Saturday, December 31, 2011

DARKTOWNE...

...has arrived!

New from H Harksen Productions is my collection of industrial horror stories entitled DARKTOWNE. This is a collection of stories about vampires, zombies, blood whores, ghosts, witches, mutants, demons, living slime, and others that may seem vaguely (or not so vaguely) familiar who populate a ruined and dying town descending into madness, and those trying to escape.

The TOC is…

Prelude: The Afternoon of a Faun

Night Demons
Baden Street Blues
Blood Whores
Kaba
The River Rats
The Toad-Witch
The Witchfinder
Noah's Ark
Like a Thief in the Night

Postlude: The March Hare

Like Henrik says, Welcome to Hell on Earth - welcome to Darktowne!

Check it out at Lulu!

Friday, December 30, 2011

THE HAUNTING

This is the film version of Shirley Jackson's novel THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. A really creepy movie (and book), much better than the remake.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGHEEPIAN HISTORY

Coming VERY soon to eBook is my fantasy satire collection, Selections from…THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGHEEPIN HISTORY with stories by me, song lyrics by Christene Britton-Jones, and cover art by Sunny Hatter.

Try it out, get slagged, shagged, hoed, maybe even have your head bounced or stuffed between Bertha Bustanut’s two gargantuan enormous milkers! Such a disastrously horrible thought…unless you’re into that…

Beeee that as it may, here’s the eBook blurb on the subject…

Civilizing with a grunt and a groan; that’s what it says at the beginning of “Tale of the Trojan Sphynx.” Well, yeah, might as well say that’s how it all started. Grunting and groaning. But that little experiment in Slagheep’s primordial slothic scummy dooey goo has given us some of the most vile disgusting gut belching, ass farting, nitwits and numbskulls the multiverse has ever witnessed. Care to witness for yourself? Then dive in. At your own risk of course.

A little irreverent.
Some adult content.
Some satire.
Some fantasy.
A lot of fun.

Here’s a few of the colorful characters that you’ll find in Selections from...THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGHEEPIAN HISTORY -

• Lil’ Skippy Shitler in his bid to enact war on anyone over two feet in height.
• Bertha Bustanut who makes an unscheduled stopover in the Slagheepian village of East Mudbucket.
• Timidly Blurry the king stoner brought back from the dead to promote one last multiversal “rok” concert.
• Doktor Froggenstein and his terribly horrible nasty experiment.
• Elderly Billy Space Codger and the December Frog reminiscing about the old days.
• Billy Space Dude…yeah, there was an unfortunate time warping accident.
• Cap’n Brane Phart traveling the Spaceways for excitement and adventure.

Come for a ride on the Spaceways across the multiverse with these colorful characters and an amalgam of other such ne’er-do-well nitwits and join in their galvanizing misadventures. You’ll be on Slagheep in no time!


Okay, so there ya have it, that’s the blurb that will appear with the eBook. Here’s the entire TOC…

Varnie Proposes Marriage
Rasta Booglely-Doo and the Old Seer of Frogtown
The STRANGE UP & DOWN World of FLAVOR & CHARMing COLORs
Sheisgrooby!
The Terrible Tragedy of One Colorful Character
The Church of the Holy Shaggaho
Tale of the Trojan Sphynx
Time Warped
Billy Space Codger & the December Frog
Spaced Out in East Mudbucket
Sex, Drugs, & Siren’s Songs
Froggenstein’s Monster
Brain Transplant
Time & Time Again
Blue Moons over Widdlydink
The Other Slimy Cesspool of a Frog Shit Village
The Mesmerizing Sound of Lethargic Radiation

I might add that the book (minus the story “Sex, Drugs, & Siren’s Songs” - that’s a new one) appear in print form from Lulu.

Monday, December 26, 2011

THE BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE

I love this film, especially the sound the "beastie" makes. A classic B-grade movie.

A-Z, CITIES OF DEATH


My story D I FOR DARKTOWNE “An Eye for an Eye” will be appearing in the Static Movement anthology, A-Z, CITIES OF DEATH, edited by Dean Drinkel. Here’s a little sample of the story -


Jolly Roger Johnson was a jolly fool alright. Yeah. More than that, he was a certifiable jolly bastard and lunatic.

One creepy crazy son-of-a-bitch.

Always going against the grain; taking chances, dodging the night, crouching in the dark with the little worm eaten wooden box tucked under an arm. Called it his Box of Shades. Never let anyone see what was inside.

Jolly Roger ran the night creeps down alleys and byways, always looking for a thrill then hiding from it when it popped up in all its ugly deadly dangerous glory.

Like a gang of slime infested murderous thugs banging some righteous good looking chick while her boyfriend/husband/father…whatever…was forced to watch before blowing their brains out or sticking them on a parking meter. Sometimes the dude died and the lady didn’t. Keep her around for fun and games.

And there were the dead bastards. Zombies that climbed out of their graves, lurched around in the dark, caught unsuspecting night walkers that thought they were safe only to howl bloody murder when the zombies started sharing the poor fool or foolette for lunch. A rip of flesh here, a pluck of an eyeball there.

Always the same. Ordered up and served. Zombie fodder.

Then there were the vamps. Looking like something out of the fifties with jeans, black leather jackets or white t-shirts.

And slicked back hair except for the female vamps. Hell, the lady vamps hardly wore anything at all and usually sported long straggly hair. Always laughing, always violent. Just didn’t want to get caught by a fucking bloodsucker.

Even worse, more than one bloodsucker.

Like this night; Jolly Roger damn near walked straight into a half dozen blood sucking vamps partying down with a poor unfortunate couple caught out after dark. Wasn’t long before two of the vamps took to the night sky with the young man who was howling at the top of his lungs.

Four blood suckers stayed behind to entertain the young woman. They stripped her clothing as quick and easy as peeling a banana, shared some bat-dick with her, then passed her around for a midnight cocktail.

Blood from a breast.

Both breasts.

Good enough for now.

With a blood sucker on each ankle, they disappeared down the night black alley, dragging the poor bitch with them. No doubt for a snack sometime before dawn.

They hadn’t noticed Jolly Roger crouching behind an overflowing dumpster, the little Box of Shades tucked under an rm. The dumpster was burning with something dead inside. Hell, it smelled, and was hot. Got Jolly Roger to sweating, hoping those bloodsuckers would get done and get out so he could get out with his blood intact. After all, he had a job to do, a setup.

He hurried away, skirting the shadows, and headed south toward the East Midlothian neighborhood.

** **

Hope you like it and pickup the anthology! Many thanks…

Oh yeah, while I’m at it, I ran down Mister Tangiers in a dark basement corner of some long deserted and abandoned building, tried to drag a few words of his story out of him for the same anthology. Reluctantly, he scribbled a few, and told me to get out before Mister Legs got pissed. Was good advice; a few bodies were wrapped up nice and tight I saw in the shadows…anyway, a tiny slice of Tangiers’ U IS FOR UBAR “The Crypt of Alhazred”…all that Tangiers would cough up…


Able Allerton camped. He didn’t want to arrive at the Ubar ruins in the middle of the night. Something inside had begun to whisper that the stories were true, djinns and night spirits bad enough to make a mess of your mind.

Just couldn’t shake the idea.

Yeah, that spooky shit.

Especially so when that howling demon wind came racing across the sands and swirled around Able’s tent.

Freaked him out, sat him right up in his tent.

He peered about wildly.

Fuckin’ djinns! Fuckin’ killer djinns!

Shadows danced, eerie shadows like djinns laughing and calling to him.

Made Able shiver and scramble on all fours, a mad dash into the night where only embers fluttered around his now nearly dead camp fire, tiny glowing firelights that rode currents of air, quickly dying as they rose.

Off in the distance a soft eerie glow of light swirled like windblown fog across the sands where the ruins of Ubar were suppose to be.

It looked like ghosts in a slow swirling dance of the dead, and beacons of lights dancing about writhing shadows.

Torches held by something unholy, heathenish, otherworldly.

Howling a rite of death.

Calling to Able to join their macabre masque.

They were there, spirits and djinns, and they knew Able was there, not far away.

Coming to their kingdom.

Their city of the dead.

Ubar.

Irem, the City of Pillars.

Perhaps best known as the Nameless City.

Able’s thoughts focused; he frowned. Yeah, the Nameless City…Alhazred’s City.

And Able Allerton suddenly began to wonder if he shouldn’t have left well enough alone.

He chuckled.

