Killers, Reindeer, and Zombies; oh my!

I truly hope you all had a terrific Christmas! In spirit of the holiday, I spent my day reading a few of the awesome Rebecca Senese’s short stories. Since I discovered her story Writer’s Block, I have adored her writing. Here I’ll be reviewing three of her short stories that, in one way or another, have to do with Christmas!

 

HE KNOWS

Randy, a rather quiet resident of an insane asylum, finds himself falling down, down, down into his annual fear. With the recently fallen first snow of winter, he knows that the man in red will be visiting very soon. This same man who terrorised Randy throughout his entire childhood, teenage years, all the way into adulthood; this same man who took his mother away.

He knows…

One night, Randy sees the man in red across the street from the asylum and knows that he must block the only entrance for any hope of defending himself.

The question is, can he block the entrance in time, or is the man in red already inside?

I like this story a lot! It is indeed a short story, for those who don’t know. I will admit that I wasn’t entirely convinced by Randy’s fear, though I definitely sensed it at a lesser level. Looking back, I think it may play off the ending in a way.. Perhaps he knew, in a way—Oops! Can’t go any farther than that without giving it away!

I think Senese did a wonderful job building up the characters, especially Randy. I definitely came to care for him within the little time I had with him.

In regards to detail, it is fair. When enough detail was given, I could see it inside my head vividly. Senese certainly has a way with words.

The ending… I wondered about this! I don’t think it’s too predictable, really, it’s just something I considered as I was trying to decipher the riddle of the man in red.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable short and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of tension on/after Christmas!

I give He Knows four and a half stars! :3

BILLY AND THE REINDEER

Let me start by saying that I give this story five stars. I don’t recall where or even when, but I’m certain that I have read BatR at least once before… It’s memorable enough that, as I began reading it this time, the events played out in my head before, under normal circumstances, I could not possibly know what was going to happen.

The detail in BatR is wonderful, it makes me think of Writer’s Block in that way! I could truly go on and on about how much I love this..

The characters..even those who had maybe a paragraph’s appearance, I felt something for.

Again, if you’re looking to add a bit of tension to the party, I’d recommend this story, as well. With this one, though, there’s something that will nag at you long after you’ve reached the end, something that will make you think. BatR definitely plays by the warning of caution over what you desire!

 

A VERY ZOMBIE CHRISTMAS

I can’t really say much about this story, either, except that I’m disappointed…

From a genius like Rebecca M. Senese, I was truly expecting a wonderful, horrific zombie story. I received, however, a mildly entertaining tale of…well, truth be told, I’m sure what to call it. It’s a story, yes, but I think the only thing that I took away from it, the only thing I remember now, not even two hours later, is that the zombies in this remind me of what it can be like in the stores when I’m trying to shop for Christmas presents.

One of the security guards, Bill, even mentions that the shoppers are definitely zombie-like. Perhaps this should be looked at more as a symbolic story in reflection to our own holiday season. Looking at it in that way, I definitely rate it four stars.

Viewing it as a true zombie story, however, I cannot give it more than three stars. When I was about 25% through, I recommended it to my best friend, who is the biggest zombie fanatic you’ll ever meet. However, by the end, I texted her again and, after explaining my view, questioned if she’d still like to read it.

I think it’s a decent story, writing style is good, description is fair, I didn’t really care for the characters as much, truth be. When I looked at it as a symbol to our own activities during holiday shopping, I felt much more satisfied.

Well, happy Christmas to those who’ve not passed the 25th yet, and I hope you’ll consider Rebecca M. Senese if you’ve not done so before.

Cate

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