The Green Eye – Scott Nicolay (illustrated by Ben Baldwin)
This is a story of summertime boyhood antics cut short by a supernatural urban legend called the Spooklights. Are the unfortunate circumstances that follow are a result of the legend or just a young boy’s way of dealing with tragedy? The author leaves a note (longer than the story itself) detailing the true events that inspired the story.
Smoke, Ash and Whatever Comes After – Eric Schaller (illustrated by Vince Haig)
Eric Schaller’s story manages to combine the most frightening things in the world to me – losing a child and mental decline. Fantastic description builds an authentic father-daughter relationship and the anxiety as the story unfolds. A truly unsettling story from start to finish, one that is going to stick with me.
Border Country – Danny Rhodes (illustrated by Richard Wagner)
A father is not the only one trying to reconnect with a son on this camping trip in Border Country. He tries to stress real life experience over the technology favoured by the boy, losing out to something ancient and more powerful than the call of a backlit screen.
What We Are Moulded After – Eugenia M. Triantafyllou (illustrated by George C. Cotronis)
This was an engrossing read, a woman trying to recreate love lost told through the point of view of the golem-like replacement she creates. An original story that focuses on what loss and passion can drive us to do.
The Solitary Truth – Charles Wilkinson
Interactions between an elderly couple showcase the real-life horror of mental decline and the loss of grip on reality. Through dialogue one would expect between a long-married couple, we learn that one of them seems a bit confused. By the end of the story though, we can’t be sure which has the stronger sense of what has really happened. I got strong feelings of sadness and claustrophobia from this story, only adding to the dim and foggy atmosphere.
The Maneaters – Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
The Maneaters is about a woman’s search for identity, fighting against what she has been told she is her whole life, a search for what really fulfills and completes her. It is a call to take control of our being and future on learning that the past was not what we had been told, to take control of what we are and what we do.
Stanislav in Foxtown – Ian Steadman
Probably my favourite story in this issue, a downtrodden fast food employee comes out on top thanks to some newly made friends in Stanislav in Foxtown. It proves that kindness is always repaid. And so is cruelty.