David Fingerman’s “Edging Past Reality: A Collection of Short Stories” is a compilation of some previously published works and some new works, cleverly arranged into the stages of maturity: childhood, adulthood, middle age, and later in life.
The first story, the excellent “Marty’s Toy,” focuses on a typical family with a ten-year-old boy, Marty. He’s overjoyed with the creepy, monstrous action figure his mom presents him for his birthday, but less happy when odd (and very violent) things begin to happen—and soon he’s fighting for his life. (The entire section focusing on childhood is strong, each story providing a unique scare.) Moving into adulthood and then middle age, “The Witness” has a classic Hitchcock feel, where one man’s carelessness seems like it will lead to his death, until fate intervenes; “The Blue Light” features a twisted sexual fetish that is not for the faint of heart or stomach. The scariest of all, hands down, is “Snow Crabs”—it evokes the short Stephen King story “The Mist” in the best way. The couple in the story assumes they will weather out this snow storm like they have any other—until they realize there are hungry little creatures in the snow with razor sharp claws, and there’s really no way out. Many of the stories in “Edging Past Reality” are ingenious, spanning the gamut of horror: the supernatural, the gory, the suspenseful, the fantastic. The grouping of the stories lends itself not only to a read that really flows, but also makes you think about horror as it pertains to each stage of life, and how those stages of life might not really be so different when it comes to blind fear. Recommended to readers who enjoy well-written and engaging horror stories with creative plots that range from the creepy to the downright disturbing.