Detritus: the stuff that we inevitably accumulate. Some of us turn our detritus into our obsessions, into our collections. Most of us have had collections of one sort or the other in our lives, but few have had the strange sort of collections that the characters of the short stories in the new horror anthology Detritus have. The bizarre collections mentioned in these 15 tales range from wads of chewed bubblegum to stuffed animals with lives of their own to the body parts that serial killers collect as trophies to remember their past kills. You can purchase Detritus in paperback form for a mere $13.99 directly from Omnium Gatherum, the publishers of the book, by clicking here, or you can buy it in ebook form for a paltry $2.99 from Amazon; but if you’d first like to learn a bit more about the anthology, read on.
All of the 15 short stories in Detritus are amazing, well-crafted gems of tales about the obsessive nature that often compels people to collect the detritus they like to collect. I won’t get into any great detail about any of the stories, but I’ll mention a handful that stood out for me to give you an idea about the subjects of the tales and to whet your appetites for what lies ahead when you plunk down your cash to purchase this anthology.
The anthology opens up with “Chewed Up,” by the talented author Jeremy C. Shipp. I alluded to this tale earlier; it is the one about a man who collects wads of used chewing gum. It’s the typical story: man collects used gum; has a wife who is sickly and uncommunicative; takes advice from a toy flying unicorn that comes to life; but, finds out too late that covering one’s sickly loved one with used chewing gum can be detrimental to that person’s health. Oh, well–live (or die) and learn, I suppose…I love stories with uplifting morals to them.
Immediately following “Chewed Up,” is “Shots and Cuts,” by Mary Borsellino. It’s about a cop reminiscing about infamous serial killers like one from Ukraine who killed over twenty people. Also, it’s a story about a pair of 14-year-old killers, who brutally attacked a man and killed him on camera, later showing their deeds on YouTube for the world to view. Even the reactions of those who watched it were then filmed and broadcast on YouTube. Kids these days, the youngs rascals, with their torturing, maiming, killing, and collecting trophies! They can be so incorrigible at that age, and so full of murderous curiousity.
The third tale is “Ride,” by Brent Michael Kelley. It’s about a motorcycle riding dude with a heart–actually, twenty-seven of them, which he lovingly cuts out of his still-living victims to honor the memory of his kid bro, who died at the age of twenty-seven. The story reminded me of a song by Talking Heads called “Memories,” and the line: “These memories can’t wait!” What a heart-rending homage to one’s sibling.
I’ll just mention a couple of other tales that are included. I’d like you, dear readers, to have the pleasure of reading & learning aobut these twisted collections and their collectors for yourselves, without too many surprises given away by Yours Truly.
The fifth story is one of my many faves: “Mrs. Grainger’s Animal Emporium.” It’s a shop filled with stuffed animals, skulls, and a skeleton wearing a top hat. There are so many interesting curios in it, that it’s no wonder a mean-spirited kid decides to purloin one of the animals–a stuffed rat–for his very own. But all of those eyes staring at him catch him in the act, and the lady who runs the establishment is not one to let petty thievery go unpunished. It must be nice to have a collection, like this lady does, that works for you, and helps make the size of your collection larger.
Arkitekture, by Michael Colangelo, is the final tale I’ll mention in any degree of in-depthness, though I loved reading all of them. Patterns and dolls are the two collections that play the largest role in this intriguing tale of a Mother who has drifted (avalanched?) into the depths of madness. Or, is it something about the house she lives in the Night House, and the robots within, and the dark, onyx-like ball there that is the cause of her madness? Still, like Jack in The Shining, haven’t we all gone a little crazy sometimes?The Mother of the tale lives in a house that’s just a tad bit too “mysterious and kooky” (to quote The Addams Family theme song) for my liking!
The other short stories that I didn’t discuss are equally marvelous. They are: “The Tick Tock Heart,” by L.S. Murphy; “Candy Lady,” by Neil Davies; “Armoire,” by Louise Bohner; “Shrieking Gauze,” by Edmund Cotell; “The Highest and the Sweetest,” by S.P. Miskowski; “Heroes and Villains,” by Michael Montoure; “Let Them Into Your Heart,” by Lee Widener; “In His Own Graven Image,” by Pete Clark; “Crawling the Insect Life,” by Opal Edgar; and, last but far from least, “The Room Beneath the Stairs,” by Patrick Burke.
There you have it; Detritus is a Must Read collection of horror stories about those people who have…collections. They should perhaps have paid attention to the great Henry David Thoreau’s warning about not allowing your possessions to take control over your life and end up possessing you. But, then, we wouldn’t have this unusual but way cool anthology to read, now would we? Check it out today, horror fans!