© Schlock! Webzine
Jim Mountfield, the pseudonym under which I write horror stories, has had a busy couple of months. Between December 2019 and February 2020, short fiction by him / me has appeared in Aphelion, Schlock! Webzine and The Horror Zine. I’m pleased to report that a further Mountfield short story, The Away Day, has been included in the new, March 2020 edition of Schlock! Webzine.
Many horror stories originate with unhappy experiences suffered in real life by their authors and this is true of The Away Day, which takes place in a modern-day corporate office. I’ve spent periods working – at times, it felt like being incarcerated – in such environments and much of the story represents me venting my frustration at all the torments that come with them. These torments include uncooperative desk-booking systems, unappealing team-building activities, patronising line managers, hapless interns, ghastly meaningless jargon and corporate-speak (“Thinking outside the box,” “Taking it to the next level,” etc.), air-conditioning units that don’t work, ID tags that are supposed to open doors but don’t work, photocopier rooms where there’s barely enough space to swing a cat, and so on and so forth.
Despite its bland and humdrum setting, the story has woven into it a theme that harks back to a certain much-loved British horror movie of yesteryear. And there’s also a subtle reference to the second-best novel by Bram Stoker. I wonder if anyone can identify it.