Novella review ‘Sister Funtime’: a Smileyland Story’

  • Author: Spencer Hamilton
  • Publisher: independently published
  • Publishing year: 2021
  • Number of pages: 123 (kindle)
  • Cover by: GoOnWrite and Ruin Reels
  • My rating: 5/5
Welcome to Smileyland… again!

Synopsis:

“Welcome to hell, Sister.”Sister Mary Matthew arrives on the steps of St. Teresa’s Joyous Youths Orphanage determined to be the children’s favorite nun. But she can’t seem to win over the head of the orphanage: stern, withered Sister Agatha Eustace, whom everyone secretly calls Sister Killjoy.

Mary tries to rise to the challenge, but things at St. Teresa’s feel . . . off. A mysterious benefactor. Sick children denied medicine. A crowded cemetery. Strange noises from the basement. Cruel punishments. Terrifying dreams.

Worst of all, her prayers remain unanswered. She feels as if God has abandoned her and everyone at St. Teresa’s. Until, one full-mooned night, a voice calls to her. A voice that claims to know her heart’s desire.

Before there was Smileyland, before Mister Smiley, there was a decrepit orphanage run by an evil nun and full of children who chanted:

“Sister Funtime, Sister Funtime, Sister Funtime!”

From the author of Welcome to Smileylandand The Fearcomes the new religious horror novella, the latest entry in the Smileyverse. Come on in—and don’t forget to say your prayers.

Review:

Too much sunshine leads to sin!

Sister Agatha Eustace (Sister Killjoy)

Welcome to Smileyland… again!

Spencer Hamilton has been a naughty boy, he’s been feeding us with snippets of Smileyland stories… His first one was ‘Welcome to Smileyland’ about a group of young people entering an abandoned amusement park, somewhere in the eighties, and turning that visit into a real bloodbath, a real slasher fest! But that story lacked an origin for the evil roaming the park.
This book also starts with a group breaking in on the grounds of the amusement park, in 1988 this time (so before ‘Welcome to Smileyland’) and when all of these kids start telling ghost stories, there is one that needs to be told about Smileyland:

So next comes ‘Sister Funtime’, a story situated in the 1920’s, in an orphanage on the same premises where now that abandoned park lies. In this story we get to know sister Mary Matthew, listening to her calling to become the protector and carer of the children of the orphanage. But she is hindered by the ever serious and very bitchy Sister Eustace, better known by the children as Sister Killjoy!

Sister Mary does not let herself be bullied by the older sister, and together with Sister Ines she tries to give the children a fun stay at the orphanage, giving her the moniker Sister Funtime.

But against Sister Killjoy’s advise Mary goes to the basement of the orphanage, to find a crucifix down there that leads her to temptation and starts events beyond anyone’s control, leading up to a fearful climax!

Again we are bedazzled by Spencer’s writing skills and his talent for showing us around in a tormented place, we all know will become a root for evil. Well, become might be the wrong word, as it seems the evil already found a place there, it only needed a way out into the world. And that’s what Sister Mary unwillingly did. But who is that benefactor, Mr. James? And what made those noises in the basement? What happened to the children and when was Smileyland built on those grounds?

Those questions are still left for us and Spencer has a few more stories in Smileyland for us, I’m sure! (I hope!)

Sister Funtime is a truly horrifying story about temptation, about evil and even comments on child abuse in the catholic church.

Don’t go wandering the orphanage, don’t touch anything that whispers to you and make sure all curtains are closed because: too much sunshine leads to sin! Get on your knees and start praying that you’re not next on Evil’s Victims List!

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