A weak half-hearted and fearful chuckle.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CURSE OF THE DEMON

AKA NIGHT OF THE DEMON, one of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

FEAST OF THE DEAD


Okay peoples, I noted in a blog just a few beneath this one that Static Movement had just released their FALL SHUDDERS anthology. Included is my story, “Feast of the Dead.” Here’s a brief excerpt of the story. Hope you like it and pick up a copy of the anthology!


It was still All Hallows Eve.

The world had started to fade back in again.

A blurry spiral. Dizziness and pain. Jena’s cheek hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. Hell, if it wasn’t dark and she had a makeup mirror, she would have seen a big black and blue mark spread out on the side of her face. Nate had walloped her good.

Bastard, came the thought through her addled brain and pain.

Her vision began to clear and she saw them. Two dozen or so. Weirdo freakazoids. All dressed up in dirty white burlap sacks, their faces painted over with dirt or ash or…what had Nate said?...oh yeah, charcoal.

Jena chuckled. Soft, painful.

A bunch of freaky looking scarecrows they were. A bunch a back country bumpkins clamoring around at the edge of the cemetery. A big bonfire hissed and crackled, spread a dim orange light through the little cemetery.

Yeah, Hallowe’en.

Long shadows faded into the night.

And that prick, Nate Warwick, was right in there with those weirdo freakazoids all decked out in charcoal painted face and dirty white burlap.

Goofy bastard!

“You son-of-a-bitch!” Jena shouted, then winced. Damn, her face hurt.

About that time she realized she was strung up on a wooden pole. Arms outstretched over her head, wrists bound by a rope. Feet barely touched the ground. And stark naked as a jaybird in front of God, country, and two dozen plus weirdo freakazoids.

Kinda dawned on her right then and there when she started to go after Nate. The rope went taunt, hauled her ass back. The back of her head bounced off the pole with an audible thud.

“Shit!” she growled.

Eyes squinted.

More pain.

Saw stars.

Now her cheek and the back of her head hurt. Vision blurred a bit, but cleared fast.

Saw some silly bitch in a scarecrow getup doing the eye of newt, bat’s blood, frog’s tail thing in some big bowl on the stand. There was a fire crackling in that bowl, and smoke rolled out, smelled funny. Like a drug or something. The silly bitch started talking some strange bullshit, like a witch doing the bubble bubble toil and trouble routine.

Then the rest; they started the same droning nonsense. Only Nate wasn’t joining in their merry festivities.

Or was he?

He started toward Jena. His eyes were narrowed, glassy.

Sniffing the smoke out of that bowl most likely.

“About time you stopped this nonsense,” Jena growled as Nate approached. “Untie me from this…”

It was about then that Jena got a whiff of that smoke wafting from that bowl. Sent her thoughts spiraling. Kind of a cool spiral though. Real freaky. Like she was doing coke or crank or something. Wow!

Everything suddenly turned surreal. The scene seemed to swim, distort. Time slowed. Jena chuckled as she turned her gaze to Nate. He stood there; he had dropped his burlap, and looked like he was about ready to rock and roll Jena’s world.

“Wow baby!” she suddenly cackled.

Nate reached up, grabbed Jena, and spun her around; jacked her up face first against the pole. Then hiked her legs and took it to her hard, deep, and slow in rhythm to the weirdo freakazoids yaking their nonsense.

Jena squealed, and laughed, and gasped. The drug coursed through her lungs, her thoughts, her brain.

“…fertility rite...,” she heard Nate growl softly into her ear.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SYNAPTIC VOID

Joe Jablonski has excepted my Lovecraftian story, “The Last Singularity,” for his upcoming Static Movement anthology SYNAPTIC VOID. Many thanks Joe!

Here’s an excerpt of the story -


64 days…

Jo Bon ran.

He ran for his life. Ran and ran and ran.

He was terrified. Something pursued. Crawled, writhed. Reached. Clawed.

Something slithered across a shoulder. Around his neck.

Then synched up tight. Constricted. Pulled.

Jo Bon was lifted off the ground. The thing tight around his neck. Growing tighter. Cutting off his air. Cutting into his skin.

Blood trickled. No longer could he scream.

Then he was dead. Hung by the thing that had pursued him.

Had he not lusted after the women of the tribe. Had he not forced himself upon one of them...

They did it, the tribesmen. Had called that thing from the depths of the soil. A great snake-like god. Relentless in its pursuit. Relentless in its vengeance.

“Is it?”

Traisha Gavan sighed as she knelt next to the pooling blood, switching off the electronic device. “Yes, it’s him.”

Traisha and Chal Ballakhan peered up into the cavernous dark. Far above in that blackness hung Jo Bon’s body. A cargo chain wrapped around his neck, cutting so deep that his blood dripped to the cold damp floor.

“He said something was after him,” Traisha said.

“His mind,” Ballakhan replied.

“Maybe.”

Ballakhan stared. Then turned away. Crossed the cargo hold toward the hatch.

“Shouldn’t we get him down?” Traisha called out.

“Leave him be.” Then Ballakhan was gone, a closing hatch echoing in the dark.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

THE SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY OF AZATHOTH

an excerpt

Received a script in the post this morning from GB—, an old friend; got himself a flat up Middlesbrough way in the northeast of the UK. We go back a long ways, GB— and me. Use to go pub crawling along the Ouse years ago. Huntingdon, Houghton, the Hemingford’s, St Ives. I stayed in Houghton, got me a place down Thicket Road east of the old mill; GB—, he went up north, got his place in Middlesbrough. Always kept in touch.

Guess I oughta say something ‘bout GB—‘s script. It’s a hand-writ script, got a lot of stuff in it ‘bout philosophy and science. He had himself a good sense for things like science and philosophy. As long as I can remember he had. Was always reading them books about Zen and motorcycles and black holes. Something about Tao and strings and membranes. I didn’t have half a notion ‘bout any of it. But GB—, he did. He knowd all that stuff.

GB—‘s script had the words A Case for Grand Design writ ‘cross the top. I ‘spose that was what he was gonna call it. Underneath that was some scribbling, words and names and such. Missing the first part of what GB— writ ‘cause the first page was tore off ‘bout half way down.

Be damned if I knowd what was getting into his head. Lot of crazy talk. Started off well enough, but got kind of crazy later on. Stuck in some words and phrases that just didn’t seem to go there. Least they didn’t sound right. But I kept them there for anyone to have a look at. Might be able to make better sense of it than me.

Looks like GB— was afraid of something, like he was hurrying to figure out what this Grand Design thing was all about. I remember, weren’t too long ago, GB— was talking ‘bout something, think he called it Unified or something like that. Had something to do with Einstein and folk like that. GB— was all excited ‘bout it. Couldn’t hardly contain himself. Well, I caint make no sense of it. Best that somebody else does.

I ain’t gonna claim that I know a wit ‘bout what he’s talking ‘bout, but I’m gonna put down here GB—‘s words and make them italics to separate them from my own words and comments and notes. Might not have much sense to make out what GB— was trying to say with all this philosophy and science, but I sure as hell don’t know what he was meaning to say at the end with them fancy foreign words. Will put them down as they are. Let someone else who knows these things figure it out.

Now this here starts with the second page:

** ** ** **

This and 25 more stories of horror, science fiction, and fantasy now available in DREAMS & NIGHTMARES, an eBook from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

THAT HIDEOUS THING

UPDATED: see below after the excerpt...

** ** ** **

...an excerpt -

Marge shakes the dust from her notes. Turns her eyes back to what’s written. She pages, glances at names. Headings.

Nitocris.

Caesar.

Magdalene.

Red Jack.

Bovary.

De Sade.

Crowley.

She sits back, a blank stare, then glances at a bulletin board peppered with lost and found notes. Mostly people, relatives, and friends looking for people, relatives, and friends. Some notes are otherwise. Notes of information and requests. Like Marge’s note.

Marge’s note clings to a corner of the board. Looking for information about Ibn Schacabao. That strange man from the 8th Century. Still alive. A pact with the Old Ones, it’s rumored. So said Marge’s research.

And he’s here, in London.

Marge knows; she smiles.

** ** ** **

Read the entire story in my new eBook, DREAMS & NIGHTMARES, soon to be released.

** ** ** **

UPDATE

Okay folks, it's now available for Kindle from Amazon. Only $.99. Cheap. No excuse NOT to get it. Unless you don’t like horror, or fantasy, or science fiction, or Lovecraft, or demon gangsters, or beasts in closets and under beds, or Indian legends, or the Boogeyman down at the end of the lane. Or if you don’t have Kindle. But that’s alright. It’ll be coming soon from Smashwords for B&N’s Nook and other applications.

