Written by: Matt Molgaard
There’s horror, and then there’s deeply melancholy horror. The kind that forces its way into the bones, squirms in the marrow, and… well, hurts. Simon R. Green’s seasonal offering, Lucy, at Christmastime is that story. That brooding, sorrow-filled tale that leaves the mind spinning in a whirlwind of pleasure and anguish, tugging at the tear ducts, forcing reminiscing thoughts every wrong a man has committed in his time.
This is a special piece of art that works as a horror tale, without question, but it also serves as heartbreaking love story. It’s kind of like The Notebook, with monsters. Okay, that’s not true in the slightest: The Notebook was nauseating, Lucy, at Christmastime is infectious. That said, make no mistake, this isn’t a story that’s going to sate the appetite of the gore hungry, this is a quick tale that puts a very human spin on monsters, and does so to the backdrop of a chilly Christmas night.
I feel rather ashamed admitting that I’m completely ignorant to the works of Simon R. Green. The man’s prose is borderline magical. Green’s words work as poetry and this specific tale completely entangles readers, leaving the mind firmly engrained in a story so captivating I found myself wishing it would never end. Lucy, at Christmastime is just… stunning.
From the concept of the story, which is actually pretty unique, to the fluidity of the read, this is a gem that serves as one of the finest short stories I’ve ever read. It’s rare to discover a genre tale that invokes a landslide of emotion, but this one manages just that. I’d highly recommend you enter Strangefellows, “the oldest bar in the world”. Monsters wait within this pub, but heart and soul also reside here, and if you’re looking for a piece of fiction that paints the world’s atrocities as embraceable figures, this is one bar that must absolutely be visited.
Just don’t approach the wrong creature. Some come here to cling to fading memories, and the last thing you want to do is interrupt a beast’s profoundly sentimental moment, especially if said beast has sharp enough teeth to take your face clean off.