Smashing Saturday Shorts (2)

They Don’t Exist, by J R Leckman

Summary: A young woman laughs it off when she’s informed the room she’s staying in for the night is haunted, because ghosts don’t exist. Or do they?

Thoughts: From reading the first few paragraphs of this story, I could see that the author clearly has talent. The writing is smooth, easy to follow, throws in those little quirky details that makes everything seem real and thus more interesting to the reader. My first impression is that I would read a full-length novel written by this person, if this is the way they always write.

On the other hand, while this story had superb detail, it lacked originality. Someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts goes to a supposedly-haunted place and experiences strange events, almost starts believing in ghosts, but then in the end it turns out to be a very human and very alive psycho killer. This could have been the premise for any number of 90s teen horror flicks.

Interesting slight twist to the ending, though. The “haunting” wasn’t caused by a ghost, but the murdered woman’s spirit lingers on. That bit, so short on words, did a lot to redeem the rather tired idea behind the story. It isn’t much more original, but it certainly was interesting.

In the end, I stand by my original impression; I’d read a full-length novel by this author, and I’d probably enjoy every moment of it, too.

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