Horror Story by Oliver McNab
This was written in 1979 and published in 1983. Seth makes a wrong turn and drives into the path of a crazy cult who take his wife and daughter hostage and order him to commit a racist murder. Or else. There is no gun registration, there is fuss over Miranda rights and Seth doesn't mind committing a racist triple murder if his family are safe.
There are many 70s references and there is paranoia. The cult are okay with child abuse. Seth is a selfish awful person who somehow gets away with everything. The cult have no real motive for his mission. The leader is a deranged insane racist, but they want Seth to commit the triple murder for fun or something. This is a pre internet, pre cable tv time. People babble about a mini cam and the cult actively harass people. There is CB talk and up themselves journalists.
Seth's wife and child are just props in this story. Seriously terrible things are threatened. Seth is a moron and fool and he actually tried to carry out the act of wanton violence. Seth acts irrationally and has increasing discomfort. There is exposition and people are gravely concerned and dramatic. Seth is irreversibly damaged. There is insane delusional thinking and nonsence. There is delicious insanity and dodgy bits as the cult leader posits evil thoughts.
Seth is erratic and paranoid. Nobody is calm and reassuring. The subtext of a damning picture of discrimination isn't really dwelt on. The cult leader is 100% a sociopath, but not really shown to be a threat. The cult leader is a full psycho. A conflict society is treated as though it were perfectly normal. This has bad portents and awful details. One is transfixed.
Seth brushes off his own crimes, as do others. There are unfortunate necessities and this was good.
“Suspected of being deranged.”
“Specialized slang words.”
“Obscene and ghastly.”
“Inhibits aggressive reaction.”
“Deal with the pestilence within our camp.”
“Sweet, purging death.
“The affliction that no doubt follows upon your presence.”
“They'll be in prison.”
“They'll be getting out someday.”
Do Better by T.A. Pratt, part 1
A prequel story about Marla in her pre protector of Felport, pre cloak days. She's a debt collector and the debtor is no innocent. This was okay.
“Amoral ambitious leg-breakers and hex-throwers.”
“Lure some filthy hobo.”
Mommy Issues Of The Dead
Marla is sent on a mission in another pre-protector of Felport story. This was okay.
“About as sentimental as a liver fluke.”
Ill Met In Ulthar
I've read this story before. Marla winds up in Roderick Barrow's delusional pulp adventure and messes with him. This was good.
“You sound like the trailer for a bad fantasy movie,”
“His fate has been ordained...he thinks he's invincible, unstoppbale, and right...awful certainty.”
“Inescapable path of fate.”
“Grim reminder of the dark acts even a hero must undetake to meet his destiny.”
“Cusp of triumph.”
“Enough magical weapons down there to fill a war god's armory,”
“Willed into creation.”
Marla and Rondeau have pretentious affections. This story doesn't start in a particularly promising fashion. Do you notice how all Pratt's characters sound exactly the same? There's a typo. A cute little doggie shows up. It ain't so cute. Mmm.
“A beast of function.”
“But it's one of the paths to immortality, if you're stupid enough to follow it.”
“Look, I fetched kidney stones out a toilet, yes.”