And for the record, the TOC is…

That Hideous Thing
The Devil’s Whore
The Vampire
The Haunted
Lily
The Bayou
Scotch Hill
Dark Hollow
Dreams and Nightmares
Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long Legged Beasties…
In the Closet
Under the Bed
The Boogeyman’ll Getcha!
They Only Come Out at Night
Turnabout is Fair Prey
The Science and Philosophy of Azathoth
Money Bags Maloney and the Bank Teller
Resurrection Road
Thunder’s Eyes
Devil Riders
Operation Silver Rain
Zeroes and Ones
An Auld Acquaintance
Zombification
The Eternal Dark
Raptured

FALL SHUDDERS

Okay folks, the FALL SHUDDERS anthology from Static Movement is now on the market; grab a copy! TOC is...

Blood and Straw by George Wilhite
A Great Day For A Wedding by Brianna Stoddard
Trick Our Street by Adam Francis Smith
Comes the Sweet Autumn by Dorothy Davies
The Order of the October Chaff by Ron Koppelberger
Consumption by Wesley Dylan Gray
Hollow's End by Greg Miller
Devil's Den by Thomas M Malafinara
The Harvest Song by K R Helms
Pumpkin Soup by Naomi Clark
Death Visits Oktoberfest by Dave Fragments
Hannah by Jason Brawn
The Fragility of Late August Light by C. A. Kerr
Hannah by Jason Brawn
Friend Neighbor Killer by Kevin L Jones
Grandfather Jack O'Lantern by Ken L Jones
Between The Cottonwoods by James Sabata
Feast of the Dead by Ran Cartwright
Conjuring the Corpse Candles by Marianne Halbert
Claudia's Thumb by C D Carter
Killing For The Party by CD Carter
Sisters of Mercy by David Perlmutter
Melding by Neil Leckman
Saving Alice by Neil Leckman
Don't Lose Your Head by Darren Woon
Remembering The Dead by Aurelio Rico Lopez III
Harvest Moon by Naomi Clark
Halloween by Jeff Jones

Now available at Pill Hill Press.

Monday, December 12, 2011

DREAMS & NIGHTMARES

Okay folks…coming soon, REAL soon...trying Darcie Chan’s method of publication, I’m jacking this little collection through the aether airwaves. It’s going to be released on eBook first before print. See how well this goes, I may consider releasing a few more on the eBook format, including my HM and Slagheep collections. They will certainly be a lot cheaper!

So, here’s a little bit of a publicity blurb:

DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES is a mixed collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and tales of childhood fears. Some include –

THUNDER’S EYES
Terror strikes travelers on lonely stretches of Nevada highways when an Indian legend comes to life.

THE VAMPIRE
Members of the Vampyre and Goth subcultures are rattled by the appearance of a real vampire.

THE DEVIL’S WHORE
Roaring 20s Chicago. Gangsters run a nightclub/speakeasy. Not your ordinary speakeasy. Not your ordinary gangsters. These gangsters are demons, and they’ve come to gather victims for the Big Boss. Their method is a little game they play that could make you The Devil’s Whore.

THE BAYOU
Something lurks deep in the bayou near Carondelet, Louisiana. Two mysterious men suddenly come to town and become embroiled in the events. One is a priest, the other a dead man. One has come to save, one to destroy.

RAPTURED
A third of humanity disappears overnight, but it isn’t God that has come for them.

THE BOOGEYMAN’LL GETCHA!
The Boogeyman lurks down at the end of the lane. Tom Midland remembers the Boogeyman; it made off with Tom’s friend Jimmie when they were children. Now Tom has come back to the old neighborhood and is going to settle the matter once and for all.

THAT HIDEOUS THING
The Black Goat of a Thousand Young haunts war-torn London.

THE PHILOSPHY AND SCIENCE OF AZATHOTH
GB was researching and writing a treatise on God and “The Case for Grand Design.” But the only god he found was the mad god Azathoth at the center of all things.

MONEY BAGS MALONEY AND THE BANK TELLER
“Money Bags Maloney” robs a bank, and makes off with a bank teller. He’s got it made until he crosses paths with a beautiful Indian woman that’s a skin walker on a long stretch of Arizona desert highway.

These tales and others in this collection will haunt your DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE

Continuing the listing of my favorite B grade films from the 50s & 60s, another is the above mentioned film. This was ALIEN before there was ALIEN. Seeing this film when I was about 7 just creepied me out. But I loved it, and still do.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DARKTOWNE

H Harksen Productions is soon to release my collection of industrial horror stories entitled DARKTOWNE…the stories include –

Prelude: The Afternoon of a Faun
Night Demons
Baden Street Blues
Blood Whores
Kaba
The River Rats
The Toad-Witch
The Witchfinder
Noah's Ark
Like a Thief in the Night
Postlude: The March Hare

Many thanks to Henrik for all his work and refinement of this collection. I’m greatly indebted to him for making it possible that this collection sees the light of day…well, the dark of night.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

KRONOS



Yeah, I’m a sucker for 1950s – 60s B horror and science fiction films. Like this one, KRONOS. I loved this big box stomping across the countryside, sucking of up power. And the sound it makes while moving…wonderful!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

HORROR BLOGGER ALLIANCE - NOW 700 STRONG



...and because this is a cool pix...

Friday, October 28, 2011

WIRED

Sometimes it’s good to be wired, thoughts and images and other weird shit plugged into your brain. But you’d better have someone watching the dials and gauges and dancing needles ‘cause if something would go wrong and a breaker doesn’t trip to save your ass…it could take you down so far you can’t get back up again. Smell that? Smells like fried synapses, doesn’t it?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

OF GODS & ALIENS

Now available from lulu.com.

TABLE OF CONTENTS...


FIRES
THE STARLET AND THE FISHMAN
DOWN ON THE FARM
NITIQRET’S NECKLACE
DE MARIGNY’S CLOCK
THE SCUTTLER IN THE DARK
A FISHERMAN’S TALE
RETURN TO THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
AZATHOTH AWAKENING
ARKHAM SHADOWS
THE DIA TESSARON DESTROYED
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY
THE HOUSE IN THE VALLEY
INNSMOUTH HARVEST
Y’HA-NTHLEI RISING
OF GODS & ALIENS
THE CIRCLE
THE CHRONICLER
THE COMING
THE CANDIDATE
HAGIF
DAMASCUS
SHAR-I-GHOLGHOLA
UBAR
Z’TOGGUA
SHOG-E’YAHG
CH’G-GHRAL
A FESTIVAL OF WINDS
RHAN-TEGOTH
FIRE AND ICE

Saturday, October 8, 2011

COLUMBIANA MUSIC - A Fading Dream?

A little change of pace for this page...a little reflection...

I haven’t played in a band since 1997. That was The River Project in northern Idaho. The photo here was taken during those brief years (at the Moscow, Idaho Renaissance Festival). We did 99% originals and released a locally available CD entitled Sessions.

Before The River Project I played in a variety of bands stretching all the way back to my teen years in my hometown of Columbiana, Ohio. That’s where it all started. Columbiana.

Back then there was a core group of people that seemed to float between bands. Three or four bands at the time. Musicians included myself (drums), Ray Griggy (drums), Stan Sitler (drums), Tom Poirier (drums), Robbie Olenik (guitar), Neil Hobart (guitar), Eddie Richardson (guitar), Dave Hall (guitar), Dan Tharp (guitar, bass), Dick Rapp (bass), Ronnie Perkins (bass), and Clint Parker (keyboards). I’m sure there were others at one time or another.

Yeah, we all had fun no matter who we were playing with at the time, what band we happened to be in.

But why Columbiana? Why a fading dream? Other than the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, there were two major events that were big influences on me and my desire to play music. One was the 4th of July tennis court dances that use to be held in Columbiana. The other was bands that played at the Street Fair (two semi truck flatbed trailers made the stage). I was too young to play the tennis courts before they were discontinued. The Street Fair was never considered at the time.

The fading dream…yeah, I’d love to play one more time. I’d love to play with a few old friends from those days and play a Street Fair on the two semi flatbeds or petition the city to allow one more tennis courts 4th of July dance. Play all those old rocker tunes we use to play…the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Alice Cooper, Steppenwolf, Cream…the list goes on and on.

But the dream IS fading. Ronnie, Robbie, and Dave are gone. Most I have no idea where they are, if they’d play, if they still play at all, if they are or are not interested. Too much time and distance, I suppose.

Perhaps it’s true that you just can’t go back to where you once were.

But the dream of that one final concert back home where it all started is ever present.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

AT THE HOTEL MONTICELLO

…an excerpt


There was a scream beyond the wall, and a rush of flame. Turned everything a deep orange for a moment. Then faded. The scream and the flame.

