(dis)Comfort Food, published by Post Mortem Press, starts off with a newspaper clipping detailing several brutal killings or possible suicides. It's the kind of article that stirs the imagination instead of putting matters to rest... and so begins the story, told by a narrator who seems to know more about things than she lets on.
The prologue introduces the voice of this narrator, Rosie. She's a kind elderly lady, but there's something behind the tone of the writing that suggests that, when she wants to, she can smile and show rows of razor-sharp fangs instead of regular teeth... and one of the last statements in the prologue is, “I don't bite.” Which, of course, suggests the opposite.
Part One is titled “Leitmotif.” It is defined as “an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation” (per the Merriam Webster Dictionary). This is important, and gives more of a hint to the narrator's role.
In Chapter One of Part One, Rosie laments the vanished beauty of her neighbor Jenny Hotchkiss. Jenny in her later years has become a drooling version of her former self, and this makes Rosie question her belief or trust in God. There's a brief mention of the murders that the mysterious figure has come to investigate, but Rosie is more interested in the details of her neighbor and the neighborhood; it is these things, not the deaths, that make her question.
It's easy to get lost in this story. Rosie is a good storyteller, throwing in details here and there without disturbing the flow of the tale, and the style of the writing flows well. There's a comfort in the way the “harmless” woman unfolds the narrative. Yet, there is also tension. The reader and the mysterious figure want to know more about the deaths of the men mentioned in the news article. Rosie knows this, but she is in no rush. She is in control because, as she says, all of the deaths lead to her door.
It will be fascinating to see where Rosie leads the mysterious figure.
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! and others. She has a BA in Cinema (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a Fellow of Film Independent's Project: Involve.