Fairy Tale Ending is a horror novelette by William F. Aicher. Mr. Aicher is a prolific self-published author with a large Twitter following, whose no-nonsense writing philosophy has been encouraging for me and many others. He promotes indie authors and is always pushing all writers to grow and improve.
His positive impact on the #writingcommunity is what inspired me to pick up one of his books. I chose this short little tale so I could get a taste. Did I like it? Find out below..
This is a bite-sized story that fits neatly into the concept of a “fractured fairy tale”. It stars a nameless heroine easily identifiable as Little Red Riding Hood, and it follows her as she navigates a terrifying forest filled with everything you don’t want to find in the woods. This story is set in a familiar fantasy world, where nobody questions talking animals and anything from the Brothers Grimm could appear without anyone batting an eye.
He is excellent at cultivating horror. Sharp word choice and a fearless narrative style make you feel every bit of pain and every panicked heartbeat. Put plainly, this little fairy tale isn’t scared of anything. The violence is well-placed and shocking, and some of the more terrifying topics are approached without fear.
Aicher makes good use of the small space he’s allotted himself. There’s a lot of action and dread packed into this sort novelette. I read it all in a single sitting, and I was tense the whole time.
What Doesn’t Work
I find little to truly criticize in this story, but I recognize that my taste will not line up with anyone. Some will find the violence off-putting, but those people are reading in the wrong genre. It’s also worth mentioning that the story alludes to intended sexual assault a couple times, so anyone particularly sensitive to that topic might want to steer clear. No actual sexual assault occurs.
I enjoyed Fairy Tale ending, and I recommend it to all horror fans in need of an afternoon snack. The book, as well as Aicher’s other works, can be purchased on Amazon. If this review strikes your fancy and you’d like to support an indie author who speaks in strong support for other indie authors, I recommend picking it up.