Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Sure, it may have been Johnny Rotten who said that just before the Sex Pistols disbanded, but I’m saying it now because that Todd Keisling sure knows how to pen an ominous little tale that leaves you simultaneously shivering and salivating, wanting more.
Todd’s latest release, Radio Free Nowhere, is the first story of his Ugly Little Things, a collection of short stories being released as eBooks on the Kindle.
Ashley and Conrad head out for a little spin through the wilds of West Virginia, but even though it all sounds sultry and romantic, they don’t just hear the dulcet sounds of Chorus Frogs and Hoot Owls. What they encounter is something forgotten, something submerged, something full of false promise.
Have you read “You Know They Got a Hell of a Band” from Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes?
In it, King’s couple are driving down a country road, lost and when the husband finally asks for directions, stumbles upon a small town diner with a unique little secret.
In Radio Free Nowhere, the couple is not necessarily lost, but they do encounter something shrouded in those dark and winding roads, and Keisling uses the remoteness to his full advantage.
Now, my fiancee and I are avid road-trippers. Even if it’s only an hour or two drive into cottage country, we like to get out a lot in the spring and summer, sometimes with no particular destination in mind.
And up here, while cruising the radio dial, you’re more likely to encounter college indie rock or French Canadian radio, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be a little more leery on our next joyride.
The thing I like about RFN (and King too, perhaps “The Human Finger” notwithstanding) is that the writing doesn’t need flowery language or flashy theatrics to get your attention. Rooting the story in reality, making it come from something any one of us can relate to allows the mind to wonder…“What if that happened to me? Wait…that could happen to me!” That’s what makes good horror.
Subtle horror is at its best when it plants a seed and allows the reader not to be led but to imagine what would happen if put in the main character’s shoes. Keisling does this flawlessly, allowing true terror to slither up the back of your neck and make your skin prickle with the thrill of it.
So, yeah…we’ve taken a few wrong turns and ended up on many a dark, desolate backroad in our various trips over the years. I just pray we don’t hear a sweet voice singing in some strange language I don’t recognize the next time we start cruising the dial.
About Radio Free Nowhere
The water’s fine this time of year . . .
Somewhere in the mountains of West Virginia, a strange radio signal broadcasts a siren’s song, luring unsuspecting travelers to a forgotten lake. What lurks beneath those placid waters? Ashley and Conrad are about to find out in Todd Keisling’s latest ugly little thing, RADIO FREE NOWHERE.
Available from Precipice Books on Amazon Kindle. Also available in the audio anthology EXQUISITE DEATH, produced by In Ear Entertainment.
About Ugly Little Things Released individually as eBook-shorts for the Kindle, each installment of ULT will come out monthly, with a special hardcover edition hopefully coming this Summer. To read Radio Free Nowhere, check out Amazon, or visit Todd Keisling’s website to find out about the entire release schedule.