How diverse is “evil?” Could a collection of horror tales be combined to create a genuinely eclectic mix? Could each story be a unique little nugget of terror because of its setting, plot, and eccentric characters? I believed so, and that was my aim in writing and assembling the scary short stories that became Thirteen Tales of Eclectic Evil.
I started with the word “eclectic.” The word has an elegant sound, tripping off your tongue.
Mr. Webster – a favorite writer of mine – says it means:
to select, pick out, to choose. 1) selecting from various systems, doctrines, or sources; 2) composed of materials gathered from various sources, systems, etc. Noun: a person who uses eclectic methods in philosophy, science or art.
As a writer, I tried to be the person he defined.
Thirteen Tales, an Amazon e-book, is just 250 pages long, but within its covers I hope you’ll find entertainment that will whisk you away from the realities and responsibilities we all face, if even for just an hour or so. With that objective in mind, let me tell you a little about these tales I created.
Do you believe in reincarnation? That’s alright, neither do I. But an old, tough business tycoon, Whip Malone, experienced something like it when his hang-glider hit a horse, and he became The Goblin of Central Park. And reincarnation became reality in my time-warp tale The Predictable Return of Peter Renskill set both in the late 18th century and present day.
Have you ever wanted to see life from another person’s point of view? Well my protagonist, Melody Brighton, did. And that’s why she agreed to participate in Dr. Dangerfield’s First IS Transplant. Melody entered a man’s body and was disgusted by what she found. Be careful when you wish to be someone else. It’s one thing to walk a mile in their shoes, quite another to be trapped in their body. Experimental research? No thanks!
Ira Carson was a nice guy, retired, happy, and sailing the Caribbean with his beautiful wife. Unfortunately, on a glorious day with fair winds, Ira found evil on the high seas. That’s why he was desperately seeking Any Port in a Storm.
Jack Slack was a mediocre Florida writer with big dreams. He just needed a catalyst to jump-start his career and keep his New York publisher happy. Jack found that catalyst, oddly, in an ancient warlock. The Wannabe from Hungary is a humorous story about black magic gone bad because it’s been given to the wrong writer. Never trust a roach on a white carpet!
Young Jonathan Wagoner was rapidly on his way up within the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C. But Wicked Weasel Wagoner went down…way down! When it comes to power politics, one should always be careful of “ships that pass in the night.”
Bob Harper was a great guy, a good friend, and a heck of a fisherman. He just wanted to make his buddy happy. So they took a little fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico and ended up Catching Hell. Danger glides silent and deep and a wicked wind spawns an angry sea. Bob Harper got all wrapped up in a quarter ton of trouble! Maybe he just needed a bigger boat.
It was just an old volume in a musty New York bookstore, but it was such a find! Annie P. Parker couldn’t resist. She bought the book…and began to read. And that’s when The Peregrine Man took over her life. Sometimes, you just can’t afford to fall asleep.
Those of you who’ve read my Darke Lyfe Trilogy won’t be surprised that I introduce my primary villain, the rogue vampyre Harrison Van Gilter, within this collection. It’s just a brief snippet plucked from his long life. The story documents Harrison’s first prey. Set in Black Notting, England in 1776, when he was just thirteen, Harrison tells the tale himself. He selected it from his own perverse collection locked away within Van Gilter’s Vault.
No collection of eclectic evil would be complete without a good ghost story. And Elaine Martin gets guidance from a “loving” ghost that helps her find The Courage to Kill.
I’ve tried my best to “creep you out” with my tale concerning The Mothman Messages. Inspired by the true story and the film – The Mothman Prophecies – which made even the hair on the back of my neck stand up, the mothman tale was pure pleasure to write. I hope you enjoy reading it while you’re all alone at night. Lights on…please!
Within an aircraft at 36,000 feet, cruising 600 miles an hour, a very special passenger gains genuine social perspective when he feels The Gun at His Head. All I can say about this close encounter is that we are not alone…and they are not pleased!
Finally, there’s my tale entitled The Phantom of Hemlocke Hill. It’s a sort of syfy, mystery, what-happened and who-did-it tale. Some people sense unearthly things and envision the future. And sometimes the future is dark and justice is icy cold. Spirits wander when they are unhappy…even when their mortal bodies aren’t dead!
Thirteen Tales of Eclectic Evil is a small buffet of chilling, mysterious, and sometimes even humorous, escape entertainment. If it takes you away for just a little while, I’ll be happy.
Best wishes, Michael Goldcraft