Bedtime Stories by Joslyn Corvis

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 27, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest

 

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Bedtime Stories  by: Joslyn Corvis

    Based on true events…

 

I woke up, my body feeling as if rigor mortis had set in when I saw the creature taunting me from the corner of the ceiling. There was a faint noise that sounded like cicadas on a summer evening which rose to ear-splitting  ecibels. I wondered if the sound was the creature laughing at me as it sneered in mockery of my fear. I tried to scream for help, but could only muster faint cries, which—thank God—woke my husband who put his arm around me. That broke the spell,  and just like that, everything went still and silent as I gained control over my body and my breathing regulated. I was no longer frozen in that horrifying dreamworld. I was safe in my own bed. That was the first night terror for me, and the beginning of many more.

Sometime after that first incident, I dreamt I had gotten out of bed and opened the door of my second-floor apartment which overlooked the parking lot. The parking lot was designed something like a courtyard, and I noticed a figure in a long gown with long hair on the far side of the lot. I watched her through the small crack, but something didn’t seem right. I closed the door, and against my better judgment, opened it once more but only a crack. She was closer this time. I knew I shouldn’t have opened the door that third time, and when I did, I found her crouching near the top of the steps, snarling like a rabid animal before rushing for the door and pushing it as wide as the chain lock allowed. I tried to close the door completely on her, but she was too strong. I snapped out of it in, adrenaline coursing through my body. The whole episode—from getting out of bed and looking outside to the absolute fear—was so real, but I told myself it had to be a dream since I woke up in my bed, next to my husband. Not long after that, the plague of night terrors became so common that it haunted me, even in my waking hours. I felt as if something unseen was following me, feeding off my fear and waiting until I was asleep to wage a full-on attack. Needless to say, I wasn’t sleeping well. Exhaustion had set in by this time, and I made the mistake of falling into a deep sleep in the dead of night.

On this particular night, I was on my back for some reason, which is strange in itself because I never sleep in that position. I felt a burning sensation on my leg, and at first I thought maybe a bug or snake had crawled into bed with me. In a panic, I looked up and the same “demon” I’d seen before was crouching over my legs, burning me with a hot poker. She raised the poker from my skin granting me a moment’s relief, then came down on my leg yet again, sending pain signals to my very core. With every downward motion, her mouth upturned in a triumphant, wicked smile, and her soulless eyes glinted with joy with each infliction of agony. I was at its mercy. When everything went back to normal, I got out of bed and checked my leg for bites: nothing. Even sleeping next to my husband couldn’t keep me safe from my dreams. I didn’t wake him up to comfort me and instead curled up next to him, if only to give myself a false sense of security.

Throughout my married life, and after the divorce, the dreams continued to come and go. Some dreams were more intense than others, and once they started, they would become frequent until running their course, then giving me a few months of peace before kicking in again. I experienced a long span of relief from the dreams when I moved in with my parents after my divorce. They welcomed me home and put me up in my childhood bedroom. As much as I hated to suffer the indignation of moving in with them, I knew I was going to need more support than I wanted to admit. It was a rocky start, but soon enough, I fell into a routine and my life was going great. I didn’t have a care in the world, and things were going better than I could have ever imagined. That’s when it started again, as if to remind me that I was never alone.

I was in my old bed and woke up to something restricting my breathing. A pressure exerted itself around my chest and back like a boa constrictor. I couldn’t open my eyes, but I could hear those cicadas all around me. Whenever I tried to scream for my dad, unintelligible words formed in my throat which manifested as feeble groans. But I didn’t give up. I fought against it so hard, and finally a gurgling scream rose just loudly enough in my throat that it broke me from the fit. I coughed and gasped. But at last, I could breathe! I felt relief until my eyes fell upon my bedroom door. Standing there guarding my exit was a three-dimensional figure. It was transparent, but strangely reflective. I studied it for a while, trying to figure out what I was looking at; I was no longer in my dream. It had a wispy human form, but no facial features. I made a plan in my head then followed it through, making a break for the door. I struggled to find the doorknob in my frenzy and ran to the kitchen. I was shaken, but still able to save face with my parents under the pretense of grabbing a midnight snack.

I kept telling myself they were just dreams or maybe manifestations of stress or imagination. Whatever they were, it didn’t matter, because they weren’t real; they simply couldn’t be. I didn’t want anyone to think there was anything more to it than there was, so for a long time, I kept my night terrors secret.

My stay with my parents had been extended mainly due to comfort and convenience, and I had yet another dream, except this time I know I wasn’t asleep. I spent the entire night running to the bathroom to splash my face in the sink, hoping it would bring me to my senses, and getting sips of water from the kitchen just so I wouldn’t have to be in my room. It felt evil in there, and I couldn’t lie down for more than a few minutes at a time without something disturbing me. The next morning, I grabbed a seat across the table from my dad and stirred my coffee.

“Couldn’t sleep last night, huh?” he asked casually.

“How could you tell?” I asked sarcastically.