Chelsea reached for the gate. Fingertips touched the cold surface. Hesitant, and then she pulled away.

“It’s a bad world out there, deary. I’d think twice before going out that gate.”

Chelsea turned.

The words belonged to an old woman. Diminutive. She stood there. A smile on her face. A bow and violin in hand. More makeup plastered on than a whore down on 14th Street.

“If you plan on going out, of course,” the old woman grinned. Nodded.

Chelsea stared.

Silent. Surprised.

“You’re new here, aint ya?” the old woman sighed. “Oh, they come and they go.”

Chelsea glanced at the gate. “No no, I’m not going” she said. Soft. Uncertain. “And yes, I’m new here,” she added, turning shadowed eyes to the old woman. “Where is here?”

“The Hotel Monticello, deary,” she replied. She chuckled. “Where else would you be?”

The old woman shuffled around on her tiny feet, mumbled something to herself, and disappeared through a door into the dimly lit edifice that rose above them.

A shadow moved in the shrubbery.

A man.

Dressed in black pinstriped suit, crushed velvet Fedora tilted over an eyebrow. He looked every bit a gangster...

Chelsea’s assessment halted. A faint memory lost, something familiar, but distant. She couldn’t bring it forth, and brushed it aside.

The man stepped forward, hands shoved in his pants pockets. He smiled. Nodded.

Nice, Chelsea smiled back. First impressions and the lot. A thought flashed: screw this guy.

Not the professional kind of screw.

The pleasurable kind.

She was impulsive.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear,” the man said. He was still smiling. “You gotta forgive Gladys; her mind drifts...”

“Should I also forgive you?”

He was caught off guard. “For?”

Chelsea’s grin was taunting. “For lurking in the bushes and listening.”

He chuckled, bowed. “I apologize,” he said, and tipped his hat by tugging its brim.

Her eyes narrowed. Her head tilted. “I accept.”

They turned to the sounds beyond the wall. No distractions. Chelsea barely heard. Her thoughts were elsewhere occupied. She grinned. Hidden in the shadows.

“Not many are here now,” the man said. He sighed. “People get a hankerin’ about what lies outside that gate. They go, and don’t come back. People die out there.”

“How did you get here?”

He smiled, nodded at the gate. “Through that gate.”

“You said that people die out there.”

“Yeah, they do. Those that ain’t got enough wits to survive.”

“Like you,” Chelsea replied. Her smile widened.

“Yeah, doll, like me.” He winked.

“How long have you been here?”

“About a month,” he replied. “Not as long as the others here.”

“How many others?”

“Oh, a dozen or so,” he said. “I don’t know ‘em all. You met Gladys, the old dame playin’ a sad cryin’ violin. And the desk clerk that don’t take no money; the bartender who looks after the empty hotel nightclub; Reggie Johnson and Susie, the gay couple, Susie’s a former prison bitch; Philip Blayne, plays the blues on a piano in the nightclub; Dixie Davis, the singer; I’m tellin’ you, doll, she’s gotta voice as sweet as a nightingale,” he said, and blew a kiss to the dusk.

Or dawn.

“The desk clerk doesn’t take money?” Chelsea interrupted.

“No need to, not in a place like this,” he said, and nodded to the gate, “and a world like that. You just pick the room you want, tell the desk clerk, and he’ll give you a key.”

“If it’s so safe here, why a key?”

“You never know, doll,” the man said. “First night I was here, old Gladys wanted to leap in the sack with me.”

Chelsea’s eyes flashed. Her smile widened.

“I can see why,” she replied.

No mistaking her tone of voice.

Baited and hooked.

His eyes narrowed, looked down. Saw the light in hers.

“It’s getting’ cold out here,” he said.

“It is,” Chelsea said.

“Shall we go inside?” he said, and winked. “I got me a suite on the second floor.”

“Show me?”

The tone of voice was sultrier.

Seductive.

He knew he could have plastered her face first against the gate, and screwed her right then and there in the shadows of the edifice. But the suite was more private.

Afforded more uninterrupted entertainment.

And a chance to get reacquainted. She certainly didn’t remember.

“Certainly, doll,” he replied and offered an arm.

She hooked it. The two of them turned toward the Monticello door.

** **

This story has been accepted for Static Movement's forthcoming NOIR! horror anthology.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

THE TOAD-WITCH

…an excerpt…

Tamsin Blight.

Former cheerleader. Former blood whore. Infected. Witch.

She had played with Barbie dolls as a child. Had played with football players as a cheerleader. As a blood whore it was vamps. Now, as a witch, the unfortunate people of Darktowne.

A willful blood whore, she had been an alley slut, one of those who lurked in alleys and byways to give themselves to vamps. Had lasted nearly eight months. Nearly turned a few times. Nearly killed by vamps to keep her from turning. But she hadn’t, and she lived.

Then that slug of a human, Albert Early, had found her, had taken her out of an alley. Off the streets. Had taken her to a city library where he had been hiding. She was out cold, nearly naked, bite marks everywhere. Big Al Early was a big husky heavy set glassy-eyed sneering son-of-a-bitch who only looked out for Big Al. Prick, bastard, arrogant, egotistical, stuck on himself were a few of the other ways to describe him. One time street thug, one time scavenger, full time dickhead. That was Albert Early. The few friends he used to have had called him DA for Dickhead Al. Affectionately, of course.

Big Al thought Tamsin would be easy pickings. Have some fun with her, and then toss her out on her ass. Didn’t quite work out that way. First night in the library, second floor, lying flat out on her back, Tamsin got slimed. An unhealthy dose of stark raving mad lurking in the shadows slime had slipped right up one nostril, and another piece into her left ear. Assaulted on two fronts. Made her a highly dangerous and lethal adversary once awake and provoked. Big Al found out the next morning when he tried to put the make on her. Tamsin beat his ass within an inch of his mangy miserable life.

Big Al took off like a scared rabbit, found a new place to hide.

Tamsin stayed at the library. She had friends there.

The mad slime turned Tamsin on to books. Found out some cool stuff in the library. Things about witches and cults and aliens and demons and other really weirdo shit that most people never heard about, and wouldn’t want to. Most would go ass grabbing ape shit mad if they ever did hear about the weirdo shit that Tamsin had taken to reading.

Ah, but not Tamsin. She just smiled and looked for more books on the subject. Got herself a rock solid spell casting interest in witchcraft.

First it was the normal witch shit. A little history here and there. People, places, things. Burnings and hangings and boulder pressings. All the normal ways to kill witches. Tamsin didn’t like it. Pissed her off. She decided right then and there that she was gonna be a spell caster. If some Tom, Dick head, or Harry ass prick would try to take her down, feel or fuck her up, she’d frog ‘em good.

She bubbled and toiled and troubled for days. Taught herself spell casting, people hexing, and potion mixing. She stirred human bones in a horrible magical mix of toad excretions, eye of newt, bat’s blood, and vinegar. Tried it on some bastard lurking around outside. The bastard blew a gasket. Eyes bugged out, tongue flapped in the wind. Put himself out of his misery by slamming his face against a brick wall ‘til there wasn’t much of a face left. Tamsin would have to refine her methods. And ingredients.

Then she licked a toad, and toad-witchery commenced.

Tamsin read all she could on toad-witchery which wasn’t much. Still enough to set her on the path to becoming the most badass bitch of a witch in all of Darktowne. There were others, spell casting witches, but none would compare to Tamsin Blight. Some would try to stand up to her, but she would fix ‘em. Turn ‘em into toads and frogs and grasshoppers and parking meters.

Well into her toad-witchery self-education, Tamsin began to hear strange whispering voices, eerie and airy and musically discordant voices. They spoke to her. Strange words she didn’t know, but somehow understood. They told her about the book. Thee Book. Under lock and key, hidden in a vault below. Down in the library’s basement. She fought off cobwebs and rats, turned a few rats into frogs and toads on her way down to the basement and vault.

She found the vault wide open and waiting for her, Thee Book just laying there collecting dust. It was a really old funky book. Leather cover (dried human skin, but she didn’t know that) and strange hand-written words and a title she couldn’t pronounce. Psychotic Manuscripts was close enough for Tamsin’s pronunciation. Though really old and creepy and strange, it was at least two, maybe three, dozen editions removed from the original.

