First, I must use this opportunity to encourage horror fans that if they are only digesting their horror fiction through the traditional method of the written word, I strongly recommend integrating some audio into your diet.
This is only my third PseudoPod episode but already I can feel my appetite for more grow stronger every day.
“Take A Walk In The Night, My Love” by Damien Angelica Walters is a whole meal. Immediately after savoring the thought and care that Walters put into preparing this feast for your horror soul, your mind will continue to lap at the lingering morsels.
It’s proving to be somewhat of a challenge to share my full experience because this is one of those stories where all of the discoveries need to be preserved and not spoiled. So I’ll start with what I can freely exchange: The moment the narrator, Justine Eyre, began speaking — I felt my shoulders fall. I exhaled. There’s something so dreamily intimate and almost hypnotic about her voice. She has a nuanced way of ending her sentences that captured my attention and later, my affection. I’ll be looking for more stories that she has narrated.
This is at first, about a married couple. Walters shows her audience the simple, habitual ways that people in longtime, committed relationships show love and care in even the most mundane situations. A woman wakes up and is startled by the discovery of dirt in the bed; on the sheets. She tells her husband.
There are soothing words, raw emotions, vulnerability, and deep concern. It’s amazing to me how Walters was able to rely on how readers would respond to what she was presenting to us through her character’s interactions. This proves incredible insight into the way people make judgements because later in the story, Walters uses this information in another way; against us.
As the tale unfolds, I was convinced I knew what was happening. And you will too. Authors almost always leave breadcrumbs and smoking guns for us to find, this is not unusual and seasoned readers know to look for them and form opinions about where things are headed. Walters counts on it. For me to expand on why this is so important would be to diminish that reader’s discovery I’ve been so careful to protect. So I can’t say anything more other than this:
You don’t know anything. If you think you’re one of those readers who always predicts the endings–I have a challenge for you. Listen to this episode. It will take about 30 minutes of your time and then come back to me and tell me if you figured it out. If you do, I will seriously be in awe of your perception and Sherlockian abilities. If you don’t and you were blindsided too, we can marvel at the gift Damien Angelica Walters has given to her readers and also PseudoPod for the delivery. This will go down as one of my favorite short stories of all time.
About the Authors
Sadie Hartmann is known as Mother Horror on social media. She writes horror fiction reviews and other content for Cemetery Dance and SCREAM Magazine as well as Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram and other social media platforms & publications.
Damien Angelica Walters’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in various anthologies and magazines, including The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2015, Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One, Cassilda’s Song, The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, and Apex Magazine. She was a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award for “The Floating Girls: A Documentary,” originally published in Jamais Vu. Sing Me Your Scars, a collection of short fiction, was released in 2015 from Apex Publications. The titular story “Sing Me Your Scars” was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction. Paper Tigers, a novel, was released in 2016 from Dark House Press.