Monday, 31 December 2012

No More Mrs Nice Guy

Having neglected The Feardom for a while I've popped in with the duster to clear out the cobwebs, thank everyone for their support during 2012 and wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2013.

Oh, and here's a bit of posh, slasher fun to end the year with...

NO MORE MRS NICE GUY

Dear Prime Minister

I would like to know, if my question doesn’t inconvenience you too much, what I am supposed to do now?

My name is Clara Barfington-Thropes, of Tunbridge Wells. I hope you do not mind my calling on your expertise but you are - as I understand is referred to in common-speak these days - The Top Man. I did of course, vote for your party so I trust we have similar leanings and that you will empathise with my plight.

My question, as an upstanding and accountable member of the community is, am I to be arrested for the murder of the two young gentlemen currently dirtying my drawing-room Axminster? Of course, I use the word ‘gentlemen’ loosely. I regret they were not terribly gentle when they attempted to assault me. And neither are they really yet ‘men’, merely teenagers with fluffy facial hair and pock-marked skin.

These lads weren’t known to me, so when I caught them after they’d crawled in through my tiny pantry window, you can imagine how quickly I accused them of trespassing. But Sir, it was to no avail!

They frightened me right from the outset with their rolling eyes, and the way they lolloped from side to side with their thumbs and little fingers poking out. Like apes, they were. I suspected they had been at a public house for their young, pink faces flared red – leading me to suspect they had been consuming alcohol – even at their young age. Now, there’s nothing wrong with alcohol Sir; I enjoy a claret of an evening myself. But with this pair, I felt there was more to it.

I discovered later, after I’d stripped them of their blood-soaked clothes that they had cuts and infected holes in their arms, their necks and even (though I apologise for having to mention it) in their groins next to their little winkies. Sir, I do believe they were “drug addicts”.

Now, I understand you will have some questions for me too before you can fully respond to my enquiry. If I may anticipate:

1. Was my pantry window not locked and secured? A question I would expect you might want to ask for insurance purposes (they did break a selection of my Royal Doulton after all.)

My answer is that I live in a Conservation Area. According to the people at the council we are not allowed to have double-glazing here as it doesn’t fit in with the look or something. Absolute poppycock, of course, but never the less the single-pane – now smashed – of the locked window is how they entered the premises.

2. How or why would they want to assault (Sir, I’m afraid you must read that as ‘rape’) me? 

Indeed - a very good question! I am a 67 year-old widow after all. I cannot imagine the attraction, though I must say I do look after my appearance and have several admirers at the Bridge Club.

I shall set the scene. When I stopped the boys in their tracks they laughed at me and spoke in a colloquialism that I could not understand. I believe they must hail from the other side of Kent.

But I digress. One of them addressed his friend as ‘Tommo.’ I shall refer to him henceforth as ‘Tom.’ They glanced at each other quickly from below their hoods. Tom wore grey, the other’s was black. It was strange to watch the boys’ eyes move independently of each other – one up, one dipping in and out of the side of its socket. That's the drugs I suppose. But when they attacked me, it was fast. Tom grabbed me first. He pulled my hands behind my back and pushed me up against the other boy. This was when the assault happened Sir. This naughty young man forced his hand inside my blouse and into my brassiere; with his other hand he dared tear at my skirt to find - and attempt to enter - my underwear. I could feel young Tom fiddling with his trousers with the hand that wasn’t pinching my wrists together. I am embarrassed to say, Prime Minister that at that moment I did become very frightened and am afraid I screamed a most unladylike cuss-word.

However, although I am of a slim build with - it has to be said - delicate features, I am also rather strong. I rode from the age of four, and am proud to say I still do. I keep a mare at the Hedgley-Bateson’s estate in Tenterden. Perhaps you know the family? I was able to squeeze my thighs tight onto the hand between my legs until the boy yelled and released his attack. He moved sufficiently enough to free me a little so I head-butted him hard on the nose. He roared with pain and before Tom could loosen his grip on my wrists I flipped my head backwards, hitting him in the face. I don’t know what I connected with but he whimpered “Ouch” like a little boy. Quickly I raised my left knee then kicked back into his shin with my heel which I dug in as hard as I could. He screamed, and let me go. 

I was so proud of myself - I had been able to use my powers of recollection from the 1980s when I was judge at the annual local flower show. We had been treated to a packed programme of events, one of which was a self-defence demonstration; how to protect oneself against attack. Well Sir, I was not even aware I had taken all that information in, but the evidence was right before me.

I should have left it there perhaps, and called the police but it transpired I had only given myself a few minutes grace. As the young men shuffled towards me, angry now, I raced out of the kitchen and down the hall. My dining-room doors were open and I almost fell through them, locking them immediately behind me. My heart was fairly hammering Sir, and I admonished myself for selecting a room that contained no telephone. I waited – I don’t know – it may have only been minutes, but it felt like hours.

I heard before I saw the handle slowly turn on the interlinking door between the dining and drawing rooms. What a fool; I had neglected to lock that one. I ran towards it, reaching it just as it opened a tad and an arm shot through the gap. I slammed the door repeatedly on the hand until it retreated and my final slam closed the door once again. I stood with my back against it, panting by now – I can tell you. I rested my ear against the panel to try to hear was going on on the other side, but could make out nothing. All of a sudden something huge crashed into the door and I was forced to the floor. I looked up to find myself staring at a gaping hole between the two rooms.

They both ran in, wielding kitchen knives. Heavens! What was I to do? Before they could get to me I flew to the corner, to the dresser where I keep the important cutlery. I pulled open the drawer and took a bone-handled carving knife from its bed of blue velvet, and grabbed a sharp bread knife for good measure. I spun around just as they reached me. To their surprise I parried them with both hands. Their simple lunges were nothing for St. Judith’s School for Girls fencing champion (1957 and ’59). Now, I must admit, my precision is not what it was, but with the awakening of a dormant thrill of combat I must say that I turned into a wild cat! What would you have made of me, I wonder as I slashed and cut, dancing around the room on nimble feet. Tom fell back from a daring thrust at his face – I caught one of those rolling eyeballs and flipped it from its socket, severing the nerves as I did so. Tom wailed like a baby, tears spurting from his remaining eye and collided into the dresser, causing the aforementioned Royal Doulton to crash to the parquet floor.

“Get her of me. Get her off me,” Tom cried.

