Saturday, 20 January 2018

'The Girl in the Stairwell'

Women in Horror Annual 2 (WHA) by [Katz, C. Rachel]

Victoria Dalpe's contribution to WHA 2 is a remarkably powerful vignette that genuinely blindsided your humble reviewer.

A young woman sees the body of another young woman - a stranger. The narrator is just one of a group of onlookers, and has no special knowledge of the death. But she climbs down into the stairwell to kneel next to the dead girl and indulges in an ostentatious display of grief. She also steals the dead girl's ID. When the polcie arrive she gives a bogus statement, claiming they were friends on a night out.

She then leverages her ill-gotten celebrity to have sex with an attractive man, all the while gloating/obsessing over her narcissistic antics.

All in all, it's a telling portrait of what might be termed the Trumpian society - nothing is true, all that matters is fame, self-confidence, and self-gratification. Truly a horror story for our time. And all packed into so few words. Victoria Dalpe is a very gifted writer.

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