What do stories about ephemeral Martian settlers, fascinating dimensional rifts, Spanish-speaking hummingbirds, Loki’s children, WWII twins, hitchhiking swamp cats, a steam-punk octopus, Arkham card-games, using bad luck for fun and profit, demon home security systems, alternative criminal justice, workplace time travel, marketing to body-snatchers, alien attraction, and way too many barns all have in common? Simple: in one way or another they are all Bubble Off Plumb.
These are my top five favorite stories in the anthology. Each of these stories stayed with me long after I finished reading them. Each invoked a feeling of happiness, tears, or terror.
#1 The Hole by Tim Jeffreys
Josh and Marion had found the perfect starter house at a price too good to be true.The owners explained they wanted a quick sale as they wanted to start fresh. Josh skipped the full survey. He figured they would be able to pay for any repairs needed.
Maybe things would have turned out differently if the inspection had been made but I doubt it.
This story stayed with me months after reading it.
#2 I am Bridget by Mariah Southworth
A scientist recreates his oldest teen daughter in a robot. She is perfect and no one knows she has replaced the deceased daughter, Bridgett. She is perfect. Maybe too perfect.
IA at it’s best.
#3 The Prisoner by Valerie Manwill
Finn is young and passionate and he is not ready to throw away the best years of his life behind bars. He is determined to escape.
I did not expect the twist at the end of this thriller. I laughed … a lot.
#4 Harold’s Not Imaginary Friend
Harold’s new bride, Barbara, is questioning Harold’s friend Marshal who only seems to drop in when Harold is home alone. He never writes or call. Is he even real?
I enjoyed everything in this story, the friendships, the love shared between all and the adventure they went on.
#5 The Time Before Dreams by E.E King
Here lived all things fantastic, forgotten imaginings, and recollected from lives never lived.
Being an avid dreamer, this story brought me to tears. I did not want to leave this magical place.