Ritual by Steve Stred

Ritual - Steve Stred


I read this one by the soft light of a Himalayan salt lamp. I hope that counts! You can see how dark the room was in my photo below.


Ritual is a dark little tale about a pretty normal guy named Brad. Brad has a routine and he sticks to it. He reads the Bible, buys food and sells over-priced crap for a call center. He seems perfectly okay with his dull routine because he knows he has a bigger purpose in life. He also spends most evenings getting sexually abused and flagellated by “Father” as well as doing a little self-flagellation of his own and he doesn’t seem to mind that very much either.

Yeah, I know, things just got a little weird. You didn’t think this story would be about a boring dude and his tedious routine, did you?

Lately Brad is a little stressed because he is preparing for his big day and is tasked with getting everything just right. There is no room for screw-ups. Brad, you see, is The Chosen One in the little cult he belongs to and he must guide them all into the Black Heavens. Yep, you read that right. The Black Heavens!

This was a twisted tale that gets increasingly revolting the more pages you read so make sure you read it all, haha. Ritual is more about the build-up to what is about to happen and it’s short so there isn’t a lot of time spent character building. There’s a short flashback somewhere in the middle to help explain things that felt a wee bit out of place for me but that’s a minor thing. The story is very dark and very gory and I think you horror fans will have fun with it and it might have you giving the side-eye to that boring guy at work.