Just Next Door by LuAnne Turnage is a short 22-page read. As a horror short story, it is remarkably complete. It is one novel in a series of eight short stories that can be purchased as a collection for USD 9.92. Each short story, however, can be downloaded as a free read through Kindle Unlimited. This is a good illustration of the value of KU.
For this short story you, the reader, are an audience of one. You enter a coffee shop and notice a man sitting near the back in the corner. You can tell instantly that this is his spot; you will see him there at any time on any day. The man seems harmless, but you have become a bit annoyed at the way he always seems to stare at you. Today he has invited you to sit with him. He has offered to tell you a story. But first, you have a question of him. You tell him that his staring has made you uncomfortable. He answers with “I don’t care.” He goes on to say that his story will explain not only why he doesn’t care about your discomfort but about why he doesn’t care about anything in the world.
In order to tell you about his attitude, he offers to tell you a story that begins from his childhood. It is a story of his best and only friend Charley, his dog. It is a story of a loving but absent alcoholic father and an abusive mother. There is the story of a comatose sister and understanding school teachers. You are horrified as the story progresses ever downward until it reaches a point where you feel you must leave.
You find yourself running home.
I believe this to be remarkably good horror writing in so few pages and gave it five Amazon stars.