This is not your typical run-of-the-mill vampire novella. It gets quick into action and doesn’t disappoint. In a world where vampires exist so do rules. Rules that must be obeyed and if they aren’t, then you have to deal with the Natural Police, an order within the organization known as Gwanlyo. Min Gun is part of the Natural Police and is known for “butchering” vampires who get out of line. His current mission is to hunt one of their own named Cheol Yu. But things get complicated when Sey-Mi, an innocent high school student finds herself in the middle of a war. She must choose which side she’ll be on and once she does, hope she doesn’t regret it. Becoming a vampire might have its perks, but will she be able to withstand the methods of madness she will have to endure to prove herself a worthy candidate?
From page one you are standing in an unexpected, terrifying position as you read about a mother ready to kill her daughter for the greater good. A father who has no idea what has gotten into his wife and a daughter he has to, at all costs, protect. Jonah’s wife, Julia, has been acting strange and has secluded herself from the rest of the family. She has been buying books to help inspire her so-called art; the only problem is the books she is buying deal more on a macabre level. None of it makes sense and Jonah is forced to confront his wife about her behavior towards their daughter, Madeline. Jonah’s hand is forced as he must choose to save his daughter or his wife. As the story unfolds you begin to think Jonah may be in way over his head. Madeline proves to be a perfect beginning and a perfect ending for a horror short.
I was sucker-punched to believe this would be a great, short read. It lived up to its being short, but not so great. I’m not one for giving two star ratings, but the concept failed to execute thus subtracting one star. Rag Doll has its moments, but not very many. At times, the flow felt rushed and was far from being executed properly. There is no issue with it being short, but no matter how short it should still have a proper beginning, middle and end. What’s to salvage from this? Not its ending! Maybe further expanding the contents’ origins and giving a little more backstory to the characters that interact with each other might help. Some of it was believable, some of it farfetch’d. The idea was there, but the content fell a little flat.
Out of the Fire and Into the Pan
The Blood on my Hands was a roller coaster of emotions and very hard to read through without feeling some type of way. It’s counterpart, Out of the Fire and Into the Pan, is no easier to digest. The trauma continues from the age of 15 all the way into adulthood. The aftermath has left several people, Shannon included, in an array of broken pieces of self. The struggles are real and screaming out to find a way to cope; but how does one really cope when the pain is so far etched in the skin, in the mind that you feel so far gone? Shannon does manage to find a man named David and they grow a family together, but then there are signs of him spiraling down into drugs and it becomes a trigger for Shannon and it feels like a terrible repeat of history. Something about this life reminds her of her father, the last person she would ever want to remember. Things/Life get a bit easier and success eventually finds its way through in her personal/professional life. In reading, The Blood on my Hands and Out of the Fire and Into the Pan, you read just how much strength is found in one person and how much it took to discover it.
The Lovely Wild in Me
The Lovely Wild in Me has three parts it speaks to: Anguish, Yearn and Mend (Heal). And within each section are poems that inspire you to see your own life from a different perspective. You are left remembering those very things that hurt you, or broke you, but in the end did not define you. They didn’t define you because you are still here. You healed from it and you let it go. Each section read, I gathered favorites and wrote them down, but in the Mend (Heal) section is where my favorites tripled. Healing from bad things isn’t the easiest thing to do and everyone will tell you or suggest to you how to do it. Ultimately though, you have to find a way to heal yourself your own way and in your own time. Sometimes, if not all the times, we forget to heal ourselves from past events, or maybe we feel we don’t deserve to or simply, we just don’t want to. The ability to heal from something requires you to delve deeper into the realm of the past, going through it and then releasing it. The hardest part for anyone, myself included, is the ability to walk through that fire once again and relive those moments. But how do you truly heal if you don’t walk through that path again? It will only constantly relive itself in you if you don’t pull them out like weeds. You will scar, yes, and it’s okay. Those scars, I’ve come to find, only remind us of what we’ve been through and what we’ve got out of. You are still unique. You are still beautiful. And not anything less.
I’ve cut my
“He is the
& he whispers
From Mend (Heal):
“I picked up
I tenderly kissed
each and every part,
-an apology to myself”