HorrorAddicts.net #106, Bob Nailor

Horror Addicts Episode# 106

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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68 days till Halloween!

bob nailor, dead animal assembly plant, silent hill

silent hill, master of macabre, vote, wicked women writers, most wicked, voter winner, dead animal assembly plant, memorials: lauren bacall, robin williams, p.g. holyfield, events, jeremiah donaldson, plague aftermath, malcolm torres, sailors take warning, necroplolis, guy portman, recipe for murder, esterelle payany, hannibals express sweetbreads, my sucky teen romance, the bunnymen massacre, dead kansas, the remnant into the collision. p.a. davis, tentyrian legacy, elise walters, zombie attack, devan sagliani, deep black sea, david m. salkin, snafu, flash fiction friday, david watson, sumiko saulson, bob nailor

PG Holyfield – family support: http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

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

horroraddicts@gmail.com

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

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Wicked Women Writers Challenge

Click to listen:

Who Will Be “Most Wicked 2013?” Thirteen Wicked Women Writers Compete for the Coveted Title beginning on September 7th.

This year, the WWW Challenge theme is How Will You Survive? Each of our WWW was assigned an apocalyptic disaster, a location, a helpful object, and an untimely disability. Voting starts September 7th and ends October 7th. Stories will air on podcast #95 September 7th on the http://www.horroraddicts.net show. To vote, email horroraddicts@gmail.com. Put “WWW” in the subject line.

wwwposter2013

***CAUTION*** We Strongly encourage you to listen to ALL the stories. Just when you think you have chosen your most wicked story, there’s another story ready to slap you into the face of fear once again. You can also read along with the stories and catch words you might have missed on horroraddicts.net. Be sure and listen to all 13 stories before casting your vote!
The winner will be announced on the October 19th Finale of Horror Addicts.net podcast show. Break a Leg, Wickeds!
The wicked entrants are listed in order of submission for their completed podcasts. Twenty-five entered and only thirteen rose up out of the ashes and completed the challenge. We are pleased to introduce to you the 2013 Wicked entrants.

Contestants:

Leigh M. Lane has been writing for over twenty years. She has ten published novels and over a dozen published short stories divided among different genre-specific pseudonyms. Her traditional Gothic horror novel, Finding Poe, was a 2013 EPIC finalist. Her other novels include The Hidden Valley, World-Mart, and Myths of Gods. You can learn more about Leigh at http://www.cerebralwriter.com/.

Leigh’s story is “Enter the Corruption” Apocalyptic Disaster – Nano tech Invasion | Location – Bullet Train | Helpful Item – Hand Sanitizer | Disability – Extreme Itchiness

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Shauna Klein – I’m a freelance writer, website designer, photographer and overall Jill of all trades that lives in sunny and stormy Florida. Shauna Klein is my pen name and I’m married with children that have fins, feathers and fur.

Shauna’s story is “Static” Apocalyptic Disaster – Terrorist Invasion | Location – Greenhouse | Helpful Item – Skateboard | Disability – Migraine Headache

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DM Slate – Danyelle (aka D.M. Slate) resides in Colorado, where she completed a business degree at the University of Northern Colorado. She’s married to her high school sweet-heart, and together they have a young daughter and son. D.M. Slate’s first publication was released in 2009.

Danyelle’s story is “Veil of Darkness” Apocalyptic Disaster – Strange Matter/Anti-Matter | Location – Interstate Freeway | Helpful Item – Gas Mask | Disability – Elderly Parent

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 Chantal Boudreau is an accountant/author/illustrator who lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and children. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she has had stories published in a variety of horror anthologies. She also has two series published through May December Publications, Fervor and Masters & Renegades. http://www.writersownwords.com/chantal_boudreau/

Chantal’s story is “A Wing and a Prayer” Apocalyptic Disaster – EMP Blast | Location – Airplane | Helpful Item – Rubber Tubing | Disability – Pregnant

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Chantal Noordeloos is a writer from the Netherlands who1999 graduate from the Norwich School of Art and Design (UK) with a major in creative writing. Apart from work, motherhood and a busy social life that also includes -playing in and organising of- regular LARP (live action role play) events, she has been writing stories and honing her writing skills through workshops, seminars and a lot of writing. Chantal lives in The Hague with her family.

Chantal’s story is “Out of a Storm” Apocalyptic Disaster – Super Storm | Location – Haunted Hotel | Helpful Item – Rope | Disability – All Alone

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Rebekah Webb is a freelance writer from California. When she isn’t working on frightening stories or wild comedies about cellophane wearing ladies’ men, she enjoys cooking and various other things, possibly including training squirrels to take over the world. The reason she writes instead of some other creative endeavor is because of one simple truth: Writing rocks.

