Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Wrapped in White - Anthology

The introduction basically asks why do we like to be scared, especially by ghosties?  This made me think…. I love to read horror because it is escapism at the highest level for me, I can have romance, the news shows me real crime, murders and thrillers every day but sci-fi and horror are something that has to be fiction, please.

I was worried about this anthology as I don’t believe in ghosts, so how was I to be scared, spooked or terrorized? Not to worry, I had shivers, shakes and something definitely tapped me on the shoulder.  I have alwasys said I have  never been a fan of ghost stories, I don’t believe in them I say….. or maybe I do and that’s why they give me the shivers so much.

I really enjoy the little author bios but IMO they should be at the start or finish of each story so that I can run off and grab their other works.  That said the editor has done another splendid job in arranging this in just the right order to freak you out!

 Daddy’s Glasses by Allison M. Dickson  
Loved the southern twang to the story. An early baby death sets the tone for this nightmare riddled story. 

So much death in one family but AMD also manages to show what happens in “real” life as families stretch, change and lose contact. 

However, when a blast from the past arrives in a little wooden box the narrator of this story gets a full front seat to the true horror of human nature.

The Curse of Kirby by Patrick C Greene
Poor Dawson he cant seem to get any peace with Butthole the cat pooping everywhere or scratching him to hell, not to mention his wonderful party hard neighbours. 

Mendelbaum, his only other sane neighbour, is also having a hard time sleeping. Then they meet Abigail and Kirby; a mischievous ghost! and a plan is hatched.

However, as is always with hauntings there are dark currents and secrets, and with PCG you can always expect some even darker comments, not forgetting the gore, always lots of gore! But funny gore!

A fantastic climactic and grin worthy ending.

The White Boy by Joshua Rex
Micheal is down on his luck, however, not all the back story is laid bare, some is hidden, this unfolds later in little scary drips. He finds Jacob, alone, cold and white.

As Michael is led through a torturous route to really finding Jacob its all quiet sad.  Well written enough to draw some serious emotions.

Unseen by James Glass
Omg! So spooky, two dimensional people and rustling. 

The end of the world is nigh according to our narrator. Really enjoyed this story as it gave me goose bumps. 

The tension of not knowing if he is going mad or actually seeing ghosts is riveting.

John by G. Elmer Munson
I was a bit confused at first. 

It started out like John was kidnapping Janelle, but then they get caught in a storm and a strange house appears. 

The time line is all a bit squewhiff in the spooky house with the freaky old lady and ever spookier noises, but all sort of becomes clear at the end. 
Weird little story.

You’ll Thank Me by Tomorrow by Michael D. Matula
Liam and Molly are trying to enjoy a little naughty week away, and the temperature is getting a little hot when the screaming starts. 

This story is very much Groundhog Day for horror lovers, as three people and two rooms rotate in varying fashions to kill each other. It’s exhausting reading in a fantastic way.

The ending is amazing and I think this was my favourite story.

Thursday Night Bingo by Kelli A. Wilkins
Betty gets midnight visitors, she is used to them. 

Her son Jimmy, just thinks she is gong senile. Blackie her dog saw the ghostie too, but as the story unfolds something more sinister is afoot. I really enjoyed this until the ending, it just finished to quick and too predictably for me, great writing style though.

The Witness by Bryan W. Alaspa
Clever nods to your novels BWA! 

In this little story Tabitha is the Witness to all the strange goings on in Knorr, especially the tale of the House on Kettle Street & Clara.

Well written little piece with lots of love and tension, the build up is good and then the final reveal is good if a little cliché. 

However, it did have the best line in the anthology for me: I am the witness. And I shall remain so until I become my own ghost story.

His Shrine to Santa Muerte by Michael G. Williams
Four people who regard themselves as book witches effectively. 

I did not connect with this story I found the writing style too flowery and flowing for my tastes, but thought the overall story was well thought out and deeply complex.

The Other One by Patrick O’Neill
Set out as a testimony which was an interesting way of starting a story but just reduced to a normal telling after a while.

However, I found the “old, rich and educated” flavor of the prose and the perfect little wife and child routine far to sickly for my tastes, in short not making me care about the characters at all, and little niggles regarding time lines such as the visit to the towns tiny Xmas market, they spent all day there??

That all said, there was some beautiful descriptions of places giving a sense of immersion in the story.
As the narrator keeps seeing a little wounded boy night after night, he becomes a little jumpy, however when his wife and child confess to the same vision it all gets a little spooky (I think that seems to be the theme of this anthology!).

As the coincidences and sightings occur the history is revealed and PN leaves us with a little after thought.

Inseparable by Solomon Archer, Ph.D.
The first paragraph left me feeling nauseated, such was the portrayal of devastation and lost come to physical being.

As you continue to be dragged down the rabbit hole of depression that has a dream like edge to it, I was wondering where the spooky would be in this well penned tale.

I need not have worried as the very last line sent such shivers down my spine I needed to stop reading for a while.  Brilliant.

Whiteout by Gary Buettner
Derek and Evie, she is trying to get him killed for a cheating moment but he refuses to die. 

On the way to their cabin Evie crashes and leaves Derek, blinded by the latest assassination attempt, alone in the snow.

Who is guiding him? Who is pointing him in the wrong or right direction?

I had to smirk at the ending,  I wouldn't normally like to be left that way but it suited the story.

Ain’t They Bright by Cecilia Dockins
In the world of Nursing and Medicine I found myself nodding and understanding all the pressures that CD was portraying.

Even with a busy shift it seems Hell has followed our narrator into work.

I was left a little perplexed by this story, maybe it was too close to home.

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