This is a good short story for October and Halloween reading. What starts as a sinister and tense story develops into a tale of fear and flight before growing darker and more horrific.
The tension and sense of dread grow steadily, making both the main character and the reader increasingly uncomfortable before the true horror of the forest is revealed. The author combines elements of foreboding, macabre, revulsion and fear to influence the reader’s feelings and reactions.
Even though the title gives away the fact that there’s something lurking in the woods, this story is quite original and well written.
There is some adult content, so it’s not recommended for kids.
It’s common knowledge that taking drugs isn’t good for you — and you should never take something if you don’t know what it is.
This chilling tale reinforces that premise in a very powerful and graphic way. The portrayal of seedy drug dealers and drug use may seem stereotypical to some but is probably quite accurate and certainly feels realistic to the reader.
Camille’s experiences when she swallows what is in the black vial are shocking on both a physical and a psychological level. The author combines the horror of the unknown with a very cleverly constructed sense of dread to position the reader to fear for Camille and anticipate possible outcomes that may await her.
At times grungy, at other times macabre, this a short but effective dark suspense story.
What would you do if you held power that nobody else knew about? Most people would like to think they would use it for good, but this story explored just how easy it would be to manipulate things to suit our own interests. The main character is likeable enough at the outset, and seems to have good intentions. The other characters in the story are a realistic cross-section of society: his family, classmates and teachers.
The narrative is interesting and quite relatable, albeit less easy to identify with as it gets darker. The twist before the ending is both confronting and horrific, but the conclusion escalates that even further.
This is a well-crafted story that lures the reader in and then ambushes them with darkness.
Given that it is easily read in less than half an hour, it makes perfect reading for busy people looking for excellent dark fiction short reads.
This is a quite a wistful and quirky read on one hand, yet quite dark and confronting on the other.
A deep sense of irony pervades the story and highlights the tragedy of the backstory which Roger reveals to Emma when she meets him at their old school. It is certainly thought-provoking about what comes after death and the likelihood that the spirit world could exist right alongside, or even intersect with, our own.
The raw reality of suicide and the jolting power of grief and survivor’s guilt are treated with sensitivity and empathy, and the story cleverly positions the reader to understand the perspectives of both Roger and Emma, and other people known to them both, as they share their experiences.
This story may be personally challenging to those who have lost friends or loved ones to suicide, but it may also offer some reassurance and objectivity through the different perspectives of the characters.
It is a testament to the skill of the author that the story is very well balanced and poignant, given its serious and sombre themes.
This is an interesting Arthurian dark fantasy tale that explores the relationship between Arthur and Morgan. Told from Morgan’s point of view, the reader is treated to a very different perception of Arthur than that told by the more popular legends.
The opening paragraph is stunning, and most of the writing is quite good, so the prescence of some fairly basic errors was disappointing. A careful proofreading and edit would make a significant difference to the finished quality of the story.