Short Stories

Author's note:  In contrast to the Lowell Story trilogy and other novels that are planned, the short stories belong to the "supernatural horror" genre.  They come from a much darker place, and are not intended to express a positive vision of humanity, the future, or anything.   The following are included in the recently released "Tagz and other tales"

   

Tagz
Don't look:  it's for you

Gazing out the window of the Boston commuter train, Penelope Zhu sees things that simply aren't possible.  The graffiti on the walls, dumpsters, freight cars and bridges contain messages.  These are directed specifically at her, and whoever wrote them knows things no one could possibly know.  Day after day, she reads the messages, unaware of the danger she is in.  Who or what could the artist be?  And what do they want from her?

Throwaways
They're the visitors.  You're the exhibit

On the streets of any city, there are those whom most people try to ignore: the poor, the homeless, people damaged in mind and body.  Many of these are not at all what they seem, and for them, the tendency of people to look away serves their purposes very well.  However, a few of them are victims of a different sort, abandoned in a way that onlookers would never guess.

Self Storage
You don't want to know what's in there
Self Storage
You don't want to know what's in there

Uncle Henry's death was not mourned by his family, but it was up to his nephew to settle his affairs.  The storage locker that Uncle Henry left behind was not really his nephew's business. But when his curiosity got the better of him, he found out why his uncle was so hated by those who knew him best.

The Mists of Nantong
What is real?

Alan Whitfield, on a business trip to China, longs for distraction from the pain of a recent personal tragedy.  In the city streets, he is surrounded by sights that belong to a different plane of existence just barely out of reach.  To understand this shadow world, he must confront his most desperate desires and his worst nightmares.

Solitary
The future of law enforcement?

A medieval knight pursues a quest to rid the kingdom of its most dangerous enemy, the Trickster.  At his moment of triumph, he discovers that the Trickster's powers of illusion go deeper than he ever imagined.

The Barrow
The medieval protection racket didn't always go smoothly...
The Barrow
The medieval protection racket didn't always go smoothly...

In many locations throughout Europe it is possible to find ‘barrows’: earthen mounds containing the graves of medieval warriors, buried along with their weapons, their armor, and other treasures.  It is always assumed that this style of burial was a mark of great honor.  But consider another possibility...

The Trunk
Better left alone?

Marty Ellison is cleaning out his family's Newport mansion prior to a sale, when he discovers an old steamer trunk in a hidden section of the attic.  The shocking secret that he finds inside will change everything he knows about his family, and himself.

All In a Day's Work
No time to chat.  Got to move on.

Goss is the only one in his village who realizes that their sun is dying.  On a pilgrimage to beg the Gods for help, he witnesses a process beyond his comprehension.

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