Kid Fears Free Fiction Friday: Leaf Pile by Emerian Rich

Leaf Pile

by Emerian Rich

Jason said it was safe, so I went ahead and jumped. What harm could a pile of leaves do, right? He said he’d done it before. Loads of times.

I had on my big orange ski coat ‘cause the cold had come early and Mom hadn’t had a chance to get me a new jacket. With that ski coat on, I felt like a wrestler. One of those huge guys with big muscles. Nothin’ could hurt me. Maybe I was more like The Hulk. Yeah. The Hulk in rage mode. Indestructible. Not even Thanos could hurt me.

I zipped up and pulled the hood over my ears. The pile of leaves was a big, orange-brown-red cushion, waiting for me to plow into it and land on the other side. If only I had a mini-trampoline to jump in from higher like I did on the diving board to make a bigger splash.

I ran and jumped as high as I could. Just before I sunk in—expecting the crinkle and crunch of smashed leaves—a deep, dark hole opened up. Mid-air there was nothing I could do. I fell into the damp hole, leaves clinging to my legs and face, forcing me deeper into the mass of foliage.

Now, I’m a part of the pile. I can’t move. The leaves have me tied down in my big orange coat. My legs feel like they’ve been bound by vines, but I can’t move to look down and see. My vision is blurred orange as if I’m behind a stained glass window. It’s hard to breathe and I can’t speak. Leaves have covered my mouth with their thick, earthy stench.

People see my orange ski coat as they walk by, but they just dismiss it for leaves. Even Mom didn’t recognize it when she walked by, calling out my name in a panicked yell.

Soon it will be dark and they’ll give up the search. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to survive, but I feel warm living fur behind me. I just wonder…will it save me? Or eat me?

Kid Fears Free Fiction Friday: Dark Angels by Emerian Rich

An early story by Emerian Rich. Published in DarkLives ‘Zine 1997.

Dark  Angels
by Emerian Rich

Among the high majestic redwoods, behind a cluster of small shacks, atop steep hill, is a log cabin church. It’s old, drafty, and doesn’t lock. This is the place where the fight of angels began. 

I was eight years old when I first heard the warnings of the crazy preacher. Early on Sunday morning in the middle of summer is not the best time to be in church. So many distractions caught me losing concentration while the old man spoke. The sun was bright, shining through the tiny cracks in the ceiling time had put there and making a strange design on the floor. There were no lights in the church and although the windows were not covered and the door was open, the redwoods shaded it, making the place strangely dim. Birds sang happily and there was a rustle in the bushes that had to be a deer or raccoon.

The black preacher’s voice was deep and commanded attention. He spoke of war and fire. His hands were huge as he mimicked the flight of an angel.

“Listen, children, and beware, for it’s a comin’ and you won’t want to be here when it does. The devil, he got angels, too. And they will take your soul if you let em!”  the preacher said.

The children were scared, their eyes wide with horror, gripping the benches till their knuckles turned white. The adults in the chapel looked around nervously, motioning for the head counselor to “do something.” They moved the children out of the church and told us to go to the playground.

The old preacher still spoke, even though his words were drowned out by the noise erupting from every small little body. He spoke louder, determined that every ear would hear his warnings.

I was being pushed by the children beside me to get up and go outside.

“We can go!  Get out of the way!” a nasty brown-haired kid with mud on his face said as he shoved me toward the door.

I stood, stumbling over the first three rows of wooden bleachers and falling onto the dirty floor. Kids ran past me, shouting and laughing.

“Let’s play!”

“Race you to the swings!”

“I’m first on the slide!” they screamed in a jumbled mess of voices.

I stood, brushing the dirt off my skinned knees and straighten my dress. I looked up slowly, not wanting to meet the eyes of the old preacher. I was the last one listening and he glared at me as he spoke. 

“Fire will explode, little one. Explode!” he screamed as the other adults dragged him away.

An adult pulled me away and out to the campground.

“Beware of the Dark Angels!” the preacher yelled as we were pulled away. 


At nap time, I lay in my lower bunk, thinking of how strange the whole day had been. I looked at the other kids who were asleep, faces smashed against their beds. Was I the only one that found some interest in the old man’s story? I wondered what the Dark Angels looked like and snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag. I imagined their massive black wings flapping violently. Why was I the only one listening to the old preacher? Why were the other kids trampling over me to get out and play? Weren’t they scared of the Dark Angels coming to get them?


At free time I decided not to go swimming, but to go in search of the old man. I knew where they had taken him. There was some kind of building up in the forest. A place I had only seen from afar when entering the camp in a broken-down stuffy church bus.

When I got to the log cabin church, it was deserted and only gave a few cracking noises from within as if settling back down from being trampled on by tons of kids that morning. I stared up at the steep hill that led to the unknown building. It was the hill that we told ghost stories about in our cabin at night. My body quivered but I kept on. I had to know the secret of the Dark Angels.

