Review : HorrorAddicts Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam Bealby

Review: HorrorAddicts Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam Bealby

 

As the editor of this HorrorBites Story, I had the opportunity to not only read it early but often. What a story to choose to read multiple times. I remember where I was when I found out what happened to Alice, and you will too. This story is a great one to be told. It is told as if Adam is recounting a memory of  Alice he once knew. He was able to give us a short, small glimpse of what bipolar disorder does to the one with it and those that love them.

I have noticed recently several horror writers have been writing stories of mental illness from depression to bipolar. Sometimes, mental illness is more horrific than any fiction writer could ever tell. Lifting the stigma of these illnesses will allow us to advance in not only understanding but possibly curing them. It was hard for “Adam” ( as the narrator) to love Alice, as it is very hard to love someone who is ill and may or may not be getting treatment.

Of course, how he describes the discovery of Alice’s scars and the progression of his understanding Alice was great. There were a couple other scenes in the story that he was great at conveying using the world of Alice and Wonderland to help his characters along their purpose. You definitely feel like you are going through the recounted events and see it in a world familiar with Wonderland.

So, I invite you to get this story and spend a quick break reading it. I promise you won’t return the same.

 

If you have enjoyed this story, please let us know by email: horroraddicts@gmail.com or leave a review on Amazon.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

An Interview with Horror Bites Author, Adam L. Bealby

An interview with
Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars author,
Adam L. Bealby.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved writing! When I was about ten I was obsessed with thinking up zany characters and concocting outlandish situations for them, plotting be damned. Political correctness and copyright also be damned. I lived in a fairly closed-minded ex-mining community, and I was as naïve as a barefoot pilgrim. So in the mix was a crippled baby clown, an Indian taxi driver called Curry (ooff!); as well as a couple of characters from an obscure British Marvel comic book I liked, and a lengthy character-jamboree sequence stolen from (we’d call it ‘parodying’ these days) the third Star Trek movie, entitled The Search for Bogart.

 

Actually, there’s something to be said for liberating yourself from social (and literary) mores and graces when you’re writing. I don’t think poor Curry will be making a comeback any time soon, though…

Who were the biggest influences on your writing?

I’m a huge fan of Michael Moorcock. I like the idea you can write about anything, and that there’s really no barrier between high literature and genre writing. Be bold and brave and go where your imagination leads you!

I’m also very impressionable and tend to be influenced by whatever book I happen to be reading. I have to make a concerted effort when I’m writing to find my own voice, or a voice that suits the story, and not appropriate the stylistic traits of other writers. Although I was impressed with a rather nasty little story I wrote off the back of my time with a Chuck Palahniuk anthology! It won’t be seeing the light of day any time soon, but as a taboo-breaking exercise it was very therapeutic!

What is “Alice’s Scars” about?

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-inspired fantasy.

What inspired “Alice’s Scars”?

The first book I ever bought my wife was the collected Alice works. It was the first year of Uni and I even wrote a loving dedication in the frontispiece. That was over twenty years ago. So when I heard the call for Clockwork Wonderland, the HorrorAddicts.net anthology “Alice’s Scars” was originally written for, I knew I had to mine the first few months of our burgeoning relationship for inspiration.

I’ll say now that my wife isn’t Alice/Katie, the main character in “Alice’s Scars.” She’s much more together than that! When I asked her what was in her drawstring purse that first night, it proved to be money, not a rabbit’s foot – which is clearly completely different.

Many of the scenes in the story do riff off people and situations from my Uni days, including an episode in which I merrily chased a distraught girl through the night. But enough of that.

Did you have to do any research for the story?

Just a quick flick through the Alice books, really. The same collected works I bought for my wife all those years ago! As I said, there’s a lot of real life in there, jumbled up with the stuff-I-thunk-up, and that feels like a good compromise for a story about the grey areas between reality and fiction.

What are your favorite things to write about?

Psychological horror, especially the type of story where you can lead the reader to question what’s real and what’s not. I also like writing rollicking adventures for kids – it makes a nice change of pace.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a book about a suicide cult, alternating between research and drafting short ‘suicide vignettes’, which will be interspersed between the chapters of the main story. My internet search history makes for worrying reading. Let’s see: ‘I want to commit suicide’, ‘slitting your wrists’, ‘suicide bag’, ‘I want to drink anti-freeze’, ‘experiences of depression’, ‘suicide and reincarnation’…

I really hope I can do the subject justice. I’m very proud of how some of the vignettes are turning out.

Where can people find you online?

Many of my stories are available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Adam-L. -Bealby/e/B01EE49YWW.

You can also catch up with my sporadic ravings at @adamskilad.

HorrorAddicts.net Presents ~ Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby

HorrorAddicts.net launches our Horror Bites series with an
Alice-inspired story by Adam L. Bealby.

