The Auld Mither – William Meikle
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Scottish writer William Meikle, who now lives in Canada, is the author of over thirty novels, more than three-hundred short story credits in thirteen countries, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines. Meikle’s books have been published by a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, Darkfuse, Severed Press, and Unnerving; the publisher of the short featured in this review, The Auld Mither. Meikle lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company, and when he’s not writing, he enjoys drinking beer, playing his guitar, and dreaming of fortune and glory.
‘A lot of my work, long and short form, has been set in Scotland, and much of it uses the history and folklore. There’s just something about the misty landscapes and old buildings that speaks straight to my soul. Bloody Celts… we get all sentimental at the least wee thing. I grew up on the West Coast of Scotland in an environment where the supernatural was almost commonplace.’
The Auld Mither is a Kindle short, fifty-three pages, (also available in paperback), that I read before bed one night, a decision I don’t regret, though the antagonist wreaked havoc in my dreams that night, I couldn’t wait to reread it the next day:
After businessman George Duncan is found savagely murdered, his adult children Dave and Lucy Duncan travel back to Inverurie, Scotland for the funeral, and are left with more questions than answers in regard to who killed him. No one in the town is talking, and it’s up to Detective Inspector Roberts to find out why. ‘Dave Duncan seems to be next on the list. Can he figure out how to stop [the killer]? Or will he have to pay for the sins of his father?’
I enjoy reading stories centered around folklore, often researching the myth each tale depicts, and after reading this short story, I couldn’t wait to learn more about the Auld Mither. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will leave you with an excerpt to entice you:
‘[He] watched, the fine silver wings of her hair wafting in the breeze from under a headscarf so enveloping as to be almost a hood. He was about to call out to her when she turned, and his shout, already turning to a scream, was caught, frozen in his throat.’
In closing, if my review of The Auld Mither sparks your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the author – you may be surprised what you find lurking within.
The Auld Mither
The Auld Mither, a crone-like hag with razor sharp bones for fingers, is killing off the proponents of a new abattoir in a deer farming community. And Dave Duncan seems to be next on the list. Can he figure out how to stop her? Or will he have to pay for the sins of his father?
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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