Ginger Nuts of Horror
The lack of word count certainly doesn't hinder these stories, with six tales of the supernatural expertly covering just 60 pages. Macabre Notions is a thoroughly enjoyable quick read that should earn Aaron White quite a few fans.
Kicking off this delightful collection is A Bad Dream, a tale of guilt and paranoia built around a late night knock at the door and a horrifying revelation. For me, the revelation would have been enough in a perfect Tales Of The Unexpected type finale. For the story to then carry on seemed unnecessary, lessening the gut punch revelation. Evolved focuses on a killer that uses his psychic abilities to find victims, but what if the tables were turned? This was my second favourite tale in the collection. A very interesting premise that I could see being expanded into a full length novel. Bereavement and loss are the central themes of An Impression Of Grief. Having recently lost his wife in an accident, an artist seeks to ease his grief and find answers through his art. The Farmhouse is the true gem of this collection, a haunted house story told in three parts. White here seems to of found his comfort zone, the phrasing and descriptive passages were wonderful to read. Easily my favourite story, with part two having a really strong Hammer Horror vibe and a twist that had me smiling and eager to push on towards part three.
Macabre Notions succeeds in highlighting that Aaron White knows how to tell story. All four tales had their moments but it was The Farmhouse that stood out for me. Showing that although White is more than capable at the short story, being able to spread his wings and having more room to breath and tell a story may be where the author finds his true calling.
“I lay there in the sunlight with my mind turning over wild thoughts. I was confused and relieved but still frightened. My eye caught the upstairs bedroom window and staring down, face pressed against the glass, the man watched me, eyes glaring, anger etched on his face." From vengeful ghosts and haunting grief to telepathic psychosis and the realisation of nightmares, this collection of short stories will take you into the darkness and refuse to let you go.