Daily Short Story Diary - Week 26

June 29, 2019

Day 176: June 23, 2019

JUST ANOTHER BUG HUNT by William Meikle

Bug Eyed Monsters – 2019

Horror – 23 Pages (about, digital)

This one is pure b-horror fun. A young man and his brother bump into something nasty and it snowballs into a great big insectile mess. As always, written in that ever-accessible Meikle prose with quick progression and big imagination. The only downfall for me was the pretty good finale didn’t double tap into something huge, like, hey we got it, but then the characters turn around and they don’t got it. But smarter than that with interwoven implications and costs.

****

 

Day 177: June 24, 2019

GONE DOWN TO CORPUS by Dennis Lehane

Coronado – 2006 (story originally published in The Mighty Johns, 2002)

Crime – 18 Pages

This is a pretty simple glimpse at disgruntled teenagers looking to seek vengeance over a perceived wrong. They’re frustrated and that conveys well through the page in not only what they did, but what they didn’t do. It’s also a glimpse into the hopelessness that is existing being from a certain ilk and the weight of understanding that hopelessness an individual has to bear it. Certainly was different.

****

 

Day 178 June 25, 2019

A FINE OLD FIRM by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery and Other Stories – 1949

General – 5 Pages

I can’t imagine anyone liking this story. It’s pointless. It’s a snapshot on middle-class monotony. There’s no rise or fall, no unveil, no reward. Nothing happens, meaning it’s not a story, it’s like an anecdote you’d tell your spouse over supper during year seven of marriage because what else is left to say?

*

 

Day 179 June 26, 2019

THE POPE OF THE CHIMPS by Robert Silverberg

Pulp Literature Issue #22 – 2019

Science Fiction – 25 Pages (about, digital)

This is one of those stories that really takes a scenic route. If you’re in a mood for that, maybe that’s good. I wasn’t and I’m guessing this story could’ve been half the length with the same impact. All that bitchiness said, it did have impact. It was smart and interesting and imaginative and the prose was smooth.

***

 

Day 180 June 27, 2019

MEN AND SIN by Clive Barker

Revelations – 1997

Horror – 15 Pages

It’s been a while since I read a good (adult) Barker story (read one novel last year and one the year before, both somewhat painful by comparison to the quality he’d written before). The opening is a vivid landscape of nasty, horrific imagery made mundane or at least unthreatening in its follow through. Bodies and then, not bodies. The remainder of the tale carries along in way that kind of reminds you that we’re all fallible meat sacks on the brink of death, and that it hardly matters that it is so. Bountiful and engrossing. A quality offering.

****

 

Day 181 June 28, 2019

THIRTEEN by Stephen Graham Jones

After the People Lights Have Gone Off – 2014 (story originally published in Halloween: Magic, Mystery & the Macabre, 2013)

Horror – 12 Pages

This one could almost be like a world-next-door take on the characters from FLUSHBOY (great book, for anyone reading this). There’s something so gripping about that first love, maybe it’s the innocence and how it’s almost a myth for stuff like that to work out. This story plays on those ready to grab emotional pulls and slides in with a strange and costly game of chicken with the screen at the Big Chief theater.

****

 

Day 182 June 29, 2019

FATAL ERROR by Fredric Brown

Nightmares and Geezenstacks – 1961

Comedy – 2 Pages

Ah, I’d read six flash stories in a row from this book trying to finish the week on a five-star read, but gave up. This little story has a wee little punchline that relies heavily on the sudden stupidity of a character, a methodical character. Bonus star because maybe I’m a little dissatisfied that I didn’t connect with any of the five I read before it.

**

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