Rating: 4.5 out of 5
There is something to be said for the slam-bang horror tale. You know the type – they drag you in, shake you around a bit, and then pull away, never once telling you why everything that happened, happened.
While reading “Down the Drain”, a fast-paced novelette by Daniel Pyle, I was struck at first by how strange and audacious the storytelling was. Hell, the first chapter is told through the viewpoint of a cat! From there, it moves onto the main character, Bruce, a lonely independent contractor whose bathtub seems to have a thing for cat-flesh and penises. Short story even shorter, Bruce is accosted one night while bathing, the accursed tub doing things to him that might not be printable on a family blog before giving birth to something even stranger than a living, breathing hunk of porcelain.
This is a very straight-forward, action-driven tale. And it’s also fun. The scares are there, and the creepiness, but it’s the sense of humor – and the desire to shock you – that shines. I laughed out loud and cringed at the same time while I read it – especially during a scene involving a waggling phallus and the contemplation of how far away is a safe enough distance from a man-eating bathtub.
Never once is a reason given for the bathtub’s actions, and that’s okay. Sometimes, you can be given a larger chill by not knowing than if the author were to give you an unsatisfactory explanation. I love this style of storytelling, though I’m not very good at it, myself. Therefore, I have much more respect for those who do.
“Down the Drain” is a rumpus of uncomfortable horror. It goes by quickly, and will grab you in places you’ll never expect and jiggle you around a while. It’s an extremely enjoyable ride, no matter how short it is. I personally guarantee fun will be had by all who read this…unless you’re bothered by naked men running around and defending themselves from man-eating bathroom fixtures, that is.
Plot - 9
Characters - 8
Voice - 10
Execution - 9
Personal Enjoyment – 9
Overall – 45/50 (4.5/5)
Purchase Down the Drain for the Amazon Kindle