Title: Black Train
Author: Jeff Mariotte
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Weird western, Wild west, Zombies
Dates read: 10th November 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
5th sentence, 74th page: “Believe me, I would love to oblige, sir,” the man said.
Two men are in love with the same woman, and on a hunting trip. What you think is going to go wrong gets slightly derailed when they stumble across a black train and a plot to destroy.
I really enjoyed this mould-driven short story. After all, mould is actually kind of a scary and insidious thing if you really think about it. So using it as a biological weapon and scary object in this short story was brilliant. And made me want to scrub every inch of my house to make sure that there wasn’t any zombie mould anywhere…
I found Evan and Charlie to be a very interesting team. They are so unalike, yet so similar at the same time. A great little juxtaposition that drew me in. Plus, from the beginning it’s obvious that they really don’t like one another. Though the depths of this dislike are only slowly unveiled. Yet another aspect of this story that I quite enjoyed – not everything was spelt out and indicated from the very beginning, but it is slowly revealed.
As with many short stories that I love, this tale ends with a very open-ended feeling. It highlights the dangers of such a weapon. And, just generally left me with a goosebump feeling. And some serious awkwardness.