His friend, cowardly thing, made for the window. His bloodied hands tore desperately at the handle of the sashes but it wouldn’t open. That’s because I’d had it sealed years ago when the council wouldn’t let us have the wretched double-glazing.

“You’re a fucking nutter,” the boy shouted at me. I use the expletive in full, Sir to demonstrate his terrible attitude and language. The lad still grasped his weapon but had apparently forgotten it was there. I brought the heavy bread knife down and neatly sliced off his thumb. His blade fell to the ground, as did the thumb. He screamed in both anguish and pain, I shouldn’t doubt, and didn’t object when I took him by the hair (I knocked that silly hood off first – what a shame – he would have been quite a nice looking lad if it weren’t for the pustules around his mouth) and dragged him over to the dresser where I pushed him down onto the shards of porcelain. He fell easily and lay there, pressing himself tightly against Tom. They whimpered, the pair of them.

Well, Prime Minister, I wasn’t done with them yet. I sat at their feet, twisting the knives around in my hands. I told them it wasn’t right, what they had done. I told them they did not have permission to enter my property, and nor did any man have the right to assault a woman. I asked them what they wanted – what they had come here for – and when they didn’t answer I swiftly sliced each of them across the cheek.

“Money,” they screamed together.

“We need the money,” Tom said. He broke into a full-scale, one-sided sob.

“What for?” I asked. “To buy drugs?”

They nodded like a couple of guilty fools. And it made me cross.

“My father worked hard to give me a good upbringing. My husband too. We didn’t have children, but by God, if we’d had two boys like you we would have loved them and cared for them and would never have let them turn out the way you have.”

Tom’s friend wept uncontrollably, not for my sad tale of a childless marriage, but for himself. My heart, despite my rage, fluttered with a touch of sympathy.

“So,” I asked. “What do you want to do?”

“Stop,” Tom replied, his voice breaking. “I just want to stop. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

I looked at his friend.

“Do you feel the same young man?”

He nodded, wiping blood and tears on a grubby sleeve.

And then Sir, I feel there was a misunderstanding. In retrospect I realise they were probably telling me they wanted to come off the drugs, perhaps be something more like the boys I never had. But of course that would have been impossible. And at that moment, I didn’t even consider it.

I bent towards the young men. They must have thought I was going to embrace them, for they both edged forward, very slightly. I reached out and tousled their hair. I still held onto the knives so as I stroked the greasy locks on each of their heads it was with the edge of my hands.

It was very hard, but it seemed the right thing to do. I’m sure Tom knew it too, as he stared at me through his reddened eye.

I did it quickly, so it wouldn’t be too bad for them. Indeed for Tom’s friend it took only seconds. His throat seemed to gush more profusely than Tom’s, whose own jugular spouted for a while longer before his body gave up its life with a judder.

And so, Prime Minister, I am sure you appreciate my concerns. What will Dame Justice make of this poor widow, defending herself in her own home against invading thieves and rapists?

I am sure, as a gesture of goodwill, you will arrange for the matter to be dismissed before it reaches the courts.

I would however, be most appreciative if you could ask the county Police to put me in touch with the boys’ fathers. I promise I will not condescend to judge them – it is simply that my income and savings are not what they were – and these gentlemen’s sons have left me with a considerable cleaning bill. Someone should pay for it, don’t you think?

Sir, I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.

Yours, most sincerely

Clara Barfington-Thropes (Mrs)

___________  THE END????____________


Saturday, 27 October 2012

SMILING CYRUS by Lily Childs

It's the Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers Halloween Horror Editors' Special! Matt Hilton, Col Bury and David Barber have already posted three terrifying tales - and now it's my turn.

I wrote SMILING CYRUS, too late, for an Evil Jester Press anthology. Like many of my stories, it doesn't fit elsewhere so I included it in Cabaret of Dread: a Horror Compendium - the first volume of my collected short stories. (Vol.2 will be published in early 2013).

I love this tale, and am proud to offer it up on TK'n'C. I hope you enjoy it too.

SMILING CYRUS: Excerpt

Hurtling. He’s hurtling. Cyrus has a head the size of three balloons welded into one, rubber bumps in all the right places. Someone set him up, something stung him.

Trinkets and engraved goblets topple from overloaded shelves as the boy, nearly a man runs the length of the room and back again. His eyes are peas in the growing face. He tears at them, not knowing if they are about to sink forever into the burgeoning flesh or pop and burst. Salty old seadog, those tears that spill; they sting the stretch marks spreading and ripping at the child’s visage.

Blind, Cyrus throws himself to the floor. Screaming is impossible; the fattened mouth is full to suffocation with a tongue of weeping meatloaf. Who would hear him anyway?

They start with a jingle, the bells; whispering at Cyrus with their teasing voices. He slaps at the spaces his ears used to be, hearing only mosquito torture and fearing another assault. So they play a little louder. The boy shudders as the noise grows in volume.

Tinkling, ding dong dinging, tolling and tolling and tolling until the sound is too much and the eardrums inside Cyrus’s attic-sized head explode. The roar that almost kills him is enough to wake Mr and Mrs Cleavage in their bedroom below.

It’s the same every night since their son disappeared.

______________________________

Cabaret of Dread on Amazon UK | Amazon US/Canada
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilychildsfeardom
Twitter: @LilyChilds

Monday, 15 October 2012

Book Review: DEVIL'S CHIMNEY by Tin Larrick

When I first heard about Tin Larrick’s crime thriller, Devil’s Chimney, set in my home town of Eastbourne I was intrigued. Stories set here tend to be genteel so as a reader that prefers the darker side of fiction I downloaded it with an open mind...

By happy contrast Larrick’s novel is gritty, hardboiled and bitingly honest. The author’s well-informed descriptions of police procedure add a perfect backdrop to this terrifying tale of organised crime. Murder, abduction, drugs and revenge pepper the pages; every chapter leaves the reader hanging and I was gripped from the outset.

The main character, known by his surname Barnes – even to his beautiful wife Eve - is a bright new star in the Eastbourne police force whose hard work and dedication to the job get him noticed by the powers that be. But there is more than one power in town – and it stinks.

I genuinely couldn’t put this book down; superbly-written, expertly researched and thrilling to the bone with a story that twists and turns with such speed it leaves you dizzy, and hungry for more.

Devil’s Chimney should be a best-seller; and Tin Larrick is most definitely a name to remember.
5 stars - Highly Recommended

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Horror Overload - Cons, Comps and Fests

What a week. What a month!

