Jingle Bells by Savanna Williams
Warning: Violence and Death
Jingle Bells by Savanna Williams is a short horror story that makes you think twice when going out to buy your Christmas tree. Allie loves the holidays, and she’s determined to turn her husband into just as much of a Christmas fanatic as she is. When going out to buy their Christmas tree, Allie decides on one with a curious black branch.
Maybe she should have picked the pretty one after all…
I thought this was a quick little short story that had a lot of nice ideas. Plus, who doesn’t love a good bit of holiday horror?
The writing had some problem areas. There was some repetition, a few errors, and some sentence structure problems that hurt the flow of the piece, but I still found that the story moved along at a good pace and the descriptions were well done. The dialogue was overall well done, though there were some instances where it seemed a little off, and the phrase ‘or something’ was used repeatedly by both characters, which made things read as a little repetitive.
I enjoyed the characters as much as one can in such short stories. There isn’t much time to get to know them though, which is why when things start happening, I didn’t get as many ‘feels’ as I probably should have. It could have been the short length, or just maybe not seeing as much of the connection as I should have. That said, I did like Allie’s general reactions to things and thought they were very realistic considering the events.
On to the plot, I liked it. It was something a little different from all of the warm fuzzies that come around this time of year (though I love those too) and it didn’t take the route I imagined. I did have one issue with the plot and it was that the connection between the tree and events wasn’t as clear as it should have been (was it the tree itself, did the tree act as a sort of marker… Trying to phrase this without giving too much away). I saw the connection to Christmas trees, just not the specifics on the particular tree mentioned. This could easily be solved with a quick sentence tying it all in.
As for the ‘fear factor’, I did feel some chills, especially at the end. Of course, it probably helps that I read this after midnight, sitting in the dark, with only the light of my Kindle and the Christmas tree. Only way to read holiday horror stories in my opinion! haha.
It was certainly a fast-paced, entertaining story and can be read in under a half-hour. It might not exactly get you in the holiday spirit, but it might make you reconsider your choice in Christmas tree!
Fear Factor: 3/5
Entertainment Value: 4/5
Average Overall Rating: 3.1/5
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