Rebekah’s story is “Prey” Apocalyptic Disaster – Super Virus | Location – Restaurant | Helpful Item – Baseball Bat | Disability – Allergic reaction

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Anastasia Marie Robinson is a young woman from St. Louis who has a passion for the macabre. She has a strong interest in the paranormal and is also a studying folklore expert. As well as being a published horror fiction writer she also writes reviews and original content for several websites. AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BAGSPS2

Anastasia’s story is “Motherhood” Apocalyptic Disaster – BUGS! | Location – Circus Helpful Item – Backpack | Disability – Small child or baby to care for

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Rebecca Snow lives in Virginia with a dwindling herd of geriatricats. Her short fiction has been published in several small press anthologies and online. You can find her on facebook and twitter @cemeteryflower.com and has an online journal at cemeteryflower.blog.com.

Rebecca’s story is “Hazard” Apocalyptic Disaster – Bio- Terrorism | Location – Golf Course | Helpful Item – Scissors | Disability – No Medicine

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Julianne Snow is the author of Days with the Undead: Book One. An author of speculative fiction with roots deep in horror, she has pieces of short fiction in publications from Sirens Call Publications, OpenCasket Press as well as forthcoming anthologies from Hazardous Press and the Coffin Hop Charity Anthology. http://dayswiththeundead.com/

Julianne’s story is “Not All Jacks are Created Equal” Apocalyptic Disaster – Super Volcano | Location – Commuter Train | Helpful Item – Bottle of Jack Daniels | Disability – Naked

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R.L. Weston lives in Utah amid what her husband refers to as a refugee camp for stray animals. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and participates in the online critique group critters.org.

R.L’s story is “Drug Z” Apocalyptic Disaster – Dirty Bombs | Location – Zumba Class | Helpful Item – Workout Towel | Disability – Children Alone in Gym Daycare

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Maggie Fiske is a secretary, caregiver, musician, creature of the night. I live in Omaha with lunatic cats & a filching ghost.

Maggie’s story is “A Quarrel for Jimmy Lee Killscrow” Apocalyptic Disaster – Solar Flares/ or Gamma Rays | Location – Hunting in the Mountains | Helpful Item – Crossbow | Disability – Hungover

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Sumiko Saulson is the author of three sci-fi/horror novels, “Solitude,” “Warmth”, and “The Moon Cried Blood, and short story anthology “Things That Go Bump In My Head.” Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian, and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area.

Sumiko’s story is “A Birthday Present” Apocalyptic Disaster – Sinkholes | Location – Bowling Alley/ Pool Hall Bar | Helpful Item – Cue Stick | Disability – Lost Glasses

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Amy K. Marshall is a former archaeologist and curator (among many other things), current Director of The Craig Public Library on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, I am also the author of THE FISHING WIDOW (Alaskan Gothic Press 2013). I am an Associate Member of HWA and a member of their Library Committee.

Amy’s story is “Paternoster” Apocalyptic Disaster – Loss of all fuel sources | Location – elevator | Helpful Item – Swiss army survival knife | Disability – sprained swollen ankle

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My name is Killion Slade, the reigning 2012 Wicked Woman Writer. It has been my sincerest pleasure to meet these talented ladies and be a part of their journey this year. One thing is clear, when it comes to scary – women know how to rock it!
We look forward to you listening to all of these amazingly creepy stories and choose who will be your next Most Wicked for 2013. Find out more about Killion’s work at http://www.killionslade.com.

MMM Contestant 3: Donald Pitsiladis

The following text is posted as part of HorrorAddicts.net‘s annual Master of Macabre contest.
This text is presented as is, from the author, with no editing.
Contestants should be judged on text, audio, and use of the challenge items listed. Please read the bottom of this post for voting instructions. Audio is playing at HorrorAddicts.net, #93.

Donald Pitsiladis
Location: Old School House
Item: text book

*******

Memories

By

Donald L. Pitsiladis

Barry pulled his car into a parking spot and closed his eyes.  He didn’t need to see the shattered windows or the broken door to know what they looked like.  The decayed building had been a recurring place in his dreams for many years, but he never believed it to be real until just then.  Fear and guilt flooded his mind when he opened his eyes and saw the building stare at him from the rear view mirror.

