First published back in February of 2001, Richard Laymon’s chapbook ‘Tell Me A Tale’ was released by Cemetery Dance as part of their exclusive limited edition chapbook line.

Cemetery Dance published a number of these exclusive chapbooks which were never available for sale, but rather were only offered as part of promotions. The first of these exclusive promotional chapbooks was for Richard Laymon’s short story ‘Tell Me A Tale’.

The chapbooks were all released unsigned and the print number is unknown.

DLS Synopsis:
Margo came to feeling cold and exposed. Her head felt fuzzy as she thought back to how she got to be in this cold basement. She’d been dragged out of her car, choked, and driven to god-knows-where by her abductor. The very man who stood before her now.

As she looked down at her naked body, she saw she was seated with a video camera pointing at her. Margo’s arms were lashed to the wooden arms of the chair, her torso secured to the chair’s back by ropes tightly crisscrossing her chest, her legs spread apart and bound from her knees downward to the chair’s front legs.

Her abductor was clearly loving every second of this. He stood there, sipping tequila from a bottle. However, what he wanted from Margo was far from what she expected in such circumstances. This wasn’t about rape, torture, or murder. What he wanted was a story. If the story was good enough, he promised he’d free her. Let her live. But only if the story was a good one.

Margo had to think up something quickly. A story to please this sicko. Her life depended on it. There must be a story she could draw upon. After all, everyone’s a storyteller…

DLS Review:
Here we have a classic torture-porn style set up. Let’s be honest, how many stories have we read which start off with some helpless female coming to, to find that they’re the captive of some psychopath? It a well-used premise for sure. However, what’s different here is our abductor’s demands. He wants her to tell him a story…and it had to be a damn good one or he’ll kill her.

What follows is a story pulled from the twenty-five-year-olds past, from when she was just sixteen-years-old. A story involving a young lad called Elrod Fleming who always stared at her. How his obsession with her freaked her out, and ultimately how she dealt with the matter.

The whole thing is delivered through a tight and very believable dialogue, which lends it the air of plausibility. This then gives the story a far more sinister edge. The twist ending hitting the reader like a brick to the face. It really is a great story-within-a-story.

The ending to the whole thing is a tad unexpected in its cold brutality. Laymon doesn’t pull any punches with how he wraps the thing up. The added twist he brings in is smothered by the cold violence exhibited in those final two pages. But it works and works fucking well.

The chapbook runs for a total of 23 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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