FantasyCon 2012

FantasyCon 2012 at Brighton was excellent. I came back with some hellacious memories, more books than I intended acquiring and a stinking cold.

Finally got to meet up with the charming, chatty Phil Ambler and we extolled the virtues of many of our Prediction friends, other authors and the horror scene in general over a pint or two.

The tentacles of Lily Childs' hair sneak toward Phil Ambler's throat at FantasyCon


Marvellous to say hello to Jan Edwards from The Alchemy Press, Stephen Jones, Gary McMahon, Thana Niveau, Kim Newman, Tim Lebbon, Alison Littlewood, John Llewellyn Probert and Spectral Press's Simon Marshall-Jones. And whilst I'm sure Sarah Pinborough wasn't really disappointed that I didn't stay to join her on the dancefloor that night it was great to meet her (if briefly).

James Herbert sat behind us too, signing copies of his new book, Ash.

Lots of superb new horror out there, everyone. Best start saving your pennies!


Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers Halloween Horror Competition

We all know October is the time of year when the veil between the real and 'other' worlds (whatever that happens to mean to you) is thin, building up to the horror frenzy that is Halloween.

We couldn't let the month go by without a special nod to the celebrations so:


London Horror Festival 2012

The London Horror Festival at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden - only two weeks to go!

Horror theatre, comedy, magic and performance art, from psychological spine-chillers to all-out splatter. The festival's purpose is to "foster new talent as well as nurturing the already burgeoning live horror scene within the UK."


Promises to be a spectacular event.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

FantasyCon 2012

...begins in Brighton this Friday, 28th September!

I'm going along on the Saturday again. Last year I just listened and lingered, stroked limited edition, beautifully-bound books, sat next to Ramsey Campbell and lined up for a series of signings. I also briefly chatted to Gary McMahon and Stephen Jones.

This year I hope to do the same but am looking forward to meeting up with an editor and saying hello to Simon Marshall-Jones of the wonderful Spectral Press as well as Sarah Pinborough and a whole other pile of  amazingly talented authors. 

Not only that - Mr Prediction himself, Phil Ambler will be meeting me and hubby at the bar for a natter and a glass or two.

Tim Lebbon is Master of Ceremonies and special guests include Mark Gatiss, Mary Danby, Joe R. Lansdale and... James Herbert!

Very excited, nervous - and can't wait.

More at http://www.fantasycon2012.org


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Going for Number 1

I am stunned.

MAGENTA SHAMAN and MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW have only been free to download from all Amazon platforms for a couple of days, and already both are alternating at top first and second positions in the Free Kindle Horror Bestsellers list, adjacent to horror master James Herbert in the paid lists, no less!



They're not quite there in the .com US charts but have still had lots of interest. To date, both books - short novellas that chart the terrifying journeys of Brighton-based, natural-born shaman Maggie Sweeney - have been downloaded over 2,500 times! That's across the US/Canada, UK, Germany and Spain.

I am so grateful to everyone that has picked up copies and hope you enjoy them. Your reviews and comments are very welcome.

All the best.

Lily/x


Monday, 3 September 2012

Download the MAGENTA SHAMAN stories for FREE!

Forewarned is forearmed... both MAGENTA SHAMAN and  MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW will be **FREE** to download to your Kindle or Kindle app from tomorrow 4th September, right through to Saturday 8th.

Dark, urban fantasy woven with mild horror these short novellas introduce Brighton's natural-born shaman, Maggie Sweeney and follow her astral journeys to cursed lands and demon-infested pits.

Walk with Magenta as she gathers plants and poisons to use in battle; suffer with her as she faces death - again and again.

Sometimes it's not the supernatural you should watch out for, it's the devils on your own doorstep...

Free from tomorrow but more info - including a peek at the opening pages - at: Amazon UK  and Amazon US/Canada


Sunday, 5 August 2012

I get the Slaughterhouse treatment from Mr. Glamour himself

Richard Godwin, author of the crime/horror novels 'Apostle Rising' and 'Mr. Glamour' is well respected for his incredible writing, but also for the regular interviews he conducts - Chin Wag at the Slaughterhouse.

Last year, he invited me to be interviewed and I finally finished answering his questions back in May. 

Today, Richard - who has the patience of a saint - has posted our interview up at http://www.richardgodwin.net/author-interviews-extensive/chin-wag-at-the-slaughterhouse-interview-with-lily-childs where we touch on myth, horror and the skill of the femme fatale.

If you have the time, please nip on over to Richard's place. He makes great coffee - and even better martinis.

All comments would be welcome. Thank you.

Flash Fiction Podcast - Me and The Boys!


A little while ago I was interviewed by Dion Winton-Polak and Phil Ambler on the subject of flash fiction for a podcast called Geek2Geek, which is part of The Geek Syndicate.

You can now download Geek to Geek - Issue 5 for free from iTunes

Our discussion starts at about 57 minutes into the podcast - you should be able to 'slide' to it. Our wonderful writer friends Matt Hilton, Col Bury, David Barber, A.J. Humpage and Sandra Davies all get a mention, as does The Prediction of course.

It'll be on the Geek Syndicate website soon too (it's got the wrong link on there at the mo. but this will be corrected shortly) so I'll add the link when that's up.

Additionally, there will be a longer version coming soon where we each do readings of our, and other people's work.... to be revealed ;-)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

THE SONG OF RESTORATION

Triple X

It's day seven of John Xero's Xeroversary in the magical land of The Xeroverse, where he's celebrating with an eight-day selection of 'flash fiction - fantasy and science fiction, magic, myth and machines.'
 
My Crete-inspired whoredom, THE SONG OF RESTORATION is up today - debauch horror for your pleasure, and written especially for the Xeroversary. I'd love to know what you think.

Opening lines - a taster:


"Lestros calls me sordid, and I have no intention of disappointing him. A snip here, a snatch – albeit a well-worked flaccid one – there, and I can provide everything he needs. It’s not all for him though, which saddens me for a second or two every day. He has business to attend to, clients to please – as do I, but mine are more discerning, more appreciative of the finer things in life – and death.

I arrange my layers for his pleasure; cotton upon skin upon hair upon thin, light silk that stinks of overworked Eastern worms. He stares at me and I smile, knowing he’ll never be mine – not really.

“Shall I send them in?” he asks afterwards. I nod, a twitch at my scarlet-painted mouth.

