I’ve read several works by David Bernstein in the last few years and I’ve mentioned once or twice that no one is safe in one of his stories. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this observation. Author Kristopher Rufty echoes that sentiment in his introduction to A Mixed Bag of Blood, saying “Nothing, or no one, is safe in Dave’s worlds.”
There are some very good stories in this new collection of ten horror tales from a writer who knows how to push all of my buttons: scary, gory, gross and, at times, humorous.
“The Trojan Plushy” – The collection starts with a tale of sweet revenge. When the man responsible for the death of Brad Raling’s wife and daughter gets off on a technicality, he reaches out to a witch, seeking vengeance.
“The Booglin” – A delightfully disgusting tale of an intelligent booger. Dave’s imagination was working overtime on this one.
“Eaten Un-Alive” – A thoroughly enjoyable “what if?” story of what happens when the zombie apocalypse dries up the food supply for vampires.
“It’s Nice Not To Have To Share” – A special set of twin sisters who share everything…until…
“Invasion” – The aliens are here and they plan to use cockroaches to get rid of humankind. This one is exceptionally gross. “Hundreds of cockroaches scurried out of, and across, his body. His left eye tickled from within, as if someone were brushing it with a feather. Immense pressure built behind the eyeball before it burst like a water balloon, the glutinous fluids inside running down his face, a cockroach crawling free.”
“Samurai Zombie Killer” – The title says all you need to know about this unusual take on the zombie mythos.
“Small Town, Big Trouble” – A small town is terrorized for years by a Bigfoot-like creature. When the town guardians decide to take action, look out for the twist.
“Bad Cutlery” – Knives don’t kill people, people kill people, but knives can certainly talk them into doing the deed.
“Potty Mouth” – Peter has a bit of a potty mouth and his mother, who happens to be a witch, has had it. You won’t believe the punishment she comes up with in this stomach-turning gem.
“STD” – Not for the easily offended and certainly not for the kids. This cringe-worthy story was enough to cause me to consider a life of celibacy.
If you like to be grossed out by your horror and don’t mind suspending your disbelief for a few hours, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this demented collection of horror from David Bernstein as much as I did.
A Mixed Bag of Blood is available now in both e-book and paperback from Sinister Grin Press. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read this one at no additional charge and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow the book for FREE from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.