The Most Horrible Story by John W. Jakes
The Most Horrible Story follows Thompson, who is first shown in a plain room with an old man (who is called old man throughout this short story). Based off their conversation, it appears Thompson has signed up for the horror book club and is taken to a reading room where he can read a book made of human skin. As they walk down a hallway with doors lining both sides of the pair, Thompson hears screaming to which the old man waves off stating that they are reading the most horrible horror story. This intrigues Thompson who continues to follow the old man who leads him to his own room. Once the old man closes the door, Thompson reads the story to which he becomes horrified and screams like the others. He tries to call the old man to release him from the room as it was locked and the old man refuses, stating that Thompson is a member now. He rereads the book over and over again and continues to scream which reveals that the book simply said “You’re dead.”
Flowering Evil by Margaret St. Clair
This short story follows Aunt Amy who collects and cares for rare, extraterrestrial plants in the hothouse that her nephew, Robert, sends to her whilst he’s out on space missions. Her best friend, Captain Bjornson, continuously reminds Amy to be wary of her newest plant, Rambler, to which Amy gets upsets and shuts him down. Weeks pass before the two meet again and Amy mentions how she’s been getting bloody nightmares of dead animals. Bjornson is suspicious of the Rambler to which Amy, again, becomes upset and shuts him down. She continues talking about how she doesn’t know what to cook for Robert’s return and is planning on some sort of meat dish. Night comes and Amy decides to do soap cutting to help her mind at ease and try to inspire herself on what dish to cook for Robert. She becomes dizzy and suddenly remembers she hasn’t checked her plants yet and makes a blind run for the hothouse where the plants are located. Outside the hothouse, she sees two dead cats, similar to the dead rabbit in her dreams, and she wonders why she made a blind dash for the hothouse all of a sudden. She realizes too late as her feet blindly take her inside the hothouse where the Rambler is waiting with a sharp branch to suck her blood. It begins sucking her blood and it’s greediness causes it to lose it’s mind control on Amy for a bit, who takes advantage by throwing a soap at the plant and aims to stab it. The morning after shows Amy, Captain Bjornson, and Robert eating a meat dish that Robert has never tasted but is obsessed. It’s hinted that Aunt Amy is feeding them the Rambler.