In the intervening moments I gather the hoard to my bosom. We suckle one another to give strength..."
________________________________

Sunday, 1 July 2012

News and Updates

"It's been a while, it's been a while, it's been a while and OH!" As sang Rev Hammer and the Levellers of Freeborn John, one of England's most controversial freedom fighters.

I've been away from The Feardom for a few weeks, getting myself together and tying up loose ends - all with the aim of getting stuck into the novels once I'm finished.

What Has Lily Been Up To?

Thank you for asking. Succinctly:
  • I've recorded a podcast as guest of Feardom friends Phil Ambler and Dion Winton-Polak for The Geek Syndicate on the subject of flash fiction. Two versions will be released - the first will be interspersed within the next Geek2Geek issue during late July/early August, and a longer one with readings of microflash fiction from The Prediction will be published soon at Scrolls
  • Another Feardom friend John Xero is celebrating the second Xeroversary which starts today 1st July and runs for 8 days. He invited me to contribute and I'm proud that he accepted my debauch myth, A Song of Restoration which will be published on 7th July 2012.
  • After working on a lengthy short story for a Spectral Press competition I finally completed, edited and submitted the 5,560 word tale with 1 hour and 5 minutes to go before the deadline. I have enormous respect for Spectral Press which publishes beautiful, limited edition chap books, as well as a great admiration for its owner - the inimitable Simon Marshall-Jones.
  • I have been interviewed by Mr. Glamour author Richard Godwin for his Chin Wag at The Slaughterhouse. His patience has been unbelievable and I'm really looking forward to reading his interpretation of my gabble during July.
  • My husband and I have been outlining plans for an exhibition of artwork and dark fiction. Lots more to come on that - in the meantime, here's his latest painting - a black and white watercolour interpretation of the Charles Bargue drawing of a horse-head from the Parthenon:


So, as you see - I've not been slacking!


Other Feardom Friend News

There's been lots going on with other Feardom friends and Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers contributors too. Good luck to everyone with your self-publishing endeavours! Please share your support.

The links below go to Amazon.co.uk - just swap the the co.uk in the link for .com to access them in Canada/USA.
  • Edited by Joe Hunter best-selling thriller author Matt HiltonAction: Pulse-Pounding Tales Vol. 1 is packed with old-style, non-stop crime/action stories by some of the best in the business at the moment, and includes some of our friends - Matt Hilton himself, Col Bury, Absolutely*Kate, David Barber, Keith Gingell, Paul D. Brazill, Graham Smith, Richard Godwin and many more. Suspend belief - and step into the extreme - you won't regret it.
  • David Barber's new eBook From a Crowded Mind includes a fine contradiction of gritty and emotional short crime stories
  • Chris Allinotte's Gathering Darkness eBook promises 230 pages of short horror madness
  • Shaun Adams's eBook Jack Is Writing includes eight short stories and six 100-word flashes of gruesome horror and twisted evil. As is only right.
I'm also hearing lots of exciting rumours about forthcoming novels, agents and contracts from a few of you. A huge - yet tentative - congratulations. The bubbles, or perhaps in most of our cases - the Merlot - is awaiting. Onwards and upwards my dear friends - how times are changing. And that comes with a smile.


Friday, 15 June 2012

SHELF LIFE

This 200-word flash fiction piece was runner-up in the 'One Word Challenge' on the UK's Writing Magazine online forum Talkback.

SHELF LIFE  by Lily Childs

She kept it in a jar.

Every day, Cecile held her breath and snuck into the larder whilst Madame Severin took a nap. The thing was safely hidden behind three rows of Duck Confit, indeed it resembled the meat that wallowed in pale yellow fat, barely distinguishable.

Cecile stopped to wipe the condensation away, as had become tradition. The warmth beneath her fingers grew as she stroked, and she smiled.

“Not long now, little one.”

The jar juddered on the shelf causing a minor kilner cacophony.

“Sshhh.” Cecile leant in and patted the container’s lid. “Don’t let Cook hear you, or she’ll serve you up for supper.”

The jar’s contents shrunk away from the sides. Its flesh quivered, bones poked at the glass in accusation. Cecile stared at the ceiling as the bare bulb flickered and sparked.

“Don’t!”

Her call came too late. The pantry disappeared, drowned in darkness. Cecile ran for the door. Glass smashed and metal erupted all around her. She slipped in a mess of preserved meat and vegetables, her knees slamming onto hard quarry tiles.

Tentacles tore at Cecile’s throat.

Madame Severin arrived. She cursed, scooped up her child, and left Madamoiselle Cecile to flounder in fat.
_____________________________

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A SMILE, REFLECTING opens At The Bijou


My psychological thriller 'A Smile, Reflecting' (re)opens the amazing fictional stage show that is 'At The Bijou'.

Read the story at http://at-the-bijou.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/smile-reflecting-lily-childs.html

The Bijou's hostess, February Femme Fatale and  Pleasure Town Predictioneer Absolutely*Kate Pilarcik was also kind enough to interview me, and so it seems was the late Alfred Hitchcock.

Thank you Kate - it's been a blast!

EXCERPT FROM 'A SMILE, REFLECTING':

She’s seeing as though through a mask, its hugging surface woven of fine leather and peeking with thorns. Woe betide the kissing man who will surely die from her spikes.

Counting down the seconds with bites of her blackened nails she begins to worry her lovers won’t come. They must! She is tearing at the skin now, ripping sore shreds away. Saliva slips into the wounds, puffing the flesh.

At last their car pulls into the driveway. He gets out first, does a comedy run around to her side to open the door. She’s looking beautiful tonight – he’s probably telling her that as he lifts her hair and speaks softly into her ear, his hand slipping down that long, slender neck.

It’s strange to see them together. She is used to having each of them to herself.

*Is this wrong? Can I do this, can I share?*

The plan doesn’t seem as solid as it did yesterday, when she’d whispered the invitation.

“Don’t tell.” ...

_________________________


Friday, 18 May 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction - Thank you and goodnight

Damn it, but I can't see; I seem to be awash with emotion. As if the Olympic Torch starting its journey to the UK today and Donna Summer dancing over to the other side aren't enough - letting go of The Prediction has hit me even harder than I thought it would.

I'll have a few more words to say after I announce last week's winners...

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Stunning, stunning entries. How could I possibly choose? But it's tradition, and so I declare the winner of the Feardom's final Prediction challenge with a spiralling, mythical tale of primal beauty is...

R.S. Bohn, and One Night. The extraordinary vision, so beautifully crafted drifts us in and out of the creation process, grasping and grateful for freedom. I loved it. Your writing never fails to stir me and this is a wonderful example of your delicate skill. Congratulations Rebecca.

