Prolific novelist and short story writer Lubar offers up a baker’s dozen of stories too gruesome for his six (so far) Weenies collections.
A sadistic gym teacher pushes a student with asthma until she’s sent to the hospital, and the girl’s friends exact revenge by forcing the teacher to run the track with a bag over her head. Two young teens are caught in a late-night convenience-store robbery. When the masked gunmen take the boys hostage, one of the boy uses a startling, literally bloody power to turn the tables. A young couple tries to stow away on a cruise ship for a free vacation but find they have boarded Pyre Cruise Lines rather than Pace Cruise Lines...and you can guess what happens next. When a teen lets a nerdy (and annoying) classmate drown in a local quarry instead of helping, he finds every molecule of water out for revenge. In an author’s note, Lubar states the stories herein are “not…for children”: They are “too dark, too heartless, or...too evil, for [his] young readers”—which, of course, will make them all the more attractive to his Weenie audience. Sophisticated readers or those well-versed in Lubar’s usual twists will see several endings coming, and a few entries show their age technologically (an element also discussed in the author’s note).
A bit less humor than past collections, but fans will enjoy the grue. (Short stories/horror. 11-16)