Just What January Needs

January is not my favorite month.  I suppose if I lived in Australia or Brazil I’d feel differently.  But I don’t.  I live in the northern hemisphere, where January is cold, dry, and dreary.

You would think the perfect solution would be to publish a string of lovely, uplifting stories, the kind that makes the heart sing, the kind that puts a smile on your face.

But, no.  We’re not publishing those kinds of stories this month.  If I could choose one word to describe this month’s stories it would have to be this one:

Squirm /skwǝrm/ verb 1.  To wriggle or twist the body from side to side, especially as a result of nervousness or discomfort.

Sometimes the characters will do the squirming, sometimes it will be you.  I apologize ahead of time.  At least one story may be too much for some people.  It was almost too much for me.

So what do you say we just dive right in.

We’ll start off with Bonnie Stufflebeam’s “The Land of Phantom Limbs.”  How’s that for a squirm-worthy title?  Still, not so bad as it sounds.  In fact, a touching telling of a soldier recovering from traumatic injury and the blurry line between hallucination and reality.

Next up, H. L. Fullerton gives us “The Card.”  In this story our characters do the squirming for you when a mysterious card arrives in the mail.  You know how sometimes there are things in the past that you wish would stay there?  They seldom do.

Last we bring you a story that, well…  Stop now if you’re squeamish.  Katherine Crighton’s “Your Hand in Mine, We’ll Be All Right” is a creepy psychological horror piece that, for me, hit a little too close to home in some ways.  Not that I would EVER do what she did.  If I’ve piqued your curiosity, if you read on, don’t blame me for what you endure.  You’ve been warned.  If you love the super-creepy, you’re going to love this story.  We did, which is why we’re bringing it to you.

Sometimes a good squirm is just what January needs.