The 2008 Halloween Buffet

Here we go, ladies and gentlemen, my Halloween recommendations for 2008. I’m changing it up a little this year.  Instead of rec’s for stories, movies, comics, and books, you’ll just be getting stories this year.  Many apologies.  The last few months have been rough ones.  I promise to make it up to you by spacing out further recommendations over the coming weeks.

SHORT STORIES YOU SHOULD READ

“Harvest” by Norman Partridge.
Starting with the wonderful image of a man peeling an orange to find a bloody skull inside, this story grabs hold of your mind and starts twisting.  Is the hero of this story losing his mind, or is something more sinister happening?  Partridge really makes you wonder, and the climax he builds to will leave you shaking. Available in The Man with the Barbed Wire Fists.

“Llama” by Bentley Little.
A man finds a dead llama in the alley behind his workplace.  He discovers secrets in its measurements, connections to his life and the deaths of his family.  As the man becomes more and more fascinated with the dead animal, we learn that patterns can exist in anything and that the human mind can be very dangerous.  Available in The Collection.

“The Owen Street Monster” by J.L. Comeau.
Through a series of phone calls, we learn the terrible secret of The Owen Street Monster.  This was one of the first horror tales to really grab me and show me the potential of the genre, and it’s contained in the first anthology I ever truly loved.  Available in Borderlands 3.

“Shadder” by Tom Piccirilli.
A failed Hollywood hotshot returns to the family farm to tell his brother he’s selling.  There are secrets at the farm, however, and the birds whisper terrible things.  Available in Cemetery Dance # 52.

“N0072-JK1” by Adam Corbin Fusco.
The genuine masterpiece is presented as a scientific study of the human “tickle reflex.”  It is written with such clinical detachment that at first you’re not sure that such terrible things are really happening.  By the end, you can’t help but be terrified.  One of the best stories I’ve ever read.  Available in From the Borderlands.