In Dreams We Rot
Betty Rocksteady
October 18, 2019
Trepidatio Publishing
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale

In Dreams We Rot is a marvelous mix of the fantastic and bizarre. It is gruesome and sexy and disturbing and a truly wonderful read. As with any collection, there were a few stand-out stories:

“Love is Not a Handful of Seeds” – The collection opens with a flash piece that fully encompasses both the horror and the love that is present when one mourns.

“Tiny Bones Beneath Their Feet” – I didn’t know where this one was going and the crazy cat lady in me loved it.

“Something is Coming” – They really need to turn this one into an episode of Black Mirror. The ending was a bit vague, but the creepiness really pulls you in.

“These Beautiful Bones” – Sex and violence and art converge in a pulsating orgy. The story manages to be simultaneously erotic and grotesque.

“The Botany of Desire” – Clint is enamored of Holly. He wants to see more and more of her, until she enters his fantastical apartment and he sees too much.

“Postpartum” – An excellent psychological study of conflicting emotions and guilt postpartum. Rocksteady deftly weaves in the art of creation to signify both loss and unfulfilled dreams. There is a lot to unpack in this story along with its complex main character.

“The Narrow Escape” – A wonderful extended metaphor for outgrowing your relationships and environment.

“Lonely Hearts Club” – Another gorgeous metaphor for overly attached relationships.

“Dusk Urchin” – A creepy reminder to listen to instinct and ignore the knock on your front door.

“Crimson Tide” – Never have I read a more lovely description of menstruating while swimming in the ocean.

In Dreams We Rot is full of ingenious short stories, interesting flash pieces, and clever titles that are worth ruminating on. I have added Betty Rocksteady to my list of writers to watch!

About Elaine Pascale

Elaine Pascale had been writing her entire life. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, son and daughter. Her writing has been published in several magazines and anthologies. She is the author of Blood Lights, and If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit. Elaine enjoys a robust full moon, chocolate, and collecting cats.

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