he follows her to see where she goes. When he sees her go into his best friend’s house he thinks he has his answer. Unfortunately for him, it’s not the answer he expected.

Review:
It wasn’t too bad of a story but it wasn’t too hard to figure out why she was going out at night. It was basically a coin flip as to which creature she was.


Favorite of the Week:
I particularly found Just Another Good Ol’ Haunted House by Terry Campbell. Wax museums creep me out and I’ve always loved stories where the ‘fake’ haunted houses aren’t quite so fake. I also liked Just Desserts in a different way because I love a little dark humour every now and then. It can relieve a book and stories that are starting to blend into each other or start taking themselves too seriously.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s stories as much as I did and come again next week for more flesh-crawling tales!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #22

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/03/2017 – 06/09/2017

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.

 

These stories are dark and pierce the skin like a well-placed dagger. Happy reading!

 

 


In the Lonely HoursWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
What if you could clone your loved one? Could you ever be sure it’s them? And in the end would it be possible to tell which was the clone and which was not? what if they both are?

Review:
I did like the theme behind this one a lot. Also the way it twists into you wondering which is the actual clone an which isn’t. Although, to me, if the woman is so uncomfortable with it, why go through the process?


In the Wilds of the SuburbsDel Stone Jr.

Synopsis:
A homeless man named Joe finds that the population has disappeared, except him. But is he really alone?

Review:
I honestly didn’t understand the end. Was the author implying the lawn ornament animals responsible and that’s who is keeping him company? Or is it rats? I’m just not sure what’s going on in this story.


Incident in the Western LandsDon Webb

Synopsis:
A foolish Egyptologist discovers an amulet of Horus and Set that has not been logged yet. It couldn’t hurt to borrow it could it? Just for a couple of days?

Review:
Anyone who has ever read a mummy’s curse story can see the ending coming a mile away. But the story is enjoyable nevertheless as it gives a different take on the ‘curse’.

 

IncognitoTerry McGarry

Synopsis:
A woman who seemingly uses and hates her flowing blond hair equally. A “follicular bulls-eye” in her Dominican neighborhood decides to cast it all to the wind, well, cast it all in front of a bus. But her private demons will know her by her hair.

Review:
I had a little trouble connecting to this story. By the accounts in the story she led a pretty good life and if the worst she got called growing up was “Look at the blond!” is that so horrible? Also, not really trying to be judgmental here but suicide by stepping into the path of a vehicle is a very selfish way to do it. It puts that burden on someone for the rest of their life that they may not deserve.


Insects and DesireJoe Murphy

Synopsis:
A man who’s very into bugs meets a woman at an insect exhibit. Taking her into a ‘special’ exhibit where he has his lunch. But which is the hunter and which is the prey?

Review:
Even though I hate bugs I did like the twist at the end. It was easily spotted but at the same time, had a slightly different twist than you might expect.


Interrupted PilgrimageBrian McNaughton

Synopsis:
A group of brigands/soldiers encounter many odd illusions on their pilgrimage through a certain town. Being told of the dreamer they set out to murder him. Encountering more challenges (including one soldier who believes he’s dead and sneaks off to bury himself and another who refuses to believe he is dead annoys the Devil by refusing to believe he’s in Hell) they finally find the dreaming Magi. But who is the dream and who is not?

Review:
This was by turns funny but a little icky in spots. I don’t quite know what to think of it.


It’s Hell Waking UpWayne Allen Sallee

Synopsis:
A man dreams, ten minute dream snatches at a time. Elvis poking out an eyeball, plane crashes, the list goes on. The only one that seems semi-real to him is a dream (or is it reality?) of choking on a piece of pizza and dying. Waking up might not be hell but sleeping sure is.

Review:
I am in total sympathy with Scolari. It always seems as though no matter how much sleep you get, your body just wants more. I’m not including that bizarre personage known as “The Morning Person” they’re another breed altogether. I have yet to meet one in real life but I’ve heard they exist.


Favorite of the Week:
For all it’s weirdness I rather liked Interrupted Pilgrimage by Brian McNaughton. It was weird, a little gross and kind of funny. so it caught my attention.


Join me again next week when hopefully I can curdle your blood a bit more, rather than just swish it around a bit.

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #21

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

05/27/17 – 06/02/17

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.

 

Ah, spring. School’s almost out – time for cook-outs, camp-outs. Just be careful of that rustling in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 


If You Feel You Have Reached This Number in ErrorJohn Helfers

Synopsis:
A man dies, phone a few feet away from his hand. However, there’s more going on with the telephone company than meets the eye.

Review:
Loved this story! It had a great, creepy vibe to it and made me think of an X-Files episode.


If You Go Out in the Woods TonightNancy Holder

Synopsis:
An unknown narrator is talking to an unknown family. The woods have been booby-trapped by a family named the McIvey’s. Bear traps. Razor wire.

Review:
I liked it. It had a snappy ending with a lot of oomph. Definitely has you wondering who the unknown narrator is, exactly.


If You Love Someone, Let Them GoPeter Atkins

Synopsis:
An unusual family has the unfortunate habit of becoming whatever they lose. So what happens when a man loses his girlfriend?

Review:
Short, not bad and a little weird.


I’ll Get Away With ItWilliam F. Nolan

Synopsis:
A son with an abusive father sets up the perfect crime.

Review:
It was a little hard to believe but not too bad.


I’m a Crazy TigerTina L. Jens

Synopsis:
A man believes he’s a tiger. Which is crazy, right? But is it so crazy when there’s a tiger at the zoo that acts like a human?

Review:
Um, I’m not quite sure what to say abut this one, really. It’s different and pretty good. Not very scary though.


ImmanenceDavid Annandale

Synopsis:
Riviere gives Jordan a brief history of horror and film. Then I have no idea what happened. Really.

Review:
I was kind of into it until it got…weird. So I have no idea what they were trying to say.


Immortal MuseDon D’Ammasssa

Synopsis:
Connie has an idea for her thesis. To prove Mary Shelley visited the real-life inspiration for Frankenstein. So they go to the villa looking for proof. As they make their way through the abandoned villa they pass proof that’s far more intriguing than what they’re looking for.

Review:
I thought this was cool. It actually would make for a very good longer story like a novella.


Favorite of the Week:
My two favorites this week were If You Feel You Have Reached This Number in Error by John Heifers and Immortal Muse by Don D’Ammassa. If You Have Reached This Number in Error would make for a great full-length novel because it’s idea is one that could be expanded on a lot.