Title: Miss Ill-Kept Runt
Author: Glen Hirshberg
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Family, Horror
Dates read: 19th May 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Toward the red and beating thing.
Chloe doesn’t understand why all of her family has changed. Maybe it IS just the move… or is it something far, far darker?
This was seriously dark and twisty. At first, I kind of thought that Chloe was being stolen by body snatchers. And, since the whole story is written in her very innocent voice, that was even more tragic than it would normally be. Mostly though, it is the idea of a young girl who is supposed to be surrounded by a loving family… not being surrounded by love. And then you find the twist.
You get this idea throughout that the older brother was somehow close to dying when they were young or a baby. That his very nickname of Miracle has a whole slew of meanings. Not necessarily happy, positive meanings either. The idea of any child being referred to as a miracle kind of makes me a little squirly inside.
This is one of those stories that once you turn that final page you just want to grab your loved ones close. There is such an open ended, chilling ending to this that is just downright uncomfortable. Which of course is why it takes centre stage in this collection.