by Paul Walther
The short story “Splitfoot” was published in The Years Best Fantasy and Horror 2008. It is a story about a young woman named Violet who is in financial debt with a man named Royce, to help get her out of debt she calls in her friend Trixie to exchange some property up north. Trixie pays off her debt by giving the land to Violet, Violet pays off her debt by then transferring the land to Royce. All right and tight. Until they go up to see the property and see that something there has somehow gone terribly wrong.
I read this story through twice. I still don’t think I understand completely what happened, why it happened, or what the ending was supposed to mean. The evil found haunting the house up north was frightening. What happened was horrifying in a very The Exorcist sorta kind of way. That said I’m not sure what to say to not spoil it because I don’t get what’s pertinent and what’s not. Did they bring the demon? Was the demon already there? Was the demon attached to one of the characters? Why did it target the child? Why did two of the three main characters pretend nothing had happened afterward? It was all very confusing and I’m afraid I didn’t catch the vibe at all with this one.