Always a Dancer & Other Stories by Steven Lockley
Cover Art by Steven Upham
A collection of tall tales from author Steve Lockley that ranges from the whimsical to the horrifying, from wistful to chilling. There are dark tales of old rites and all manner of men and beasts to encounter. Featuring some established favourites and some never before released stories collected together for the first time.
‘… more than anything there are tales of Mystery and Imagination, trust me on this. This particular thing, this collection, has been too long coming. ‘ Steven Savile
Always a Dancer
Life in a Northern Town
The First Time
The Mermaid’s Tears
The Long Wait
When Two Hearts Beat in Time
The Last Frost
Life and Life Only
Don’t Leave Me Down Here
Opening paragraphs of Always a Dancer
Always a Dancer
Garry was busking in the underpass at the end of the Kingsway when I saw him. It was the first time we had been in the same city, as far as I knew, for almost three years.
Garry Antoniazzi, Italian looks and a voice to match, or at least that was how he had been when he had left for London with a recording contract in his pocket. Now he was thin to the point of looking haggard and his voice shot to pieces.
The temptation was to walk straight past. It would have been easy to allow myself to be carried away by the heavy flow of Christmas shoppers who dragged plastic bags and small children with equal force. Instead I stopped and spoke to him, despite the noise of the traffic above which echoed around the white tile walls even though I did not really have anything to say. I could not look him in the eye, finding my gaze being drawn to the graffiti behind his shoulder.
‘That thing frozen to your lips’, I said as he came to the end of ‘Silent Night’. The final chord played as a flourish into the bustle of the crowd. I half expected him to thank his audience despite the fact that no-one was really listening, and yet a few coins were still dropped into his battered guitar case. He unscrewed the neck brace which held the harmonica a few inches from his chin.
BFS review : Steve Lockley has managed to provide readers with a series of stories that don’t fail to interest and vary in content so that the subject matter doesn’t get dry or cluttered. Obviously there are a few more that readers could pick out as favourites, but none of them left me feeling cheated.
Ebookwyrm’s review : Always A Dancer is a very good bunch of short stories that covers all bases in what I would want from a ghost story/horror collection.