Everything on this planet dies sooner or later.
Author: Colette Ni Reamonn Ioannidou
Everything on this planet dies sooner or later, yet it is how people die that intrigues us most, because we don’t know how we’ll make our exits, do we? The people in these eleven stories are facing death. Some go willingly, others put up a fight when old Charos beckons. And there are always the nasties, who like to give the Old Reaper a hand, finding brutal pleasure in filling his ferry to capacity. But killers can no more escape the end of life than the victims they push prematurely into eternity. There is always a balance – you live, you die, and Charos takes no sides, just bodies. It is how we deal with the imminent end that makes each case so different and so individual. If you believe in the Afterlife, then death is not so awful, or is it? That depends on where you’re going.
Phillip | Fear of the sea, which almost took his life, does not stop Phillip from trying to help a drowning woman, but Death wants a victim.
The Able Strain | Mass murder comes to a small town at the hands of a youth with dead eyes. Cathy, his career advisor, attempts to stop Calvin’s killing spree in his classroom but is badly wounded. Yet she is the only one to whom Calvin reveals his bitter truth when he tells her who made him commit the heinous act.
Paid in Full | Due to his neighbour’s crooked dealing, Jack Salem has lost everything: his reputation, his profession and his wealth. Salem wants revenge, but he also wants to protect the people who gave him information on ‘Dirty Danny’ next door. So he devises a plan that will make his death instrumental in Danny’s downfall. One of his weapons is a sperm-stained panty.
The Slugs | Lembos has watched over Sakkis since childhood. Sakkis is what some villagers call ‘mentally deficient’. His late mother always believed that Sakkis understood far more than people thought. Her belief is proven correct when the village bully victimises Sakkis and his pets.
Lost and Found | A music writer loses his ability to create songs and sees no point to his life, so he decides to end it by jumping off a bridge, even as resurrected fame is clutching at his reluctant elbow. But is it really up to him, or does fate decide the time and the way?
Lars | Lars is the man of every woman’s dreams, a gifted guitarist no one can hold down. He shares their beds but never gives his heart. Saga is different; she is a friend who needs a favour that amounts to collusion in a crime. Sean Flynn, a young detective, is troubled by what transpires and finds the case not that easy to close, because he is not dealing with a flesh and blood ending of life.
Death by Murder | Four stories joined by events that shaped and changed the lives of a mother and her beloved son whom she discovers is gay. Time is lost to misunderstanding, foolish pride and confusion. When Selina is found dead, partly eaten by her cats, a team of detectives is called to investigate. Sean Flynn has to call the victim’s son Collin, a film director now living in America, to tell him the sad news. Selina has left a will, but Collin gains nothing from it. However, going through her effects after her death presents him with knowledge he was not aware of and the extent to which his mother was prepared to go to protect him from his father.
Shit Granny | The woman has been under surveillance for years because of a fluke discovery. The agents sent to observe her are sure she has contacts with many of the bad guys they would love to haul in for interrogation. But lack of results has them bored and distracted. They can never pin her down or pin anything on her. Until one agent, given a position because of connections, sets out to prove himself as the one who could trap her.
The Soft Target | Cardo is a small-time thief whose best friend has been caught by a police trap, a trap, he feels, he will never fall into, because he believes he can sniff fixed bait a mile off. Until one evening, driven by the desire to grab a gift for his girlfriend’s child, he tries to rob a soft target only to find she has a very hard core. His problem in the hands of justice is made more difficult by his mother, who decides to take the law into her own hands.
The Last Happy Memory | Liam is slowly dying of cancer and has made a pact with himself that each day he will find one thing of beauty to make him smile, for the time he has left. Death presents him with beauty he had not contemplated when he performs a last good deed.
Fear | Seri, drawn to a big city by the promise of a good job, is trapped by sex slaver Enka, who rapes and dominates her. One of his men, Dendro, helps her escape having stolen a large amount of Enka’s money. People die to help her, and Enka comes after her, sure that the quiet village girl is no match for his big city wiles. He does not know that Seri, on her own terrain where wolves howl in the night, is not as helpless as he thinks.