Jess’s purse thudded to the ground at her feet and her entire body seized up. The eyes didn’t move even as her scream pierced the night.
Run! Run, you idiot! she thought, her heels scuffing against the pavement to turn.
A metal door clanked open nearby, throwing a stretch of eerie green light across the alley.
Jess scuttled behind some garbage bins nearby and hunkered down in the darkness they provided. She peeked out after a couple seconds.
The silhouette of a person closed in over the glow until someone stood at the entrance, a garbage sack thrown over their shoulder. With one single heft, the person hucked the bag into the dumpster where she had seen the eyes. A flurry of screeches rose up out of the bin. The guy kicked the dumpster and shouted, “Frickin’ critters!”
After a moment, the little bandit crawled out of the dumpster and down to the ground. It started lapping at the puddle of reddish liquid (in the new light revealed to be raspberry jam from a cracked jar).
The man vanished back inside and the door creaked shut.
“God, how late do you think they put their kids to bed?” Darlene shouted across the parlor as she swished a mop back and forth.
Jess slapped down a wet dish rag on the counter and didn’t respond. Just a few more minutes until closing time. You got this, girl.
Darlene shrugged and kept filling the silence. “I mean, who gets their kids ice cream at nine-thirty? The little shits should be in bed. Now they’ll be up for another three hours!”
“That’s not for us to worry about,” Jess answered, pushing through the kitchen doors to wash out the dish rag. “Let’s just get this place cleaned up so we can go home.”
The last ten minutes had afforded the girls an uninterrupted span of time to get Daisy’s Sweet Tooth ready for closing. Usually, they saw no customers after nine and were able to close early and skip out ahead of the usual ten o’clock closing time. In fact, over the last couple weeks, Daisy’s had seen fewer and fewer patrons past sunset. Tonight had been an oddity.
Stay tuned for a blog post this evening. Backstreet Bloodbath: Part I in a Halloween season flash fiction series. One episode will be released every Thursday of this month and the story will finish on Halloween night. Tune into the Writer’s Abditory at 11:00 PM, Eastern time…
I know. Oh, believe me, I know.
It’s been months since the last update. I was thinking (hoping) I’d be on a more regular schedule following my move but it’s been harder than ever to stick to one. I’ve barely had time to write (a sentence I hope I never have to utter again) during these last several weeks. The house has required a butt-load of attention. I’ve been doing lots of painting, yard work, and decorating to make it feel more homey. It’s coming along. It won’t be done this year. It probably won’t be done next year. But at this point, I have a few rooms completed or nearly completed.
That feeling you get after you’ve been in bed with a terrible headache ALL WEEKEND…and now, it’s your day to go back to work and you SUDDENLY feel better?
That’s been my weekend, folks.
I managed to get the most demonic headache, a combination of sinus, stress, and muscle all rolled up in a ball and tossed at my head. The sinus part was caused by a Calamondin tree that I have in my apartment (or should I say “had”). The Calamondin is a strange mini fruit tree that has a tiny orange fruit that tastes much like a lime. For some reason, despite it being November, this tree has been rapidly blooming and growing more little oranges. Our weather here in Maine has been warmer than it should be and for some reason, this tree is just absolutely loving it. Problem is that the pollen from these little flowers is super potent and my entire apartment smells like them. One day of sitting here breathing it in made my head feel like I was in Willy Wonka’s tunnel of craziness. The tree is now at my parent’s house after my mom gratefully came and picked it up.
So! It has been quite the busy summer! Aside from kicking it back at the wonderful New England Authors Expo in July, I also had the chance to get in on the action of New Hampshire’s Granite State Comic Con! What a joy that was! I manned (or shall I say womaned?) the New England Horror Writers table with my fellow authors Scott Goudsward, Rob Watts, Gordon Bean, and Matthew Bartlett on September 13th and 14th, a midst a sea of Harley Quinns, Arya Starks, and Starlords. I even had a run-in with one of my worst fears…one that I couldn’t have even imagined would be present: a stilted devil clown that continued to haunt me no matter which direction I looked in. I had copies of my Monstrum Chronicles series present and was promoting the upcoming 3rd book in the series, Memento Mori. I made a few sales, enjoyed getting to know my fellow writers, and checked out some of the many other vendors at the show. (I came close to getting vampire fangs. Maybe next time?)
