What’s grosser than gross?
A pile of dead babies.
What’s grosser than that?
A live baby at the bottom eating his way out.
As a kid, I loved telling the spooky stories with a humorous twist. Poet Heather McHugh once wrote that true horror is seeing the familiar in what should be alien. The best writers can use humor to sneak under the conscious radar draw you closer to the horror. Tripping the Light Horrific, edited by Nancy Jackson, manages to deliver the goods.
Like any anthology, it’s a mixed bag. Some of the stories, like “Eyes of the Bayou” by Cathy Buburuz, grabbed me by my funny bone and beat the crap of out me. I enjoyed the gritty, yet hilarious look at life in the swamps. I almost heard the banjos and felt the need to protect my ass.
Speaking of which, “Trojan Horse/The Devil is in the Details” by Perry McGee and John Edward Lawson ensured that I will never again look at a horse the same way.
Some were amusing, like “Satan Has a Kind Face” by MF Korn and Mike Philbin. I suspect at least one of them went to a Christian school as I did.
The only story that I disliked was “Litterbug” by David Greske. It wasn’t badly written, it just felt so out of place in the anthology I had to come back and look at it.
It was a fun read, which is the highest praise anyone can give a book. I plan to buy a copy for a friend when his birthday comes around.