Out next Wednesday is a digital one-shot anthology collecting three spooky tales written by Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells) and atmospherically illustrated by Varga Tomi.
The high point of Ghastly Tales is the first story, “Koi”. Set in ancient Japan, it’s about love gone wrong and revenge with a twist. The art is wonderfully atmospheric, and although at core a horror story, it’s more in the mind than on the page (although there is some blood). It’s mostly narrated, poetically, adding to the mood and historical feeling. Fans of Bennett’s Insexts may particularly appreciate it.
“In the Night, Mountains Grew” first appeared in the Broken Frontier Anthology. It’s more of a mood piece than a story, about an Alaskan ranger who desires to see something new. “Be careful what you wish for” is common advice in these kinds of stories, but in this case, the punishment seems out of proportion — I didn’t consider the ranger’s wish to be deserving of the results.
The last item, “Cider”, is a short gangster story (five pages) set in 1930 Appalachia, involving bootlegging and family. Compared to the other two, it’s predictable and familiar. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)