There are also several pieces that lure you away from the safety of dry land before you’re even aware you are adrift. I personally relished the hair-raising “For Those in Peril on the Sea.” Nothing like hunting for a bite in the hold of a deserted ferry at sea…
Casually thrown in with all the cold and creepy is the singularly devastating poem, “Under the Fringe Tree.” I keep going back to read it again, it so reminds me of dreams I never wanted to wake from, of things longed for, just beyond the reach of this dimension. Favorite line at the moment:
The smell of old books lingers on our skin.
But the crown jewel of this collection, as has been echoed by many other readers, would be “The Mermaid’s Purse.” Because it seamlessly fosters the horrors of abuse and neglect from a buried seed into a bloodbath you almost see coming but don’t (at least I didn’t).
These stories are kind of like a delicate vase filled with Lilly of the Valley—beautiful but not one bit nice.
Consume at your own risk. Once you pop, you can’t stop.