Mike Thorn’s pair of stories, Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation, served as my introduction to Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks series. Although the two stories featured contain different characters and situations, there are some overlapping themes including the supernatural and unresolved family conflict.
Dreams of Lake Drukka follows the journey of two sisters traveling to the lake where their mother drowned. As they travel, there is tension and conflict as we learn a bit more about the reason for their journey. Once the sisters get to the title lake, the story throws any sense of subtlety out the window and things get a bit grim. The ending to this story almost seemed a bit rushed, but I did like the dynamic it conveyed.
Exhumation follows a man, Abel, attending his cousin’s funeral. The first part of the story hints more at psychological and tense horror as a man Abel doesn’t know hints at events that the two of them, as well as the deceased, participated in when they were younger. Abel begins to have flashes and then, like Lake Drukka, we are catapulted into the action of the story. The vivid descriptions of one of the characters in this story just might give you a little trouble falling asleep at night, and Thorn crafts an ending we’re not going to forget.
The two stories here, along with word of mouth regarding Mike Thorn’s other book – Darkest Hours, will have me keeping an eye out for what comes from this author in the future. Both stories in this collection are worth checking out and are available on September 27th.