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The Night Everything Changed

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No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creat No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creatures called “Haunchies”. For Vincent Carlson—and the whole town of Doverton—that was the night everything changed.


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No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creat No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creatures called “Haunchies”. For Vincent Carlson—and the whole town of Doverton—that was the night everything changed.

30 review for The Night Everything Changed

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Ugh, trying so hard not to be a judgmental dick right now. And failing. I just can't help it...I'm currently reading Salem's Lot by Stephen King, one of the most effective horror writers in the world, and reading this short story at the same time felt like finding the penny in the diamond mine. It was super short, like chapter-length, and the characters were so dumb and tropey (small-town hick papa basically bonering after his Lolita-esque "little girl" in a grody, not-at-all-disguised incestuous Ugh, trying so hard not to be a judgmental dick right now. And failing. I just can't help it...I'm currently reading Salem's Lot by Stephen King, one of the most effective horror writers in the world, and reading this short story at the same time felt like finding the penny in the diamond mine. It was super short, like chapter-length, and the characters were so dumb and tropey (small-town hick papa basically bonering after his Lolita-esque "little girl" in a grody, not-at-all-disguised incestuous subplot). The villains/monsters were so gleefully un-scary that I almost started laughing...you can't have good horror with buildup and tension and surprise, and a bunch of weird circus elves just isn't going to cut it. Sorry, Rufty, but this horror fan is just not impressed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    It's always good to sample a new author in a short story form, this way one doesn't get stuck with a book. This was a nice introduction to Rufty, author new to me, but already established with Samhain publishers. This short story itself was decent enough, very quick read, adequate writing dramatically overshadowed by the marvelously creepy humanoid creatures. A whole carnival worth of evil tiny cannibalistic beings, very nicely imagined. Would have totally worked as an opening for a novel, a pre It's always good to sample a new author in a short story form, this way one doesn't get stuck with a book. This was a nice introduction to Rufty, author new to me, but already established with Samhain publishers. This short story itself was decent enough, very quick read, adequate writing dramatically overshadowed by the marvelously creepy humanoid creatures. A whole carnival worth of evil tiny cannibalistic beings, very nicely imagined. Would have totally worked as an opening for a novel, a prequel to a larger work.

  3. 5 out of 5

    11811 (Eleven)

    A part of me wants to give this five stars just to outweigh all of the unjustified one star reviews but someone else already did that so I'll stick with an honest rating. I'm sure some people genuinely hated it and have every right to give it one star but if you browse the Amazon reviews I think you would find a vast number to be disingenuous. Or flat out nonsensical. Or just plain lazy. This was a 2.5 for me. I generally don't go for short stories and that will negatively impact my rating 9 time A part of me wants to give this five stars just to outweigh all of the unjustified one star reviews but someone else already did that so I'll stick with an honest rating. I'm sure some people genuinely hated it and have every right to give it one star but if you browse the Amazon reviews I think you would find a vast number to be disingenuous. Or flat out nonsensical. Or just plain lazy. This was a 2.5 for me. I generally don't go for short stories and that will negatively impact my rating 9 times out of 10, as it does here. The story didn't blow me away but it didn't suck either. I would certainly read this guy again in my comfort zone of longer fiction. This is only about 20 pages and has been available for free on Amazon since forever ago. It can't hurt to check it out and make up your own mind. I highly recommend the reviews though. There's some craaaazzzy shit out there.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angel **Book Junkie**

    This was an odd quirky little book. I hate giving books (or short stories) low ratings because especially for indie artists but a well-known author who publishes a story that I cannot like it is what it is. The star rating is how I feel about the book and it fell flat for me. I did not find it quirky, scary or anything else except for just plain weird. It was a freebie so that is good but the only the good about this book was the fact that I did not pay for it. Maybe if it was novel length I cou This was an odd quirky little book. I hate giving books (or short stories) low ratings because especially for indie artists but a well-known author who publishes a story that I cannot like it is what it is. The star rating is how I feel about the book and it fell flat for me. I did not find it quirky, scary or anything else except for just plain weird. It was a freebie so that is good but the only the good about this book was the fact that I did not pay for it. Maybe if it was novel length I could have gotten into the book but it just was not for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    A nice short prequel to Kristopher Rufty's The Lurkers. A creepy origin story of the Haunchies' "Watcher", too short for a stand alone tale, but if you read it before or after the main novel it is a more than good proloque or initial chapter. A nice short prequel to Kristopher Rufty's The Lurkers. A creepy origin story of the Haunchies' "Watcher", too short for a stand alone tale, but if you read it before or after the main novel it is a more than good proloque or initial chapter.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mel Raschke

