Length: 171 Pages
100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a collection of 100 horror stories, each written in exactly 100 words, and accompanied by over 50 illustrations. Inside, you’ll find monsters—both imagined and real. There are vengeful specters, characters with impaired psyches, dark fairy tales and stories and illustrations inspired by bizarre creatures of Japanese folklore.
Praise for 100 Nightmares:
“100 Nightmares took me for a thrill ride from the very first page. This book is filled with some of the creepiest and horrifying illustrations and flash fiction I’ve ever come across. K.Z. Morano knows how to take the fairy tale and twist it into a horrifying piece of flash prose, or subject an innocent person to the most brutal torture, or death. Seriously, some very disturbing moments were encountered as I read each story. Wow, keep an eye out for this writer, my friends, she’s going to be delivering horror the way it’s meant to be.” ~Charles Day, Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Author of THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF, and author of DEEP WITHIN and HUNT FOR THE GHOULISH BARTENDER
100 Nightmares by K.Z. Morano is a frightening collection of 100 horror stories, each just 100 words long. I’ve not read such a brutal or twisted set of stories before, K.Z. Morano is an excellent author making her mark as a women of horror. I’ve highlighted a few of the stories that really grabbed my attention. This collection is filled with many stories that fit in to various themes and they all make for a very good read for any fan of the dark world of horror. “Quilt” is a story of a grandmother who makes a very unusual quilt. The last sentence was the one that really got me and this is why I love 100 word micro fiction. “Mommy Makes Dinner” isn’t the dinner one would hope for, a nicely told twist of the psychotic mom makes this the kind of short that gives you the chills. “The Collector” a story of a mother collecting the most terrible dolls you can imagine. Reading this tiny tale gives me goose bumps and a shake of my head, a nightmare for sure. “Alien Autopsy” is, well not the kind of autopsy that should be taken lightly, and probably not even attempted. Little does this doctor know what the alien has left to give, even as the good doctor thinks he is dead. Sometimes the dead should be left alone, curiosity will kill the cat. “Little Girls Games” a story of little red riding hood, well in a twisted way of course. Is it better to be the wolf or the little girl, only you can decide, I’m left shaking my head unsure which is better. K.Z. Morano again unsettles me with this story as she did time and time again while reading her work. “Gingerboy” a red-headed child doomed from the start when the father discovers the child isn’t his, but not to worry, dad is it under control. Every problem has a solution but in 100 Nightmares they aren’t always kind or preferable. “Golden Locks” is a story with a sense of humor and blasts you right between the eyes with the horror. Crossing mama isn’t a wise idea, she has a way of getting even. I loved this story and it made me smile which is wrong on a few levels but horror does need a bit of humor to soften the blow. “The Mermaid’s Tale” They say you can’t go home again but they are wrong. The mermaid did and the results are ugly and more than a bit unsettling. This great little tale made my stomach turn which doesn’t happen often, this tells me the author has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. “Neverland” is straight and to the point, efficiently laid out in and well written. Neverland isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “The Return From the Rabbit Hole“, this may be one of the strangest and out there horror stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. A man has an insatiable and bizarre apatite that is too much to describe, but is clearly painted and left me shocked. “Best. Birthday. Ever.” is a great and very strange twist on a birthday party with a pinata and the birthday boy is given an unexpected gift. Unfortunately for the father the child says best birthday ever, as strange as that sounds it makes perfect sense in the upside down world of 100 Nightmares. “The Dumpsite“, “Control Freak” and “Late Night Shopping” are great shorts that I could see being expanded to a the true length of a short story. They have a great set up and quick and satisfying wrap up within this 100 word setting. “Practice Makes Perfect“, “The Diner” and “It’s Cold in Hell” are also a fine set of stories about death all with a messing and ugly story to tell. K.Z Morano has a way with how she can describe death in so many unsettling ways. From amputation, to devouring souls to cannibalism, it’s fascinating how may ways a nightmare can be told. “Vegetable“, “Fishing” and “Cradle” are a crazy, brutal, sick and fun, which is quite an accomplishment when telling stories that can only be considered nightmares. I shudder at the thought of how and where these ideas come from. “Chain Mail” is mail of a different sort and has a theme that I’ve come across before. It’s a good solid horror story with the kind of ending I love and find humor in. But again I am kind of twisty. “Faversham’s Toilet” This isn’t your typical toilet as a child learns the magic that happens when he flushes it. The last 40 words takes this tale in a direction I didn’t expect, the last sentence was what put this story over the top, I laughed and realized how twisted the story is. “Shared Custody” is about just what you think it is but with a nasty twist on two levels. As I read the story I was shocked not once but twice. These 100 words stories are fantastic because of the ability to tell so much story with so few words. 100 Nightmares is completely sick, twisted and perfect all at the same time. If you don’t manage to find this collection of writing great then you didn’t pay attention. I imagine I will revisit these stories from time to time just to see if any of these nightmares will seep in to my own.