Selected story summaries by billborre []
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Borderlands / Thomas F. Monteleone.

by Thomas F Monteleone;

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Selected story summaries   (2018-07-24)


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by billborre

"By Bizzare Hands" by Joe R. Lansdale - Preacher Judd targets the widow Case and her retarded daughter Cinderella on Halloween because Cinderella reminds him of his retarded sister he used to rape but refused to have sex with him one Halloween night so he killed her and stole her Halloween candy to make it look as though someone else did it. Widow Case realizes that his intentions towards her daughter are carnal so she resists him with a butcher knife but he stabs her with it and brains her with a frying pan. Cinderella runs into the woods naked with a sheet over her and Preacher Judd pursues her with the frying pan. He catches up to her by the lake and beats her to death with the frying pan. He looks at her naked butt and is too tired from the killing to slake his lusts. He gets back in his car and drives away noticing the moon now resembles a jack o'lantern so he figures that he must have done well.

"Muscae Volitantes" by Chet Williamson - Randy murders his dying gay lover Alan when Alan attempts to blackmail Randy into leaving his wife Cathy and remaining with him until he passes away. Randy begins to see Alan's face everywhere. By rapid blinking he doesn't give the image time to form and Cathy suggests a visit to the doctor. The doctor doesn't come up with anything wrong with him but Randy learns he doesn't see the face when looking at bright light. Outside when the clouds part Randy is distracted by the bright light of the sun when struck by a car. He lives, but suffers total paralysis. He'll be spending the rest of his days looking at Alan's face on a gray hospital wall.

"The Good Book" by G. Wayne Miller - Phyllis and her husband Bob notice a body at the top of a flagpole on their property. The sheriff wants to remove it but Phyllis refuses until she consults her bible. After a few days she tells Bob that she's found the answer in the bible and the body is that of her son she miscarried thirty years ago. Bob gets it down and brings it inside but when he complains that it's going to stink she slaps him and reminds him the bible promises resurrection and demands he pray with her. The next body found on top of the flagpole is Bob's. Their gas station is set afire and Phyllis is seen leaving town with a dark-haired young man behind the wheel.

"Evelyn Grace" by Thomas Tessier - Tim learns that a girl he went to high school with named Evvy has died of a drug overdose in LA. Tim returns to the small town he grew up in and attends her wake. The parents invite him to attend the funeral and then come back to their house. They think that Tim must have been friends with Evvy and Tim makes up a history on the spot to relate to them that they had planned to get married. What Tim doesn't realize is that this enrages the father thinking Tim just walked away from her to let her die at the hands of her pusher. The father hits Tim with a skillet several times and tells his wife that he's going to dump the body in the Canadian woods.

"On the Nightmare Express" by Francis J. Molozzo - A vampire artist named Aurora encounters a psychopath killer who murders her in the woods during an attempted rape and takes her sketchbook. When he returns to her flat he encounters Victor, a fledgling vampire that Aurora had turned. The killer blames Aurora's death on somebody that he refers to as Joe but Victor proves to him that Joe is not a separate person. Victor says the killer ought to finish Aurora's last painting of the train from his nightmare because she left the flat seeking inspiration and she ran into him.

"Peeling It Off" by Darrell Schweitzer - Frank has a friend named Sam who can peel people's faces off with his fingers. When Sam does it to his wife Joanne he becomes haunted by traces of her. At first when Sam tells his story Frank thinks he is either a lunatic or a murderer, but when he sees the manifestations of Joanne's objects and Sam peels the face off a bag lady in a subway tunnel, Frank accepts his story. Sam asks for Frank's help in peeling his own face off so that he can look for Joanne in the beyond.

"Ladder" by T.E.D. Klein - A man realizes after traveling around the world that God is making a word ladder game out of his life, where each word follows the previous by altering one letter. Beginning with 'Birth' and traveling through many unusual circumstances he arrives full circle near to where he was born at 'Heath'. He realizes that there is only one more link on the word ladder.

"Suicide Note" by Lee Moler - After a man meets a girl in his wife's sociology course who is into painful sex he strangles his wife. He commits to being a serial killer as he is convinced that is what the girl wanted from him before she disappeared and he will remember her through the deaths of other women.

"A Younger Woman" by John Maclay - Jack leaves his wife Meg for twenty-two year old Marcia and they drive west towards LA. Marcia begins to age rapidly as the miles fall away so that by the time the car reaches LA Marcia is a skeleton.

"The Man in the Long Black Sedan" by Ed Gorman - A father who has visions confronts a creature who gives children fatal diseases but he can't kill it with his handgun so he shoots the boy to spare him a lingering death.






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