Posts Tagged Short Stories

Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles – Michael Crane

Storyline: Michael, you leave me CRANE-ing for me! (And she’s back with the puns! HI OH!)

Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles is a collection of shorts with a most decidedly humorous and horror filled twist. Each short, or “drabble” as they’re called in the Biz (I was just educated about this particular style myself. Thanks, Michael!) is a little snippet of a potential whole story – usually the most amusing and horrific bit. They’re almost like one-liners for horror writing.

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed no issues with grammar or spelling.

Character Development: Since these are each less than 100 words, there isn’t really a need to develop a character in-depth. But, each character adds there own unique morsel of delicious drama to the story.

I especially liked the doting father. That poor kid should have listened and made sure his daughter was home on time! Reminds me of my own father…

I know that I’ve had a similar thoughts regarding nearly every story involving a child’s fear of a monster… Because, sometimes, there really IS a monster even if the adults don’t see it!

Writing Style: The writing style is quirky and hilarious. Even though each blurb is quite short, there’s no lack of talent. I’m dying to read more of his short stories! A few of these might even make great short stories themselves.

Continuity:  No concern with continuity given the style of the work.

Overall Rating: 4+

Michael Crane does a phenomenal job with his dribbles and drabbles in Lessons and Other Drabbles. I hope that he continues to churn these out and maybe even consider making them into an anthology. Maybe release a new one each October…?  (I’ll be expecting SOMETHING for that brilliant suggestion. Maybe even a new pair of shoes?! Hmmm?!)

I would say that this is definitely not for the young, the old or even the infirm. And if you have a fear of clowns or puppets: FORGET IT! There are some pretty serious scenes of gore and quite a bit of adult language.

Character Interview with Mr. Giggles

An interview Mr. Giggles, evil Monkey sock puppet, about his relationship with his author, Michael Crane.

Celia:  How did you first meet your writer?

Mr. Giggles:  Hee-hee-hee… I was hiding under his bed, and when I heard he was writing a book of horror shorts, I told him to put me in one—otherwise I’d bite his effin’ legs off.  Tee-hee-hee…

Celia:  Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Mr. Giggles:  It doesn’t take long for me to have anybody see things my way.  Those who refuse to see things my way… well… it’s kinda hard to argue when you’re a rotting corpse.

Celia:  Do you infiltrate your author’s dreams?

Mr. Giggles:  Of course.  I get bored easily.  Have to find something to occupy my time, now don’t I?

Celia:  Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Mr. Giggles:  It’s already happened.  I made darn sure that I was in LESSONS II.  I mean… what’s a LESSONS II without Mr. Giggles?  Of course… one other author was upset that stupid Clown didn’t make it into the sequel.  He keeps crying about it.  You know… I may have to pay that little punk a visit.  Both of them, actually.  Hee-hee-hee…

Celia:  What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Mr. Giggles:  Look, Missy… I don’t like where you’re going with this.  Lame?  LAME?  Are you calling me lame?  Really?  Do you really want to go there?  I don’t think you want to know what happened to the last person who thought I was “lame.”  Let’s just say he has a permanent smile now, thanks to yours truly and a very, very sharp kitchen knife.

Celia:  Do you like the way your story ended in the first LESSONS?

Mr. Giggles:  Hee-hee-hee… But of course.  That kid’s mother thought I was harmless… well, I quickly showed her otherwise.  Her hand was delicious…  Hee-hee…

Celia:  If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Mr. Giggles:  Superpower?  Mr. Giggles doesn’t need any superpowers!  I’m an evil puppet!  What more can one ask for?  Batman would “S” himself if he saw me.  That’s the truth, Lady.

Celia:  Anything else you would like to add before our time is up here?

Mr. Giggles:  If you see that idiot Clown, tell him I’m coming for him.  Stupid little swine.  Thinks that leaving threatening notes is so evil… give me a break!  I’ll show that punk what true evil is once and for all!  Tee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!

Note from Celia:  I feel that I may have to have my locks changed after this interview.  The little guy looked so cute… but don’t let that fool you.  He is evil incarn


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The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales – Short Stories Collected by Robert J. Duperre

Storyline: The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales is quite the wonderful and twisted anthology with contributions from the Davids Dalglish and McAfee, Mercedes M. Yardley and Daniel Pyle compiled by Robert J. Duperre.

A reluctant protector of the world. A girl who takes away your sorrows. A serial killer. A young girl enacts revenge on some neighborhood boys. Three astronauts fight for survival.

Each story is a dark, twisted and, at times, amusing tale that explores the many sides of fear that the human mind can manifest. Even introducing some that you weren’t even aware of!

Grammar/Spelling: No issues with spelling, grammar or formatting.

Character Development: Given the nature of the book, character development wasn’t a main focus. Though, I dare say it happened quite well with each story!

I loved Kitty in the Cellar, a story about a little girl who got even with the brothers who ruined her pretty dress is creepy scary and the ending is quite the shocker.

Writing Style: Each author contributed their own style to the collection and some are gorier than others, while others are definitely more twisted. I enjoyed each author’s style and really look forward to ALL of them submitting works for me to review! (And for those that I’ve ALREADY reviewed…well…I’m WAITING for more!)

As with most horror, some of the stories are quite violent, bloody and graphic. So, I wouldn’t recommend this as a bedtime story…unless your child is someone Alice Cooper or Stephen King.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4+

Each story is a nugget of mystery, wrapped in a short story of horror and nestled in a box of well written entertainment. I highly recommend The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales an anthology of short stories compiled by Robert J. Duperre to anyone who enjoyed the Books of Blood series by Clive Barker and anyone who doesn’t mind getting spooked even though it’s not Halloween!

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