Title: Ecdysis (Chilling Horror Short Stories)
Author: Rebecca J. Allred
Genre: Short Story, Horror, Gothic, Science Fiction
Pages: 7 (12-18)
I’ve never been one to read horror stories before, but I wanted to give it a shot when I realized what kind of horror I could get into. I didn’t know what kind of horror story Ecdysis would be, other than it would be chilling and science related. Dr. Allred works in pathology, so I knew that if anything else, this story would have some basis in science and boy did it!
In this short story readers come across a man who is obviously disturbed in some way. Some people may take offense to a mentally ill character being the story’s subject, calling foul about misrepresentation and fear mongering. I can assure you though, that this short story isn’t what it first seems. The author takes their time to slowly pull away the layers of mystery behind the character’s supposed illness, by using the character’s medical background to describe what doctors have deduced about his condition. The author gives the readers real medical terms for the character’s afflictions, some of which I’m quite sure I butchered, but does a wonderful job explaining what they all mean in layman terms.
The story didn’t take long to read, and not just because of the few pages. It was rather fast paced and divided into short sections of various lengths, going between his visit with his therapist to the various important pieces of his past. Normally such back and forth would annoy me; however, this was done in such a way that suggested he was revealing all these things to his therapist, slowly peeling away at the mystery of his character. As I devoured each word my skin tingled and itched, just like our nameless man, and by the end I wasn’t so much surprised by what happened but utterly freaked out by how easy the author transitioned between real and disbelief.
Ecdysis definitely made my skin crawl by the end, making my skin itch even as I write this review sometime after reading. The beginning was a little hard for me to get into, but overall it was a fantastic read! I loved how the author seamlessly inserted real medical terms that didn’t confuse the readers or break up the flow of the story. Again, some people may take offense to the nameless character being mentally ill, but this story is not what it seems and I highly recommend reading it in its entirety before laying down judgement. Other than that, this short story was wonderfully written and sure made me squirm!
I would recommend this short story, and author, to anyone that enjoys a little science mixed into their horror. And for anyone with a strong feeling toward insects, either negative or positive, I will warn that they are also a focus in this plot so tread lightly!