Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wrapped in Black anthology

This edition of Wrapped In… has exceeded itself with the caliber of author included, the stories and the editing lay out.

I am not sure how Sekhmet is going to follow on from this but I sure hope they do, I will be first in line to buy it.

Hair Shirt Drag by Gordon White: Jesse, or Sissy to his non-friends, is a backwoods, Southern, effeminate, cross-dressing Witch and is even a little strange even for each of those sub groups.  He comes from a long line of Overhold women who have the “gift”, each use and supply it in various odd ways but the outcomes are all the same.

The town has come to Jesse’s Momma house to help her with some “medicine”, the initiation of her son, who should have been a girl.

However Jesse is splendid in his hand me down Hair Shirt and as the townsfolk turn upon him, his beauty explodes around them.  Fantastic build-up, great finale and brilliant start to this anthology.

I could feel the atmosphere such is the writing skill of GW, he managed to spin, wind and wallow me in a tale so beautiful I almost did not notice the dark undertone.

Comes the Rain by Gregory L. Norris: Granny Rae is dying, but not in peace. Three of the most awful creatures are after her powers. Jamison must protect her.

The pace of this story is enchanting, the rhythm that the author beats out with his words entraps you into this little snippet of world. His descriptions are vivid and colourful. The ending is so bittersweet.

Number One Angel by Allison M. Dickson: Louise is trying to kill her Mama and Phelan, her lover, has told her how to do it. Gulp, gulp, gulp; the sound of the cake going down her fat neck.

But Phelan is not all he seems and only wishes to collect what was his from Mama’s box.

Short but punchy, this made me smile, I love the way AMD writes, all her work is exquisite.

Unto the Earth by Patrick C Greene: Landon and his beautiful wife, Agnes, who makes a wonderful Voodoo dinner, if only the dog would shut up, the cable wasn’t off and Aggy would stop ordering all the magazines in French!

The tension between these two and the unspoken things that are in their pasts and what is occurring now was intriguing.

I think this is one of my favourite lines to describe love and need - they clutched each other like otter pup littermates.

There was some serious imagery in this story along with the spooks. The reasoning in the end is fantastic and I loved the finale!   Brilliant writing and torment from PCG!! He is a master of short stories.

HÄXENHAUS  by Nick Kimbro: eeeeek at the torturous instruments described and explained.

Our narrator, Kramer, is close to a house that is prison to witches, a place that has turned confession, torture and suffering into an art.

The witch that killed his child is now dead but what parting gift did she leave him.  To say I really enjoyed this story would make me sound perverted, but then I love horror! And this has multiple elements to it.

To wish suffering on others, is that human nature? Whatever, it was brilliantly written and certainly deserves its place in this black anthology.

Stories I tell to the Girls by Michael G. Williams:  The Book People are a coven working magic through the written word but magic often requires a sacrifice.

Loved all the book quotes! But with all their chanting they conjure up Percy the vampire and then, as the story states, there “… some seriously weird reverse-Bella shit.” Because, actually, he only wants to go to Heaven!

A beautiful tale of love, forgiveness and something wished for. Gripped from the start I thought this story had a unique edge using its humour.

The Rising Son by James Glass:  Calahan has had a taste of Cherry, but apparently who hasn’t! Apparently his brother who is in love with the great Crowley. So they decide to summon a demon, well why not?

So his local coven decide to help, as world domination is not enough fun. However, what pops up is not quite what they were expecting.

I have read JG before and always enjoyed the story and writing, no different here, just wish there were more!

Beautiful, Broken Things by Rose Blackthorn: Trey with his mantra of clean now. Trey has done something that requires penance. He has lost much too, and he appears to be paying. The world he lives in miserable; dull, grey and dirty.

Ciara gives the illusion of colour, and such gorgeous descriptions of colour given by the author, I was mesmerized.

This is a sad tale, with the lesson of being careful what you wish for.  Wonderful.

Not this Time by Mike Lester: Jack has buried Melanie. I loved the skill of the author in telling the story through snippets of conversation, memories and flashbacks.

This was a brief story but I really felt like a I knew the main characters. Amazing writing.

Into the Light by Solomon Archer: Elliot got more than scrapped skin when he fell handlebars over butt off his bike last April.

The grooming of Elliot into the coven was almost friendly but watching from the outside it’s easy to see the danger, the author did a brilliant job in conveying this.

The Sight and the Dreams made uncomfortable reading. BUT I think this line is my favourite from the whole book (horror and humour are a powerful mix): he imagined a family of raccoons sitting around a tree stump playing Yahtzee, their little paws clumsily tossing acorns onto a pile as they placed their bets.

The climatic ending was expected in such a powerful story and was suitably explosive, perfect.

She makes my skin crawl by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd: Jaime and Elana, she who was bitten by the Devil, on her ass no less!

Her small but powerful punishments result in bloody bags of stuff, stuff from Jaime, skin from Jaime, skin that goes crawling on its own!! Even Jaime’s own bath tub was gagging at the revolting descriptions and imagery.

To take a common saying and place a story around it, awesome!!

Pigeon by Eric Nash: Maddie has removed her amulet and now Jack, ex-lover/married another woman/living the wonderful life Jack, is literally in melt down.

I really enjoyed the fast pace set by the author, there was no let up, pushing, pushing, pushing….until, Bang.  Glad this was fairly short as am sure I was holding breathe for the entire read.

Pig Roast by Aaron Gudmunson: Chet loves food, but mostly with mustard. Then he meets Sarah.

Whilst I felt where the story is heading the humour kept me reading! I thought the ending was great and really wrapped up this anthology well!!

The Bio’s at the end were mostly witty and very informative! I enjoy finding out about authors, it makes them so much easier to locate and stalk them!