by Rick Hautala
The days are getting shorter, and the wind blows cold from the north. After the maple and oak leaves turn from green to bright reds, golds, and oranges, they wither, fall, and die, clattering like old bones as they blow down the street in the twilight. The sun isn't as bright as it used to be, and the nights are dark and cold and long. This is the time of the harvest … the time of Hallowe'en … and a time for reminiscences of the summer just past and of other summers, now long gone. This is a time of mystery and expectation as the earth prepares for the frigid onslaught of winter.
Four Octobers collects for the first time four loosely interconnected novellas from the vivid imagination of best-selling author Rick Hautala. Each story is set in October, the month of pumpkins and trick or treat, of skeletons and haunted graveyards, and each story is filled with nostalgia for times past … for summers and youth now gone … for chances not taken … for opportunities now lost forever.
"Tin Can Telephone," set in 1957, tells the story of a young boy and his friend who, in the pre-dawn darkness while waiting to see the Russian satellite Sputnik speed by overhead, experience a mystery and fear far more terrifying than the threat of Soviets in space.
"Miss Henry's Bottles," perhaps Hautala's best story to date, tells how the simple act of discarding two empty soda bottles on a neighbor's lawn brings to light secrets that should have remained buried … but like all secrets, this one eventually is revealed with devastating consequences.
"Blood Ledge," set in an Indian Summer of 1971, tells the tale of a young boy who discovers a dark family secret that leads him to accept a family inheritance that has horrifying results.
And finally, "Cold River" is the story of a man so lost in loneliness and depression following the death of his wife that he faces a horror worse … much worse than drowning in the cold, dark river that flows by his house.
Taken together, these stories show Rick Hautala writing at the top of his game, telling stories that will not only chill you when you read them, but will leave you with an icy dread in your heart … a dread much colder than any October wind blowing down the street at night.
- Cemetery Dance Publications, July 2013
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