“Because you look like hell,” he laughed “and because I could hear you all over the house last night.”

“Yeah, well,” I hesitated. “It’s going to sound weird, but I felt like something was in my room. Every time I got into bed, I could swear I heard weird noises. I even thought something touched me. I must’ve been dreaming,” I said at a loss for another explanation.

He gave me a strange look. He thinks I’m crazy, I thought to myself.
“I didn’t sleep well, either,” he said in his deep, calming voice. He stared into space and took a sip of his coffee. “I don’t want to scare you, but something was in my room last night,” he said.
We stared at each other for a moment or two, and a chill rose over my body. They weren’t dreams, after all

Once Upon a Scream Author Spotlight: Wayne Faust

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on May 27, 2016 by David Watson

Horroraddicts.net Publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon a Scream. Remember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon a Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is Wayne Faust and recently he talked to us about his writing:

What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?

OnceUponAScreamFrontMy story is called “Old And In the Way.” It is the closing tale in the book. It’s about a very prominent character in horror fiction at the tale end (pun intended) of his life. If I told you what character it is, it would ruin the surprise.

What inspired the idea?

I’ve always wondered about characters in books, especially ones I’m fond of, after the action in the books take place. I’ve always liked spooky, atmospheric stories, so I continued that feel from the original book the character appeared in.
When did you start writing?

I’ve been a full-time music and comedy performer for 40 years, playing in 39 states and overseas. When you’re on the road, you have some time to write. One night I had a very vivid dream in which I pictured the last scene of a story concerning werewolves. The next morning I was compelled to write some of it down. After taking an adult ed class about writing, and after many re-writes, that story saw the light of day as “Promised Land,” appearing in a horror anthology in Australia. It was also performed live on stage in Denver for a literary series that continues to this day. Your readers can read the story online for free at my fiction page.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Most of my stories are character-driven science-fiction and horror. I like writing about time travel, Tales8-3-cover-bigmonsters, alternate history, and lots more. Many of them spring from “What if…?”
What are some of your influences?

My favorite writer has always been Ray Bradbury, especially in the poetic way he tells a story. Craft is very important to me and I love the rhythm of words and sentences. I was also a big fan of Rod Serling. All that being said, there continues to be a lot of new, great writers coming around these days. I find some of them through self-published works on Amazon. I recently finished “The Island” series by Michael Stark and it was very good.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I love atmospheric, spooky tales that make me pull up the covers at night. I especially love stories that go in a direction I haven’t seen before.

What are some of the works you have available?

fictionvale 2I’ve written two full-length books that are available on www.waynefaust.com. One is an entertaining memoir of life as a resort performer called “Thirty Years Without A Real Job” and the other is “12 Parables,” a Christian book from healthy Life Press. I have completed two parts of a three-part apocalyptic, YA novel and am hoping for a mainstream publisher for that one. Most of the over 40 short stories I’ve had published in various places are available to read for free http://www.picklehead.com/wayne/wayne_stories.html. I plan to release several books of short stories soon, so if you want to read these for free, it would be a good idea to do it now!
What are you currently working on?

The above-mentioned novel project. Also, I’m co-writing a space-horror novel with fellow Colorado writer Charles Anderson. We’re about 1/3 of the way through and hope to have it completed by the end of the summer. It’s coming along really well.
Where can we find you online?

Main website: www.waynefaust.com

Fiction page: http://www.picklehead.com/wayne/wayne_stories.html.

Guest Blog: La Fin Absolute du Monde- The Dream, the Struggle and the Journey by: Dawn Wood

Posted in News with tags , , , , on May 25, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest

 