He stared at the school, unsure of what to do.  The building reached for him and, before he realized it, Barry found himself at the foot of the stairs.  “Come inside,” a little voice whispered, and he climbed the stairs without another thought.  Once through the door, it slammed with a bang that sounded a lot like a gunshot.  It knocked him to the ground hard enough to throw dust into his face and he began to sneeze uncontrollably.  He tried to open the metal door to get some fresh air, but no amount of force got it to move. The only option left was to venture deeper into the school and look for another way out.

The further into the school Barry went, the stronger his feeling of excitement and dread became.  He remembered attending the school when he was the poor fat kid and the torment and torture his classmates inflicted.  Tears welled in his eyes at the whispered insults when a door opened and the voices beckoned him.  “Go inside.  See the surprise we have for you.  You really need to see it.  Go on in.”  Barry entered the room and saw a gray haired man in a bow tie and white lab coat pace the room with a smile.  It was his favorite teacher, Mr. Jenson, the only teacher to treat him with kindness.  When the gentle man’s eyes met his, the smile fell away and an explosion of red blossomed from his chest.  He fell back in slow motion with arms flailing like a kite tail, while the students erupted into motion when they realized what happened.  Then, two bigger boys sprawled to the ground with similar wounds in their backs before things faded to the empty, dust-covered classroom.  Barry felt the rapid beat of his heart as he tried to make sense of what he saw.  A chilled hand gripped his left shoulder, but nobody stood next to him.

A sound of shuffling feet drew Barry into the hall where he found only undisturbed dust and debris on the floor.  “Keep moving,” a disembodied female voice whispered, so he walked on.  Not long after, a bright flash and muffled boom drew his attention to a dented locker a few feet to his right.  A blond girl with a large gaping hole between her once perky breasts slammed into it.  Her confused eyes met his for a moment before she slid down the length of the door and her head sagged to her chest.  “I loved you,” the female voice whispered and he felt arms envelope his body in a cold embrace.  Barry tried to wrap his arms around the girl, but found empty air instead.  Tears welled in his eyes and he moved on to the next room in his spree.

He found himself in the cafeteria after a short walk. There he pulled up a chair and looked around the room full of unaware students and teachers.  His best friend Jamie entered the large room from the far door and, with a look of disbelief on his face, ran towards him.  “Don’t shoot!” he shouted. “You don’t need to do this!”  The pleas drew people’s attention, so Barry pulled the trigger.  Three people fell before a football player grabbed Jamie and pulled him in the line of fire.  Before the first clip emptied, both boys lay on the ground.

“You killed us,” Jamie said and appeared next to Barry with blood oozing from the holes in his chest.  “Why?” the dead boy asked as his face drew near Barry’s.  “Why did I die, Barry?  I was your best friend.”  The blond girl appeared with her arms still around Barry’s body, “Margaret wanted to be your girlfriend. What did she do to cross you?”  The middle-aged teacher gripped his shoulder tighter as he materialized.  “What about Mr. Jenson?  You were his favorite student.  He treated you better than any other student in his classes.”

Barry’s bottom lip quivered and he stammered, “I… I don’t know.”  He looked at Jamie and said, “I didn’t mean to shoot you.  It was that stupid football player’s fault.  He pulled you in the way.”  When he looked at the other two, his eyes squinted in thought and admitted, “I don’t remember.”  Margaret pulled away from him with a hurt expression that stabbed into him.  “The hospital I went to after made me forget a lot.” He took a step toward her with an apologetic smile, but the look on her face remained unchanged.

“That’s quite all right, my boy,” Mr. Jenson said in his jolly way.  “We’re here to help you remember.”  He led Barry to a desk in the middle of the cafeteria and gestured for him to take a seat.  Jamie plopped a textbook in front of him and opened it to the first page.  “I’m sure this will trigger some of your lost memories,” the teacher said as they looked at his body in a pool of blood.  The gaping hole in his chest and the empty eyes drew Barry’s attention to the photo, and then he noticed how a small trickle of blood from the corner of the teacher’s mouth led to a caption which read “Victim Number One”.  As Barry paged through the book and saw the lives he either ended or destroyed, Mr. Jenson walked behind the counter and returned with the same gun used so many years ago.  “This will be your final exam.”

Margaret sat down next to him and pulled Barry tight against her.  “We want to make sure you’re ready for your afterlife when it is time for your Judgment,” she said with a comforting smile.  Barry felt the comforting grip of his best friend’s hand as it grasped his right shoulder.  The whispers of the dead beckoned him to study.

*******

To vote for this story, send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com with the subject line: MMM. Voting ends September 24th, 2013, 11:59a, PST.

