Blood Pact ($14.00 paperback original; Apr. 1997; 216 pp.; 1-880684-39-X): An omnibus collection of 26 stories written over a 40-year period by an accomplished satirist and fantasist who might be called an Uruguayan Kafka (with an added dash of O. Henry). Benedetti's essentially anonymous protagonists are unassuming civil servants and bureaucrats hedged in by ``official'' indifference and inequity (``Just Kidding,'' ``The Budget''), romantic obsession and intrigue (``The Night of the Ugly Ones,'' ``Isosceles Triangle''), and psychological traumas inspired by quotidian premises (``The Attic,'' ``The Neighboring Shore''). At his best—as in the complex title story here—Benedetti blends introspection, elegy, and sly humor in piquant revelations of the terrors lurking in ``ordinary'' people and things.