The horror short story “Vermin” by author Kerri Spellar is a moody exploration of the dark, twisting back roads of England. A young woman encounters things she simply cannot explain. The deeper we go into the story, the more the well-crafted atmosphere envelops her.
This review is spoiler free!
I heard from another reviewer that they thought this story was set in the US. I wanted to clarify a few reasons I got the impression right from the start that this story was set in the UK. It mentions the pub has a ‘landlord’ – we don’t have those in the US. We just have a bar owner. We generally don’t have “cottages” unless it’s a tiny place on a beach which is seasonal. Houses are just houses. I only know the term ‘chocolate box trail’ because I have a friend from Liverpool – I’ve never heard any US person use it.
Characters were using terms like ‘there never bloody is’, ‘freezing his bollocks off’, ‘blokes’, and ‘you can bet your arse’ – those are strong British phrases that we don’t use here in the US. I had to look up what a ‘punter’ was – a British term – and our bars don’t have ‘car parks’ – they have ‘parking lots’.
The heroine moves from her home in Kent to the Village of Dode. Both are known places in the UK. Also, we don’t really have villages in the US – we have cities and towns. And counties. So to me this story was very clearly set in the UK. I loved that about it – I loved all those phrases and details which to me strongly brought forth a powerful UK feel about the work.
Beautifully done, Kerri :).
Kerri’s story is part of “The Abyss Within” – a compilation of horror short stories!