Nightmare #73, October 2018

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Nightmare #73, October 2018

“What’s Coming to You” by Joanna Parypinski

“A Mother’s Love Never Ends” by Halli Villegas

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

Two stories of women confronting their pasts and futures appear in the latest issue of this magazine of horror.

The protagonist of “What’s Coming to You” by Joanna Parypinski spent her childhood with uncaring parents. She goes on to live in poverty with a ne’er-do-well husband. A man appears at her door late at night to offer her an inheritance. It turns out to be an unpleasant one.

This simple, old-fashioned story has the feeling of a tale told around the campfire. The reader knows that the man at the door has sinister intentions long before the main character does. The nature of the unwanted inheritance gives the story a touch of allegory.

In “A Mother’s Love Never Ends” by Halli Villegas, a woman carries the ashes of her dead mother on a bus. During a brief stop, she meets her mother at a coffee shop, along with a young man. The mother joins her on the bus. Alternating sections of the story show the protagonist as a little girl. These scenes may be flashbacks, dreams, or a mixture of both. At the end, the woman makes a symbolic gesture, which may change her life.

This story creates a haunting and mysterious mood. It is not always clear which events are really happening, and which are imaginary. The role played by the man at the coffee shop remains unexplained, although he seems to represent a possible lover. The resolution is a mixture of hope and despair.

Victoria Silverwolf ate a pumpkin-shaped bagel yesterday.