I have two runners-up, because I could not choose between them, different though they are:

Aidan Fritz's Brüder - so clever, so inspired. As I said in my comments, Aidan never fails to educate me - pointing at historical or mythical events and characters I feel I should know. I genuinely suffer from a very short memory so no matter how passionate I am about a topic - I will forget. I did know about the Deutches Wörterbuch - once. Thank you for the reminder, for bringing Grimm and the 'players' together and for that last word. And please sell this as the next box-office smash.

asuqi's Smile and No Harm Will Be Done gathered together so many symptoms of society's expectations and failures in 100 words, and despite a daily urban horror event in itself asuqi's unique wordcraft lifted this piece to an ethereal level. "bites through his crust and impersonates a woman" will stay with me forever, as will those creaking Northern Lights - do they...?

Very well done Aidan and asuqi, and all the rest of you too.

Words for 18 May 2012...

...are up at The Prediction's new home at 9am UK time where the weekly challenge rises like a fiction Phoenix, courtesy of Phil Ambler - to whom I will be forever grateful.

A Last Word, or So

To all the friends that have come, gone, stayed awhile, and hung around for two years. Thank you - you've changed my life, and for once - I'm struck dumb.

I do hope you'll come back and play in my darkened hallways; the doors will always be open to you. Pull up a velvet cushion, take a sip of wine, tea or whatever you need and tell me your story, even if it is filled with silence - I will still hear your words.

ALL HAIL THE PREDICTIONEERS:

  • Absolutely*Kate
  • Shaun Adams
  • Chris Allinotte
  • Phil Ambler
  • Hilary Ashton
  • asuqi
  • Stu Ayris
  • David Barber
  • P Blacksaw
  • Rebecca Bohn
  • Col Bury
  • Steven Chapman
  • Lily Childs
  • Erin Cole
  • Colleen
  • Steve Cormier
  • Anthony Cowin
  • Sandra Davies
  • William Davoll
  • Craig Douglas
  • Jenny Dreadful
  • Elspeth
  • Matt Farr
  • Aidan Fritz
  • Ellie Garratt
  • Reginald Golding
  • Grogan
  • Sue Harding
  • Herbedaceous
  • Matt Hilton
  • SJI Holliday
  • Jack Holt
  • Helen Howell
  • Lee Hughes
  • AJ Humpage
  • Susan May James
  • Joleen
  • Kallandra
  • Kim (scratchypen)
  • Andie King
  • Pixie J. King
  • kittylefish
  • Reba Kovar
  • laplace
  • Laura
  • Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
  • Lissa101
  • Jodi MacArthur
  • MRMacrum
  • Henrietta Maddox
  • mimimanderly
  • Melenka
  • Marietta Miles
  • Marc Mimouni
  • Nick Mott
  • Sandie Owen
  • Bill Owens
  • Paul (Crimson Archer)
  • Phantasmagoric
  • Nina Powers
  • Ragemore
  • Ravenways
  • Sean Patrick Reardon
  • St Force (Jack)
  • Nick Roberts
  • Darren Sant
  • Rosalind Smith-Nazilli
  • Ronnie Soak
  • Michael Solender
  • Sulci Collective
  • Liam Sweeny
  • Alfred M Taitague Jr
  • Amber Taitague ( Muckie Duckie)
  • Nathaniel Tower
  • ttofee
  • Cindy Vaskova
  • Charlie Wade
  • Carol Wills
  • Dion Winton-Polak
  • Antonia Woodville
  • John Xero
  • Zaiure
  • Angel Zapata

Don't stop telling tales...


Saturday, 12 May 2012

STARING AT THE PINK - Cabaret of Dread stories revealed

Every Saturday I’m revealing the tale behind the tale of Cabaret of Dread Vol.1’s main stories, together with a short excerpt of each to whet your appetite.

STARING AT THE PINK


The final 'previously unpublished' story of the collection.

One death; two souls departed. How many versions of ourselves are housed in this thing we call a body? What happens if they are released before the corporeal shell has finished with them? Perhaps I should have called this "Giving Up The Ghost". Perhaps not.

I wrote Staring At The Pink for a Daily Telegraph competition but it got nowhere, neither did the other two magazines I sent it to want to publish it. Well, I like it - and that's why I've included it in Volume 1 of Cabaret of Dread so that it has somewhere to rest - amongst friends.

So – what’s Staring At The Pink about?

A young woman dealing with the agony of watching her grandmother die slowly in a hospital bed is shocked to see not one spirit depart, but a second, dark mirror image of her lovely Pink Grandma. Fighting off a spectral assault, the narrator escapes with her own soul still intact. But years later, as she is about to give birth to her own child the grandmothers return - and they're not alone.

Inspiration

Sadly, this story is inspired by a friend whose grandfather was seriously ill, but no matter how sick he became - he wouldn't give up. A medium, who didn't know anything about my friend, told her that part of him had already left and was waiting on the other side for the two parts to become one again.

It struck me that this was a dangerous situation that potentially happens a lot. What would happen if the two parts became permanently split - and which parts of one's personality would sit with which broken soul? The thought still chills me.

Excerpt

Her hand rests over my heart, forcing me to study the transparent fingers. I question everything; how can this possibly be? Yesterday she was here, solid and alive in a hospital bed. Today – she’s alive – solid and just about living in a hospital bed. But she’s changed. Last night, she died.

I saw it all. Moments after the green line ran straight and my grandmother began her journey towards the mythical light the doctors snatched her back; breaking the laws of death. I cried at first with fear and premeditated grief, and then again with a relief full of guilt for my selfishness. I didn’t want her to leave. I needed her. I wallowed in my own self-pity - until I saw what they’d done, the damage their interference had caused and I knew without understanding why or how, that from one perfect grandmother another - her dark side, her nemesis, was torn.

Do we spit out our demons as filth when we pass over, purifying ourselves on the way to an unknown place of rest? In the natural process does that shadow-self quickly dissipate and die? I don’t have the answer because I am not so spiritually minded to have considered it before now. But sitting here, staring at the pair of them – both revived, both breathing – I believe we should leave well alone, and that we are wrong to play God.

Pink Grandma rests beneath the sheets whispering laboured breaths into a clinical pillow. It’s the Pale Grandma that sits beside her who leans forward to stroke my chest.

