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A Review of Horror Anthology – Wicked Pond Collection

Horror Anthology - Wicked Pond Collection by Jeffrey Legendre book cover. Image on cover shows a purple person with purple hair standing in a pond that’s surrounded by lush green trees. She might be swimming or maybe just standing there?Title: Horror Anthology – Wicked Pond Collection

Author: Jeffrey Legendre

Publisher: Vivid Dreams Books (Self-Published)

Publication Date: March 5, 2021

Genres: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary

Length: 37 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb:

Review:

It is well known that the crust of the earth protects us from the molten inter lava beneath it. Within this lava hides the souls of the underworld and hades. But there are portals through the crust. Portals that were opened long ago and then forgotten or abandoned by the people looking to harness the power of the creatures coming out of them. Because the evil that seeps through these portals cannot be contained woe to any man or beast that should encounter such a portal because their days on this earth are numbered. 7 Stories of Horror and Suspense Following the Wicked Pond series.

Content Warning: Death of an animal (not a pet), sexual assault, and murder.

Not every pond is a peaceful one.

This will be a long review because I wanted to discuss all seven stories in this collection. Do be sure to read them in order as events and characters from the beginning were sometimes referenced later on.

“The Pond” was an excellent place to begin. It followed a Native American man who was attempting to hunt a deer so his future wife would have food while they journeyed back home to his tribe. I can’t go into much detail about his experience with the pond when he briefly washed his hands in its water, but I did appreciate his sensible and cautious reaction to bizarre circumstances. That’s the sort of behaviour I always like to see in a protagonist!

Howard was having trouble finding customers for his new business in “The Book” even though he’d grown up in the community and assumed that this would encourage locals to hire him for their bookkeeping and accounting needs. I must admit that his negative attitude and the chip on his shoulder made it difficult for me to like him until I realized that they may have been clues about what was really going on. Then again, maybe he simply wasn’t a very nice guy. Let’s all decide that for ourselves.

Doctor Clarendon first appeared earlier, but he had his heyday in “Fairies” while treating a patient named Walter who insisted he had just seen a nude blue-skinned woman swimming in the pond who made it impossible for him to think of anything else. The ending of this tale disturbed me due to how Walter’s behavior changed after this encounter. I could never tell if his versions of events were genuine or if he was making them up to get out of trouble.

In “The Dogs of Dunncraft,” a monk named Brother Craig was called to a local cottage by a horrified woman who wanted him to dispose of the contents of a basket that was covered in a red cloth. When he found two puppies sleeping there, he decided to try to find a family to adopt them. I’ll leave it up to other readers to discover where the plot goes from there, but I was amused by his determination to do right by these puppies and by how reluctant the folks were around him to have anything to do with them.

I struggled to understand “Like Father…”.  It showed what happened when a young couple named Ron and Jenny hired a local man to build a deck for them that was never completed. Their reaction to this frustrating event defied logic. If only the narrator had given us more clues about what was going on in Ron’s mind when he realized all work on his deck had ceased. This would have been a solid read with more context and character development.

A distracted pilot named Amanda accidentally crashed her plane in “Flying High.” This was something that happened only a few paragraphs into her adventure, so I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to include it here. I found myself wondering why she agreed to fly when her mind was so filled with other troubles, but I’m sure that’s something that happens to pilots just like it can to the rest of us at times. What I did wish was better explained was why she didn’t try to eject herself from the plane once she realized it was going to crash. Yes, it was dangerous, but it sure seemed safer than crashing straight onto the ground!

After reading about the many different ways the pond had harmed other people, ”Fishing” made me shake my head. Who would ever try to go fishing in a magical body of water that seemed to have a grudge against humanity in general? I kept following Chet and Darrel’s story as I tried to figure out the answer to that question. Surely they should have known better! Other readers can decide for themselves what they think, but I was satisfied with what I eventually came up with.

In general, I noticed quite a few grammatical errors, misspellings, and other typos in this collection. With another round of editing and some further plot and character development, I would have been comfortable picking a higher rating than the one I ultimately chose.

Horror Anthology – Wicked Pond Collection was a spooky summer read.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Where Would You Spend One Day in the Past?

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A painting of a Neanderthal family enjoying a fire on a prehistoric plain as a mammoth walks by. Anyone who has participated in the Wednesday Weekly Blog Challenge or who has followed this blog for a few years will probably not be surprised by this answer at all.

If I could visit the past for one day, I’d want to spend it with a Neanderthal family. Ideally, we’d get to see some mammoths and other now-extinct species walking past us in the distance, too!

I’ve been fascinated by prehistory and Neanderthals in particular since I was a kid. You can learn a lot about someone by studying their skeletons and the artifacts they leave behind, but there are many facts that can never be preserved that way.

I’d want to know so many things about them: what language(s) they spoke, what names they gave to their children and why, which forms of entertainment they enjoyed in their free time, how any myths they had might be similar to or different from today’s myths, why they thought their ancestors moved to Europe and some parts of Asia from Africa, what religious and cultural beliefs they might have had that were different from ours, why they died out, and so much more.

