By Ekta R. Garg
November 13, 2019
Release date: October 16, 2019
Rated: Bookmark it! / 4 stars
A product that helps people come back to life after death. Two iconic American monuments battling one another. Choosing between love and uncertainty or stability and loneliness in parallel universes. Author Daniel Charles Wild mines these innovative concepts and more in ten excellent standalone pieces in his new collection Horrible Writing: 10 Horror Stories You Probably Shouldn’t Read.
While placed in the horror genre, the stories also include science fiction elements. “Say Uncle”, the collection’s opening piece, traces the bizarre consequences of watching old movies. The protagonist receives a box of VHS tapes left to him by his late uncle. As he works through the films one by one, he comes to the realization that the tapes may contain more than big-name stars in the early days of their careers.
Each story in the collection contains a unique element that makes it sparkle. “Unconditional Love” opens with the details of a new drug developed to help patients with a specific disorder. Instead, that drug gets into the hands of radicals, and its effects are felt—literally and figuratively—worldwide. “Jerry’s Story” follows a man living in a halfway house who claims to have been abducted by aliens. The protagonist discovers why Jerry keeps insisting this is true. “Good Boy”, arguably the darkest piece of the lot, takes the point of view of an adopted dog and how he earns the titular compliment.
Wild’s writing, too, shines. In the story “Can’t Sleep,” about a sleep disorder, the protagonist mentions “the sudden worldwide rash of accidents, cars, trucks, and planes, all attributed to operator error. The operators, as well as the news announcers, aren’t quite operating at peak efficiency as of late, and it’s very late. It’s all because of the sleep research, and the claims it irrefutably confirms, which everyone’s really tired of hearing about. Everyone’s really tired in general.”
Readers who appreciate intelligent, quirky stories without the blood and gore but all of the best thrills from horror will definitely enjoy this collection. I think readers should Bookmark Horrible Writing: 10 Horror Stories You Probably Shouldn’t Read.