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Crimson Snow: A Short Story

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Green Valley was once known for its fertile farming, picturesque mountains, and abundant wildlife. Now snow and ice cover all but the tallest homes. The only sounds are Maverick’s boots clumping through the snowdrifts and the frigid wind hissing down the mountain. Even the beasts in the woods have gone utterly silent.

But the path forward is clear, especially for one emboldened by optimism. So Maverick keeps moving, trudging through the abandoned town toward the desolate tundra beyond the forest, marring the snow with his bloody footprints.

To leave is a risk. To stay might be suicide.

Either way, no one leaves these mountains alive.

First published February 10, 2017

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About the author

Meghan O'Flynn

50 books619 followers
With books deemed “visceral, haunting, and fully immersive” (New York Times bestseller, Andra Watkins), Meghan O’Flynn has made her mark on the thriller genre. Meghan is a clinical therapist who draws her character inspiration from her knowledge of the human psyche. She is the bestselling author of gritty crime novels and serial killer thrillers, all of which take readers on the dark, gripping, and unputdownable journey for which Meghan is notorious. Perfect for fans of Dexter, Chelsea Cain, and Gillian Flynn. Learn more at https://meghanoflynn.com!

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5 stars
49 (19%)
4 stars
60 (23%)
3 stars
83 (32%)
2 stars
37 (14%)
1 star
24 (9%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews
Profile Image for Selene.
933 reviews233 followers
January 10, 2018
The reader meets the narrator, Maverick, in the middle of a snowstorm. His cabin is in an isolated location, he’s growing weaker by the day, and he’s made the decision to leave the home he once shared with his wife, Christy. It’s evident as the story continues on that Christy did not die of natural causes and Maverick is paranoid about someone or something following him.

This is a short story with a bleak tone and is 99% inner monologue. I liked this author’s writing style but the ending was confusing. May re-read at another time.

*Amazon freebie.
Profile Image for Terra.
146 reviews22 followers
March 5, 2017

This book really didn't make any sense to me.... I'm really confused on what the purpose was and I don't think I will read anything else by the author....
Profile Image for Heather Holter.
38 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2017
I received this book as a proofreader. It is an easy read. Good when you are short on time, yet want a gripping read. The rich descriptions of the cold and snow will make you feel a chill to your bones! Sometimes we can't run away, no matter how hard we try!
Profile Image for Ted Tayler.
Author 62 books250 followers
August 4, 2018
"A grim view of the future"

All rather depressing. The descriptive passages were there in abundance to demonstrate that the author is very intelligent. Which was a shame, because the bleak imagery might have suited a more spartan writing style. Sometimes less is more, especially if you're trying to get a message across. It wasn't the wood that got in the way, it was the words.
228 reviews4 followers
May 6, 2020

I enjoyed this story and it was a great length for a 1 sit read. I've been looking for some great.short stories and this easily meets that criteria
Profile Image for Heidi.
395 reviews11 followers
March 9, 2017
Not my cup of tea

Very gory and ended to erruptly for a short story. I doubt that I will read more by this author.
Profile Image for Kristen Mae.
Author 7 books441 followers
March 4, 2017
I could feel the cold from this story deep in my own bones. O'Flynn did a superb job of making me wonder what the central character was running from. Someone? Something? Himself?? This is one of those stories that makes you second-guess yourself so that you have to go back and read it again.
Profile Image for Aimee Garrett.
11 reviews
February 14, 2017
I'm mesmerized by this story. Quick read that captures the readers attention from the first sentence.
Profile Image for Ronald Keeler.
846 reviews32 followers
May 18, 2018
Crimson Snow is a dystopian short story by Meghan O’Flynn that I liked especially for several passages of description. Here is one example that occurs in the first few pages and led me to say “Wow, I wonder if she continues this type of writing throughout the story?”

“Hidden behind clouds, the rising sun bleached the heavens a pale, sickly gray and turned every barren tree into a slash of black against the dusty sky, as if a bear had torn the tapestry of the horizon with razor-sharp claws.” (Kindle Locations 32-34).

Maverick was a survivor. An ex-military type who had survived many dangerous missions and situations, he was left with a negative perspective on many things when he thought about them. But he didn’t think about them. Maverick relied on instinct. His “philosophy” might vary in words but it boiled down to “No thoughts. Only action. Action was his only hope.” (Kindle Locations 285-286). His wife, Cristy, had a different viewpoint. No matter the action, there was something good in everything. She may have been right, but she was also dead. Maverick was left alone to survive in a severely altered world.

Maverick wasn’t sure what had happened or what was carrying the sickness that killed everyone in the town of Green alley. As far as he knew, Maverick was the last resident left. He, Cristy and Cristy’s brother Larry had moved to the semi-isolated area to become one with the land. That same quality of remoteness now made Maverick a kind of prisoner. He might make it to the next town of Crystal Bluff; he might find some food, or he might be captured or killed by the soldiers responsible for keeping the infected people inside a quarantine area

It was time to lock the door to his house (checking the lock twice) get his few possessions together and begin the eight-hour trek to Crystal Bluff. He would succeed as he always had if only he didn’t stop to think about it.

No thoughts. Only action.

This is an interesting short story that left me with a question. Does the ending of the story reflect Meghan O’Flynn’s view of life? I will be sure to read more of her work while I wonder how much of this is pure creative fiction and how much of it is an author’s point of view. I gave this four Amazon stars plus because of the powerful descriptive terms used when painting pictures of nature.