(Yes, I am assuming that I’d have a universal translator or something that would facilitate communication between us. Even if they somehow spoke the same languages that Homo sapiens did, it surely would still need to be translated as nobody knows what those languages might have sounded like!)

It would be a dream come true to get to know them better for a day.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A circular assortment of books on shelves. Sometimes I’ve had to expand Top Ten Tuesday topics a little in order to come up with decent answers for them. Today I’m going to contract my options down to books written between the years of 2000 and 2012.

You see, this is one of those topics that I could start an entirely new blog about and instantly have years worth of material to choose from. I regularly read books that were written last week as well as ones that were written a few hundred years ago.

Memorable stories come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in any period of time in my experience.

So let’s look at some books that were written in this century that I enjoyed!

he Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold book cover. Image on cover shows a charm bracelet with only one charm on it. The charm is in the shape of a house.

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

 

w Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See book cover. Image on cover shows a young woman holding a closed fan in front of her lips as if to make a shushing motion.

2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

 

omics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt book cover. Image on cover shows an apple that has one slice missing. The slice shows that the inside of the apple is actually an orange.

3. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

 

and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) by Margaret Atwood book cover. Image on cover shows flowers and leaves superimposed over the head of a young woman who looks a little frightened.

4. Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) by Margaret Atwood

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon book cover. Image on cover shows a black upside down dog against a red backdrop.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

 

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan book cover. Image on cover shows grapes, an egg, and a few old pieces of pottery sitting together.

6. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

 

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver book cover. Image on cover shows a photo of a woman from the top of her head. Her eyes and nose are in view but her mouth is not. She looks pensive.

7. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein book cover. Image on cover shows a golden retriever looking off into the distance calmly.

8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

 

oraline by Neil Gaiman book cover. The title is in a flowery silver script against a black background. There are no images on the cover, only a blurb about how scary it is.

9. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 

ver Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro book cover. Image on cover shows a close-up of the face of a woman who is looking up with a concerned expression on her face.

10. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Photo Essay In Memoriam of a Tree

A tree with a damaged trunk. It’s branches are straight and covered with green leaves. From February of 2020 to January of 2021, I published a series of posts showing what one of Toronto’s parks looked like in every month of the year. Click on February, MarchAprilMayJune, July, August, September, October, NovemberDecember and January to read those posts.

Two of the trees in that park had been badly damaged in an ice storm in late 2019 or early 2020, and I chronicled their response to losing branches and having their trunks damaged in my early posts. In May of 2021, I shared an update on them. One seemed to recover pretty nicely while the other was deteriorating.

I am both sorry and relieved to tell you all that as of the end of July 2022, the tree that never recovered was cut down by the city.

Here is a photo of that tree in June of 2020. Even from some distance away you can see the massive wound on it’s trunk from where at least one large branch was torn away. I am not a botanist or an arborist, but it otherwise looked good in 2020. It still had most of its branches, and they stood up straight and firm.

For the sake of comparison, here is a photo from May of 2020 that shows many branches it lost. I’d guess it was about a third of them.

A large tree that has a massive branch lying on the ground. It’s probably about a third of the size of the tree’s other branches.

In retrospect, I wonder if the tree was sick before this storm. You often see small branches torn off during storms, but generally not such large ones in healthy specimens.

A large tree that has huge cracks in it’s damaged trunk.

In August of 2020, a large crack began to form in the trunk.

A tree with a large hole in its trunk. The branches have begun to bend downwards. it looks very unhealthy.

 

A month later, the remaining branches began to bend. I no longer felt safe walking underneath it and took all of my future photos by zooming in from a safe distance. Many of those branches were big enough to kill you if they fell on you.

A tree that has a large, dangerous hole in the trunk and drooping branches. the leaves have begun to change colour for the autumn.

 

It’s hard to see in this photo, but by October of 2020 the damaged portion of the trunk began to look wet and like something stringy was growing in it. Maybe it was some sort of mould or moss? I quietly observed from a distance, but things were not looking good.

Zoomed-in photo of a deeply cracked and mossy trunk.

Here’s a zoomed-in photo of it from 2021. It’s hard to see, but it looked pretty bad in person.

The  deterioration continued from there slowly but steadily each month.

A sickly, large tree with many drooping branches.

The tree did sprout new leaves in 2021, but they were noticeably more sparse than they had been in previous years. The branches began drooping more heavily as well.

An arm-sized branch that has fallen from a tree.

2021 was the year when branches began falling from the tree over and over again. I’d held out hope that it would recover in 2020, but by last year I was seeing more and more signs that it may not.

A tree stump covered in sawdust.

As of late last month, a stump and some sawdust is all that remains of that beautiful tree.

Yes, this was a good decision. The danger it posed to visitors to the park was growing stronger with each passing month, especially for anyone walking near it on a windy day.

With that being said, I will still miss hearing the wind rustle its branches and the shade it provided on hot days. When it was healthy, its branches were so large they even provided shade for the picnic table you can see in the distance of one of the above photos which is kind of amazing when you consider how small trees are at the beginning of their lives.

I wish it could have survived. May it Rest In Peace.