Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Six String Bullets

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Six String Bullets” by Cara Fox

The pull of a busker’s song becomes too much for a young woman to resist.

Cara shares her thoughts about her story with us below.

My story, ‘Six String Bullets’, was inspired by a chance encounter more than ten years ago now. I was living in Bristol, England. It’s a beautiful city with a ton of history, and one of my favourite parts of it is a winding network of cobbled streets by the name of the Corn Exchange. Sprawled across them are dozens of independent shops and traders, their individual stalls punctuated by my favourite part of the Georgian heart of the city – the street music. No matter what day of the year it is, you can’t walk along the cobbles without finding musicians ranging from a lively Caribbean calypso right through to whiskey-soaked blues.

It was one of these musicians who inspired my story. On a hectic day not long before Christmas, with commuters and shoppers alike hurtling to their destination with barely a glance to spare for each other, let alone the buskers trying to carve out a living on the rain-soaked streets, a distinctive riff caught my attention and pulled me out of the pedestrian flow. To my delighted surprise, a busker seated cross-legged with a battered guitar was flawlessly playing an acoustic version of a song from one of my favourite bands, The Wildhearts. It was so incongruous that I stopped to listen, and it struck me then that nobody else even seemed to have noticed the dreadlocked busker and the song that he played. For a few moments, as he realised I was listening, it felt like the two of us had stepped out of time together. The world carried on around us, but we were no longer a part of it.

Once the song came to an end, the spell was broken. I threw some coins in the busker’s guitar case, wished him a Merry Christmas and carried on with my life with a barely another thought for that strange moment in time until last summer, when I was kicking back with a bottle of bourbon and Springsteen’s Born In The USA blasting out of the speakers. When I reached the sixth track and heard that heartbreakingly raspy voice croon about a “six inch valley” in his skull, the image of a six string bullet immediately found itself a place in my mind. The concept of music as a weapon that could cut straight to the soul stayed with me and took me back to that encounter with the busker that only I seemed to see. From that fractured ghost of a memory, ‘Six String Bullets’ was born.

www.carajfox.com

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

Advertisements

BAYCON TODAY! HorrorAddicts.net Live Events

May 25 – 28, 2018

San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport


HorrorAddicts.net will be attending BayCon, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writer’s Convention in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Saturday May 26th
10:00am-4:00pm
Imagination Fair
Free to the public

Join us at the Imagination Fair. Take selfies with Inkjet, the incredible cepholopod, chat with authors, get freebies, enjoy face painting, and answer trivia questions to get awesome swag from CometTV, like Tank Girl T-shirts, The Craft protection sachets, and alien gifts.
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich, Mercy Hollow, E.M. Markoff, Trinity Adler, and more!

This is a free event with swag to spare!

Sunday May 27th
HorrorAddicts.net Panel

HorrorAddicts.net: Come discuss musical influence on horror and dark fantasy literature, movies, and lifestyle. Hear authors read their horror stories and enter to win door prizes. Musically inspired horror favors free until they run out!
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, Jonathan Fortin, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich

Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Keep the Beat

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Keep the Beat” by Calvin Demmer

A young girl questions why her tribe plays the djembe drums every night and finds it may be more than just a tradition.

Calvin shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

“Keep the Beat” Inspiration

By Calvin Demmer

Being from South Africa, I wanted to remain on the continent for the main flavor of my story “Keep the Beat.” I didn’t zone in on one specific culture, but tried to see what most of the tribes in Africa had in common in their past. Some of the habits they shared were the various rituals they practiced and their unique beliefs in spirits or the afterlife. I immediately knew my story would have a strong supernatural angle.

To incorporate the music theme, I wished for the instrument to be something interesting that would work well with the ideas I had for rituals; and fortunately I quickly knew what I would use. Then it was all about creating my own world, tribe, and specific reason for the instrument. This all actually came together pretty easily and the “Beat” part was somewhat inspired by an earlier short story I’d written called “Forbidden Fruit.”

As I worked on the story more, and through various early drafts, it kept taking a darker and darker road. The stakes needed to be high for my main character and I wanted there to be a harsh penalty for ill conceived actions.

Overall, if a supernatural African world, where spirits linger and time honored rituals must be obeyed to avoid great consequences, is what intrigues a reader, then “Keep the Beat” will definitely be a fun and interesting experience.

 

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Become the Music

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Become the Music” by H.E. Roulo

A cellist would do anything for her child, even give up music, but that might not be enough to stop a curse from consuming her baby.

Heather shares her thoughts about her story with us below.

The Brutality of Music

By H.E. Roulo

It’s easy to forget that when we sing, hum, or hear a soundtrack, we’re experiencing the power of music. If a soundtrack is good, my dog will understand something important is happening on screen and look at the television. For suspenseful parts, she’ll stand and growl, even when nothing menacing appears visually. That communication with another species happens at a level beyond a spoken command. She understands the intent of the music.

Have you been transported by music? Heard people claim they’re transformed by music? What if the apparent latent power in music were real? It’s possible music binds the world together across language barriers and species, perhaps even at a metaphysical level. This forms the premise of my short story “Become the Music.”

In a wild rural area, where more things are possible, a musician draws something new into existence with her playing. She wouldn’t be able to put her power  into words, but music doesn’t require that. Unfortunately, that new entity’s potent mix of music, power, and possibility becomes a curse. What she’s made can’t exist alongside the casual musical brutality of our everyday world.

