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.


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?


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.


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 |

1 comment:

  1. For me, it's the details, of crusty floor, air-braking and starshine, and the casualness of the brutality that most impinge and add up to something of alarmingly intensive and far too long-lasting horror.


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.