Other than the obviously provocative title of 50 Shades of Purple and Other Horror Stories by P. F. McGrail, a reader might expect fifty stories in this short story collection. Nope, there are fifty-eight stories. In a foreword, McGrail tells readers how he did this. It is not like the Muse camped on his doorstep for a few weeks or months.
McGrail notes in the foreword that there are bound to be a few stories that will offend someone. There might be as many as ten that are over the top. I have tried to note them below but, really, would you buy a book with the intention of skipping three or four of the stories because they might offend? I would not skip the stories marked offensive, but I would not read anything more by the author. That situation did not occur with this collection and I will read more by this author.
This is available on Kindle Unlimited. The variety of stories in the collection supports a five-star rating
I’m the Monster Who Lives in Your Closet ***** Truth is revealed as the Monster confesses. And, by the way, rescues Julie. Good monster.
Open Wide, Sweet Thing ***** Do not read this before going to the dentist.
Fun With 911***** An intruder calls home. Very scary.
I Try My Best to Understand ***** Joe is more than twenty years old. By this age, he should not be taking everything literally (in the strictest sense of the word).
Tits ***** This is truly a horror story. The title suggests there might be sex in this story. There is but the horror outweighs the sex. This is not a YA story.
I Can’t Be Unhaunted ***** This narrator always has company, always has someone to talk to. But that doesn’t mean the narrator always understands what is being said.
It’s Hotter If We Don’t Use a Safe Word ***** If you know what a safe word is, you know what to expect and you can decide whether to read this story or not. This is not the place to learn through example what a safe word is. Extreme horror, sometimes known as splatter gore.
Some Notes on that Thing in the Bed Right Next to You ***** This story combines horror and humor. The point of view of the narrator makes this story hilarious.
Human Fireworks ***** Darren could not appreciate the burning love his Dad had for his Mom.
Fifty Shades of Purple ***** This signature story is all about BDSM, serial killers, and role reversals, although this is quite logical given the topic. Uninitiated readers might want to keep their deviant dictionary nearby.
Always Clean Your Sex Doll Before Introducing Her ***** If the pizza man won’t come to the house, the house will have to go to …
If You See Me Before My Monthly Cycle Ends, You Should Probably Kill Me ***** Animalistic urges during a predictable cycle (with a twist, of course).
An Involuntary Hue of Red ***** The most horrible Thanksgiving ever, nothing here to give thanks for.
Fingers ***** He had total responsibility for everything in Cyanide, Montana. He was the Chief of Police as well as the entire police force. He had only one instruction. Never ask for help or support. OK. So why were they expecting him to answer their questions?
Her Lips Weren’t Rotten Yet ***** Edward never really liked Emily, but he would never tell her face to face.
A Knight in Fuzzy Armor ***** Dad is her knight; he can protect his five-year-old daughter from spiders. He knows a lot about them.
Say Hi to All the Folks Down in Hell ***** Angela was shocked at the news of her father’s death and was more shocked to see what he was reading just prior to his death.
There’s Sex at the End ***** Don’t attempt to drug the Supernatural Being. (Wise words).
When Vomit Tastes Better Coming Up ***** Many humans like Jell-O. People should not BE the Jell-O.
I Can Smell You From Under the Bed ***** Why did Emma commit suicide? It might have been when she discovered her parents’ last meal.
Like Footsteps Coming Into My Room ***** Angela and Bea looked just like their mother. After their mother’s death by fire Angela, Bea and their father had to deal with the tragic death. Angela was the next to die. When the effects of the two deaths threatened Bea, her father had a gift to help Bea cope.
A Plethora of Mayonnaise ***** One of the most horrible fast food horror stories ever.
My Last Battle Under the Orange Sky ***** Four friends left the base and went into the wasteland under the orange sky. One would continue. Why?
Wtf ***** Dad disappeared when his son was five. Mom and son lived together until the son was twenty-two. When son got a job and had to move halfway across the country, he packed up some memorabilia from his youth. That’s when he found the tapes. Mommy had secrets.
Babble and Scratch ***** This is not the twelve days of Christmas. It is about the last twelve days of humanity.
