Monday, May 25, 2020

The Haunting of Nora by Lyka Bloom (feminization horror)

One of the things I have always envied about Lyka Bloom is her ability to set a scene and establish an atmosphere. Her stories are so often tied to someplace, whether it be a cubicle or a room or a house, and everything emanates from that center. With The Haunting of Nora, that center is the old Klein house in Bear Falls, a sprawling affair of rooms and corridors with a dark history and rumors of being haunted.

The house captures our attention right from the start, as much for what it is as what it represents. It seems to have an immediate impact on Rory and Sara, although that is easily shrugged off and explained as something entirely natural. What is less easily shrugged off is the uneasiness of the dinner party with old friends, where Janey shares the sordid urban legends of Rory's Great-Aunt Nora . . . and David finds himself seduced by a spectral figure later that night. The storytelling over dinner is fantastic, full of both titillation and dread, and the erotic assault is chillingly cinematic.

Part of what I loved about this was the way Lyka approaches the gender transformations, beginning slow and subtle, passed off as mysterious illness, before becoming hornier and hungrier. The supernatural permeates this entire story, its phantom tendrils borrowing from ghosts, witches, vampires, and possession, and more. Oddly, Rory and Sara seem to be largely removed from those supernatural events, more catalysts than victims, but all of that changes with her discovery of the secret room with the altar and arcane books.

While I usually breeze through stories like this in a single setting, I lingered over The Haunting of Nora for two nights, wanting to enjoy every gasp and moan, and not wanting it to end . . . and yet needing to know how it ends. As for that ending, do not be disappointed by the climax as I was, longing for what could have been, for Lyka has one last twist and the final two scenes are exquisite.

Lyka Bloom lives and works in Tennessee as a technical writer. She has always enjoyed the exploration of fantasies, from the mundane to the kinky, generally revolving around hypnosis, mind control and transformation.

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