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Alaric Cabiling, Author

Alaric Al Necro Cabiling is author of Insanity By Increments, stories.  He is also known for his published articles at CvltNation.com and EchoesAndDust.com promoting the international extreme music scene.

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Other People We Married
Emma Straub

Diane Donovan of Midwest Book Review reviews Redefining Darkness, Stories

Redefining Darkness is a short story collection pairing protagonist choices and experiences with solid plots representing vignettes of time and place, and demonstrates just how much can be accomplished within the short story format.


Ten circumstances of 'redefining' one's world are illustrated in stories that run the gamut in presenting characters of different ages, sexes, and approaches to life.


Take the opener, 'Day of Darkness', for one example. Seven-year-old Francis is confessing his little crimes, but a bigger one takes place instead. Instantly the scene changes to a police report on television, then to the reactions of the Church, both internally and externally.


Readers receive only four pages to this short story, which create the precise and concise staccato impact of a verbal photo shoot, the camera clicking along from scene to scene while viewers receive a dose of just one definition of a growing darkness.


'Cause of Death', the next story, takes longer to build and describe its particular brand of darkness: here the anniversary of a wife's murder thirteen years earlier brings with it the nightmare of a life lived in grief, among bodies and murders, fueled with the fiery results of vodka and horror.


Again, experience the staccato paragraphs of description that click from scene to scene with the clarity of a camera shutter capturing images and vignettes. Readers have no idea where the journey is heading: all they know is that it's going straight into the darkness of death - with a peculiar twist.


Suicide. Abandonment. Death. The pursuit of fortune and sex. Each short story expertly hones the knife of angst and moves between vastly different character perspectives; and each adds a piece to the evolving jigsaw puzzle theme.


The result is a powerful, gripping gathering that grabs readers and doesn't let go. How does darkness evolve and grow? Read these stories and find out.


That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.