The End of Halloween: Four Tales of All Hallows’ Eve by Greg Chapman
Self Published (September 2016)
60 pages; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
Writer Greg Chapman loves Halloween. Not exactly a bold statement; the man is a horror writer, after all. What makes this interesting, however, is that Greg is from Australia, where Halloween is not nearly the big deal it is in the United States.
In his novella length collection of short fiction The End of Halloween: Four Tales of All Hallows’ Eve, Greg writes with the passion of a long-time devotee of the holiday on which Americans are expected to spend 8.4 billion dollars in 2016.
“Daughters of the Veil”—This suitably spooky story begins with “goblins, princesses, devils and aliens in search of candy and fun,” and quickly becomes a sharp tale of the mother of two daughters and promises made long ago.
“Octoberville”—Population 10,031. Where every day is Halloween. Get it? Octoberville is one of those Twilight Zone-ish stories where Tom Crane just wants to get home to his wife, Sally, and his son, Tom Jr.
“Hell-O-Ween”—“Hell is always its brightest in October.” Demon children are not much different than their earthly counterparts, excited about the festivities surrounding All Hallows’ Eve, especially trick or treating. “Hell-O-Ween” is a more lighthearted tale than the other stories in the collection, but is every bit as good.
“The End of Halloween”—The title story and final tale opens with this rather ominous line: “Death stood amongst the ruins of Earth and, for the first time, feared his own demise.”
I read this collection on a quiet October evening and enjoyed every minute of the experience. Skip the scary movies for a night and sink your teeth into a good book. It’s better for you than candy.