“Eight Twisted Shorts” by Nathan Lichtwar

“Gotcha!” – Someone is targeting fashionable women on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a manner that’s more annoying than violent. This goes on for months–until the perpetrator picks the wrong victim to tangle with: someone who believes and follows the premise that vengeance is best served cold. “Slightly Stained” – Imagine a motorcycle […]



“Gotcha!” – Someone is targeting fashionable women on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a manner that’s more annoying than violent. This goes on for months–until the perpetrator picks the wrong victim to tangle with: someone who believes and follows the premise that vengeance is best served cold.

“Slightly Stained” – Imagine a motorcycle with narcissistic personality disorder that misbehaves–badly–when its riders least expect it.

“The Petrified Tree” – A tree planted long ago by travelers to a foreign land takes on new life as a beacon for safe passage, death, restoration of life, and redemption. The segment titled “The Voyage” is quite dynamic, which only a true man of the seas, which the author is, could describe in such detail.

“The Swing” – We rely on our GPS device for many services and purposes. What might happen if a GPS has a mind of its own and wants to get friendly?

“What Do You Think?” It’s Christmas, and our man, despondent and jaded as he is, is walking the streets of Manhattan in search of gifts. He has a vision, which becomes a reality, and finds he is no longer the man he was. Everyone deserves at least one miracle in life.

“Souls of Lilith” – This one is adult-themed and a bit wicked, and the longest of the eight stories. The first paragraph gives a big clue about the content by starting with “S-E-X… ” and is dictated to a scribe by that slithery ancient demon herself, who has a keen understanding of particular human frailties. Since a demon dictated it, please prepare to possibly be shocked–if you’re easily shocked, that is.

“Ek Balam” – You know to expect something quite different when a story opens with a paragraph about the formerly all-too-frequent practice of lobotomies. It’s a sometimes graphic and definitely, at times, gripping tale of destruction and salvation.

“Once Upon A Twisted Night” – This one is told in “real-time” by an observer telling tales out of school on the gods as they muck about with human lives just to amuse themselves. Only the cleverness of the gods could coordinate the events and individuals who know and don’t know each other, yet find their extraordinary experiences intersecting in remarkable and sometimes humorous (I laughed out loud several times), as well as tragic and truly twisted, ways. I found myself cheering for the moose.

One thing about author Nathan Lichtwar–you never know where his stories are going to take you. If you enjoy surprises and twists, you’ll enjoy this book. Some stories are edgy, some are better suited to adult readers, some use expletives, and all of them are flights of fancy that lean toward black comedy. Lichtwar’s clever imagination loves to play, so his stories are sometimes touching and sometimes a wild ride.

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