Title: Wick’s End
Author: Joanna Parypinski
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Horror, Tricksters
Dates read: 17th November 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: His soul was turned away from the light, and turned away, of course, from that seething pit of terror known as hell, as the devil kept his promise.
A trade-off of horror stories late on All Hallows Eve. Each one scarier than the last. Each with their own, hidden message.
There is something that is just so… recognisable about telling ghost stories. It doesn’t matter what age or setting, telling tales that are sure to freak out your friends, peers and family is just… well, fun. Which of course meant that there had to be an exchange of ghost stories in a collection of Halloween tales. The fact that it’s an exchange of steadily creepier stories in a bar in the middle of nowhere… well, that had me grinning and clapping my hands like a little ninny.
This is a bit of a trickster tale. After all, the trickster is constantly outwitting and outmanoeuvring his enemies. And often times they are far more powerful than him. Which is what the man in this tale does… but with the devil. And yet, you know, since it’s the devil… that there will be some form of comeuppance at the end. The devil really doesn’t like to be bested, so he’s going to find a way to get his revenge… which creates an amazing cat and mouse story that I’m really disappointed ended so quickly. I mean, I would have loved to continue the cat and mouse game a little longer!
I’ve never understood what is so “cool” about Jack O’Lanterns. Or however you spell it… they’ve always seemed creepy. And I’ve watched rom coms which feature their carving as some romantic moment… ummmm. No thank you! This is a bit of a Jack O’Lantern origins story. One which far better suits my freaked out opinion on them than anything else I’ve read or seen in a long time… they are not cute and cuddly!