MMM Contestant 2: Rick Kitagawa

The following text is posted as part of HorrorAddicts.net‘s annual Master of Macabre contest.
This text is presented as is, from the author, with no editing.
Contestants should be judged on text, audio, and use of the challenge items listed. Please read the bottom of this post for voting instructions. Audio is playing at HorrorAddicts.net, #93.

Rick Kitagawa
Location: Double Wide Mobile Home
Item: black and white television

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Uncle Neal’s House

by Rick Kitagawa

http://www.rickkitagawa.com

 

 

The house that had previously belonged to Jason’s late uncle was a double-wide mobile home – a surprisingly well-kept number painted a cobalt blue with a bright white trim.  A thick ridge of cardboard-colored pine needles formed a perimeter on the edge of the gently sloping shingled roof.

When Jason walked out of the small uptown law office two weeks earlier, he was more confused than anything else.  He had barely known his Uncle Neal, yet apparently Jason was the only family member who was both invited to the reading of the will or mentioned in it.

All Jason knew about his Uncle Neal was that his uncle had always been a bit of a black sheep of the family, living off the grid in the Sierra Nevada foothills and never really bothering to keep in contact with anyone.  Now Jason was the new owner of his uncles house and Jason had taken a long weekend to go check it out.

Jason crouched on one knee and peered under the house and laughed.  While the house looked to be in fair condition, his uncle had neglected to remove the axles and wheels from the foundation.  Large wooden wedges had been shoved under the wheels to prevent the entire thing from rolling down the gently sloping cliff it was perched on and off into the gorge that only lay about twenty feet south of the house.

Jason walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down.  The gorge dropped a few hundred yards, sharp rocks protruding from the steep cliff face the entire way to the bottom.  He kicked a few rocks off the edge and listened as they ricocheted their way down.  As he watched the pebble careen further and further away, he realized that there was something shiny and black at the bottom of the gorge.

“Well, I guess that’s where the trash bags go.”  Jason chuckled and snatched the keys from his jeans pocket.  “Now, let’s see what’s behind door number one.”

The first key turned easily, the deadbolt snapping back into the door.  The second key took a bit of jiggling, but soon Jason stepped inside.  He flipped the light switch and was greeted with your typical back-country decor.  Fish mounted on plaques.  Boots lining the hallways.  Beige carpeting and worn crocheted rugs over the parts of the hallways that were linoleum.

Jason went back out to his car to get his backpack and duffel bag.  As he reached into the trunk, he suddenly felt like he was being watched.  He looked up quickly.  No one.  The only thing moving was the curtains gently swaying to and fro.  Jason shrugged it off as the wind and gathered his things.

Feeling grimy from the long drive, Jason pulled his ziplock of toiletries from his bag and grabbed a towel from the hall closet and headed to the shower.

As he stepped into the narrow bathroom, Jason noticed a bunch of paint flakes on the bathtub floor.  As he bent to scoop up the paint, he hit his head on the shower wall, making a voluminous “donk.”

Jason bunched up his face and raised an eyebrow.  He looked at the bathroom again – it was indeed very narrow.  Unnaturally narrow.  He knocked on the shower wall, and the sound reminded him of knocking on a ripe watermelon.  Jason set the towel on the sink and walked out of the bathroom.  On the other side of that shower wall was his uncle’s bedroom closet.  Upon inspection, this closet was very narrow as well.

Jason walked back and forth between the two rooms, counting his steps.  They didn’t add up.

Confused and slightly suspicious, Jason went back into the bathroom and stared at the wall.  The shower wall did look like it was a slightly different shade of white than the rest of the room, and the paint was cracking and peeling at the edges.

“Well, it is my house now, I guess,” Jason muttered and gave the shower wall a good kick.  The drywall gave easily, and as Jason looked into the deep blackness, a strange odor seeped out.  It was alien, yet familiar, ancient and salty, but not altogether unpleasant.

Jason began to rip off pieces of the drywall, kicking at it when necessary.  After a few minutes of struggling, a small crevice of a room lay before him.

The room was only about two feet deep – a closet really, but the interior was painted entirely black.  There was nothing extraordinary about this tiny space, save for the pile of strange gold sculptures on the floor.  Jason bent over and gingerly scooped up a handful.  His heart began to race.   The sculptures were often intricately carved in the shapes of things that seemed aquatic but yet bore the full resemblance to nothing on this earth.

Jason felt a hand on his shoulder.  He suddenly spun around, but there was nothing there.  Jason’s eyes darted around the bathroom.  No one.  Rising quickly, Jason rushed into the living room.  Still no one.

