4 of 5 stars.
This haunting vignette couples the cold and first bad storm of winter with the memories of a dysfunctional family.
Russell has inherited his parents house after not being there for them. He didn’t help when they called for assistance maintaining the house knowing that he needed the money and food and shelter beyond the confines of his car. Possibly, his refusal was payback for them not helping him during his jail stints. He didn’t visit them in the hospital after the accident. But his sisters don’t inherit the near-condemned property, he does. And he needs it. Anything is better than another winter curled in a car for shelter.
Coinciding with a huge snowstorm, Russell’s first night in the drafty, cold house shows its dire state. And the creaking noises, the phone ringing, the tapping on the window panes . . .
“The Still, Cold Air” appears in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2015 edited by Paula Guran and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Here With the Shadows (Swan River Press).
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