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 Guest Blog: La Fin Absolute du Monde- The Dream, the Struggle and the Journey by:
Dawn Wood
I met the electronic-metal duo: Jason and Cynthia in 2013 playing at a club in Seattle I have played many times. My band had actually been asked to play on the bill with La Fin Absolute du Monde. It was a weeknight and my band mates and I couldn’t pull our motivation together to play on a Thursday night, but a friend encouraged me to just go to the show and watch this “great band (he) had heard of called: La Fin Absolute du Monde”. I agreed and arrived to the usual handful of people attending a show in Seattle on a Thursday night. That particular night was something quite different though. As I listened, annoyed at the other music playing that night, I feared the worst. I thought this band was going to be like all the typical, unknown metal/garage bands that roll through town “on tour”. The minute La Fin Absolute du Monde started to play, I was pleasingly surprised. Jason’s guitar skills are a delightful, obvious influence from metal and jazz roots. Cynthia has such a soothing voice, smooth as honey, but the ability to belt out emotion and angst like nobody’s business. Cynthia also is a classical trained pianist and the combination of this soulful, metal, angsty, yet….smoothness and sincerity…set to luscious back tracked dance beats is truly magical.
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Jason and Cynthia (his wife, whom he affectionately calls “Chickie”) have LIVED angst, disappointment and gained great wisdom on this journey towards their dream of living their lives sharing their music for the world to hear. Jason and Cynthia met in their thirties and Jason says: “They had given up on music. It was hard to start playing live and we didn’t think people wanted to see two aging minorities who make dark music on stage.” Jason and Cynthia have lived this life as professional musicians with bravery, facing problems, of which most of us might have just called it a day. Not only are they facing this journey as fellow musicians, but as a married couple in a business full of egos, apathy, falseness and rejection. It takes great strength to commit, not only to the dream, to the music and to the journey, but protecting their cherished marriage from the challenges of being on the road together. They have faced everything on the road from: gigs disappearing in thin air (the day they arrive in town); mysterious hit and run of their vehicle whilst playing a gig; club owners trying to renegotiate just before the gig;ignorant prejudice; playing shows that were billed as “acoustic”; to more than their fair share of tour vans dying a terrible death on the road. Yet, all of these struggles have brought them closer together, gave them tenacity in their desire to carry on and have helped produce two of the most humble, talented musicians I have ever known. If you haven’t picked up their latest release entitled: “Clarity Amongst the Rubble”, I highly recommend you rush to bandcamp to get that now.” In the meantime, for your reading pleasure: an interview I did with Jason during their last trip to the Seattle/Bellingham, WA area.
I asked Jason to retell the beautiful love story and band inception of La Fin Absolute dMonde?
[Jason] “2010 officially. But I would say, pretty much since the day we met10363344_1266757426674263_8197888361514393362_n November 17th, 2009. I was tour managing a band from the SF Bay area, where I live and the tour took us to Las Vegas. We were staying at the same hotel that Chickie was a Promotions Manager for. I saw her in the lobby handing out those two for one drink cards. She tried to give one to me as I walked by. I told her I would take one if she came to the band’s show that night. For whatever reason, she started to talk to me about music and how she was a musician. I was kinda blown away. I told her she should just quit her job and  Jason shares how La Fin Absolute du Monde’s latest album came to be:
 [Jason]Like any full length, it took a lifetime to make these ideas turn into songs. When we started years ago, we were with a very small label out of the UK. We would submit heavier st uff and they didn’t want to put it out. The more we toured, the heavier the sound would get, but we didn’t feel the recordings matched the live show. So with this record, we wanted people to feel the intensity of what they see live. We also went with a different tuning on this record to add to the dark tone of the songs. All the other releases the guitar was in drop C# this release we lowered it to A# and a couple songs in G# on this record. It gave the new record an even darker sound. We tour ALOT in support of these releases. We had the privilege of touring with Godflesh, which helps out our profile QUITE A BIT. But, we were gone for about 9 months, playing shows all over that year. Some were great. Some were not so great. And, the not-so-great was starting to take it’s toll on us. The remix album we released that year was great, but it still didn’t capture the heaviness of the show. We promised each other we would do one more record and that would showcase how intense La Fin Absolute du Monde can be. The tidal wave of emotion, that we, as people, go through, I felt was really well expressed on this record. We wanted to tackle topics that people don’t talk about too much. For example: songs like ‘Kill Yourself’ and ‘Dreams and Disappointments in a Cloud of Hope’ were born from having these conversations with loved ones and how our career path is “foolish”. Art is one industry where your success is measured by what your pop-culture contemporaries are doing and not you and your peers on your level. We tour. We make enough money to pay rent when we are on the road. We live a simple life, but that isn’t enough for most people when they think of a ‘successful artist’. People think tour busses, arena shows and fame=success. It’s not that simple. It’s relative.” Check out La Fin Absolute du Monde now and look for them touring in a town near you!
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Twitter: @lafinabsolute
Look for La Fin Absolute du Monde on tour again in 2016!

It Came From The Vault: The Mouth of the Mountain

Posted in horror, News with tags , , , , on May 25, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest

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The Mouth of the Mountain

by Michael Gormley

October 27th, 1912

 

The luminescent moon shone brightly through the clouds as I descended my usual mountain path.  When finally, the moon was admitted a gasp of air from the clouds, a ring of white light formed around it, and reverberated so viciously that my eyes became strained. My head pounded as brutally as the pulsations.

My evening strolls to the wooded top was a nightly adventure, and it was not until as of late that the trip had actually become adventurous.  Prior to the past few weeks my late walks were nothing more than routine.  After dinner, Edgar – my seven-year-old Weimaraner, a retired hunting dog – and I would head into the mountain’s path, blanketed by conifers and limber pines.  The entrance to the woods was decorated with a few weeping willows that were now fading as the fall was coming to an abrupt end.

Within the last month or so, Edgar became violent.  Not towards me, as I do not think he ever would, but more so to the intensifying moon.

Edgar was orphaned by his previous master, an esteemed hunter in the eastern states, from what I have learned.  I also, unfortunately, had learned that Edgar was orphaned in a disturbing, almost fatal manner.  It was not much for me to bring him back to health, since I did not do as much as I had before.  Now being sixty-seven years old, I spent most of my prolonged days within the woods.

