Review: 8 Short (1)

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What is your breaking point? What would cause you to go over the edge? What would make you so angry you would crumble on the inside and deflate like a hot air balloon losing helium on the outside?

Meet Charlie Contessa: overwrought with no sleep, crying baby, nagging wife and a life that he hates. A new boss that is hacking away at the self worth, and esteem making Charlie’s life miserable. Working and trying to make ends meet is becoming too hard for this man and one morning and one elevator ride will change the course of everything.

hot-air-balloonsCharlie is late for work again. Hoping to escape the ax and not get fired he rushed to the train station, deals with his stomach pains and hopes to get to work in time for his meeting. But, the hand of fate plays a real mean trick on this already defeated man. As he makes the trains and arrives at his office Charlie takes a deep breath thinking he just might be on time.

Going into the elevator, pressing his button and praying it gets to his floor. One man, Bob would change that for him as he stops the elevator, waits for a woman to get in delaying his ascent to his office. But, that’s not all. Others enter the elevator, conversations ensue and then the unthinkable happens. The elevator stops is stuck and he snaps. Pressing the emergency button and hearing the voice of help does not allay his fears and what happens next will shock the reader, enlighten you to what happens when one man is so out of control he can’t stop himself until it’s too late.

What happens when he reaches his floor and what are the events that transpire in this elevator that will make you think twice before entering one with someone you don’t know or who looks angry, read The Elevator story one in this great book of short stories and take the ride with Charlie, Bob and the others and you decide what is fate will be. Is he late? Find out for yourself. Life can be hard for most people and then there is Charlie’s.

***

Love Goddess
Every man wants the woman of his choice. Poor Matty is not anyone’s choice for best looking man. Repulsive, overweight and not what any woman would want, no less Jane the girl of his dreams, Matty comes up with what he thinks is a fool proof plan to not only get Jane but others too. Thinking that he is smart, the boss at work and hoping to snag this woman in more ways than one, Matty considers strong-arming her and using verbal slurs and threats and his position at work to conquer Jane.

Power- he thinks he can wield it over her or any woman he wants under him. Just what Matty thinks he can accomplish will surprise the reader. Dreaming of a night with Jane and awakening from this thoughts or actions, Matty gets a chilling awakening as our author creates his own cold twist to this bone -chilling story. What really happens to Matty send a cold freezing pain down your spine. Our main character earns the harsh realties of his actions and thoughts in this great story titled: Love Goddess.

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Just A Little Game
Addictions come in different forms not just from drugs, or alcohol. Adults and kids often get hooked on video games to the point they spend many waking hours and thousands of dollars buying different games, renting them or just trying to defeat the enemies, building up their ability to conquer many levels and become the number one play of every game.

One man’s life would change forever when his wife presents him with a video game system as a present. Sanchez was a hardworking man and devoted husband until he started using the game system as an outlet after work to ward off the days stress. Additions come fast and soon he spent every spare minute playing and replaying these games until mastering them. Renting new ones did not satisfy his thirst and competing against him became dull but satisfying since he never lost.

But, then something changes and his whole outlook switches as his wife begins to take an interest in his hobby and tries her hand at some of the games when she loses her job and becomes bored doing just housework and cooking.

As Theresa begins to become more adept at playing the various games she begins to challenge Sanchez and let the games begin. Competition is great but when Sanchez begins to lose his demeanor and attitude changes and rage sets in. As in our first story, The Elevator, Sanchez goes over the edge as Charlie does and winning and coming out on top becomes more than just an obsession. Losing was not in the cards for him and he would go to any lengths and anyone’s expense to become the ultimate winner. When his wife lorded his successes over him, Sanchez created his own ending to the games. What he does and how he becomes the top player will surprise the reader and make you think twice before challenging him or anyone else. Remember: It’s Just A Game or Is It!

***

Medusa Snow
Snow has many faces and each flake is different. No two snowflakes are the same. From the first flake to the last one that finally disappears snow can do much to ruin your day and in some cases your life. Medusa is one place that is overridden with snow. Poor Lloyd: Feels trapped as if he is in a huge snow bank with no way out. Moody, troubled and feeling alone he befriends a boy named Ritchie. Just moving from New York, Lloyd wishes his parents never left there and they would leave this cold place and never return. But, that was not to be.

Ritchie has a secret that when revealed will change the lives of his family and Lloyd’s too. Bored with his life in Medusa and hoping to find away to amuse himself, Ritchie creates his own special snowman that comes alive, almost like Frosty but with an evil and cold twist. Impossible to say the least but using this snowman like a droid or pet it obeyed his every command except when it didn’t.

Lloyd saw this snowman from his window and began thinking that he imagined it when it disappeared in plain sight. Wanting to confront Ritchie he convinces his distraught parents to go with him to Ritchie’s house. The cold welcome, the frozen chill in the air and what happens will send more than just a frozen chill down your spine as Lloyd and his parents come face to face with Ritchie’s demonic creations.

Holding Lloyd’s parents captive and trying to explain his creation to Lloyd, events happen that cause more than just chaos and fear in the hearts and minds of those present. Two people are killed, I won’t tell you how and one young man tries to get rid of these frozen men with a plan that not only backfires but also blows up in his face.