Profile Image for Meghan O'Flynn.
Author 50 books619 followers
August 12, 2021
Profile Image for Kim.
584 reviews4 followers
February 14, 2018
After reading It by Stephen King I needed something short to wind down. So short story time!
I found this for free on Amazon and decided to give it a try.

Like in any short story there is of course no room for proper character development and world building and usually this doesn't really bother me, but here there just seemed to be something lacking. Sure there probably is a war going on and I don't need to know what kind of war. But there also seems to be a major natural catastrophe where entire villages are snowed in? And then there is the main character's weird realtionship with his brother in law...
I don't know, there just seemed to be something missing in order for me to really enjoy it.
Profile Image for Bekah Keesler.
287 reviews3 followers
June 20, 2017
This short (very short) little niblet was good, and I loved how everything wasn't just told to me - left a little mystery about the main character's situation. The writing is also good - flowed well, great narrative, crazy character. Honestly just wished it was longer. Overall I liked it for the little read that it was.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,208 reviews12 followers
July 17, 2019
When the mountains turn from beautifully plentiful to dangerously stark, survival hinges on continually moving in the quiet of Meghan O'Flynn's Crimson Snow: A Short Story.

To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.

Once an area of abundant farming and mountainous beauty, Green Valley has succumbed to copious amount of snow and ice, ushering in a pervasive quiet and emptiness. Despite the struggles and sacrifices that were needed to have been made, Maverick keeps moving forward, trying to find a temporary refuge in the kindness of the few remaining inhabitants for a place to warm up and eat. Both leaving and staying on the mountain spells danger for continued living and the trend is that no one leaves alive.

This short story sets up what could be a dark and interesting premise; however, the brief introduction to Maverick and the situation leaves too much unanswered, specifically as to how the world came to this point and just why people are so frightened to leave their homes or help others. Descriptive language made the cold, bleak setting come to life and while aspects to the story were presented in a manner that builds suspense there was a lack of context to help situate characters and events into the larger narrative, which could benefit from some further development.

Overall, I'd give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Frank.
537 reviews
March 29, 2020
This is an exciting short story about a soldier trying to survive in the frozen wilds of the mountains. He only encounters a few other humans but tries t0 avoid them as he hides from bands of other soldiers. The descriptions of his coldness are well written as are his mental gyrations. This is a decent short read.
Profile Image for Christi M.
802 reviews21 followers
April 10, 2020
I know this is a short story, but while the middle was super enthralling, the beginning was odd and the ending left me totally hanging. The bulk of the story, though, was really great and suspenseful. Overall, a great short read if you're limited on time or just want something to go through quickly.
77 reviews
April 23, 2020
Don't Bother

Waste of time and effort. No storyline no ending. I'm just glad I didn't pay for it. Really and truly don't bother. I sometimes say about books I've read and not enjoyed - read it and make your own decision. I simply cannot recommend this short "story" in any shape or form....
Profile Image for Mallory.
107 reviews1 follower
April 3, 2022
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did Rearview. Simply for the fact that this one felt more disjointed. It took entirely too long to even surmise what was going on. And it felt vaguely overdone. I gave it 3 stars simply for the writing style. I do like the author's descriptiveness. The imagery is very well done.
Profile Image for Lynn Daniels.
Author 18 books7 followers
October 29, 2017
The story has the potential of being a good, post-apocalyptic story. The descriptions of the scenery are mesmerizing, but it falls flat because there is not a whole lot of character or story development.
501 reviews
March 15, 2018
Good story

This is a dystopian story. Maverick is trying to survive against insurmountable odds. It is clean but has some graphic content. I don’t usually read this genre so I might be overly harsh. Rated PG15
Profile Image for Chrissy Woj.
49 reviews4 followers
March 16, 2018
This story was fantastic! I had no idea what to expect when I started it but, as usual, Meg took me on a dark and twisty path. It left me begging for more! I would love to see additional stories fleshed out in this post-apocalyptic world.
305 reviews
October 25, 2018
A dark postapocolyptic story

A short story of survival in a world gone crazy after an infection takes most people. Dark story dealing with the choices one must take as the end draws near. For those who read about the world after a catastrophe occurs.
Profile Image for Mary Pummill.
46 reviews
November 24, 2018
Crimson Snow: A Short Story

A very confusing story about
Nd very depressing. Hopefully the world will never get to that point. I kept hoping the story would end with something positive instead of a nothing ending
Profile Image for Annemarie .
513 reviews6 followers
January 18, 2019
A short story that leaves the Reader wondering what caused the contagen that quarantined this township and it's people. Happy reading..................Annemarie
I received a free copy from the author and have chosen to leave a review.
Profile Image for Naznin Azeez.
284 reviews
September 25, 2020
What a waste of time... Story makes no sense whatsoever. Kept reading expecting some twist to happen. Those who are giving this 5 stars and calling it 'gripping' is really lost or heavily biased for some unknown reasons.
110 reviews1 follower
June 26, 2017
This is a fantastically written short story by the fabulous Meghan O'Flynn. Her descriptions are so real you feel the cold, the hunger, the fear. It leaves you guessing in the best possible way.
Profile Image for Emily G.
531 reviews9 followers
September 2, 2017
An interesting short story that gives you little snippets of information to keep you guessing as to what has caused this apocalyptic world until the end. 3 stars
Profile Image for Kay Oliver.
Author 12 books133 followers
February 20, 2018
I loved the descriptions in this story, I was sucked in shivering, it is so well written. The suspense was never ending, I was turning pages like crazy. I loved Maverick and his story. This was an absolute triumph of a read.
Profile Image for Sharon.
793 reviews8 followers
May 6, 2018
Short suspense/horror story. Your guess what happened to the town.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews

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