Friday, November 30, 2012

"Necessary Evil" by Tina Starr (Short Stories)

Genre:  Horror

Type of Short Story:  Short Story Collection

Summary:  Necessary Evil contains the terrifying "Oded the Merciless" (previously published in audio format at Pseudopod) and more dark fiction. Six horror stories, 22,000 words total:

Oded the Merciless
A relentless computer AI on a spaceship torments a woman to discover the nature of the human condition.

To Feed the Hungry
A lesson in be careful what you wish for.

Nature Boy
An angry young man is offered his heart's desire, but only if he can believe in magic.

Cold Comfort
An elderly woman is hiding something far worse than her menagerie of cats.

Red Tide
Bad things happen when a vampire bites a dolphin.

Necessary Evil
A real estate agent on Mars struggles with an ethical quandary when she tries to sell a house. 


“Meluna, you are beautiful.”

The electronic voice penetrated her from all directions, unwelcome.

Meluna hurled the instruction manual she was trying to read at the nearest recessed speaker. It bounced off. The information and the book itself, both useless. The control room could sustain more damage than she had the ability to inflict.

Her thoughts returned to her predicament, circled it.

The voice jarred her again.

“Meluna. Your scars are not unattractive. Your missing ears are no detraction from your beauty. Your sunken left cheekbone allows an aesthetic break from symmetry as does your partially amputated nose. Your lips have been sewn into small grooves and peaks that provide sensual variety in color and texture. Your body…”

“Shut up!” She put her hands over the holes where her ears had been. The movement made her tilt, off balance. She collapsed with a moan. The voice coming from everywhere like a god’s voice, saying such things to her. Obscene.

If there was a god, he’d abandoned her months ago.

She blinked up at the glare from bare white walls and bright metal. The control room looked so different from the labyrinthine hallways with their utilitarian grated gray floors and ceilings. Different, too, from the fourteen small bedrooms each painted a cheerful primary color. Candy colors. Melts in your mouth not in your hands.

Oded’s seat of power was a sterile white womb.

Her fellow-travelers, the twelve women Ulrich had abducted, were dead. Naked sculptures of his work in cold storage, most skulls like empty oyster shells, others new-cracked.

Buy this collection on Amazon or Smashwords.

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