Edgar went through complex stages over the last few weeks.  First, he was increasingly curious on our walks, mostly after the sun had set and the moon prowled behind the clouds.  Then he became angry with the subtle sounds and critters in the brush.  The week after, Edgar became disgruntled with myself for leaving him behind in our quaint cabin as I took my own walks in solitude.  It was as if Edgar knew what lay in wait within the lush mountains behind our cabin. It was as if Edgar’s insightful perspective had made me curious as to know the same as him.

Other than the uneasy feeling of being alone after dusk in the wooded mountains, which I had been growing more accustomed to, it was not until that night that I felt uneased – I assumed it was the same feeling Edgar had experience a few weeks prior.  Covert at first by the spontaneous migraine, the sense of dread veiled my thoughts.

Normal nights were dark by the time I had reached the top of the mountain, but this night was more somber than usual, even with the effulgent moon above.

I sat in the cold, dew covered grass.  I could feel them crawling all over my body, like the distressing itch that shows on one during an over bearing and sticky night.  It was the itch that even tossing off the sheets cannot cure.  I could feel them crawling, a feeling so strong that I knew which had four legs, which had eight, or even more.  I could feel their antennae brushing across my porous skin.  I knew that they could taste my fear.  Yet as hard as I tried – and the scratches that I had inflicted all the way down my arms would attest to my trial – could not remove them from my now violated body, let alone even see them.

I cannot recall the time spent running, tripping, and staggering down the root-full mountain path.  As I broke the forest line, beyond the weeping willows, swaying in the breeze, – as if they laughed and mocked my fear – my body was free from whatever itching invaders had turned my body into their shelter.  My pulsating head ceased its pounding.  I could almost feel the sense of dread seeping from my body, but my fear was so great that I could not have been so certain.  I was almost sure, however, because I felt lighter.

Edgar whimpered, like a stricken child cowering behind his mother, and found a corner of darkness when I erupted through the cabin door.  I could tell he wanted to smell me, to again investigate the odd events that he had surely encountered weeks before I had, but he was too afraid.  The smell of whatever was in the forest was on my clothes, and the eerie recognition had dazed him.  I pitied Edgar – he had been through enough to have that fear – but I did not care.

I needed to wash away the darkness.

The fire was easier to light than ever.  My clothes that I had worn into the woods burned easier than any kindling, and Edgar finally welcomed my return.  As I sat on my torn sofa in front of the crackling fire, he licked my hand like I had been wounded.  Before I even had the chance to plop my hand on his brown-speckled head, and scratch behind his ear in reassurance that we were both fine, I was fast asleep.  I needed the rest for my journey back into the fateful forest tomorrow evening.

I awoke early after a foolproof sleep.  I could not recall dreaming or, as I had half expected, recalled any nightmares.  I was rested, and more so than I should have been.

Edgar was still asleep, breathing heavily from his heart palpitations – another side-effect caused by his abandonment, as I was told – in front of the still simmering and smoky fireplace.  The stench from the burned clothes made my stomach turn, and I decided that there would be no breakfast this morning.

My day was restless.  My mind turned and twisted as I attempted to pass the time with a novel from above my hearth.  After I remained on the first page for an hour or so, I sealed the booked and it coughed a stagnant cloud of dust as it was slammed shut.

With the sun setting, I hesitantly dug out my Winchester Seventy-Three from the shed.  I sat, loading it full of stale cartridges, and received the reaction that I had rightfully expected from Edgar.  Again he found a dark corner of the house to hide and whine.

I had decided, almost fully subconsciously, that Edgar would again, after almost a full month now, rejoin me in the curious woods.

Therefore, the Seventy-Three would not.

I spent the last hour before dusk contemplating, and in more ways fighting with my conscious, about my decision to be accompanied by Edgar.  He had sensed the darkness, the queer happenings of the woods almost a full month prior to my odd experience (and for all that I knew) he understood them but was not granted the ability to properly communicate to me his knowledge.

Edgar would join me.

That night, as the sun was bleeding over the horizon-line in a cast of dark orange, Edgar and I – unfortunately without the sound reassurance of my Seventy-Three – set out toward the mountain path.

The air was brisk and cool, nipping at my skin through my plaid jacket.  We approached the entrance to the mountain path, and I could see Edgar shivering with each step.  I wanted to believe it was from the chill in the air, but I knew that he felt the same fear as I.

The entrance seemed to fold in on itself more than normal, and the branches hung over the opening like large, rotten teeth, waiting for us to feed its appetite.

Edgar and I obliged the woods.  We entered through the mountain’s starved mouth – hesitantly, I will admit – yet I did not feel anything unusual other than the goosebumps rising on my arms and the back of my exposed neck.

Fight through the depths of your will, Edgar.  I need you by my side.

I did not even receive the slightest amount of recognition from my companion, but with me, he trudged on.

