Showing posts from October, 2020

Bly Manor: Horror as Group Therapy by Jane Nightshade

One of the horror community’s most-awaited events of this year was the debut of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Mike Flanagan’s follow-up to his smash-hit Netflix series of two years ago, The Haunting of Hill House. Except for the last thirty minutes or so, Hill House was a straight-up horror masterpiece that managed to tell a complex story of family relationships while never letting up on the breakneck pace of its terrors. (Flanagan unfortunately choked at the end of the last episode and gave us a touchy-feely ending that negated everything that went on before it.)Sadly, the follow-up series, which was co-produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin, is a pale, sickly shadow of Hill House. Based on the much-filmed Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw, it gets bogged down in both too many discussions about “feelings” and pretentious, talky philosophizing from its numerous cast members.The original source material isn’t meaty enough to fill out a nine-episode series, so Flanagan and his team…

The Changed -- Chapter Thirteen -- by Dee Caples

The Game Is Afoot

The convoy moved slowly because the heaviest vehicles were made for wrecking things. It took over half the morning to find where Ellis and Nico’s tracks led. Dancy got out of the combine and followed Alonso to the open end of an old military warehouse. It looked like a bunch of pilfering rats and raccoons had run off when they heard them coming. Shit was scattered everywhere.Alonso looked down at a trail of blood leading away and Dancy didn’t have to say anything. He just turned and followed the smears. “And what is this?” Dancy asked, reaching down to pick up a clump of cut, blond locks. His mouth split into an evil grin.“Looks like hair,” Mary, his adorable, little chauffeur said.“Now, that’s an astute observation,” Dancy said, standing up to let the hair fall from his fingers. Mary gave him a pouting look, afraid he was insinuating she was a dumbass. He was but didn’t say so. “I believe it’s Danna’s hair and she's survived whatever happened to everyone else. Th…

The Changed -- Chapter Twelve -- by Dee Caples

“Why didn’t you shoot?” Pericles shouted at Danna.She bent to collect the guns as Aces stood over the human he’d speared, nudging him with a toe. When the man groaned he bent down and cut his throat, leaping back to avoid the arterial spray. It didn’t help. The man jerked and made noises as he strangled on his own blood, splattering Ace’s legs.Danna spun around to face Pericles. “If he’d shot either of you I would have. I made a split-second decision when I saw you and he had it under control.”His heart was still pounding, remembering how close he'd come to getting shot. “You hesitated!”Getting up in his face, she yelled back. “I did it to conserve bullets! When these men don’t make it back, Dancy will come and he’ll have more men and more guns. Lots more. We’ll need everything we’ve got and now we have theirs, too.” Bending down to get them, she offered them to Pericles but he turned away, making a huffing sound. She looked back at Aces and grinned. “You guys are fast. The…

Animalistic -- Chapter 4 -- by Chisto Healy

Sasha took in the sight of the sultry dark skinned woman’s glistening naked body that exuded sexuality. She had seen wolves and humans that turned into wolves but she had never seen a creature such as this. She licked her lips, her throat suddenly feeling dry. “Where should we go then? I mean…you’re not wearing clothes and we’re in the city.”The naked woman’s thick lips parted into a smile. “We can go anywhere we want to go, but we should go now.”Sasha bit her lip. The woman before her was enticing but somehow frightening all the same. She felt intimidated. “Maybe I’m dumb,” she said, her eyes lingering what she was sure was a little too long on the black woman’s erect nipples. “I’m new to all this, but if we go out into the public street as wolves it will cause hysteria. If you go as you are it will probably have a similar effect. What am I missing?”The woman stepped closer. There were inches between them. Sasha could smell the sweetness of the glistening sweat on the woman’s flesh a…

The Changed -- Chapter Eleven -- by Dee Caples

The Bearer Of Bad News Books were wonderful companions. Dancy didn’t allow many people access to his library and then only for specific purposes. City council members were allowed to peruse old municipal records and minutes from meetings nor did he object to them borrowing from the fiction section as long as they returned the books. Inventors and mechanics and such were cleared to rummage through the technical manuals all they liked. That’s what they were for and Dancy had no interest in them.He wished his favorite, a well-thumbed copy of The Art Of War, was a hardback but he had to take what he found. Maybe someday he’d come across one. He was fond of histories and biographies, too, and no one was allowed to touch those or the philosophy tomes. No sense in them getting bright ideas. He loved Plato less than Nietzche and had scrupulously pored over everything he could find about Alexander and Napoleon.A card game was going on at a nearby table and he kept one ear tuned as he sipped whi…