Guest Blog: Playa de Los Muertos By: J.C. Eickelberg

Playa de Los Muertos

By: J.C. Eickelberg

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, we have a great Guest Blog about Pirates.

Row, damn you. Put your backs into it,” Captain Scythe demanded. He was paranoid to get his plunder buried. It couldn’t disappear fast enough. No one was going to take it from him. His ship nearly emptied of loot, sat out in the sheltered bay bordering Puerta Vallarta to the west. The crew strained at the oars to keep their crazed captain happy. Each boat was heavily loaded with precious cargo plundered from the Spanish fleet.

Few pirates knew of this sheltered bay. Those fortunate enough to know sailed with Captain Scythe. He was a savage among pirates, guarding his ship and treasure with unparalleled brutality.

Scythe had survived a plague ship, walked away from destroying the powder magazine at a Spanish fort, and was rumored to have survived a volcano blowing his home into the ocean. His scarred appearance sent terror into the hearts of all but his closest, most trusted crew. These crewmembers, his lieutenants, skippered each of the boats rowing to shore.

Every load ashore was relayed to a mine dug into the side of a nearby mountain. The lieutenants followed each load to the mine as it was passed from one group of press-ganged workers to another. As one laborer fell to fatigue, one took his place. No able-bodied person was left out. Men and women, old enough to spend a day in the fields, or digging in the mine, took part in hauling treasure inland. If they stopped moving, they stopped living. These unlucky souls took the blade to the throat or were run through. Each leg of the relay had at least one corpse propped against a tree as an example. Non-blinking eyes and stench of blood told the workers their neighbor was dead.

Chaos erupted at the edge of town, near the first exchange point. Captain Scythe stormed to the sight of pandemonium. Torches surrounded the upright corpse posted there. The corpse’s bloodied and shredded shirt shimmered in the light. A mangy mutt growled at each torch jabbed toward it. Blood on its muzzle told of its attempted feast.

Chupacabra,” was muttered among the gathered townspeople. They hovered on the far side of the clearing. No one wandered from the scene, fearing retribution from the pirates more than the ugly creature they taunted. A thick-armed pirate came out of the crowd to pin the creature to the ground. It snarled and fought for freedom from the massive hand. Another massive hand wrapped around its neck, ending the snarling wretch’s fight with a snap of its spine.

Take care of that, Gunny,” Scythe told the burly man. Gunny nonchalantly took charge of the limp form as the treasure continued up the mountain. No one saw what happened next to the creature.

Women crossed themselves as they muttered prayers. Men pushed wives and sisters along, eager to be away from their dead, and eviscerated, neighbor. Bags and chests of loot went into the mine as they arrived. Everyone was held off to the side until every piece of treasure was stashed inside. With the final bundle laid to rest, the miners were ordered to seal the opening.

The youngest in the group stumbled with fatigue. She managed to stay on her feet. Standing with as much dignity as she could muster, she held her ground. Bravado withered when she emitted a shrill scream. The thick-armed pirate had turned away from the mine opening to show the headless corpse of the Chupacabra hanging over the entrance. Blood oozed from the decapitated corpse. More screams came from others. The mangy head, torn from the carcass, stared at the young woman from a length of hemp cord worn by the pirate.

Vamos,” he bellowed, leading the way back to town. The lone word boomed across the assembly. Scythe heard that voice over cannon fire.

Fellow pirates prodded the group into moving toward town. Two armed guards remained with the miners. Quick work was made of sealing the mine and the beach soon held the town’s population. Gunshots echoed down the streets as the miners attempted to run off. Fear became unbridle terror. Barking and howling announced wild dogs had moved in with the predawn wind.

Scythe smiled at the overwhelming fear on the faces of his workforce. His crew responded to a quiet command. They raised their weapons and fired at the whimpering crowd. Huddled in fear, no one could escape. Face the guns or wild dogs. It was death either way. Smells of death and rotting seaweed wafted toward the open water as the wind picked up.

