Friday 27 November 2015

REVIEW: William Meikle - Blacktop

Genre: Horror / Dark Fiction
Publisher: William Meikle
Publication Date: 17th May 2015
Pages: 34


I picked up this copy of Blacktop by William Meikle a few weeks ago when it was going cheap on Amazon. It may even have been free, I can’t remember. I wanted something short to read so slotted it in. Generally Mr Meikle’s stuff is top notch reading. This was a bit different to others of his I have read but was it worth it?

A man picks up his latest object of desire, Ellen. He has had a few drinks in a bar before getting behind the wheel of his pickup truck. His baby.

Not far into the journey he has an accident and wakes up wandering along an abandoned road. There is nothing there to see other than the blacktop and Nobody constantly following him, ten yards behind.

He needs to find his baby. He needs to understand.

This one is certainly different. This is a story told in the first person by a person you know next to nothing about other than the fact they have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after having a drink. In this story you witness, through their eyes, what it must be like to be eternally tortured in your own personal purgatory. This is what it could be like in your own personal hell after making the mistake of your life.

I don’t want to tell you what happens in the story to spoil things for you but to be honest, after you read this, it will make you think about every little thing you have done wrong in your life or every little thing you may be contemplating doing wrong in your future.

This story is so full of emotion and fear and horror and bizarreness that, believe me, it will stick with you for a long time after reading it.

I don’t know if Mr Meikle had some sort of epiphany before writing this story or what the inspiration behind it was but he has probably hit the nail on the head when it comes to what most people would perceive as their worst impression of what it would be like stuck in a continuous loop of a literal walking hell. I suspect it had something to do with the song that is continuously mentioned in the story. I searched for it on You Tube after reading the story and suffered from an hour long bout of goose bumps. If I had listened to the song before reading the story and had it in my mind as I read, I reckon I would have peed myself!

You cannot help but feel for the main character in this story because of what he is going through but then at the same time you cannot help but think he deserves everything he gets in it for what he has done. One particular scene where someone else comes into his nightmare had me very near to tears. This is certainly an emotional roller coaster of a story that you will not want to miss.

To summarise: a story of one man’s nightmare after causing a nightmare for others. A tale of a walking hell that no one would ever want to go through. This should be made into a short film and put on TV to highlight the possible effects of drink driving. I think it would be far more effective than any advert I have seen so far.

General rating:

★★★★★ excellent creepy short story.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ gets full marks again for emotional horror.

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Book Synopsis:

A car crash, an awakening and a post-apocalyptic landscape are only the start of his problems. He's alone apart from a mute companion, there's nothing but wrecks on the highway, and somewhere, somebody won't stop singing. He heard the crash on the highway. But he didn't hear nobody pray.

I'm Willie, Scottish but now in Canada, and I write pulpy adventure stories in the main, with big beasties, men with guns, occult detectives, lost worlds, things from beyond, slime, ghosts, more beasties and more slime. And beer. I have 20 novels and over 300 stories published in the likes of Dark Regions Press, DarkFuse and Chaosium with many more still to come. And did I mention beer?

My current best seller is THE INVASION, a sci-fi alien invasion tale with mass carnage, plucky survivors, and last minute rescues. It has been as high as #2 in the Kindle > science fiction charts. (and #4 in Kindle > horror).

And for more about Willie, visit his site or find him on social media:

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