Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror
02/11/2017 – 02/17/2017
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.
Each day I’ll be reading one story per day with a weekly wrap-up on Fridays. If you missed the first post you can find it here.
So let’s dive in to this week’s bloody pool of horror. Better hold your breath.
The Cards Speak – Brian Craig
A poker game with magical cards and some very high stakes. Not too high, just your soul. Don’t worry, it’s not the Devil. Just a guy with a few I.O.U.’s to clear up.
It seems like flash fiction and short stories are the only types of fiction that can get away with writing in the first person present tense. I’ve always liked a good ‘gamble with the Devil’ story. Although it does make me wonder how someone can I.O.U. more than one soul? I always thought that was a one time shot.
Carnival Wishing – Lisa Lepovetsky
Cassie wishes badly that she could be her aunt’s little girl. Finding a sparrow in the dirt she remembers what her aunt said about wishes requiring sacrifice. Just before her mother decides to enjoy a Ferris Wheel ride without her.
Creepy and I think the mother gets her due. Who takes their kid to a carnival and doesn’t let them do anything?
The Cat – Phyllis Eisenstein
Marilyn receives a kitten from her grandmother for protection at night. At night the kitten plays with things that go clickety-clack. One night Marilyn gets up to find that the cat isn’t playing with thimbles or string but something much more sinister.
I love cats so any story about them interests me. This felt very much inspired by the movie Cat’s Eye. Unfortunately things don’t go as well for Marilyn.
Catharsis – Tim Waggoner
A psychiatrist is helping his patients using ‘scream therapy’. Their released anger literally feeds his ambition to help people.
Didn’t go where I was expecting it to, that’s for sure. Although, word of advice? If your doctor says what you’re about to do may seem a little strange and then asks you to close your eyes and open your mouth? Run.
Change of Life – Adam Niswander
A middle-aged man has discovered his next door neighbor has become a vampire. She’s invited him to join the club.
I love how practical the guy is about his impending change. Like making sure he switches his shift at the diner to nights.
Changes – Brian McNaughton
Arthur wakes up to find the world is just slightly altered from what it was before. Nothing he can put his finger on, just little differences. Enough to make him question his sanity, until he opens the door to pay the head man.
I really liked this one. For such a short story it had me guessing as to which it was. Was he crazy or did he really fall into an alternate dimension?
The Chindi – Don D’Ammassa
Camping in an ancient Navajo hogan turns out to be a bad idea for a young couple studying the region. Especially when Brian’s girlfriend scoffs at their customs.
It was an alright story. Brian seems kind of dumb not to realize that something’s up when his girlfriend starts behaving differently.
Favorite of the Week:
I really liked The Cards Speak by Brian Craig. I’ve always loved the image of playing cards with Death or the Devil. Of course, if I were in a high stakes poker game with the Devil I’d be screwed. I have zero luck when it comes to cards.
Be sure to come back next Friday because one of my absolute favorites in the book is coming up and I can’t wait to share it. Since we’re getting more stories by the same authors at the end of each month I’ll do a tally of them with links to the posts their various stories can be found on.