With no issue, we reached the mountain top and gazed out upon the forest’s canopy.  The leaves were almost gone, granted the pines still held their beauty.  The mountain peak was empty, and the grass duller and dead than the night before.  I sat beside Edgar – who panted happily – and together we watched the radiant moon rise high into the sky.

How frivolous was I?  To justify my hallucinations on my mentally unstable canine companion.

Another restful night had passed, and the day had gone by just as flawlessly.  Edgar and I had gone into town for errands.  I returned to mount my Seventy-Three above the hearth.

It wasn’t until 5 PM that I had realized I still had not eaten since the night before.  Anxious to return to our now normal nightly walks, I scarfed down my dinner and allowed Edgar to indulge himself in my scraps as I laced my boots.

The mouth of the forest was again more closed than the nights before, yet I no longer felt any apprehension.

I entered through the mouth yet again, this time Edgar trotting ahead of me.  He held a spirited walk.  I had not seen that in months.

The moon was already high, tucked again behind the clouds, and as I gazed through the breaches in the canopy, a strong sense of anger filled my soul.

I looked again to Edgar, who gained some ground on me as he continued his carefree trot.

This angered me; exceedingly.

Heel mutt.

            The bizarre size of my voice caused Edgar to leap an entire foot off the hardened ground, and with that he was seated by my side.  His head was lowered in anticipation of the strike he so justifiably assumed, but his eyes were raised up to meet mine.

I could feel the very distinct dread from within his hazel eyes, as if his entire soul was pouring itself out to me.  I am not sure what heinous thoughts crossed my mind in my anger, or maybe I just did not want to believe them.

I walked on past Edgar.

My stomach was an endless pit, filling expeditiously with malicious hatred towards these woods, towards Edgar, and towards that damned, reverberating moon.

The peak of the mountain brought back the uneasy itch over the entirety of my body, anger rising.

Less than a full twenty-four hours prior, Edgar and I gazed upon the stars, sitting in the grass before me.  At that moment it would not have been possible – even if I had contained half of the anger inside of me – since the ground in front of my fully conscious eyes were filched by three slate-grey stones, as large as the ones of Stonehenge.

Two lay fallen, with another laying perfectly across the others.  The curious structure stood no higher than my dinner table, but the stones were too large to have been placed by human hands, at least within one day.

I reached out with my left hand, trembling, unaware of any consequences, and ran my calloused fingers against the stone top.  It was smoother than even the most polished garnet, or even coated wood.

The hundreds of legs again crawled over my body, sent into an immense frenzy as I brushed the stone.

Four legs I could feel on one, eight on another.  There were countless limbs traversing my helpless body, yet I still could not find them.  I tore at my jacket and shirt until they were ripped from me in miniscule pieces at my feet.

I felt the legs on my chest but still could not see them with my own eyes.

Again, I scratched and clawed, but they would not cease their incessant hurrying.  From deep within my pants pocket I pulled my whittling knife and hacked across my chest.  The blood ran wild like the steam coursing down the mountain’s path, but it did not wash away the legs.

I tried my arms, and again, the blood poured, but the insects – or whatever they were in their visual absence – remained.

Edgar’s delicate whimper broke my concentration and ended my irrational slashing.

Had I not told him to heel?

In the midst of licking the recently inflicted wounds on my left arm, I grew more disgusted with the mongrel.

I hacked at him.

Edgar had lived an unfortunate life, but a lucky life at that.  Blind in my hatred for these woods, for Edgar, and for the moon, I missed him with my scarlet blade.

As quickly as my hatred had consumed me, I brought back the handle of my small knife onto Edgar’s fragile spine, and with an agonizing yelp he bolted back down towards the mouth of the mountain.

I felt no guilt, only uncontrollable rage, and I too bolted after the mutt.

The descent detached from my mind all recollection of the assemblage of legs, from the woods, and from the migraine that pounded in unison with the pulsating moon.  But not, this time, from Edgar.

Breaking through the mouth of the mountain felt as if I had reached the surface, still alive, after an impossible and tedious swim from the ocean depths.

A crackling of thunder rolled through the air as a drizzle fell upon my aching head, already soaked from my perspiration.  Lightning ripped apart the gloomy clouds above and seemed to reach the ground, possibly closer to my unoccupied cabin.

Had Edgar gone back?  More importantly, would Edgar ever return to me?  Another corrupt master in his poor life.

I had spent the following day on my porch waiting for Edgar.  I did not call for him.  I did not want him to hear my traitorous voice.  Frankly, I did not want to hear it either.

Heavy rain fell from the sky all day, splashing upon the porch.  The pattering was soothing, but it did not put my mind at ease, and it did not help that the sky remained a dull grey for the remainder of the day.

Until the sun was setting I had not recalled smashing my whittling knife into Edgar’s back, only my vile language and anger.  The chances were high that he remained in the wicked woods, injured or expired on the ground.  I had done nothing but merely sit on the porch, listening to the now annoying rain.  I would go back through the mountain’s mouth.

I would rescue Edgar again.

