I love these free short story down-loads for my Kindle. It has given me access to works I never in the world would have had the time or inclination to read. Now I grant you that from time to time I get burned and find that I have totally wasted my time; in not money, but for the most part I have been happy. With this little short story of horror I feel like I hit the mother load! Wow!
Very briefly: Two pest exterminators arrive at an old abandoned house that someone wants to restore. The home has been abandoned for over twenty years. It is a true mess! The old dilapidated home is said, according to local legend, haunted...something bad; very bad is present! In the past, horrible things have happened...truly horrible! Gross! The two gear-up, ready the weapons of war used against vermin, and after a discussion, enter the house. Oh my goodness! Ewwww!
I won't tell you more of the story. I will tell you of the writing.
This little story will take you about fifteen or ten minutes to read. Allison M. Dickson, the author, is truly skilled at her craft. It has been quite sometime now that I have read descriptive writing of this quality. Her words flow and you are instantly drawn into time, place, and mood...this writer is good! There are a couple of things to note here.
First, Ms. Dickson has used a couple of very catchy and actually fun techniques. With her descriptive syntax she has flitted from a modern mode and then harkens back to the days of hardcore pulp fiction; you know, they type you would read in those true crime detective anthologies that you could buy at the drug store for thirty-five cents. When describing an old banister, the author uses brief descriptions such as "wobbled like a rotten tooth in old gums." I love this sort of thing. Her descriptions of sights, sounds and even smells draw you completely in right from the first paragraph.
Secondly, the author knows her pest extermination! She knows what she is talking about! I have restored, lived in and gone through enough old houses to know exactly what she is talking about. I am also one of those strange people who are rather fond of creepy critters and know a bit about them...again, she is spot on. The only slight flaw I found in her knowledge and research is that she mixed the description of a black widow spider up with that of a brown recluse...no big deal there though as the description was given through the eyes of one of her characters and at the time he was certainly in no shape to tell a moose from a mouse, much less distinguish spider species. Ooops...better stop...don't want to give anything away!
Thirdly, it is a fact that in a truly good short story what is not said is just as important as what is said. The author has mastered this technique perfectly.
Forth, some of the language the two bug expert's use is a bit rough, i.e. there is just a bit of foul language used. This fits the story perfectly though. No gratuitous cussing is found here...no, no, no! I am old, mellow and semi-civilized now and about the harshest bit of profanity that comes from my mouth now days is terms such as "gosh darn," and "oh, golly." I can tell you though, if I were as unfortunate as to find myself in the situation these two guys found themselves in, my language would make theirs sound like a bunch of Cub Scouts around the fire in a church camp. Goodness!
This is a good read folks. The price is right and all you have to loose if you don't like it (something I cannot imagine), is a few minutes of your time...give it a shot. I am not a big fan of this genre but I can assure you that I will be reading this author again.