If you don’t have a lot of time, but need a quick scare, Tim Curran’s Corpse Rider is a great read and definitely fits into the horror genre. When I first picked this one up, which I received as a gift, I was a little dismayed at its length: a paltry 108 pages total. Given my reading speed, that’s about two hours of my time and I tend to find that short works leave something to be desired by the time I finish them. In this case, Curran stunned me: he not only brings into existence a creature so disturbing as to give me the willies, but also wraps it up beautifully: there is nothing left to wonder after the story has concluded.
Christina is your average woman, nearing the age of thirty with no husband, no children, and a job that, though boring, pays the bills. Her days are spent at work, spending time with her friend and co-worker, Nancy, and visiting her mother’s grave. One day, while at the cemetery paying her respects, Christina decides that to do something good and selfless: clear the neglected grave of a tombstone that clearly hasn’t received any visitors in years. From there, Christina finds herself caught up in a nightmare that she cannot free herself from.
Charles Slick was, in life, an unfortunate man. Doomed to bear his family’s curse, he gained unsavory attention from those around him. As he descended into his own personal madness, things around him began to go wrong, and in the end, he was never given the eternal rest that we are promised.
Curran visits upon Christina horrors of the worst sort: ones that, as a young woman haunted by what her mother wanted for her, succeeded in making my skin crawl. In this short work, Curran has woven the dark history of a family that is so hauntingly detailed that, if he wanted to, he could easily expand it into something much, much longer. In fact, I’d watch a movie based on Corpse Rider. This title is available on Amazon for $2.99, or free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.