#ShortStoryMonth Day Thirteen — “Evil Eye,” by Madhuri Shekar



It will surprise no one that Mr. Loves His Happy Endings and Will Fight You For Them isn’t a huge fan of horror. I struggle with the hopelessness that threads its way through so many horror narratives (don’t even get me started on Zombies), but I do enjoy some horror when there’s that dash of hope and the horror ends with the survivor (or survivors) crawling their way out of the darkness, beaten but not broken, and ultimately triumphant.

(I don’t love it when the writer or director or the what-have-you takes that moment to show you the evil twitching or throwing in one last jump-scare to let you know it totally isn’t the end and they’re pretty much boned.)

I quite literally stumbled into an audiobook short today, “Evil Eye,” by Madhuri Shekar that fit the bill of everything I love in horror, though. The set-up is simple enough (and, honestly, quite funny to start with): you’ve got the Indian daughter living in the US, her mother in Delhi trying to arrange a good match for her, and the cultural divide between them that often leaves both frustrated with each other despite their love. Told entirely through phone calls and recordings, the story begins with that light, amusing tone.

And then things take a turn for the dark, supernatural, and horror. That it’s through an Indian lens was all the more refreshing—this is quite frankly a perfect example of why it’s so untrue when we say “Stories about X are so over!” when the market is only saturated with stories about straight-white-Christian versions of those stories—and having those twists of Indian culture forming the framework of the malice at play was really neat.

Anyway. If you like a creepy tale (but like me, need the good guys to triumph in the end at least a little), this is worth an eyeball. Or an ear, as it were, given it’s an audiobook.

More horror? Okay. William Holden’s Words to Die By is a collection of his darker thoughts put together along a fascinating theme of words/associations, and was super-freaking-creepy. Also, for those of you who do love zombies, check out Silvia Moreno-Garcia edited Dead North for tales of Canadian-specific zombies. Also, I did once write a horror short, and it’s included in Night Shadows: Tales of Queer Horror edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann.

Do you like horror? What about the “aha! they didn’t make it after all!” moments? Fan or nay?

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