Lethal Lore by Monica Shaughnessy is a collection of four stories that aim to describe the dark side of folklore.

Simple Math                The story of the doppelganger does not end with just two people looking alike. That would just be a familiar story of twins. In this story, a lightning strike has provided a double for William. Billy, William’s double, existed in an alternate universe. Billy and William looked alike and had experienced similar childhoods. Both had experienced kidney failure requiring the genetic matching of their mothers to survive.

Billy had arrived at a bad time for William. Not good at cards or gambling in general, William had lost so much money that he had decided to kill himself and trust an insurance company to pay his wife and daughter the benefit money. They would pay off his gambling debts and have a bit left over to start a new life. That wouldn’t work if Billy the look alike was on the scene. Somebody was going to have to die. Why not Billy? The insurance money would be paid and William would have a shot at a new life.

But William had not counted on the birds with teeth. He thought of them as an oddity, not a threat.