The willows at the mountain’s jaw – as I had come to expect – drooped ever so slightly more than the night before.  On this night, dull and gloomy – like the relationship had turned between Edgar and myself – the pelting rain crashed upon me, the woods whispered to me.  It was not as if I heard the voices clearly, but I could feel that I was anxiously invited in.

I was hesitant, but I entered through the mouth of the mountain.  I would not return without Edgar in my arms.

Looking up through the sporadic breaches in the canopy top – for the last time I had hoped– again, I felt the moon absorb my soul, filling me with irreversible emotion.  Thankfully, I prayed that I was correct in my gratitude, it was not the rage returning.

Twenty-seven years ago, I lost my wife commencing my decision to relocate to my cottage in the hills.  For nearly twenty-seven years, until I fostered Edgar, I lived in my remote homestead – peacefully I would add – no less than ten miles from the nearest town.

In that, I never felt more alone than in my ascent to the mountain plateau.

With each step growing ever so wearisome I began to sob.  Initially, I assumed that it was in the dreadful reality of Edgar’s situation.  I also decided, more than that, it was from the desire to see my wife again.  I remembered the moon, pumping its white light in unison with my escalating heartbeat.  The forest was the causation of my isolation and seclusion.

I was alone.

A distant, muffled yelp came from the mountain, breaking my mind out of its daunting state of inconsistency.

I began to run, my legs felt heavier with each step.  In the likes of my mind, I again blamed these woods.  I walked this path an inordinate amount of times to becoming sluggish on that night of all.

I should have been blinded as I broke out into the mountain plateau, for still stood those stones.  A fog had settled there, and I could barely see even my knees.

Around the enigmatic stones, at least two-handful of sable-like figures stood, shrouded by the fog, all facing the stones.  Human in size, still I could not make out any distinctive features other than their inverse knees, pointed backwards as they stood.

Their rhythmic chanting in unison filled the night and echoed off of the peak.

Dum nalag Ro

            Dum nalag Nath

            Dum nalag RoNath

         

   With deficient reason I stood listening, growing more careful with each repetition as the chant mesmerized me.  It was an odd language in which I never heard. Somehow, as if they wanted me to comprehend – which was the more frightful matter, knowing I had been noticed – the elementary word “follower” materialized in my mind.

With that word, I knew.  What it was specifically I could not be certain, but beyond any reasonable doubt I knew.

Each step closer to the stones abated my heartbeat.  Each step sucked more of the emotional pressure from my tainted soul.

With each step closer that I had taken, those fearsome figures, with their satiric knees took equally attentive steps away from the stones, still deep in chant.  Still in precise unison.

As they regressed, and their shadowy forms faded into the mist – I saw him.

I saw Edgar, suspended to a grand pine by splintered, detached branches, two pierced through his withered ribcage.

I wanted to blame myself for Edgar’s demise.  I wanted to blame the monster that I had become, but I knew the adverse truth.  It was these poisonous woods that were to blame.

The pain I felt was none, and the absence of my guilt was resolute, because that is what the celestial moon had decided for me on that night.

I laid down on the stone table, staring up into the night sky, now clear of all its rain clouds.  The pulse of the moon had almost wholly subsided, and I assumed that my heart would match its pace yet again.

This was my peaceful confinement.

The sky blackened and the moon faded as the menacing branches folded in over me, fingertips of the wicked woods.  Closing my eyes, I hoped that I would soon again have Edgar by my side.

The gradual pulse of the shimmering moon finally ended.

_________

Michael Gormley is a student at Cleveland State University. Born and raised in Ohio, Michael resides roughly an hour outside of Cleveland. Writing in the genres of horror, thriller, and science-fiction, Michael traverses the ideas and phenomenons that are associated with human emotions.

Once Upon A Scream Author Spotlight: Alison McBain

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2016 by David Watson

Horroraddicts.net Publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon A ScreamRemember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well, they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon A Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is Alison McBain and recently talked to us about her writing:

What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?

OnceUponAScreamFront“The Godmother’s Bargain” was inspired by the fairy tale of Cinderella. In the story, Cinderella is no innocent but seeks out the devil to make her dreams come true.

What inspired the idea?

I’ve always enjoyed reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and part of what I’ve enjoyed was the darkness of the tales. Most people are aware of the sanitized, Disney version of fairy tales, but I actually like the bloodier background, where toes and heels get chopped off the evil stepdaughters and pigeons peck out their eyes after Cinderella marries the prince. Since the original is so horrific, I wondered how I could make it even more shocking – and the answer turned into this story.

When did you start writing?

The first story I wrote was when I was in my single digits. It was a horror story explaining about why there were monsters in the closet. My answer: an interdimensional portal, of course. And the fight to “take back the closet” involved lots of blood and guts. Ah, good times.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I’m not sure I have favorite topics to write about – I prefer themes about transitions and change, about inverting the expected and taking a story in a new direction. Other than that, all subjects and genres are fair game.

