by Riley Hill
This anthology of twelve creepy tales embraces the dark side of common people, bound together on an island in Washington by weird circumstances, an immortal dog, a long trailer, and the omnipresent burn pile.
"The Evening After" sets the stage as Jim awakens on a beach holding the remnants of his dog's leash. The dog has vanished and, apparently, so have portions of the man's mind. It doesn't take long for him to notice something is wrong with his sense of place and very wrong in the field near the long trailer.
"Burning" embraces love. Love of nature. Love of memories. And love of who Grace believes she is. But can Grace find it in her heart to save the feral boy who is out to destroy the world?
"Milepost 4" peeks into the mind of a raptor, or is it the mind of the woman watching him? Is he dead or alive? And what is that strange thing in the field under his flight pattern?
"Dark Smoke Things" reveals the light in the center of a young woman's joy. Is it the light of God or the light of fire?
"Mono-track" sticks us in the tunnel vision of a man focused on finding the truth of strange happenings on the island. Can he open up enough to see what is in front of him?
"The Truth About Halloween" is told by a granny to her rowdy grandson who is too busy plotting pranks to pay heed. But Gran may have a few tricks up her own sleeve.
"Brutus" is an immortal dog that only wants to go home to his master. He can make it, if he completes a task and outwits the people on the island.
"Sweet Well Water" holds a delicious surprise for those who partake of it. Is the smoking man who concocts it a chemist, or something else?
"The Morning Before" trips us through a time loop, back to "The Evening After." What's with all this lost time?
"The Smoking Man" patiently waits for the call that will free him from his prison on the island. Guilty of causing the death of his friends at the hands of secret American forces, his banishment to the island is coming to an end, and signifies the end of life as they know it to some of those around him.
"The Secret Life of Taylor" must remain a secret, since it revolves around knowledge learned while dead. Only Taylor, a brain-damaged man, knows the truth of what he has been shown about heaven and hell.
"Meant to Be" teaches us the truth about holding on, letting go, and fills us in on the real secret of the island. How many will be left to tell the tale? How many will remember?
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by Riley Hill
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by Riley Hill
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by on September 25, 2016
- House of Lit, June 2011
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