Tag Archives: horror

Halloween Special

Dearest Reader,

‘Tis with great regret I write to tell you that I have been attacked this night; from the darkness came the spirits of writers past, claiming back the awful stories kept hostage in my grey loft. Surrendering to their threats, I write this message from within the crypt where my dearest memories reside.

Stars dare not cross this sky. Light flails and gasps as the shadows suffocate said emerging spectrum, swallowing its presence with their hollowed souls. Soft gossamer drifts from the ceilings, reminding me of a tale once told many years ago. There was a girl, probably thirteen years or more, who was driven from her home by the vulgar associates her mother entertained. Left to fend for herself, she soon stumbled into an avenue only fit for those who enjoy the benefits of dark nights and full moons. Unbeknownst to this girl, her tantalizing scent and throbbing pulse was all she needed to reside with these pale strangers. Summer came and went and soon autumn set in. She was the subservient messenger for her new found family. Their delicate frames and sharp canines were enough to keep her in check and if she felt an inkling to leave the fine establishment she now called home, the claws of the young, hairy cousins were enough to change her mind.

Halloween approached with the swiftness of death, calling out to all who supported the shadows and skulked in the basements of the decrepit surrounding buildings. At the request of the almost porcelain elders, who sat at the high table all day and all night in the attic, she sifted through the cupboards and larders, searching for something festive. Soon she found a linen closet well equipped for the romantics. Soft gossamer in gold and silver swished through her fingers, drifting on invisible air towards the uneven floorboards under her naked feet. Excited, she ran through the house, hammer and nails in hand and soon the rooms felt like Bedouin tents awaiting pale concubines to perform the sensuous dance of the seven veils for their blue tainted captors. All the residents were pleased with her efforts and promised her light for the first time in that year. Candles were carefully lit and placed around the property, highlighting the gaunt ceilings now chipped and flaking; the gnarled door handles barely capturing the soft light emanating from the waxy tall spires of light. Sadly, that was the last thing the quiet residents saw as the gossamer caught aflame, sucking up the heat with great fervour. Before anyone could escape, the crumbling residence was engulfed, the screams of the girl the last thing passers by heard.

To this day, if you listen carefully, gossamer cries through your fingers as it slinks away, flittering like candle flames from your fingers.

Alas, dear readers, my gaolers have returned to torment me further. They say my stories lack a certain scary quality befitting the day. Apparently, pulling my fingers back and tearing my toe nails is deemed appropriate torture for such a crime. My only solace is knowing that my ears have not been touched, unlike the little boy from No. 16. When he was three, his mother decided to teach him a lesson about listening to her. She decided to scare some sense into him and chose the Halloween night when all the other good children were happily celebrating the existence of witches and ghouls, and gorging on sweets. This tall witch herself, decided to take her dear littling out trick or treating, but with evil intentions, wandered closer and closer to the forest just behind the houses.

Once out of view from the other parents, the nasty woman persuaded her son to follow her into the forest, whereupon she left him for the foxes and wild pigs to devour. The poor child tried to listen out for the direction of her footsteps to find his way out of the labyrinth of statuesque trees looming above him. She laughed and darted to and fro, in and out of sight, calling to him to listen better. What horrible torture for a child so young. Now, deep inside, we all call for the woman to fall to her just desserts, but it is with sadness I tell you what happened next. The wild pigs were not interested in the morsel crying out in front of them. They saw fit to chase and eat the harpy screaming to her young one to follow and listen. The young boy watched his witch of a mother serve a greater purpose in life. Horrified at the sight of her being chewed to nothing, the boy collapsed. The pigs, sensing the youngling’s need for guidance, revived him and led him deeper into the forest where the animals congregated on special occasions. It was decided that they would watch over the child until he was old enough to leave the forest and join the evil mankind who tortured their young. This was never to be. The child stayed young, forever reliving the halloween night.

