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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Nightmare #66, March 2018

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Nightmare #66, March 2018

 

Mr. Try Again” by A. Merc Rustad

Crave” by Lilliam Rivera

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

There are two first publication short stories in the 66th issue of Nightmare.

Mr. Try Again” by A. Merc Rustad

This short captivating horror story describes a two-faced swamp monster and Violet’s obsession with him. When she was a little girl, the monster lured Violet into his lair. She spent nine months helping him catch little boys, his preferred diet.

But when she finally escapes, she is no longer an innocent six-year-old. Violet waits, and waits, looking for the right bait. Years pass, and then a family moves in across the street. Their little daughter is just the thing she’s waiting for.

The author told the story through a series of flash-backs and disclosures. This worked well for this story, creating a steady and intriguing revelation. Any reader will find this one hard to put down.

Crave” by Lilliam Rivera

This short fantasy introduces Taina, the eldest child of a poor family. As the eldest, the ten-year-old must take a plate of food each week for the old witch, La Caridad. Otherwise the witch will visit their house and seek revenge on the youngest member of the house.

Taina is jealous of her baby brother. As the future hope for the family, he gets a larger share of the food, while Taina goes hungry. As Taina takes a plate of food for La Caridad, a plan materializes in her mind.

The story had a nice pace to it and the plot was engaging, though a little too predictable.