Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #40

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

10/07/2017 – 10/13/2017 

 

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.

 

This Friday is the thirteenth. Better not go to any camps, have sex or do drugs. In fact, it’s safer to just not move. So curl up with our site for some scary stories and hope Jason isn’t lurking outside your door.

 

 


Shooting EvilLawrence C. Connolly

Synopsis:
A man and his new lady love take some boudoir photos of her lying on the bed. Afterward, while developing the film, something’s not quite right. She doesn’t seem to be in the photograph…

Review:
I loved the angle this story took on the vampire myth. I also didn’t know that silver was used in black and white photography. Unfortunately for the femme fatale I don’t think she thought her plan through very well.


ShutterGordon Linzner

Synopsis:
Annette is being photographed by an unknown man. Despite various tricks he always seems to be there, click, taking his pictures. While being mugged he carries on, click. a police officer is on hand to help, however, and annette thinks her troubles are over. Or are they?

Review:
This story seemed a little strange to me. Annette thinks to herself that it would be silly to report the man to the police as he’s only taking pictures. I do believe that’s still referred to as stalking. If this were a more recent story it would make good commentary on what certain people think of as their right to take pictures of total strangers and post them wherever they please with no regard for that person’s privacy or possible consequences of doing so.


Sibling RivalryBrian Hodge

Synopsis:
After a traumatic incident a woman buys herself what sounds like a Chucky doll and bizarrely names it Annabel Lee. Then they invite their nephew over for the week and Annabel Lee does not want to share her mother’s affection.

Review:
A creepy doll story that is pretty gruesome, to me. I did think it weird that the doll seems like a boy doll but is named Annabel Lee. I get the reference but it seems rather wedged in.


The Silver and the Damage DoneScott M. Brents

Synopsis:
Walter is a werewolf. He pounces on a peasant girl and is shot down in quick order. It replays again…and again…and again.

Review:
First of all, I’m curious if the author got his title from the Neil Young song ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ (which is far more depressing than this story). It had an interesting side to it in that the ‘werewolf’ is a VR game called ‘Silver Death’: “A werewolf game so real it should be outlawed”. Walter, the man in question, had hooked himself up to the machine and died of dehydration. Actual cause of death? The quarter he had used was a silver quarter. And we all know silver and werewolves don’t mix.


Silver FuturesStephen Dedman

Synopsis:
A werewolf is under arrest aboard a spaceship. Very cocky he believes that the officer has bitten off more than he can chew. However, leaving the moon’s reach it may be the werewolf has bitten off more than he can chew.

Review:
This did raise an interesting question. Would the Earth moon be the only moon to have an effect on werewolves? And would a planet with more moons have more of an effect or less?


Six Deaths MoreJudith Post

Synopsis:
Teresa’s nightmares are getting worse. They start with a Roaring Twenties gangland slaying as she and her date are gunned don in a restaurant. The next is a nightmare of the Civil War, dying at the hands of the Yankees as she fires on them. The third is as one of the ‘Witchcraft Girls’ in Salem, fingering Tituba as the instigator of the witchcraft panic which claims five more innocent lives. as she dies again in her most recent nightmare she realizes that she will have to ‘die’six more deaths before her sin is purged.

Review:
While I liked the idea behind it, some parts didn’t make sense. For starters, Tituba was not hanged for witchcraft. She was imprisoned and released, which is a bit surprising., given the times. While it was true that most who confessed did avoid the gallows they also had their land and money stripped from them. Since Tituba had no land or property she knew that confessing would save her from the gallows. Also, the story states that five other lives (besides Tituba’s, two other slaves and five other innocent women were dead before the witch panic died down. This also is untrue. In total 24 accused witches had died. Nineteen were hung, four died in prison and one was pressed to death (Giles Corey, who refused to say anything, therefore allowing his family to keep their lands). I know, I know. I’m probably being way too particular for a short story but these are easily obtainable facts, even before the internet. I did like the idea of working out your past ‘guilt’ through the nightmares but it does seem like a bit of a light punishment, comparatively speaking.