To this day, if you leave your window open at night, you will hear the cries of the child as he cries for his mother who tried to teach him to listen. Some say it is the cry of the tawny owls, but now you know better.

 Thinking of the youngling never growing old, never leaving that forest, brings to mind certain spirits we were told about by our grandparents when we did not behave: the tokoloshi. To some Afrikaans people, it means, little spirit. To me, it meant little demon! Whenever my grandmother found me doing something naughty (which was often) she would tell me that the tokoloshi would come and teach me a lesson. It terrified me to think that something tiny could reach me and torture me, but to be honest, these spirits holding me down now have similar qualities. I guess our fears never leave us, no matter how old we are and the myths surrounding our childhoods follow us into our old age.

In this welcome, I will bid you farewell. Listen out for the gossamer and the cries of the babe in the woods and think kindly of me, dear reader, for warning you before they come to get you and your half stories awaiting to be told.

 

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Book Tuesday

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. I’m writing this note from my car as I am in the middle of Mum’s Taxi run! Tuesday nights are Girl Guide nights and my two daughters belong to the Guides and Senior Section. On nights like this one, we have to get them to two different locations for meetings or activities within fifteen minutes of each other. Now picture all the other parents attempting to do the same thing for their sprogs who attend Guides, Brownies, Cubs and Scouts. Traffic is a nightmare!

Back to Book Tuesday. Continue reading

Book Tuesday

Glimpses by [Roberts, Hugh W.]Welcome to Book Tuesday. This week, I have a rather special book to share with you. A fellow blogger took the time and effort to create this little gem and shared a collection of his short stories from blog posts over the last few years.

The book is called Glimpses by Hugh Roberts and covers thrilling bite size stories to send shivers down your spine and titillating tingles from the scintillating tales.

When trying to choose a story to highlight, I found myself hard pressed to choose just one. So, instead, I have decided focus on a collection of stories in the book that link together, giving the reader a different perspective into the lives of a family celebrating a wedding.

The Bridegroom, The Wedding Dress, The Stag Party and Mother of the Bridegroom is about Jonathan, his fiance Sarah and their intricately involved friends and family. The Bridegroom introduces us to Jonathan and we meet him on his wedding day, as he prepares for what should be the happiest day of his life. But, things are not as they should be. The happily ever after we are expecting is shattered and we go on to meet Sarah in The Wedding Dress, feeling her happiness as she prepares for her special day. One message, one picture is enough to shatter her dreams, leading to dire consequences and another twist to the tale.

Reliving the Stag Party, we find out why Jonathon feels uncomfortable when his groomsmen decide to enjoy the party more than their groom, discovering that his true feelings lie elsewhere and not in the arms of Sarah. Matthew, his best man and best friend, is nowhere to be found when Jonathan’s temptation leads him astray; then again, they all seem to have something to hide after The Stag Party.

They say mother-in-laws can be downright vicious, even deadly. Well, Mother of the Bridegroom is certainly not someone I would want to tangle with. She has killer looks and a temperament to match! This treacherous tale ties the knot and fastens the bow on the three previous installments, finishing off the fine details of a wedding gone off the rails. Just how far will she go to teach her daughter-in-law, Sarah, a lesson and what is the twist in her own tale?

I hope I haven’t given away too much from these stories. They are full of twists and have a great plotline. Bear in mind, these are just the few tales from the book, Glimpses, and there are many more to enjoy. Given enough time, I would rattle on about the other stories I have enjoyed in this book filled with surprises.

Hugh’s book is available from amazon. Please leave feedback on which story you liked the most and don’t forget to give Hugh a review to let him know how much you enjoyed his book. Every review helps the author.

Glimpses by [Roberts, Hugh W.]

Thank you for joining me. See you next week.