COOKING ADVENTURE #78: Ghost-Themed Red-Velvet Cake
Oooooooo! What do we have here? A rogue Cooking Adventure after several months without one. For that, you have my sincerest apologies. All I can say as that I’ve had a pretty full schedule. But now that things are finally starting to slow down, I’m intending to get back into my “one new recipe a week” routine. This week, since Halloween is right around the corner, I decided to get together with Cooking Adventure vetran, Celena, and do yet another one of our stupendous cakes. This time, though, we got some frightful inspiration from this boo-tiful cake made by Martha Stewart. Though I had every intention of making the cake just as big and glorious as Ms. Stewart’s, we were unable to because of some crippling ingredient-missing happenstances. And let’s not forget the marshmallows. Tasty little suckers that they are, they are not the most cooperative treats. It’s almost as if they were really possessed.
Hello! Long time no see, right? Yes, I’ll admit that I’ve been away from the blog for quite some time… and that I said I wasn’t going to do that. That being said, I’m really going to try my hardest to get back into a routine of blogging, starting with a little about what’s been happening that last couple weeks.
Last Saturday, we kicked off our 2nd Annual Mid-coast Halloween Readings with a reading in Portland at Slainte Wine Bar and Lounge! The dark atmosphere is cozy and dark, perfect for us to settle in and tell some frightening stories for the evening. And did I mention there’s some wonderful Shipyard Pumpkinhead on tap for a little liquid courage. Indulging in a glass of that was perfect and made me feel a little less nervous about getting up on stage and introducing everyone. I was joined by fellow authors Kate Cone and E.J. Fechenda, who have their own reading series that they hold at Slainte, Darcy Scott, and April Hawks. The evening was a major success! We had a bunch of people come and listen to us as well as win prizes from our free raffle. The pictures below (featuring E.J., Darcy, and Kate), while grainy and from cellphone cameras, are the best that I have to catalog the evening. Being so dark in there, it was tough to get very good resolution.
COOKING ADVENTURE #43: Glow-in-the-Dark Cupcakes
First off, let me say that this was probably the most anti-climactic cooking adventure that I’ve ever done. I mean, who doesn’t get excited about the prospect of glow-in-the-dark cupcakes? Huh? It’s almost magical. And while I’d hoped to have them done for Halloween, I was struck down with the demonic cold. Since I’ve been fighting this cold off for the last month, it proceeded to completely knock the stuffing out of me for a full four days, including Halloween. Believe me, folks, I was NOT happy. Halloween is pretty much my favorite holiday and I was in bed by 7:30 sleeping off an evil migraine along with the cold. I still haven’t quite gotten rid of it yet. There is a tickle that just stays with you in your throat… and it only gets bad when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone. So, getting over the cold delayed actually making the cupcakes. When it was all said and done… I’ve got to say, it wasn’t really worth it.
There are several songs out there that are readily associated with horror: Tubular Bells, the Poltergeist theme, the Jaws theme… and many others. And then, there are those songs that you wouldn’t necessarily consider to be horror themes on their own. But, once you hear them in a scary context, they no longer seem innocent. Your mind has immediately returned to the place where you first heard that song and it immediately fills you with fear. Take the Deliverance theme. On its own, it’s a down-home plucking show-down between a guitar and a banjo. Then… you watch the movie. And you understand. If you ever hear that song somewhere out in the middle of the woods, by yourself, you’d probably run a quarter-mile without ever looking back. Such is the case with this week’s inspiration through music.
I went through a staggering number of songs, picking out the best ones that I feel have a horror touch to them. These songs may seem completely normal but when given a frightening image to accompany them, are no longer safe. Warning: If you see a song you like here, then don’t read beyond that. Because I’m probably going to ruin it for you. If you don’t care, then read on! The following four were the top picks!