Elements of Darkness - a dark short story collection by Michael Twist


I can still remember when it first dawned on me that the source of Poe's fear came not from violence of acts he penned but from the dread, trepidation, and uncertainty he planted in the minds of his characters as well as his readers.  Likewise, the chill running down my spine after reading Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" was amplified as I realized she had achieved this effect without spilling a single drop of blood.  While I can't promise no blood is spilled in this fourth volume of Twist's Tales, I can assert my long held belief that the elements of darkness that are most terrifying are those that prey on the mind well before any physical pain is dispensed. 

  The tales in Elements of Darkness address the entire spectrum of man's malevolent qualities, vices and inner torments.  Furthermore, you'll meet a number of interesting characters such as Tom, a trial lawyer inspired to leave gambling for the woman of his dreams; Gary, who has a predilection for geriatrics; James, who has a special sort of bucket list, and Billy, who encounters the deal of a lifetime.  These characters and more will stay with you for days as you ask yourself how you would have handled some of the situations they encounter.