 

When he met Alice, he wasn’t prepared to go down the rabbit hole. His love for her pushes him into the uncomfortable realization she might be mad. He wants to keep her safe, but what if that’s not what Alice wants?

 

“Adam Bealby has written a mini masterpiece that explores mental illness, drug addiction, and real life horror.”

~David Watson, The All-Night Library

Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars

BY ADAM L. BEALBY

Just 99 cents at Amazon.com


A look inside…

Alice’s Scars

BY ADAM L. BEALBY

When I first met her she was Katie, soon to be Alice. It was her first day at Uni, my second, and her scars intrigued me. They lined her cheeks like tribal markings and the way she caked her face in foundation, you could tell they were forever on her mind. It helped, of course, that she was a beautiful Goth girl. I wanted to save her, share her pain, kiss her, and fuck her, too. I asked her what she kept in the drawstring purse around her neck.

“Money,” she said dismissively, turning away to talk to someone else at the bar.

She disappeared soon after. I only found out later how drunk she got, how she spent the rest of the night over a toilet bowl with Jackie holding her hair clear of her mouth. Her first and last run-in with alcohol. Alice had too much else going on in her life to get any more screwed up.

I dogged her all through freshers’ week. Instead of dorms, she’d been accommodated in a little house just off campus. A new friend I met lived there too, so it was an easy thing to fall in with her motley crew, drawn together by circumstance as we were. I became a regular in their kitchen, smoking weed and trying too hard—as we all did—to be quirky and cool.

We struck up conversation over a jar of pesto. I didn’t know what it was and she couldn’t believe it. I strung it out, made it appear I was more ignorant than I actually was, and I got her laughing. When I said her pesto looked like rabbit food she blushed, right through all that paint and powder.

“You don’t know the first thing about rabbits,” she said, and she showed me what was in her drawstring purse. It was a tiny white rabbit’s foot. It freaked me out and yet I felt even more attracted to her. It was my in, a secret shared. Looking at the severed foot I felt myself getting hard and I had to sit down for fear she’d notice.

She ran away that evening. We were all stoned and a bit drunk, talking about our parents, being glib, critical, or overly generous. She burst into tears and ran out of the kitchen and into the night, not even bothering to put her shoes on. We made an extravagant show of hunting for her, shouting her name up and down the street. Pete the Poet, as we later christened him, came out to help from next door. The way John shouted Katie’s name in his Irish accent, Pete thought we’d lost a cat. We had a good laugh about that.

But it wasn’t funny when we found Katie. She was hunkered down by the bushes on a bit of common area at the end of the row.

“Katie? What are you looking for?” I asked as we gathered round in a concerned hub.

“He was here,” she muttered. She’d been pawing at the dirt. Her fingers were black. “I saw him, but he got away from me.”

“Who was here, Katie?”

She looked up. The glare from a passing car lent her eyes a lustrous sheen.

“Alice. Call me Alice from now on, okay? Do you know what time it is? The days all seem to blur into one.”


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.

Once Upon a Scream, featuring “The Other Daughter” by Adam L. Bealby

Once Upon a Scream…there was a tradition of telling tales with elements of the fantastic along with the frightful. Adults and children alike took heed not to go into the deep, dark woods, treat a stranger poorly, or make a deal with someone or something-without regard for the consequences. Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it. From wish-granting trolls, to plague curses, and evil enchantresses, these tales will have you hiding under the covers in hopes they don’t find you. So lock your doors, shutter your windows, and get ready to SCREAM.

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Once Upon a Scream Special Edition Pack

HorrorAddicts.net Press is proud to announce that we have special edition favor packs for our 4th anthology entitled Once Upon a Scream. This book is edited by Dan Shaurette and it takes the classic fairy tales that you grew up with and gives them a horror twist.

ORDER NOW and get:

favor set

18-PIECE FAVOR PACK
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  • Once Upon a Scream book

  • 18-piece special edition favor pack!

  • Signatures of the authors inside including: Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Laurel Anne Hill, J. Malcolm Stewart, and Shannon Lawrence

While supplies last!

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$15.00 USD gets you the book, favor pack, and includes shipping and handling inside the continental US.
For foreign orders, please email for shipping costs.

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OnceUponAScreamFront Once Upon a Scream

…there was a tradition of telling tales with elements of the fantastic along with the frightful. Adults and children alike took heed not to go into the deep, dark woods, treat a stranger poorly, or make a deal with someone-or something-without regard for the consequences. Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.

From wish-granting trolls, to plague curses, and evil enchantresses, these tales will have you hiding under the covers in hopes they don’t find you. So lock your doors, shutter your windows, and get ready to SCREAM.

A return to darker foreboding fairy tales not for children.
Not everyone lives happily ever after.

 

HorrorAddicts.net Press