By Bob Shaw
A super number of unique stories.
A predatory alien by accident teleported to Earth.
A mad scientist and his imprisoned ghost.
A house visitor returns to stand an accusation of homicide.
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Extra info for A Better Mantrap
The first one flashed past stark inches from him. Alert to the danger they presented, even to someone with energistic power, he began to jump aside. That was his mistake. The second horse might have missed him if he’d stayed still. Instead, it struck him almost head on. The screaming horse buckled on top of him, forelegs snapping with an atrocious crack as inertia sent it hurtling forwards regardless. The knight was flung out sideways, spinning in the air. He landed bonelessly, bouncing a full foot above the cobbles before coming to a final rest.
The grievous plea seemed to kick directly into Louise’s nervous system. She pushed her shoulders into the wall, levering herself upright. Mrs Charlsworth grinned mirthlessly as the maid and the burly warrior closed on her to consummate their vengeance. She raised the pathetic knitting needle again. Ribbons of white fire snaked around Rachel’s arms as she grinned at her prey. Small balls of it dripped off her fingertips, flying horizontally towards the stricken woman, eating eagerly through the starched grey uniform.
The manor and its grounds had become very quiet all of a sudden. The big entrance-hall doors swinging shut had acted like a signal for the birds to fall still. Even the horses were docile. The funereal sensation was broken by Merlin who had finally reached the gravel driveway. He barked quite piteously as he nosed around Louise’s feet, his tongue lolling out as he wheezed heavily. Louise gathered up the reins of both horses and started to lead them towards the stables. Genevieve grabbed Merlin’s collar and hauled him along.
A Better Mantrap by Bob Shaw