Back upstairs, second floor, by candlelight the burgeoning toad-witch paged through the book. Her eyes lit up. She smiled. Be damned if the Psychotic Manuscripts didn’t talk about some big furry toad-god. A big black furry croaker called Sodagui. What could be more fitting for a toad-witch than a toad-god? Tamsin studied and studied and read and worked on those pages and chants and words. She was a toad-witch. Now she had herself a toad-god. And she was bound and determined to bring that toad-god to Darktowne.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

LIEBSTER AWARD

Many thanks to Savannah Rayne for my 1st blog award as well…rules state to connect five. I searched, looked for some I thought would be grand, certainly worthy. Some that hadn’t yet been given the award…found three to start, and then ran out of luck.

Things got worse…I took a break, came back, looked at the blogs of the first three I had chose and found out they had since been given the award. It’s like death!

I’m cursed! Haunted, shadows following closely. The rules have been broken, and I am the culprit.

Was I chasing another’s wife? Girlfriend?

Should I be bricked up in some basement wall…ah the fortunes of Fortunato…or Reverend Trask.

Or watch the swinging blade of the pendulum swing. Back…and forth. Back…and forth.







The Rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
2. Give the Liebster Blog Award to five bloggers and let them know in a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all have bloffity-blog fun!

The beginning of my five chosen…

Lyn Croft (Outer realm horror http://outerrealmhorror.blogspot.com/)
Nishi Serrano (Wandering Hallows Night http://nishiserrano.blogspot.com/)
Jen Gunn (http://jenswritersblog.blogspot.com/)

**sigh** so now I wallow in the dungeon, a creepy place really, damp, somewhere in the dark the steady drip drip drip of water, multifaceted eyes staring…the grip of madness, howling madness echoing down stone corridors, and I pause, listen, find the howling mad laughter was my own. To have violated rule #2….

A word of warning to others…beware the rules. Beware.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE RIVER RATS

…an excerpt…

The shantytown waterfront was thick with sucking mud. Bloated bodies floated past in the river; some bumped the shoreline, some snagged in debris. The scent was horrible. But those living in the shantytown had long grown accustomed to it. One was the Hatter. Another was Alice Antipathy. They had an infrequent association. Were on terms. Tenuous at best. As far as Alice was concerned.

They passed time together on occasion. Like this gray morning on the shantytown waterfront, playing cards. Hearts. Over tea. Three stacked truck tires and a small sheet of plywood afforded a table. They faced one another, fronted two teacups, a tea kettle, and a deck of cards. The Hatter’s coat tails rested in the mud.

Alice sipped her tea and drew a card. “Where you been keeping yourself?” she said. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”

“Here and there,” the Hatter replied with a wink; she wasn’t looking. “Been busy.”

“Well, that tells me a lot,” she said, and discarded. “Forever a man of mystery.”

The Hatter chuckled and drew a card. “Ha!” he exclaimed, delighted. Laid out three aces. “I love mysteries,” he added as he discarded. “And adventures too!”

Alice paused, and looked up. He was being evasive and she knew it. She scowled at the Hatter. “You know, Oleander, I really don’t like you all that much.”

“But I like you.”

“I can’t begin to understand why.”

He pulled a book from a jacket pocket and handed it to her. The book was old, the cover tattered, the binding barely holding it together. “This is why,” he said with a grin.

She took the book and stared at the cover. An artist’s rendition of a young girl. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” she read the cover. She shook her head and handed it back. “You are quite mad,” she said, and played a card.

“So they say,” the Hatter said with a chuckle.

“I could use a glass of wine,” she said softly.

“There isn’t any,” the Hatter replied with a smile.

“Tell me, Oleander, I’ve heard some strange tales…,” Alice began.

The Hatter interrupted her, pulled his pocket watch, shook it, held to his ear, and grunted. “Hmph,” he said. “Six o’clock. I’m going to be late.” He quickly rose from the makeshift table.

“Late for what?”

“A very important date, my dear,” he said with a grin. “A very important date.”

And he was gone. Alice shook her head, sighed, and threw her teacup into the polluted river. The dead bodies took no notice.

* * *


It was a message from an old friend. A college buddy from a couple of years back. Rabbit Chuck hadn’t heard from her in ages. About a year and a half he guessed. Lost contact after the crazies took over. She was a real looker, a real sweet eye-popping bitch. And a real target for the crazies, scavengers, street thugs, vamps, and any other garbage out there looking for a real honest to goodness hot babe to stretch and slam at their leisure. Rabbit Chuck had guessed that she had gotten out while she still could. Before the city really went to shit. Before the slime came out of the grass and infected most of the people in Darktowne.

But apparently she hadn’t. She was holed up somewhere over by the Oak Hill Cemetery. How the Hell she had tracked Rabbit Chuck down was a mystery for the gods. She had sent word for him to come and get her. Come alone, she’d said in her message. No red flag to Rabbit Chuck. Come alone, he mused. Still no red flag. So Rabbit Chuck went.

The gray sky was turning dark. Evening was fading, night crawling in. Wasn’t a good time to be crossing the city, no matter how close Oak Hill Cemetery. Sure, it was close, just a few blocks to the east. But still far enough away from the shantytown that it would be dark by the time they started back. With a looker babe in tow, no doubt half the crazies in this shit hole of a city would be on their tail with tail on their minds.

“Shit,” Rabbit Chuck muttered as he climbed over the wall and followed it through the shadows of the cemetery.

He had come in off High Street. She would be waiting at the mausoleum closest to the wall along the street. So said the message. The message was wrong. She wasn’t there. No sign of her. Only shadows and dark. The night had come fast. Then a sound. Soft laughter. Rabbit Chuck turned and found the man standing there. He had crept up unheard and unseen. Some kinda freak? Rabbit Chuck wondered. Then he realized. The coat and hat and walking stick. This was that loonie…

“How far are you willing to go?” the Hatter suddenly said with a wide grin. Rabbit Chuck had no time to respond. “Ah, doesn’t matter,” the Hatter added.

The Hatter reached up and touched Rabbit Chuck on the forehead. His body suddenly went heavy. He couldn’t move and couldn’t speak. A sudden terror gripped him.

“Come, this way,” the Hatter said.

At the Hatter’s command, Rabbit Chuck was able to move, his steps rigid, slow, mechanical. Going where the Hatter said to go. They moved to the side of the mausoleum where a fresh grave had been dug. Alongside the grave was a wooden beveled coffin, the lid lying in the grass beside it. There was a tombstone with a cloth draped over it.

“Rabbits live in holes,” the Hatter cackled, a wide grin. “So should you.” He pulled away the cloth that covered the tombstone. Inscribed were –

RABBIT CHUCK
10/6

Rabbit Chuck’s eyes went wide. The only movement he could make himself. A tap of wood, the Hatter’s walking stick on the coffin.

“In you go,” he laughed.

Rabbit Chuck obeyed the command. He climbed into the coffin and laid back. The Hatter placed the lid atop the coffin and levitated the box into the grave. Then came the dirt.

The Hatter started back to the shantytown. Walking stick tucked under an arm, he was joyfully whistling a song – Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat. The sound receded. There was silence in Oak Hill Cemetery.

And a new grave.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

GREETINGS

Mr Legs says Hello...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

...an excerpt...

The city was a battlefield of death and terror. A place of living and dead nightmares.

Images of nightmare flashed through the sleeping mind of Israel Chandler. A ruined city street strewn with wrecked and burned cars and other debris, splitting sidewalks, an explosion of concrete showing the street in fragments, a rush of red steam. In an alley four white faced hawkish vampires shred the flesh of a young man. A store front exploded in a ball of fire. Jasper Maxwell, the mad puppet master of Darktowne, howled and cackled with madness.

More than any other image of the dying city, Jasper Maxwell’s cackling madness returned again and again. Inwardly and subconsciously, Chandler laughed at Maxwell. Outwardly Chandler was quiet and resolved. The madman Maxwell boasted immortality, boasted himself King of Darktowne, boasted that he was the Giver of Death. If anything, on Death the madman was mistaken. He did not truly know Death.

Chandler sat up and opened his eyes. The images of nightmare faded from his mind. The reality of Darktowne’s nightmare extended into the surrounding dark of night. There were cries of pain and terror and death. There were explosions and fire. Smoke and sulfur drifted on a night breeze. A shadow approached, cast by a crackling campfire. Chandler turned.

“You were having a nightmare,” Ting said.

Ting was beautiful, oriental; a shape shifter, human and Bengal Tiger. She was an Angel of Death, one of four; all were shape shifters, Angel’s of Death, companions of Israel Chandler.

“I don’t have nightmares,” Chandler said flatly. He rose to his feet.

Chandler walked to the campfire and stared into the flames. Lithe and silent, drifting in shadow, Ting joined him and stood at his shoulder. The orange firelight played softly on their faces. Chandler reached down and ran a hand over the tattoo on his forearm, a crescent moon and star.

