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Windeye, by Brian Evenson. Coffee House Press, 2012. $16.00, 176 pages.


Young girls should not be vanishing into windows which, in turn, should not be vanishing from the broad sides of houses in midday. These things do not happen, but in Windeye’s eponymous first story, these events are presented as plainly as the broad side of a barn: a young girl touches the clear glass of a nebulous window and vanishes from existence, remaining only in the mind of her brother, our narrator, who is still wondering, as the story ends, if he ever truly had a sister at all.

Windeye contains 25 horror stories, each separated by their unique realities but tied back together by their constant probing into the possible and unknown. The enjoyable facet of the horror genre is the exhilaration that comes from aligning mentally with the main character as, undoubtedly, he or she kills the monster or de-masks the mystery, giving the audience welcome relief. However, Windeye derives its horror by an opposite method—by cutting the stories just short of any relieving revelation or extinction. The horror of Windeye surfaces as characters are kept in endless trepidation about the evil hiding in the basement, never daring or able to grab a flashlight and go check it out for themselves.