Rat Kisses ***** Yolanda was only five years old, but she had learned more about life than any five-year-old should know from My Little Pony.
Twist of Damnation ***** There are guarantees in life, but it is what you must do to assure the guarantees that is scary. Mammon guaranteed him he could get revenge from the one who hurt him. Would he do it?
Why You’re Afraid of the Things in Your House ***** There is only one way to make sure that nothing in the closet is threatening.
They Grow Up, We Grow Old ***** This is a story about family togetherness on the holidays (Halloween).
The Undiscovered Country ***** This is a story about the futility of opposing nature and the arrogance of humans.
A Little Taste of the Holidays ***** Where do Santa’s elves go when they are too old to work? This story has an answer.
How to Say Goodbye Without Regret ***** How can you be sure you won’t have to face the loss of a loved one? This story tells you how.
Bloody Mary is a Bitch ***** She lives in the mirror and shows him the truth for the rest of his life.
Cut Me Open, Look Inside ***** This is a surgeon who really gets into his work.
Monster Hunting and Other Inadvisable Behavior ***** Duct tape can fix most anything. For everything else, there are Gummy Bears.
One Hell of a Birthday Surprise ***** It was his birthday, but it was the surprise of their lives.
Smile ***** One of Daniel’s first words was “smile.” It would take Mom a long time to learn to do it, but eventually, she smiled.
I’m Coming After You ***** It took three friends to convince him of the supernatural. This is a tale of a haunting experience.
I Smelled Every One ***** The Mall has everything so why would anyone ever leave? There is only one reason; the Mall might close. But there are other Malls. Watch for the narrator of this story at a Mall near you.
You Want to Know What the Worst Part Is? ***** This is a set of instructions for removing those tough stains from your laundry.
Gluttony ***** There is fat, obese, morbidly obese, and then this story.
Avarice ***** Walker had cleverly betrayed three friends to advance his own interests at the firm run and owned by Lionel Crenkins. Crenkins admired Walker for that. Lionel had one more test for Walker.
Sloth ***** All he wants is the blank qualities of nothingness.
Lust ***** Many people talk about wanting to create or recreate themselves. This guy took it to the limit.
Pride ***** He is proud of his family. He was proud of his family. He had been proud of his family.
Envy ***** Ellen had beautiful skin and a very fortunate life that had been based somewhat on her beauty. Lucy, her older sister had a much different life. How could Lucy change this situation?
Wrath ***** This is a success story about a person controlling anger.
I Was Fucking Fat ***** Janelle went through an extreme weight loss program that took almost a year. It was involuntary. There were a lot of hallucinations over the year and Janelle frequently wanted to die. After a lengthy recovery, she was contacted by Amanda, a representative of an anonymous company that had kidnapped and imprisoned Janelle. Grateful for her new, healthy body, Janelle wanted to help others. How could she best do so?
I Hate These Creepy Little Bastards ***** Ms. Q could find no job other than teaching with her new degree in Philosophy. She worked at a school with unusual students. Boys who collected spiders, girls who surfed the net to find pictures of the recently deceased and an almost dead squirrel served in the canteen. Nothing could faze the stoic Ms. Q. Until she met Tristan.
My Worst Christmas Ever ***** Mom did not get the worst Christmas present ever … the truth.
Trust the Men on Craigslist ***** The title of this story is all the setup that is needed.
Some Tomorrows Never Come. ***** A very fast journey through a very wasted life.
This Was Hard to Write ***** This is the most realistic story of the collection. The horror is war. The reality is PTSD.
Your Dreams Taste Like Candy ***** This is the most disturbing story of the collection. It involves child kidnapping and torture.
OMG Strangers Have the Best Candy ***** The dangers of Halloween. As in a previous story, the title of this one is the setup.
Why I Stopped Working for Rich Pedophiles ***** This is tied to the story above (OMG) by telling the same story from a different point of view.
He No Longer Gives Candy to Strange Children ***** Another story tied to OMG (above) but told from the third point of view.
The Wages of Sin is Eternal Life ***** Eternal life might be cool for one living alone but once connections and relationships are made, there are problems.