A HUGE Collection of Short Weird Stuff

I feel it worthwhile to quote from the Introduction to this novel, Horror d’Oeuvres: Bite-Sized Tales of Terror so that readers know what they are getting into. I came to this collection via Tobias Wade. He publishes a couple of fantasy/horror/twisted tales per week. I get those free in a weekly email. Tobias Wade is listed as an author of this edited anthology. One of his emails recommended this collection. It has 61 pieces of short fiction plus three bonus stories. My (hopefully relevant quote):

“This anthology was born from a rogues gallery of the best authors from Reddit’s premier horror flash fiction community, /r/ShortScaryStories.” (loc 170-172).

“This charity anthology … All revenue generated from the sales of eBooks, physical books, and audiobooks will be donated to Scares That Care!, an approved 501(c)(3) charity which fights the REAL MONSTERS of childhood illness, burns, and breast cancer by helping families that are experiencing these extraordinary hardships cope with the financial burden. It’s a 100% volunteer charity; meaning all donations are given to those who are in need; no CEO salaries, no overheads. Donations will be made on a quarterly basis for one year following the publication date of this collection. All information on the donations, sales numbers, and all other pertinent information will be available on www.reddit.com/r/Human_Gravy.” (loc 175-180).

It should go without saying that lots of these stories will be Not Safe for Work (NSFW). Assume that is true for all. One selection, “The Twins,” appears before the Introduction. It is a perfect indicator of the tone that is to pervade throughout following tales. As I read through these I could not resist noting my first takeaway thoughts. It is sort of like my responses to a Rorschach Test. But that also makes this a longer review than is my usual. But the reading was fun for me.

THE SHORT STORIES

Left a Bad Taste in my Mouth   Crimson Clubs         This redefines “Soul Food.”

Rachel and the Snowflake   Jonas Lefkowitch              Sacrifice inspired by a snowflake.

In the Trees   J.A. Marshall                 A ghost returns for her child.

The Things Beneath the Ice   D.G. Collins                 Kim knows who to call for help.

Zombies   Mike Sundberg                   Mass hysteria and decaf coffee.

Tiny Teeth   Dan Hilliard                    Sometimes it’s better not to see.

I Was Dying   Kristopher J. Patten     A man totally out of synch with the new reality.

Riding the Gamut   Jonas Lefkowitch            When twins are so much the same they are different.

Saint Gaul   Ashley Franz Holzmann             Life on the monthly installment plan

Suitcase   Eskild Thomsen                  Anything and everything required sacrifice.

Fearing the Unseen   Claudia Winters           Sometimes the dark is better and less fishy.

Curfew   Edwin Crowe           Locked out or locked in. It is (almost) your choice.

Father Brad   Marc Kinsville             Waiting to claim a stake in their future

Static Man   J.L. Knight                     Too much TV is not good for you

Another Saturday Night in an Oil Patch Town   Michael Parrish                  Angela got her wish.

Unknown Pleasures   Kristopher J. Patten                 Promises kept.

Raw Meats Are Such a Delicacy   Jordan Accinelli   Winnie the Pooh will not like this story.

Pure of Heart   Kathryne H.                           Cancel the order for the unicorns.

An Answer to Her Prayers   Jonas Lefkowitch          A warped sense of humor from on high.

Let’s Play Pretend!   Dieben                           Anatomy class is next.

Let’s Go Someplace Else   Nicholas Ong                   James gets his wish.

For the Good of Our Species   Michael Lee Brown               Patriarchy problem solved.

The Voyeur Evolves   Marc Kinsville             Everyone has to have a hobby.

In the Dark   Grace Bowland                         Monsters unseen are monsters accepted.

I Lit a Candle in Your Honor Today   Michael Parrish          All in the family.

Born K An Intuitive Step-By-Step Guide to Finding YouTube Black   Jordan Accinelli and Jonas Lefkowitch                                                An answer to You Tube Red.

Siren Song   Tony Johnson                 He held the key to their relationship.

Over the Edge   Crimson Clubs          He would have given anything to leave the nest.

The Nightmare   John Andreini          The reality of nightmares

Streetlight   J. L. Knight                     What you don’t see can’t hurt you.

As the Light of the World Went Out   Matthew Jeffrey          He must have made dad proud.

Ghosts of Ourselves   Ashley Franz Holzmann          Once again, don’t text and drive.

The Pagorian Sleep Cycle   Nicholas Ong                 Getting a little help from the family.

Fair Game   Kathryne H.                    When you find a good chess partner, you just want to hang on.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea   Michael Lee Brown         The misunderstood life of Kim Jung Un.

The Mire   Michael Parrish                             Don’t play with clay in Alabama.

The Tickle Monster   Marty Hoefkes              The demons the homeless might fight.

*Click*   Marc Kinsville                                 This story is literally a real switch.

Seventh-Inning Stretch   Jonas Lefkowitch                The monster within.

Sound Shadow   Kristopher J. Patten              Movement destroys a sound shadow.

My Parents Are Hiding Something   Marty Hoefkes             Some people should not have kids.

The Lost Boy   Nicholas Ong                          Some searches don’t find anything but end in more loss.

Accidents Will Happen   Dieben                     When simulations become reality.

Deprivation   Marty Hoefkes                         After you lose everything  …

The Higher You Fly   Jordan Accinelli           I didn’t believe it would happen.

Stare   Grace Bowland                                   Watching from beyond the grave

Medusa   Dieben                                 A pure heart and intent could overpower almost anything

Raised by Wolves   Bill Leeson                      Tough Love.

Chesty   Ashley Franz Holzmann                   A father’s love for a son.

Henry’s Eyes   Jonas Lefkowitch                    True love gone too far.

The Deep Hell   Nicholas Ong                        And then you become the bait.

The Canyon Cave   Kristopher J. Patten         Caves have lives too.

My Daughter’s Necklaces   Marc Kinsville                Leane made necklaces out of recycled material.

There’s No Such Thing   J.A. Marshall           A message from Stanley (via the monster).

Here’s the Church, Here’s the Steeple   Michael Parrish        Andy  happened.

A Long Night Drive   Tony Johnson               You can, you must, go home again.

Welcome to the Club   Michael Parrish           Sam finally made the big time.

Sapper   Mike Sundberg                                 Underground truths.

The Test   Dieben and Jonas Lefkowitch        Unreasonable requests are sometimes fulfilled.

THE BONUS STORIES

Island   Tony Johnson          There may be a beginning of a new world. It was foretold in a phone booth and only cost a dime.

Four Peaks Spring   Kristopher J. Patten              A story about the loss of free will.

Spirit of the Party   Crimson Clubs            The greatest death of all would be a great party. But Becky turned down the final invitation.

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