TWISTED TAILS IV: Fantastic Flights of Fantasy is overflowing with some of the strangest fantasies you’re likely to find on-or off this planet. So, watch yourself...there be dragons here. And vampires. And sorcerers bearing all sorts of mischief. Beasts, goblins and ghouls aplenty. And things that poke with sharpened sticks at the unprepared mind. They crouch in the recesses, ready to spring at the slightest provocation or opportunity. The sort of things that hide in deep shadows and lurk in the darkness of night...or cavort in the full light of day, trundle, creep, crawl and dance their way across the stage of your imagination. Some of the works presented here are fearsome, level five heart-stoppers and others are downright funny. All are twisted. Twisted in the manner that only our convoluted cogitators...our warped, wonderful word-workers can provide.
"So? It’s fantasy. Dark and light. Horrible and humorous. So, what else is new?" you ask.
Well-l-l, it’s not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, Granny Gerty’s fantasy...that’s what. No formula fantasy written to restrictions even older than I. It tinkers with ideas in the here and now, perhaps a bit into the past or a brief, short hop into the near future and is free to fly in whatever direction and manner the author is advised by his or her muse. You see, London and other places of the dark and dreary sort still have streets drenched by fog and heavy mist. There remain places in the German forests and the hills of Transylvania, or in narrow alleyways in the outskirts of Chicago where an ordinary citizen just will not go after dark...or during the day. These places, and others, continue to have soggy forest floors smothered in a tight cluttering of moss covered trees with dead-gray, pealing bark smelling of mildew and rot, or perpetually shadowed back streets and thin slices between dingy buildings where dread can rear its ugly head and where surprises, bright and dim, await the unwary. There are jungles of darkness filled with sounds you don’t want to hear. There are movements from the far corners of your vision you would rather not see. But hear them you will...and see them you must, if you value your life.
What we prove in this collection is that it is not necessary to venture off the main road to make-believe worlds where weird, unpronounceable names or places surreal and pointed-ear little folk with big, flat feet inhabit the pages to get a heavy dose of fantastic fantasy. Here we take it to the streets of the everyday world, or close facsimiles of places we all live in...to locations and times familiar to all.
No archaic and arcane language graces the pages here. No flowery narrative loaded with pollen and odd sounding word structures, either, except where they are fitting and necessary. Nope, here you’ll find just plain good fun on bloodstained back-roads, in alleys and little dark corners where gore snakes its way down dark brick walls to puddle on wet stones, and where a talking barnyard rooster lays platinum eggs...um, not that there is an egg-laying rooster that talks to be found in here. That rooster thing was nothing but an example of what could be found, you know? But, as always in the TWISTED TAILS series, be mindful of your step, lest you get tripped into an out-of-control tumble on the last rung of the ladder. That, you see, is the way things work around here. That last rung is...treacherous...by design.