From Their Cradle to Your Grave
is now available on Amazon.com
! This includes my reprinted short story, "The Perfect Costume." This horror anthology is all about tales of terrifying tots, toddlers through teenagers. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but doesn't that sound like a great gift for the new parents in your life?
Marc likes vampires. A lot. One Halloween, he thinks he's found them. That's when everything starts to go bad....
This Halloween her son was ten--almost eleven--years old. She planned to make sure that Marc had a truly wonderful Halloween before he was too old to fully enjoy it. Although all the other years he had made do with a costume bought second-hand from Salvation Army, or from the half-price rack at Wal-Mart, this year she wanted to make him the perfect costume. This year, he would have a perfect Halloween.
She was disappointed that Marc didn't want a Halloween party for his friends. She wasn't aware that he had no friends, that he sat in the classroom isolated from all the friendly conversation and joking that surrounded him, that during lunch he sat alone and read one of the vampire novels he had smuggled out of the library when his mother was looking the other way. She didn't approve of young children (as she thought of Marc) reading dark stories like that. When he was little, she read him only the sanitized Disney fairy tales.
Marc didn't like them. He didn't like any fairy tales until he discovered an old version of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales. He much preferred "Cinderella" when the evil stepsisters sawed off their toes and heels with a knife in an effort to fit into the glass slipper, when they were forced to dance in red-hot iron shoes at Cinderella's wedding. He laughed when he read "The Three Little Pigs" and found that the first two pigs didn't escape their substandard homes but got eaten by the big, bad wolf. He approved when the wolf got boiled to death by the last pig, instead of making friends with it. Although Marc thought "The Little Mermaid" was still a sissies' story, he liked it much better after he read the version where the mermaid felt like she was walking on sharp knives the whole time she was human, and where she died in the end. It felt right. His favorite fairy story of all was called "The Goosegirl," and he loved it because of its bloody, lyrical beauty.