When the big garage at the end of their street burns down, a young girl basks in the glory of being the one who can deliver the news to the rest of the street, only to find her cachet dwindling as the astonishment fades.
A clever little story, with a strong and witty voice.
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.