The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
October 24, 2020
Have you felt prickles crawling across the back of your neck, your hair raising straight up on your arms? Perhaps you were watching a spooky movie or were feeling watched yourself, or having that feeling that someone was standing on your grave? Some books can produce those very same reactions. I have a few for you in this review. Just in time for All Hallows’ Eve.
Winters are known to be cold in many locations around the globe. Extreme low temperatures freeze the ground hard and freeze whole lakes clear to the bottom. If you are lucky, you might have even seen the tumbling waters of a waterfall, going over the lip of an abrupt edge and freezing halfway down to the canyon below. But people freezing from the inside out? That is not natural at all, anywhere.
Author Willow Rose draws you into her story “Black Frost” in such excruciating detail, that I suggest a thick warm blanket and a hot mug of some tasty liquid to keep your breath from freezing in the air while you read. Rose is the author of the Emma Frost Mysteries, a prolific series of books. “Black Frost” is aptly No. 13.
My next question to you is, have you ever felt elsewhere, like you are in a familiar spot but things are just not right? It’s a little like deja vu but backwards. In deja vu, you enter a space that is suddenly totally familiar, experience an action that feels like you have done it before. In “Elsewhere” by Dean Koontz, a father and daughter find themselves in a parallel universe that is similar to their home surroundings, but as they look closely, they realize it really is not the same at all. It is hostile, and they are being hunted for the small iPhone type object that has brought them there. Personally, I like to feel grounded, sitting in my own comfy chair with everything normal. But as Midge Lyn’dee, your Loop book reviewer, I feel a responsibility to read beyond my comfort zone from time to time. Reach into multiple genres for ages 3 to 103. Remember as you turn the pages in this book, to breathe. Breathing helps.
Which leads me to “The Dark of the Grey” by hometown Tehachapi author G.E. Perlin. Computer Programmer Nate, living on a small island north of Seattle, might sound benign. He works from home in beautiful quiet surroundings. He has a girlfriend and loves to cook. He has a cat. But his nights are anything but serene. Sleep paralysis doesn’t help when paranormal activities shake his desk and computer. Then there is his therapist visit where a horrific tragedy occurs while he is under hypnosis. Sudden flight jolts the reader out of the Pacific Northwest, driving through hot southern deserts within the first few chapters.
The adventures in this omnibus by Perlin, written in journal format, uproots you many times. You believe the story is going one direction, when suddenly you realize you are someplace you didn’t expect. Perlin generates an impressive master of intrigue enticed by expressive language, drawing you into a story that merges both alien and dark spirits. Not only does this author confront the reader with the mysteries of the universe, but also a struggle of spiritual perceptions. Yours and Nate’s. This is not the classic good versus evil story. But truly a fight for everything or nothing. And reading during daylight hours was helpful to me.
In order to soothe my equilibrium after these three scary books, I leave you with a new yet familiar story, “The Spooky Wheels on the Bus” by J. Elizabeth Mills. I downloaded this picture book on my Kindle. And yes, as in the original “The Wheels on the Bus,” you can sing the words page by page to the tune so many children have sung for decades. The wheels on the bus still go round and round, so I guess we are surviving, a society where some norms still stand strong. And there is comfort in that. There is security.
I am breathing a sigh of relief from the spooky and scary now, and looking forward to enjoying the rest of Fall.
I am still standing and hope you are, too, during these crazy times. Keep safe. Keep grounded. Keep warm. Enjoy the autumn dancing of the leaves, into November. Good books. Good reading.
*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.