Something festive is growing in the sewer…
After last year’s tragedy, Douglas’ parents are ignoring Christmas.
But when Douglas finds an eerie strand of lights slithering through the sewer, he unwittingly unleashes merry terror upon his neighborhood’s tacky lights contest. String lights spread like invasive kudzu, turning festive decorations into surreal, predatory nightmares.
Determined not to lose both Christmas and his family forever, Douglas gathers his courage to confront the source of the holiday horror: deep in the concrete pipes beneath the street.
I Found Christmas Lights Slithering Up My Street is a horror tale from the “darkly inventive” purveyor of uncanny places and wondrous evils, Ben Farthing.
As soon as I saw this cover, I immediately grabbed a copy and started reading it. Christmas horror is 100% my style this year.
Douglas finds Christmas lights, blinking in not-red and not-purple, within the storm drain. He doesn’t know why, but he feels drawn to them and fishes them out. They then cause havoc throughout their little town’s tacky lights competition.
This was pretty much what I gathered from the blurb, and it delivers on it quite well. What I didn’t expect, was the heavy gut punch of grief that this short story packs. I recently attended an indie author’s presentation on Victorian grief, and they spoke of how sons, daughters, siblings are often pushed aside in their grief, making way for the parents first. This exemplified that explanation fantastically. Douglas is dealing with his grief silently, because he is seen as the absence rather than the survival, the continuation after loss. It was really well done and added a much needed layer to the story.
Maybe it’s just me, but the storm drain/kids fighting to save a town when the parents don’t believe them felt very reminiscent of IT, as well as a blend of others.
Personally a 4/5*, check this one out!