The Women in Horror Annual 2 is the second volume of an anthology of horror fiction and nonfiction written by women. WHA promotes and celebrates female voices in horror, and the stories and papers contained within represent a diverse group of writers, each with their own unique vision. Ranging from supernatural tales of horror to quotidian terror, and touching on themes of empowerment, insanity, and freedom, the stories herein run the gamut from melancholic to darkly humorous. As was the case with the first volume, WHA 2 is further proof that horror has something for everyone.So, let's get started with the first story. 'Rumspringa' by Melissa Burkley presented me with a new word, right there in the title! I looked it up - 'Rumspringa, or “running around”, is the term used to describe the period of adolescence Amish experience starting at around age 16.' Lovely word.
In this story a girl called Constance is sent out into the world of the Outsiders for her Rumpringa. Equipped with strange modern clothes, an emergency whistle, and a credit card she leaves her insular community and ends up at a cheap hotel near a truck stop. There she befriends a hooker, enjoys junk food, and discovers the hard way that she can never really fit in with modern Americans. There are a lot of dangerous people out there. And other things.
Now, I've read a lot of horror and I did guess the twist to this one. That said, I enjoyed the way Constance comes to terms with her strange heritage in a story that has a whiff of The X-Files about it. So, a good start. More about WHA 2 very soon!