22. Scare Care – Graham Masterton, ed.
Graham Masterton, master of the vulgar description, is responsible for this short story collection. He established the “Scare Care Trust, a charity set up to fund organizations that help abused and endangered children” get access to vulgar descriptions. Not really. It’s a nice thing from the 1980s. I didn’t research whether or not the trust is still in operation because I am apparently heartless when it comes to endangered 1980s children. Sorry. I watched several of those farm accident videos. Desensitized. Never rest!
Baby Finny also doesn’t care about endangered 1980s children. He is not sorry. He didn’t even watch Apaches (Thank you, Grady Hendrix, for introducing me to Apaches, my mom has the silverware they’re setting the table for the “party” with).
Anyway, all the stories were donated and I shan’t go in to all 38 of them, but here are some of the ones that struck me in particular.
Kit Reed – “Mommy” – This story is based around the question: “Where did the hundred pounds she lost go?” Kit Reed is one author I will always read. She really is a master of feminist horror. Also, she validates many of my lifestyle choices as non-horrific, despite what others might say.
James Robert Smith – “Things Not Seen” – One of the more affecting stories, super short, super impact. “Do you think they’ll like Sonny?”
Ozma likes Baby Finny. She likes not-baby Finny now too.
James Herbert – “Breakfast” – Excellent, another short punch about a woman and her family in the post-apocalypse. Images that really get into your head. Very sticky.
C. Dean Anderson – “Night Watch” – This begins with a killer squirrel. We like that around here .
Jeff Gelb – “Family Man” – A nice little take about accidentally getting a nice ghost family when you buy a new house.
Baby Finny wants a ghost family. He’s not getting one.
Gile Gordon – “A Towpath Tale” – This was one of the more disturbing things I’ve read about a man and his bitch.
Brian Lumley – “David’s Worm” – Don’t let kids go into the garbage at your lab or they’ll become one with an amorphous blob they grew. He named it “Planny.” You can’t give things names or they’ll never go away. Think of Mr. Peppy on Futurama and always remember that lesson from Hermes.
Graham Masterton – “Changeling” – This reminded me of that Angel episode that introduced me to VAST. Gender-swapping as STD is a bit more disturbing, also, now I realize that It Follows owes a heavy debt to Angel’s first season.
Non-baby Finny is still not sorry. But he is interested in more horror-focused short story collections from the 1980s.