Short Stories by Samuel Marzioli

A House in the Woods

Published: January 2013 in Penumbra eMag

Genre: ghost story

Length: 4 pages

Setting: out in the woods, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: The narrator has bought a house out in the woods in which to retire. When he goes out to discuss the remodel, his contractor recommends demolishing the house and starting from scratch. The narrator feels like the house is staring at him and disapproving of the decision, but he goes ahead with it.

Final thoughts: The take home message is the narrator wonders for the first time if he has a soul that will carry on after he is dead. If a house can have an inhabitant, why not a human body? I wasn’t really impressed with the story, but I’m not into the existential side of stories.

Title comes from: The setting of the story.

Midnight Visitors

Published: February 2013 in Penumbra eMag

Genre: post-apocalyptic story

Length: 14 pages

Setting: a random city, some time in the near future

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Every night, loved ones who died have shown up at the door to take the living somewhere. A small collection of survivors have gathered in a house, but they’re losing their ability to refuse their loved ones’ pleas. Everyone but the narrator decides to follow their loved one, where ever they lead.

Final thoughts: Again, I see a theme of wondering what happens after you die. Can the dead really come back and be benevolent in their attention to the living? The narrator refused to believe anything good could come of following the dead out the door at midnight, but everyone else goes into the unknown. Who made the better choice? It’s up to the reader to figure that out since the author never describes what’s really happening. I also wonder who would have to come to the door to make me want to leave my current life.

Title comes from: The visitors always come knocking at the door at midnight.

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