Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
"The light of consciousness is dimming. How can you reason with those beasts? There are monsters of all sizes here." Mark Anthony Smith's Keep It Inside: And Other Weird Tales uncloaks the mysteries and horrors of nature. Strange and sinister circumstances abound in 20 short stories and flash fiction for fans of the genre. The Prairie Lures starts the collection about a soldier who has a frightening encounter in the woods while on duty. In Wood Fooks, a fishing weekend for two friends turns deadly as strange beasts appear and terrorize them. The Cliff-Top Terrors is about a holiday park that turns into a feasting ground for deer-like creatures. Interestingly, What The Trees Recall is a switch in perspective as a creature longs to be free from his captivity.
Mark Anthony Smith's narrative pulses with intensity and suspense in which the characterization mirrors the unsettled and bizarre part of the human psyche. In the title story Keep It Inside, the concept of reverse childbirth is beyond my imagination, making it a disturbing but interesting read at the same time. The odd familial theme appears again in The Call To Dust where a man keeps digging until he unearths the truth about his late grandfather and a pack of stray dogs. Some of the stories' surreal elements are half-grounded in the real issue of our world as nature fights back against mistreatment by humans in The Interwoven, while a tribute to H. P. Lovecraft is evident in The Miskatonic Madness. Compelling and startling, Keep It Inside: And Other Weird Tales is an entertaining read which will delight horror fans.