Kathryn - Kat - Allen (katallen) wrote,
Kathryn - Kat - Allen
katallen

Best of Apex Magazine - review #11 - Multo by Samuel Marzioli

We really are getting to a point where good dark writing has to fight for my emotional involvement


THERE MAY BE SPOILERS - WORSE THERE MAY BE THINGS SAID WHICH SPOIL THE STORY - I WOULD SUGGEST READING IT FIRST AT


http://www.apex-magazine.com/multo/


Multo by Samuel Marzioli



This is a neat story. Probably better if you're not normally a fan of horror, because although the background of the monster is fresh it is a measured and distanced horror.

When he was a boy, Adan was threatened by the ghost/demon that was following his neighbour/friend's grandmother. He grew up and locked the memory away, but now his friend has tried to contact him, to check if he's okay. Because the grandmother has died and the thing promised he'd be after Adan next. We see nothing, even in the childhood flashbacks, and the story ends at the point where the adult Adan is as convinced and afraid of the multo as he was when it threatened him.

It's a story with a lot of fear of the unknown. And perhaps I've become too blasé about horror because I'm wondering why, if an old woman can survive being followed round by a multo for twenty years...

Yup it says when you die -- a natural death -- it will eat your body and possess your soul, and ghosts never lie, and there's nothing you can do to stop it? Even if you have forty years or more? I'm being the frog in the pot, I guess, but it is hard to get really worked up over the possibility you'll sometimes see a scary evil thing. I suspect this should have been the second story, back before anyone's stakes were high and good writing alone would have made this a pleasant enough pastime.

It's not that I don't care about Adan. But maybe I'm too old to worry about monsters that haven't caught up with me yet (and is there nothing can be done to stop it catching up?)

And yes, I think the Victorians could get away with a well written story about a ghost, but these days you'd need a very well written story, where at the very least the idea of what happens when you're followed around by something whispering nasty things no one else can hear makes some appearance in the story to make the ghost a problem greater than credit card debt.
Tags: #11, apex, review, short fiction
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