Rowboats followed the winds back to the ship. Sacks of food, barrels of fresh water and jugs of a local brew found a new home onboard. Scythe noted the pile of scavenged food.

Gunny,” Scythe said, pointing at the food.

They won’t need it,” Gunny said. His thick hand caressed the Chupacabra head as he gestured to shore with the other. “Better’n what we got.”

They never looked back as the stench of death followed them to sea. A crab reached up to pluck a morsel from a nearby corpse. Other animals followed the dogs onto the beach for a meal.

Daylight brought market goers to a scene of carnage. Their curiosity why nothing in the market was open brought them to the beach. All the town’s residents lay dead, blood drained into the sand and mangled by scavengers.

 

 

********

J.C. works and lives in Wisconsin.  He has a beautiful wife and two active boys.  He enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, time permitting, writing.  Haunted and spooky places have always intrigued him.
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Guest Blog: Adam L. Bealby on Alice in Wonderland

Adam L. Bealby on Alice in Wonderland

She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?’

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

When I was a kid I enjoyed the feeling of being trapped. Yeah, I know. Weirdo, right?

At night I would wrap myself up in my duvet and pile a load of pillows, cushions and covers on top of that, seal off any stray air vents, and pretend I’d been caught in a freak landslide, or fallen down a hole into a deep crevice. I would lie in my fabricated womb of cotton and eiderdown, growing increasingly hot and dizzy as the oxygen thinned out, as the sweat dappled my skin, and I would lull myself into a meditative state, away from the troubles of the real world.

Because it was either that or panic. The idea of actually being trapped filled me with dread. It still does.

Descent? That film was terrifying before the monsters turned up.

Which leads me to why I like the Alice in Wonderland books so much. They’re a characteristic attempt to enter the dream world, much more successful than my artificial womb. They also have a claustrophobic atmosphere that no amount of weighted quilts could hope to emulate.

My Alice-inspired story “Alice’s Scars” is out now from HorrorAddicts.net Press. It’s about a guy who meets a gal and they fall in love. Only the gal is all messed up and leads him down the rabbit hole into her abusive past – one in which she retreated into a Wonderland fantasy.

At any moment the dream could turn into a full-on nightmare, and there’s something primordial and intoxicating about gazing into the abyss isn’t there?

Or maybe I was just a weirdo-kid. I also enjoyed pushing my thumbs into my closed eyes and watching the black and white kaleidoscope whirl of jagged shapes…


Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby now available at Amazon.com

Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Guest Blog: A Bit ‘a Alice by Adam L. Bealby

A Bit ‘a Alice
By Adam L. Bealby

“Nurse! Do let’s pretend that I’m a hungry hyena. And you’re a bone!”

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

When I was eight I was with my gran in a supermarket when I saw a tower of stacked bread baskets, perhaps thirty feet high, just beginning to totter. Naturally, I ran over to prop up the leaning tower with tiny hands enticed to noble action. Buttressed from the base, the top of the tower continued its inexorable fall, but so unhurriedly I had time to take in the enormity of my error, to calmly consider my impending doom. Time sped up only as it dawned on me I should be using this god given grace to get the heck out of there. Time sped up so quickly, in fact, that the tower bore down on me with a malicious grinning ferocity, getting bigger as I got correspondingly smaller, consuming me in a sudden landslide of plastic.

Whereupon, and wherein, I began to have an asthma attack. A shop attendant pulled me out by the scruff of the neck and there was much panic and flapping and attention focused my way. With my gran in attendance, belligerently calling the shots (“My Adam could have died as a result of your negligence!”), we were whisked up to the canteen, where I was fed buttered toast and milk (“It’s free, you know,” Gran whispered, “So you better have another slice.”)

Of course, looking back now the baskets couldn’t possibly have been stacked thirty feet high. Time didn’t slow down; it didn’t speed up. The tower was neither grinning, nor malicious; it just was. It didn’t grow bigger, it came closer, and that made me feel small and vulnerable, and I was shocked and probably a bit embarrassed to be knocked off my feet, and that made me wheezy.

