Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-176-4
Glenn Rolfe moves on from werewolves to a more terrifying kind of horror: teaching. In an elementary school. No wonder Matt Holmes is a serial killer of sorts. When the story opens, we see him raping and then killing a woman who initially turned him down. He is the Phys Ed teacher at Fairington Elementary School, and he has his eye on the new teacher Emily Young, who is more into Ed Tech teacher Aaron Jackson. Emily tells Matt that she’s not into him, and so it begins.
While this is a readable story, I am hoping for some kind of twist to make things interesting. Maybe… Emily turns out to be a serial killer herself, turning the tables on Matt in a twist ending? Perhaps Matt and Aaron are partners-in-crime? How about a couple of secondary characters turning out to be villains that stick the knife into all three? Or… or…
Alas, Things We Fear is exactly what it turns out to be, and with it being a short story, it’s lacking in characterization to make the familiar story line stick to the mind. A pity, really. A good twist would have made this thing stand out. Okay, even a mediocre twist will make it stand out more than it currently does, which isn’t much. You can read it, it won’t bite, but I feel that there may be more interesting stories out there that one can get with $3.50.