Sunday, 29 August 2010

Their Dark Masters

Got a vampire tale leeching at your red stuff, desperate to be invited in?

Mark Crittenden over at Red Skies Press is launching a new "highly thematic horror anthology" Their Dark Masters.

You can read full submission details here - and see Mark's description below to get a juicy taste of what it's all about:

"I am asking for stories that concern vampires, the custodians of forbidden knowledge, and the secret force behind the destruction of mankind. It is encouraged that you include something about an elder vampire in your tale, the maker and master pulling the strings in the backdrop of your story. I want only your darkest and most well-constructed tale. Your story may take place in any timeline and any geographic locale. I am looking for your most horrific/haunting tale."

What are you waiting for...?

Friday, 27 August 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Just checkin' - yeah, it really is Friday this time (I know that 'cos the calendar just told me). Though the days have all drifted into one this week with our glorious English summertime of torrential rain. And hey - you guessed it - I had the week off.

WELCOME -  to Lily's Friday Prediction. If you're new then it's all about using the (exact) following three words or phrases within a 100-word max piece or flash fiction. Or poetry - hey, why not. Just flip them into the Comments box below. Go Anonymous if you haven't got a Google or other account.

Take a peek at the last few weeks' worth to get an idea, with great contributions from Michael Solender, Erin Cole, Sue H, Pixie J. King, Chris Allinotte, David Barber, MRMacrum and more. No prizes huns, sorry - it's just for the love and the practice.

This week's three are:
  • Drawings
  • Implication
  • Charlotte

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Walls of Flesh by Lily Childs

Hup. Posting again about Walls of Flesh 'cos the feed didn't work yesterday.

It's here. Or below. It's 'orrible. Hope you like it.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Walls of Flesh by Lily Childs

They are dark but I can clearly make out the striated slashes in the deepest of red. How you ever came to decorate this palace with the freshest of corpses I can never know. But it matters not.

Your obsession with my skins seems the baddest of fanhood. Your adoration of the dances that my girls perform before and after death – it is indeed perfectly justified. Yes, I receive your letters – daily. Yes, I sometimes read them, coarse as they are with poor grammar and despicable spelling but I confess I appreciate the scent and how you vary it with odours emitted from various orifices – yours and others.

Your invitation was most welcome. Is your name truly ‘Vidal’? It has connotations, you know. I’m a sucker for film and fashion, which of course you do know.

How did you do it? How many did it take? It’s a frenzy the like of which I have never seen; or at least, not for many years. It is something of which I thought only I was capable.

The crusted, sunburnt flakes - blemishes and hair intact within the box at my door – an inspired tease; you knew I would bite. The Classifieds in the NY Times – over the top. I ignored them you know. It meant waiting; I nearly gave up.

But this morning’s gift was a bliss of obscene design and forethought. I bow to your genius. An invitation to my own funeral wrapped in a membranous envelope, tied and knotted with lengths of my hair. I awaited the promised carriage with disinterest and desire, lest you couldn’t deliver and I would have to scratch my own itch.

Who is she, hanging here on the left beside the Modigliani? I saw her once, I think, on the silver screen. The eyes so intricately repositioned within the slits in the ribs beneath her breasts suggest a four-eyed monster. Delicious. I commend you. Take her down, before the flesh gives out. 

Dinner? I don’t feed, surely you know that. But oh! What a masterpiece. Guests at your feast; it must be so easy for you. The minions flock to your every appearance, hang on your slightest word. You are politics, religion and ethics in one single man. The world applauds you – as do I. In this your banqueting hall – an altar to Old Money and Holy Sanctuary – I am truly spent. Bodies lie plaited and overlapped the full length of the oak table, each gut split and stuffed with basted animal offal which spills onto the cloth. I cannot eat but I can embrace. I mount the parade, fingering and sucking at the corporeal repast as I slide through its treasures. Until here we are; face to face.

Do I know you? You offer me a goblet inscribed with my name; the blood inside is hot and I know it is yours, spilled freshly from your wrists. I won’t drink of you. You can dedicate your life to me for as long as you can bear. I don’t want that life; I need only your death. Not a sacrifice, not a willing soul.

I am home, Vidal. Evanesced. For all of your dedication, you will be mine at the time of my choosing – if I choose you. I confess you impress, but my tastes - you must surely understand are not for the willing and the desperate but for those who are blind to my art and my craft and are innocent of darkness.

Wipe your monastery clean of death and decay, Vidal. Invite instead those seeking God, as your vestments declare. For then I will take my unwilling disciples. What better prey than those who pray?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Congratulations to Col Bury!

Great news! Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers co-editor and crime writer Col Bury has proved that hard work and tenacity can pay off. Col has been signed by New York Literary Agent Nat Sobel, with his first novel taking them forward together.


Col has been very supportive of my own writing, in fact it was him who first encouraged me to submit to TKnC, and I haven't stopped writing since. Col is also a regular contributor to Writers' News and Writing Magazine's online forum Talkback where his advice is generously given. Great to see you getting rewarded, Col. You deserve it matey.

