This is my first collection of horror stories. Actually, it’s really my first ever horror novel. So reading this has been a very interesting journey. One that I was surprised to enjoy so much. And, although I didn’t really read any of these stories late at night, I also didn’t get any horrifying nightmares from the tales either. Unlike some of the crime, mystery and thriller novels that I’ve read.
This final story in the Black Feathers collection gave me a very uncomfortable feeling. It was a good story to end on, but it was definitely one that made me seriously uncomfortable. It had that open-ended finale that makes you think that the spawn of crows will continue off into the sunset without anyone to stop them.
I’ve never done acid. But I imagine that the tripped out experience is a lot like this story. Incredibly confusing, unreal and tangentially jumpy. With lots and lots of long, run on sentences.
This made me so damn uncomfortable that I just wanted to put the whole book down. Multiple times. Possibly set it on fire. And the reason that it made me so uncomfortable? It wasn’t fantasy. It wasn’t some far off time. It wasn’t something that I couldn’t quite conceive of. It was about men who take a twisted view on romance and attack us. It is something that happens to everyone. At any time. And it is so damn uncomfortable that I honestly don’t have the words for it. Disgustingly uncomfortable is the closest I can come.
I have a bit of an obsession with stories about death. Especially ones which personify the collectors of souls which are ready to pass on. There is just something about them that sits so… right with me. Which meant that from the beginning of this story, I was finding it thoroughly enjoyable. If not a little bit odd – after all, I normally tend towards the urban and paranormal fantasy retellings of death, not the horror ones…
This was a bit of a harder tale to follow than some others. It was kind of jumpy and a little hard to follow. I’m not even 100% sure I understood what was actually going on… I think this was a tale about the five different known victims of Jack the Ripper. Their experiences and the huge gaps in our knowledge of their lives beforehand. The reasons for their murders… and if I’m right, this was actually kind of well done. Leaving me feeling quite confused and as though there is so much more information out there… which is exactly what people who are fascinated by Jack the Ripper feel (I would imagine).
This story made me think of anorexia and other eating disorders. Although the storyline features Isobel Avens trying to turn into a bird, her constant weight loss and wish to be something else has serious echoes of an eating disorder. It made me incredibly uncomfortable reading this too, especially since I know a lot of women who have suffered with such horrible body issues…
I’m a big believer in the idea that things that we do in an area leave residual energy. It’s why if I’m ever sick or have bad mental health moments, I don’t rewear those clothes until they have been thoroughly washed. I don’t want the residues to continue hanging around my body. So it makes total sense to me that there is a story which focuses on the residual energies of Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel. And just how dangerous this can be to those who seek it out.
There are some short stories that tell a tale, start at the beginning and end at the end. Then there are short stories like this one. They are so open ended you’re not sure if you’ve missed something. So different and convoluted that no matter how many times I read it, I won’t feel like I have accessed all of the information.
This was a haunting story from the very outset. But, honestly, it wasn’t until the story started to unfold that I truly started to get goosebumps. And feel uncomfortable. This is a very different and… well, haunting tale that I don’t think will be leaving me for a very long time.