Review: Morbid Metamorphosis

morbid-final-print-coverA Lycan Valley Press publication, Morbid Metamorphosis is a book containing twenty-two morbidly terrifying tales of metamorphosis, transformation, and horror. Whether your taste runs to werewolves or madmen or if you enjoy more of the mystery serial killings sort of tale, this book has something for everyone.

What first caught my attention was the fab cover for this anthology. Wow. If that screaming face and the grasping hands don’t give you nightmares, the stories sure will.

Some of my favorite characters were Nancy Kilpartick’s weirdo copy center customer, Suzanne Robb’s werewolf, and MJ Preston’s girl who is shown more than she bargained for about her Indian heritage. There are quite a few serial killer stories and a couple that started out one way and gave a shock at the end with an ending I couldn’t have predicted.

My top three stories were ones that surprised me and gave me something different from the norm.

Jo-anne Russell’s “You Are What You Eat” was a rather disturbing tale about a young actress who will do anything to stay in Hollywood shape. When she sees an advertisement on television boasting, “Never gain it back again!” she can’t help herself. The doctor’s visit goes smoothly, but when she gets home, her perspective changes quite a bit.

Stacy Turner’s “The Lake” took me back to the old stories of mermaids. Not these pretty, happy, silent Disney-princess types, but the truly evil ones with jagged teeth and evil to the core. I really liked the setting of this story and the character development was well done.

“The Skelly Effect” by Terri Del Campo was such a breath of fresh air in our horror world of same old tropes we see all the time. With an interesting take on the plague apocalypse we are all so obsessed with these days, “The Skelly Effect” was so enjoyable I read it twice. When people start losing their skin (literally) to an unknown plague, no one knows what it is and least of all how to cure it. But these “Skellies” can still go to work and function as normal humans, with one exception. They can’t speak and must resort to texting answers back and forth. The image of skelly people walking around town, going about their day, only with no skin was super fun for my little dark heart. This story is a must read for any horror fan.

I’ve only touched on a few stories, but there are several more to delight and terrify by such horror masters as Greg Chapman, Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley, Terri Delcampo, Dave Gammon, Rod Marsden, Nancy Kilpatrick, Jo-Anne Russell, M.j. Preston, Stacey Turner, Tina Piney, Suzanne Robb, Franklin E. Wales, Donna Marie West, Suzie Lockhart, Cameron Trost, Daniel I. Russell, Simon Dewar, Amanda J. Spedding, Ken MacGregor, Erin Shaw, Gregory L. Norris, and Nickolas Furr.

 

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Free Fiction Friday: Zombie Ate My Girlfriend by Ken MacGregor

Zombie Ate My Girlfriend

By Ken MacGregor

 

Okay. So, I’m pathetic. Fine. I won’t argue; I think so, too. But, hey! On the bright side, I’m still alive.

Of course, living with myself just got a lot harder.

Let me back up a little. Everything was great for a while there. Well, relatively great anyway. Can’t really say anything’s been more than “tolerable” for the past eight months or so. But, all things considered, I was doing all right. It helped that I’d gotten very good at shooting the damn things in the head. Had to. Anywhere else and they just keep coming. I still blame George Romero. Oh, sure, he didn’t invent the virus that turned half of the country into the walking dead, but he gave whoever did the idea. Yep. His fault, all right. Dick.

Anyway, I was doing okay. Keeping my head above water. Above ground. Hiding, mostly. Shooting when I had to. Running away a lot. It got to be pretty routine after a while. You know? It’s amazing what you can get used to. Then, total fluke, I met Rebecca. First of all, she was alive, a big plus in my book. Also, she was really cute. That didn’t hurt at all. Third, I totally saved her life, making me the Hero. Finally, it wasn’t like either of us had a lot of dating options. We hooked up. Let me tell you something: post-apocalyptic sex is awesome.

Turns out Rebecca is a pretty good shot, too; she doesn’t always get the head shot on the first try, but she always does by the second. Did. I mean “did”. And “was”. Fuck.

So, there we were: a couple of hardened Zombie Apocalypse veterans, fighting for our lives and trying to make a baby every chance we get. Pretty storybook, huh? It was … until it wasn’t.

We were holed up (I hate that expression; why do I even use it?) in an apartment building, upper floor – sixth maybe –  and were well-fed and rested, two things you really learn to appreciate. We knew we had enough food to last us maybe a week, and it seemed like a safe spot, so we let our guard down.

You can’t do that. Not anymore.

The family of five, Dad, Mom, Teen Boy and Girl (Twins? So hard to tell when they’re dead) and Zombie Toddler burst in through the door on day two. They were pretty far gone, so they must not have eaten for a long time. They might have been stuck in this building for weeks, maybe months. Who knows? One thing’s for sure: they were very anxious to come in.

My rifle, never far from my hand, took out two of them as they crossed the threshold. Rebecca got one a second later, but that left two. Teen Girl Zombie (sounds like a Roger Corman film, doesn’t it?) lunged at me, hunger making her faster than they usually are. I got the shot off at the last second, and she landed on top of me, unmoving, unbiting, half her head missing. I threw her off, disgusted by the smell and the weight of her. Rebecca was looking at me, afraid I’d been turned.

“She didn’t get me,” I started to say, but stopped. We had both forgotten about Zombie Toddler. The little bastard bit her on the inner thigh. Femoral blood geysered out and Rebecca smashed her rifle butt into his tiny head, killing (if that’s even the right term) the kid instantly. But, the damage was done. We might stop the bleeding, put some stitches in the wound, but no way was she going to survive. Not as a human anyway. She looked at me, pleading, asking me with her eyes to do the unthinkable. To shoot my girlfriend in the head. I wanted to, I really did. But I just couldn’t do it. Pathetic, right? As I ran down the stairs, alone, I heard the shot. Turns out Rebecca had bigger balls than I.

I know, I know. I even kind of make myself a little sick. But, hey…still alive. Counts for a lot.

******************

Zombie Ate My Girlfriend has been previously published in Siren Call’s, An Aberrant Mind .

Author picKen MacGregor’s work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines and podcasts. In 2013, a collection of his short stories, called An Aberrant Mind, was released by Sirens Call Publications. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats. His author website is http://ken-macgregor.com.​

HorrorAddicts.net 108, Alexander Beresford

Horror Addicts Episode# 108

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Click to listen:

40 days till Halloween!

alexander beresford, post rapture party, whitechapel

coolest little monster, john zacherley, halloween prep, whitechapel tv series, jack the ripper, eden lake, wolf creek, dating a zombie, c.a. milson, zombie town, pet cemetery, crystal connor, devil, m. night shyamalan, cam2cam, post rapture party, cropsey, dark wave, music, venus de vilo, queen of the pumpkin patch, a taste of murder, chocolate coconut oblivion cake, end of the world radio, zombies, 809 jacob street, marty young, christine sutton, all the little children, suffer the children, craig dilouie, apocalypse, flash fiction friday, ken macgregor, horror addicts guide to life, events, count dracula and his daughter boocula, reanimator, h. p. lovecraft, the ring, japanese novel, 30 days of night, comic, movie, clive barker, oscar wilde, bela lugosi, dracula, alexander beresford, doll face, charla, www panel audio, emerian rich, heather roulo, laurel anne hill.

 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts108.mp3

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Flash Fiction Friday: Ken MacGregor

 What Little Boys are Made of

by Ken MacGregor

Tina pushed down hard on the X-acto knife until it went through Martin’s skin with a little pop. Martin whimpered through the gag and tears fell from his eyes. With an exasperated sigh, Tina looked at her friend.

“You brought this on yourself,” Tina said, “so you can just be quiet.”

Leaning forward to add her weight to the blade, Tina dragged her hand down toward Martin’s belt. She stopped at his bellybutton. Setting the bloodied knife aside, Tina pushed her fingers into the wound. She grabbed the edges and pulled them aside, exposing Martin’s organs.

Frowning, Tina poked around inside her friend’s body cavity, pushing aside guts and organs. After a moment, she stopped and flicked the blood off her fingers.

Martin’s eyes were fluttering, fighting to stay open. They fixed on Tina’s as she looked down at him.

“I don’t see any ‘snakes or snails or puppy dog tails’ at all,” she said. “You are such a liar.”

**************

Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats. His author website is http://ken-macgregor.com.