“Hello?”  Jason called out.  The front door was still closed, and the windows were still shut from before he had arrived.  Jason’s face went white.  If the windows were closed this entire time, what made the curtains move earlier?

Jason moved quickly to the kitchen, only now realizing that he held one of the grotesque gold statuettes in each hand.  He set one down, and drew a large kitchen knife, then hesitated.  He set the knife on the counter, stuffed the golden figurine into his pocket, then picked the knife back up.

“Whoever’s in here – I’m armed!  Just show yourself and I won’t press charges.” Jason was breathing heavy now, and his nerves were charged.  He strained to listen for any signs of movement.  Just the sound of his heart racing and his rapid breathing filled the air.

Jason slowly creeped over to the door of the guest bedroom.  He quickly pushed the door open.

All Jason found was a bed stripped of its linens.  No place to hide in here.  Jason pulled the door shut.

Out of paranoia, Jason rechecked the bathroom again, then closed the door.  Although he had just recently gotten a towel from the hall closet, he checked that as well.  Still nothing.  Soon, Jason was standing in the hallway, gold idol in one hand, eight-inch kitchen knife in the other.

Jason stuffed the small octopoid figure into his pocket and opened the door to what used to be his Uncle’s bedroom.  There was yet again, nothing there.

“Give us our lives back.”

Jason spun around.  He had clearly heard a woman’s voice behind him, but there was just the empty living room.

“Repent.”  The voice said.  “Repent.”

“Where are you?  Jason took the knife is both shaky hands.  “What do you want?”

Silence.

The old black and white television that sat in the living room suddenly clicked on.  Jason stared at the unplugged machine as the static snow’s buzz filled the air.  Jason felt a hand on his waist and he spun again, slashing blindly behind him. The knife silently cut through air as the hiss of the television grew louder.

“Give us our lives back.”  This time the voice was clear, and as Jason slowly faced the living room, the digital noise of the static began to coalesce into a woman’s face.

“You have what belongs to us”  The face was angry now.

Jason’s eyes grew wide.  He ran back towards the bathroom and dropped his knife on the floor.  He began to shovel the gold trinkets into his pockets, and when they were full, he began to stuff the bottom of his shirt with them.  Sweat began to run in rivulets down his face, and his hands began to shake.

“They’re mine.  They’re mine, and you can’t have them.”  Jason feverishly began to waddle towards the front door when he stumbled and some of the blasphemous figurines fell to the floor.

As he knelt to pick them up, Jason spilled even more of them.  Jason spied his duffel bag and while he clutched his shirt tightly with one hand, he fumbled with the zipper to the bag.  As he began to empty his shirt’s contents into the bag, he could feel scaly hands pulling at his hair and trying to work their way into his pockets.

“No!”  Jason trashed about, but the hands persisted.  He took up his bag and ran for the door, but something grabbed his leg and he tumbled headfirst into the adjacent wall and crumbled to the floor.

 

Jason was outside suddenly, the sky bright with stars.  He saw his Uncle Neal carrying something large wrapped in black plastic trash bags slung over his shoulder.  Jason watched as Uncle Neal, with bloodstained hands, tossed the long package over the edge of the cliff.  Jason seemed to then float above it all as he watched his uncle make four more trips, with four more black lumps.

Jason was then deep in the woods. His uncle was standing in the center of a large circle of blood, placing a plate covered in hearts in the center of the circle.  Uncle Neal stepped out of the circle and lit seven black candles.  Soon, the beating of leathery wings could be heard, and from the cloudless sky descended a faceless, horned monstrosity.  This hideous thing landed soundlessly, then released a deafening, otherworldly shriek.  It snatched up the hearts, and as it lifted off into the air, it dropped a small satchel that landed heavy in the dirt with a clink.

 

Jason managed to open one eye. Something was sticky on the side of his face, and there was a throbbing pain that clouded his already limited view.  Jason immediately reached down to confirm that his golden statues were still safely tucked into his pockets.

He gingerly touched his head, and as he pulled his hand back he found his fingers coated with blood.  It was then he felt the trailer move.  There was a low groaning, and then a high pitched whine.  He could hear something heavy being dragged through leaves, and as he looked out the window, he saw the wheel blocks sitting next to his car.

Suddenly, Jason was flung back to the floor, as the entire house jerked and began to pick up speed as it rolled over the gravel and onto solid dirt.  Jason tried to stand, but his vision was blurry and the room started to spin.  He continued to fumble for his bag and tried to stumble to the front door.

