The six short stories in River Fairchild’s Darkest Days, Blackest Nights are delightfully dark.
In “Brush Strokes” an artist’s last painting of her garden exacts revenge on the art world that snubbed her during her lifetime.
In “Blast from the Past” a fortune teller encourages her customers to take what she knows will be tragic “missteps.” “She reveled in the chaos of sending them straight into the downward spiral.”
In “Enter the Light” the aging ruler of a walled city-kingdom discovers how to regain youth for himself from his subjects’ need for vengeance. “He reveled in their despair. It fed him. It gave him life.”
In “Man in the Moon” an “Institute for Behavior Modification” turns out to be just as ominous as it sounds.
In “No Strings Attached” a prostitute—working for the other side, one might say—takes far more from her johns than they bargained for.
In “Time in a Bottle” a homeless man learns how to time travel to alternate stories of his life, each of them more horrific than the one that came before.
Does Fairchild leave us without a happy ending in sight? I’d have to say she’s left us with six.
(reviewed the day of purchase)