“The others,” Chandler said.

“There,” Ting replied with a nod toward the destruction, fires, cries of pain and anguish. Toward the city center.

Ting and Chandler had made camp in the outer neighborhoods of Darktowne, an abandoned rail yard just inside the interstate northwest of the city center. Chandler took his eyes from the fire and peered into the dark. Out there was Maxwell, plying the streets, gathering converts, pulling the puppet strings.

“Jasper Maxwell,” Chandler said softly.

Ting turned to him, but remained silent. He stood for a moment, looking into the dark, and then sat next to the fire and took out a book. Turning the pigeon folded pages, he quietly began to read as Ting watched shadows moving in the night.

Then the strange clock struck the hour, twelve times, midnight; a low discordant tone that echoed across Darktowne. Everyone stopped to listen. Fear ran through the people of the city. They knew there was no clock that produced such a discordant tone. A ghost clock, some had whispered. No no, it’s a death clock, others had said.

“…there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet,” Chandler said, his eyes vacant and staring as the tone faded, “And then, for a moment, all is still…” There was a moment of silence. A disquieting silence. Chandler seemed to be lost in his thoughts. Then he looked up at Ting. “Poe,” he said with a smile.

Monday, August 1, 2011

BLOOD WHORES

an excerpt...

Hells Gate was crowded. Unusually so. A lot of carousing vamps this night and only a few blood whores to go around. Fields chuckled. Won’t be long before the numbers even out somewhat. Fields was at the bar, sipping his drink. His eyes trailed up the wall behind the bar to the sign that hung there. Drink It and Fuck It, but Don’t Kill It. Well, there was going to be some dying, and it wasn’t going to be blood whores.

“Hey, you blood suckers by the window!” Jenks shouted to a table surrounded by six rowdy vamps. They were getting a little too loud and careless with a blood whore they had been passing around amongst themselves. Same bunch of vamps from the night before. Same blood whore too. Jenks tapped the sign’s aged wooden frame and added, “You drink that bitch dead and I’ll have to kill her. Else you take her outta here. You got that?”

“We just might have to kill you,” a vamp snarled back. “You got that…bitch?!”

“Tell it to Shadow,” Jenks replied.

Trouble was looking likely. Jenks began to reach under the bar for his 44 Magnum. A sudden hushed murmur ran through the place. His hand hovered over the weapon. Eyes were turning, and Jenks turned to look. The new blood whore had appeared at the entrance to the hall that led to the back rooms. She was smiling. Alive. Sensuous and taunting with an alluring drink me fuck me grin. And she was flushed. This babe had some extra blood to spare.

Fireworks time, Fields thought. A sly grin crossed his face.

“I got a jugular that says I can do a dozen of you blood suckers and still walk when we’re done,” Gina said with a sly come on grin, her tone sultry.

Fields smiled, nearly laughed.

A dozen vamps hooted and howled. The six Jenks had chastised dropped their blood whore on the floor and jumped up from the table. They and six others followed Gina as she turned and started back down the hall. Fields noticed a slight twinge in Gina. No doubt the work of the designer drug. Hopefully the hypnotic trance Fields had placed her under would hold long enough to feed the blood suckers a dose of the designer drug.

It didn’t take long.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KIZUNA

Alright people…I’ve danced around this collection, back and forth, picking a story here and there to read…and ya’ll need to get a copy! Sure, the stories are great, but the cause is greater…support the people of Japan!

Monday, July 25, 2011

PRELUDE: The Afternoon of a Faun

an excerpt...

A hot August afternoon drew Jamie George out of doors. The sun glared. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. …Jamie had chosen Mill Creek Park. Found a secluded spot down October Path, and lay back in the grass. He spread the pages of a book and held it up. His eyes scanned the lines. It was a book of poetry. Classics. He loved the classics. Poetry, music, myths and legends.

The pages turned and turned until the warmth of the day, faint distant voices, and a trickling of water lulled Jamie to sleep. …his fading thoughts were on the last poem he had been reading... A satyr. A faun. A wild spirit of the woods.

Then the slime came to Jamie. Unseen in the graying eve. It had come from a rock that had fallen from the sky but a week before. It was red, glistened in the fading light, and possessed an intelligence. It was a mad intelligence with an ability to transform whomever or whatever it infected into whatever it wished. Jamie George would be the first.

The slime infected Jamie while he slept. It listened to his dreaming thoughts, saw the dreaming images, and read the lines of the last poem Jamie had been reading. Then the change began.

He awoke transformed. Half man, half goat. A faun. His thoughts were clouded with madness, the mind, and intellect of the slime that possessed him. …A bestial roar of pain and madness echoed through the dark,... The faun lumbered through the night, killing anything that crossed its path.

Jamie had been the first infected, and the first victim.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A WORD OF WARNING -

In a dying city populated by scavengers, street gangs, mutants, zombies, and vampires, life isn’t easy. In fact, life is exceedingly violent.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CHANGE OF PACE?

How’s this for a change of pace?

Been developing ideas for a “road novel” for quite some time. Based on an old idea I had and had previously developed to some degree. No horror, no fantasy. Set against real events in the mid 1970s. I think this may be quite interesting and a fun write.

Friday, July 8, 2011

SORCERIES GNYDRON volume 1

Published by Rainfall Books, this is the first of a trilogy, each chapbook containing three stories. The stories in this first volume are:

1. The Coming of the Dark
2. The Cave of Tog
3. Death Wind

The stories are set in a mythical land called Gnydron. The continent was Clark Ashton Smith's original name for the Last Continent before he changed it to Zothique. I thought it might be interesting to write a few Gnydron stories (which has never been done to my knowledge) and set them in Gnydron before the name change to Zothqiue, ie., instead of replacing Gnydron with Zothqiue as CAS did, I just predate Zothique with the name Gnydron.


Check it out, hope you like it, and the next two volumes will be coming soon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

OF GODS & ALIENS

Well, it's been a while since I updated this page. So, here is OF GODS & ALIENS, unpublished, but sooner or later, one way or another. It'll see print. This is the companion volume to my GRETCHEN'S ROAD collection. Whereas the stories in GRETCHEN'S ROAD all take place in Columbiana County, Ohio, the stories in OGA take place elsewhere throughout the world.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A CRIMINAL PORTRAIT...unleashed

Alright folks…here it is! Fresh from the Fires of Hell. Go on in and gobble it up before it gobbles YOU up. Else YOU might be haunting a lonely secluded country estate.

hellfire publishing

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE ADVENTURES OF BILLY SPACE BOY

An Excerpt -

…speaking of the ass-wipe, to him the cornfield was a playground. It was a place where big ugly nasty aliens hid - a wayside stop - as they careened across the Multiverse carrying out their dastardly plan of death, destruction, and multiversal domination, and the enslavement of all living things and a few dead things too. Here in the cornfield Billy could save the day, save the Multiverse, and often did. With toy ray gun in hand, Billy stalked the cornstalks. Somewhere in all those rows of corn, somewhere hiding in the shadows of cornstalks, lurked those evil nasty ugly plotting aliens. Billy would get them. He did every time. The Multiverse would be saved again.

This day was like any other day. The ass-wipe would save the Multiverse. He ran up and down the rows of corn, stupidly jumping up and down, making an ass of himself, blasting away with his toy ray gun at imaginary aliens of the nasty ugly plotting multiversal domination variety. Yes, those evil nasty ugly aliens had met their match in the Cornstalk Kid!

“Pow! POW! Gotcha! Zinnnggg!” Billy shouted as he knocked off a dozen imaginary lizard skins.

But an imaginary hissing bolt of blue energy zinged through the cornfield, severing stalks, ears of corn toppling to the ground, and destroying half the population of Iowa. The beam of zinging energy caught Billy square on the shoulder. He squealed like a stuck pig doofus, and rolled over at the edge of the cornfield where it bordered a narrow dirt road. Ready to blast the perpetrating nasty ugly lizard skin alien in a zillion twinkling scales raining down from the sky, Billy jumped to his feet and crouched, toy ray gun at the ready. Slowly he turned a circle, ever ready, ever alert, toy ray gun poised, loaded, cocked, charged, energized. No big nasty aliens were gonna get past him.

“All right you big nasty ugly aliens, you can’t hide from the Cornstalk Kid!” Billy warned.

And those aliens were afraid now. They cowered in fear, crouching in the shadows. Silent, unmoving, as if they weren’t even there. But they were there. Billy knew they were there. He had blasted a gazillion of them before. Had saved the Multiverse a bazillion times. But the Multiverse was never truly safe from them. Billy knew he would have to save it a kazillion more times, kill a pazillion more big ugly nasty aliens.