Jason pulled himself up to one knee and watched at the deadbolt on the door slid into place on its own.

Jason began to crawl to the door, then used the doorknob to steady himself as he stood.  He struggled with the deadbolt, but it wouldn’t move.  He began to throw his shoulder into the door, pain arcing through his head with every impact, but the door was surprisingly solid.  As he tried to back up to gain more momentum, he was thrown to the ground as the first pair of wheels went over the edge of the cliff.

Jason slid towards the side of the house tipping over and as he looked through the nearest  window, he could see five women standing at the bottom of the gorge who appeared to be looking up at him.

It was then the house tipped over completely, and as he began to go into freefall, Jason did all he could do – he clutched the bag of golden idols to his chest and closed his eyes.

 *******

To vote for this story, send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com with the subject line: MMM. Voting ends September 24th, 2013, 11:59a, PST.

MMM Contestant 1: Rish Outfield

The following text is posted as part of HorrorAddicts.net‘s annual Master of Macabre contest.
This text is presented as is, from the author, with no editing.
Contestants should be judged on text, audio, and use of the challenge items listed. Please read the bottom of this post for voting instructions. Audio is playing at HorrorAddicts.net, #93.

Rish Outfield
Location: The White House
Item: An unopened letter from 1842

*******

White House Tour

Rish Outfield

In the summer of 2013, I was ten years old.  My mom had remarried, and my new stepdad, Corin, had decided to take us to Washington D.C., to see the nation’s capital.  Corin loved history and the founding fathers and war and stuff, so we went to see the Reflecting Pool, and the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, and something not-at-all-scary called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and on our last day, we were going on a tour of the White House.  Best for last, they kept telling me.

I wasn’t bored, exactly, and Mom had lectured me before we left about not being selfish, and to look at this as a new beginning, and I did try my best to like Corin.  After all, he made my mom so happy, and the smile on her face when he held her hand or put his arm around her or, yuck, even kissed her was a smile I didn’t used to ever see.

We had to wait almost two hours for our turn to join the tour–there had been a whole busful of kids in identical uniforms that got there right before we did–and I kept busy with my iPod until the battery died, and then I had to sit quietly, which isn’t easy as a grown man, and certainly wasn’t as a little boy.  My feet hurt from all our walking, and Corin’s response was that a man doesn’t complain about sore feet.  I responded that ten years old was only a man in Mexico, but he didn’t think I was very funny.

When our tour began, Mom mouthed “Be excited” to me, and I tried to do that too.  I know I wasn’t a brilliant kid, but I had been convinced that we’d get to meet the President–it was Obama in those days–and was really disappointed to find out that wasn’t part of our tour.

The White House was a big, low-ceilinged building, much more like a museum than a house.  There were lots of paintings and desks and cabinets and things under glass, and while the tourguide, a nice stocky black lady in her thirties, was exuberant, I couldn’t get excited about it all, or even pretend to be.  There were a couple of children in our group, but they were drugged or something, because they stayed quiet and looked around with wide eyes like we were at a zoo or toy store.  I thought about sneaking off, going exploring in the huge place, trying doors and seeing if I could find the room where the missiles were or something, but everything was roped off, and there were actually security guards with pistols who were probably just waiting for something to do.

I was staring at a motion detector in the upper corner, watching the red light blink when I moved when I realized I was being left behind.  “Come on,” a voice said, and I was relieved to see another kid my age waving me over.

“Jonathan?” Mom said at about the same time, and I hauled butt to catch up.

“Don’t lag behind, okay, buddy?” Corin said, and I did my best not to scowl at him.  Maybe in his mind we really were buddies.

“Hey,” the boy said, and I said hey back.  “Have you ever been to the White House before?”

“No.  You?”

“I’ve been on more tours than you could imagine.  But I live here, so what else am I going to do?”

“This is our first trip to Washington.  My mom says there’s a lot of crime here.”

“Yes, but there’s crime everywhere you look.  I’m Willie.”

“Jonathan.  How do you not get bored here?” I asked, and I saw Corin stiffen in front of me.  I lowered my voice.

“I do, sometimes.  But Mardelle is a good tourguide.”

I looked to the head of the group to our guide, who was talking about Canadians trying to burn the building down.  I tried to pay closer attention.

“If you’re lucky,” Willie whispered, “she may talk about the ghosts.”

“What ghosts?” I wondered, at full volume.  Whoops.

“Excuse me?” the guide asked, looking right at me.  Now everyone else did the same.

“Are there really ghosts?” I asked.