“I’ll have it,” Pale Grandma says in a voice I struggle to recognise. Her bony claws grasp at my small breast, and I feel her ice in my soul. I do nothing, not out of fear but from teeth-gritting anger.

Pale Grandma has black eyes, not the wistful blue of Pink Grandma’s. They stare at me, those vaulted chasms, expecting me to give in. I return her gaze - defiant. I shake my head.

“No.”

She roars frustration back at me with foetid breath. And is gone.

Pink Grandma - Nana - stirs from her slumber, unaware of the nocturnal separation. She smiles without seeing, squeezes my hand without knowing I’ve clutched it back. I move to embrace her, lingering a while, careful not to damage her frail frame.  When at last she sighs I know it is the end and I hug her closer. Pink Nana dies, for the second time, in the safety of my arms.

***
We planned to call our daughter Rosa...

*************

Like the excerpt? The full tale is waiting for you in Cabaret of Dread! By visiting the book's 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon you can also read the opening tale DRESSING-UP BOX, a few pages of SMILING CYRUS and a handful of mini-tales.

Of course, the best way to read this - and the many other stories in Vol.1 of Cabaret of Dread, is to download it. If you do, I am ever thankful...

Buy/Download Cabaret of Dread from

Friday, 11 May 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction - end of one era - birth of a new

And so we come to a close, dear friends. This is the final Friday Prediction fiction and poetry challenge here at The Feardom.

I want to thank you all for your continuing support of each other's work and for dallying in and out of my corridors over the last two years.

I'll have more to say next Friday 18th May when I announce my final winner(s) before handing over to Phil Ambler. As you know, Phil has generously committed the time and effort to take on The Prediction Challenge - and as he is an immensely talented writer with an astute eye, not to mention a lovely, considerate man - I am in no doubt Phil will welcome us all in with open arms. I, for one, am looking forward to the first three words he'll be giving us next Friday. THANK YOU PHIL.

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

The piece of work indelibly engraved on my brain, snapping at my synapses is the bizarro-erotic horror that spilled from somewhere deep and dirty within Shaun Adams' mind. The winning story is his incredible tale Red Wigglers. Congratulations Shaun!

Two runners-up this week: AJ Humpage dragged us screaming into Hackett's world again, a dreadful, dreadful place that radiates with horrific beauty. Supinus. Gorgeous writing.

Helen Howell left us asking questions with a similar scenario but no-less chilling Taken. The subtleties in this gritty vignette touched me, unnerved me - and I like that.

Well done AJ and Helen!

Words for 11 May 2012

Here. The last words from my old tome before I wrap it up to send to Mr Ambler...

  • Impersonate
  • Elegant (all forms acceptable, including elegance, elegantly etc)
  • Shovel
Let's make it a good one.

Rules

The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have until 9pm UK time on Thursday 17th May 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 18th May. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it. Do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - we all appreciate it.

I can't wait to read what you dig up for our delight...
___________________________________

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

THE TROUBLE WITH MAGICK...

...is knowing which side you're on.

One of my demonlings had her say last night with this teeny tiny flash:

SCRY BABY

He has no eyes, the man staring down at me from the red, red walls. Yet his empty gaze burns my flesh. I pluck a petal from my skins – a gift. It drips with a watery honey, sweet and floral.

“Offer yourself to me.”

His is a voice from beyond. Its owner believes in magick, and it’s true he is adept at reaching our realms. I let him flounder; his words of power gain strength, drawing me towards his throbbing throat.

Quickly, I slip my nectar into his mouth. Magician or not, he will forever speak in tongues. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

LIVING IN A BOX - Cabaret of Dread stories revealed

Every Saturday I’m revealing the tale behind the tale of Cabaret of Dread Vol.1’s main stories, together with a short excerpt of each to whet your appetite. 

And as a special gift from me, this week I'm going to let you read the entire story LIVING IN A BOX for free!  If you like it, perhaps you'll buy Cabaret of Dread, or tell your horror-loving friends.

LIVING IN A BOX


Grace Pearce is afraid of The Black. She is scared of The Spindle Queen and unnerved by Dr. Pipe. They seem to come and go in Grace's one-room world, and sometimes they bring others to watch. Will anyone ever take her home?

Living In A Box was written for Chris Allinotte's first March Madness dark fiction showcase in 2011 over at The Leaky Pencil.

Why not linger a while at Chris's place and read through the MADNESS series, maybe you'll even download the Madness collections EIGHT DAYS OF MADNESS and NINE DAYS OF MADNESS from Smashwords. They're free too!


So – what’s Living In A Box about? 


The story is narrated by a young woman, Grace, from her cell in an asylum. Pumped with drugs she drifts in and out of consciousness, her perceptions and personalities change and overlap, confusing both Grace and the doctors. Even in the most extreme throes of paranoia and insanity, Grace knows something is not quite right. And when a man she has never met arrives to take her home, the terrifying truth gradually becomes clear.

Inspiration


A constant fascination with mental health, psychosis and treatments. I wanted to be an art therapist at one stage when I was studying psychology, though sadly this never came about. No one thing beside the showcase prompt inspired me to write Living In A Box, but I suspect this story has always been in my head waiting to be written in one form or another.

Excerpt


Quivering, vaporous forms. They are indistinct as my eyes open to the familiar pale green of the box. Walking, talking photographs, paintings even - that morph back and forth.

My mouth is dry – it’s always that way. Someone sticks a tube between my teeth and I suck in the salty, pale-orange liquid. It tastes of electricity and saccharine.

The figures are clearer now. I recognise them from yesterday and the day before that. One’s a man – an old man. The other is young; his daughter perhaps. She is so thin I call her the Spindle Queen. Inquisitive, her tight face bears more lines than the father, but she has scarlet lips; lips that pout, lips that squeeze when she is angry. I’d like to eat them but she draws back as I lunge, a fruitless effort.

God, she’s fast.”

They nod heads and play out a psst, psst, psst tittle-tattle game of whispers before turning back to face me. My head dips to one side and I carefully emulate the woman’s fake smile. Mine reaches my eyes where hers does not. With a little flare of the nostrils she backs away, fading though the door until it is an empty picture frame.

I would love to stand up. When did I last use my feet? There are straps at my wrists, at my ankles; around my calves, my thighs and up, up, up to my chest where, without warning my heart swells hot then cold – freezing cold; pulsing fast, fast, faster. I can’t bear the panic. I need to run away. The chair is bolted to the floor but still I try to rock my way out of it, going nowhere. Quickly, my body gathers momentum until with every spasm the leather cuts into my skin, spraying blood over the thin gown. It spreads.

