For this week’s Friday Short Fiction Club I picked Checking it Twice by Melissa L. Webb. It’s ranked high on the Amazon short fiction lists, have fairly good reviews (3.8 avg on 39 reviews), and I was looking forward to a horror Christmas story. It’s on the free list but I’ve never let free scare me off. Free stories can be awesome too…and this one could have been.
I snuggled up with a cup of coffee and my iPad. I turned the first page, then the next, and then the next, all in hopes of getting to the story. I loved the idea behind this…story. It’s really creepy and with a little more invested in it, it would have been amazing. Sadly, the author decided to spend five pages on front matter, give the story five pages, and then use the remaining pages to promote her other books. I felt cheated, sad but true. It’s listed as a twenty-one pages story – it’s five. Don’t get me wrong, there are five pages long stories I love, but they’re well thought through.
Just as I thought the story was going somewhere it ended, and it ended before anything really happened to the young man who’s POV we were in.
Love the idea, though! I wish I had come up with it.
Have you read any short stories this week?
There’s been an accident at Santa’s Workshop. He needs to desperately replace what he lost at the North Pole. This Christmas horror story will make you think twice about being on the naughty list. Christmas horror short story
Last night I went to bed early. Hubby had to go to work in the middle of the night and I didn’t want to wake him by coming to bed after he’d fallen asleep. So I took my beloved iPad and opened the Kindle app. Since it’s December I had already downloaded a few holiday shorts and decided to read Grandma’s Special Christmas Drink by Joyce Denver. It proved to be a disastrous choice. I was supposed to be quiet so my husband could sleep but instead, I kept giggling and then giggling because I was giggling when I should be silent.
Vivienne is going to a Christmas party at her boyfriend’s parents’ house on the 24th but even before her boyfriend has picked her up things start to go wrong. Not that Vivienne notices. She is a rather unlikeable character, not that I mind. I had a laugh reading this little short story but fact remains that Vivienne isn’t a very pleasant woman when drunk – she’s that woman. You know the one you see at parties who is too drunk, the one with makeup running down her face, the one who flirts with men she really really shouldn’t. You know her, the one who has to take a few extra steps just to keep her balance…that’s Vivienne.
Funny and a little tragic.
I couldn’t find any information about Joyce Denver but I really hope she keeps on writing.
“Funny and cleverly written story. I laughed so hard when I read about the “improvement” to Vivienne’s eyebrows! Cannot wait to read more from Joyce Denver.” Reader review
The December 24th date of the Conner’s friends and family Christmas party arrived. Vivienne loved parties-all kinds, but this year she was experiencing a dry spell. With the exception of Ralph’s family’s invitation, Vivienne’s holiday parties were limited to Sunday afternoons, in the company of aging relatives. And those weren’t much fun for Vivienne.
Vivienne adored evening parties. She was in her element then. Evening parties coaxed her out of her shell, brought forth her natural charisma. Or so she believed.
Those who bore witness to her fermented charms would heartily disagree.
Nothing could have prepared Ralph for the transformation his beloved “Lamby” undergoes as the evening progresses.
Curl up and enjoy the festivities; spiked with surprises, twists and turns and of course, Grandma’s special Christmas drink. You might want to have one ready for yourself. Just don’t offer any to Vivienne.
Living in Scandinavia I don’t have a lot of experience of Thanksgiving. My knowledge mostly comes from movies and TV series and we all know how misguiding those can be. But, since Thanksgiving is here, and we – or at least I – often read something scary for Halloween, something Christmassy for Christmas, I thought I’d find something Thanksgivingy for Thanksgiving.
Now, that wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be.
I searched on Amazon, and there were a few stories but none I felt like reading – harsh but true. Then I googled, but that didn’t give a lot result either. After a few tries, I did find a list of six Thanksgiving short stories that had been published by The New Yorker. I picked the first on the list, I was just gonna see where the link took me, but Samantha Hunt’s Three Days hooked me. It was right there by the bloated racoon in the third sentence I knew I had to keep reading.
Three Days is not a happy story. In less than eight thousand words Samantha Hunt had me going from interested, to laughing, to that sort of chuckling when there is recognition and sympathy but you know it’s more tragic than funny. Then in the end, I wasn’t chuckling, the laughter died, and I wished the story wouldn’t go where it was going even though I knew it was inevitable.
This is a horrible story, a fantastic story, a story that has very little to do with Thanksgiving and yet everything to do with what happens around holidays when you’re forced to go back to a life you’ve escaped. It’s about being sitting there around the table eating the carefully prepared food and wishing you were somewhere far far away.
If you want something happy and cheerful – don’t read it! If you want something else, this is a story that shouldn’t be missed.
My plan is to write a few lines about the short story I’m currently reading, or have most recently read, as a sort of #FridayReads post, every Friday. The posts won’t be long, and they won’t be reviews, more like a reading diary than anything else, I guess.
Today, I went over to Amazon and looked at the Best Sellers in 15-Minute Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Short Reads. There I picked one of the covers I liked – that’s most often how I pick books. First I look at the cover, and then I peek at the reviews. Igor and the Russian Mafia by Nova Hunt had a one-star review. I probably would have rejected the story if it hadn’t been for the fact that the reviewer only complained about the length and that never fails to hit a nerve. Readers who blame the author for having bought or downloaded a short story goes on my black list, only so you know.
I’m sad to say that I didn’t love Igor and the Russian Mafia and it had nothing to with the length. It was a missed opportunity really, the author had some great ideas but instead of making me feel what Old Man Shwöcklhuagher felt I was told he was frightened and so on. It could’ve been great.
What are you reading?
The rain is pounding hard in Italy as an elderly shopkeeper sweeps the already spotless floor of his small corner bakery. It’s well past closing time as the clock chimes eleven. Old Man Shwӧcklhuagher should be fast asleep in his warm bed in the apartment over the tiny bakery, but worry is gnawing at his stomach, keeping him awake.
It’s been twenty years since he moved away from his birthplace of Russia; twenty years since he left his colleagues behind. His body shudders at the memory of what went on in Russia. His colleagues are not good people, and Old Man Shwӧcklhuagher doesn’t realize that they are closing in on him. It’s only a matter of time before they find him…
Writing the first post on a blog is quite scary. I’ve been staring at the ‘Nothing Found’ post for a while now, thinking I can leave off writing something to another day. But I can’t, can I? What if you happened to drop by and it said ‘Nothing Found’? You would leave and never look back.
So what will there be on this site in the future? I have no idea, but every writer needs to have a site, that’s just the way it is. I write short fiction, short-short fiction, and the occasional flash fiction so it will be about that.
Why short? I like the challenge of telling a story in just a few words. I don’t mean to disparage novels, absolutely not, but sometimes we don’t have time for a novel. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to immerse ourselves in long stories, no matter how lovely or thrilling they are. Sometimes the satisfaction of actually making it to the end before we’re interrupted by work, kids, pets, spouses etc is greater than the want to read a long book.
Sometimes all we want is to read a tale, start to finish, in the same amount of time it takes us to drink our coffee.