 

Book Tuesday

Hi and welcome back to Book Tuesday.  I hope enjoyed my guest blogger last week, Lance Greenfield, who gave us a glimpse into his favourite childhood book.

hughThis week, we will be covering a genre I absolutely adore and I will be focusing on short stories by a fellow blogger. Many of you will recognise this blogger from his contributions to various blogs, his weekly photo challenge and of course, wonderful short stories that keep us entertained. I am talking about Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News and the genre is horror.

I can’t remember how I met Hugh, but I have been fascinated by his style of writing ever since our first encounter. From straight up comedy to the most grotesque horror, Hugh keeps you on your toes with his beautiful descriptions and fantastic twists woven into his fantastic tales. Whether he tells the story of marriage, or weaves his way through Christmas, Hugh has a way of bringing characters to life. He can even make your lipstick scary!

Hitruth apps largest story posted on WordPress has been The Truth App, a story that makes you think twice about using Ipads!
For those of you who prefer a murder mystery, he has written a four part series called Murder At the Vicarage, a wonderful whodunnit to sink your teeth into.

Please click on the highlighted titles to read the stories – they are definitely worth it.

For this week’s Book Tuesday, I would like to highlight one of Hugh’s earlier works, written in January 2015.  He entered a writing competition for NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge and had less than eight days to submit a short story of less than 2500 words.  

Needles came to life!

“Brief Synopsis: Deborah Gore treated herself to a trip to Delhi, India, for her fiftieth birthday saving herself thousands of pounds in dental and optical treatment by choosing to have surgery performed by Doctor Sinhah.

Four weeks later, back home in the UK and with her confidence at an all time high, she is woken up in the middle of the night by hunger pains which are giving her a craving to eat whatever she can lay her hands on.”

As an animal lover, this story scared the fleas off me!  The straight forward tale of an older woman on holiday seduces you into thinking that this might just be an ordinary tale. As it moves along, something does not feel right. By the time you reach the gore, it’s impossible to stop reading, hoping that the story will pan out and everyone will live happily ever after.  Ha! Ha! Well, you will have to find out if it does! I love the epilogue – the story begins again, sending you down a similar story line, leaving you wanting more.

Please click on Needles to find out what I am talking about and take a gander through Hugh’s wonderful collection of short stories.  Not all are gory.  Not all are horror. Some have such a gentle, humorous reflection on life and though today’s focus is horror, I would be remiss if I did not to mention that there is more to look forward to in Hugh’s collection of Short Stories.

I look forward to reading more of this wonderful blogger’s work and the promise of a book in the near future.  I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me.

Have a great evening.

 

Monday Coffee

Wow!  What a busy night.  Thanks for coming to join me at home.  We have had a hectic schedule with prospective buyers breezing in and out for the past couple of hours.  Needless to say, I was like a mini-Hitler, threatening my children in case they mis-behaved or messed the house in between viewings.

As a reward, I shared a Youtube video with them just before bedtime.  It’s a lovely, informative video about things I fear most…a spider.  I stumbled upon the link whilst looking at houses (don’t ask me how!) and couldn’t stop watching.  The following video might make some of you want to jump and hide behind the sofa, so I shall hold your tea cup whilst you watch it.  Help yourself to a biscuit and click on the link below.

Would you like your teacup back or do you need something stronger after that?  My favourite line is, “Hi baby, did you crawl on my face?”

Swoon!

Well, as you can imagine, my children were very impressed with my vidIMG_2713eo choice and decided to make bedtime interesting.  Hugs and kisses were given and as I tucked them in, my youngest whispered, “I’ve left you a surprise under your pillow!”  Now, in my house, if someone says that to you, check your pillow with very tentative hands!  Can you guess what was hidden under my pillow? This lovely plastic scorpion.  Thanks kids!

