||Sept. 11 2008
What Legends Are Made Of is a collection of short stories that range within the genres of romance, horror, and fantasy. Each story takes the reader into a realistic world where unbelievable events occur.
Have you ever experienced a story filled with so much suspense, terror, and romance that you couldn't get it out of your mind? Be prepared to feel all of these emotions because author Heather Beck is about to take you on a journey that you won't soon forget. You're personally invited to tour the halls of Sir Tristan's Estate, a place where ghosts roam freely and fill your dreams at night. Following your stay at the estate, you'll cruise on the Blue Oceana, a perfect ship for sightseeing. With patience and a careful eye you might see the merman that lives in the crystal clear ocean. If you enjoyed watching the odd ocean creature while aboard the ship, you'll love Frank Stanford's Freak Show. There you'll see a unicorn with wings and a talking tree. However, it's the freak show's horrifying main attraction that shocks everyone who sees it. If you can stop shaking after your encounter with freaky Frank, continue on to Karyn and Max Shield's Costume and Magic Shop; just be careful of what you purchase there since the merchandise at the Shield's shop is perhaps too realistic. Some stories make your heart soar, while others make you scream aloud; these stories will make you do both. They'll leave you spellbound and yearning for more. Ready to find out what real legends are made of?
The Sir Tristan Estate
"What’s going on?" As she continued to stare at the picture intensely she shook. "I have to get out of here. There’s no way I’m spending another night in this estate."
Images of her strange dreams featuring Tom filled her mind. They had been so realistic that Skye began to believe they were more than just dreams. "They’re waking nightmares," Skye realized in a shaky voice.
Her hand reached for the telephone. She was going to request a taxi come immediately. Before Skye had the chance to dial the telephone number, her body suddenly froze in terror, at the ethereal voice.
"Don’t leave," Tom begged from behind Skye. With Tom’s hand on top of hers, Skye shakily placed the telephone on its receiver.
"How…how did you get in my bedroom?"
Tom gave a gentle laugh, "That wasn’t much of a problem."
He’s acting as if this situation is normal! "How did you get in my bedroom?" Skye repeated, her voice steadier, her tone firmer.
"I used the door; what a concept, huh?" Tom took his hand off of Skye’s and sauntered to the bed. He sat at the edge of the bed and smiled.
Skye cast a glance at the bedroom door then did a double take. The door was locked; her slippers lay in front of the door untouched.
"That’s impossible!" Tom let out a gleeful laugh and then fell backwards on the bed.
Skye knees went weak and her breath stopped when she saw Tom literally disappear into the bed. With slow, shaky steps, Skye looked under the bed. Tom lay under the bed, a smile on his face, his eyes locked on hers.
"Surprised?" he asked with raised eyebrows.
Skye stumbled backwards then fell to the floor.
Tom crawled out from underneath the bed and offered his hand to Skye. She stared at his hand but didn’t make any attempt to touch it.
"That wasn’t an illusion…was it?"
Tom shook his head. He suddenly looked sad.
"What’s going on?" Skye demanded. "If you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll scream so loud that Mrs. Bradford will come to my aid in a second."
"That’s an exaggeration," Tom said with a weak smile as he sat down beside Skye. Her body tensed in response. "Besides, your screams wouldn’t yield any results. I’ve fired all the staff. The last employee, the woman from the gift shop, left the estate just minutes ago. We’re alone."
Skye’s terrified eyes darted around the room; she bit her lip.
"Don’t be afraid," Tom gently urged. "I’m not going to hurt you."
"Tell me what’s going on," Skye begged.
The first story in the collection, Sir Tristan’s Estate, has all the makings for a serious, mournful, and haunting story as it begins with the sad tale of Sir Tristan whose dedication to humanitarian efforts left his personal life empty, but toward the end as the mysteries are revealed, it follows more along the lines of a dark comedy rather than a tale of terror or a paranormal romance. Whether it’s meant to be funny or not, a ghost with a personality disorder who goes off his meds, leaving him a little mental and wanting to force a woman to marry him is amusing. It fills the reader’s head with images from the netherworld in the Tim Burton movie Beetlejuice at the thought of where this ghost gets his prescription filled. When the story concludes, there are a few unanswered questions left over, and the story itself has an open-ended feel.
Next in line is Blue Oceana, the story of Mandy, a young woman in Hawaii whose poor economic status makes her believe that the wealthy young man of her dreams, Ed, is out of her reach. When Ed shows an interest in her and asks her on a date, she’s thrilled. Unfortunately, their date is crashed by a merman whose kind behavior has sinister intentions. Blue Oceana has more romance flowing through it than the first story, though like Sir Tristan’s Estate, it carries on the theme of a damsel in distress with another supernatural being attempting to force a hapless young woman into wedlock, and also like the first story, the menacing antagonist in the form of a handsome merman doesn’t feel all that threatening.
Freaky Frank, the third story in the collection, is perhaps the most romantic of the stories in the anthology. In it, readers are presented with Brittany, who upon gaining a summer job at a carnival, falls for Frank, the owner of the freak show. Despite the prologue declaring a “horrifying main attraction” to the freak show, nothing of the sort appears, and Freaky Frank really isn’t that freaky. If anything, the freak show is more like a humane organization for mystical creatures from a fantasy kingdom called The Land of No Name who are in need of help. On the whole, the story has a charming feel.
One Stop Horror Shop brings readers to the Shields’ Costume and Magic Shop. Having just purchased the magic store, Karyn and Max Shield believe they’ve realized their dream, but when they discover a literal skeleton in a closet, they quickly find out their dream business comes with a curse. Here again, the story strives to chill the spines of its readers, but a talking skeleton named Boney dressed in a doctor’s uniform running amok in an attempt to wreck vengeance upon the previous shop’s owner evokes more of a chuckle than a scream. The story behind Boney was really rather tragic, and actually made him far more sympathetic than his intended victim. Also like the first story, this one leaves a few unanswered questions on the table.
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