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 #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 #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.

Flyby Five: 5 Times the Movie Was Actually Better Than the Book

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There are quite a few movie lists with books that are better than the movies. But isn’t that a given, really? Most times the book is better. However, there are a few magical movies out there that are actually better than the books they’re based on. Unfortunately there probably aren’t enough movies to fill a list of ten so enjoy the Flyby Five list of movies that are actually better than the book.

Jaws

Jaws is certainly a horror classic for a reason. The same can’t really be said of the book, though. It has none of the dread, excitement or interest of the movie. The characters are so much better in the movie, as well. Almost everyone likable in the movie are complete buttheads in the book. In fact, in an interview once, Peter Benchley admitted that if he had known more about Great Whites he never would have written the book. Not because the book was bad but because of the fear it instilled in people of Great Whites.

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Vampire$/Vampires

Vampire$ by John Steakley is as far from the movie created from it as the moon. And it’s a good thing. For one thing, Vampires, the movie by John Carpenter, has James Woods at his weirdest finest and a great backstory and plot. Vampire$, the novel, is ok but much, much different. The plot lacks a tight cohesion and the Head Vampire is pretty lame. A good wedgie would probably take care of him.

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The Ring (Book) – Ringu – The Ring (American Remake)

Now, it might not be fair to slam the book too hard because it may just be translation issues. It has the cadence of something literally translated and not smoothed out for an English-speaking audience. However, even in terms of plot and structure the movies have it all over the book. Ringu is an excellent adaptation of the book and smooths out some of the awkward exposition. The Ring is one of the best American adaptations.

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The Time Machine 

I myself have never read The Time Machine but Lilyn has and if she says the movie is better then that’s good enough for me. For my part I love the movie. Guy Pearce puts a great deal of tragedy into the character of Andrew Hartdegen and Jeremy Irons is Uber-Creepy as the Uber-Morlock.

 

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Jurassic Park 

How could a book about creating dinosaurs be boring? I don’t know, I never made it past chapter three. I just could not get into it. So, once again, I will defer to my Fearless Leader Lilyn and take her word for it that the movie was better than the book. For those that do like the book I’m sure that reading about dinosaurs was great. But seeing them in larger than life CGI was glorious.

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Do you have any movies you favor over the books that inspired them? Drop us a comment down below!

Blood and Needles #BookReview

Title: Blood and Needles | Author: Billy Lyons | Publisher: Intrigue Publishing LLC | Expected Pub. Date: June 15th 2017 | Pages: 234 | ISBN13: 9781940758534 | Genre: Horror | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Triggers: Drug use, matricide | Source: Received from the author for review consideration


Blood and Needles Review

The last person 25-year-old junkie, Steven, expected to meet was Anna Marie, an alluring stranger who turns out to be a fellow junkie . . . and a vampire. Anna Marie senses an inner steel deep inside Steven, and offers him a membership in the seductive world of The Morphia Clan, a group of vampires as devoted to using narcotics as much as they are to drinking blood. Steven soon falls in love with Anna Marie, whose vampire throne is threatened from outside forces and from within. There are hidden dangers everywhere and treachery and betrayal lie just around every corner. Soon Steven finds himself not only in a fight to save his own life but also the life of the vampire he loves. – Goodreads

Blood and Needles Review

Sex, drugs and vampires pretty much sums this book up. There’s a lot of shooting up, which was pretty much expected. Some vampire training, a council meeting and a bit of action at the end. Even though I expected the typical junkie attitudes I can’t honestly say I liked the characters. Besides being cardboard cut-outs the few personality traits they did have were annoying. Anna Marie is your basic beautiful woman with the requisite tragic past. Steven is an ass. And of course he’s perfect at being a vampire after just a day. Amazing. His relationship with Anna Marie is of the insta-love variety. No need for any pesky relationship or personality building, since it’s boom insta-love you can skip straight to the boning. The Morphia Clan seems to be fairly large but only two characters are described in any kind of detail and even they’re sketched in with the barest of personality traits.

There’s not much of a plot in Blood and Needles to speak of. Steve turns into a vampire, add a dash of ‘tragic’ family circumstances, a smidgen of training (and, consequently, everyone telling him how wonderful he is) some sex and a dollop of action at the end and there’s your plot.

Much of the book is narrated in Steven’s thoughts but what dialogue there is for the most part fits modern times. Which actually was a nice change since a lot of vampire books assume since vampires were created in specific time frames they speak that way for eternity. It’s much more plausible that their speech would evolve with the times.

The only reason Blood and Needles is even getting two stars is that it wasn’t terribly written. There were no grammar or spelling issues and maybe with a little more work it could be a decent novel.

2 out of 5 Skulls

  

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #20

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

05/20/2017 – 05/26/2017

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 days are getting longer now. That’s good. You never know what’s lurking in the dark.
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