Death and pleasure. Freud's Todestrieb, his statement that "libido has the task of making the destroying instinct innocuous, and it fulfils the task by diverting that instinct to a great extent outwards....The instinct is then called the destructive instinct, the instinct for mastery, or the will to power." Few authors have spun stories of Thanatos and Eros as skillfully and powerfully as Livia Llewellyn. In his introduction to this volume, Laird Barron writes "Scant difference exists between exquisite pleasure and pain." An orphan girl with a mind for anthracite falls into the hands of a cult worshipping an entombed god. In the Pacific Northwest, evergreens lull prepubescent girls into their trunks to serve as wombs. A suburban housewife troubled by her present encounters the sixteen year-old girl she ached to touch in her dreams. These ten stories promise to indulge a reader's sensibilities, their fears and desires. A finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award in two categories: Best Novella and Best Collection.