I’m not usually one to forcefully exhale through my own brass instrument, but those good, good people over at THE HORROR TREE website (cue a big tip of the hat to Stephanie Ellis and Stuart Conover, because the work they do over there is exemplary) have just published a tale of mine, DA’S SAD, in their weekly online publication TREMBLING WITH FEAR. As well as their usual main course (a fat slice of fearful fiction served up with a side dish of some devilishly dark drabbles) Steph has also been running a fun challenge over the past couple of weeks, inviting writers to submit a horror story told in only fourteen words, then presenting them as part of her editorial. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I’ve managed to pen a few and send them her way. Go check them out. A lot of micro fiction pieces that I write pop into my head during my day job. Consequently, I always end up carrying around countless sheets of folded paper covered in my manic, indecipherable scrawl. Recently I’ve also been working on some twenty-word tales for FROM THE DEPTHS magazine over at HAUNTED WATERS PRESS. Here are some that didn’t quite make the grade, although I've still got a soft spot for them. Don’t worry, they come free of charge.
BEYOND THE VEIL
“There’s only one letter difference between hunted and haunted” I heard someone whisper, “So, what’s it to be then, eh?”
So fearful of shadows, a decision to live in darkness. Prayer and solitude brought enlightenment. The blind can truly see.
NO SECOND DRAFT
I tried to write the perfect life upon a piece of paper. Somehow, I even managed to screw that up.
ZIG ZAG GIRL (PRESTIDIGITATION)
You could say my father was a conjuror. His greatest trick? Making my mother vanish, then sawing me in half.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
She keeps her secrets under lock and key. I know the mysteries stored there, for that’s where she keeps me.
ALLOW ME TO ILLUSTRATE
Everything clicked for the inker when he recognised his ex-lovers face upon his client’s skin. Seeing red, he drew blood.
RHYME OR REASON
She’d been christened Dawn-May Shine, so he called her Poem. She wasn’t averse to this, having heard much worse lines.
Reading wise, I have been working my way through AND CANNOT COME AGAIN: TALES OF CHILDHOOD, REGRET, AND INNOCENCE LOST by Simon Bestwick. Highly recommended.