Short story review ‘The Ritual: a Holiday Folk Horror Story’

  • Author: Michael R. Goodwin
  • Publisher: independently published
  • Publishing year: 2021
  • Number of pages: 17 (kindle)
  • My rating: 4,5/5
The Ritual


“Let us bow our heads and close our eyes,” the villagers chanted, “for the Bell waits not for the one who dies.”

In the square, the villagers had gathered for The Ritual, which hasn’t been performed in more than thirty years. Only those old enough to have been at the last one knew the full gravity of what was to come. Everyone (even the children) knew why they had gathered, but there was only so much that could be conveyed through the retelling of a tale.

Some things you had to see for yourself to truly understand.


Managed to add this little dark tale to this month’s reading list – it is a short story about a ritual where an entire village has to participate, the moment a huge bell 🔔 appears (out of nowhere, it seems) and one villager has to come forward to sacrifice themselves… it’s very bleak, dark, sinister and disturbing (all things I like in a horror tale)

@michaelrgoodwin has offered us a great collection of short stories before (How good it feels to burn) and we’ve been spoiled with a novella (Smolder) that was creepy as hell… I sure hope he’s writing a longer novel because I’m sure he can keep me on the edge of my seat with a larger story as well!

As said, this is short and a fast read, so it took no time to finish! And if one can impact his readers with such short tales, imagine what he can do with a bigger story? 😉


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