Saturday Spotlight: “In the Deep Dark” by Justin Macumber

“In the Deep Dark” by Justin Macumber is the first story in the Abattoir Presents series. Abattoir is the Psychological Horror webzine of Flying Island Press headed up by Scott Roche. They have a few shorter stories up for free by authors like Phil Rossi and Paul E. Cooley, but Justin’s is the first longer piece they’ve put up. Go to Abattoir’s website to purchase Justin’s story and or listen to the story for free.

Scott’s intro for this story on their website:
“In The Deep Dark” is a keen example of the sort of psychological horror I love. He builds good atmosphere and gets at the core of one of our primal fears. Something wicked is at the heart of the Bluestone Mine and unfortunate things follow. This is a prequel of sorts to a novel that Justin will be putting out, and I look forward to it.

What really grabbed me about this story is that it highlights how even grownups can be afraid of the dark. Being afraid of the dark is one of the purest types of fear, and reminds us of when we were vulnerable children with active imaginations about our basements or closets. In this case, that fear is justified, and even added a few twists to make it a more horrific tale. Justin has a very creative setting and his description of mining is accurate enough to this reader to have felt right in there with the thick of things. It gets thick and quite hairy. Well worth your $1.49 for this chilling thrill ride. The fact that this is a prequel threw me off in a good way, and I look forward to the novel. Justin is also the host of the Dead Robots Society podcast, one of my favorite podcasts on writing.

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One Response to Saturday Spotlight: “In the Deep Dark” by Justin Macumber

  1. Tim, first, let me say thanks for spotlighting my story. It means a lot that not only did you read it, but that you liked it enough to want to spend your personal time sharing your thoughts on it. That means so much to me.

    As for your point about fearing the dark being something we do well out of childhood, that couldn’t be more true. I don’t think I’ll ever fully stop wondering what’s under my bed, or what’s waiting for me when I walk through my house in the dark. No matter how far from the cave we are, or how old we get, the dark is where our worst fears sit, watching us, licking its chops.

    Oh, as for this being a prequel… Technically, at this point, it’s not. I used the writing of the short story to work out some ideas and techniques that are going into a full-length novel, but these actual characters and the location are specific to the short story. That said, you’ve sparked off an idea, and it wouldn’t take much work to edit the novel so that the short story is indeed a prequel. If I end up doing that, you’ll get a big thanks at the beginning of the novel. :)

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