What are some of your influences?27400522

I’d like to say pretty much everything influences me, but that doesn’t narrow it down too much, does it? So I’ll have to say one of the greatest influences on my writing was the very talented author, Tanith Lee. She was a pioneer in the genre, and the first woman to win the British Fantasy (August Derleth) Award for best novel. Her writing has always inspired me.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

It’s so much fun! This is where you can let your inner serial killer roam free, haha. The sky’s the limit in science fiction, but there really are no limits in horror.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have over forty short stories and poems published, most free to read online. A full list of my published and forthcoming works is on my website.

What are you currently working on?

Other than writing several short stories, I’ve been working on a speculative fiction novel set in a far-future colony light years from Earth. The original settlers go to war with the newer arrivals, a war interrupted only when a third wave of settlers arrive. Influenced by the modern hotbed topics of race, immigration and class concerns, the book is an epic, generation-spanning tale about family and survival.

Where can we find you online?

I blog and post writing updates and book reviews on my website. I am also the reviews editor at the magazine, Bewildering Stories official.

Press Release: Demon with a Comb-Over

Posted in horror, News with tags , , , on May 23, 2016 by Stacy Rich

Press Release: Demon with a Comb-Over

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Excerpt :

“Talk about a tough crowd.
Take Charlie Broadmoor’s life. Please. Charlie sucks at stand-up comedy. He gets by, though. Things are okay. His life is decent. Until the night he makes fun of a demon’s comb-over. Big mistake. What kind of demon wears a comb-over? The sensitive kind. The kind who’s not going to let an insult slide. A demon who’s going to take Charlie down. As in down to Hell. And he intends on dragging everyone Charlie cares about along for the ride.”
Amazon link
Blog link

Bad Egg by Sumiko Saulson

Posted in horror, News with tags , , , on May 23, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest

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 Bad Egg by Sumiko Saulson

 

       Susan Dunphy sniffed and frowned as she crossed the foyer. A putrid stench oozed into the room. It was the unmistakable stench of a rotten egg. She began to panic! Her persnickety mother-in-law was on the way over. The source of the odor must be found and eliminated immediately. Rushing under the arched doorway into the kitchen, she investigated the contents of the garbage. She wrinkled her nose and waved her arms
theatrically as she hysterically tore through the inlaid cabinets. She still couldn’t find it. The foul emanation must be coming from somewhere!
      Visits from the mother-in-law seemed to have a negative effect on Susan’s mental state. Like the Humpty Dumpty in the old nursery rhyme, she was cracking up, and no knights in shining armor were on hand to put Susan Dunphy together again. Her father passed away last year; her benevolent father-in-law the year before that. Now it was just her, her overworked husband Andrew, and her cantankerous mother-in-law Rachel.
      In a sing-song rhyme, she crooned to herself and to no one in particularly; “I sweep all this. I dust and whisk. Her deadly ire, I dare not risk.” It was either a paranoid ranting or an ill-conceived warding spell to prevent her mother-in-law from locating any
hidden dust bunnies to bitch about.
     To make matters worse, the ball of her foot was beginning to ache. She remembered stepping on one of the neighbor kid’s jacks while wearing her house shoes out on the driveway earlier.  “The fetid thing is not in the kitchen,” a hissing voice in the back of her head warned. Susan trembled. She heard these voices more frequently lately. They were often accurate in their predictions. When she was young, she thought they were aspects of herself.
  She attributed them to some sort of innate, hereditary psychic powers. Her mother had them, too. That was before her father had her mother locked up in a mental hospital and put on a regular schedule of heavy medication. Whatever her mother told her about them
was probably a symptom of her psychosis and not to be believed. Besides, they weren’t always right. She did her best to ignore the voice.
     Next, she systematically sorted through the fresh goods in the refrigerator. Some of them were no longer so fresh. The refrigerator was home to a few different questionable aromas, although none as nauseating as the unidentified sewer-stench. She tossed out a moldy cabbage and threw a quarter pound of questionable lasagna down the
garbage disposal.
      On the bottom shelf of the refrigerator was a pair of blue foam egg cartons. She carefully opened it and looked inside. After examining each egg to make sure it fully cooked and smelled fresh, she closed the cartoons and the refrigerator door.
She walked over to the kitchen, washed her hands, and proceeded to a cup of bleach and a quarter cup of dishwashing soap into the garbage disposal to make sure nothing was festering in there.
    She was about to run the hot water and the disposal when a loud noise in the living room startled her. Bright lights began flashing in the narrow arch that separated the kitchen from living room. She ran into the other room to see what was going on.
    The television had turned itself on. “Damn cats!” Susan shouted. “You keep stepping on the remote!” Then she remembered she’d let the cats out so they wouldn’t interfere with her cleaning.
     “Ishtar!” a red-faced televangelist shouted from the big screen television. The man’s face was enormous on the 60-inch screen Andrew picked up last Christmas.
    “It’s not Easter, it’s Ishtar, a Babylonian fertility goddess, and you’re worshipping her, you with your eggs and your bunnies.”
    “You’ve got to be kidding me right now!” Susan screamed, running up to the television. The man’s face was distorted, monstrous. She watched in fascination as a single bead of sweat traveled over the pitted acne scars in his rosacea-spotted cheeks. She pressed the button over and over again, but it wouldn’t turn off.
    “It must sting, having your mother-in-law come here with all of her brats when you can’t give her any grandchildren…,” the man on the television sneered, looking right at her. The sweat bead fell into a crevice alongside one of his varicose veined nostrils.
     “Shut up!” she howled at the man, hunting around for the remote. “Go away!”
      “All of Andrew’s nieces and nephews will be hunting for the eggs,” the man on the television taunted.
      “You can’t know my name!” she shrieked, leaning behind the television and unplugging it. “Go to hell! And take the rest of the voices with you!”
    She decided the cats were probably the source of the terrible odor. She marched right into the bathroom, ready to empty the litterbox. She’d just emptied it yesterday, but you could never be careful enough, especially now that they were eating the wet food.
    She dumped the box into the little trashcan in the bathroom, pulled out the bag and tied it in the knot. She was dragging it through the living room when the television came back on.
     “Yours are the bad eggs!” the ruddy-faced old man bellowed from behind the screen.
      “They’re broken wide open now, your ruined eggs, rotten and stinking inside of your barren carcass.”
      “Shut the hell up, douchebag!” Susan screamed, pressing the button on the front of the television over and over again until it finally turned off. She didn’t have time for this madness! She had to get the garbage bag out before it burst open. Afraid it might rip, she hoisted it up into her arms.
    “The bag isn’t what’s bursting!” the vulgar man on the television shouted. How the hell did it turn back on again? Hadn’t she unplugged it? She leaned over to look behind it, trash still in her arms like a baby, the man still lecturing…
     “It’s you, Susan!” he rambled on. “You’re where the bad eggs are hidden! Dead and putrid, excreting themselves from your body as pus, a toxic sweat expressing they through itself through your skin.”
    The television set was unplugged. A terrified Susan spun around on one heel and hauled ass towards the door.
    “You’re the root out the rot!” he screamed, his voice following after Susan as she fled through the front door. She damned near ran smack into Rachel, her mother-in-law, as she stood poised to press her finger on the doorbell.
    “Good afternoon, Mrs. Dunphy,” Susan calmly greeted her mother-in-law. “You caught me a little off-guard. I had no idea how late it had gotten. I was still taking out the trash. Come in and have a seat.” Susan carefully lowered the trash bag so it sat unobtrusively at her him, and walked out to the front yard looking as composed as she was able to.
    “Can I help you with that?” Rachel asked, gesturing towards the garbage bag.
    ”No,” Susan answered meekly. “I’ve got it. I can take the trash out.” She started out towards the trash room, but her foot was really starting to bother her now, and Rachel was looking at her funny.

