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Four dark nights

by Bentley Little;

  Print book : Fiction

Selected story summaries   (2018-10-26)


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by billborre

"Pyre" by Christopher Golden - Samantha and Brian experience a paranormal event from an altar on Monument Island when they're teenagers. One of their friends, Tim, plays the dead person in a game of "Light As A Feather" and Tim stops breathing as another friend performs CPR. Both Sam and Brian see three women draped in red with flames extending from their palms hovering over the waves as an aura displays over the alter where Vikings were supposed to be pyres for their dead. Tim begins breathing again and when Sam and Brian look back the women are gone. Five years later Sam is bitter at her father's aloofness when he dies and she gets Brian to help her dig up the grave and take the father's corpse to Monument Island so she can burn it on the altar and ask the dead man's spirit why he didn't love her. After the corpse is burned an aura appears above the altar and Viking revenants emerge. Brian is decapitated and Sam is nearly killed but her father saves her from the other revenants. The father revenant tells her that she's grown up as selfish as he and hurls her into the ocean where she swims to shore.

"Words" by Douglas Clegg - Dash joins an old god worshiping cult and brings his friend Mark into a ritual occurring on the shortest night of the year to intone the names of the old gods and be possessed by them. Before Dash recites the names he tells Mark words that can send the god back to the Nowhere if things get out of hand but Mark forgets the words. The cultists do not possess the entire name as a precaution but once heard the names cannot be forgotten. Dash recites the name and devours two teenagers Danny and Michelle that had been getting a ride with Dash and Mark to a party at Rachel's house. Mark is horrified at what Dash has become and the terrible fate which befell Danny and Michelle but when Dash begins the first part of the god names Mark is unable to resist supplying the second half of the name and his flesh is taken over by another old god. The two of them make their way to Rachel's party and assault the teenagers.


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