How many of us have wished we could wind back the clock? Smooth out the rough-and-tumble? Undo the damage, lose the weight?
We can. You can find out how–and at what cost–in Daniel Pearlman’s chilling novelette, “The Colonel’s Jeep,” which is set in the steppes of Russia during World War II—a most unlikely place for healing, no?
You’re right. Fans of Serling and Bradbury will not want to miss this one. I promise.
“The Colonel’s Jeep” originally appeared in Pearlman’s most recent collection The Best Known Man in the World and Other Misfits—but this spellbinding read is now available on Kindle from 40K Books here: http://amzn.com/B0057REHB4
From Koji Suzuki—the man who brought you Ring, Spiral, and Loop—comes Dark Water, a collection of ghost stories in which the title element plays a major role.
The finest in this collection is “The Hold,” a tale of a Conger Eel fisherman searching for his wife. Part mystery, part Poe-esque study, clues foreshadowing the piece’s end are skillfully wrought through the text: “Since the rubber flaps prevented the conger eels from escaping, they would squirm around in the dark slippery tube. Hiroyuki was definitely not one for metaphors, but he thought the slippery squirming interior of the tube and the struggling eel resembled nothing so much as sexual intercourse.” Want to know what that has to do with anything? In “The Hold” it’s about what writhes in wait beneath the surface—and there’s a new, chilling discovery each time you plunge into a new page.
You can find “The Hold” in Suzuki’s 2004 Dark Water. To purchase the 2006 paperback release, visit here: http://amzn.com/1932234225
 For those of you who are wondering, the American film Dark Water is based on the book’s first story, entitled “Floating Water.”
 Koji Suzuki, “The Hold,” in Dark Water (New York: Vertical, Inc.), 113. Please note this collection was originally published in Japan as Honogurai mizu no soko kara by Kadokawa Shoten, Tokyo, 1996.
I’ve never felt such sympathy for a guy I didn’t like too much, and that’s what sold me on Sarah Harris Wallman’s “Georgetown Kisses,” now published at Read Short Fiction. I found him to be an Everyman, a man who has, like all of us, made mistakes—and one critical, very large mistake (and possibly a second, eventually, as the ending suggests) that destroyed his life as he knew it. The characters, even Trimble’s wife Sylvie, whom we never really meet, are so real, so well-defined—so the people-next-door. “Georgetown Kisses” is a stellar example of creating not-so-nice characters who still manage to tug at our heartstrings.
You can read the story here: http://www.readshortfiction.com/2011/05/georgetown-kisses-by-sarah-harris-wallman/
Brady Allen’s “Dog Farts and Dancer Girls” is a comment on what can break down in a romantic relationship—often, it’s what’s never said.
I love the mood in this piece; I can feel the weight of what’s unspoken in that car in the first scene—even though I’m not quite sure what it is right off the bat, I know that it’s something monumental, something that threatens to split this couple in half. If you’ve got trouble in love, this story might just give you some ideas on what you shouldn’t do.
Check it out at Read Short Fiction here: http://bit.ly/ktuDxc
Cassandra Dunn’s short story “The Minx” is up at Read Short Fiction, and if your winter blues aren’t fading fast enough, this piece might be just the right pick-me-up!
What I love about this piece is its pervasive sense of sadness. The speaker laments her own life, but is realistic about how her choices got her to that life–yet there’s a piece of her that wishes she were someone else. And really, who hasn’t done that at least once or twice? Well, the end might surprise you.
Check it out here: http://www.readshortfiction.com/2011/03/the-minx-by-cassandra-dunn/
“Beware the Ides of March” has new meaning!
Judy Viertel’s “Man Murders Wife” is now up at Read Short Fiction—while it doesn’t have the hallmarks of a ghost story, it is a testament to the idea that subtle is better, and it will haunt me for many days to come. Don’t miss it! http://www.readshortfiction.com/2011/03/man-murders-wife-by-judy-viertel/
Whether you recall your first young love or not, Read Short Fiction’s first February feature—the young adult short “The Heartbreak Next Door” by S.G. Rogers—is a reminder that our hearts were fragile from the very beginning—it’s a touching little reminder that we never really grow up. You can check it out here:
Apex Reviews has released/posted its review of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole – Tales from Haunted Disney World. If you’re interested in reading it, you can read it online at authornation.com by visiting here:
…or, just click here for the PDF: SkeletonsSchoonover
Apex will be posting an interview with me in the future. I’ll keep you posted!
So…how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolution(s)? Plugging away? Struggling? Or have you given up already?
Joseph Auslander’s “A Goal for Goals” at Read Short Fiction just might put what you’re up against into perspective—or give you that “oomph” you need.
This story quite literally cracked me up when I read it, and I remember thinking I hadn’t read anything this outrageous, clever, and funny in a long time. And yet, in a very scary way, I also identified with this character—I found this piece an excellent example of how an exaggerated character in a story can absolutely work. There’s a little bit of this guy in all of us, probably, whether we want to admit it or not, and he’s one I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Check it out at