Crick Crack Rattle Tap

A. C. Wise, "Crick Crack Rattle Tap" in Screams From the Dark, ed. Ellen Datlow (Tor Publishing Group: 2022).

Rattle Tap is a wonderfully frightening monster! And if we discover that this monster isn’t hiding behind the curtains, that might actually be scarier than the alternative, for we might be Rattle Tap.

I love the thoroughgoing ambiguity of this story. It is not uncommon for horror stories to play up ambiguity, inviting the reader to provide an interpretation of the story’s events. But here, something deeper is going on. The ambiguity itself is used to reflect the protagonist's own state of mind or point of view. Kiersten is in the same epistemic state regarding what is really happening (and what happened in the past) as we, the reader.

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