From the author of Mountain Home and Stranded, comes Bracken MacLeod’s first collection of short stories.
These stories inhabit the dark places where pain and resignation intersect, and the fear of a quiet moment alone is as terrifying as the unseen thing watching from behind the treeline. In the titular story, a young woman waits for her father to come home from the place where no one goes intending to return. A single word is the push that may break a man and save a life. The members of a winemaking community celebrate the old time religion found flowing in the blood of the vine. A desperate man seeking a miracle cure gets more than a peek behind the curtain of Dr. Morningstar’s Psychic Surgery. A child who dreams of escaping on leather wings finds rescue in dark water instead. Looking back over a life, a homeless veteran must decide to live in the present if he wants to save his future. In a Halloween Hell house, a youth pastor must face the judgment of a man committed to doing the Lord’s work. Fiery death heralds the beginning of a new life. A man who has been carrying pain with him his entire life gives up his last piece of darkness. And a still day beneath the sun illuminates the quiet sorrow of the last feather to fall.
“Bracken MacLeod writes dark, human stories of horror and modern noir. Absolutely one of the brightest stars of the next generation!”
—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind and Ararat
“MacLeod’s stories begin with a familiar sense of normalcy—the night out at the club, the visit to a friend’s home—but quickly nosedive into the sublimely weird and horrific, leaving his reader breathless and dazed. These tales are jagged, sharp, and will definitely leave a mark.”
—John Mantooth, author of The Year of the Storm, Shoebox Train Wreck, and Heaven’s Crooked Finger
“Beauty, anger, and the grotesque. These are the three ingredients I demand as a reader of dark fiction, and they are three that MacLeod provides in just the right amounts in this collection. An absolute stunner.”
—Adam Cesare, author of The Summer Job and Zero Lives Remaining
“Stranded is a smart, surprisingly moving, first-rate thriller that chucks Martin Cruz Smith’s Polar Star down a Twilight Zone-esque rabbit role. Don’t mind my mixing metaphors because me fumbling around for proper words of praise is what the talented Bracken MacLeod has wrought.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock
Buy the trade paperback: