Dark Ocean: A Short Story Collection (eBook)

This sampling of short stories will take you from the ironies of human relationships to journeys among the undead. In Dark Ocean, Mike McNichols delivers tales that seem to lurk at the surface of expectation, but then pull the reader into depths of surprise, terror, and laughter. Get comfortable—you’ll read them all. The following are

This sampling of short stories will take you from the ironies of human relationships to journeys among the undead. In Dark Ocean, Mike McNichols delivers tales that seem to lurk at the surface of expectation, but then pull the reader into depths of surprise, terror, and laughter. Get comfortable—you’ll read them all. The following are brief excerpts from each of the short stories.

From Wasted Identity

Walter Emmerson slumped in the chair and stared out the window at the overgrown yard that contained the body of Augustine Manning. A breeze gathered momentum and stirred the trees, signaling the onset of winter.

From Life After Life

When news of the Jardín probe was released, the US government immediately posted guards at the graves of Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, and all deceased former Presidents. Movie studios sent private security firms to watch over the final resting places of Marilyn Monroe, George Burns, the Three Stooges, and a number of other iconic entertainers. Seven top music publishers went to court over the rights to the brains of every rock star who had died since 1954.

From Undead Regret

Chris was fascinated by his brother’s lower left eyelid as it disengaged from Trent’s face. It dropped into his bowl of split pea soup, which he wasn’t going to eat anyway, and couldn’t, and probably wasn’t worth eating to begin with. Trent paused and looked around as though a wasp had buzzed his head, then returned to his monologue.

From Sacrificial Lamb

A fine lace of mist was all that remained of the brief storm that had dampened the manicured grounds of Sikes College. Lisa Chen collapsed her umbrella and almost impaled Robert Varner as she rounded the corner of the science building. Varner’s permanent aura of displeasure darkened a shade as Lisa stepped back in horror.

From The Bike Thief

The best bicycle I ever owned was a 1959 Schwinn Panther. It was a red, single-speed rocket with racks over both wheels and white sidewalls. It was the prior year’s model, but when I saw it under the tree that Christmas in 1960, I didn’t care. I knew my folks weren’t rich, and things like new bikes were a luxury, at least in my neighborhood. My dad’s smile was almost as wide as mine that morning, and I was a happy kid.

From The Whore

“That girl is a whore.” The woman hissed her accusation to her friend as soon as the waitress was out of earshot. “Just look at the tattoo on her back—look right now, Audrey! She’s pouring coffee for that man over there! I’ll bet the tattoo artist got an eyeful when he put that monstrosity on her. Another inch and you can see …”



Meet the Author
Mike McNichols writes, teaches, and works in Southern California. He is the author of The Bartender: A Fable of a Journey, Shadow Meal: Reflections of Eucharist, and The Dead Cry Out: A Novel.

Comments

Bob Harper says:

Wry and ironic sci-fi “Dark Ocean” is a collection of six stories that are, at turns, wry or ironic. “The Bike Thief” is a masterpiece that will move you as it imprints an indelible and deadly image in your frontal lobe. Plus there is fresh thinking in this book for zombie lovers. “Undead Regret” is a macabre meditation on what we really store up in our hearts and what it might be like if we could not escape facing them. All of the stories in “Dark Ocean” are great reads that will provoke deep thoughts out of you while you weren’t looking. I hope Mike Mc Nichols writes a lot more in this genre.

Literary Savant says:

Imaginative and Entertaining I really enjoyed this volume of short stories. Mike did a great job of being very thoughtful in shaping the characters and allowing their humanity to show throughout each twist and turn. It can be very dificult to unpackage a great story in the short story genre, but I think he did a wonderful job of telling the story in a way that did not discount the reader or the characters. My favorite story was wasted identity, I felt as if the story was very detailed and imaginative in its description of the characters and the world that they live in. It was effortless to use your senses and feel as if you were there and taking it all in. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love a good read!

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