Daily Short Story Diary - Week 45

November 10, 2019

Day 308 Nov 3, 2019

GOBBL’UNS by Thea Brune

Stories We Tell After Midnight – 2019

Horror – 10 Pages (about, digital)

Ooh, favorite of this anthology so far. A monster under the bed story with a good number of twists and a double tap ending. The writing’s accessible and quick. The right kind of voice for this almost schlocky kind of tale. Reminds me of those anthology movies from the eighties. Good, nasty fun.

*****

 

Day 309 Nov 4, 2019

ELEPHANT by Raymond Carver

Where I’m Calling From – Selected Stories 1989

General – 18 Pages

Another gem from the Carver pile. Here you get a guy getting financially bled to dead by his people. And he just keeps paying. It’s frustrating, sadly funny, and way realistic. Reminded me of my older brother who’d forever be borrowing small bits, leaving behind promises—or IOUs when he just stole the money. Anyway, told with that wonderful Carver voice. Fast. Has a fun ending.

*****

 

Day 310 Nov 5, 2019

DIRECTIONS by Judy Budnitz

Flying Leap – 1998

General – 10 Pages

This is a whimsical little tale about a mapmaker and his maps fixing up the lives of those who need direction. It’s a bit all over the place until that point of it all comes clear, and once it does, it comes together nicely. Funny. Endearing. Wonderfully accessible writing.

****

 

Day 311 Nov 6, 2019

ALIS by Stephen Graham Jones

Mad Hatters and March Hares – 2017

Horror – 30 Pages

Jesus, that was terrifying. Perfect.

*****

 

Day 312 Nov 7, 2019

FIXTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN AND JOO by Elizabeth Massie

Revelations – 1997

Horror – 37 Pages

As with most of the stories in this anthology, this one was longer than it needed to be. Probably could’ve shaved the first ten pages off. It was interesting enough, but the payoff just didn’t justify that many pages. That said, once it got going it was engaging and weird and had some nastiness. The reveal was fun, but, again, the ending wasn’t enough.

***

 

Day 313 Nov 8, 2019

BONES OF CROW by Ray Cluley

Probably Monsters – 2015 (story originally published in Black Static, 2012)

Horror – 14 Pages

This is another somber, sad person tale, which is a running theme in this collection, that said, stuff happens beyond the sadness that engages and intrigues. There’s a young woman who’s living life without living it at all, and she finds some big eggs in an alleyway. There’s some light nastiness and some cool blips of suspense. Overall, entertaining and well-written, as they all are in the collection.

****

 

Day 314 Nov 9, 2019

CREATURE FROM THE BLUE LAGOON by Dexter Rowland.

Stories We Tell After Midnight – 2019

Horror – 4 Pages

Bit of a dud. Redundancies and obviousness plague this tiny tale. A shipwrecked boat, a sailor, a sexy siren of sorts. Imagine how you’ve seen that go before and then read this story and say, hey, yeah, exactly as I’d remembered. Not painful, just not original or overly polished.

**

 

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