Dark Celebrations #10, #11, #12 – Short Stories – Calvin Demmer
I am beginning to wind down the list of the Dark Celebration short stories by Demmer. As always they are a short and strange snack before bed time.
Prom Screams #10: We will start with the best first. I rather liked this tale and wanted to keep reading. I didn’t love the protagonist, but I seem to have a dislike for most of the male characters Demmer portrays. They all seem like jerks and I often find taking pleasure in their discomfort. This tale was rather compelling and mysterious. I wanted to know more. My only sadness is the abruptness of the ending. I felt like the whole character development of the female companion could have just kept going. Who is she? What is this syndrome? What is her tragedy? Give me a book all about her!
Synopsis: William Carlson has been dumped just before prom. But he has a master plan not only to impress his friends, but also to make his ex jealous. Things take an unexpected turn as soon as he meets Fay, a stripper known for her dance routine that incorporates fire. William has to adjust to a night that continues leading him down a dangerous path, despite his best efforts to correct course.
Making prom becomes the least of his problems.
Unidentified Fatherly Object #11: This was a very odd tale. Kind of came out left field and was rather unexpected. I had a hard time feeling the fear, but I could roll with this tale. Its unnaturalness carried it.
Synopsis: Fred Garcia decides Father’s Day is the perfect time to find out what happened to his father. As he prepares to search the old, abandoned military base where his father used to work, he hopes for clues as to what might have occurred. Lights at the base, however, indicate that it’s not as inactive as suggested. Fred discovers the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is a dark and dangerous operation that cannot be unseen or escaped.
Independence Denied #12: I liked the beginning of this story, but was not so sure about the ending. I needed more content to make it sustainable for me. Overall, a bit anti-climatic feeling. I think my biggest critique is a need to feel more. Perhaps more showing of the emotions would elicit this for me. Still though, I like the uniqueness of each of Demmer’s stories — none two are the same. For a collection of short stories by the same author, he has maintained an individuality for each story that is commendable.
Synopsis: With Independence Day near, Brad Marshall is expecting another routine day at his job as a research assistant. Then he sees a peculiar creature on one of the screens at work. While the rest of the world focuses on a sudden rash of devastating natural disasters, Brad is transfixed by the image he’s seen. He refuses to give up until he knows what it is. The answer he finds, however, will change the world forever.
THE MAN BEHIND THE STORIES
Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery, and speculative fiction author. He has had over thirty stories published in various magazines and anthologies. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.
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*I received a free copy of each story in exchange for an honest review