Monday, October 06, 2014

Reader's Diary #1072- Samantha Frazer Gordon: The Path of Dead Roses


Every year, when October rolls around I try to stick to horror stories for Short Story Monday. Throughout the year, when looking for a free online short story, the second I note that it's horror I stick it in a bookmarked folder called Halloween and save it. Unfortunately this year it's slim pickin's. I managed only to put two aside. So, if you know of some scary stories I can find and read online (free, no sign-ups or passwords) send them my way please!

This week's story, Samantha Frazer Gordon's "The Path of Dead Roses" has a lot of classic ghost story tropes. So many, in fact, that it teeters on the edge of cheesy. It's probably good that this one is kicking off my October mini-horror marathon as I think I'd be even less tolerant at the end.

It tells a story about a teenage girl who encounters a ghost who has been destroying her rose bushes. The ghost, as it turns out, is the same unknown woman who appears in a bunch of old photos belonging to her dad. As such, it's more the mystery kind of ghost story than the genuinely scary kind, which, as I suggested earlier, gives it a sort of classic feel. Gordon began the story attempting to turn it into a coming-of-age tale, but that angle gets slowly pushed aside as the story gets going and in the end I felt mildly entertained but otherwise underwhelmed.

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