Wreath and Other Stories by Sangeeta Mahapatra is a collection of horror and suspense stories that piqued my interest the moment I laid eyes on it. Excited to be scared by words strung into sentences, I picked it up and I must say I was not disappointed.
Here’s a detailed analysis of each story to give you an idea of how they fared to a reader like me.
The introduction to the first story of Wreath and Other Stories is intriguing, making you wonder and look forward to the rest of the story. As you progress, you find that the story is eerie and keeps you on tenterhooks for its entirety. How promises can be binding and bring you your downfall is portrayed succinctly. The end is abrupt but succeeds in leaving you beleaguered. It succeeds in making you think of how potent revenge could be!
Set in a futuristic environment, this story is all about settling down in new ambiences. At least that is what you think at first.
It gets creepy from page 3 of the story and cultivates a few ideas in your head. But like a good reader, you merely read and keep your ideas on hold and to yourself until the author validates or invalidates them. Eerie, creepy, supernaturally so, the story keeps you on your toes as you flip through the pages with an eagerness and an almost superhuman speed.
The end is staggering and very well-woven, with a whoosh of breath leaving you as you realize what has happened and the connection between everything!
This story packs a creepy punch, too, though you’ll have to stop being so surprised at how eerie the stories are. Wreath and Other Stories, after all, a compilation of horror and suspense stories.
In this story, there is something terribly wrong and you can’t help but wait eagerly to find out what! It goes on and on and on and on… Tricks on the mind! But the story does break your heart, so be prepared to let yourself go!
As the title suggests, the story is an eerily poignant story about how you have the power to hold yourself captive. And sometimes you cannot just shake yourself off of it, try as you might. It torments you to no end and as you slowly drive yourself over the brink, irrespective of who you are, the torture seems to revel in your pain and blossom.
This story isn’t as creepy as the others in Wreath and Other Stories but it does tend to give you chills and make you frown. As the title suggests, the world of a difference made to two worlds is made evident when one little photograph somehow makes its way out of one world and into another.
Just as you begin to wonder what could be horrific about something artistic, the author sends in truth after bitter truth hurling at you, which surprisingly make you wonder if this story is going to be any less terrifying than those truths.
Chasing dreams is the footing the author gets off to in the story and it clings to you like a vine. You cannot shake off the likenesses. It is sort of unnerving. This is one story that almost every creative mind can identify with, sigh and say, “How true!” Or think of their decisions and wish that they never have to regret them. It is abrupt but achieves the eerie poignancy it sets out to build up.
A jumbled quandary of several questions and doubts for which you crave answers to, as the protagonist of the story, this tale starts off a little on the rushed side. Your curiosity and eagerness get the better of you and you rush through the story like a rampaging bull. And like the other tales in Wreath and Other Stories, author Sangeeta Mahapatra manages to elicit a “Wow!” from the reader. A mumbled sound of appreciation, a sound that brought understanding to the mind of the reader. Brilliant story!
A story that begins with a writer and his plans to write – but what if his plans are thwarted? More by what happens around him than what happens to him. The story falls between slightly shocking to slightly poignant and when you understand what’s going on, something within you falls to its knees.
The story begins with the typical I-saw-a-ghost-and-I’m-sure-it’s-out-to-kill-me routine. And as we progress, the tension is palpable – so much that it rubs off on you, making you look around yourself for any signs of ghosts or supernatural entities. It is chilling, to say the least. This is a story that got me thinking, “I’m not going to be able to sleep at night.” And it didn’t help that I read it at 2 AM. Easily the best in this collection of Wreath and Other Stories, the story ends brilliantly. You wouldn’t have seen it coming!
This story lovingly begins and caresses you with its warm words. But seeing as it is nestled in a collection of horror and suspense stories, you grow warier by the minute. Even though you know that something creepy is about to happen, you simply cannot prepare for what Sangeeta Mahapatra has in store for you. Déjà vu is the second best in the collection!
All in all, Wreath and Other Stories succeeds in achieving what it sets out to do, bringing fear, tension, awe, and shock to the reader with its variety of stories that are so similar yet so different.
Sangeeta Mahapatra is brilliant in how she inspires fear through these short stories. Applause!