All of these subversions of memory are the result of my having been an eight-year-old kid, making sense of the world through a child’s eyes. They’re also subversions employed in the Alice books, of course. Lewis Carroll was appropriating a child’s eye view – the eyes of Alice Liddell – when he first concocted, narrated, no doubt embellished-in-the-telling, a story that so mesmerised his young charge she persuaded him to write it down. That first manuscript came to be known as Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.

Primeval stuff we tend to be closer to when we’re younger, that fades into the wonderland of the unconscious as we enter into adulthood – that’s the power of the Alice books. Or one of their powers at least.

An epilogue of sorts. As I was hoicked from the bread basket wreckage I heard an incredulous voice. A witness, drowned out, thankfully, by a tidal wave of well-meaning intentions:

“He pushed it! I saw him, he did!”

But I never did.


Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby now available at Amazon.com

Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Guest Blog: My Alice by Adam L. Bealby

My Alice
by Adam L. Bealby

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

I’ve always had a bit of Alice in my life.

That’s why, when I saw the call for HorrorAddicts.net’s Clockwork Wonderland submission call, I thought one of my weird horror stories would be a perfect fit.

But in the end my Alice didn’t fit.

Not with the other Alices at least, as marvelously punked as they were. She stood apart, gazing at them with contempt from across the room, cultivating an air of enigmatic disinterest at the end of a menthol slim.

Or locked away in her room with her Cure CDs and subverted memories.

Or running wild in the dark, clammy fingers pawing at the back of her neck.

You can have your cosy anthology, she thinks. I don’t care. I don’t play well with others anyway. Even when I try.

But when HorrorAddicts.net invited her to a solo gig she was secretly pleased, just as I was not-so-secretly pleased, to accept their invitation.

When I was at University the first book I ever bought my future wife was the collected Alice works. I penned a loving dedication on the first page. “May this book bring you wonder.” Twenty years later and I’ve got that book in front of me as I type this – and please, I’m struggling here. I’m not usually the gushing, sentimental sort. I’m much more familiar with tenebrous passageways and blunt trauma.

Twenty years later, and I’m dedicating another story to my wife, but one I wrote this time. “Alice’s Scars” is the first in what I understand to be a series of Horror Bites, coming at you from the kennels rabid and hotly snapping, courtesy of your twisted friends at HorrorAddicts.net.

And I’m dedicating it to Julia, my Alice. Sometimes I think she saved me from going down the rabbit hole.


Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Guest Blog Photo: Cover of Pet Cemetery by J.C. Eickelberg

This week for the Guest Blog, we have some fan art. J.C. Eickelberg sent us this nice cover from the book “Pet Cemetery” as fan art. We enjoy this photo and would like to share it with you guys. If you have fan art or anything you would like us to share with other HorrorAddicts, do send to us at horroraddicts@gmail.com.

 

This is a little background from J.C.Eickelberg on the cover:

“I found an old assignment I did in an art class a very long time ago.  I kept it because it scares me so much.  The cover of Pet Cemetery scared me when I drew it, and still gets to me today.”

 

The Last Days of Jesus : The Last Circus Album Review

 

The Last Circus sounds like circus music meets doom. That’s a good thing! The intro song sets the scene where your musical mind will be taken through a journey of upbeat, funky lyrics and nice brass instruments.

Overall, I felt like this album could be relistened a few more times. I love the beats, the lyrics are clear that it might sound like a happy song full of rainbows, you need to run. The Last Circus starts in a circus as it should considering the name. You venture outside on the streets to Hop Hop away to learn emotions and revenge. Ending in a nice piano based duet ending up right back in the circus you started.

This album has great vocals, pretty good goth influence. The beats and melody remind me of some 80s happy to be sad lyrics blending with melodies that climb their way to the next Big Top.  The brass instruments are an excellent addition. This album is a fun compilation of styles that you wouldn’t think to merge, but done in a flawless manner.

