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Fear itself

by Jeff Gelb;

  Print book : Fiction  |  Warner books ed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Selected story summaries   (about 2 days ago)


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by billborre

"Here There Be Spyders" by Graham Watkins - Carol is hiking with Tony when she becomes wedged in a cavern chimney. Tony asks the narrator for help in getting Carol unstuck but he will have to enter the cavern from a cave mouth and approach Carol's legs from below. The narrator is willing to help but he's afraid of spiders. The cavern turns out to be full of them but when one gets into his pants and bites his penis the man's anger overrides his fear. He climbs rocks beneath Carol and pushes her upwards but the chimney is too narrow for him to climb up behind her. A black widow begins making its way towards his face and he smashes it with a rock which causes a piece of limestone to break off widening the chimney just enough to grant him passage. Tony is stunned by the man's appearance and asks him what happened down there. Both Carol and Tony are shocked when the man, his fear replaced by angry disdain, plucks a spider from its web and pops it into his mouth.

"War and Peace" by John Shirley - A cop strangles his wife and makes it look like gangsters did it so that he gets away with it but his partner figures it out. Forensics detect the same type of spray paint on the killer's shoes that was present at the crime scene but his partner perjures himself to protect him because the two of them stole over four hundred thousand dollars of drug money from the department. His partner thinks about killing the murderer because otherwise he will always have something to hang over his head but realizes if he shoots him passed out drunk in his own bed it will look like a suicide, proving that he actually did kill his wife, and consequently indicating that he did perjure himself to cover for him. He realizes the cops won't say anything about his perjury and shoots the killer in the head.

"The Gray Madonna" by Graham Masterton - Dean goes to Bruges in order to track down a nun who was the last person seen talking to his wife three years ago before she was killed. A sick man tells Dean a story about town statutes and suggests it may have been a statute sent to punish his wife. Dean thinks that the man may be unhinged and walks away but later sees a nun in a gray habit in the street and follows her to the top of a belfry. The nun stands with her back to Dean and ignores his questions. When the bells go off the nun swivels around and Dean sees it really is a statute. The statute advances upon him and whispers "This is for Charlie." The statute knocks Dean from the top and crushes him in the street below. Dean and his wife had decided to abort Charlie when it was discovered the baby would have been born with a birth defect. 

"Unfinished Business" by Michael Garrett - Mark has a pistol in his desk drawer in case Brett, who has a violent history, is unable to control his temper. Brett appears to take the news of his being fired reasonably but when Mark approaches him at the office door Brett splits Mark's lip and knees him in the groin. As Mark is recovering from the pain his boss enters the office and tells Mark that he's fired. Mark pulls the gun and shoots him in the face.

"Sewercide" by Rex Miller - The son of a serial murderer kidnaps and repeatedly rapes a pro-life woman in his lair below the sewer because he knows that she will not abort his child. When the police finally kill him and locate her they lead her up stairs out of the darkness. When she emerges into the light and hears her husband's voice she shakes free of the police to commit suicide by hurling herself over the railing.

"Snakes" by Jack Ketchum - Ann has to deal with a very aggressive water snake.




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