Enjoy Your Fears
Why do we find horror stories worth reading? Some say morbid curiosity, sensation seeking, or the search for stimulation and novel experiences are the answers. Others say that the combination of tension (created by elements of shock, mystery, suspense, gore, and terror), and relevance (the universal fear of death, the unknown, and other themes), explains the attraction of horror. Clearly, there is always a linkage between fear and enjoyment—a linkage that can vary greatly among individuals.The idea of a full horror novel is too much for me. I, for one, prefer short horror stories—like the ones in Thirteen Stories of Horror. And while I would not give five stars to all the stories in this anthology, overall, this is a five-star collection. But I do have a pet peeve about this book—indeed about all anthologies. Like having a box of assorted chocolates, I enjoy the freedom to choose a story’s theme depending on my mood. And it's usually impossible to gauge that simply from the stories’ titles. So, below you will find a list of the 13 stories in this book together with a brief taster or teaser for each story. Enjoy!• Buyers’ Remorse by Melissa Olthoff and Nick Steverson – Oh, how comfortable an old electric chair can be!• Dark of Night by Christopher Woods - It threw the bodies in a hole in the world and then closed the hole and then came for the Pathfinder.• Dream of Distant Shores by Mark Wandry – Is your goose cooked if you are 12 light years from home, wandering through twisting tunnels, and being pursued by infected aliens and humans driven insane by a really deadly virus?• Happy Birthday by Steve Diamond - Ghouls, ghosts, the odd vampire or werewolf. But this… I’d never experienced this before. The force of this new pressure pushed me down until…• Hungry by Kevin Ikenberry – If you have an appetite for a horrible, bloody medical mystery, be sure to eat this almost-true story.• Hyarkeen’s Challenge by Rob Howell – Play three berserk and macabre games and if you win, recoup your hold on life…or at least your mind.• The Call of the Temple by Dan Bridgewater – You say you are an archeologist and you have uncovered something that looks like alien eggs on a distant planet and you begin hearing voices in your head?• They Burn Witches by Declan Finn – Have you heard about the problem the police have with the forces of darkness? Do you know who to call when witches are on the loose and killing with their magic?• They Called Him Jack by Matt Novotny – Just ask the successful doctor and his beautiful new bride if killing the first is the hardest.• Three Graves Later by H.Y. Gregor – Things that are no longer men howl with rage as they pursue you in the bitter cold.• Unclean Hands by David Butler - Gross pilings and blood and gore finally surmounted with supernatural maneuvers.• Undergrowth by Kacey Ezell and Marisa Wolf – A particularly aggressive form of kudzu that can turn humans into plant zombies? Ohhh please, not vegetable violence!• Wraith by Marie Whittaker – They are dumb as a box of hammers and about as aware of their surroundings as a rutting bull elk, but will devour you in a painful flash.