Back in September of 2011, prolific pulp horror author Guy N Smith handed out an exclusive chapbook entitled ‘The Black Druid’ to all of those who attended that year’s annual convention.  Each one of these short chapbooks was hand signed by Smith on the inside of the cover page.  The story was later reprinted within the
‘Hangman’s Hotel And Other Stories’ (2014) collection.

DLS Synopsis:
Karyn was having trouble with her boyfriend Rob.  He was getting annoyed that she was going out for her friend Amy’s fortieth birthday.  He was a big guy, with rugged good looks, but she was seriously thinking of leaving him.  She couldn’t keep putting up with his demanding and controlling behaviour.  But after implying that it was to be just a girl’s night out, finally he relented and Karyn was free from him for the night.

However, when Karyn arrives at the White Swan, Amy declares that they’ll just be having a quick drink there before going up to the Druid Circle on Flack’s farm.  Grinning with anticipation, Amy informs Karyn that the lads are already up there, with the brazier already lit and enough booze to ensure plenty of fun ensues.

But as they make their way up to the ancient sacrificial spot, Karyn is far from happy about the way the night is going.  It’s not just the excessive drink and rampant sex that is worrying her.  It’s the old folklore about pseudo Druids that would kidnap young girls to sacrifice them on this very spot.  Whispered stories of murders that took place even after the cult had long since gone.  And every century their leader returns to take another sacrifice – The Black Druid…


DLS Review:
For an incredibly short story, Smith certainly knows how to cram in the sordid pulpy-goodness.  As soon as the short’s handful of characters are introduced and the location for the story is established, it’s straight into the sleazy sex within a typically Smith rural backdrop.

Indeed the whole short just oozes with classic Smithisms.  Karyn just goes along with Amy’s plans for a wild night out at the old Druid Circle, and then it’s time for their clothes to come off and Karyn to be raped by a strangely cloaked man.  Okay, so there’s a fair old smattering of predictability up to this point, but then Smith is suddenly switching the final direction of the short, and instead it hurtles towards another equally grim and late-Hammer Horror style bleak ending, to ultimately conclude the short with.

It’s classic Smith.  The story unashamedly flings in casual rape, sacrifice and murder – with just the sheer passion for pulpy genre fiction to justify its direct course towards sex and violence.  This is quite simply condensed Guy N Smith at its finest.

The short runs for a total of 4 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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