Daily Short Story Diary - Week 49

December 8, 2019

Day 336 Dec 1, 2019

BUTTON, BUTTON by Richard Matheson

The Incredible Shrinking Man – 1994 (story originally published in Playboy, 1970)

Horror – 8 Pages

I’d seen an episode of Twilight Zone where they did this one, but like a million years ago. I know there’s a movie. King and Chizmar did a bit of an offshoot from this one, too. The story transcends the pages it seems, and with reason. It’s fantastic and so quick to sink such vicious teeth; extra cool, as it’s not even an original concept on Matheson’s part and it’s spawn so much. Really, it’s a take on The Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs, which is one of the greatest short stories ever written, you ask me. Someone smarter than me and who has read everything should write a book like leaf veins trailing back to tree trunks of horror stories.

*****

 

Day 337 Dec 2, 2019

THE TALK by Stephen Graham Jones

States of Grace – 2014

General – 4 Pages

My favorite of the first bunch of these itty-bitty stories, might be the longest, too. Which could be the reason I like it more. He’s doing a ton with a majorly constricted word count and with this one shows what a few more paragraphs can bring along for the trip. Engrossing. Human. Funny.

*****

 

Day 338 Dec 3, 2019

THE CALIFORNIAN by AM James

A Flash of Words – 2019

Horror – 4 Pages

This one was pretty clumsy throughout and the grand reveal, while fun, didn’t have any foreshadowing. Maybe it had something to do with Hotel California? I can’t tell.

**

 

Day 339 Dec 4, 2019

MONSTERS LIKE US by Jeanette Raleigh

Monster Maelstrom – 2016

Horror – 4 Pages

Ugh, switching tenses unintentionally. This one’s very rough, but has a bit of a bite. Still, everything is thoroughly explained it’s almost condescending to the reader. The point of view is a bit idiotic and undercooked.

*

 

Day 340 Dec 5, 2019

MEMORY by HP Lovecraft

The Complete Works of HP Lovecraft – 2017 (story originally published in 1919)

Horror – 2 Pages

Working through this guy’s stuff is like pulling teeth sometimes, slowly but surely I’ll knock out a bunch, if not all. This one is like the monologue the bad guy says before destroying something. Verbose and cooked to crispy, almost inedible (t’was his style). Fun blip close to the end. I mean, at least it was wicked short.

***

 

Day 341 Dec 6, 2019

THE SOLDIER’S REST by Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen Megapack – 2013 (story originally published in 1915)

General – 4 Pages

Figured since I read a tiny Lovecraft, why not a wee Machen? This one plays out a bit obvious, but that’s because I’ve existed in a world bombarded by what came because of old stories like these. A soldier is dead but doesn’t know it, that’s the big reveal, but it’s pretty obvious to the modern eye right from the beginning. Still, pretty cool imagery. Engaging. Interesting. Totally readable (no hoity-toity business).

****

 

Day 342 Dec 7, 2019

HATCHERY by Stephen Graham Jones

States of Grace – 2014

General – 2 Pages

Ha. That one worked. Was silly and fast and told a full-sized story in hardly any words at all. Good.

****

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