First published as a standalone chapbook back in 2009, Guy N Smith’s ‘The Decoy’ chapbook was released by Ghostwriter Publications.

The story was later included within the original ‘Crabs: Unleashed – The Collection’ (2009) chapbook as well as the ‘Crabs: Unleashed’ (2009) reprint.

DLS Synopsis:
The death toll at the Marine Parade had run into the dozens.  The terror-stricken holidaymakers making an easy meal for the advancing army of giant crustaceans.  After the crabs had left, the army had erected barricades along the shoreline.  A token force of military personnel attempting to pacify public hysteria.  Although in no way could this platoon of soldiers stand up against the crabs should they emerge once again.

Dugan knew this.  But here he was now, skulking in the shadows, staying out of sight from the military presence nearby.  The military didn’t know how to take these crabs out.  They’d been firing from an elevated position.  Their bullets merely ricocheting off the crabs’ shells.  But Dugan knew better.  He had his trusty double-barrelled sixteen gauge ‘drilling’.  A weapon that Dugan was confident would bring down one of the giant crabs when fired under the shell.

That was his plan.  Tonight, under the silvery moon, he’d take one down.  And it looked like luck was already on Dugan’s side.  Upon arriving at the shadowy shoreline he’d stumbled across the corpse of a young woman floating in the water.  A sad sight to see, especially one so young.  But Dugan knew the girl would be perfect for his plan.  He’d lure a lone crab in with the promise of human flesh and then blow the beast to hell.  He was confident his plan would work.  After all, now he had the perfect decoy…

DLS Review:
This is a good ‘un.  It’s only short, but nevertheless Smith crams in everything we love about his Crabs stories.  The setting is just post ‘Night Of The Crabs’ (1976), with the military still reeling from the crabs’ onslaught at Barmouth.  The perfect setting for a hunter-cum-vigilante, wanting his own revenge on the crabs (along with a trophy).

Smith sets the backdrop perfectly.  The Barmouth shoreline feels instantly intimidating under the darkened night sky.  The atmosphere is thick with suspense.  As I said, it’s absolute textbook Smith.

Of course it doesn’t all go to plan for Dugan.  I’m not going to ruin the story for you, but suffice to say, Smith’s got a damn fine twist up his sleeve.  Altogether, a thoroughly entertaining read.

The short story was first published in ‘FEAR Magazine – Issue 13’ (1990) and was later reprinted within the ‘Crabs Omnibus’ (2015) collection.

The chapbook runs for a total of 11 pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Crabs’ instalments:

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