Series: Dark Screams #5
Published by Hydra on October 6, 2015
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Mick Garris, J. Kenner, Kealan Patrick Burke, Del James, and Bentley Little pry open a sarcophagus of horror and dread in Dark Screams: Volume Five, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the esteemed Cemetery Dance Publications.
EVERYTHING YOUÂ’VE ALWAYS WANTED by Mick Garris
It was supposed to be the night of his life: a celebration of his one hit slasher flick. But the price of admission is higher than this has-been filmmaker ever could have imagined.
THE ONE AND ONLY by J. Kenner
When he was seven, Will UnderwoodÂ’s nanny told him she had the Sight. Years later, a broken heart sends him to New Orleans . . . but itÂ’s fate that leads him to Madame DarklingÂ’s Voodoo Emporium.
THE LAND OF SUNSHINE by Kealan Patrick Burke
Although she was mute long before the affair that nearly wrecked their marriage, her silence has tortured her husband ever since. Now he will seek out what he has lostÂ—or be driven mad by remorse.
MECHANICAL GRATITUDE by Del James
Arnold loves his Â’68 Camaro almost as much as he loves his wife, and heÂ’s willing to do anything to protect them bothÂ—especially after hearing strange noises coming from his garage.
THE PLAYHOUSE by Bentley Little
A real-estate agent is drawn into a childrenÂ’s playhouse behind an abandoned property sheÂ’s trying to sellÂ—and finds herself strangely reluctant to leave.
I have a soft spot in my heart for short stories. I started reading Stephen King way too young and fell in love with horror. His book, Night Shift, was the first book of short stories I ever read. After I had read my way through King’s back catalog, I discovered Bentley Little. He’s another master of horror. So when I had the opportunity to read this short story collection, especially with a story in it by Bentley Little, I was excited for the chance. So there are 5 stories in this book, and I figured I would review each one because there is such a spread.
Everything You’ve Always Wanted by Mick Garris
This book reminded me of an episode of Tales from the Crypt or the Twilight Zone. These shows had a tendency to use shock and gross out tales and this story is no exception. Then it ended with a message, just like those old shows. If you are reading horror, you have to be comfortable reading distasteful stories and this was no exception. This was probably my least favorite story in the collection. It was the longest story by far and took up half the book too. Â 2/5
The One and Only by J. Kenner
I enjoyed this very short story. I would have loved to see it a little longer and more expanded. I felt like there was a lot more that could have been said to explain what was going on. The story was fine without it but still it seemed a little lacking. It was very straightforward with a slight twist ending. 3/5
The Land of Sunshine by Kealan Patrick Burke
This story was ethereal and metaphorical. The writing was light and airy and very, very descriptive. This story was making a moral point as well with a twist ending that drove the point home. It was short and I read it twice to make sure that I really understood what was happening. Nothing was overtly stated. Instead it painted a picture of what was happening. Â 2/5
Mechanical Gratitude by Del James
This was the most straightforward story of the bunch. It was exactly what it seemed to be until the twist at the end. 3/5
The Playhouse by Bentley Little
This was my favorite story of the bunch. Unfortunately, I had already read it somewhere else so it wasn’t new. It’s creepy and unexplainable. Bentley has a way of taking something that’s mundane but also slightly eerie and making it completely unsettling. This time it was a playhouse in the backyard of a foreclosed house. 4/5