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David Massengill

Grave Regrets



A murdered woman’s body is found sprawled across a car seat in Seattle, a tree branch resting on top of her corpse. She clutches a cell phone displaying a website featuring horror fiction stories posted by the public. The story of the day is about Spindly Arms, a killer with a face in the shape of a crescent moon and tree branches for arms.

Forty-four-year-old John Larsen is aghast after hearing about the murder. “Spindly Arms” was a story he wrote over a quarter of a century ago, when he was a high school senior. The tale first appeared in a literary magazine published by the girl—no, the woman—who just met her bloody end.

Back in 1992, John was the boyfriend of Vivian Chiang and best pal of Brandon Laurent until a major betrayal among the friends forced them to stagger off in their separate ways. This was also the year the three classmates had disturbing encounters with the person they called “the armless man,” a bald, stocky fifty-something with bulging eyes and prosthetic arms. The man lived in a ramshackle house on John’s paper route, and he was the inspiration for Spindly Arms.

Now all three classmates painfully regret past actions as some sinister stranger who remembers 1992 stalks them. Spindly Arms is reaching across the years, and he won’t let go of John, Vivian, or Brandon until they’ve paid for past sins, or they’re dead.

Praise for Grave Regrets

“Massengill’s mixture of relatable, contemporary characters, urban legend, creeping horror, and multiple perspectives is a deft and winning one. Told with crisp prose that carries both the onion-peeling plot and a vivid personality, Grave Regrets is a mystery-horror that confronts, among other things, just how much our past can haunt us. It deserves a place on the nightstand of any Bentley Little or Richard Matheson fan, or anyone addicted to the CreepyPasta corner of the Internet.”
—Mike Robinson, award-winning author of The Prince of Earth and the Enigma of Twilight Falls trilogy

“Grave Regrets is yet another first-rate thriller from David Massengill, who has been making a habit of creating skillfully written stories that keep you hooked from the first word right up to the last. With his latest, Massengill has crafted a pulse-pounding tale set in and around Seattle. The novel offers varying perspectives about the horrors of a past left unresolved, and how those horrors can manifest in the present day. Grave Regrets is a true page-turner with a conclusion that will leave you both satisfied and haunted.”
—Jonathan R. Rose, author of Carrion, The Spirit of Laughter, Gato Y Lobo, and Wedlock

Praise for David Massengill’s novel The Skin That Fits

“...a great read, richly humid with atmosphere, tense, packed with paranoia. The characters are interesting and well-rounded, tackling some difficult social constructs. Subtle but distinct Lovecraftian undertones weave throughout.”
—The Horror Fiction Review

“Cults, Cajun gators, and roly-poly fish heads as rendered by Jack Ketchum will be the least of your worries as author David Massengill evokes the kinographic horror to be found in Marisha Pessl’s Night Film or even David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Massengill builds on his previous work (Red Swarm) and is better than ever as our tour guide through this sickly-sweet southern Gothic.”
—Mike Sauve, author of How to Market Your Grief Blog





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