SkepticTim Waggoner

Synopsis:
Two teenagers are watching a wrestling bout on tv. one of the boys keeps snarking about how fake and unrealistic it is (a little ironic after my two paragraph harangue on the witch trials in the review above). Finally the other boy turns it off in a huff and accuses the first boy of having no imagination. They decide to head out for a bite to eat…after they sharpen their claws, that is.

Review:
I really liked this story. We all have that friend. You know the one I mean. The one who, when you question the motivations of a character in a movie their only answer is “Because it’s in the script.” And we’ve all been annoyed by them. I liked the twist at the end.


Favorite of the Week:
The run of good stories continues! I attribute it to the Gods of Bookdom and Halloween to be in a favorable mood! It’s another hard choice. I very much liked Shooting Evil by Lawrence C. Connolly as the lady’s thoughtlessness could be written off as cockiness. I also loved Skeptic by Tim Waggoner. It had a fun and amusing twist at the end. Two (presumably) supernatural creatures arguing about whether or not televised wrestling is real or not.


Thank you for joining us yet again for another round of frightful tales! Please join us again next week as we move closer to the horror fan’s ultimate holiday!

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #39

 Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

09/30/2017 – 10/06/2017

 

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 October!! The month every horror fan waits for. Because people tend to look at you a little weird when you dress up as a Vampiric Easter Bunny. The countdown begins!

 

 

 


Serial KillersStephen Woodworth

Synopsis:
A serial killer stalks the streets. A very unusual one, however. It kills men and women and its victims literally beg for death.

Review:
A very good story, if a little depressing. I really didn’t see the twist coming.


Shades of GraySue Storm

Synopsis:
Janey sees everything in shades of gray. ever since the baby came she feels replaced, as if her parents don’t see her anymore. But they want to…more than anything in the world.

Review:
Well, that was depressing as hell. At first it seems like the typical jealous older sibling type of story so I really wasn’t liking it. But then it takes a turn for the very sad. It’s more affecting but it makes me wonder what happened and who the boy is?


ShadrachAdam Niswander

Synopsis:
Galen loves fire and the former building of the Temple of the Hours stands empty and unguarded. But the Templars’ altar is a Phoenix and that which was burnt may rise again.

Review:
It’s kind of obvious what Galen’s ultimate end will be it comes in a way I didn’t expect it to.


Shattering the SonataDevon Monk

Synopsis:
Leona hates practicing the piano with the bust of Beethoven glaring his disapproval. Finally she seems to be mastering it…but is it really her that’s playing?

Review:
I have a question. If you play or own a piano is it mandatory to have a bust of Beethoven on it? I liked the story but if you hate it that much why play? And even if your parents force you to I think I’d still find a way to ‘accidentally’ break the bust if it bothered me that much.


Sherri Goes to the OfficeYvonne Navarro

Synopsis:
Sherri is a model employee. She will not leave her job until the filing is done. So what if she’s a little smelly? So what if she can’t remember the alphabet? So what if she died two weeks ago and is now a zombie? She’s not going to let a little thing like that stop her.

Review:
The narrator does raise an interesting point. Would firing someone for being undead be discrimination? An awesomely funny story that is a good pick-me-up from the first two depression fests.


She Waits…Kay Reynolds

Synopsis:
Mano and Lela were perfect partners. One would bait the hook, the other would skin the fish. Until one night they pick the wrong mark. A mark who puts Mano in the hospital and Lela in the grave. Mano is prepared when the man comes calling. He and Lela have never worked with anyone and Mano isn’t about to share now.

Review:
One of the best vampire stories I’ve read in a while. Not quite up there with the Dracula is Jesus one from this week but still very good.


ShiftDavid Annandale

Synopsis:
Nielson buys a telescope at a yard sale and is very pleased that it works. It does, however, seem to have a few cracks. He didn’t notice any and cracks don’t move. Be careful when looking down a telescope, though. Something might be looking back. Or the image and reality itself could…shift.

