Daily Short Story Diary - Week 29

July 20, 2019

Day 197 July 14, 2019


Pulp Literature #22 – 2019

General – 4 Pages (about, digital)

This one reminds me of Forrest Gump a little, and not because there’s a bus. The woman with the sore feet and the bad shoes doesn’t care about Forrest’s story, but by the end, she’s into it and she has to go and can’t hear more. It’s a fun way to have a story follow through. The story in the story is a weird one, too. Layers are welcome in wee shorts and are often overlooked, so point for that. This also ended in the exact right spot.



Day 198 July 15, 2019

THE SWANS by Carl Thompson

The 13th Pan Book of Horror Stories – 1972

Horror – 6 Pages

Ah, it was bound to happen, the first dud of the book. A beautiful day out with his girlfriend, the leaves crunch, the swans fly, and she burns him with tea and he loses his mind in a Jekyll and Hyde kind of switch flip. Nothing much going but the writing itself, that flowed very well.



Day 199 July 16, 2019


Revelations – 1997

Horror – 34 Pages

Holy, talk about windbag. This thing was repetitive and slow and overlong. The dialogue had characters explaining everything already explained. The finale, the punchline of it all was good, but not for something that long. Thirty-two pages of describing the Spanish flu and then a page and a half of finale. If this were a fifteen-page story, it probably would’ve been pretty damned good.



Day 200 July 17, 2019


Nightmares and Geezenstacks – 1961

Fantasy – 3 Pages

A bit away from Brown’s typical norm, maybe even out of his element, this story is a little more literary and existential. It was kind of confusing and lacked impact.



Day 201 July 18, 2019

THE SCHOOL by Donald Barthelme

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories – 2015 (story originally published in The New Yorker, 1975)

General – 3 Pages

What a silly little story. It just keeps mounting and the children are absurd and everything is dying, but then there’s a sideways punchline. So strange, but agreeable. Perfect size for this kind of story.



Day 202 July 19, 2019

KNOCK-KNOCK by Ray Cluley

Probably Monsters – 2015

Horror – 20 Pages

Once this one got going, it harbored a good sum of suspense and an impactful finale. The only little beef was sometimes the voice wavered in age. Also, it’s a touchy thing to get right, domestic abuse, but this seemed an admirably well done. Good writing. Funny at times. Painful at others.



Day 203 July 20, 2019

THE REVENGE by David Farrar

The 13th Pan Book of Horror Stories – 1972

Horror – 8 Pages

Ah! The kickers in some of these stories are really fantastic. This one plays out slowly and strangely, all along you’re waiting for what’s coming and halfway guessing what boring form it will come in, but then BLAMO! Was not expecting that. Imperfect, sure, but full marks for entertainment.



Favorite of the week was THE REVENGE by David Farrar.

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