Dark Blood Comes from the Feet
Emma J. Gibbon
Trepidatio Publishing (May 22, 2020)
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale
I can always count on Trepidatio Publishing for quality writing; Dark Blood Comes from the Feet is no exception. This was my first time reading Emma J. Gibbon, but I will now be on the lookout for more from her.
For those who are familiar with Gibbon, you can delight in the fact that many of the offerings are new to this collection. It is truly a wonderful group of stories including (my favorites):
The Limbo Lounge: The collection begins with a stripper’s purgatory. The description of the songs being played is on the money, and the setting is simultaneously better and worse than the real adult industry.
Porch: All cat owners have had the experience of negotiating with their pets over what to do with the “gifts” they bring. The particular feline in this story is an angel of death who drags dying animals to the front porch. Each offering grows successively larger and moves further up the food chain.
Ghost Maker tells the story of the camera man for a “reality” ghost show. While filming, he grapples with the fact that his crumbling marriage is creating its own type of ghosts.
St. Scholastica’s Home for Children of the Sea contains monstrous children, and even more monstrous villagers who hate them.
Black Shuck Tavern: Coat-check girl Lacey is followed by a supernatural dog that may be a harbinger of her death.
Whitechapel: Lola and the deeply enamored Toby take a “death tour” of Europe. Gibbon captures the misguided romanticism of tragic horror, and how those of us who love true crime are not interested in experiencing it first-hand.
The Tale of Bobby Red Eyes: Urban legends can be true, or you can will them to be true. The writing in this story is very evocative and I loved the repetitive nursery rhyme element.
Devour: A tale of love and lust and cannibalism.
Infection: Or love in the time of consumption
Surviving My Parents: A bittersweet look at dealing with the mortality of those you love. People will go to extremes when faced with loss and grief.
Rise: Janice is overworked and overtired. She longs to have the freedom of birds. In a horrifyingly elegant way, she gets her wish.
I highly recommend Dark Blood Comes from the Feet. Gibbon is a writer to watch, and the stories contain a gritty honesty that is much needed in the horror genre.