Short Take: “Not What They Seem,” William Meikle

Rating: 5 out of 5

William Meikle’s Not What They Seem: Three Cryptozoological Stories (The William Meikle Chapbook Collection 39) contains three more of his spooky paranormal stories. His stories are very consistent, so I always know I’ll enjoy them. These stories take place in Scotland. In “The Cornish Owlman,” Professor Challenger and his friend Malone go hunting for a creature that Challenger believes is a pterosaur. They meet up with Thomas Carnacki and have a spooky encounter with either a man in a long coat or a man-sized owl with wings. In “The Young Lochinvar,” Julia is disillusioned with her visit to Scotland, and is horrified to find out she’s been betrothed to a blathering narcissistic man who repulses her. She meets a mysterious figure on the train who, much like our cryptid in the first story, has some curious information to impart. In “The Monster of the Ness,” Challenger and Malone meet up again in search of the Loch Ness monster.

These stories are a bit spooky, a bit weird, and fascinating to read about. They’re quite short (it took me less than an hour to read all three), and just what the doctor ordered when you’re feeling a bit worn down and could use a mental break. Not that that’s an issue in the world right now or anything. All three stories introduce a cryptid, but leave us with a good sense of mystery afterward.

I can’t get into much more without spoiling the stories, so I’ll just say I really enjoyed these and leave it at that!

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