BEAST contains two horror stories by best-selling Australian author Anna Willett, available on Kindle and in paperback:
Jackie and Dursha are two friends in dead-end jobs. They supplement their income by selling pics of themselves as stock photos online.
The abandoned Red Water Hotel is the perfect location for a shoot. But when they enter the decrepit building, Dursha begins to feel a strange presence. Jackie dismisses her concerns and they head further in.
Strange moths have clustered, and the light filtering through has an eerie shimmer. The young women see a telephone number scrawled on the wall.
By now Dursha is totally creeped out. But Jackie is already calling it...
Dan decides to go to a party held by an old friend. It’s a no-good group, but it might help him put his worries aside. His life is spiralling and he has a serious toothache to add to his woes.
At the party he strikes up a conversation with an enigmatic man who has excellent whiskey, and promises him a quick way to make money.
In all honesty, Dan just wants enough cash to pay for a dentist, but he journeys with his new friend to a house deep in the country. The hazy plan is to rob it of a known stash of money.
It sounded good in theory, but now his friend is nowhere to be seen and Dan is stuck inside the house, face to face with the widow who lives there...
'Both stories are beautifully written with descriptive passages that allow the reader to visualize the scenery, the action and the characters (monsters in some cases) and feel the protagonist’s fear.
One of the characters in Last Call is easily influenced, she’s only there because her friend suggested it, so it’s only a mild surprise when something—or someone—gets in her head and changes her behavior. I prefer to avoid spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that.
The Widow, on the other hand, let’s the reader think this might turn out to be a romantic encounter before taking a terrifying turn. Dan is a mess of a human being, a former druggie who has done jail time. He gets lured into the situation by a man he meets in a bar. We suspect that he was given a spiked drink, but it’s not clear what’s in it. By the time he arrives at the widow’s house, it’s too late to back out and he’s been promised enough money to keep him from wanting out. He finds a man who is being kept prisoner and makes an ineffective attempt to rescue him before finding himself in serious trouble of his own. You’ll need to read it yourself to find out if he survives.' J. Sheldon Jones
Creepy, ghastly, and grisly, Last Call is about two women who explore the Red Water hotel, which has been abandoned for so long that everything is rotting from the inside out. Their intent is to take a few pictures to sell to the stock photo service, but their adventure turns ghoulish as they explore the various areas of the hotel. The author does a great job of describing the macabre events of their visit, chronicling their moves moment by moment so that you can almost feel the insects on your skin, and smell the awfulness that sticks to the inside of your nose. If you like gruesome stories, this one is up your alley. Good pace. Hard to stop reading: 4.5 stars.
Move from scene to scene with Dan, where monsters are seeking to suck the souls from people and eat their flesh. The focus is on killing, and a dozen or more of these souls have perished. Dan struggles to find a way to escape from the monsters’ spells. The tension develops on the first page and gets tighter as the story progresses. As a reader, you won’t discover until the last page if Dan was able to escape and save his own life, or not. The author does a really good job of making the reader live the story through the main character’s point of view. Each scene is written in detail, slowing the action so that every aspect is magnified so that the images form in the reader’s mind’s eye in great detail. Nothing is given away. You have to keep turning the page to see what happens. 5 stars.' Author - Michael Bronte
'In BEAST, you get two mesmerizingly terrific terror reads in one! Both "Last Call" and "The Widow" are supremely crafted, on-the-edge-of-your seat horror rides. Psychological and suspenseful, each short story is masterfully plotted and sickeningly realistic in its broad range of descriptive passages; many which the reader is not likely to forget anytime soon. Anna Willett casts a spine-tingling spell on you, beginning on page one, holding you voluntarily captive until the very end. Simply put, BEAST is utterly riveting!'
~B. Patrick Bruce, author of TIMESTAMPED (Book One) Postmarked Yesteryear