Short Story Sunday for RIP IV is playing double duty this week! I'm finally reviewing a whole book of short stories. I seem to be ripping through shortish children's and adolescent novels at the moment, and this one was the perfect addition to my RIP reading after yesterday's Pretty Dead.
Half-Minute Horrors is a collection of super-short stories edited by Susan Rich. Some of the authors included in the collection: Lemony Snicket, Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Michael Connolly, Brian Selznick, and a bunch of other FABULOUS ones. There are some poems and some illustrated shorts but for the most part these run between a page and a page and a half. I expected this to be a largely "cutesy" collection of kiddie stories, but some of them were genuinely troubling and EEEWWWy.
One story in particular is about a babysitter who arrives and never hears a peep out of his charge. He talks on the phone with friends, eats some lasagna the parents left in the microwave, and thinks it odd but WONDERFUL that the baby he's taking care of never utters a sound. When the parents arrive home he's surprised when they reveal that the baby was bad...very bad....before he arrived, and he was the perfect person on whom to pin the murder. And how was that tasty lasagna??
EEWWW!!! See, stuff like that. There are ghosts and evil children, disembodied fingers, snatchers from under the bed, and more sinister troubling things like body-snatched parents, psycho killers, eery telephone voices, and walking nightmares.
In all there, were probably 30+ stories, and they were almost all delightful. I can hear Rocketgirl reading some of the stories to Rocketboy in the living room as I type, so I'm not about to go snatch it away from them to look at the specifics, but take my word...it's fun! A lot of Halloween delightfulness and wicked weirdness. I was thoroughly impressed that such teensy stories could pack such a punch.