We look forward to hearing about the rest of your journey towards success.

All the best, Col


Little Demon - for Chris Allinotte

Chris, after reading your marvellous little tale of veg and demons, I happened across these photos of my own little Demon. She doesn't like spinach either.
Little Demon with Daddy
Little Demonette

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Another 'just past midnight' call - here in England, at least.

It's been a productive week with 12500 words of 'Dispirited' (da novel) typed up. I've another 30k of the handwritten stuff to type up and edit before I have to break through that block and spill out the remaining 50k of Alex's story - and it's a nasty one - as is Alex. Or is she really?

Anyway, this is not the place for unsolicited publicity. Let's take a look at this week's threesome, about which I am particularly amused. Two of them are so obvious you may think them deliberately contrived; they're not! Honest.

So here they are. I expect some real goodies in response this week. As usual, 100 words max, excluding title, using the EXACT word(s) - not different tense or plurals.

Please add your entries to the Comments box below. Good luck.
  • Carotid artery [I know! Honest - it really did come up]
  • Dominion
  • Spinach (there's the challenge)
Here you go...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Pat-a-Cake by Lily Childs up at TKnC


Feed yourself up with my new nasty 'Pat-a-Cake' over at Thrillers Chillers 'n' Killers.
Thanks to Lee Hughes TKnC co-editor for publishing it.

Excerpt from Pat-a-Cake:

Roger’s thoughts are black. He is tipping back and forth on shoes wrapped in blue plastic bags. He could be a coroner, he thinks, or a forensic scientist. But he is a confectioner.

Everything’s a weapon. Roger hungers to use one. He spots the sharp corners of this morning’s loaf tins, sitting clean and stacked on the shelves in the back. They’d puncture nicely; he daydreams about the holes they’d make.
Read the full story...

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Etheric Fields by Lily Childs


Gerald blinked. It was the first word out of the woman’s mouth since she’d entered his cubicle. He eyed her carefully. He’d take the photograph, but if she couldn’t pay she’d be out on her ear.

“I’m not sure what you mean my dear. Please - place your hands on the sensor pads either side of the seat.”

He twiddled the ends of his fat, ginger moustache. He liked to look smart; it pleased the ladies.

Her face in perfect focus, Gerald snapped. Although her aura would only appear once he’d developed the photograph Ransome prided himself in predicting the results. Deciding his customer was somewhat unhinged he envisioned swathes of volatile purple tinged with morose black and fiery red stains exploding around her head. He leaned in and took a second shot, to keep for himself.

There was no-one there.

Frowning, Ransome stood up straight. The only door was behind him. The woman had been thin, emaciated even, but she couldn’t possibly have got past him to the door without pushing him out of the way. The room only measured eight feet by ten and felt even smaller, crammed as it was with the heavy chair and the recording apparatus. Ransome shook his head, unnerved. There was nowhere else for her to have gone. He opened the cubicle door and stared through the crowds milling around the pier.  Ice-creams melted in sticky hands; laughing kids showered the decks with tasteless popcorn. Gerald gave up, flipped his Open for Business sign over to Back in Ten Minutes and locked the door. Inside the cubicle he flicked the development switch on the bulky machine.

He waited.

The print deposited itself in the tray, glistening with fluid. Ransome let the image dry before picking it up to see if his predictions were correct. The woman’s face, pale as moonlight shone through the dark clouds of her aura. Gerald squinted. Something about her seemed familiar. He peered harder.

The eyes flashed.

“You stole my SOUL.”

The spirit rushed at him; forcing itself down his throat. The entity plunged through his heart, wormed into his brain.

“Remember me?”

The thing unwound inside his skull, flipping the years back in sheaves. Ransome clutched his head in agony as the slideshow of images projected into his head with relentless speed.

Then he did remember; clearly recalling the body, and his fists, and the blood… so much blood. He howled in shame that he had ever allowed himself to forget.

Claudette. His first model. Ravaged. Left for dead. Buried in a shallow grave.

Ransome clawed his guilty chest as Claudette evacuated his body. He fell - unable to catch his breath, to the ground of the locked cubicle. The machine clicked and whirred into life, developing the second, empty shot.

They found the corpse with a photo lodged tight in its hand. Waves of black, purple and red swam around the image. Its subject’s eyes were missing, the nose had been crushed and the lips torn away. Inside the slash of a mouth, broken teeth studded the swollen tongue.  The only feature unscathed in the final portrait of the photographer - Gerald Ransome, deceased - was a magnificent moustache, combed and waxed and curled at the edges, all the better to please the ladies.


A 200-word version of Etheric Fields first appeared in Writers News online forum Talkback's monthly One Word Challenge under the theme 'Waves'. I felt it needed plumping up a bit, hence the above.

An Exquisite Read

I have just come away awestruck from D. A. Hernandez' story CHRYSALIS over at that masterful horrorfare THE NEW FLESH.

It is one of the most beautiful, dark and astonishing pieces of fiction I have read in a long time. The extraordinary descriptions leap, crackling with metamorphosis, off the screen. You can hear it, you can sense it, and Christ can you see it.


