The last of my solstice-adjacent-festival offerings probably should have swapped places with the last one, since it concerns the feast of St. Nicholas. However, since I’m living in North America and not a Christian, it pleases me best to put this most overtly Yuletidy of the three stories past their exclusivity period within sight of the big day itself.
So, gather close to the fire and read about the festive fun that is the dance of the Wilden Klausen.
I once again wonder if I’m wandering close to folk horror without actually entering it. Tricky business.
I will once again plug the story’s original home, Mistletoes and Mayhem, which is available here. Last year I mentioned that the cover was not entirely indicative of the nature of the contents (thus the old saying about judging books), and now I mention it again.
I find myself wondering if this story counts as folk horror– it has many of the elements (even police sergeants!) but I’m not sure if the setting and the lack of jolly small-town pagan ritual exclude it.
Entirely like “The Moon Forest”, the original home of this story, Creatures in Canada: A Darkling Around the World Anthology, is still available for purchase, although only as an e-book.
It seems that December is when I get published. First, and I’ll mention it again next week when it actually happens, I have a story appearing in the next issue of NewMyths.com— issue 53 goes live, assuming no contrary word from Fate, on 15 December.
I will say right now that the image on the cover… does not represent my contribution, I will say, although “Wilden Klausen” does involve wearing a costume for a seasonal tradition.
I should also mention that the profits for this collection are going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which given the situation of the world over the last… dozen or two months, at least… seems like a service which could definitely use some funding. Since I’m not in the US, I will mention for those who wish to give directly that there is a Canadian version of the same thing.
We’ve all, in some degree, been making decision lately about how low we bow to COVID-19 and the officially proclaimed responses to it. I, for example, have been going to work, as I’m essential (somehow), and can gad about freely in my off-time under local regs, as long as I’m not doing it with more than nine other people.
I have been sticking to the spirit of the rules and limiting my outings to “Gotta get some groceries.” My wife has asthma, after all, and we don’t really know what the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 are other than “probably not good.”
With that as context, I saw this wonderful image on a Folk Horror group on Facebook:
“This sign has always freaked me out a little bit!” said the person sharing the image. In the right setting, and to the right set of mind, I completely understand that. It took about fifteen seconds for the basic story of “Self-Policing” to flash into my mind, and since I owe this site a story, I huffed my warm authorial air upon it until it had kindled into a proper item of flash fiction.