A story from slightly closer to home, this week, as I am lucky enough to know the author personally. James Tucker and I go to the same writing group (with Vic Watson, every Monday night at Quilliam Brothers Teahouse, for those in the Newcastle area), and we were both featured in Wild Wolf Publishing's horror anthology "Blood From The Quill." There are a ton of brilliant short stories in this little collection, (shout out to Patrick Welsh, whose beautiful ghost story "Her Voice In The Rain" is a wonderful, imagery-filled piece of fiction), but I picked "The Follower" to review because, stylistically, it reminds me so much of old Gothic stories from writers like Poe and early Lovecraft.
Our narrator encounters Susan, a beautiful and frightened young woman, at a train station, and takes her under his protection. The two fall in love, and are happy together - until Susan's past quite literally begins to catch up to her...
The one thing I will always love about this type of Gothic story is the build up to the big reveal at the end. You'll know what I mean if you've ever read an old-school horror story; "The truth, the thing that haunts me to this day, that drives me mad in the night...was...DUN DUN DUNNNN!!" James captures the tone of this type of story brilliantly throughout, but the reveal at the end struck me from the first time I heard this read, at a Halloween reading just before the book was published. We went to a reading last Halloween to promote the book, and this story had the entire audience riveted, and I legitimately heard gasps at the end. You can buy "Blood From The Quill" and read James' story (and my own "Dust Motes and Faded Green Velvet) here. I know loads of amazing, talented writers, and their stories will crop up here from time to time, but if you have a short story you'd like me to review, leave me a comment, or drop me a line!
Musings on my life as a writer.