Review: “The Monsters of Heaven” by Nathan Ballingrud

The Monsters of HeavenThe Monsters of Heaven by Nathan Ballingrud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes terrible things, inexplicable things, happen to good people. And sometimes it destroys them and their relationships or very nearly does so teetering on the self-destructive edge. This tale takes one of the most horrible situations–a 4 y.o. child goes missing in a park, never to be seen again–and twists the natural horror in an allegorical, supernatural direction.

Brian and Amy can barely look at each other let alone speak to each other after their son Toby goes missing from a trip to the park with his dad. Brian misses work and drunkenly daydreams of finding the perpetrator and exacting punishment, saving his unharmed boy who’s just waiting to be rescued. Amy blames Brian, while finding escape in the bed of Tommy.

Meanwhile, “angels” are appearing all over the Earth. Horrible to behold, these angels whimper with vacuous mouths, stare with cold pupil-less eyes, and flail their talons despite their bruised and broken bodies. The light they cast fails to illuminate the things around them. Brian drunkenly brings an angel home after a failed date with a prostitute, and places the angel in Toby’s bed . . .

This tale appears in Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay after originally appearing in Inferno.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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