The old man calls into the wall.

“Assistance!”

I’ve heard that word before. It makes everything go black.

From somewhere within my belly I feel the squeal. It mounts and grows, taking my soul with it to the ceiling as its pitch rises. From a great height I circle the seated echo of me and join in with the scream pouring from my other throat. We labour as twins to fill the room with unique harmony.

Assistance arrives through another door. It’s the Spindle Queen. She winces at my song. She calls me Banshee.

I can do that. I’ll visit her in her dreams later, steal her children.

My ethereal being flails at Assistance as the needle is rammed into my corporeal arm. Although she cannot see my wraith she swipes at it anyway, but no matter - I am already sliding back inside. I have just enough time to spit in her face. There is red in it. I have bitten off the end my tongue.

***

Black.

***

“She’s not who she says she is,” the old man tells a gaggle of bespectacled onlookers. He smiles benignly at me so I guess it’s time to show him my claws. Midnight blue. I stretch them out as far as I am able.

“Can you tell our guests your name?” He is bent towards me, not too close but near enough that I can smell pipe tobacco.

“Lompster. Snap, snap.”

The visitors scribble onto notepads and clipboards, muttering and frowning. Old Man Pipe speaks again without averting his gaze from my lovely claws.

“Miss Pearce believes she is a lobster, for today at least.”

One of the group stares at me longer than the others. I wiggle my antenna and hope he will fall into my trap. I’m hungry.

Sniggers and half-concealed smirks ripple through the rabble, and then I spot her; Pipey’s daughter. She’s telling them I claimed I was a doctor last week. That’s ridiculous. I’m only twelve years old. Look at them – they’re the deluded ones in their white coats, writing and gossiping as though they can see inside my head. It’s the reverse. It’s me that knows they’re all after Thermidor for dinner; wondering whether to cook me gently, turning the heat up until I fall asleep – or plunge me into a boiling vat.

I don’t like it. I start to rock. Here it comes...

***

Black...
*************

Like the excerpt? Read the whole tale for FREE at The Leaky Pencil. The full tale is also waiting for you in Cabaret of Dread By visiting the book's 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon you can read the opening tale DRESSING-UP BOX, a few pages of SMILING CYRUS and a handful of mini-tales.

Of course, the best way to read this - and the many other stories in Vol.1 of Cabaret of Dread, is to download it. If you do, I am ever thankful... 

Buy/Download Cabaret of Dread from
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com


Friday, 4 May 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction

Thank you to everyone that sent best wishes for my wedding anniversary - bubbly and dinner at a tiny French restaurant did the job!

In case you didn't realise (our) John Xero's 101 Fiction is now open to submissions. Please take a visit and support John in this excellent endeavour. I'm really looking forward to submitting a tiny tale or ten myself.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Well, it's been a long week of tears and gnashing of teeth for one reason or another so perhaps this has influenced my decision. Every entry was so-well written, and I really enjoyed the diverse themes - especially with Tartan dancing in for the kill. But the entry that had me grinning with visceral joy, and is my winner is Under A Killing Moon by Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw. Zombies freak the hell out of me, and Veronica Marie captures the essence of whatever it is that terrifies me every time. Back at ya, VM - my turn to sleep with the light on! And congratulations.

Runner-up is Nick Roberts with the multi-layered Grief. Such an emotional journey - I haven't been able to get it out of my mind yet I confess I still don't quite understand it - and I really like that. Beautiful and tragic. Well done Nick.

Words for 04 May 2012

And so we hit the penultimate Friday Prediction Challenge at The Feardom. Don't forget - it's a minibus over to Phil Ambler's place from 18th May for a Prediction rebirth party. But in the meantime, what do we have here...

  • Psycho... (use it on its own or as a prefix. Freedom!)
  • Belt
  • Purgatory

Ha! Made for us. Let rip - I intend to.

Rules

The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have until 9pm UK time on Thursday 10th May 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 11th May. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it. Do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - we all appreciate it.

So strap up your imagination until it's ready to burst. I'm hungry...
___________________________________

Saturday, 28 April 2012

WRAITHS AND STAYS - Cabaret of Dread stories revealed

Every Saturday I’m revealing the tale behind the tale of Cabaret of Dread Vol.1’s main stories, together with a short excerpt of each to whet your appetite.

WRAITHS AND STAYS


This ghostly horror is set in a medieval-like, dystopian future where darkness, depravity and death threaten men. I wrote it for a small press anthology which sadly never happened, but in 2011 I was interviewed by fellow dark fiction writer Erin Cole and offered the story to accompany the interview. 

Subsequent to its appearance in Cabaret of Dread, Wraiths and Stays was published in print, in Dreams of Duality by Red Skies Press. It is a short, short - at only 663 words.

So – what’s Wraiths and Stays about? 


The narrator is self-imprisoned in a rotting tower with hundreds of other men, all living in fear of a plague of spectral wraiths haunting the once green and fertile land. Staring from a window slit, he recognises wives and mistresses, mothers, daughters, sisters... The women sweep the earth and skies in half-dead hunger whilst the men find solace in each others' flesh. While the narrator reminisces his own sexual encounters over the years, can he resist the base urges being played out all around him?

Inspiration


The opening sentences came to me on the walk down the hall from my bedroom to the bathroom (no 'ensuite' for me sadly). This happens a lot - no soul-seeking, no begging with the muse, just out-of-the-blue stories delivered into my head and begging to be written.

Excerpt


We didn’t speak of it, for how could we? A blessing bell, the priests said but we knew the clanging peel sounded the death knell in our midst, announcing the journey to hell for the fairest and most sweet. Not even the healthy amongst them were saved from the buboids, eruptions and pox. And now, with them fallen like God-forsaken flies - daughters of Beelzebub – I tried to forget what my own looked like. Mother, frail but proud. My girls – a beguiling trilogy - unwed, unbetrothed. Even my wife, traitor that she was and bringer of plague to this island; she played still in my mind, a rotting wretch. Here we wallow, barely buoyant in the floods of death she has left in her wake, in this place that once drowned in roses and where trees dripped with pungent medlars and cider apples. All gone.

Out of high windows we stared at the seething, spiralling mass of living decay. They ruptured below us, then flew to our rooftops to snatch with sharp teeth at our desperate gazes. With every attack we fell to the floor, eyes closed in fear as our only protection.