Review:
While this story wasn’t insanely thrilling the writing alone carries it above what it is. For example: “And there are shifts that are all of these, bigger than tectonic, but as easy to get into as a glance gone wrong, and irrevocable beyond the laws of any god.” and this quote: “He didn’t want to turn, didn’t want to see, but he did and in his last second received one more gift: A fear so huge his old universe could not have held it.” *

Great lines, both of them. Some very nice writing.


Favorite of the Week:
Since I’m in the mood for a bit more of a humorous story it is definitely Sherri Goes to the Office by Yvonne Navarro. Shift by David Annandale was well-written with an interesting premise. Another great week for stories, we are on a roll!

*Quotes used fall under the Fair Use Act


Thanks for joining us this week and come back next year for more creepy yarns.

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.

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #32

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

08/12/2017 – 08/18/2017

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’m very interested in what this week brings. The summer is flying by quickly and is really bumming me out. I think I dread school starting more than my son does. I dislike getting up early. Especially in the cold. So let’s enjoy some scary stories while it’s still warm out.


Only Death, SirPeter Atkins

Synopsis:
A king finds his servant only has one response to the king’s questions. Everything always ends the same.

Review:
If the title weren’t what it was it would be hard to tell what exactly the story was about. So, it wasn’t bad but a story’s subject shouldn’t depend on the title.


ParasiteGreg McElhatton

Synopsis:
Marissa has been feeling strange for a while now. First throwing up, then pain (which she brushes off as a nightmare). Then one terrible night things start poking out of her body. The doctors tell the roommate it’s hormonal changes from pregnancy. We’re left wondering, along with the roommate, just what it will be.

Review:
Eh. It was ok but there’s no real explanation to it. There’s nothing that says where she could have gotten the ‘parasite’ from, pregnant or otherwise.


The ParkPhyllis Eisenstein

Synopsis:
Sandy has always been told not to walk through the park at night. There are all sorts of creeps out there, her mother warns. But sometimes it’s not the humans you have to watch out for. It’s the trees.

Review:
I don’t know why but stories about killer trees are creepy. and this one is quite creepy.


Parlour GamesLawrence Schimel

Synopsis:
Peter owns the only legitimate funeral parlour. After death, unless you pay extra, your corpse could be re-animated and used as cheap labour. There’s only one competitor but he’ll soon be taken care of. Peter has a reputation to maintain.

Review:
A very good, and more than a little horrifying, story.


Patient FateTom Piccirilli

Synopsis:
A hitch-hiker waits patiently by an overpass, waiting for a driver to stop. But this girl is waiting for someone in particular, even if it’s not the right driver. And there’s a long line of them.

Review:
Piccirilli’s stories are sometimes hit or miss with me. This one was excellent. I’m a sucker for a good phantom hitch-hiker story.


PenanceBarry Hoffman

Synopsis:
Shana is an old, arthritic nurse…who’s only twenty four. Her penance for murdering her own child is to endure the pain of withdrawals and other ailments that a crack baby has to endure. She takes it from them. While what she did can never be undone it’s the penance she will serve until she can die in peace. And another will take her place.

Review:
I honestly don’t know what to say about the story. It was amazing and, if I’m being totally honest, also made me tear up a bit. And that’s hard to do.


The Perfect BabyLinda J. Dunn

Synopsis:
Jenny is waiting at the airport. when a mother with a baby approaches her Jenny thinks she’s hit the jackpot. Her ‘friend’ will pay a lot of money for healthy babies. Too bad that’s not what Jenny gets.

Review:
If the stories weren’t planned together, which I don’t think they were, it’s an ironic follow up to the last story.


Favourite of the Week:
For creepiness factor it would definitely be Patient Fate by Tom Piccirilli. Like I said, I’m a sucker for an awesome vanishing hitch-hiker story. For emotional depths that I’d rather not stir up? Penance by Barry Hoffman without a doubt.


Thanks for joining us this week for a somewhat depressing story selection. Hopefully next week will be a little cheerier and creepier.

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!