• steven holding

BLOG NUMBER TWELVE: BACK POCKET PROSE POEMS AND SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION

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?”

SCIOPHOBIA

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.

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