I saw the embarrassment in Mom’s eyes–but not in Corin’s curiously–but the tourguide smiled.  “I do get asked that a great deal.  And it’s not an easy question to answer.”  She addressed everyone now, and I liked the way her voice projected.  She wasn’t shouting, really, but we could all hear her clearly.  “I, personally, have never seen a ghost here, but many believe the White House to be haunted.  In the three years I’ve worked here, I’ve been on three, maybe four tours, when someone has claimed they saw one.  So, look carefully, and maybe you will too.”  She started walking again, and we followed her.

“See?” Willie said, and his grin was infectious.

“Whose ghost do they see?” asked a man with a cool accent.

The tourguide stopped walking and turned around.  “Usually, it’s Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president.  He’s been spotted here, in the halls, at the window on the east side, and in the Lincoln bedroom, which was a meeting room in his day.”  An old woman on the left looked around as though she was afraid she’d see him too.  My mom glanced back at me and raised her eyebrows.  I did it back.  The guide continued.  “The man who was head tourguide when I first started claimed he had seen Lincoln twice, and heard him several times more, but I was never sure whether he was exaggerating, or just telling a good story.”

“And is he wearing the hat and beard and everything?” I asked.  Corin didn’t seem pleased by this, but I was actually getting into the tour, so he shouldn’t have been able to complain.

“The hat sometimes, but the beard definitely,” the guide said, and people chuckled.

“And how close was the ghost to Daniel Day Lewis’s performance?” my step-dad asked, and most all of the adults laughed at that.  There had been a movie about him around that time.

The guide resumed the tour, now talking about other things.  I wanted to ask more about the ghosts, but got the feeling it would be rude, even though it was relevant to what we were doing.

We passed a big brown chair that looked almost like a throne, and somebody I couldn’t see asked how much of the furniture and stuff was the same today as it was back then.

“None of it,” said Willie beside me.  He was starting to look bored too.

“Hardly any of the original furnishings are still here, though much has been reproduced to look like it did,” said our guide.  “Even most of the walls and ceiling are new.  In fact, today is the first day tours are going into the Autumn Alcove since they renovated that room.  There was a water leak at the base of one wall, and it was all replaced, but it looks identical to how it did before.  Interestingly, they found some coins, some papers, a rusted fork, and an unopened letter from 1842 in that wall.”

“What was in the letter?” I asked, but didn’t dare to raise my voice.

Willie said, “It was nothing.  A dull request for more militia in Rhode Island.  Something about the Dorr Rebellion.  Did I mention it was dull?”

The tour continued, so I whispered to the boy.  “Have you ever seen ghosts?”

Willie shrugged.  “My mom heard Andrew Jackson’s ghost here once.”

“Who’s Andrew Jackson?” I asked.  Not because I was stupid; I knew he was somebody famous, but I couldn’t remember for what.

“Andrew Jackson?” the tourguide said, not at all irritated by my question.  She was cool.  “He was the seventh president of the U.S..”

“Old Hickory,” my new step-dad exclaimed, which didn’t mean anything to anybody.

“Is he a ghost too?” I asked, more to the lady than to Corin.

The tourguide chuckled at that.  I was beginning to think she was pretty.  “Yes, he is–reportedly–one of the ghosts who haunts the White House.  As well as Presidents Cleveland, Harrison, Tyler, and Thomas Jefferson.”

“See,” Willie said beside me.  “She’s the best guide.  One of them, Rodrigo, won’t even mention the ghosts if you ask.”

“They should have a tour that’s just about the ghosts,” I said.

“Shhh,” my step-dad said.  His goofy smile was gone.  Of course, nobody shushed Willie.

I tried not to say anything for the rest of the tour.  Another lady asked if we’d be visiting the Oval Office, so I wasn’t the only one who thought we’d be meeting Obama, but the guide didn’t make her feel stupid in the least.  Being a tourguide didn’t seem like the worst possible job in the world to have.

“Do you want to go exploring?” Willie asked, as we were going around a corner.

I did, most definitely, but I didn’t dare.  I thought I’d been on my best behavior, but I got the impression Corin didn’t agree.  I wondered who Mom would side with, and I dreaded learning the answer.

A few minutes later, we reached the end of the tour.  Mardelle asked if anyone had any questions, and a lady asked about the letter.

“Which letter is that?”

“The one you found in the wall.”

“Oh.  I didn’t find it, some workmen did,” said the guide.  “I never even saw it.”

“But what was in it?”

“Like I said, it was unopened.  No one knows what it was about yet.  Somebody at the Smithsonian is going to take a look, but apparently, that’s a lengthy process.”

