by Allison M Dickson
Allison M. Dickson is always a superb read, her talent in the manipulation of words to conjure up all sorts of images is excellent, she can drag you right to the edge of your emotions and gag reflex with her descriptions. Her imagination and ability to share those thoughts result in some real scares, none of them overly beyond belief, such is her attention to detail and explanation.
I find her little author notes at the end of each story explaining the sources or little quirks are just as entertaining as the tales themselves and give such a unique insight into the “process”; I do wonder about her sanity though sometimes.
A Debacle of Donuts:
No mincing about here, straight into the story.
Poor Claire, at 430 lbs she decides enough is enough, plonks on her trainers and dares her body to walk the mere 2 miles to the park & ride! After, she literally stomps her way through the donut breakfast provided for her by the ever enabling hubby, Sam….. off she wobbles.
Written with a great tongue in cheek wit, this really had me grinning at the stupidity of Claire and her sad issues with all of her fat; it was also kind of heart breaking.
She finally reaches the store and chooses a Scratch Card instead of the chocolate bar…. then the fun begins!
I can’t really tell you what she wins! but I did love the ending…. left to the imagination of the reader!
A haunted house story with every bug & creepy crawly imaginable! If this doesn’t make you shudder just thinking about it…. then you are in for a treat with the almost gleeful picture that AMD paints for you!
Some great back stories to the characters, including glimpses of why the house has a supposed haunted history, a fantastic way of telling the tale.
The continuous onslaught of vermin is amazing; it’s like a never ending gag fest; just not of the laughing kind
The ending was enough to actually make me squirm in my seat.
I am beginning to see a trend with AMD’s brilliantly skilled writing, it’s a sure fire horror read but with a great element of humour too.
Smiles and shudders – a great combination!
Taste: Part I of the Consumption Trilogy:
Well, I, erm… where to start!
A true loves tale with a strange obsession?
Told in a fantastic conversational way, as part of a post bereavement confession to a “friend”, this short tale tells of a young women’s obsession that just goes a little far even for obsessives! not sure I want my floors that shiny!
As I read my eyes got wider and wider at the story she was telling and at the end I just wanted to run out the door and I was sitting in my own house!
AMD has such a “fire side” element to her tales, they leave you with goosebumps and a funky taste.
If George’s neighbour could be more racist, sexist, offensive in any way… well AMD missed it!
Still dealing with the death of his wife, the final straw is the water fountain, especially to his bladder.
As George proceeds to enact his revenge upon the said water fountain he gets drawn in to the “game” more and more, some of the things he gets up to are quite amusing!
As the day wears on poor George finds himself in the hospital as the story takes a turn and all is revealed, have to say it really made me smile!
In the first few paragraphs we have the entire sad life of Mark spelled out; even his excuses for an affair.
At first I felt sorry for him, then the clanger on the phone comes and I actually felt my own stomach do an elevator ride as my empathy for the wife kicked in.
Mitzi, a wise yet unwise lady (married man, affair, but still there) and her comments rang lots of bells for me
I had to laugh at the American author taking the micky out of the British voice on the GPS for speaking/pronouncing correct English!!
Ending and the alternate: I liked the first one, although it was abrupt and gave no real reason as to why. I enjoyed the alternate much more but I would have liked more as to the origins of Aria etc, and I loved the addition of Officer Condon that gave a real “this is not imaginary” feel to it.
AMD states that that she hates this story, but I really liked it, it shows from an early stage what incredible skill she has. I actually think this has the makings of a novel rather than a short story.
Haven’t we all had that little bump on our tongue that just longs to bitten and irritates enough to distract.
The basic premise is of a particularity nasty reported hounding the would be Mayor and a gruesome tale of brutality; AMD does a good job of making political advancers sound interesting and not just pond scum laden.
As bad gets worse and the tongue situation continues to grow AMD unleashes disgusting images.
The authors note made me remember a traumatic meal in Sicily involving a squid and my mouth, thanks for the AMD, back to the counseling!
A Concealed Hand:
Poor Bernard he is beer soaked and trying to play Canasta with Priscilla, his wife.
Even her shuffle style is getting on his nerves, and he thinks she is cheating, why else would he have to stir the dog food looking stew during a shuffle!
As murderous thoughts dance across his brain you can feel the tension in the room, almost like you are at the table with them, as AMD does her marvelous writing trick of putting you at the table with her brilliant descriptions!
You get a real flavour of the rest of their lives as even the decor is explained, but don’t take this as boring, oh no, it leaves you smirking and wiggling with discomfort as you feel yourself watching this most uncomfy situation unfold.
The ongoing card games become more tense and the thorn digging elements of their marriage are reveled; then Bernard snaps. I’m not sure I will ever eat beef stew again
A really clever nod to “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Poe.
This has to be my favourite story of AMD so far!!
Strangely disturbing; this was weirdly so human!
The premise of a computer trying to fall in love with a human, not new and AMD does comment on this in her author’s notes.
But I have never seen this much undercurrent of dark and sinister before in such “lovely” words.
This IS a very short story, pretty much flash fiction, but worth every second of reading.
Under the Scotch Broom:
The opening line is smirk worthy! and from then on in the story is excellent.
The seemingly Plague infected Elvis, who knows everyone and possibly everything, has a proposition for the Doc.
The research Doc who just happens to have a potential cure for all germs/elixir of immortality inoculation; I read horror; I know where this is going, maybe….
As AMD reveals her characters and the back, and ongoing, story she delighted me with her descriptions of Elvis falling to pieces.
As slowly the plot thickens speeding towards the conclusion, I was sure I knew which way this was going to end….nope! and it’s a brilliant one at that!