Bones by Andrew Cull
Reviewed by Morgan K. Tanner
After reading Andrew Cull’s excellent novel Remains it was only a matter of time before I got round to checking out his short stories. After reading Remains it was very clear that this guy knows how to write about ghosts.
Without describing actual physical sightings of these spirits he’s still able to raise the hairs all over your body and have you second-guessing every little sound that your dwelling emits whilst reading. He manages to capture quite the unnerving atmosphere with emotions, sights, smells, and minds perhaps playing tricks.
And if you read Remains and didn’t think ‘this guy knows ghosts,’ then you’ll certainly be saying it after reading this collection.
There are three shorties, one novella-length tale, and a flashy fiction to finish things off. All enjoy raising the creep factor on the poor, unsuspecting reader. I don’t know how he does it, but Cull’s words just have a knack of getting under your skin!
Did You Forget About Me is the story of a guy returning to his estranged dad’s house to try and find some kind of closure. He travels there with his sister but soon realises there’s something else at the house that’s been waiting a long time for him to return. Something very hungry.
This one certainly brought the shudders, but things were only getting started.
A young girl, daughter of a funeral parlour owner in a small town, is the star of Hope & Walker. This girl becomes enraptured with chatting to and drawing the dead as they lie in their caskets awaiting burial. Things sound creepy enough already, but what I didn’t mention is that these deadies then begin to answer her.
Need I say any more?
My favourite story here was The Trade. A family living in the woods become terrified when they discover dead animals left outside their home. What is leaving them, a beast of some kind? Are they gifts or warnings? The little boy in this story is caught between his parents constantly arguing and coming face to face with this evil from the woods.
This is a story to really experience for yourself.
The longest story here is Knock and You Will See Me, and follows a woman trying to keep it all together after the passing of her father. Strange notes are found around the house which seem to be written to her by him. Before long she’s convinced he is trying to communicate something extremely important from the other side, and this almost leads her from grief to insanity.
Despite being the longest this story flew by, the tension fuelled with every sentence. As she begins to unravel exactly what’s going on, you kind of wish she didn’t, as that would be far safer.
This collection ends with The Rambling Man, a brief folky horror tale of offerings to the land. This is a great finale and certainly left me itching for more.
Fans of ghost stories will love these, and fans of horror should be checking them out, too, although I’m sure most already have!
About Morgan K. Tanner
Morgan K Tanner is a writer, drummer, and golfist currently residing in the English countryside. The idyllic surroundings make it an ideal place to write, drum, and hide the bodies. The busy sound of the typewriter is perfect to drown out the hum of the antiquated torture equipment.
When he’s not writing or inflicting pain and suffering on his numerous victims, he indulges himself in all things horror and metal.