“What about the coins?” asked Willie. “Who gets those?”

The woman didn’t answer.  She asked if there were any more questions.

It occurred to me again that nobody shushed Willie, and that I didn’t see his parents around.  “Are you by yourself?” I asked.

He shrugged.

“Do they do reenactments here?” I asked.

“What?” Willie asked.

The tourguide glanced my way, but a man with a–what do you call it–a turban asked her something and she turned her attention to him.  I looked at my new friend.

“Why are you dressed that way?”  He was in old fashioned clothes, though I had only noticed it when I saw his shoes.

“Oh, this.  My mother chose this outfit for me.”

“She works here too?”  Once again, my new step-dad shushed me.  We had reached the end of the tour, so he shouldn’t have cared.  But typically, he still did.

Willie leaned close to me and whispered, “Come on another tour.  They can be fun.”

I nodded, but I doubted we would ever come back.  Little Rock was an awfully long way away.

“Ask another ghost question,” he prompted.  I tried to think of one.

“Any other questions?” she asked.

Somebody asked how much she got paid, and she dismissed it.  Silence hung in the air for a moment, and Willie said, “Ask her if she’s met Willie Lincoln.”

After nobody acknowledged his words, I cleared my throat, and repeated it.

“A good question,” the guide said.  “Another history buff?”

I didn’t know how to answer that.  Willie seemed to be stifling a laugh.

“Yes, another reported ghost is that of William Lincoln, the eleven year old son of Abraham Lincoln.”  Corin gave me a look, but I couldn’t tell if it was irritated or impressed.  Maybe both.

She continued, “He died here in this house, of typhus in, oh, the early eighteen sixties.”

My mouth started to open, and I turned to look toward Willie to say something to him, but he was gone.  Of course he was gone.

We left the White House, got on our bus, and Corin never criticized me for my behavior.  That was nice, but I almost would’ve preferred he yell at me, for the distraction.

When I got back to our hotel room, I plugged in my iPod, and got on the internet.  Sure enough, the friend I’d made on the tour was none other than William Wallace Lincoln, looking exactly as he had in the photograph that came up, the one from his obituary in 1862.

The trip ended up not so boring after all.

*******

To vote for this story, send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com with the subject line: MMM. Voting ends September 24th, 2013, 11:59a, PST.

HorrorAddicts.net 093, Masters of Macabre Contest

Horror Addicts Episode# 093

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Horror Co-Host: David Watson

mmmcontest2013

It’s that time of year again Addicts, time to be entertained by three of our Masters of Macabre!

This year’s challenge is Haunted Houses. They come in all shapes, sizes, and locations with as wide a variety of ghosts, ghouls and poltergeists. See how our Masters handled their particular challenge by listening to the show airing this week at HorrorAddicts.net.

Our entrants this year are:

Rish Outfield

Location: The White House

Item: An unopened letter from 1842

Donald Pitsiladis

Location: Old School House

Item: A text book

Rick Kitagawa

Location:  Double wide mobile home

Item: A black and white television

To vote, send an email to: horroraddicts@gmail.com with the subject line: MMM.

Voting ends September 24th, 2013, 11:59a, PST.

Listen to or read their stories this week on HorrorAddicts.net and vote to win a HorrorAddicts.net prize pack!

Masters of Macabre Challenge Coming!

mmmcontest2013

It’s that time of year again Addicts, time to be entertained by three of our Masters of Macabre!

This year’s challenge is Haunted Houses. They come in all shapes, sizes, and locations with as wide a variety of ghosts, ghouls and poltergeists. See how our Masters handled their particular challenge by listening to the show airing this week at HorrorAddicts.net.

Our entrants this year are:

Rish Outfield

Location: The White House

Item: An unopened letter from 1842

Donald Pitsiladis

Location: Old School House

Item: A text book

Rick Kitagawa

Location:  Double wide mobile home

Item: A black and white television

Listen to or read their stories this week on HorrorAddicts.net and vote to win a HorrorAddicts.net prize pack!

Horror Addicts Nominated for The Polidori Awards

Horror Addicts has been nominated for the Out of the Coffin Dr. John William Polidori Awards for Excellence in Vampire Entertainment!

  • Best Vampire Podcast of 2010
  • Best Author Interview (Emerian Rich) on the Out of the Coffin podcast in 2010

Go there now to vote for us and your favorite vampire media of 2010, including the movie SUCK and TV shows such as The Gates, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood.

http://www.outofthecoffin.com/polidori-awards/