Short Story Corner: Ding Dong Ditch by Ernie Howard & Breakdown by Christopher Boore

Short Story Title: Ding Dong Ditch – A Night Portals Short Story, Season 2

Author: Ernie Howard

Publication Date: April 15, 2020

Available on: Amazon as an eBook and as a paperback

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Edgar is an opinionated, first-class, abusive jerk! But he is also the head of the neighborhood homeowner’s association. He hates kids, he loves rules and he loves to tell people how they should live their lives. He thinks he is always right and everyone else is always wrong and he tells everyone what to do. However, when he starts to experience strange things happening to him, he questions whether he is losing his sanity. Is he?

I hated this protagonist with a passion so when eh-ding donga bunch of little things started happening to him, I thought it was well deserved. I did wonder what was going on, just like he did. Just when I thought I knew, the author threw another curveball at me and made me rethink my theory.

When all the little things started adding up, the tension mounted, my heart pounded even more and I was skillfully led into an ending that I was not expecting but also found completely satisfying. Then, the author ends it with another startling revelation as the cherry on top. All this storytelling goodness was encapsulated into this perfect little short story.

I can picture in my mind’s eye the setting the author created here, filled in with all the little details that illustrate the entire picture. It imbues it with life and authenticity that makes it resonate on an emotional level and makes the story complete.

nightportalsboxThis story is the first “episode” in season two of the author’s Night Portals series. Like the “Twilight Zone” or “Black Mirror” television shows, each one is united by its dark theme only and can be read separately without having read any of the others from season one.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful” button.

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Ernie Howard include “The Pool – Omnibus Edition“, “Bus Stop: A Short Story“, “On Holiday with an S.O.B“, “Gramps: A Time Travel Short Story“, “Night Portals Boxed Set – Books 1 – 8“, “Melody 8 – Book One: The Day of the Song“, “Melody 8 – Book Two: The Musical Witch of the South” and “Melody 8 – Book Three: A Sound for the Deaf.”


Short Story Title: Breakdown – Featured in The Shapeshifter Chronicles

Author: Christopher Boore

Publication Date: May 29, 2017

Available on: Amazon as an eBook

Indie Athenaeum Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Jack is a maintenance worker for a biotech lab called out in the middle of the night for what seems to be a routine problem. But there’s much more going on than he suspected and unexpectedly, he must fight for his life!

cb-breakdownA terrific spine-tingling tale filled with terror, expertly raising my anxiety level with the rising stakes! It causes deep apprehension and uneasiness with each passing page that explodes into a thrilling struggle to survive or all else will be lost!

I really enjoyed this story, as it moved at a breakneck pace, escalating quickly through the tale of an ordinary guy placed in an extraordinary situation. Out of his league, Jack’s nervousness increased and mine did too as I wondered whether he would find the resourcefulness he needs to grapple with a nearly unbeatable foe.

I read this short story when it was originally published in The Shapeshifter Chronicles (Future Chronicles Book 13), an anthology filled with much more excellent stories about shapeshifters just like this one.

If you found this review to be helpful to you, please click here to go to the review on Amazon. Then navigate to the bottom of this review and click on the “helpful”

Previous Indie Athenaeum book reviews about stories by Christopher Boore include “The Gamer Chronicles“.

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