It is days now; weeks. Food is on ration. Unseasonal snow hardens the ground making crops, seeds and grain inaccessible. Taunting voices steal through stone walls making whispers of love and a promise of more. Around me the weak seek solace in each others’ arms and between the hard legs of fighters and labourers. I don’t want to give in... Can I resist temptation? An intimacy only hinted at amongst the dandiest of types now seems so warmly and wantonly inviting....

*************

Like the excerpt? The full tale is waiting for you in Cabaret of Dread By visiting the book's 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon you can also read the opening tale DRESSING-UP BOX, a few pages of SMILING CYRUS and a handful of mini-tales.

Of course, the best way to read this - and the many other stories in Vol.1 of Cabaret of Dread, is to download it. If you do, I am ever thankful... 

Buy/Download Cabaret of Dread from
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com


Friday, 27 April 2012

Lily's Friday Prediction - and Exciting News!

There is light on the horizon; a deep, dark red enticing kind of light. So I won't tease you with a preamble, won't ramble on for ages... here's the news:

A friend and fellow Predictioneer has cleared a space in the vast attic of his mind - and will be taking on the Prediction from Friday 18th May. Who is it? IT'S PHIL AMBLER!! Huge round of applause!

Thank you so much Phil for this generous offer; I'm sure I won't be the only one rushing to your domain to join the rest of our community in the continued search for inspiring words to be challenged by. (Pretty sure that was terrible English, but I'm too excited.)

So, put it in your diaries folks - 18th May - over at Phil's place http://phlambler.blogspot.co.uk where he'll look after you behind a new set of doors.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

I am giving a concentrated award this week - the winner will have to water it down - and that's because it's an acclaim for one writer, with two stunning stories. So congratulations Sandra Davies for the ongoing saga of The Blacksmith's Wife - parts 8 and 9. I hope the BBC is reading - it needs this.

No runner-up I'm afraid - they were so good I truly couldn't choose between them, so a mutual back-patting is in order. Well done everybody!

Words for 27 April 2012 (my wedding anniversary, I'll have you know)

The old tome isn't going to last much longer so will probably sigh when I put it down for the last time, but let me just - oof - pick it up and spread its pages. Here we go...

  • Backyard 
  • Tartan
  • Prowl
Something springs straight to mind!

Rules

The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have until 9pm UK time on Thursday 3rd May 2012 to enter.

The winner will be announced on Friday 4th May. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it. Do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - we all appreciate it.

A rush and a push and a... gotya! I can see the words forming inside your brains - birth them; I'm ready...
___________________________________

Saturday, 21 April 2012

PRETTY PINHOLES - Cabaret of Dread stories revealed

Every Saturday I’m revealing the tale behind the tale of Cabaret of Dread Vol.1’s main stories, together with a short excerpt of each to whet your appetite.

PRETTY PINHOLES


I loved writing this horrible story. What an evil serial killer I've created - whoops. We could say all murderers are wicked monsters but sometimes they are the quiet gentle giant that lives next door - and more often than not they are someone we trust. That's the scariest horror of all.
Pretty Pinholes was first published on Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers in January 2010

So – what’s Pretty Pinholes about? 


An obsessive. A character that detaches themselves from reality to perform their unique art upon the body of their victims. The number of pins used is precise, as is the depth to which they are inserted. But who is this killer with such an exquisite taste in design?

Inspiration


The inspiration for Pretty Pinholes was short and not particularly sweet. I went to London for a conference; my colleague met up with a friend afterwards so I had to do the return journey alone. My train got stuck on the track on the way home and I spent twenty minutes staring out the window at an office block that had a single light on, and I could just make out two people. I blinked - and there was only one.

Excerpt


The factory floor was cold beneath her naked back. Hard on the shoulder blades, crusty against her splayed buttocks.

Naomi Allen, her arms and legs strung out to her sides, strapped down to stubby poles she could not see, lay shuddering. The only light - a breath of radiance shooting through a distant keyhole - spangled across the thousand pin heads that pierced her trembling flesh. A bed of nails, she was. Only more so.

 He watched her. Studied her. Inclining his head in the vast dark room he caught the outline of the starshine he had made of her. His snort of amusement had her jumping in her shackles, which made him laugh some more. He wondered who she really was, what she did for a living – whether she was married, had kids. He didn’t think so. He didn’t care. Despite the time he had spent on her, she wasn’t a project. Naomi Allen was just a whim.

He let her murmur and mumble a while longer. She was hungry – no matter. She was thirsty – he had splattered drops of water over her face these last couple of days, making her beg for it, licking as far as her tongue could reach around her lips, her chin, below her cheeks.

Outside the winter traffic thronged. Lorries air-braking, buses carrying mindless workers and wasters, cars distributing selfish lone drivers about the capital. Naomi heard none of it. Plugs of cotton wool, poked roughly into her ears, creaked painfully with every move she attempted to make.

She peed. Then she cried, the thick fabric binding her eyes darkened with the tears that fell more profusely than the pathetic spray of urine warming her thighs.
Crouching, near-naked himself except for the daggers, he took to his feet. Nothing could threaten the verve that prickled his skin, full as it was with exaltation.

*

“I love you.” It was a lie.

Naomi screamed at the muffled voice. So close. In her face.

“You’re twisted, you sick bastard. Let me go.”

You twist, Naomi.”

His voice came from behind her head, then his hands joined his words and began to stroke her hair. He pulled at it, gently at first, then with harder, sharper tugs until clumps came away from her scalp. Naomi shook her head frantically as he tore at her, her sobbing drowned out as he sang, a high-pitched wailing, echoing her cries.

“Twist. Twist. Twist.”

He smiled affectionately at the girl in his hands. She shuddered as he slowed his caress, released his touch, and sat back, totally still. One minute. Five minutes, completely enjoying the fear mounting in her body.

“Where are you, you piece of shit?”

Without warning, he fell forward across her face and drove his tongue into her open, complaining mouth, forcing it deeper into her throat, sucking at her own tongue until she choked, and gagged, and it was time for more pins.


*************

Like the excerpt? The full tale is waiting for you in Cabaret of Dread By visiting the book's 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon you can also read the opening tale DRESSING-UP BOX, a few pages of SMILING CYRUS and a handful of mini-tales.

Of course, the best way to read this - and the many other stories in Vol.1 of Cabaret of Dread, is to download it. If you do, I am ever thankful... 

Buy/Download Cabaret of Dread from
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

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.