Dark Reunion contains twenty short stories that range from the paranormal to the poignant. Humour, horror, cunning, malice and forgiveness weave their various strands through these original plots. Individuals are faced with a variety of dilemmas, the outcomes of which reveals their true characters. There is compassion and there is revenge: paranoia and reconciliation.
Dark Reunion is a compilation of all my short stories that first appeared in Roadkill: Four Nasty Stories, Gifts: Four Poignant Stories, Twisted: Four Paranormal Stories, Quirks: Four Humorous Stories and Fey: Four Fantastic Stories. From old ladies wreaking havoc on the high seas in The Penshioner Pirates of Marine Parade, to the problems of bringing up a young dragon in Educating Puff, or the musings of an old man as he sits and knits in Three-Ply Fantasy Special, each story presents a difficult dilemma that the individual has to tackle. Most of them succeed, but not all of them. Sometimes, I mix the paranormal with the everyday, and sometimes there is horror. Often, there is humour. (-synopsis)
This collection of short stories ranges from dark and scary to paranormal and humorous. Each one tells a quick story about a main character with some very surprising outcomes. While some of the stories come to a final ending, others left me wondering and wanting more. There were so many memorable characters in the cast of short stories.
Without giving away too many of the stories I want to talk about my three favorite short stories in this book. The Penshioner Pirates of Marine Parade seems to take place in a dystopian future. The leader of a town is encouraging the younger members to board a large ship to dispose of their elderly relatives who are nothing but a burden of time and money on both their family and their hometown. When the leader prepares to board the ship he's in for quite a surprise as two of the town's elderly women, dressed up like pirates, attack his ship. What happens next is both funny and thrilling. The ending had my emotions in a jumble as I wanted to stand up cheer but it was bittersweet as well.
The next story that grabbed my attention was Two Blue Doors. A man goes to see his his aunt's whom he has not seen in years. He was here when he was a child and when his mother left this house she was never the same. Years later he is at the house again trying to find out what the aunt's said or what they did to make his mother turn to the bottle. But what he finds is nothing that he expected. His aunt's are not as they seem and a dark secret lies in the dark of their bedroom. However, the man is not who he seems either. The story ends with the man in a confused daze not really knowing what happened. While the reader knows something happened in the house, they aren't sure of exactly what it was. I thought about this one long after I had finished reading.
Finally the story that the book is named after, Dark Reunion. An old man stumbles down the street drunk and unsteady. He falls to the ground and when he looks up he sees the face of the woman he loved thirty-five years ago. He knew she'd be there. Why did she have to push him? She should understand he had to do what he did. But the question is, will he understand why she does what she ends up doing? This story left me with a creepy chill going up my spine.
All of the stories in this collection kept me entertained and wanting to read more. They are short enough that I could pick the book up and read one or two in between tasks. They kept me intrigued and a few of them I couldn't quite stop thinking about because the ending left me wanting more. If you are a fan of the paranormal, unusual, or horror, this collection of short stories is something you need on your shelf!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
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