Dark Ride is a collection of short fiction by one of the brightest writers in the genres of horror and dark fantasy. These stories range from the horrific to the surreal, and prove Michael Laimo to be a compelling stylist and relentless storyteller. None have been collected previously, and some are original to this volume.
Richard Sparke has no trouble sleeping. It's what he does after he falls asleep that gets him into trouble. There are the nightmares: His dead mother coming to visit, and then the return of his daughter, who was only an infant when she died. Among all of this, the man in black tries to murder him in his sleep. Soon the waking world falls prey to nightmares, and the two worlds become very difficult to tell apart for a man who simply wants to live an ordinary life...if anyone will let him.
Is Bev Mathers going crazy? He's been hearing chilling voices in his head, seeing nightmarish visions that just can't be true. And it keeps getting worse and worse. No, unfortunately for Bev, he's completely sane. What's taking control of him is far more terrifying than insanity. And it has an unimaginable purpose... Bev has become an innocent pawn in an infernal game, a victim of hellish forces beyond understanding. His visions of blood and debauchery are growing more ghastly every day.
"The demonologist is a good listen"
Dr. Michael Cayle wants the best for his wife and young daughter. That's why he moves the family from Manhattan to accept a private practice in the small New England town of Ashborough. Everything there seems so quaint and peaceful at first. But Ashborough is a town with secrets. Unimaginable secrets. Many of the townspeople are strangely nervous, and some speak quietly of legends that no sane person could believe. But what Michael discovers in the woods, drenched in blood, makes him wonder.
New England preacher Benjamin Conroy thought he had it all figured out: The keys to his family's eternal salvation lay in an ancient Egyptian ritual to the god Osiris. Following a little black magic - and the crucifiction of his entire family - the Conroys would rise from the dead, united for all of eternity, bringing salvation to the world. Assuming, that is, that the ritual went off with out a hitch. But for the Conroys, things went drastically wrong, and death was just the beginning of their suffering.
"Skip this one"
Frank Ballaro, police detective, is retiring shortly. Or is he?
A trail of blood on the curb outside his apartment leads to an alley where two young men have been severely mutilated. But they're not dead. Something keeps them alive. In the hands of one is a strange object, something he holds on to for dear life. Something he calls...atmosphere.
"Now THIS is a weird one.."
While building a church in New York at the turn of the century, a crate arrives and upon breaking turns the parishoners into murderous lunatics. Flash forward to present day, and this same church now facing destruction has become home to a number of homeless. Whatever evil that was in the crate has been unleashed, and it's up to the homeless residents and the former priest of the church to stop the evil from consuming New York in the form of angry sweaty construction workers....
"A Lukewarm Inferno"