The trees above wrestled with the wind and dropped acorns all around me. I screamed, jumping back and tripping on a boulder. My head throbbed and every one of my limbs was skinned. I got up slowly, hoping my leg oozing blood wasn’t broken. I straightened my dress and brushed the leaves and dirt from my face and arms. 

“Kylie…” a voice called out of the woods. 

I turned, searching every tree and bush for the source.

“Kylie Ross, you should not be up here, my dear,” said the old black preacher as he stepped out from behind a huge Redwood.

I was speechless and all of a sudden scared of the man that I had been searching for.  

“Don’t be frightened, young one. I won’t hurt you.”

“How did you know my name?” I asked.

“God told me about you. You are a special child, see?”

“He did?”

The old preacher nodded. “Let’s get you fixed up.” He offered his hand and led me back into the log cabin church. Taking out a first aid kit, he helped me clean up my wounds. I had bandaids on both my knees and one elbow by the time we were done. The sun was fading and my tummy rumbled, but I wasn’t going to leave the preacher man until I found out about the Dark Angels.

A noise outside drew the old preacher’s attention. Scuffling and flapping came from beyond the open door.

“Kylie, you stay here for a spell,” the preacher said and ventured into the waning light. 

I waited for a while. Until the light was so dim I could barely see the outline of the door. 

“Preacher?” I called, but no answer came. My timid footsteps whispered across the floor and I peeked into the darkness.

There were adults outside but no preacher. I knew if I was found up there alone, there would be trouble, so I tried to sneak around the church and back down the camp before any of them caught me. The adults all wore long brown jackets and hats. I was almost in the clear when I tripped on a rock and turned my ankle. Dirt and rocks scattered down the hill and made one of the adults turn my direction. His face was pure white and his eyes fiery red.

“Get her!” he commanded, throwing off his coat to expose massive black wings. 

I screamed as they came after me. Their eyes pierced through me. Ten pairs of wings surrounded me and I knew I was never going to get out of their dark clutches.

A high-pitched tone came out of the darkness, making the Dark Angels clutch their ears and recoil into black-feathered balls. Up over their hunch bodies came the brightest light I’d ever seen.

“Kylie, you are not safe here,” a white-winged angel said, sweeping me up and carrying me to safety away from the dark monsters.

The angel was beautiful and her eyes were ice blue. Her wings encircled me and were as soft as my bed at home. She held me tightly as we soared through the air to a branch out high above. The Dark Angels below woke from their confusion and looked up into the trees.

“Hold on to the tree. Don’t let go. We’ll be back,” the white-winged angel said and jumped off the branch. A dozen angels like her, shining bright with light, swooped down, their white hair blowing behind them as they fell. 

Screams filled the air as the fight of the angels began. 


Terror Trax: Raven Chronicles

Band Name: Raven Chronicles
Brandon Vaughn – All music

Album/Song/Tour we are excited about right now: Recent release of “A Ghost Story” debut album.  Soon to release 2nd album: “The Haunting of Briarwood Manor”

What singers or bands inspired you growing up?  Old progressive rock groups (Genesis, Kansas, Pink Floyd) as well as modern composers (Samuel Barber, Beethoven, Hans Zimmer).

Who are your favorite artists today?  Midnight Syndicate, composers of modern horror movies (Insidious, Conjuring)

What non-musical things inspire your music?  Movies, nature, paranormal investigations

Is there a place where you go to be inspired?  Nature, and learning that inspiration is more about perspiration (and consistency)

What’s been the greatest achievement of your band?  Releasing the first album

Where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?  Have not played live yet, hoping to someday play live with an actual orchestra

What are your favorite horror movies?  Insidious, Conjuring

What was the scariest night of your life?  I once stayed in a haunted hotel in Weatherford, TX and saw lights turning on and off in various rooms.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?   I would play in a Greek Colosseum (like Yanni) but playing spooky, paranormal music with a full orchestra and choir.  I would love for Midnight Syndicate to open for me, or Hans Zimmer.

What are you working on now for future release?  I’m currently finishing the 2nd album “Haunting of Briarwood Manor” that I hope to release by this Halloween.

Final thoughts / Anything you want to tell the listeners?  I would love for everyone to enjoy the music and let me know.  I would love interaction on Facebook with fans of the music!  Spread the word if you love the music! 177, Pumpkin Special

Horror Addicts Episode# 177
SEASON 14 “We’re Cursed, Again!!!”
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Special Guest: Kristin Battestella, aka Kbatz
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe
Music Guest: Raven Chronicles

Pumpkin Special! Everything Pumpkin!