Billy stupidly jumped corn row to corn row, toy ray gun still at the ready. But he saw no imaginary aliens. They were really good at hiding this time. So intent on finding and blasting those big nasty ugly aliens to smithereens, Billy also didn’t see the strange mysterious figure dressed in black slowly approaching a storage shed in the back yard of the farmhouse. And this figure was real. Certainly not imaginary.

An old nasty rusted padlock barred entry to the old wooden storage shed. A black gloved hand produced an old rusty skeleton key from the folds of its cloak. The key slipped quietly into the rusted lock, the lock popped open, and the mysterious figure slipped into the shed. No one saw.

The dim and dusty old shed hadn’t been opened in years. Nineteen years to be exact. The place was cluttered with all manner of bric-a-brac, a few farm and garden tools and implements, and some totally unknown and presumably revolting items covered in dust covered tarps that defied explanation. Along one wall rested a large hulking thing under a dusty tarp, something monstrous lying beneath.

Opposite the old creaking door stood a dusty cluttered work bench. Beneath the work bench rested Dad Beanpole’s box of life size inflatable female dolls, while atop the bench amidst the clutter was a small faded dust covered cigar box.

The pair of black gloved hands reached for the cigar box and opened it, revealing a pair of black framed nerdy glasses with thick coke bottle bottom lenses. The mysterious figure in black took the glasses and slipped quietly out of the shed.

It crossed the back yard and walked slowly along the narrow dirt road near the cornfield. When it heard Billy’s goofy zinging and powwing, it stopped and slowly reached down, placing the glasses at the edge of the road next to the corn field. And then it was gone, leaving history and the future of the Multiverse in the hands of fate...and in the hands of that moron ass-wipe wiping out imaginary nasty ugly aliens in an Iowa cornfield.

Billy continued to dance and prance like a fool in and out of the cornfield, along the dirt road, still firing his toy ray gun at imaginary nasty ugly aliens. Suddenly something caught his eye. A glinting of sunlight. He stopped and looked, and then ran to the object. A pair of black framed glasses lay along the road. But this pair of ‘instant nerds’ wasn’t just any old ordinary pair of nerd makers. These were special. First of all, they’d been placed there. On purpose. For Billy to find. Secondly, they had super-like special powers that amplified a person’s nerdiness among other important things such as making toy ray guns real. As Billy was soon to discover.

So, Billy picked them up, peered at them stupidly, and then put them on. He wasn’t aware of the sudden change that had come over him, wasn’t aware that as long as he wore the super space hero nerd glasses, no matter where fame and fortune took him, no matter how near or far across the Multiverse destiny took him, he was no longer just the plain ole moronic ugly nasty imaginary alien killer. He was now and forever Billy Space Boy, hero of the known Multiverse. And a few others Multiverses as well.

“Barley, oats, and rye,” Billy said softly in amplified stupidity.

He fired his toy ray gun at a corn stalk and was astonished when it disintegrated in a ball of flame. He jumped back, stared wide eyed at what was left of the now smoking cornstalk, and then peered at the barrel of his toy ray gun.

“Jumpin gee willikers!”

Totally amazed and ecstatic, the dimwit pranced and jumped along the dirt road next to the cornfield, waving his toy ray gun in the air like some doofus bimbo.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

THE SHADOW OF THE UNKNOWN

Coming soon from static movement, and edited by Aaron French. Included are my stories "Azathoth Awakening" (a reprint under the Cartwright byline), and "JP and the Nightgaunt" (a new tale under the Tangiers byline).

An excerpt from "JP and the Nightgaunt" -

Two days had come and gone since the nightgaunt had left with JM’s head and spinal column.

JP lay on the floor. He babbled and drooled in the corner. In the Dark. Where the nightgaunt had paced.

He shit himself. Didn’t matter.

Pissed himself. Didn’t matter.

Stared at the ceiling and cackled madly. Slapped open palms on the floor and howled, like he was privy to some enormous joke.

Maybe he was.

From time to time he drifted off to sleep. Fitful sleep. Filled with nightmares of Pnath. The ghouls. The bones piles. The shadows. The mad piping music. And that insect-like thing with JM’s head and face. Somehow he knew that it was more than a nightmare. It was real.

JP walked the vale, strolled amidst the piles of bleached bones.

Ghouls sat atop the bone piles, gnawing on bones. Bones picked clean. Bones fresh with dripping flesh. Some ghouls hissed or growled as JP passed by.

As if to say, these are MY bones. A warning.

Shadows danced. JP heard the mad music echoing through the vale.

There came a gurgling hiss. Something scurried across his path.

JP looked. Again saw his lady-friend, JM.

But not JM.

The thing that JM had become. An insect with JM’s head, spider-like legs along the vertebral column where ribs had once been. Torn tissues dragging on the ground. As it crawled it left a long red glistening smear.

The same image that had awakened JP a few days before.

The thing suddenly stopped, turned its head. A faint recognition in its multifaceted eyes.

Then a ghoul reached down and gathered it up. Began to chew on its face.

The thing that had been JM hissed and howled pain and desperation while JP fled in the dark.

A cackling distorted laugh stopped him. He turned, saw...

The mad nightgaunt loomed out of the shadows. Rose up before JP. Leered down at him.

With no face.

It was coming for JP. To take him away.

Soon. Very soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

WHITE SWAN

Excellent song and visual experience...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

THE STARLET AND THE FISHMAN

My Lovecraftian (satire) short story, "The Starlet and the Fishman," has been accepted for the KIZUNA: Fiction for Japan anthology. I'm delighted to be a part of this worthy cause.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

TALES OF NEPHREN KA...an excerpt

The four stories that comprise the Tales of Nephren Ka chapbook (available from Rainfall Books) were some of my favorites to write, and consequently, I think some of my better Lovecraftian work. IMHO.

The stories include –

The Circle
The Chronicler
The Coming
The Candidate

Here’s an excerpt from “The Coming” –

“Miss Myers.”

At the sudden mention of her name, Jen turned her eyes to the handsome dark Arab man standing at the table. He was smiling, a hand extended to an empty chair.

“May I?” Khalid al-Alranna added.

Momentarily startled by his abrupt appearance at the table, she shook it off and nodded. “Yes, by all means.”

Khalid sat, crossed his arms on the table, and continued to smile.

“How do you know my name and what do you want?” Jen questioned pointedly, her momentary awe given over to mistrust and suspicion.

His smiled widened as he leaned over the table. “Even in Cairo, it is not difficult to find the one who seeks the tomb of the Black Pharaoh,” he said, his words hushed. “The people whisper and word gets around. It is a dangerous thing you do.”

“Old wives tales...”

“Not to the people of Egypt,” Khalid interrupted softly. “But you are an outsider; you would not understand.”

“My research has shown that not all Egyptians are as superstitious as you claim. Some Egyptian scholars even dismiss Nephren-Ka as fantasy.” She tapped the book she had been reading.

Khalid glanced at the book, sat back, and nodded. “Yes, there are those who discount the stories of Nephren-Ka.”

“Do you?” Jen asked.

Khalid continued to smile, his head titled down slightly, his eyes upturned. “I do not,” he replied after a short pause.

“Alright, then why are you here?”

“To help you in your search, Miss Myers.”

“I’m not sure I want your help,” Jen replied.

“If you want to find the tomb of the Black Pharaoh, you will accept my offer,” Khalid said. “Otherwise, you will find no one to help you.”

“I already have help...”

“Mustafa Ibn Almar,” Khalid interrupted. “I know him well. Apparently you do not. He will take your money and sell you to Sudanese rebels for their pleasure.” He paused, leaned close, and added softly, “It would not be the first time he has done so.”

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A CRIMINAL PORTRAIT

...an eBook coming in June from Hellfire Publishing. This is a nod to Clive, Clarke, and Karloff…stars of one of my all time favorite films – FRANKENSTEIN.

For a little bit about the story…

BLURB…

Beth Franklin, a young artist with painter’s block, needs to get away from it all. She rents an old country manor estate. On a chance visit to a local art curios shop, she’s captivated by a strange painting, buys the painting, and takes it home. Thus begins a series of frightening events – trances, strange visions, ghostly portraits that Beth inexplicably paints, and a violent haunting by a ghost from the past that’s determined to enact vengeance upon Beth for the deeds of her unknown ancestor…Doctor Frankenstein.

EXCERPT…

A sudden summer storm came with the night. The storm came quick and violent. Thunder shook the estate, rattled window panes. Lightning tore at shadows in hidden corners, flashed through latticed windows, played strange writhing figures across walls.

