Today Laura from fuonlyknew.com is doing a guest review of a horror short story for part of Monsters, Madmen, Mayhem. Oh my! Laura is one of the many blogs I love to follow, she is horrible about adding to my TBR pile because we have similar taste and she loves horrror! 🙂
I never used to read a lot of short stories. Now, it seems like I can’t get enough. It’s a great way to get samples of an author’s writing and they’re handy for when you have some time to ‘kill.’
There are four stories in this collection. Three by Chris Snider and one by Ellen C. Maze.
First up is A Stranger In The Rain
The title sets the stage. I can already see Danny, driving down in a downpour late at night on an isolated road.
Danny dealt with his divorce by drowning in a bottle. After losing his job, he takes a long look in the mirror and gives up the booze. Packing up, he heads off to start over.
Perhaps a fresh start will help with the nightmares. He‘s been having them for months and now he doesn’t want to sleep. They’re always the same. A faceless man staring at him, pointing an accusing finger.
Spotting a man hitchhiking in the downpour, he offers him a ride. Perhaps the stranger will keep him awake.
This was creepy and full of atmosphere. I did see the end coming, but liked how I got there.
Next up is Headlights.
It’s late at night and the fog is thick as molasses. Randy drives through the sick soup, getting a late start on his road trip.
Over the hill he sees headlights appear. Strange when the car never appears. He crests the hill and pulls over, wondering where it went.
The girl appears out of nowhere.
This one felt very familiar. I’ve read something similar and watched an episode on TV like it too.
I still enjoyed the story and liked how the author put his spin on it.
Third up is Dinner With Death.
It’s 1881. Richard makes his living hunting and he’s had a very good day. Can’t wait to rush home and tell his wife.
Dinner is cooking when he arrives, the aromas teasing his stomach. His wife asks him to check the pantry. She heard something moving around in there and worries about varmints.
Before Richard has a chance to check, he’s interrupted by his daughter’s screams and turns to see her pointing out the window.
Darkness has descended and a thick fog has appeared. Something is out there. Death has come calling.
Perhaps he should invite it in?
At first, I thought I knew where this was going, Then, the author set me straight.
A creepy surprise.
And the fourth story, written by Ellen C. Maze, The Comeback
Phil Meddle settles into his seat at the Greasy Spoon, a diner located off Interstate 101 in California.
He’s angry. He just got turned down for a part in a movie and he’s still simmering over his ending role in a show he helped make huge.
It’s all Sterling’s fault. The young actor came out of nowhere, landed a role on the show, and now Phil is out in the cold.
Who should walk in and sit down beside him? Yep, that no good Sterling. And he wants Phil to be on his new show.
If Phil hadn’t been listening to his own jealous thoughts and wallowing in self pity, if he’d been paying closer attention, perhaps his last starring role wouldn’t have went so horribly wrong.
This is one where you want to slap the character. I missed a clue or two, but soon had an idea what was happening.
Good thing Phil had his head stuck in the sand or we wouldn’t have this wicked ending.
I enjoyed all four stories, with Dinner With Death being my favorite. Something about the era and the strong characters grabbed me. That and the wicked twist.
Looking for some scary good reads? I’d recommend this collection for a dark and stormy night.
What would you do if you saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road on a rainy night?
What if you saw headlights coming at you over a hill, but they disappeared into nowhere?
What if the Grim Reaper showed up at your door while you were sitting down to dinner with your family?
What if you were an out of work actor and the man who stole your job sat down beside you in a diner?
All of these questions will be answered by the characters of Accents of Horror: Four flavors of death, by horror writer Chris Snider.@laurathomas61 guest reviewed Accents of Horror on my blog today. Please come and check it out! #mmmohmy #horror Click To Tweet