The Rustic Inn: Judge and Jury
by J.D. Fromm

"They say the past can reappear."

In 1945, a pork processing plant of ill repute burned down. In 1946, The Rustic Inn was christened from the plant’s ashes. It was only a matter of time before strange occurrences began to happen. In 1961, a local barber disappeared and was never heard from again. A suspicious fire devoured the property of the caretaker. Annie and Joe were hired on in 2005 at the inn and would get more than they could ever have bargained for. In the present-day setting of 2020, new guests have arrived, the bar is fully stocked, and the gods of fate have something planned for the occupants of the inn. And does it seem a bit creepy that every year the woods that surround the Inn seem to encroach just a little further on the property?

The unknown has never seemed so frightening. This is a spooky novella that hints at menace in its initial pages. Author Fromm writes a psychological tale reminiscent of campfire stories that linger in the mindset of the audience well after the light has been extinguished. The featured characters run the gamut from a weary bartender (Annie) wanting her ticket out to a slightly askew caretaker (Joe) who may creep any and all females out. Meanwhile, the guests, both male and female, are looking for a memorable time. The scares arrive early and often, and the building up to each new fright is carefully measured. The story’s lone flaw may lie in its brevity. The quick resolution to the narrative arrives all too quickly, leaving the reader wanting more. Fromm has written a nail-biter with the definite potential to raise the hairs on the back of one’s neck.

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