    A carnival comes to town and takes over the town? I think...not sure.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Huxtable

    Quick, creepy read This book right here is yet another reason why I distrust circus' and clowns!!! This may be a real quick read But it packs a whole lot of creepy Quick, creepy read This book right here is yet another reason why I distrust circus' and clowns!!! This may be a real quick read But it packs a whole lot of creepy

  8. 5 out of 5

    K.

    Dr. Vincent Carlson is a country doctor who lives on his farm in a remote area of Wisconsin. He has a very beautiful daughter named Leanne. As the story opens, there is a thunderstorm and it is nearing midnight, the time Leanne said she would be back from seeing a show performed by a traveling circus called the "Haunchyville Carnival". Now all these deep-rooted fears we have of the freaks that used to be the attraction at a circus in the days when there was no television the author of this amaz Dr. Vincent Carlson is a country doctor who lives on his farm in a remote area of Wisconsin. He has a very beautiful daughter named Leanne. As the story opens, there is a thunderstorm and it is nearing midnight, the time Leanne said she would be back from seeing a show performed by a traveling circus called the "Haunchyville Carnival". Now all these deep-rooted fears we have of the freaks that used to be the attraction at a circus in the days when there was no television the author of this amazing short story uses to his advantage. He really knows how to scare his readers. I loved the imagery "Vincent could only see his corn in the burst of a lightning flash". Any horror fiction junkie should check this out!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Sfetsos

    Since I got my Samsung Galaxy Note last week, and added the Android Kindle app, I've been loading a bunch of my shorter stories and anthologies to it. And it's quite handy. This is the latest story I read, which was a freebie from Samhain. It's quite a creepy tale about a man who is waiting for his teenage daughter to come home from the carnival, and instead finds his house invaded by some very scary, little guys. It's a shortie, but very well written. The tension was pretty thick too, and it's da Since I got my Samsung Galaxy Note last week, and added the Android Kindle app, I've been loading a bunch of my shorter stories and anthologies to it. And it's quite handy. This is the latest story I read, which was a freebie from Samhain. It's quite a creepy tale about a man who is waiting for his teenage daughter to come home from the carnival, and instead finds his house invaded by some very scary, little guys. It's a shortie, but very well written. The tension was pretty thick too, and it's darn spooky at times. I also liked the old-style horror feeling it had to it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nev Murray

    Extremely good short story that finishes way too early leaving you gagging for more. I will definitely be buying more of Mr Rufty. This review was written before I started to take my reviewing seriously. I would need to re-read the book to give it a serious and fair review so the above review was what I posted at the time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ken B

    This was a fairly decent horror short story that probably should and probably could have been longer. Rufty has all the ingredients in place for a very strong full-length novel. 3 STARS based on length

  12. 4 out of 5

    The Flooze

    Think of an 80s horror movie involving small, vicious creatures who are fascinated by the breasts of human females. And there's a corn field. The end. Think of an 80s horror movie involving small, vicious creatures who are fascinated by the breasts of human females. And there's a corn field. The end.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita Troxell

    Hate it Sucks, hated it, would recommend it to no one. Silly, unoriginal with childishly creepy story line. Don't waste your time. Hate it Sucks, hated it, would recommend it to no one. Silly, unoriginal with childishly creepy story line. Don't waste your time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Malanowski

    Short This was very short but it started out grabbing my attention. I was disappointed it was over so quickly I wanted it to continue

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Mistake Well, this was a mistake. It was ok I guess but, I really hate giving bad reviews however I just really didn't like it. Mistake Well, this was a mistake. It was ok I guess but, I really hate giving bad reviews however I just really didn't like it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Mary Stahl

    I did not realize this was a fantasy story. The title didn't let a reader know the short story would be sad and fantasy. You will guess that I do NOT like the fantasy genre. I did not realize this was a fantasy story. The title didn't let a reader know the short story would be sad and fantasy. You will guess that I do NOT like the fantasy genre.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Grampy

