Shane Ryan Staley has always shown a deft hand at selecting the very best in horror in all of his endeavors. Known best for Delirium Books and DarkFuse, Staley was also a driving force in the independent press push in the growing popularity of horror ebooks through Darkside Digital. I took a step back a couple years to read one of these releases when I called up “Midnight Blues” by Brian Knight on my reader and experienced this terrifying short story one more time.
Jerry Conway had only one question about the rest of his life and that was whether he would die from cancer or old age. It was a slow but steady race between the two as exemplified by his slowly deteriorating health. Then the car came back into his life along with the sadness and regret of that night many years ago when the woman he loved was raped on this very car. While her attackers rotted in prison, she gave into despair and eventually suicide. Now the men who destroyed his life are out of prison and Midnight Blues is back in his life with a new mission: revenge.
“Midnight Blues” is a very good short story about loss and revenge. Knight is an accomplished author who knows how to craft a solid story and this skill is on full display in this short story. The reader feels torn between sympathy for Jerry and horror at what is happening in the story. I would challenge anyone, however, to classify the horror being wrought in the present as greater than that of the past that haunts Jerry and his car. This presents an interesting dilemma in the story as the reader must try to balance condemnation with forgiveness and wonder what would happen if he was put in the same situation. Darkside Digital has since given way to DarkFuse but this story is a testament to the quality fiction that any fan of the genre will find in anything that Staley has a hand in publishing. A horror aficionado will be hard pressed to find a better quick scare than “Midnight Blues.”