Thursday, September 14, 2017

Florida Gothic...May Not Be What You Think... Mitzi Szereto Does...Unique...


(Turn the sound down low for background mood...)


Got to tell you right away, that Florida Gothic was not what I expected... As a long-time gothic fan, I was expecting something like Heathcliff, or other similar novels where people live in castles and there is romance, suspense and more...NOT! So, if that is what you're looking for, don't buy this...

On the other hand, Mitzi Szereto has written in a range of genres and I've always liked her writing, so I was willing to read on...Be prepared, this Gothic is from the Horror side of Gothic--and horror is what you're going to get! Starting with how the main character is...killed...

On a muggy Sunday evening, Ernesto Calixto Martinez is run over by an expensive black Hummer with the vanity license plate kngpdro. There are no calls to 9-1-1, no attempts to keep him from going into shock, no offers of comfort. There’s nothing but the SUV driver speeding away, leaving a broken old man to die in his own pee and shit on a dark Miami road by a smelly canal. 

Ernesto’s not yet fully dead when the alligator finds him. After making quick work of his left arm, it takes some chunks out of his already scrawny right leg. As he listens to the sound of sharp prehistoric teeth crunching tired old bone, he drifts in and out of consciousness, convinced he must be dreaming—hoping he must be dreaming. His brain feels like a waterlogged ball of cotton, but it’s not water but blood that’s misting his thoughts. Only after he dies does Ernesto appreciate the extent of the damage done to his body. His left arm has been torn off at the shoulder, leaving behind a bleeding gash festooned with ribbons of raw flesh and tendon, the alligator having slithered back into the murky canal to savor its tasty prize. As for his leg, its meat and muscle have been pulverized to a lumpy pulp by a primitive creature as efficient in killing as it is lying in wait for victims. Ernesto nearly vomits when he sees it. 

Except the dead can’t vomit...
~~~

Ernesto is not only a victim of a hit-and-run... a nearby alligator sees him and waddles over for an unexpected meal!

Gory death...gory afterlife... You know, something like the infamous scene everybody thinks of when they say "Thanks for the ride, lady..."

A dead man’s rage is like no other. Ernesto can feel it bubbling like boiled tar inside the dead shell of him until it spills from his lips in gluey strings of blood-blackened bile. He rages at the man who hit him; he rages at the drivers who ignored him; he rages at the people responsible for the creature that took what remained of his life away. That’s what happens when baby alligators are dumped in lakes and canals after their owners discover their “pets” won’t stay small forever. Usually you hear about it when the adult versions show up on a golf course and interrupt someone’s game. Then it’s reported as a funny news story—something to be chuckled over after the reports of drug busts, government corruption and murder are presented. An old Cubano’s gator-mangled body probably wouldn’t qualify as a funny news story.
~~~



I try not to enjoy revenge...but I've got to admit, this guy deserved to take it! So be prepared for a hunt like no other, as Ernesto finds hate, anger and a need for revenge keeps burning even after death...

He had plenty of time to think and, first, realized that he had died just as his daughter had...by a hit-and-run... and the one who killed her had just got out of jail... He would be the first... He knew unfairness in this world was wide and sometimes it seemed to come from God. He was willing to take it from Him... But, not from his peers, those humans who chose to act in evil, drinking and driving, without taking responsibility for what they did! Indeed, was God allowing him to stay here for exactly what he had in mind? How would he know? But he continues on his search...

He lives alone as he finds his way through the world that holds evil, his only friends the bugs and maggots that now occupy his home and even his body... But he sits remembering his beloved Esperanza.


Ernesto decided to go outside. He wanted to see the moon, possibly for the last time. Its brightness lit up the closed Venetian blinds like the screen in a movie theater, reminding him of happier times. He and Esperanza enjoyed looking at the moon together. They would hold hands and he’d sing to her “Moon Over Miami” from the film, though he was no Don Ameche. Back when they were dating, they went to see the musical at a movie house in Matanzas, though by then it had been out for more than a decade. Ernesto wanted to relive those joyful moments, but the stark aloneness of his dead self staring up at the sky with his dead eyes couldn’t bring them back...
~~~

I admit that I am not a fan of this type of horror, but there is an underlying story that is intriguing even while horribly graphic... Just as the terrible horror is happening in Florida right now, and other catastrophes across the world, including Texas, we are pulled into the individual story that arises out of the world we live in. Ernesto lived after death for a length of time... and when the door knocked, he was ready...

Soooo, "thanks for the ride..." Mitzi! Your writing saved this book for me... I don't know how you do it...But, those who enjoy graphic horror, do check it out!


GABixlerReviews



Mitzi Szereto (mitziszereto.com) is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction. She has her own blog Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto's Weblog, and a web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers the "quirky" side of London. Her books include Oysters and Pearls: Collected StoriesRotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) and Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) - the cozy mystery/satire series co-written with celebrity author bear Teddy Tedaloo; Phantom: The Immortal (co-written with Ashley Lister); Love, Lust and Zombies; Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of RomanceThe Wilde Passions of Dorian GrayThrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and FirePride and Prejudice: Hidden LustsRed Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance;  Getting Even: Revenge StoriesDying For It: Tales of Sex and Death; In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; and Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers.