Through Dolls Eyes by Jesse Orr “The First Step”

Posted in News with tags , , on July 29, 2016 by Jesse Razorr

ThroughDollsEyes

The First Step

Stonebriar Mental Hospital stood atop a cliff overlooking the sea. Waves crashed at the base of the rocks, sending plumes of spray grasping at the lower windows of the mental hospital. Those skittish inhabitants of the lower levels scurried away from the windows and the storm’s fury. Stonebriar had been strategically placed atop the cliff, its rear to the ocean, to deter escapees. The front of the building was ringed by a huge razor wire fence with an iron gate protected around the clock by a guard and a bank of switches controlling the locks. To the rear, the windows faced a spectacular view of the ever-changing waters, unmarred by tree nor power line as the land ended some fifty yards from the back of the building. There was no need for a fence around the back, as the cliff took care of all the security they required.

On the fourth floor, Jaci Wayne was making her rounds, always starting from the top of the building and working her way down. Being higher up in a storm like this always made her very nervous, ever since a seabird had been blown through one of the windows and turned the hurricane loose inside. The inhabitants of the top floor were, fortunately, some of the lower maintenance patients, not given to making a bad situation worse, and had shepherded themselves down to the third floor while Jaci and another nurse who quit the next day tried to chase the bird out of the hole in the window. Tonight, the wind was strong, but nowhere near as dangerous as it had been the night of the bird, and the patients were calm, accepting their afternoon dose of medication without a qualm.

Jaci stepped into the elevator after the last patient had swallowed their dose, trundling her little cart before her into a florescent lit cubicle of an elevator. Pale linoleum glinted in the harsh light. She pressed the button marked 3 and adjusted her ponytail, securing a few wisps of her dark hair which had tried to make a break for it. The elevator chugged down the track, coming to a screaming halt on the third floor as she stabbed a bobby pin into her hair. The third floor was populated by patients who suffered from various maladies but were not judged to be inherently dangerous. Jaci began her rounds with the woman who peeked out from her room just long enough to snatch her medication from Jaci before slamming the door behind her.

“Have a good day, Mrs. Smith,” Jaci called through the door. The woman within waved through the window with a cheery smile. As long as she never had to leave her room, everything was fine. Jaci passed out her pills to the depressed man who sat in the corner of the TV room and spoke to himself, to the man who had tried to shoot himself and now walked around the halls drooling from a reconstructed face, to the woman who laughed and had to be restrained physically from drawing upon the walls. Everyone on the floor was dosed without incident.

The second floor was also the ground floor, and housed the most dangerous patients. Here were the pyromaniacs, the self-harmers, the stalkers. On this floor stood two guards, or orderlies, as the staff was required to refer to them as such. These two gentlemen were armed with hefty batons. Jaci always managed to get through her rounds on this floor in under an hour though it seemed like much longer. She always took a break before going to the first floor. She needed the rest.

The first floor was poorly named. It was below the surface of the earth and housed the rapists, the murderers, the child molesters, and others who had committed an unpardonable sin and had been judged unfit to stand trial for one reason or another.

Jaci told the intercom, “Going down to the dungeon, please buzz me in.”

The cart jerked as the elevator rose a fraction then began descending at a regular rate. Jaci used the time to tie her ponytail back into a tight bun, where it could not become a handle. She tucked her smock into her scrub pants and squared her shoulders. The door crashed open.

The hallway was white, shining and reflecting the hidden fluorescent with savage intensity. The guards, or “orderlies” at the station by the door were armed. There were four cells in all, each the size of a small bedroom. For twelve hours a day at least, the patients did not leave them. There were no timekeeping pieces on this level, save what the guards wore or carried upon their person.

She walked down the hall, referring to her clipboard and dispensing medication to those cells whose inhabitants required them, even though she knew her rounds by heart. The clipboard kept her from making eye contact. Two purple pills for the rapist on the right, one green pill immediately across from the rapist for the arsonist who burned down his ex wife’s house with her inside. Next to the arsonist was a kidnapper who had been judged to have the mind of a fourteen-year-old boy despite his huge size. He received four purple pills Jaci knew were equivalent to horse tranquilizers, and she was grateful. The last thing they needed was that moose running rampant.

Four pills to the moose. The fourth cell was empty, and Jaci was buzzed through a door at the end of the hall. Through the door, there was a short hallway which led to the door to the women’s cells. She was buzzed through it into an identical hallway of four cells. The first occupant on the right had split open her landlord’s head with a hammer and eaten part of his brain before the police had broken in and stopped her. A single large white pill for that lady. The cell beside hers contained a mother who had smothered both her children and their father when she found out he had been having an affair. She had been found walking through the street sobbing and had not stopped until she had been at Stonebriar for some time. Now with the help of a tranquilizer equal to the dose given to the moose, she just stared.

The cell beside her was empty. Across from it was the last cell on the block, which held a woman who had murdered her daughter because she had turned into a doll or something. Jaci was hazy on the details, as the woman had come in after her last two-week shift. The doll lady would be receiving one bright blue pill Jaci recognized as a strong anti-psychotic. Jaci checked it off on her clipboard and stepped to the slot in the door. It snapped open before her and she jumped back with an involuntary gasp.

“Hello,” Nancy said, smiling at Jaci through the window as she held the medication slot open for Jaci to pass through the pill. “I hope I didn’t startle you.”

“Not at all,” Jaci said, composing herself in an instant. “Take those now so I can see you.”

Nancy the Doll Lady tossed the pill down like a shot of whiskey followed by the paper cup of water Jaci passed through the slot. Crumpling both cups, Nancy opened her mouth and leaned forward to the window. Jaci did likewise, checking that the pill was not hidden beneath Nancy’s tongue. Satisfied, she nodded. “Have a good night.” Turning her cart around, she trundled back to the door separating the men’s ward and disappeared through it.

Nancy hurried to her toilet and stabbed a finger at the back of her throat, bringing up a bit of gruel and one mostly intact blue pill. Another stab brought up a little more gruel, some of it blue. She burped, and flushed the toilet as her stomach gave another heave. Going to the sink, she washed her face and rinsed out her mouth. On wobbly knees, she went to her bed and lay down on the stiff sheets, pulling what passed for a pillow under her head and staring at a ceiling she was getting to know all too well.

As far as she could reckon it, she had been here more than a week but not two. Time ceased to exist but for the medications and mandatory group therapy sessions. Her turn to share her story had come around once so far in their handful of sessions on the block and had earned her the distinction of Doll Lady from everyone, though the staff would not have said it to her face. She endured smirks and jibes from other inmates with stoic silence, knowing there was no point in arguing with the insane.

She had wondered often if she was insane. If she had imagined the hate and insanity and lack of humanity in her daughter’s face and eyes as she stabbed with the knife. She relived it often enough in her dreams and awake, that she felt she could not be wrong. There could be no mistaking that in her own daughter.

Tears came to her closed eyes as she began to review it again, powerless to stop it. She turned to the wall as the tears trickled down her face.

A voice crackled over the intercom.

“Attention patients. The evening group therapy session will take place in fifteen minutes. Thank you.” A click and the voice was gone.

Nancy’s eyelids flickered but she did not move. All the announcement said was that in an unmeasurable period of time, she would be herded into a room with a bunch of lunatics and forced to either listen to their stories or tell her own. She was in no rush. They could take as long as they wanted. After an unmeasurable period of time, the cell doors crashed open and she was herded into a common room off the hallway between the two cell blocks along with all the other loonies. The common room had been set up into rows of chairs with a white board at the front. As they were jostled into their seats, Nancy noticed a man she had not yet seen at their sessions. The huge moose saw her noticing the man and guffawed.

“Hey Doll Lady, this’n guy sez a doll drove ‘im and ‘is daughter insane!” He chuckled. “Maybe youse guys can swap yore stories about th’ scary dolls and we c’n have us a campfire!”

Nancy’s heart stopped, then restarted. She watched the man settle into his seat. He was staring straight ahead as seats filled around him, ignoring even the argument taking place over the chair behind him. She grabbed the moose’s elbow as he lumbered away. “What else did he say? Quick! Tell me!”

The moose looked startled. “He didn’t say nothin’, I ‘eard it from ‘im.” He pointed over his shoulder to the rapist, who was staring at the girl who had eaten her landlord’s brain.

Nancy’s stomach turned but she as she started forward, a portly man with a beard and a woman with short brown hair came into the room and stood before the white board. They both carried clipboards and wore white lab coats. The moose melted into a seat and everyone seemed instantly to find theirs. Silence fell.

“Good afternoon,” the woman said. “My name is Dr Axton. This is my colleague Dr Winston.” The portly man nodded. “Those of us not new to group will recognize us. Those who are new, welcome.”

Nancy shot a glance at the man the moose had pointed out to her. He was looking Dr Axton in the eye as she continued “Our newest member will traditionally stand and introduce himself and explain why he or she is or are here.” Dr Axton inclined her head to the new guy, bidding he stand and do so.

As he rose, Dr Winston smiled. “Please tell the truth about why you are here, we will know if you are not being accurate and disciplinary measures may be enacted.” He tapped his clipboard for emphasis.

The new guy looked around him and said in a clipped, neutral tone, “Eric Hoffman. I’m here because a doll took over me and my daughter’s minds and made us do things we didn’t want to do.”

There was a pause and several of the patients burst out laughing. Dr Axton whirled on them and snarled “Silence!”

They subsided, snickering.

“Now, Eric,” Dr Winston said, wearing the exact same smile. It looked pasted on to Nancy. “You know dolls can’t do anything we don’t want them to do, right? They’re just toys!”

“I know that, sir,” Hoffman said, and offered no more.

Dr Winston’s fake smile twitched at one corner as he looked at Dr Axton, who stepped forward. “Mr Hoffman, how could the dolls take over your minds? Do you hear how absurd that sounds?”

“I do,” said Hoffman, and kept a respectful silence.

Dr Axton sniffed. “Perhaps later you and Nancy can discuss your doll fantasies. For now, we will focus on patients who are not having issues with children’s toys.

Hoffman’s calm facade broke and he looked truly awake for the first time. “Wait, what? Who’s Nancy?”

“You’re obsessed, the pair of you,” Dr Axton said, gesturing in Nancy’s direction. “She says her daughter was possessed by a doll. You can talk after group. Now please, sit down.”

Hoffman sat, and his eyes met Nancy’s. She stared at him. He stared back. Dr Winston began to drone something about impulses.

She mouthed ‘I’m not crazy.’

He nodded and mouthed back ‘neither am I.’

Ghastly Games: 13 Dead End Drive

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 28, 2016 by Emerian Rich

GhastlyGames2

On episode #131, hear Emerian Rich talk about 13 Dead End Drive

ded5 A bluffing game where you try to conceal your identity. On your turn you move two of the character pawns on the board. Movement is decided by dice. The board is a 3D house with several traps. If you move a character to a trap space, you may spring the trap if you have the corresponding card in your hand. You can bluff by moving your opponents’ characters towards the entrance or moving your own character onto a trap space, but not release it. The portrait above the fireplace contains cards for each character plus Aunt Agatha. When you roll doubles, you may change the portrait. You can win the game in three different ways: 1) If you can move your own game counter out of the house when it’s the same as the portrait on the wall. 2) If your game counter is the last surviving. 3) If your game counter’s portrait is on the wall when the detective enters the main entrance.

Find out more about this awesome  game on Episode #131, coming August 6th.

 

My Melancholy Life: CONTROVERSY ISN’T BEAUTIFUL

Posted in News with tags , , , on July 27, 2016 by Mimielle

MyMelancholyLife

So…CONTROVERSY.

Does it seem like some kind of fussing is just everywhere this summer? I mean more than usual even?

It’s the hottest part of the summer here and people are bored so they talk. (and talk and talk). Online, at the coffee shop, in line at the store, at the PokéStop.

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When the temperatures climb, it seems tempers get shorter and among the wonderments that the internet has brought us in its bag of the cheaper techno-tricks is much more immediate and free access to global gossip.

A 24 hour Entertainment Weekly style of gossip-mongering inundates YouTube and everyone will agree at least to an extent that Tumblr is a mess. Kat von D (and others) called out Jeffree Star who had called out Kylie Jenner earlier in the month. It’s really been a smorgasbord at the Celebrity Circus this July (even leaving OUT the politics!)…

Shots are fired with call-outs, then everyone responds, and then replies to the responses. I have not seen this much kerfuffle since the Lime Crime/Doe Deere scandals.

Behavior, makeup quality, CONTROVERSY! I follow some beauty vloggers but most of the people I like are too busy hauling new products, reviewing summer goodies and anticipating the fall and holiday 2016 collections to get involved in the gossip. My current faves are Lisa Eldridge (professionalism and technique), Tarababyz (for epic hauls). But there are ALSO the entire channels that have popped up to just dish the gossip, spill the tea, read people so harshly and throw a bunch of shade in every direction in the form of ‘having an opinion’.

When did that happen and why are we watching them? Epic views for nothing really more than…mean gossip dished daily? No, I draw the line at this. Maybe you will too after you think about it.

It hit the Gothic community too this month, over a video “40 Years of Goth Style (in under 4 minutes)”, and the responses and replies to replies. Yes, I also have my opinion about it but no, I really don’t think it merits a video response for people to watch me reacting to it. I’d rather people formed their own opinions from the source, and then discuss them with me. I have toyed with starting a makeup review and alt lifestyle YouTube channel but I really question the content when videos are actually reactions to the source of anything and nothing more than opinion. Possibly helpful when choosing a lipstick or a salad recipe, deadly when forming our actual opinions, views and outlooks about anything very important simply because it IS second hand news, filtered through the reaction of another person first. I can’t get behind that.

If there is anything I have personally learned from seeing these controversies, opinions and reactions come and go is that what I sometimes take away from it has an effect on me. On my mood, on my outlook and on my general way of seeing things. Garbage in, garbage out, so they say.

I DO think it is important to be informed about many things, including being a well-informed consumer and supporting (or not) those people and businesses whose belief and values align with our own to a certain extent but I also feel there is a point when watching this ‘window on the world’ has become just another time-wasting bad habit to somehow get sucked into. It can seem too vivid and sometimes commands too much attention that it really doesn’t deserve when the things in our own lives really can benefit more from our attention. So I say, “Watch but watch wisely and in a limited and aware fashion, be choosey and think for yourself”. Do not just give your attention to these ‘controversies’ for the sake of the latest little tidbit of juicy gossip. It can steal your time and focus!

Mimielle sig, orange

**Some final words of caution for my fellow makeup mavens: Cheap Chinese products, the Ali Express and Ebay “dupes” for more expensive makeup like the Lime Crime Velvetines, many higher end eye shadow and face palettes and popular items like the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits can be tempting, it’s true. But they may or may NOT even be safe to use at all and there is really no way to tell since they are not governed by any cosmetic review board or agencies like the FDA in the US or the European Commission so please be cautious rather than sorry and search for your less expensive dupes at the drugstore or from trusted online companies. Indie brands and lesser known companies like Sugarpill, Notoriously Morbid, Violet Voss and Makeup Monster are amazing lately and Colorpop is fast becoming a trusted budget brand as well, with many great reviews on Temptalia.com.  NYX is a favorite around here, and they have amazing colors and good sales at Ulta. Ingredient labels on products from Ali Express and similar selling agencies may or may NOT even be truthful since they just copy a photo of the packaging so there is no guarantee those cosmetic copy ingredients are even safe to use on your skin, especially on your lips and eyes. Not worth the risk.

 

Guest Blog: “The Need for Horror” by A. Craig Newman

Posted in News with tags , , , on July 26, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest

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“The Need for Horror” by A. Craig Newman

Like literary mad scientists in our labs, we horror writers mix verbal solutions and concoct new terrors to unleash on the world. We take the wholesome goodness of something like a child’s laugh and pervert it until the reader feels a chill at its mention. Every culture has a Halloween, Day of the Dead, or similar event where Death is not a spectre floating in the background, but the guest of honor. But, why is any of this true? What is the obsession with the macabre that makes us want to be afraid and stare at scenes no one should ever see? Why do we need to be afraid?

Let’s start with “What is Horror?” Horror – for all its gore and guts, monsters and devils, fears and frights – is an art. Like all art, it has beauty, strange though it may be. It is a beauty that is not seen by all, but such can be said of any art form. Not everyone can appreciate the grace and strength of ballet or the ordered chaos of abstract paintings. But just as every pas and pirouette adds to the beauty of the dance, each carefully placed shadow and echoing footstep adds beauty to the work of horror.

Beyond beauty, all art has salubrious purpose. If it did not, art would be as useful as cotton candy – a pleasure to consume but of no nutritional value. Each art form enriches the lives of us all by giving society the shared experiences that bind us together as one body and gives that body the senses it needs to thrive. Dance gives us the sense of grace in motion. Paintings demonstrate how simple color forms and combinations can hold meaning and power. Music trains our ears to hear the melodies in life around us.

If this is so, then what value does horror give us?

Horror addresses fears. The dark. The unknown. The mad, wild, and insane. Evil in its infinite disguises. Pain. Bloodletting and disembowelment. And, the timeless King of Fears, Ole’ Mr. Death. These are things which cannot be controlled and, as such, cannot be avoided. What cannot be seen cannot be stopped. True madness is never understood because it defies logic. Rules of Good and Righteousness cannot be applied to what clings to Evil. There will be pain. Injuries will happen. Mr. Death is coming.

Horror tales are our waking nightmares with lessons to share. We must face the monster in the dark and decide: fight or flight. Horror gives the reader a chance to experience this sensation and look at Death, Evil, and Uncertainty in a safe and controllable manner. If the fear grows too great, close the book, turn off the movie, look away, and feel safe again. We learn that we will face Evil we cannot defeat. When we return safely, we can be bold enough to look again, replay that movie and read the book again.

We Horror Masters and Mavens give society these nightmares. If scared enough times by the monsters hiding in the dark, we become accustomed to the feeling and it scares us less. The monster is not so big and the dark is not so mysterious. When the Inevitable Uncertainty finds us, we can face it though still afraid because we have dreamt of this battle in the past. And when we face Mr. Death as we must all face him, we can meet its empty-eyed stare with a steely-eyed glare of our own.

So, write on, you Stealers of Sleep and Knitters of Night Terrors. Make the witch cast her spell, the ghost rattle his chains, and the werewolf howl at the moon. Bring Mr. Death in all his many forms. Create the nightmares the people of world need so badly. After the screaming and the tears, they will all thank you and line up again for another fright.

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631e008e-9d58-4dec-a4fc-a41c231c2ee2A. Craig Newman is a budding writer and blogger from New Jersey.  Horror is his first love, but he has dabbled in dramas, comedies, and scifi/fantasy.  He received his Masters of Arts in Creative Writing from Wilkes University in 2015 and has been writing feverishly since.  He is eternally grateful to HorrorAddicts for the opportunities to present his work to the world and have his voice heard.  If you like what he has to say, visit his website, blogs , and follow him on social media where he is constantly shooting off his mouth.  Good old fashioned email is appreciated, too.

Press Release: The Conveyance

Posted in News with tags , , , on July 25, 2016 by Horror Addicts Editor

Press Release: The Conveyance

Journalstone Publishing Announces the Upcoming Release of The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews:

The Conveyance is available now!

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Journalstone Publishing announces the upcoming release of The Conveyance by Brian W. Matthews. The Conveyance will be available wherever fine books are sold on June 17, 2016.

The Conveyance, the latest book by acclaimed novelist Brian W. Matthews, is a tightly-woven tale that fuses elements of Sci-Fi, horror, and thriller. A thought-provoking, powerful, intelligent novel, The Conveyance probes an extraordinarily challenging question: just how far is too far?

About The Conveyance: Beneath the calm waters and pastoral fields of Emersville, a deadly secret lurks. When psychologist Dr. Brad Jordan stumbles upon the odd happenings in the town, he unknowingly sets into motion a series of tragedies that could expose a danger long kept hidden from the world. As he doggedly pursues a trail of madness, suicide, and murder, he soon finds himself confronted with a massive conspiracy, and a sinister device known as the Conveyance…

A tense, taut and terrifying tale, The Conveyance is resplendent with twists, turns, and a pulse-racer of a plot. Informed by the author’s extensive experience as a therapist, The Conveyance teems with authenticity. The Conveyance is a standout thriller destined to stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

A lifelong Michigander, Brian W. Matthews graduated with degrees in microbiology and psychology and went on to earn a graduate degree in clinical psychology. He spent over a decade as a child therapist before transitioning to the world of personal finance. Matthews is also the author of Forever Man and Revelation. Visit Brian W. Matthews online at: www.brianmatthews.org

Journalstone Publishing is one of the country’s leading independent publishers of works within the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genres in both the adult and young adult markets. JSP also owns and operates the Hellnotes website, which offers daily news and reviews of interest to genre readers and fans, and Dark Discoveries Magazine. Active within numerous major writers groups, including the Horror Writers Association (HWA), Journalstone Publishing (www.journalstone.com) is based in San Francisco, California.

Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Best of 2015

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by notesfromtheauthor

 

 

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

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HorrorAddicts.net 130, WWW MMM All-stars Special

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2016 by Emerian Rich

HA tagHorror Addicts Episode# 130
SEASON 11!

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Co-Hostess: Heather Roulo

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

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wicked women writers and masters of macabre all-star special

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

99 days till halloween

new audio from: stacy fileccia, h.e. roulo, laurel anne hill, d.m. slate, jaq d. hawkins, emerian rich

 

Once Upon a Scream- special edition pack

https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/once-upon-a-scream-special-edition-pack/

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe

http://valentinewolfe.bandcamp.com/track/broken-pieces

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

http://www.amazon.com/HorrorAddicts-net/dp/B004IEA48W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431022701&sr=8-1&keywords=horroraddicts.net

 

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Lisa Vasquez

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

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