A short story by Vincent Hobbes
Two couples on vacation in Colorado when they run out of gas on a back mountain road during a blizzard, one that has dumped 3″ of snow on them in a matter of minutes.
Freezing cold & scared to death, the men leave their wives to walk up the road toward the light they see. A gas station. Everything will be ok… right?
One of the men returns, bloody and missing two things he left with. His brother and a body part.
I can’t say more, for fear of spoiling it for everyone. It’s a short horror story that got my stomach tense, and brought on that uncomfortable claustrophobic feeling in the short amount of time I was there. Not a lot of authors can pull that off.
I’ve enjoyed the three stories I read by Vincent Hobbes today, and I will be reading more of his work. I recommend his work for both horror fans & non. Reading his work brings on the nostalgia of watching The Twilight Zone late at night. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s where my mind takes me, and in case you can’t tell – it’s a very good thing.
SMILE was my first experience with Matt Shaw.
Let me share this little story with you…you can always just skip to the next paragraph if you’re not interested.
I was on a quest for something to read. Something different. I needed a break from zombies for a minute, and was looking for some good old serial killer depravity. I wasn’t in the mood for True Crime, either. So – my search begins. I found a ‘Diary of a Serial Killer’ that looked promising, warnings all over the place…(you know what I say about warning labels!) It was… meh. Good, but not sick. I ran across another title, ‘Shut The Fuck Up & Die’, and it was great. But, not quite ‘it’. I put the call out to my friends in a Facebook reading group, because I was starting to believe that I was the sick & twizted one. Maybe it was just me? I sure hoped not. My friends came through with flying colors! Names like Wrath James White and Ed Lee were common, but one name kept popping up. Matt Shaw. I swear, 80% of the people who commented dropped his name at some point. THIS WAS FATE! It had to be! I had recently downloaded one of his books – Smile. I was ready! Then, Matt commented on the post, too. He told me if I enjoyed ‘Smile’, drop him a note, he’ll hook me up with a copy of HAPPY EVER AFTER. I know now that he’s like a dealer! First taste free to hook you for life! Man! These stories are like none other. The Happy Ever After series is probably my favorite, because they are so twizted & hilariously wrong, but SMILE will always be special, because it was my first.
Big thanks to my friends in the Kindle Horror Books group, especially to Cathy Hudson & Suzanne Travolta-Delaney. And, of course, to Matt Shaw.
Let me show you the synopsis first. The Amazon Book Description:
He was stood there. Right there. He kept shouting that he was going to go but…. he wasn’t moving… he wasn’t. I thought he was bluffing… I only turned my back on him for a moment. A moment! Had I seen him go… of course I would have followed. Of course I would have gone after my younger brother! The thought of him lost in this shopping centre… alone… it sends shivers down my back.
I have to find him. I WILL find him. Anything to get out of having to make the call home to mum. She’s going to be so mad…
* * * * * * *
Alex’s mum was tired and over-worked. Holding down a full-time job, keeping the house clean and looking after the children – the youngest of which was still a handful with his ADHD as they tried to get the medication right – she just wanted a break. Even if it were only for an afternoon – so she sent Alex to the shopping mall, with his younger brother who was throwing a tantrum because he wanted to go to the toy store to spend his pocket money. She never once thought Alex would lose his younger brother in the crowds.
And no one would have guessed how the day would have ended or just how many more children were missing.
‘Smile’ is a new horror from the best-selling author behind the ‘Happy Ever After Trilogy’ – told through the eyes of the main character as he frantically searches for his missing brother.
I wanted to do that, because this was one of my earlier reviews. It’s short, because I was always scared I might spoil something. I’m using the original review because…if you have read some of my others, I like to review stories, especially Matt’s, as soon as I finish them – to try and catch my truest emotions. Here’s mine:
* I’m not great at reviewing books – but I have to review the ones I love! ‘Smile’ pulled me in from the very first page and I only put it down once – at 49% – and only to post a comment on Facebook about it. I stayed up and was so sleepy this morning – Worth It!! I felt the emotion of the characters so vividly that my stomach had butterflies. I have turned around to find my son not there before, it was only for a second, but Matt described those feelings to a T.
If I could write like this —-> http://www.amazon.co.uk/revew/R28JIYJ0ERUHFQ/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_asr_MPx1E.0HBZQFB <—— that would be exactly what I want to say. Suzanne Delaney left a review that I wish I could mimic.
So – let me just say this… I plan on reading every single word that Matt writes down. I have a new (to me) story already waiting for me to start tonight, and I know which one I'm reading next.
One last thing… Alex, I effing hate clowns too!!