Tag Archives: horror

Two Disturbed Young Men

Review: Spilt Milk

Spilt Milk by D. K. Cassidy is a short story collection that tells the entwined lives of two very disturbed guys, Caleb and George.

A Disinterested and Abusive Father is Oblivious

A Disinterested and Abusive Father is Oblivious

A drug-addicted mother dies in childbirth producing her son Caleb. A disinterested and abusive father is oblivious about his young son’s predilection for harming small animals.

After performing a heinous crime that lands him in a juvenile mental hospital, Caleb welcomes his eighteenth birthday. The young man can now seek friends that understand him.

George learns early to build a closet sanctuary that his battling parents never bother to investigate. It comforts George to fill his fortress with misbegotten collectables. He too is now an adult. Rather than battling a dangerous addiction, collector George embraces it. His vice is a monstrous lifestyle, because his imaginary friends urge George to do so.

A Surreal, Yet Reasonable, Dreadful World

A Surreal, Yet Reasonable, Dreadful World

Caleb posts a help wanted ad for a worker who loves collecting special things. The night job takes place behind the hospital. Caleb and George hit it off. Pity the people who catch the duo’s interest.

Spilt Milk is a subtle, disturbing, and delicious collection of related short stories that takes the reader into a surreal, yet reasonable, dreadful world. The stories have no bloody and squeamish parts, but nonetheless, they made Lita’s gut cringe. Between George and Caleb’s vignettes are glimpses into the sad and odd souls who cross their path. D. K. Cassidy uses a masterful hand in describing the characters. The frugal prose is much more effective than gushing over the bloody details. Lita just had to read the book twice, and it scared the bejesus out of her the second time, too.

Spilt Milk is highly recommended for Gentle Readers who have always wondered why some innocent-seeming people make them feel like a hellcat just ran over their grave. Now we know.

Spilt Milk on Amazon US

Spilt Milk on Amazon UK

Spilt Milk on Goodreads

D. K. Cassidy on Goodreads

D. K. Cassidy Blog and Website

Hands From Hell

Disregard That Bump in the Night

Lita takes Gentle Reader on a visit to fantasy’s scary cousins: Paranormal, Horror, Suspense, and Thriller.

Authors Cave March 2015 Paranormal eZine

Authors’ Cave presents its scary side in the March 2015 Horror/Paranormal/Mystery eZine.

For these stories, it is always ten past midnight on Halloween. Meet disturbing children, live next door to that nice neighbor that somehow makes you feel uneasy, and dress up for a party where everyone wears black.

So Gentle Reader does not frighten easily? Lita suggests you turn on all the lights, and lock the door anyway. Then read these tingling stories from: Demelza Carlton, Jackie Mae, Graham ‘Grolly’ Bright, Jada Ryker, Kim Murphy, Laura DeBruce, Joe DeRouen, and Joss Landry.

These stories are best read when darkness rules outside. Disregard that bump in the night. Snuggle deeper under the covers, and immerse yourself in these lovely chills.

Evil Zombie Eyes

Review: Citizen Dead

Citizen Dead (The Harvest #1) by Kevin Anthony is a zombie horror short story about Roam, a twenty-something man who becomes one of the living dead.

Don't Drink the Tap Water

Don’t Drink the Tap Water

Roam chokes one morning on his breakfast. Desperate for air, he drinks contaminated tap water. Bad choice. The recent worldwide pollution disaster raises the dead and makes them zombies.

Roam does what any recently dead young man who wakes up in the morgue would do. Our hero calls his best friend Slade, and then goes to work in a department store.

Although never turning into a farce, Citizen Dead (The Harvest #1) uses a light touch to describe the first day in the life of a dead man. Roam’s matter-of-fact explanation of why the media faked his death (which it did not—Roam had died) lent a refreshing mature point of view to the story’s hero.

No "We Eat Brains" Here

No “We Eat Brains” Here

The complications of dealing with a zombie that claimed his apartment, and the hometown residents struggling with the living dead infestation, make for an interesting read. A tip of the hat goes to Kevin Anthony for building a zombie fantasy world that avoids the “we eat brains” horror clichés.

The story does a good job introducing characters with distinct voices, and it was a pleasure finding people who used the zombie menace to fuel greed and revenge. Lita looks forward to reading more of Roam’s lively living dead adventures.

Citizen Dead (The Harvest #1) on Amazon US

Citizen Dead (The Harvest #1)  on Amazon UK

Citizen Dead (The Harvest #1) on Goodreads

Kevin Anthony on Goodreads

The Harvest Series website

Review: Flowers: A Short Story of Love and Death

Flowers: A Short Story of Love and Death by Darnell “Saki” Dickerson

George, a high school senior, has some problems. He wrestles with graduation, girl troubles, and his love for sunflowers.

As a loser fast on his way to hell, two years ago Chloë said yes to a date and everything went right ever since. Still is terrific, too.  He just bought her a ring. Local college for George, nearby state university for her. But now his girl has changed her mind. Chloë is going to Berkley. He is staying home in Nowhere Town. And this soon-to-be roommate Gio of hers is gonna steal George’s girl. Jealousy blooms, just like a sunflower.

An argument on graduation day between high school sweethearts goes so very wrong, but George gets back his girl. She is like another of the beautiful sunflowers he has preserved, you could even say idolized, in the cellar.

The Horror of Sunflowers

Time for Lita to confess. I have never liked sunflowers. As a kid, they were too big. Bugs loved them. Birds loved them. But they creeped me out. This makes sunflowers the perfect subject for a horror short story if you want to scare the bejesus out of Lita.

It is refreshing to read a teen angst story from the young man’s point of view. George struggles to keep the one good thing in his life, and overcome his bad parental role models. We taste life’s sour betrayal from his point of view. And poor Chloë. Sometimes, breaking up is impossible to do.

In Flowers, we see teen love at its worst. The story hints at George’s sexual encounters, not show us blow-by-blow glory. His desperation saddened me, and my curiosity about the mechanics revolted me. Ah, the lengths a young man goes to get laid. The story needs a couple of minor formatting nits corrected. In two places I would suggest sentence-level wordsmithing. My compliments go to Darnell “Saki” Dickerson for scaring the crap out of me, rousing my sympathy for a teen’s struggle, and reminding me of evil sunflowers.

Flowers: A Short Story of Love and Death on Goodreads

Flowers: A Short Story of Love and Death on Amazon

Darnell “Saki” Dickerson’s website

Review: Tea Time

Tea Time a short story by Darnell “Saki” Dickerson

Ms. May and Ms. Joyce are elderly residents at Crossroads Nursing Home, and we visit them during an afternoon tea served by their caretaker Rob.

The women chat, listen to the radio, and tsk-tsk about the sad state of affairs in the world:

  • Silly woman’s lib protesters wanting more than their proper place? Scandalous.
  • Sports clothing in woman’s sizes? Outrageous.
  • A local high school teacher having sex with her students? Harlot.

Something about their tea makes them so forgetful. Why, it puts them right to sleep. What happens to May and Joyce when Rob comes back to collect their tea-things during their drugged afternoon nap? Unspeakable.

Lita’s Cup of Tea

Warning: This is a horror short story with an adult topic.

My favorite type of horror story should make me squirm without showing the splatter and blow-by-blow of the monster’s savagery. This story is it. Tea Time delivers a charming façade over the disturbing evil of elderly abuse. I read it, cringed, and was enraged at the monster lurking beneath.

This story is an excellent effort from new indie author Darnell “Saki” Dickerson. I enjoy stories that take me to another place, if only for a short while. I imagined the women smelled of lavender soap. A wall clock ticked away their lives. I could also smell the ladies’ Oolong Tea. Rob’s drug made the tea taste too sweet.

The things to improve were nits–a couple of trivial punctuation and formatting clean-ups is all the story needs. Oh, and it needs a way for me to punch out that “caretaker” Rob.

Warning: Tea Time has an adult topic. Don’t complain that I didn’t tell you twice.

Tea Time on Amazon

Tea Time on Lulu

Tea Time on GoodReads

Darnell “Saki” Dickerson’s website