Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Barry the Basement Bear

Over the past couple years, I've had a lot of fun reading and giving randomness to Stuart Conover's work. I was really excited to see that another short story of Stuart's (say that three times fast! go ahead, i'll wait) had been released. Although this time, it's shockingly not in print, it's in podcast form!

Barry the Basement Bear can be found by clicking the link and is a part of The Wicked Library's podcast series. The podcast runs for 57:21 (complete with funny filler and an interview with the author), so let's settle in for a listen!

Barry is described as a light in the dark keeping the monsters at bay. The protagonist views Barry as a true friend and someone who must always be kept around, must to the chagrin of the protagonist's father. The first time Barry is left behind, something goes horribly wrong.

The protagonist tries to carry on as they always have, but their father becomes angrier with Barry's presence and decides it's time for the protagonist to grow up and be "normal." The father "deals with" Barry, leaving the protagonist to find life has become hellish without Barry's presence. The decision is made to get Barry back in order to restore life with the comfort and security the protagnoist had always known.

This decision makes the protagonist's father go apocalyptic, determining that Barry needs to go permanently and if the protagonist tries to save Barry again, there will be serious consequences. That night, even though Barry is not with them, Barry lets the protagonist know they shouldn't worry. They'll be protected. Always.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Twisted World

Kate L. Mary brings us back into the Broken World with this new series. It's 20 years later and things aren't much better than when we left the survivors last time.

The focus this time around is on Megan, the daughter of Hadley Lucas. Megan lives in the settlement of New Atlanta with some of the other survivors. In catching up with everyone, we learn Angus is dead, Axl is missing, Vivian is losing it and the overall situation for everyone else isn't so great.

The regulators are still the heads of the colonies and are still as corrupt as ever. However, since the CDC is located in New Atlanta, they're taking evil to new heights. Further proof that while the undead are a force to be reckoned with, humans in general are the true enemy.

Megan, or Meg as she's known to everyone, is dealing with everything inside New Atlanta as best as she can, but as time goes on, she starts to realize that everything she knew or believed in might not be the most accurate picture of what's going on. Someone she should fear becomes a friend and someone who was a friend becomes the person she most fears.

As her world unravels, we see the horrors those in charge are capable of- selective executions, a cull disguised as an outbreak, pushing people to the brink to serve their end game- and there are people tired of it.

This chapter ends with those people set to do something about New Atlanta, knowing that if they can pull it off, they doom themselves life as it was 20 years ago.

Can't wait to see what happens......and to see if someone goes out with a bang.........

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Night the Jack O' Lantern Went Out

Alexander S. Brown released a set of short stories, but they aren't cute little anecdotes about a jack o' lantern coming to life and going trick or treating with some neighborhood kids.

Outhouse- Family story night takes an unexpected twist. Stories passed through generations started somewhere, some with more sinister origins than others.

Faceless- Amazing how something as simple as a little plaything could cause so much grief. Grant the wish or they'll take something from you.

Old Souls- There's something to be said for gathering to honor the dead, but the guest list really should be limited.

The Fire Watcher- Family history is a funny thing. Traditions start for a reason and end for other reasons. Some things are just meant to be heeded more than others.

Lord of the Garden- Meet Buddy! On second thought, don't meet Buddy. Observe him from a distance.

The Spell Collector- Careful who you decide to be friends with. They may leave you in debt to someone you don't want to mess with. Ever.

Old Wife's Tale- Even Death enjoys a twofer. Trust me on this one.

Following the Leader- Beware children in the Halloween parade!

Haunted House- The lengths someone is willing to go for reality is just staggering.

The Night the Jack O' Lantern Went Out- What happens when you spend your time being a right little bastard? You help someone end their time in Purgatory.

Luck- Learn from history on what happens when you spend your time being spiteful because you can.

Mean Spirited- The things we're willing to do for those we love can be spectacular.....and disturbing.....

Owls- Hoo? Hoo? Hoooooooo?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Syrenthia Falls

It's a tale as old as time- the newcomer to the area winds up as an outcast for one reason or another before being accepted by another group and suddenly having a social life.

But there's a twist.

The newfound group of friends decide to test an urban legend as their first outing as a group. And it goes about as good as you can expect- with a free trip to the hospital.

As time goes on, we find out the thing in the woods was a werewolf, but not by bite. What it creates sets in motion events that add to the urban legends in the area and leave the survivors to deal with the aftermath.

Eventually, one of the survivors gives in to the baser instincts, decides what the hell and goes on a bloody revenge spree. The other survivor recognizes what they've become and realizes they have to put a permanent end to their friendship.

Murder! Mayhem! Spiked wine!

When it comes down to it, it had to end the way it ended, but that doesn't make anyone feel good about how things ended

The story ends with somewhat of a happy ending, but also a little advice- Before you decide to go screwing around with a local legend, just how do you think those legends begin?