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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Red Barn by October Weeks

The Red Barn by October Weeks
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (12 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When a ghost reaches her limit with an unwanted guest, there's no telling what Hell will arise.

I have escaped my afterlife for over two centuries; locking my spirit into the old red barn. There have been many owners since my death, but none have ever given me as much strength and feeling as the new male owner does. There’s just one problem; his wife.

She sickens me, and I can no longer take her presence in my barn. She comes and takes my personal belongings- to sell.

She is unbearable to me- one of us has to go. And it sure as hell isn’t going to be me.

A bump in the night. Inanimate objects that suddenly move around. A cold spot in an otherwise warm, well-insulated room. We all know the signs of a haunted building but have you ever wondered what it’s like be on the other side of it?

After the narrator dies, the life she left behind melts into the background of her mind like bare tree limbs on a foggy autumn morning. Her memories of the time before are so dim that the reader never even learns her name. Only her white hot anger remains.

It was novel to to experience the elements of a traditional haunting from the perspective of the ghost. I’d always assumed that spirits know about the havoc they’re wreaking and are in full control of when and how they influence the living. Adding this twist reminded me of some of my favourite nineteenth and twentieth century gothic novels.

I would have liked to see some sort of explanation for certain choices the narrator made before her death. We’re shown what she did without being given any reasons for why these events occur. While I understand the need to keep exposition brief in a tale of this length I think the plot would have flowed more smoothly if the readers had access to some additional information about this character.

The Red Barn is one of the most chilling stories I’ve read in 2012. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good ghost story. Curl up on a cold, rainy night with a warm cup of cocoa and prepare for a wild ride!

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