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.


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
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.

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.