Review by Jack Magnus
Bedtime Horrors is a collection of dark flash-fiction horror stories written by Nic Kristofer Black and illustrated by Jorge Gonzalez. The creators of this collection designed their work with those who have short attention spans in mind. Each of the ten tales is exactly 1,000 words in length and is accompanied by a detailed illustration.
Some tales explore the well-known territory of the zombie, albeit with new touches of horror, and often a blending of horror genres as found in The Life Raft. A Claw at the Closet Door is an intriguing take on that legendary monster in the closet who's captured the imagination and fear of so many children. The Greyhound Bus takes the UFO genre on a rustic detour. Glass Jars is the story of a town's sole and vindictive shopkeeper, and the terrifying way he controls his unruly customers.
Nic Kristofer Black's dark flash-fiction horror story collection, Bedtime Horrors, is designed for more contemporary readers, but many readers who grew up looking forward to that week's production of the Twilight Zone will find themselves enjoying the darkly humorous and edgy tales found within this glossy, well-written and attractive work. Jorge Gonzalez's illustrations are masterful and work to amplify each tale, polishing each one to an even darker sheen. While I particularly enjoyed those tales that were set at sea, I would still have to say that my favorite story is the opening tale: A Claw at the Closet Door. Abandoned by his mother on his eighth birthday, with her rather abrupt and unkind version of tough love, Kiki has a guardian still looking out for him.
The best horror tales seem to conjure up traces of mocking eldritch horror filtering through the reader's imagination, barely heard but still undeniable nonetheless. Black and Gonzalez' Bedtime Horrors delivers that special effect -- and more. It's highly recommended.