Short Take: “The Auld Mither,” William Meikle

Rating: 5 out of 5

William Meikle’s The Auld Mither is a short, fun horror read constructed around a Scottish town’s hushed folktale about an old hag that stalks the area. George Duncan is planning on bolstering and enlarging his butchering operation, but his plans get cut short–literally. When Lucy and Dave, George’s children, come to town to deal with his death, they’re surprised to find out that George left the business to Dave, whom he has treated horribly his entire life. A mysterious crone appears to Dave, repeatedly asking him one question that he does not understand.

This is a pretty simple tale, but very atmospheric and spooky. Despite the length the characters are drawn very well. Dave and Lucy’s relationship is a bit cantankerous, and one of the local police officers is mystified by the manner in which George Duncan died (which is to say, with a whole lot of blood spatter).

I really enjoyed this little diversion, and found the plot quite interesting.

Content note: bloody deaths.

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