Consolidated Separates
by E. B. Burbridge

"Years ago his hands were narrow, strong, and quick, and with the help of criminals, Gordie Dasso became a pick-pocket and his crew never got caught. His philosophy: greed will get you killed."

The title fits the book well because all the stories are of different genres—horror and science fiction to name a few, but they come together to make a solid, enjoyable whole. The author, who is a graduate of National Lewis University, has a knack for bringing his characters closer to the reader, and his stories are short, but mouthwateringly satisfying. The characters' many flaws and dilemmas are highlighted in a way that makes them believable, and the main characters run the gamut from unpleasant post office bosses and hungry zombies to drug addicts and murdering nuns. The stories are short enough to be read in one sitting, and the book is small enough to be fitted into one's bag when on the go.

Especially of note is the story "Ten Percent," which portrays a female inmate in a halfway house who punishes a mean manager by giving him magical voodoo dolls that entangle him with various illnesses. The story "Grip" is about a drug addict who kills a passersby for money, only to be caught in his death grip and become paralyzed, and "Not This Time" is a story about a female black widow spider who finally catches and eats her mate. The only poem in the book, "Wiggle in the Grass," is about a black viper wrapped around a person's foot. This collection is perfect for busy people, literature lovers, and for those who enjoy flash fiction and short stories.

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