Find all articles and interviews at:

23 days AFTER Halloween. 😦

halloween activities, rain, tombstones, trick or treating, dark shadows, snow, leaves, raven chronicles, of death and dying, a ghost story, brandon vaughn, midnight syndicate, pumpkin special, pumpkinhead, it’s the great pumpkin charlie brown, pumpkin head taxi driver, halloweentown, lance hendrickson, sleepy hollow, ichabod and mr. toad, tim burton, evil pumpkin patches, evil pumpkin pie, nostalgic, pumpkin man, pets with head stuck in pumpkin, dancing pumpkin on AGT, pamela pumpkin, david s. pumpkins, snl, tom hanks, pumpkin carving, cantaloupe, seeds, pumpkin chunkin’, catapult pumpkins, reality shows, pumpkin carver, temporary pumpkin carvings, gourds, save the bees, save the bees for the pumpkins, past life, gardening, scarecrow, pitchfork, pumpkin recipes, cooking, flour, does flour go bad, horror addicts guide to life,  sweet potatoes, yams, cake mix, allergies, menthol, eucalyptus, camphor, bbq chicken, maple syrup, carrot pie, science behind pumpkin spice, nostalgia, ingredients, cinnamon, nutmeg, tea, coffee, pumpkin cookies, macarons, safeway, luckys, math problems, pumpkin songs, smashing pumpkins, 90s, girl in bee costume, 3rd eye blind, christmas, holidays, skeletons, big lots, holiday stuff out in stores, horror theme baking pans, ice cube trays, candy makers, craft, hot glue, using stuff at home to look halloween cool and visa versa, horrordaze episode, quilted pumpkins, no thread, pins only, no stiches, christmas balls, easter eggs, pumpkins, crochet, knitting, sewing, apocalypse, pumpkin ottoman, stuffed pumpkins, pumpkin cat house, tombstones, candlesticks, recycling, dickens, kbatz krafts, poe, human monsters, kidnapping, torture, tech

Terror Trax: Raven Chronicles

5 Comedy Pumpkin Vids

Horror Addicts Guide to Life

5 Pumpkin Songs You Never Knew Existed

Bee Girl, Blind Melon!

Horrodaze Episode:

Everything Pumpkin!

Kbatz link:


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

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

h e a d  o f p u b l i s h i n g

Naching T. Kassa

p u b l i s h i n g  p. a.

Cedar George

b l o g  e d i t o r


s t a f f

KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Daphne Strasert, Jesse Orr, Russell Holbrook, Lionel Green, Keiran Judge, Crystal Connor, Nightshade, Courtney Mroch, R.L. Merrill

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Everything Pumpkin!

Halloween may be over, but PUMPKIN season is just beginning!

By now you’ve had a chance to check out Kbatz’s multitude of Krafty pumpkins! Releasing later this month, we’ll have a Pumpkin Special Podcast that you can listen to while you prep that perfect pumpkin dessert or look ahead to family gatherings you may or may not be excited about attending. Until then, here are some awesome new pumpkin ideas for you to try:

Wordy Pumpkins

I just love using dollar store pumpkins to make cooler pumpkins. This look is created by modge podgeing book pages (in this case pages from an old dictionary) onto pumpkins and then using a black marker or paint to put the letters you would like on them. This boo-tiful craft takes only a few supplies: stryo pumpkin from a dollar store, old book/dictionary pages, glossy modge podge, a foam paintbrush (or you can use your fingers), and a thick black sharpie.

Pinned Pumpkins

These looks are pretty easy because you aren’t even covering the entire pumpkin.

Buttoned Pumpkin supplies: tons of mini buttons of varying colors, but all about the same size, crafting wire that can be cut and poked into the foam through two holes (like a staple).

Ribboned Pumpkin supplies: thin black ribbon or curling ribbon, a thicker specialty ribbon, pins.

Pumpkin Recipes:

Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Check out Dan’s Pumpkin Patch Party Recipes in Horror Addicts Guide to Life. 26 pages of pumpkin reciepes from pepita brittle to maple pumpkin ice cream!

Other Pumpkin crafts:

Finale Craft: Making Quilted Pumpkins

Kbatz Kraft: Pumpkin Ottomans, Oh Yes

How to Make Stuffed Pumpkins – A Kbatz Kraft!

How to Make a Pumpkin Cat House – A Kbatz Kraft!



Five Pumpkin Songs You Never Knew Existed

It’s PUMPKIN season and here we have for you…

5 Pumpkin Songs You Never Knew Existed

Now, maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t know, and maybe it’s bad, but here they are in all their shining glory!

1) Pumpkins United by Helloween / ROCKER PUMPKIN!!!

2) The Regrettes “Pumpkin” / MELLOW PUMPKIN

3.) Hole In The Pumpkin by Ini Kamoze / REGGAE PUMPKIN


4) Pumpkin Eater by Terry Jacks / BUMPKIN PUMPKIN

5) Gimme A Smile (The Pumpkin Song) by Andrew Gold / GOOFY JAZZY PUMPKIN

For those of you who want something a bit dirtier, here are some NSFW suggestions:

Pumpkin Carver by ICP Feat. Kottonmouth Kings

Halloweenie II: Pumpkin Spice by Ashnikko

King of the Pumpkin Patch by Savage Ga$p