Written by: Matt Molgaard
This is actually one of the more compelling short stories I’ve read in some time. At the heart of this tale is a heavy social statement. And personally, I dig the commentary. The lesson to be learned and the passage passed on heads right in the direction of the bully (and the hapless victim). The bully we’ve seen flooding news breaks on the television, the bully we’ve read about countless times in the daily newspaper. Yeah, this one’s for you, asshole.
Rob Thurman’s prose is highly refined. Relatable to the layman, satisfying to the deep thinker and very rewarding to those who favor a contemporary, pop-culture friendly literary slant, Thurman knows how to produce a story that will appeal to an extremely broad audience. To be completely honest, this style reminds me a bit of a young Stephen King. The connection that King built between readers and his troubled teenagers in Christine isn’t mirrored in Milk and Cookies, but it is close. Given the fact that I consider Christine a bona fide masterpiece, I think that’s a jarring statement and colossal compliment to Rob.
I’m not going to dive into the specific details of this one, you know the gist of things: a bully serves as the antagonist, and a well behaved but bold young fellow acts as the protagonist. If you’ve read Wolfsbane and Mistletoe or you’ve been following my 12 Days of Christmas run, you know the theme of this anthology is seasonal werewolf terror. You can probably put the pieces together, to an extent.
I say to an extent for a reason. The same reason I refuse to divulge any significant details of the story. There’s mystery to take in with this tale. Red Herrings swoop through the pages, and up until the fading moments of the story, it’s very difficult to discern the good and the bad. The hero, the villain… the ultimate outcome. Milk and Cookies works effectively as a mystery in addition to a full fledged horror story, which make no mistake, it is.
Milk and Cookies is a dose of reality, swallowed by readers, who in turn suffer the panic of this unique drug. The story is addictive, and after two pages, you’ll find yourself hooked. A strong contender for top read in the Wolfsbane and Mistletoe collection, to miss this one would teeter on criminal. Rob Thurman has the goods, and doesn’t forget to bring them to this seasonal piece.