Published by Pastel Wasteland on 14 October 2022
Genres: Body Horror, Horror, Horror Short Stories, Short Stories
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
A hair-obsessed serial killer…
A flesh-eating motorway pileup…
A grotesque holiday illness…
Forget what you think you know about the human body. In Rob Ulitski’s debut short story collection, get ready for a thrilling, gut-churning ride through death, disease and destruction.
Boasting thirteen unique stories and a whole host of brutal bodily afflictions, 'Fleshed Out' explores the fragility of flesh and blood, and the gruesome ways our bodies can twist, contort and transform into our worst nightmares.
Fleshed Out proves that its bark is just as devastating as its bite. Ulitski handles his wide range of characters with the finesse of a master storyteller. I can’t quite believe this is his DEBUT because there are novels out there that don’t have the nuance and unbridled skill that this one does.
Fleshed Out is a short story anthology that is perpetually locked in the dark. It’s banging on the door demanding release, it’s insistent, it needs to be heard, to be listened to. When you finally give in and let it out, you question whether you would’ve ever truly been ready for it. A collection of body horror stories, it is a dark and conclusive conversation on just how dark humanity (or lack thereof) can be. 13 stellar stories from one author, Rob Ulitski. Each story has a heartbeat, a will to shock, to step their foot into the fires of hell, testing the flames to see if they can forge a way back out. Each one taught me something else about the genre and I’m grateful for the experience because that is what it was – an experience.
Fleshed Out reminded me just why I love horror short stories. It’s a short and snappy way of immersing you in the action. It allows the author to get to the point, devastating to the point of despair and it allows all branches of emotion at their disposal. This collection was so brutal and bloody that I could almost taste the metallic tanginess of bloodshed. My heart rate increased with anticipation of what would come next. The urgency was palpable, the only thing quicker than my fingers turning the page was the increasing rate of blood pressure thumping in my ears.
Hair was the perfect opening to this collection. You know you’re onto a good one when the opening line is ‘Natalia was soaked through with blood, fresh tangles of hair dangling from her puckered lips.’ The actions of Natalia searching for her next victim left me on tenterhooks. The final act made a dark shadow pass over my heart. The ending was *chefs kiss*
Carnage – One of my favourite stories overall. We have a character that I detested in Morgan but at the same time, I couldn’t look away. His evil is what really carried the story (that and Ulitski’s stellar writing.) We have a man that’s been wronged by the love of his life, Jessica. She slept with his brother, and he found out. What is it about some men going absolutely bat shite crazy when they find out about their partner cheating? Now, I’m not condoning the action, not at all, but there are ways of dealing with it. I don’t think abducting his ex and causing a massive pile-up on the motorway is the one. Morgan is an eviscerated mess after the accident, the tanker he crashed into spilling out copious amounts of orange slop, which seems to be keeping everyone alive, but how?
Crystalline – not only did this story knock my socks off but it took the skin with it too. Helena was struggling with life. She’s caring for her disabled brother and the cost of his medical bills, and the general running of their home is crippling them. When she discovers that her face is growing gems, she realizes that this could be the answer to all their prayers. A story that is so sharp that it threatens to cut you from ear to ear.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob writes visceral, concept-driven horror stories, anchored by complex characters and offbeat narratives.
Born in Portsmouth, UK, he received his bachelor of arts in Film Production from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Having trained in filmmaking, and working as a director and producer on everything from music videos to shorts to feature-length anthology films, Rob’s official writing journey started in 2020.
When not writing, he can be found watching cheesy 90s films, baking cakes and haunting local bookstores.