I have a scary good short story to share with you today.
Beneath, an Edritch City Short, by Robin Heggelund Hansen.
Come on in and enjoy my review.
There’s a glimpse inside the book.
Check out the awesome graphic cover art.
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Eldritch City Shorts
Robin Heggelund Hansen
Date of Publication: March 21st, 2015
Number of pages: 15 / Word Count: 5100
This was a really quick read but so much fun.
I’m always amazed when a short story has so much going on.
The city of Eldritch has an atmosphere about it. Like a pall that is felt strongly by newcomers while residents have become accustomed to it. It sticks to you like humidity on a hot sultry day.
A stranger enters the police station, exhibiting all of the signs of the Eldritch City air. He looks uncomfortable in his own skin. Deputy Swanson came from the Heartbrook Sheriff’s Office to see the officer who handled an old murder case.
The case involves the murders of Mr. Phillips and his daughter nine years ago. The suspect list is small. Just the surviving wife and young son. But the deaths were so bizarre. The corpses looked like they’d been chewed on and the case remained open.
The widows account of a strange creature bursting from the ground and killing her family leaves the investigating officer skeptical but the case haunts him.
I was skeptical myself as to whether there really was a monster. But then how do you explain the signs of chewing? And that the wife and son told the same story?
A new light is shone on the old case when the widow, released after nine years in a sanitarium, commits suicide and her son, the other survivor, disappears after having visited her.
The two officers return to the crime scene and that’s where the truth reveals itself.
Of course they venture out there at night. It wouldn’t be right if they went out there during the day.
I liked how the author gave the town an oppressing atmosphere. It lent to the eeriness of the events and built on the suspense.
Character development was good too. Even with the main character and narrator never revealing his name, I could almost picture what he looked like and while I didn’t hear from some of the others, their stories made them come to life.
There is another short story in this series and more to come. If I’m not mistaken, they are all stand alone and can be read in any order. Not sure, but that’s how it sounds to me. I’d like to read all of them.
The plot is somewhat predictable and not super scary, but I love these types of stories and my imagination ran wild. Another thing, the cover art graphics are awesome.
Nine years have passed since the tragic and mysterious deaths of Mr. Phillips and his daughter.
A new clue surfaces, one which the lead investigator will follow to the brink of insanity.
Available at Amazon
To whoever reads this: I feel that I must apologize if what you find on these pieces of paper appears to be nothing more than a collection of near-indecipherable words. I can assure you that I have tried everything I can think of, and yet I cannot keep my hands from trembling. This, however, is only a symptom of my much greater problems.
I cannot eat, or sleep, or even close my eyes for longer than the briefest of moments. I feel as if I’m about to lose my mind, but I’m clear enough to realize that I have to get this story off my chest, before it consumes whatever sanity I have left. Unfortunately, the only recipient I can trust with a story as bizarre and horrible as this are the same pieces of paper upon which these words are written.
For officers of the Eldritch City Police Department, no two days are alike. Even with this in mind, yesterday morning would still single itself out as peculiar. As I entered the precinct to begin my shift, I met a man who I realized was from out of town. It was clear that he was uncomfortable since he was constantly scratching his arm and shifting his gaze. It was as if he was trying to view the entire room at once.
There are many things that can be said of Eldritch City, but the one thing people always remember is the air. It’s not that it has a particular smell, but it has a way of sticking to your skin, like wet clothes on a rainy day. Us locals usually say that it is due to the humidity that comes with being in a warm coastal city, but humid air does not leave you with a feeling of being watched, or that something terrible is about to happen. Given time, one learns to hide this discomfort. People from out of town, however, usually haven’t learnt the knack.
The man introduced himself as Deputy Swanson of the Heartbrook Sheriff’s office. Upon learning my name, he raised his eyebrows in surprise. “It would seem I am in luck,” he said. “It is in fact you that I have come here to see.”
Before continuing the conversation, I invited Swanson back to my desk — I have yet to earn my own office — and offered him a choice of coffee or tea, of which he chose the latter. When we were both sitting comfortably, I asked what had brought him all the way here from Heartbrook. To this he responded by handing me a newspaper article, dating back nine years. The article was an interview with a younger me regarding a murder case out by Mirkwood. I knew the article well, not just because I was the subject of the interview, but also because the case in question had been troubling me ever since I had been assigned to it.
Nine years earlier, for their summer-break, the Phillips family had gone out to their newly built cabin in Mirkwood, on the outskirts of the city. Only a day into their vacation, Mr. Phillips and his daughter, Julia, were brutally murdered. Their bodies had been mutilated to the point of being barely recognizable — large portions of flesh were missing. It was almost as if something had fed on them. The coroner couldn’t rule out an animal attack, but thought it unlikely since the wounds were inconsistent with the bite of any species known to be living in Mirkwood.
About the Author:
Robin was born on a cold winter night in Oslo, Norway, 1989. Growing up, he was always fond of telling stories, leading people to wonder when, not if, he would move on to writing stories of his own. Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, he wrote his first short story, ‘Beneath’, in 2015.