DARKNESS AD INFINITUM, Villipede Horror Anthology I, ed. by Shawna L. Bernard, Matt Edginton, Alandice A. Anderson, and Michael Parker. Villipede Publications (www.villipede.com), 2014, 303 pp., $19.19. ISBN 978-0-692208-99-1. Click here to purchase.
Some great to piddling stories from this mixed horror anthology. But there are a few worth the $20 purchase price:
“In The Walls” by Adam Millard. A man is tormented by his mother and many other sentient (and not so sentient) beings in the walls of his house.
“Earth, Risen” by Pete Clark. A sculptor loses his son in a drunken rage - an accident sends them in the car plunging into a deadly cold river. But the sculptor’s own magic, and belief, can bring the son back, as a way of atonement, as a way of forgiveness.
“Smudge” by Jonathan Templar. Alan rents a new apartment with a great view and all is well until he sees a smudge on the wall. The repairman tries to fix it, telling him it could be the result of a rodent. Temporarily removed, the smudge returns. Alan talks to the neighbor upstairs, via phone, but the neighbor has no idea what caused the smudge. So Alan does what any neighbor would - visit the upstairs apartment and find out what is causing the smudge to appear. Of course, that’s when things go horribly wrong.
“Stealing Darkness” by Geoffrey H. Goodwin. What evil effects can a painting have on a man?
“The Westhoff Version” by Patrick O’Neill showcases a family traveling in France, invited by a peculiar couple who make a most delectable foie gras using goats, they claim. But the couple is spooked and quickly make their way out of a potentially very dangerous situation.
“Bless Me, Father” by Lisamarie Lamb. A priest does not look with anticipation to the dismantling of his church, so he will do what a priest does and provide one sacred right for all parishioners for all eternity.
“Brannigan’s Window” by John McCaffrey. Jim and Kelly recently moved from their rented flat to a house in a great neighborhood. They are doing some remodeling when they find, in a wall, a bay window that opens to nowhere. Jim is curious. Perhaps the previous owners, the Brannigans, as eccentric as they were, left money behind? What Jim and Kelly find is there are some bay windows that are better left alone.
“The Song That Crawled” by Adam S. House. Adrian is a young boy gifted in music who has lost a mother. Now he has to deal with a very angry, alcoholic father, who blames Adrian for her death and actually for everything that is bad. The father couldn’t care less about his musician son and just wants the boy to take over the farm. Adrian loves his music - so much so that, despite the abuse he receives from his father, physically and mentally, the music literally empowers him to rise above the memories, to control demons, and to put an end to anything.
“The Tunnel Record” by J. Daniel Stone. Delilah and Rez are visiting the Big Apple and are aware of a teeming, dark life in the tunnels far below the streets. Curiosity drives them to experience it, but the life becomes far too tempting, alluring, and dangerously dark.