Black Buttons, Vol. 1
Mark Groves, editor (anthology)
According to Midwestern folklore, someone who's been cursed by witchcraft can leave a black button lying on the road. If you pick it up, you'll get more than you bargained for. Taking the button means you also take the curse . In Black Buttons, Vol. 1, five Midwestern writers conjure nine dark tales to cast a spell over your imagination. - On a furnace-hot night in Kansas City, a man with a dark gift gets high off the truths people hide inside. When a storm breaks loose, his addiction overdoses in a voice he can't deny. - By accident, a boy loses his prized baseball to the peevish old couple next door. When he and his sister sneak into their house to get it back, they come face-to-face with a nightmare out of left field. - In the Ozarks, when your pipes clog with a stench that’s ungodly bad, you call a plumber who's accustomed to the truly ungodly. - A teenage girl faces violin practice, virginity, prom, and the ancient rites of Spring, as something worth dying for. Gather ye red flowers while ye may… - Chess is the game of kings, but when a very bad boy gets a very special chess set, it becomes the game of blood and death and a move no one expects. - Dracula has a “coming out” moment with the girlfriend he met online, but the Transylvanian loses something in translation. - Elementary school kids make up silly rules. But those rules have consequences. Step on a crack… -A woman struggles to keep her sister, and her hopes, alive, as Ecovine Inc. bioengineers food for a starving world. Their latest product blooms in a horror too beautiful to escape. - When the image of the Virgin Mary shows up on a redneck’s morning toast, forget the jelly and bring on the hostage crisis. Go ahead, if you dare. Pick up black buttons. Because you're not afraid of some old superstition, are you? Are you...?