Collects six short stories of fantasy and weirdness. Fans of Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Greek mythology, and biblical-inspired fantasy will find something interesting.
“Blood and Beauty” tells the tragic love story of a satyr and a dryad.
“Sutter’s Well” records the weird encounter between two boys and a Lovecraftian monster in Appalachia.
“Morphine and Chocolate” draws inspiration from the medieval poem Pearl as it follows a father’s search for his missing daughter from one weird landscape to another.
“The Facts in the Case of M. Hussman” takes inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and records the horrific consequences of artificially extending life in a steampunk world.
“Shafts to Hell” returns to the Old West and takes the reader inside the mind of an insane miner.
“Good King David” combines the tales of Hamlet and Absalom in a Biblical fantasy world.
When the president’s daughter, Helen, is abducted, special counsel Aaron Atreus offers his friend all the support he can. When the kidnapper demands Aaron’s daughter, Effie, deliver a ransom payment, the crisis becomes deeply personal for Aaron’s family. What’s the kidnapper’s game? Why insist on Effie? There’s no way Aaron will allow his only daughter to walk into such a dangerous situation.
Desperation puts friends at odds, and questions of duty and loyalty threaten to tear Aaron’s family apart. While the policy-makers fight among themselves, the kidnapper waits for the pieces in his sinister game to move into place.
Like most children, ten-year old Jimmy wonders where the Tooth Fairy keeps all those teeth. It’s a silly question to laugh about. He plays along to get some coins, confident there’s no such person. As he and his friends know, their mothers play the role of the Tooth Fairy, but in the middle of the night, Jimmy’s world turns upside down.
He learns there’s more to his mother than he ever imagined, and the Tooth Fairy isn’t so harmless.
“For the love of God, cut off my head.” The last request in Uncle Silas’s will shocks everyone speechless, everyone except his favorite niece, Anna. More than death itself, the claustrophobic Silas fears a premature burial. Will her elders carry out his request? Anna is certain they will not. It’s up to her to do the right thing, even if it is a bit grisly. Armed with butcher knife and candle, Anna heads for the crypt underneath the church in the dead of night. All does not go according to Anna’s careful planning.
Step inside a dark story in the tradition of the penny dreadful, at times humorous and horrifying, but don’t close the door behind you. Someone might lock you in.
On a lonely country highway, a young travelling salesman runs down a teenage girl. It was an accident. Why she was wandering around on a highway in a pink, formal dress, he can’t imagine. There’s no doubt she’s dead. Fear takes over and he flees the scene, absently taking one of her shoes with him. An old memory, something familiar about that shoe, struggles to surface. As he speeds away from the accident, he thinks his nightmare can’t get any worse, until he sees a pair of green eyes in his rear-view mirror. The shoe and those eyes lead him to a small town where he meets an all too knowing preacher and a sheriff obsessed with the girl’s tragic demise. As Paul digs deeper into the mystery of the girl and her shoe, he comes face-to-face with a dark secret from his father’s past.
Tales of Woe and Wonder collects nine short stories. There are original fantasy stories and fairy tales as well as classic fairy tales retold. You’ll find a mix of fairy tale wonder and tragic woe, ranging from a young boy’s first brush with the harsh realities of war in “A Gift from over the Sea” to a miraculous bridge in “The Master and the Miller’s Daughter” to a young girl’s encounter with a witch’s insidious spells in “Esme’s Amulet.” The fairy tale “Why the Squonk Weeps” tells the story of a mythical beast and a witch’s plans that go horribly awry. A mother’s plans to save her son from the grief of pain go horribly awry in “A Mother’s Gift.” “The Fletcher’s Daughter” is a humorous take on Cinderella. The flash story “Under the Bridge” comments on trolls and story telling. “The Hand with the Knife” expands on the Grimm tale of the same title. And what happens when a princess resolves to take a vampire for a lover? Find out in “The Princess and the Vampire.”