I fell in love with horror fiction through short stories.

The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe. NIGHT SHIFT, by Stephen King. My family car was littered with horror anthologies I found on bookstore racks and garage sale tables. As a writer, I love the tight structure and elegant story telling. As a reader, I love a small story that rips me apart and leaves me gasping. 

GUTTED: BEAUTIFUL HORROR STORIES, edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward, is a gorgeous collection. The stories delve into the dark, emotional connection we feel towards what we treasure and what we fear. They show how it can be impossible to separate the two, and sometimes we don’t want to. The twisted mix is intoxicating: fear and love, repulsion and desire.

The anthology opens with a gut punch, “The Morning After Was Filled with Bone,” by Stephanie M. Wytovich. It’s a dark, wretched poem that will take your breath away and make you cheer for the character’s transformation. 

Other stories are haunting. A woman grieving her mother walks along a quarry trail in “Coming to Grief,” by Clive Barker. It captures the contemplative isolation of grief. For a character who keeps assuring herself the Bogey-Walk is safe, she seems lost almost immediately, in her thoughts and on the weedy path. I find myself coming back again and again to when she steps onto the trail. I can nearly feel the nettles brush against my skin.

The stories of GUTTED have plenty of creepy, unsettling moments for any horror lover. But their power lies in how beautiful they make those moments.

 

* Free Story Bonus *

If you open the “Look Inside” on the Amazon listing for GUTTED, you’ll find a link for exclusive content from the authors of GUTTED and Crystal Lake Publishing. Look for the image below.