Friday, 11 February 2011

Erin Cole - the ethereal February Femme Fatale

February Femmes Fatales - February 11th

One of the reasons I continue to write the way I do is down to the lovely Erin Cole.

Erin was one of the first to read my pieces on Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers and has offered her support and encouragement ever since. I know my style and genre doesn't suit everyone but Erin gave me the confidence to write as myself. And now I can't imagine ever doing it any other way. A thousand thanks to you, Erin.

As with many of the February Femmes Fatales, I have had the honour to share web and printed space with her. And in particular, although it hasn't yet arrived in the UK, we both feature in Red Skies Press' Their Dark Masters: Extreme Vampire Horror, along with fellow FFF Marissa Farrar. And of that, I'm very proud.

I have such deep admiration for Erin's work; it is eloquent and frighteningly honest. Her words barter and fight with passion, hammering the heart like the stamping feet of a gypsy whilst spiralling through the senses with her unique poetry. Lace and funerary cards.

Erin's chilling tale The Phantoms of Jamie Stevens will get you thinking, I promise.

The Phantoms of Jamie Stevens by Erin Cole

My dearest Jamie, the letters always started. Your mother is no longer in pain. She stops reading at this point. Collects herself.

*** 

Basement stairs tunnel into midnight, the depths of her insatiable need. Her phantom knows why she is there, underneath the light of life. It’s not her first visit, won’t be her last. Waiting in the black, he keeps refuge, remedial subsistence—his darkness her thirst, her sickness his fruit.

Along the stair railing, she slides ivory fingers. The bar is silky, steel-cold—a frigid, cruel reminder of the phantom’s nature. He is selfish and merciless. Her vulnerability perverts his will, and though unmoving is he, she can feel his pulse race for it is a wild colt in her own heart. She steps into the cellar. The phantom emerges from a shadowed corner.

*** 

It was her decision to end her life. How could I not grant my wife her last wish? I loved her. If you never forgive me, I will understand. But you must find peace, for yourself. For her.

*** 

Like harpooned lust, his sable eyes snare hers, not a gloss of truth behind them. Depravity is a magnetic rage, and he devours the distance between them. She is his space and he consumes her, breeching her being, becoming a part of her, a storm-sated union. There are no words or thoughts, just senses ablaze—a burning in the marrow of the soul.

He takes everything from her, everything that is true, and all that is a lie. She steals across the narrow bridge of madness, severed from the physical—her anger and fear, bitter desperation, boredom of life, and blindness to the stars, all blurred like thick, cold rain on glass. She has no past or future. She is his and he is nothing.

*** 

At the time, I did what I thought was right. I know, I trust, that you know what to do and that you will do it. For you.

*** 

The phantom is gone when she wakes, freed by her surrender. The basement lights flicker and stillness wraps around her. She feels wholeness again. Upstairs in her bedroom, she sits cross-legged on the bed and lets a bullet drop from a chamber into the palm of her hand. It is shiny and now without a name. She places it in an envelope with a note that says,

Never. You will live another day.
___________________________

Bio:
Erin Cole is a phantom. Wait, that’s not totally accurate. She wants to be your phantom. If you are even remotely interested, you can view her dark, wicked spirits here, www.erincolelive.blogspot.com or here, www.erincolewrites.com. She even has her very own ghost story — Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery.
___________________________


18 comments:

  1. Oh, Erin, this has its own beauty in the depths of its darkness -- and what darkness!

    Your gift for enchanting imagery, for bringing poetic vividness to even the most horrifying passages, is all throughout this piece, like here:

    Along the stair railing, she slides ivory fingers. The bar is silky, steel-cold—a frigid, cruel reminder of the phantom’s nature

    Well done. This is strong, sexy, and dark.

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  2. Erin, you've outdone yourself. This is full to bursting of your original, dark, poetic style.

    The story itself is so original, and yet you give us an all too human loss to associate with, to draw us in, and get lost in that space between Jamie and the Phantom.

    So great.

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  3. Erin - wonderful, poetic words! My favourite line: "There are no words or thoughts, just senses ablaze." Marvellous!

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  4. EC has such a deft touch with her work. Patient, she never hurries her readers along preferring to provide words and thoughts to savor, reflect upon and create imagery with. And oh what images she conjures. This piece is no different, a marvelous creation. Which is exactly what I've come to expect.

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  5. harrowing and beautiful. Your usual light but sure touch, Erin, stunning piece.

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  6. I read this twice, just to enjoy the richness of the language. I love this line: "He takes everything from her, everything that is true, and all that is a lie."

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  7. Wow, just wow. Haunting and frightening and determined, all at once. Lovely work.

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  8. I have to repeat what Cathy said - wow. A beautiful and haunting tale.

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  9. Thanks for all the wonderful comments everyone! FFF was fun to write for and I appreciate the invite and all the hardwork that I know you've put into this, Lily.

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  10. Erin, you are one of the finest dark/horror writers I know. Your words in this are perfect, like this line....."There are no words or thoughts, just senses ablaze—a burning in the marrow of the soul."

    Excellent job, Erin. Very well done, indeed!!

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  11. Well done! I love a good trip to the spirit world. What a tale.

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  12. There are so many lines in this that just reach out, grab, and throttle the senses. You can feel her sense of hopelessness, loss, despair.
    This line spoke to me the most. "Depravity is a magnetic rage, and he devours the distance between them."

    Well played psychological mind trip. No one does it like you, Erin.

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  13. This is true Erin Cole. Always a delight to read your work.

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  14. I'll admit, I'm just confused. It's easily done. However I really do love this line: "Like harpooned lust, his sable eyes snare hers, not a gloss of truth behind them." I just love it. Well done.

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  15. Very well written. You have an original turn of phrase that's just perfect for this genre.

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  16. Wow! I´m late to the party but this is simply stunning! I have favourite quotes too, but they´ve already been mentioned above so I´ll just join the choir =)

    The depths of despair in this seduce me and I love how you make prose so poetic!

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  17. Terrific writing and I'm hard presed to think of another writer who mixes description and narrative so well. You make it seem so real and emotional.

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  18. Terrifying and raw. Great job!

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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.