In a world where we can record and play music anywhere, we are casual about a powerful force that can heal, create, and transform. Emotion coded into music reaches deep into the subconscious. How can such a potent force become the simple everyday buzz and background to our lives? Are we made numb by the ubiquity of music? What happens to someone who isn’t?

Something that can be primal or civilizing, evocative of the human condition, and communicate with an infinite number of people who don’t speak the same language, can also be debased into throwaway notes given no care or notice. Wacky childrens’ toys chime on shelves. The music of the current generation’s rebellious prime becomes the background of a supermarket. These highs and lows—without bias for genre so much as intent—became the focus of my story.

In my Crescendo of Darkness story, the musician’s life is upended. Music becomes a threat. Seeking escape, she drives to a remote location seeking peace, solitude, and most of all silence.

http://heatherroulo.com/

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Last Lullaby

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Last Lullaby” by Emerian Rich

An opera diva is haunted by a dangerous secret which threatens to end her career and her life.

Emerian shares her thoughts about her story with us below.

I have a confession to make. I’m a choir geek. Yeah, before Glee and Pitch Perfect made it “cool” to be in choir (But did they really?), I was a nerdy choir chick. It went way beyond just taking it as an elective. No, I was a Jazz Choir, harmonizing, Sinatra-adoring, music dork. Still am if I’m being completely honest although my dream of being a singer has faded into a vicarious, middle-age musical adoration.

I remember the first time I heard The Phantom of the Opera lyrics. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t a music fan. With great music, the melody plunges into your ears and creates a sort of euphoric experience. It spirals down your spine and into your legs. It raises goosebumps on your arms and—at times—brings tears to your eyes. That’s how I felt listening to “The Music of the Night” for the first time. In that moment, I knew what great music was.

In my short story “Last Lullaby,” Claire encounters her own “Phantom” of the opera. She is an opera chorus girl when fate—or perhaps something more sinister—rockets her into diva-hood. For a girl such as her, who loves music with her whole being, what will happen when the gift is ripped from her? Will she survive? Or will she put her life at stake to sing one last time?

Find out by reading “Last Lullaby” in Crescendo of Darkness. Sometimes, it’s better to travel the hard road to gain respect than to make a deal with a demon.

Find out more about Emz at: emzbox.com

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Circe’s Music Shop

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman

A music store owner, who won’t be bullied into submission, teaches two hitmen the meaning of pain.

A. Craig Newman shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

When I wrote “Circe’s Music Shop”, I did not plan to publish it.  In all honesty, in my head, I wasn’t writing. I was practicing. 

Practice makes perfect, or so we’re always told. And I want to be a great writer so I figure the only way is to write a lot. But the results of practice are usually riddled with mistakes.  A painter practicing the challenge of rendering eyes or hands will fill sketch pads with dozens of aborted attempts to get it right. A cook perfecting a recipe will throw away countless full and aborted attempts before hitting on the exact combination of ingredients and time and technique that gives the correct results.  So, I figured, and still do, that most things a writer writes should not be published but should be considered practice. 

With this in mind, I give myself challenges to practice with.  One challenge was to go to my friends and ask them what type of character they’d want to be they could be anyone at all in a story.  My best friend, Tamisha, said she wanted to be a sorceress.  Because I have a love of classics and myths, I immediately thought of Circe from “The Odyssey“.  I don’t remember how turning men to pigs became turning men to instruments. I do remember that I wrote the story quickly because I wasn’t stressing myself over a practice piece. 

Since writing this story, several have come and gone where I would consider myself having done some “real writing”. Ideas I mulled over and cultivated into complete premises.  Pieces I wrote and rewrote trying to infuse the work with everything I’ve learned about symbolism and artistry.  Real writing took real work and countless hours of time and effort and frustration. 

There are two things I learned from writing “Circe’s Music Shop”.  First, a writer can never tell where a good idea will come from.  Second, for me, “underwriting” is not a bad thing. Those other pieces that I mulled over and reworked about a dozen times have yet to become anything.  This piece that I just had fun with and tossed onto the paper has gained me more attention, praise, and success as a writer than anything else. 

So, what does this all mean?  How do I apply this in a practical sense?  I have no idea.  I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’ll let you know when I do.  

A. Craig Newman
Author and Instructor

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

BayCon HorrorAddicts.net Events!

May 25 – 28, 2018

San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport


HorrorAddicts.net will be attending BayCon, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writer’s Convention in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Saturday May 26th
10:00am-4:00pm
Imagination Fair
Free to the public

Join us at the Imagination Fair. Take selfies with Inkjet, the incredible cepholopod, chat with authors, get freebies, enjoy face painting, and answer trivia questions to get awesome swag from CometTV, like Tank Girl T-shirts, The Craft protection sachets, and alien gifts.
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich, Mercy Hollow, E.M. Markoff, Trinity Adler, and more!

This is a free event with swag to spare!

Sunday May 27th
HorrorAddicts.net Panel

HorrorAddicts.net: Come discuss musical influence on horror and dark fantasy literature, movies, and lifestyle. Hear authors read their horror stories and enter to win door prizes. Musically inspired horror favors free until they run out!
Authors present will be: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, Jonathan Fortin, J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich