by Donald Armfield
Publisher: Independently published (April 13, 2020)
Softcover, 170 pages
“I sent out the SOS from my fishing boat at high noon, far west from the town out of the North Channel. My crew of five men were showing signs of an unknown sickness. Their skin was deteriorating and drooping from their bones, skeletons. They looked like melting wax candles, with aggressive coughing fits, spitting out thick wads of black phlegm. I showed no signs of their sickness and stayed clear from my crew. I told the officials of the tribe, made up of men and women living in the forest outskirts of the small town.”
This is a slam-bang brutal collection of horror stories from an author who is destined to make his mark in the genre. The stories are not interlinked, but they carry a thematic quality of man struggling against forces outside of his sphere of understanding. All are different. All are worthwhile.
There are five stories, plus a bonus one at the end. They run the gambit from celestial giraffes, to classic tropes of golems and trolls (old-school European troll stories, not fuzzy-headed toys), to a near-unstoppable parasite, to an emerging albino race. The stories move at a fast-paced violent jerking motion, forcing you through the paces of the story with barely a chance to breathe. One can only sit back and enjoy the ride.