Run: A Mysterious Collection of Dark Tales
January 18, 2017
Caleb Pirtle III
I DON’T KNOW how you search for books to read.
Some look for tantalizing book covers.
Some search for the names of familiar authors.
Some read the blurbs.
I read the opening lines on the first page.
Does the story intrigue me?
Does the writing mesmerize me?
Do I want to know what happens next?
If I do, I buy the book.
I was fortunate enough to join ten of the country’s top mystery/thriller writers to produce an anthology, entitled Run. The book showcases ten outstanding short stories that are haunting, frightening, disturbing, and the stuff of nightmares. I thought you might want to read how these authors, who have published many novels, opened their stories.
You’ll discover one thing. This is what good writing is all about. These are names you want to remember the next time you’re looking for a novel.
I am proud to present five of the authors today, and I will showcase the next five authors on Friday.
Black-Out by Sue Coletta:
You can run, but you cannot hide.
I snickered, leaning back in my chair, my fingers laced behind my head as my gaze ran across the faces at Blu and Jake Carpaccio’s house. What a waste. If they’d minded their business and stayed the hell out of mine, none of this would happen. But after what they saw last night, I had no choice but to quiet them forever. Problem was, I wasn’t sure which one caught me in the act.
Sweeton’s Shangri-La by Rachel Aukes:
“We’re definitely on the right track,” Mark said as he climbed out of his car and slung his backpack over his shoulders. “It looks like no one’s been out here in years.”
Tatum swatted at the mosquito buzzing in front of her face. “Because no one would ever want to be out here in the first place.” She slapped her arm, squashing the bug. “My God, I’ve never seen so many mosquitoes in my life.”
“That’s because you’ve never been this far out of Sweeton before.” He did a three-sixty, holding before him the aged piece of leather with markings on it. A wide grin erupted on his face. “I tell you, Sweeton’s Shangri-La is real, and we’re going to be the ones who discover it.”
Sideshow by Kimberly McGath:
Death is coming for you. Those five haunting words play over and over again in my mind like a skipping record. They say death is the only certain thing in life. But hearing someone say it to you, like a judge ordering a sentence, well, that’s an entirely different thing. Sure, we’re all going to die, but the how and the when, now that’s the million-dollar question.
Do places have memories? Can unseen evil dwell on its own? Are there certain locations that cross the boundary between the living and the dead? Do parallel dimensions exist, beaches in the space-time continuum? These were just some of the questions that I desperately needed answered and time was running out.
Three Days by Jennifer Chase:
A small packed suitcase waited next to the front door. The cause for the special occasion was nothing more than a brief getaway, a well-deserved break from the daily grind, which had inspired the impromptu trip to the coast.
It was still dark outside due to the early morning hours of almost four o’clock. Not the birds or even a neighbor’s dog interrupted the sacred silence before daybreak.
The surrounding neighborhood area remained still and lifeless.
Samantha Carr sat at a small desk in the living room with her focus on the laptop screen. Her long dark hair and equally dark eyes maintained the intenseness that she projected at work. There was still some hesitation about taking time off during the middle of the week, alone, last minute, but the excitement of rest and relaxation overrode her immediate concerns.
Resurrection Morning by Caleb Pirtle III:
DEATH WAS NO stranger to Ambrose Lincoln. He lay on a gurney and stared at the shadows without shape or form that danced among the cracks in a concrete wall untouched by light. The room was dark, an empty abyss where he had fallen. They had taken his mind away. Or death had come in the night to steal it? And Lincoln no longer knew the difference. He was a new man again. He would wander the earth until he died again. He could never quite recall what happened between his death and resurrection.
The words came out of the darkness. He heard them, but none were spoken.
A man who remembers is a man is afraid.
The voice was harsh.
A man without a memory has nothing to fear.
On Friday, I will show you how Kristine Mason, Paul Dale Anderson, Kathy Love, Joe Broadmeadow, and Elle J. Rossi open really good stories that might even be classified as terrifying.