The soft light of candles lit the closed off bedroom. Two shadows writhed violently on a wall near the canopied bed. They writhed in lust and passion, naked sweating bodies entwined upon the mattress. Lightning clawed at them, sent black forms dancing across the wall, playing across the portrait of the two now entwined.

Beth suddenly gasped, catching breath. The cackling Schoanburg rose up over her, his neck muscles taunt in orgasm. The top of his head and his brain were missing. Maggots crawled in and out of holes in his face. The crashing storm blew open the window, sent the curtains fluttering madly across the ceiling, and blew out the candles. Rain poured through, drenching the floor, the bed, and those entwined upon the bed.

Schoanburg suddenly howled in triumph. Pinned beneath him, Beth screamed a scream of anguish and defeat, a scream of utter madness that echoed through the door and down the dusty ruined hall.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

EXCERPT...

It all had to start somewhere. This was back in the day when science and technology meant something. Back when science and sleaze were equally important. Back when the hyper-spaceways were crowded with people, things, doodads, zingbits, dingbats, and slimy sleazy aliens jaunting from one bar/whore house/restaurant/gambling establishment/bowling alley to the next located conveniently at each interchange along the hyper-spaceways.

Situated near one of those convenient interchanges was the small backwater hamlet of Frogtown where every frog had his day, and night, peacefully co-existing with humans, aliens, three toed-hoes, and various other intergalactic garbage that happened to filter through the little dust bitten bug ridden frog croaking hovel for a Mint Julep and an order of basted and fried frog legs.

One of those pieces of intergalactic garbage was Cap’n Brane Phart, self professed Cap’n of the Spaceways, ie., Cap’n Brane Phart of the Spaceways. Cap’n Brane Phart, himself a Frogtown native, built himself a starship. Called it the Spitball. Kinda looked like one too. Manufactured with some nails and a hammer, wires and fancy colored lights, a few lawn chairs, spit, glue, polish, and paper wads, how in the Holy Huht this thing was gonna hold together was anybody’s guess. But it did in the long run.

Of course, it didn’t take much to run the slimy thing. So, with an onboard computer named Dr Dodo controlling just about all there was to control aboard the ship, Cap’n Phart didn’t need too many people to man the thing. Just a few. Well, a couple. There was Busty Bouncing Missy Pisswick, a former ten toed ho and dancer from Boingo’s Booze Joint and Pool Hall, Frogtown’s sleaziest establishment. And there was a former exhibit from Weezie Sneezie Boozenbopper’s Collection of Frog’s Feet and Traveling Circus Freaks, Bobby Ivan Gregory Schlong (AKA, BIG Schlong). Both had been hand picked by Cap’n Phart.

With the Spitball crew chosen, Cap’n Phart slapped Missy Pisswick on the nice round firm ass and gave her (and BIG Schlong) a guided tour of the ship. They were impressed, ooooing and ahhhhing at every turn, Pisswick bouncing merrily along and Schlong scratching his crotch (he was an avid lover of crotch scratching although some have heard him mutter “bugs” from time to time). And just like everyone else in the far flung reaches of the Multiverse, most of the people on Slagheep (ah, yeah, Slagheep – the planet where the disgusting hovel of Frogtown is located) were wanting to get away. The same for Cap’n Brane Phart, Missy Pisswick, and BIG Schlong. So off they went in the Spitball, careening into space, bouncing along a hyper-spaceway, looking for adventure until they bounced a little too far and found themselves hovering on the brink of a steadily decaying orbit around a black hole.


from: “The STRANGE UP & DOWN World of FLAVOR & CHARMing COLORs” in THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGEEPIAN HISTORY

SCHOANBURG'S PROBLEM...

...dates back a century.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CURRENT PROJECT

A collection of horror noir stories set in a hotel. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the inspiration comes from the film CHELSEA WALLS. Whereas CHELSEA WALLS follows the events surrounding five individuals over a period of one day, my horror noir series follows certain individuals and the events that befall each of them over a brief (perhaps) period of time. The hotel is a special place, a place out of time and space, and surrounded by a towering concrete wall. It’s not so much what lies beyond the wall, rather what transpires inside the hotel…somewhat.

I might also mention that CHELSEA WALLS isn’t the only source of inspiration for this series. Last year I wrote a horror story about a couple of gangsters and set the action in a hotel. I love the story, had a grand time constructing it, and was going to include it in my as yet unpublished collection DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES. Instead, I pulled the story, and set it aside. Now that story is the foundation for this current project whose working title is the same as the original story. Think I’ll keep it that way.

BTW, the model for my hotel actually exists in Washington State. The real hotel has since changed its name slightly. I kept its original name.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABSOLUTE WORST LITERARY EXPERIENCE

Yeah, I have one. It was the horrific (in a bad way, not a fun way) experience of one of my short stories being turned into a film. Now some may think…cool! My story made into a movie! Yeah, I thought so too.

Yeah, well, cool if the story WAS made into a movie. It wasn’t. Far from it. It was a disaster. I had advertised a short story that I had rewritten into a two act, 25 minute short. It garnered interest, a fledgling (should have known then) produced, director, and jack of all trades. He asked if I could expand it. I did. Made it into a five act short to run about 50 minutes.

I liked the story. Nice idea. A couple of dudes pursued by a succubus, a ghost trying to warn them… Even changed the names of all the principle characters. Then things took a dive.

The so-called producer-director-jack of all trades decided to change the direction of the film, got a second writer, rewrote the script, changed the title. When all was said and done (and I was pissed), little of my original story remained, just the original character names that I had changed in the 2nd version and a rewritten barroom scene at a pool table from my original storyline.

Ended up being a two hour film, and (as far as I was concerned) a total disaster. Would have been much better if it had been left the way I had originally written it.

There are a couple of positives to come out of this… 1st, the finished disaster is so different from my original storyline that I can still push MY story without conflict; 2nd, nowhere on the net (such as in the imdb) or in printed industry material is my name associated with it of which I’m eternally grateful (however, if the film is viewed, my name still appears in the credits as co-writer).

Anyway, a bad experience, and I don’t want my name associated with it. In fact, I’m not even going to dignify the film by voicing its name. You want to see that disaster? Don’t waste your time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SCHOANBURG'S DECLARATION

“A fair exchange, wouldn’t you say, my dear?! You for my brain!”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

THE ILLUSTRIOUS ANNALS OF SLAGHEEPIAN HISTORY

My new collection of irreverent fantasy satire...available from Lulu.com. Includes the following tales -

1. Varnie Proposes Marriage
2. Rasta Booglely-Doo and the Old Seer of Frogtown
3. The STRANGE UP & DOWN World of FLAVOR & CHARMing COLORs
4. Sheisgrooby!
5. The Terrible Tragedy of One Colorful Character
6. The Church of the Holy Shaggaho
7. Tale of the Trojan Sphynx
8. Time Warped
9. Billy Space Codger & the December Frog
10. Spaced Out in East Mudbucket
11. Froggenstein’s Monster
12. Brain Transplant
13. Time & Time Again
14. Blue Moons over Widdlydink
15. The Other Slimy Cesspool of a Frog Shit Village
16. The Mesmerizing Sound of Lethargic Radiation

Thursday, May 12, 2011

SCHOANBURG WALKS THE NIGHT

You can’t see him, but he’s there. Biding his time.

If you walk the night and have that uneasy feeling; he may be there, behind you, in the shadows, reaching…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BURNING WINDMILLS

Beth Franklin, artist, paints portraits, but never remembers the work in progress. And her artwork, macabre and nightmarish scenes. Like a burning windmill in the night.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HUNGUR #12

Mix a little bit of vampirism with Shakespeare and what do you get? My story "Children of the Light" in issue 12 of HUNGUR magazine...!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SOME SAID IT WAS HAUNTED

The estate had stood empty for nearly fifteen years. It was secluded, aged and weathered, overgrown with weed and brush. … Some said it was haunted. … No one was really certain. There were no reports of strange events in the house; no one had run screaming of poltergeists; no creaking stairs or rattling chains. Just a rumor. And just a large empty house in a state of disrepair that everyone seemed to ignore or avoid. Except Beth Franklin.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BURNING IN HELL'S FIRE

Would you dare?

Just try stepping into the flames with Hellfire Publishing. Join Dan, Jen, Robin, Thomas, Kathi, Scarlet, Carson, Sara, Brian, Nishi, Edward, Brett, and others…oh yeah, and I! Coming soon from Hellfire Publishing in eBook form is my short story “A Criminal Portrait.”