 

I have not heard of The Last Days of Jesus before they requested an album review, but I would definitely recommend at least one listen through of the album. Especially if you appreciate bass, driving rhythm, and lyrics that make you feel like you are in the circus… the circus of life, emotions and of course Jokers…. Just watch out for the aliens

 

I would give this album a solid 4 out of 5 … I am not afraid of clowns or jokers… but aliens on the other hand….

 

What do you think of The Last Circus, Addicts?

Guest Blog: The Infernal Clock Anthology Stephanie Ellis

Time ticks for everybody and has become the instrument with which humans torture themselves, marking as it does the countdown to each person’s eventual end. Not a precious minute can be wasted in each of our allotted lifespans … whether it be used for good or evil.

 

The Infernal Clock is an anthology tracking one day in time, each of its 24 hours filled with horrors and torments. Between the covers, lie a collection of diverse styles ranging from dark fantasy to the literary to the classical—here is horror in its many forms. The anthology is available on Amazon but to celebrate its recent launch we are offering the chance to win a print copy of the book. Check out our 500 word flash horror competition over at The Infernal Clock blog. And if that’s not enough, here’s a taster from the book:

The Graveyard Shift

by Stephanie Ellis

“Are any awake?” asked Nurse Maddison. Joseph cast his eye over the bank of monitors in front of him. Each showed a sleeping patient, unmoving. “Dead to the world,” he said. “If only,” said the nurse as she walked away. They both laughed at the joke, tired though it was. The graveyard shift was almost over. She just had to wait until the clock struck three. And the big hand was almost there, moving slowly towards the end of its hourly journey, second … by second … by second.

Click.

He watched her grab her freedom, striding out of the facility’s gates, waving up at his camera as she disappeared into the night.

He sighed. It was alright for her, he still had another hour to go; another hour of mind-numbing boredom. He could pass the time like others by watching TV or flicking through trashy magazines but he had more of a conscience than that, ever since … well, what was past was past but from then on he had always done everything by the book—almost always anyway. Needless to say it did not help his popularity and he frequently found himself walking the corridors or watching the monitors at this unearthly hour, his colleagues having bagged the more attractive shifts as payback.

A slight movement in Patient One’s cell caught his eye; Nurse Maddison’s replacement—Nurse Ole Lukøje, a male medic this time. The Dane had been there a week and Joseph still hadn’t met him. It was almost as if he lost time when Ole was on duty. Joseph had a worrying suspicion he sometimes dozed off on the job despite all his good intentions. But nothing had happened and nobody had caught him. Hell, it wasn’t a sleep clinic for nothing; he could afford to cut himself a little slack, all those years of tedious conscientiousness had built him a balance of credit he felt could do with spending. And his time here was nearly up after all. Tonight though, his curiosity was piqued. It was definitely about time he met the guy. He rubbed his eyes and returned his gaze to the monitor. Ole Lukøje, he pondered the name, a Danish synonym for the Sandman, very apt.

He continued to watch Patient One. What dreams are you giving your patients, Nurse Lukøje, he wondered. The nurse had left but the man was no longer sleeping peacefully. His body had begun to twitch uncontrollably, his legs jerking as if running from something, his hands swinging out wildly against an unseen attacker. Joseph cast his eye over the patient’s notes left with him in case of ‘emergencies’. Patient One was prone to night terrors—well that was something new—and apparently only a recent development as it had been added by Nurse Lukøje. There had been no such observations from any of the other nurses who worked that shift. An extra note had been squashed into the space at the bottom of the page. It merely stated that normal sleep patterns resumed at 4 a.m. Joseph frowned. Usually the nurse would stay longer, wait until the patient had settled down, adjust the meds if any were being administered. But he wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere. And Patient One was becoming more agitated by the minute.

To read more and find out what other horrors can happen in 24 hours, check out The Infernal Clock