    "The Night Everything Changed" by Kristopher Rufty is quite an odd little story. My first hint was when it mentioned there was a carnival in town; any time a carnival is in a story, something odd will happen. In this case, the carnival was called 'The Haunchyville Carnival' and it was owned and operated entirely by little people smaller than dwarves. Some folks even whispered they might be elves... but of course, elves don't really exist. Do they? Well, this was the final tour of the "Haunchies" "The Night Everything Changed" by Kristopher Rufty is quite an odd little story. My first hint was when it mentioned there was a carnival in town; any time a carnival is in a story, something odd will happen. In this case, the carnival was called 'The Haunchyville Carnival' and it was owned and operated entirely by little people smaller than dwarves. Some folks even whispered they might be elves... but of course, elves don't really exist. Do they? Well, this was the final tour of the "Haunchies" as everybody called them, and they had been denied their usual location for setting up at the fairgrounds. Not far out of town old Dr. Vincent Carlson had 300 acres of farmland he had inherited when both his parents were killed in a tractor mishap. His daughter, Leanne, talked him into letting the Haunchies set up on his property. Being a short story, I can't say much more without giving away too much. Suffice it to say, when Leanne finally came home from the carnival, she wasn't alone. That night everything changed. The Haunchies were done with traveling the world over, just to put on their show and put up with the insults hurled at them wherever they went. This story is odd, but it also has a rather large element of horror to it. If you're in the mood for something completely different, and more than a little frightening, this story just might do the trick for you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Lee Sanders

    Although short (very, very short) The Night Everything Changed sets up the story, The Lurkers, quite well. In fact, it ends like a well crafted chapter by using a cliffhanger, making you want--no, NEED--to read more! Brilliant! The reasons I took off a star from my raving review: 1. I wanted some sort of resolution. 2. I didn't enjoy the description of the daughter's "curved breasts" etc., coming from the father's point of view. I wished he hadn't blushed at her like a hot piece of meat, and instead Although short (very, very short) The Night Everything Changed sets up the story, The Lurkers, quite well. In fact, it ends like a well crafted chapter by using a cliffhanger, making you want--no, NEED--to read more! Brilliant! The reasons I took off a star from my raving review: 1. I wanted some sort of resolution. 2. I didn't enjoy the description of the daughter's "curved breasts" etc., coming from the father's point of view. I wished he hadn't blushed at her like a hot piece of meat, and instead noticed she was a woman but in a rather noted or even a disgusted way. A way a father would, or rather, SHOULD. Although the father's description of the daughter was only about a paragraph of the entire story, and not at all the main focus, it was enough to make me take notice and stick in my mind. It makes me wonder if The Lurkers play on this odd attraction or if it was an unintended effect of the descriptive writing. Speaking of the writing ... absolutely great writing. Dark, suspenseful, detailed. What a great way to prelude another story! I enjoyed this story. It's definitely for fans of horror. I'm definitely going to take a peek at The Lurkers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    this is a weird short story to stay the lease. The story line was different the what i normal find my self pick up to read/ choosing to read. i did get t for free from amazon. now i can't say i'd pick it up other wise even though the blurb did catch my attention. it a little bit hard for me to gasp what happened maybe cause i read it in a few hours or maybe the passe of the story was to fast for me to get every thing that happen. don't get me wrong it is interesting read to say the least but it this is a weird short story to stay the lease. The story line was different the what i normal find my self pick up to read/ choosing to read. i did get t for free from amazon. now i can't say i'd pick it up other wise even though the blurb did catch my attention. it a little bit hard for me to gasp what happened maybe cause i read it in a few hours or maybe the passe of the story was to fast for me to get every thing that happen. don't get me wrong it is interesting read to say the least but it also was to short of a read i would of like it to be a little bit longer and show what happen within the town. with each other those reason it 3 stars good story line and writing style but to short and to fast.

