Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"At first glance, Phil Pendleton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat together overlooking the lake. Some might say the father is a little too accommodating given the lack of discipline when the child loses his temper in public. Some might say he spoils his son by allowing him to set his own bedtimes and eat candy whenever he wants. Some might say that such leniency is starting to take its toll on the father, given how his health has declined.
What no one knows is that Phil is a prisoner, and that up until a few weeks ago and a chance encounter at a grocery store, he had never seen the child before in his life."
Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke is a horror short story that grips you from the first line and never lets you go.
“Four months to the day he first encountered the boy at Walmart, the last of Phil Pendleton's teeth fell out.”
What a first line, now that is how you make an entrance. This was an extremely unsettling and kind of just plain weird read. In under 100 pages, Burke managed to pack in so much atmosphere. I've read full length books that didn't do as near as good of a job as this.
Because this is so short though, I won't go into any further details and will just advise that you give this a shot if you're in the mood to be thoroughly creeped out in a short amount of time.