‘A Seed In A Soil Of Sorrow’ Is A Fantastic, Horrifying Short Story (Review)

December 20, 2020

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

There are not many things I love reading more than short stories. Make it a horror short stories and it makes it better. Make it a horror short story about a wicked cult and it piques my interest even more. Make it a horror short story about a wicked cult and write it in a unique way and you have an instant winner for me. Keith Anthony Baird has done the perfect recipe in his short story A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow.


In stories about cults, the most important character is the cult leader. It is hard to create a character charismatic and intelligent enough to have both the characters in the book and the readers understand why the cult is intriguing. It is also difficult to not just follow a cookie cutter pattern of successful cult leader characters, but to create a unique leader. Baird not only creates a leader who is charismatic, intriguing, and believable, but unique in his ideas thoughts and wickedness. The way Leader-Hans speaks is chilling and almost sympathetic…until he shows his teeth. He is a vicious man who has built such love from his followers that they commit crimes, and even die themselves with “love in their hearts for him.”

The other characters are just as compelling in their own places within the story and the first person narrative shows the inner thoughts of a very broken and tormented disciple trying to repair his “missing pieces.” Baird creates characters that readers not only become invested in, but one we can understand and relate to.


I am personally a big fan of cult plots. I have read/watched/studied many different stories about cults and how these wicked people twist the minds of their poor victims. Whether fiction or non-fiction, my heart breaks for the followers and loaths the leaders. Baird’s story made me feel those things. His plot is not a new one: a cult, a follower, the arc of doubt and potential escape; however, he writes it in such a fantastically unique way that I was gripped from beginning to  gasp-inducing ending.


I think that one of the things I liked best about A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow is the way it was written. To write a book like this in a first-person-journal style worked so well. Especially now reading the entire story, it made perfect sense to have it written as a journal and it was done in a perfect way. I haven’t read anything else by Keith Baird, but based solely on the skill show in how this story was written, I am eager to read more.


Honestly, I just wish there was more of the story to read. I know that sounds like a contradiction after I was jut raving about how I love short stories, and I am not saying it should be turned into a full novel, but I just personally want more of the story to read. A few more journal entries showing the mind and development of the story. Not that the story needs more…I just want more (and it’s Christmas…so I’m going to be greedy).


A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow is one of the most intriguing things I have read in a very long time. It is a short story that has the depth and substance of a novel. It is a story that I read a few times and enjoyed more each time. Head here to check out this story and Baird’s other writing, I know I will!

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