  20. 4 out of 5

    TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey

    "No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. " Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creatures called Haunchies . For Vincent Carlson and the whole town of Doverton that was the night everything changed. My Review "No one would ever forget the night the carnival came to town. " Vincent Carlson used to have a good life. He lived on a small farm in Doverton, Wisconsin, with his loving teenage daughter, Leanne. His biggest worries were tending his corn crop and being a good dad to Leanne. But that was before the seedy little carnival came to town, bringing with them the tiny humanoid creatures called Haunchies . For Vincent Carlson and the whole town of Doverton that was the night everything changed. My Review - Weird! Just weird. And short.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really wanted to read this for a number of reasons. I love horror, the cover was eerie looking, the story seemed really ominous and it takes place in Wisconsin. Hey, that's where I'm from! The story started out promising and the introduction of the "haunchies" was scary enough, but the ending was a bit too... How do I put it? Goofy? It just seemed a bit silly and not scary or terrifying. Still a good read and would love to check out more of Rufty's work. I really wanted to read this for a number of reasons. I love horror, the cover was eerie looking, the story seemed really ominous and it takes place in Wisconsin. Hey, that's where I'm from! The story started out promising and the introduction of the "haunchies" was scary enough, but the ending was a bit too... How do I put it? Goofy? It just seemed a bit silly and not scary or terrifying. Still a good read and would love to check out more of Rufty's work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Siobhán Bayertz

    I hate giving low ratings, especially when like this, it was for free but I don't do it without good reason to. The characters, for me, where very 1 dimensional and although the story-line wasn't terrible, it did nothing for me. Came across slightly ridiculous so rather than scaring me in any way, it sort of just annoyed me. Still an interesting enough read though so I would say to give it a go as it's so short. I hate giving low ratings, especially when like this, it was for free but I don't do it without good reason to. The characters, for me, where very 1 dimensional and although the story-line wasn't terrible, it did nothing for me. Came across slightly ridiculous so rather than scaring me in any way, it sort of just annoyed me. Still an interesting enough read though so I would say to give it a go as it's so short.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Candelora

    This is an alright short story. A prequel story to lurkers which I will be reading sometime in the future. Vincent Carlson is a father waiting for his daughter to return from the carnival that is being held on his property. she is late, and he is really starting to work del about the strange little people that are in the carnival. worth the quick read if you are a short story fan.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Sazama

    Not at all........ the writing of the beginning is intriguing until the creatures known as launches were attempting to attack the woman in the kitchen....well I won't read anymore. It's not worth my time as it's of no interest for me. Forget it. Not worth exploring. thanks for trying....get back into the type of Stephan King as your mentor. Not at all........ the writing of the beginning is intriguing until the creatures known as launches were attempting to attack the woman in the kitchen....well I won't read anymore. It's not worth my time as it's of no interest for me. Forget it. Not worth exploring. thanks for trying....get back into the type of Stephan King as your mentor.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Somer Canon

    I see some other people giving this a low rating because of it's size (TEENSY WEENSY). I was very engaged in this and if I'm going to be mad at this at all, it's that it ended at a point where I was thinking, "Okay, NOW WHAT? WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?" I liked it. I want more. The haunchies are appropriately creepy little suckers. I see some other people giving this a low rating because of it's size (TEENSY WEENSY). I was very engaged in this and if I'm going to be mad at this at all, it's that it ended at a point where I was thinking, "Okay, NOW WHAT? WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?" I liked it. I want more. The haunchies are appropriately creepy little suckers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dan C.

    A more than passable short horror story that is heavy on the scary imagery and light on the gore that tries to pass as horror these days. I would really like to know more about the Hauncheyville Carnival, but alas, I don't know that this will ever be expanded beyond what it is now. A more than passable short horror story that is heavy on the scary imagery and light on the gore that tries to pass as horror these days. I would really like to know more about the Hauncheyville Carnival, but alas, I don't know that this will ever be expanded beyond what it is now.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Interesting short story. Sad that it was so short because it was hard to say that I like it any more than I did. Thought that the twisted connection of the daughter to the little people was sick without further back story to make it have some sense to it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ragne

    An OK short story. It would be good as one of several in a horror short story collection. If the author published something like that, I would buy it. So, I guess it worked well as a teaser. A bit unsatisfying end, it felt a bit hurried.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cleo Gonzales

    Good read start From the very beginning this story draws the attention to why everything changed. Not a natural disaster but something far more evil. Now I like stories where bad guy loses. This seems to be a tough one!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    shirley

    Good short read. The book is okay for what it is... a short story. I wish it would have continued pass the point that it ended. There is soo much more story to be told... however the author just ended the story in a cliff hanger... I hate cliff hangers.

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