Thank goodness all the excitement is over.  We would have been searching the sofa for more ‘suprises’ if they weren’t fast asleep after a very long day.  By the way, check the bottom of your teacup for a surprise.  *grin*

Apart from the shenanigans of cleaning, screaming, cleaning and prepping the house, I’ve been busy editing my friend Lance’s new novel debuting on the 28th of January on Amazon.  Knitting Can Walk is a fascinating story about a young man’s adventures in Hong Kong and the most incredible achievement of his life.  The stories have a hint of truth to them as Lance delves into his past for inspiration, embellishing stories to add humour and fantastic adventures for his main character Callum.  Due to a lack of time, the editing might not be completed to our expected high standards, but we are working hard and fast to get the job done.  No pressure.

My book, The Iron Pendulum is going to be debuting soon and I hope to have chosen my beta readers from my Hot Shots mailing list.  It’s rather exciting to have people from all walks of life signing up and I am looking forward to unveiling some lovely freebies for the children’s books later on in the year.  In the meantime, more editing and of course preparing a decent cover is a main priority.  Has the year only begun, because it feels as if half of it has flown by with all that is happening.

Carol, my illustrator, comes up with an inspiration phrase, quote or mantra every year and earlier today, we were discussing what it should be for this year.  After sharing our ambitions for the year and manic schedules, she came up with the new mantra for this year…slow down in order to visualise and speed up. We are so busy rushing around, we forget to slow down to see the big picture.  Sometimes slowing down helps us find faster solutions to our problems/objectives.  I liked it and thought I would share it with you.

Right, fancy another cup?  I’ll boil the kettle again.

 

 

 

 

 

Needles – 1st Round Entry – NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge

A gory little story written by my friend Hugh of Hugh’s Views & News. A fantastic gem of horror! Enjoy.

The Iron Pendulum continued…!

Puffnel looked at the two detectives standing over him as he sat in Interview Room 3 at the Bagley Police Headquarters. The overalls he wore chaffed at his raw behind and his eyes watered as they tried to focus on what the detectives were threatening. With no access to his usual medicines to break the long days, he was finding it hard to stay focused without craving or ranting. A problem the other inmates seemed to cure with violence and intimacy the good doctor wasn’t so ready to accept.

“Look Puffnel, I can make this easy for you. Give us access to your patient files without us waiting around for a court order and we will put in a good word for you to be sent into isolation.” Perkins stepped back as a sign of good will. Jones wasn’t as forthcoming and kept his overbearing stance over the handcuffed prisoner.

“Okay! Okay! I get you. You want to see my patient files to see if there is a connection between Julia, myself and someone else. Did I get it?”

Jones nodded.

“I can tell you that without you having to pilfer through my private clients. I was the doctor to Julia and her brother for a few years when they were younger. They had…issues…that needed to be dealt with.”

“What issues?” Perkins stepped forward again, his pointy chin jutting out.

“They had to deal with some issues that had arisen at home. A death in the family.” Puffnel’s tortoiseshell glasses slipped to the edge of his nose and he leaned to his cuffed hands to fix them.

“Why was this death so significant to the Webster children?” asked Perkins.

“Because…because it was their sister that had died!” Puffnel said, exasperated. “I don’t see how this has to do with Julia’s disappearance or the slaughter left in my office, but that’s what I know.”

“And what did you have to treat them for? Shock? Depression? Anxiety?” asked the curious Perkins.

Puffnel hung his head, lolling it from side to side. Perkins glanced at Jones who watched the doctor with hawk eyes. A small giggle escaped from the doctor’s lips. When he lifted his head again to face the two men, his eyes were bloodshot and tears ran down his face.

“FEAR!” Laughter ripped from the doctor’s mouth, shocking both men back a step or two. Had the doctor gone mad in captivity?

“What did they have to fear Doctor Puffnel?” Perkin’s voice was gruff and his question had a warning note to it which the doctor didn’t seem to notice.

“Oh yes! They had a lot to fear. Never judge a book by its cover gentlemen!” The doctor squeezed his eyes shut, laughter shaking his body in spasms.

Excerpt taken from The Iron Pendulum by Eloise De Sousa.