Mahaha’s Victims by Giselle Renarde

MAHAHA
Mahaha’s Victims by Giselle Renarde
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Horror, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (11 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When crafty Kooloo takes Gyta out in her truck, things get a little too hot and heavy for Gyta’s liking. The attention is nice, but she just wants to go home. En route, the truck hits something big. Damned if it isn’t a girl! And not just any girl–with her bare feet, sinewy limbs, blue skin, and sharp acrylic fingernails–this willowy slip could only be Mahaha, the mythological Inuit monster.

In the elders’ stories, Mahaha’s long fingers were able to tickle a person to death. She was a cruel creature, but easily tricked by any clever Inuk. Just lead the monster to the water and push it in. Easy enough.

Kooloo’s got a plan to escape the monster’s ticklish clutches: push the half-naked creature into the local watering hole. Gyta doesn’t know who to feel sorrier for–Mahaha, or the boys at the bar. But can the women execute their brilliant plan before it’s too late?

Gyta and Kooloo’s date isn’t exactly unfolding the way either of them had anticipated. What could be worse than seeing someone who wants the sexual aspect of your relationship to progress more quickly than you do?

If only Kooloo and Gyta knew they were about to face a much bigger challenge. Despite their communication and boundary issues I enjoyed the banter and chemistry between these characters. Had they met after Kooloo gained some emotional maturity and Gyta learned to make peace with her sexual orientation they would have made a great couple. As the plot progresses I saw glimpses of the peaceful, productive life they could build together if they joined forces.

The ending of this story shocked me. There didn’t seem to be any clues earlier on in the plot about how it was all wrapped up, and reading the last few paragraphs was disjointing. While the ending fits into what readers figure out about the rules of this universe it would have made a bigger emotional impact on me had there been a few clues about what was happening early on.

With that being said, the pacing in this tale was excellent. From Gyta and Kooloo’s interrupted date to a race against time, each scene blended into the one preceding it with ease. I was on the edge of my seat from page one of this wild ride.

Mahaha’s Victims is a good choice for anyone who loves folk tales and secretely wonders if the creatures described in them are ever based on a kernel of truth. This is a modern day twist on an ancient legend that made me shudder as I read it.

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