Lloyd winds responsible for what happens to everyone else. Just how he aimed to melt these frozen men and where he winds up you have to read for yourself. Medusa is one place you do not want to visit and when all things turn white remember Lloyd made turned it hot.

***

Video Tape
One woman misses her late husband. Watching tapes of him taken before his death she feels his presence. Watching them over and over again soothes the pain and reminds her of how much she misses her. Enveloped in the tapes to the point that she becomes obsessed watching them, she notices one that she never knew existed. Where this final tape came from she did not know and the reason for it would become clear as soon as she hits play.

Can someone speak to you from the great beyond and control your next move and decide your life? How weak minded can someone be to fall prey or victim to the words on a tape and carry out the plan that someone supposedly feels right for them? What is on this tape and what this husband requests of his wife you will have to learn for yourself? Would you do the same thing or would you destroy this tape? Read Video Tape: Be careful before you Hit Play. This is no ordinary tape.

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I Work Alone
Losing his job Matt is despondent and upset. Bills piling up and no job offer in the horizon. Going to an agency he is finally offered a job for nine dollars an hour and turns it down. Feeling irate, angry and betrayed by our President and the government he goes on a verbal tirade of his grievances. But watching a documentary would change his viewpoint and his life. U

nderstanding and sympathizing with the plight of many workers in foreign countries, Matt decides to reconsider his options and accepts a job in order to pay his bills. Beginning with the day shift he is quickly moved to nights where things begin to unravel and Matt uses his computer skills and his intuition to get to the bottom of what is really happening at his new job. Hating the nights and feeling both drained and tired, Matt becomes friendly with his partner Hernando that proves to be a mistake.

Hernando seems spooked and is afraid to be alone. Claiming he hears strange voices and Matt relates that to Hernando who discounts what he says. But, when it becomes apparent that something odd is happening there and Hernando spends much of his time asleep, Matt boldly tells his boss that to consider firing his partner and allowing him to work alone.

Earning much more money than he expected and thinking he could handle it on his own, not thinking about Gregg’s warning that many of the people working nights either quit or disappeared, Matt embarks on a campaign to rid himself of Hernando and succeeds. But, was that a good move or does our author once again teach another main character a cruel lesson as Matt beings his solo shift explores the many rooms in the company and begins to hear and see things that frighten him.

Running our in the middle of the night heading for home and then returning, Matt’s fate is now sealed. What happens to him and where he winds up you won’t believe. Working alone: You decide if he made the right decision when you find out his fate. Fear can really play tricks on you: What caused his you have to read for yourself. One wild story with a really big twist.

***

Bitter
Some fairytales have strange endings. A very young child asks her father to tell her a fairytale about a beautiful Princess and Prince. But, the father only wanted to tell his daughter about the grim side of life. Trying to find a happy medium and tell her something on middle ground, he tells her of Beatrice the beautiful princess and Mark who is under a wicked spell and has two sides: One good and the other turns him into a monster.

Beatrice loved her fathers and wanted him to find a way to remove the spell on Mark and make things right. But, what really happens is not what any child would expect or want. This creative author has his own ending that this reviewer will not reveal. Read Bitter and understand that this father’s attitude was marked and filled with resentment and cynicism causing him to expound a tale that no child should hear. Just what happens you need to read this story and find out for yourself.

***

The Joker
Ever play cards or Mah Jong. See the joker card or the tile in the set that has that special joker’s face. Imagine that face coming alive front and center right in your own living room. Your reflection in the mirror of your bathroom or appearing right out of nowhere in a garden and then disappearing. You think you are going crazy or losing your mind but somehow this image is really there and manipulating your every thought and actions.

Screaming at the top of your lungs you alert your wife, landlord and the police that someone has broken into your apartment but when all is said and done and everything is checked they find nothing disturbed, no unlocked windows and no one understands what happens although they believe you. After many incidents occur and your mind seems to have snapped you agree to see someone to discuss what you and others might think are just plain hallucinations or visions. But, that ‘s where it gets interesting.

The Joker appears when you are most vulnerable and as Mike, the poor victim of this horrific figure goes to speak with a doctor trying to solve his problems, the unthinkable happens and events transpire that no one will ever be able to explain. Poor Snickel the doctor will never know what hit him and poor Mike can only contemplate the truth from his padded cell. His fate you can guess for yourself as this final thriller is willed with strange and bizarre events with twists and unexplained occurrences.

Author Miklos Szentmiklosy’s last story leaves us with a laugh that will haunt the reader and certainly the main character wherever he is. This is one Joker you do not want to meet and as you know Jokers can be wild and bring you good luck: Not this one.

Fast paced original stories with unique and twisted endings that the reader will not see coming nor even expect 8 Short is long on suspense, drama, and intrigue and very different from most short story books that I have reviewed. If you are a fan of horror and suspense this is one book that you definitely want to read. Read 8 Short- hear the voices of each main character- all of them are different yet they have one thing in common: All of them are angry, distraught have personal problems that interfere with thinking in a rational way and all of these characters are manipulated by someone else or events that cause their final outcome. Just what their fates might be you need to read this really great debut book by this talented new author. Can’t wait to read his next one.

1 Comment
  1. MR. J says

    I wanna read the Joker.
    vr,
    mrj

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