Friday, 13 August 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Perfect - it's Friday 13th today. Sweet.

Spectacular entries for the Prediction last week from Michael Solender, Sue H, Erin Cole, David Barber, Chris Allinotte and Pixie J. King. Even managed to squeeze one in myself. Thanks all for taking the time not just to enter, but to save the Prediction from an untimely demise!

Enough of the speech. Here are this week's words/phrases:

  • vouch
  • aluminium foil (aluminum is acceptable)
  • servitude
As usual, 100 words max flash fiction please (excluding title) added to the Comments box below, and feel free to make additional comments too.

Drum roll............................................

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Hunger

Caught out by a rendition of Ravel's sinister and haunting Le Gibet this evening I was taken back to my favourite film of all time - 1983's The Hunger - starring Catherine Deneuve (the most beautiful woman in the world, i.m.h.o.) as Miriam the ancient, immortal (or not) Egyptienne who survives on blood and blood lust.

What could be better than Deneuve in dark glasses watching Bauhaus spasm in a NY club, David Bowie topless in a stable, Susan Sarandon and Deneuve in love's Sapphic embrace? All spun about by slash, blissful horror and more blood to the dangerous piano of Satie, Ravel, Bach and Schubert... and delicate rain.

Watch the trailer below (ignore the silly voiceover). The perfect modern gothic horror. And never a mention of the 'V' word. All I can say is... Sara? SARA?????????

And if you like this, take a look at the alternative trailer of Bauhaus singing Bela Lugosi's Dead on YouTube. Awesome.

Monday, 9 August 2010

She's Leaving Home

Magenta Sweeney, aka Magenta Shaman reminisces on the day - twelve years before - when life finally threw her into the gutter.

Magenta's mother Rosa has a hard time dealing with her daughter's fits and trances, her visions and healing hands. A shaman from birth like her errant father, Magenta has always unwittingly terrified Rosa, even though the girl is desperate for her mother's love. No longer able to cope Rosa gives Magenta an ultimatum - find an elixir to cure her baby half-sister's worsening skin disease, or get the hell out and leave them alone.
Although the books are solid fiction, Magenta's memory spills out as poetry here. I haven't asked her why.


Find out more about Magenta's terrifying shamanic journeys by downloading the very first episode in the Magenta Shaman series to your Kindle from or

She’s Leaving Home

Just sixteen,
she’s bouncing off strobe lights
at Slippy’s.
No drink.
No drugs.
Livid pulses flood
her eyes.
Throbbing beat
loving her feet,
she dances -
all ballet and wedgie sandals.
Arms flail.
Fingertips pitch and point
to the flickering
in the dull ceiling.

With clubbers clubbing
all around
Magenta takes the spinning world
by the Minotaur’s horns.
She jumps on his back,
transcends the borders.
Falls fast, eyes wide open
rising and falling in trance.
Touches, pale snatches
at slivers of skin,
the shaman reaps the harvest.

It is morning.
Baby sister cries and squeals.
Magenta grafts
ancient epidermis
as their mother looks on.
For once... for once
all fails.

Her sister is gone
and her mother wants none
of her strangest of skills,
and her father –
missing -
for ever and ever...
it’s too much.
“You’re just like him.
“Get out.”

She walks down Brighton’s streets
Veils of power
shield Magenta from
the dark and the desperate.
Mourning and lonely
she slips into a damp corner
to sleep.
“My darling.”
Daddy’s voice, always in dreams.
“It’s time.”
The shaman awakes,
money in her pocket,
a typed address on a note,
a key of gold in her hand.

More about Magenta Shaman...
Download the first episode in the series from or

Friday, 6 August 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction - Last Chance

Hokey Pokey. No entries apart from my own last week so this will be the last Friday Prediction unless I get five or more entries. No pressure - I know what busy scribblers we all are.

So, at 1 minute past midnight... Friday 6th August's three words/terms are:

  • Freedom
  • Jewellery Box
  • Cavernous
100 words max flash fiction written in the Comments Box below please. Do trickle in...

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Eastbourne Lammas Fest 31/7- 1/8 2010

Our pagan Lammas Fest celebrated its 10th year this weekend and is going from strength to strength. I am no longer involved in the organisation but those who do it are the most amazing bunch - Ray, Lynda, Simon, Chris, Derek, George, Ann, Cath, Jen, Dave - feruckin' fabulata.

This year's is the best ever, despite the Weather Goddess pissing on us for the morning - her prerogative... she did us proud this afternoon. A lesson for the complacent.

Hunters Moon Morris led the dance, as always. Jen - be well. Pentacle Drummers performed with spectacular entertainment value, despite the sea mist wilting their skins ;) Eastbourne Giants - Herne and Andred - blessed us with their presence, joined by John Barleycorn. Thank you Derek.

The closing ritual was a massive event. Paddy as a priest was a wondrous thing to behold. After all these years, Paddy - the biggest hugs ever. BB.

Come back tomorrow, if you are so inclined. If they'll let you in...

Here's John Barleycorn from  a couple of year's back. (Hubby in blue).
Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.