A man feels uncomfortable at a children’s party because of his affair with the hostess, some unfortunate events related to his drinking, and the hostess’ husband’s collection of war memorabilia.
There is remarkable language in this story – the suburban garden party and all its discomfort really comes to life – and the back story is never disclosed, allowing the reader to imagine the worst. Wry and dark.
A married woman goes into the city for Christmas shopping and to have a brief affair; she finds a man who is not at all what she bargained for.
This is a chilling story – it reminded me a little of Muriel Spark’s “Driver’s Seat,” with the protagonist’s headlong charge into danger. It has moments of sweetness and joy, and then a dark turn that isn’t unexpected but is no less disturbing for its inevitability.
A teen’s father, then neighbor, then aunt, disappear in a blink of the eye in a muddy spot in the backyard; when they return they’re not quite the same.
This is a quietly unsettling little story that refuses to wrap up neatly.
A woman who needs to find a book to write a report on for her adult literacy program stumbles on a room in the library that is “temporally out of order,” and finds a surprising reading list built of her dreams.
Just a sweet and magical little story about libraries, books, reading, and time.
A woman finds her home, and her husband, inexplicably shrinking.
A nice little weird tale, with a nice closing image of expansiveness overcoming the ratcheting reduction that characterizes the story.
A hook-up goes terribly wrong.
A nicely squelchy horror story – terrors are presented with no explanation or back story, sort of like an intense short film, with haunting and disturbing images.
A woman moves to a posh suburb with her husband and senses danger and terror beneath the serene surfaces.
This is a good story that builds subtle dread; it’s never clear whether Marisol’s terrifying visions are a result of her feeling out of place, her lack of sleep, actual malice, or a combination of all of these factors.
Mysterious murders, with the victims found with hands and heads covered in paint, lead a man to believe that someone is seeking revenge for a terrible crime he participated in long ago.
This story steadily unwinds two gruesome events – one in the past, one in the present – and does a good job of building tension.
A man on vacation with his mistress is haunted by guilt and frightening premonitions.
This is an elusive little story; I wasn’t sure at first if the images of a car crash were premonitions, or memories – that the two characters never interact with anyone else, at least in view of the reader, and seem to be penned into a claustrophobic space, made me wonder if they weren’t already dead and condemned to some strange hell.
A trapeze artist who has been unjustly imprisoned seeks out her former circus to deliver vengeance.
This story holds its cards close to the chest and plays them out slowly, delivering a satisfying conclusion.