Midnight Lantern: A cruel, greedy man finds what he thinks are great riches hidden in a discarded bundle of cloth, and takes them. The story starts out on a bad note for his moral character and he gets worse throughout the story, and he is left with a worthless find as a reward for his greed and callousness. I liked this one, and did not expect the outcome to turn out the way it actually did. I like unpredictable endings.
Mommy: A family of witches, Rompus, and her daughters, Coldie and Goldie, have an ambition, to move out of their hut and live in style as royalty. Rompus wants to marry the two daughters to princes Smarton and Perfecton, a desire complicated by the fact that Goldie is NOT a good student of witchcraft and ran off on her own to elope with a different man.
Rompus creates a clever plan to fix this and ensure their lives in a palace. But this plan is exposed, and the witches foiled by the princes. This one had a nice element of humor to it, with engaging characters.
The Stalker: Girls are being hunted and killed, all with a connection to their own schoolyard victim of a prank gone horribly wrong. Who is doing the killing, and what was done to bring this about? I like that this one suggested the killer’s identity rather than directly telling it, giving the story an element of uncertainty that added to the effect.
The Stalking: I love a good werewolf tale, or at least that’s what the ending suggests. An evil fellow is pursuing a woman he’s followed for months, always trailing her in the shadows, when he finally corners her to do … what? End up in a bad situation, that’s what! This one has a satisfying ending.
The Sword: A greedy king and his court dominate their kingdom with a wolfish army, and an unexpectedly beautiful girl turns up, sought by the wolfish creatures. But something happens, and a choice is made, which foils the king’s plans, and adds to the strength of his enemies. Nice one, this!
The Terminators: an undersea explorer discovers a disturbing truth, on the origins and possible fate of humanity, from a mysterious being he encounters. What is that truth, and can he do anything to avert it? It all depends on the choices he and all other humans make, as the creator beings seem unconcerned by the outcome, beings existing on vaster timescales than
humans! Who, and what, are the Terminators?
Agnimalya June 2019 Critique:
Other Occupants: What’s it like to be a ghost? Two years after Mahesh dies, he finds himself back home – with other ghosts! – He finds out the fates of the dearly departed, and narrowly avoids his own spectracide by ghost-grenade. This one I enjoyed, as the story’s flavor reminded me of Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice,” a favorite film of mine.
The Creature: A team of explorers arrives on a new planet to look around, and return to their “ship” to find things terribly amiss. What they find there turns out a danger to any future visitors to the planet, surely making it interdicted to all exploration there – unless they decided to nuke it from orbit just to make sure!
The Glamour House: Moving into a new home can always be trying, having to move out again even more so! The new residents of a strange house begin hearing and seeing strange things. When those residents, Ratri and Maitree, invite a roomie to stay for a time, things get scary in the psychic impressions department, prompting the search for another home!
Green Demon: There’s trouble in a retirement home when one of the more popular residents is mysteriously cross and unsociable, so one of her friends uses a magical ring to get to the bottom of things. It turns out not all is as it seems, and a clever plan turns the tide, thwarting the troublemakers, one of them a badly overdressed demon! Very cool!
Coming Kingdom June 2019 Critique:
Rewind: When things go wrong in the world, who pushes the reset button? Who starts things all over? One and Two decide to fix things, to send things back, with at least a hopeful note next time around! Short, but sweet!
The Town of the Doomed: When Angelica pays a visit to her husband’s hometown despite warnings not to, strange things happen, and tragedy strikes when her husband dies abroad. A curse is revealed, and demons are involved, as the story ends … not exactly well, but with a suggestion of ominousness, of menace that lies in wait. This had a good ending, and left
matters uncertain and a bit disturbing, like a creepy but good Doctor Who episode I saw once titled “Sleep No More.” This had that same unsettling quality by the end.
Trick or Treat: Want to pacify a noisy ghost every Halloween? When a manor house is vacated during that unholy night, sacrifices … must be made – by the residents, with out-of-town, ahem, treats! I’m unsure of the fates of those treats, but it certainly can’t be good for one’s heart to experience that level of fear!
Wish Granted: The Prince of Darkness makes a deal (by contract, of course, because that’s how Old Scratch operates) with a future minion of his, granting a few more years of mortal life before eternal servitude in Hell. But the deal is not all its crack up to be – for the future minion, much to the amusement of Old Nick and his demons! This one had a satisfying ending that both tied up loose ends and showed that humor exists even in the Nether Regions!