~Cover Design by Rooster Republic – Fear Knocks Press LLC. – 03/11/2021~
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WASATCH WITCHES, a Horror Anthology was written by Utah Horror Writers, contains twenty-five short stories and poems centered around the darkness of witches and witchcraft, an arcane tome meant to terrify and titillate your senses.
‘Be warned, once you pick this book up, you just might hear cackling coming from the darkness!’
Though the stories and poems in WASATCH WITCHES didn’t terrify me, they most certainly titillated this reader’s, horror-filled heart. More, Please!
The following are my favorites, including snippets from each:
‘The Pestilence’ – by Vince Font
‘They came up the mountain with their torches and their bibles and their godly heads held high. Boots plunged into snow-packed earth and scarves drew over ears as winter’s icy breath blew down the Wasatch Range. At the end of the path where the Devil dwelt, the men stopped and formed a hard line.
‘Within the darkened cottage, nothing stirred. The serpent lay in wait.’
‘The Witch’s House’ – by Jesse N. White – Love this one!
“‘Quite the spooky place you got here, Miss Why-chel,” Paul remarked, purposely mispronouncing their host’s name as he walked over and casually cupped the mannequin’s breasts. “ I love the decor.”’
‘Olivia smirked at Paul and gave Angie a wink. “Not quite what you were expecting? Nothing here frightens you, Mister Olmstead?” She cackled as she swirled and allowed her dress to fall off her shoulder.
‘She motioned the couple further into the house. “Well, not to worry. A float session is meant to relax…”’
‘Wasatch Witches’ – by C.H. Lindsay
‘[O]nce the sun has gone to sleep,/they stalk the night ‘mid shadows deep./
‘In graveyards cold,/ through darkest night,/they harvest names while moon is bright.’
‘The Crazy Cat Lady’ – by Jo Schneider – Love It!
‘A high-pitched yowl came from inside. I leaned forward. Was that a cougar cub? Or a regular cat? The sound stopped abruptly, and the door clicked open. I jumped back, straightened my shoulders, and smiled.
The Cougar Lady had never agreed to be interviewed before. Her stipulation to let me come had been that I kept all of this a secret until I published the article.
‘Persona Non Grata’ – by Lehua Parker
‘The doorbell won’t stop, not for God or love or money. I open the door just wide enough to scowl at the woman on my front porch. She’s not alone, but doesn’t know it.’
‘For Scrying Out Loud’ – by Caryn Larrinaga – Love it!
‘Here’s the crappy thing about scrying: the mirror doesn’t always tell you what you want to know. It only shows you what you need to see. . . . And don’t be surprised if it shows you something you didn’t want to see—even when you didn’t ask it a question.’
‘Rip to Reset’ – by Sariah Horowitz – That was really good!
‘Mark was near perfection; dark hair, bright brown eyes, kind, and understanding. Marie assumed that when they reached high school, they would be dating, attend the same college, then marriage, and spend the rest of their lives together.’
‘But then that Nancy Hanks ruined all of it.’
‘Frankenbear’ — by C.H. Lindsay
‘In autumn’s chill/ the witches watch/for teddy bears/ in graveyards dark. . . . .Beneath full moon/ the witches chant/ for graveyard bears to coalesce.’
‘Cadmium Blue’ — by Jeff Dosser – Love The Ending!
‘Cadmium blue. Emily Ray lowered her binoculars and studied the children. The girl’s aura was a brilliant cadmium blue. . . . Satisfied, she lifted her binoculars and studied the children once again. They sat beneath a rusted ‘Bus Stop’ sign. The boy was nothing special, virtually no aura at all, but the girl….’
‘Why Are Children So Delicious?’ — by Joshua P. Sorensen
‘I’ll fatten up my neighbors/ With cookies and with cake,/ Chocolate ice cream, custard,/And sweets that I will bake/When they’re fat and plump,/ With pudgy little toes,/ I’ll roughly grab and toss them;/In my oven they will go.’
‘The Warlock of Kay’s Creek’ — by Bryan Stubbles
‘Johnnie’s death made dusk’s chill all that more miserable. Sixteen-year-old Mabel looked on from afar as the hushed graveside service quickly concluded. Not even Johnnie’s parents attended the funeral.’
‘Only the Presbyterian minister, his wife, and the gravedigger attended. None of the Mormons—many of them related to Johnnie by blood or marriage or both—could be bothered.’
‘Welcome to 1894 Kaysville.’
‘Danara’s Coven’ — by C.H. Lindsay
‘The clinking of the prismatic wind chimes drew Danara’s attention to the rainbows dancing across the ceiling. How many times had their magic—her magic—drawn her back? . . . Time held no meaning for her anymore; only the addition of another presence, another voice.’
‘They were here with her now, whispering to each other that another woman would die that night.’
‘Miss Fortune – Anastasia’ — by Natasha MorningStarr
‘You would expect to see her floating overhead on a broom. Instead, she struts with grace in Louboutin pumps—reminiscent of Meryl Streep, only melanated—she walks with the Devil wearing Prada . . .The essence of her roots is magick. Her presence pulses with a subtle vibration known to draw people into a trance. One beat of her drum, and you’ll do her dance.’
‘Her name is Anastasia.’
‘Unfruitful Works’ – by D. J. Moore – Love It!
‘I first met her outside the gates of Temple Square. In the spot where you usually see a bagpiper playing Amazing Grace for loose change. Arianna Plemmons. . . . Both arms were raised high above her head, fingers twitching as if playing upon an invisible instrument. . . . [F]ollowing the gazes of several people in the audience, I saw a young man dressed in a white shirt with a red tie jerking about in a kind of marionette dance.
‘Like a puppet dangling from unseen strings.’
‘Vice’ – by Donald Evans – Love This One!
‘I grabbed the first envelope on the top of the slush pile. What kind of life do you have when you spend your day looking through a slush pile? I read about ten pages and threw it in the trash. . . . After reading it, I felt like washing my hands to get the icky off. The next story had something to do with toast and a guy who stares at the toast for like nine pages. I picked up the next package, and I felt cold run up my wrist. . . The packaging was nondescript, but it bothered me. I couldn’t tell you why. I didn’t want to open it.’
‘I opened it.’
‘What Happens in Salem’ – by Angela Hartley – Love It!
‘I can hear their thoughts as I walk down the hall of Salem High. Hate rolls off them in waves as they give me a wide six-foot berth. Even the teachers keep their distance as if my presence were a dangerous pathogen.’
‘They aren’t wrong. I am dangerous, especially to small-minded humans in a little town like Salem, Utah.’
Thank you, Fear Knocks Press LLC.For providing me with an eGalley of WASATCH WITCHES in a request for an honest review.