Dark Screams Vol 5

Dark Screams: Volume Five: A Review

Edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar

Standard Disclaimer:  I received this book as a free download with the expectation that I would review it.  By doing so I am eligible to receive other titles in this series.

Another solid outing from editing team Freeman and Chizmar.  This time around we have material from five of horror’s best and brightest.

“Everything You Have Always Wanted” by Mick Garris is a morality tale wrapped up in a bloody bit of body horror.  The longest of the stories in the book, it is also one of the most engaging.  The reader jumps right into the world of horror movie fandom and conventions.  Anyone who has ever vended at a Con will relate at least a little.

“The One and Only” by J. Kenner New Orleans, the perfect city for a group to boys to go party, the best spot to see ghosts, and for one young man, it will complete a life long prediction that he would end up in the Big Easy.

“The Land of Sunshine” by Keelan Patrick Burke plunges the reader into a dark, atmospheric world where people avoid the main character.  He is constantly shut out by those he has known his whole life.  A journey, a mysterious box, a mute wife, and a surprisingly touching ending.

“Mechanical Gratitude” by Del James  There is the love between a husband and wife and the love of a many for his car.  Both of these culminate in a shocking act and a tie the lasts forever.  A nicely written story but it loses something at the end.

“The Playhouse” by Bentley Little A creepy story about the perfect playhouse, one so perfect that even adults get pulled in.  The fact that time passes differently for those inside the house as out adds an additional wrinkle.

All together, it is a great compilation of stories.  Some are stronger than others, but they are well written, well executed examples of modern horror.

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Michael Cieslak is a lifetime reader and writer of horror, mystery, and speculative fiction. A native of Detroit, he still lives within 500 yards of the city with his wife and their two dogs Tesla and Titus. The house is covered in Halloween decorations in October and dragons the rest of the year. He is an officer in the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. His works have appeared in a number of collections including DOA: Extreme Horror, Dead Science, Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes, the GLAHW anthologies, and Alter Egos Vol 1. He is the current Literature Track Head for Penguicon. Michael’s most recent endeavor is the Dragon’s Roost Press imprint which will be publishing it’s first anthology Desolation, 21 Tales for Tails in 2014. A portion of the proceeds of each sale of Desolation will benefit the Last Day Dog Rescue organization. Michael’s mental excreta (including his personal blog They Napalmed My Shrubbery This Morning) can be found on-line at thedragonsroost.net.

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