An agency that sends social workers into the homes of grieving families to impersonate dead loved ones… The kind old woman who saved a teenager’s life but now finds herself haunted by the weight of a cheated suicide… And the daughter of a candlestick maker as she tries to survive a painful existence after her father’s execution for making human chandeliers from drunken cowboys…
These stories and more — ranging from supernatural to the frighteningly domestic, Splatterpunk to the weird and cosmic — stain the pages of CUT TO CARE: A COLLECTION OF LITTLE HURTS by Aaron Dries. They serve as a timely reminder of the cost of caring too much. Or not caring enough. Of how we mask cruelties behind kindness. And of our willingness to rip ourselves apart in the hope of satisfying a world that doesn’t always care for you back.
I recently read Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts by Australian horror and dark fiction author Aaron Dries.
There are the horror tropes that are psychologically alarming – the replacement of a lost daughter, the neglect of others who transformed into something monstrous. And the things that wait in the cold dark, stark and the real human monsters.
I needed a few days to consider the breadth of work that is in the Cut to Care. It was a brilliant read- moody atmospheres, dark and deceptive characters and situations- all the tropes we expect of horror. Yet there was also a very raw revealing of the soul and a question of what happens in a world where we care too greatly that it breaks us, spread our strength too far that there’s no left to sustain us? And the flip side, what happens when we ignore the hurt of others? Or deliberately inflict it on others for our own relief of pain or gratification?
Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts reveals all these dark and innermost reflections of society and ourselves. It is gritty and intense in its goal of what makes us care? Can we care too much that we stop caring?
A highly recommended collection which is as fascinating as disturbing. A dark web of horror and honesty and a great read for anyone who enjoys psychological horror at its most potent.