    “Are you okay?” her mother-in-law asked. She was following her around the corner to the trash room. Resigned, Susan let her accompany her. There was a door on the trash room to keep out the raccoons. She shoved it open and walked over to the row of metal trashcans. They all reeked worse than the bag in her hand. She lifted the lid and dropped the bag into the closest can. She hoped her ordeal was finally over…

 

 

    I’m fine,” Susan said mildly, heading out of the trash room back to her living room. “Something smelled just awful, and I had to get rid of it before you got here. I know you and Andrew like a tidy house!”

     She continued into the kitchen, smiling vacantly. The television was still blaring, but it didn’t bother her. She took a seat on the couch and removed her house slipper. She began rubbing the sole of her aching foot. She could feel a big blister coming up at the heel. She kneaded it with her fingers.

     Suddenly, she noticed that Rachel was staring at her, mouth wide open. “What’s wrong?” Susan asked
    “It’s… it’s just the smell,” Rachel said, putting her hand over her mouth. She was beginning to gag. “It’s just awful. Oh God, Susan! Look at your foot!”
    “What about it?” Susan mumbled, stunned. In a state of shock. She looked down at the blister. It was under sheer stockings, so she stores
open her hose with long fingernails.
    She found it! There it was, pulsating on the bottom of her foot. She shoved down on it with her finger. “Ow!” she cried, “it hurts!”
    She pressed down a little harder, and puss began to ooze out. There was something in the puss, something black and slithering, alive. She could feel it moving inside of her. It was sliding out like, the man on the TV said it would!
    Susan could hear sounds coming from nearby. After a moment, she realized it was Rachel, screaming and vomiting. But she couldn’t pay her hateful mother-in-law any mind. She was busy. It was finally happening. At long last, she was giving birth.
********
sumiko armbandSumiko Saulson a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer. Her novels include “Solitude,” “Warmth”, and “Happiness and Other Diseases.” She is the author of the Young Adult horror novella series “The Moon Cried Blood”, and short story anthology “Things That Go Bump in My Head.” Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian, and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She is a horror blogger and journalist
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