Holiday

by M. Rickert

[rating:4/5]

This story ended up giving me chills. You can find it in The Years Best Fantasy and Horror 2008. “Holiday” is the name of a girl child ghost that starts appearing to a man in his apartment. He knows who she is. The author hints at, but never straight out says, that she is Jon Benet Ramsey. Thus starts a story that unravels through the sometimes sad, sometimes confusing and very hurt and terror filled world of a survivor of child sexual abuse, and his resulting ghosts.

By the end of the story I felt really sorry for him as it seemed to me in his trying to reach out to these ghosts he was trying to reach out to his own lost childhood and trying to reclaim what both he and the ghosts lost, even going so far as to dress as a clown for a child’s party for the ghosts. Someone else somewhere posted that it was a ghost clowning around with a grown clown. Which casts the ghosts in a far more sinister light. Child sexual abuse is shown to twist and distort reality for the sufferers in this story in a truly profound, and horrifying, way.

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