Monday, October 27, 2008

Reader's Diary #408- Mort Castle: Party Time

Short Story Monday
I'm struggling through Dark Masques, a collection of short horror stories, trying to get it finished in time for to meet Carl's deadline for the 3rd R.I.P. Challenge, which ends on Halloween night. It's not that I'm not enjoying the book, it's that I started late and it's 500 pages. I'm picking some of the stories to highlight on Short Story Monday in an effort to save some time (last week's featured story, McCammon's Nightcrawlers was also from this collection).

Fortunately, I've been able to find one of my favourites online so I can share it here. It's in audio form though, so I suggest skipping through the intro to about the 2 and a half minute mark. Here's Mort Castle's "Party Time" for your listening pleasure.

Over the past few Halloweens, I've hankered for some good horror flicks. However, since having kids, my wife Debbie doesn't have the stomach for realistic horror (serial killers, torture, and so on). We've compromised with supernatural horror, which more often than not is pretty campy. (We're about half way through Stephen King's The Mist right now.*) I'm not suggesting there are only 2 kinds of horror. I'm sure there are many. I think urban legends fall somewhere in between. Usually these have plausible story lines but are told in a more over-the-top sort of way that suggests, at least to the more discerning listeners, they aren't to be taken that seriously. (Have any favourites?)
"Party Time" feels like an urban legend. While the story of a child being locked in the basement is (tragically) fathomable, the tone and diction have that exaggerated quality of a Halloween tale. It's a great story and awesomely twisted.

(Have you seen the most recent Saturday Word Play?)


Anonymous said...

No favorite urban legends, no preferred horror genre - I have an overactive paranoid imagination as it is and I just HATE this time of year! Creeps me out.

What is the big thrill in being scared? I don't get it.

Framed said...

I can read horror but can't watch it. I think it's the creepy suspenseful music that really gets me.

John Mutford said...

Carrie: I know, it's a perverse thrill. You don't find any kind of scares fun? How about amusement park rides?

Framed: I feel the same way about the creepy music as I do laughtracks. (With a few exceptions) wholly unnecessary.