Alright folks, we are back once again to discuss, review and recommend 3 selections of mine from the eclectic world of Online-Horror! As always I do my best to curate truly deserving tales of terror ranging the well-known to the unsung. So please – sit back and try your best to relax as we delve through a triple serving of the freshest internet horror fiction I could find this week!
Annie96 Is Typing…
Written by Pascal Chatterjee
It is often said that art imitates life. In the case of Annie96 Is Typing… it can also be said that art imitates platform. As a writer myself I always preach that reader immersion is the greatest goal of literature – and I can think of few better examples of this than a story written online, intended for an online audience, that also is set to a plot that unfolds completely online. That is exactly what you’ll get when you sit down to read Annie96.
The story is executed via a text conversation between two characters identified by their online handles as Mcdavey and Annie96. The tone and dialogue paints a simple yet incredibly relatable scene of two friends chatting online. At first the conversation is innocuous babble not uncommon in most of our lives. A quick yet hauntingly brilliant mention of the weather is tossed in to shift the reader away from the mundane chatter – serving as both a plot device as well as catalyst point. From that point on, what began as typical behavior and responses becomes something else entirely. A fast paced reality warp follows – expertly ripping the reader from the comforts of familiar narrative into a much darker realm where there is no steady ground for even the most intrepid horror fan to find footing.
As I pointed out at the start, what makes this story work so well for me is that it is using the very platform that supports it as the plot setting and element of device. The process by which the action is carried out – a text application – is such a common and mundane narrative in the reader’s life that this story requires no exposition and the writer is talented enough to realize that. No time is wasted, either the reader or writer’s, in diving directly into the heart of the horrifying core theme. And while I am admittedly not a fan of ambiguous endings; in the case of Annie96, it ending is completely appropriate for the subject matter at hand, landing center mass upon the cravings of any horror aficionado.
My Coworker Showed Up For His Opening Shift, The Day After His Funeral
Written by Thomas J. Sotvedt
Less is more. At least that’s how the saying goes. In the case of My Coworker Showed Up – that saying rings true! At first glance this story seems to give itself away in the title alone. Borrowing from a style seen often on Reddit’s NoSleep Forum, this story succeeds in producing the right amount of chillingly styled prose and exposition, coupled with a brilliantly detailed use of environmental description and expertly written atmospheric elements that this short yet satisfying tale goes far beyond what one would glimpse from even its plot specific title.
This story is told from the perspective of a security guard working at some sort of foundry or warehouse during the Christmas Season. His two compatriots, Miguel and Jake are also guards at this location, who over time develop a close friendship that includes hanging out off the clock, going for beers and other activities enjoyed among good friends. All is well until the inevitable fate handily stated in the title begins to come into its arc. One night Jake is rushed to the hospital due to chest pains. His friends believe that due to his youth and perceived good health that he’ll make a recovery – however they soon learn that his condition (which is never fully explained) turned fatal. Jake is laid to rest shortly after. The author does a very good job of detailing the wake and funeral to ensure the reader understands that Jake is indeed dead. Or so it would seem.
As I said before, the title here does indeed outline the events of the story – so what happens next is fairly obvious. The way it’s executed however what sets this story apart from is the many similarly styled titled tales and creates a truly gripping and unnerving conclusion. Less is indeed more here. Don’t miss out on this short yet tight little telling of a twisted take on friendship, fondness, farewells, and perhaps most terrifying of all – being reunited in all the wrong ways.
I’m Never Shooting Another Snuff Film
Written by The Odd Cat Lady
You might think from the title that the challenge with this story was in reading it or comprehending its qualities. That would in fact be false. The challenge for me might be in reviewing this story in such a way that can be objective yet informative while remaining faithful to the risqué subject matter. Yes, this story is about pornography, and yes it is about snuff porn, the often rumored – never confirmed emperor of dark carnal pursuits – yet this story still remains an extremely functional and well executed journey through prose and exposition. Gore is present but in such a tale that is to be expected. However the gore is used sparingly to the point of surprise and when it is used in larger doses it is not simply for effect but rather for intent. It trust me when I say it works well to deliver a twist (and twisted) ending that will give even the most stoic of readers a shiver for reasons you will not see coming.
Another Snuff Film is told from the point-of-view of a young filmmaker named Frank who stumbled into the world of fetish pornography on his way to the stardom. He became well-known for BDSM styled scenes. Frank’s talent caught the attention of a shady character known only as Noel, who approaches our questionable protagonist with offers of big money and big notoriety if he would be willing to bend a few moral bars and ignore a lot of legal ones to shoot a few hardcore pornos. Frank agrees but enters into this arrangement with a large grain of speculation and concern. He soon learns why Noel pays so well for his services. He continues to produce the snuff films for Noel though until the day he encounters a bubbly blonde who wants to be an actress – but proves to be a lot more. Whatever you might be expecting during this story is not what you’ll find at the end.
As I stated and reiterated ad nauseam here is just how well the author executed (no pun intended) the build-up and flow of this story in contrast to the ending. So don’t miss out – turn down the lights and give this a read – you can even enjoy it without turning your browser to incognito mode.