A few years back, I submitted a short story, Lips, to Fringeworks for their Dead Men's Tales anthology. The anthology submission call explained what contributors could get in terms of royalties. My story was accepted and I was over the moon as this was right back at the start of my 'proper' writing career, ie when I took those first hesitant steps to get published. Then I waited, and waited and waited. No contract, nothing ever happened. Eventually I chased up the editor and was told it would be published. Silence. Then I discovered it for sale on amazon and not one of the contributors had been informed or sent a contract. Today I ordered a copy of the book, purely for my 'shelf' and also to serve as a reminder of the pitfalls of a writer's life. However, I do resent the fact someone else has effectively stolen my work. I know other contributors were not happy ... but what can you do in the world of the small presses? Another contributor, K R Smith, has outlined the fiasco here www.theworldofkrsmith.com/2015/09/and-yet-another-update-on-my.html, if you want to know more.
I still like my little story (despite my experience now showing me where I should edit it a little more!) and almost put it in my collection which is currently in progress but it didn't fit with those I had chosen so I am publishing it here for you to read gratis.
Lips smile, lips kiss, lips laugh. Lips curl, lips sneer, lips kill. What other use can lips be put to? Perhaps I might think of something and let you know, for the moment though I am busy. I have company and I must not neglect my guest.
Already the sweat is running in rivulets down his face. His eyes are full of anger and … something more. Yes, there is definitely more there … aah, I see it flitting about, a glimmer, a sliver, a shiver of fear.
He sits alone, the terrible Captain Ned Lowe, abandoned by his crew and left to the fate that I, judge, jury and probably executioner, decide. But … I forget my manners. It is only polite to introduce oneself. I know enough of society to know that. My name is Captain Luis Alvares. My ship is, or rather was, the Nostra Signoria de Victoria, one of the finest schooners in the Portuguese fleet. Her captaincy has been my reward for the many successful voyages that I had made. Whether for trade, transport or exploration, I performed my duties diligently and efficiently. Until I ran into the path of Ned Lowe I had never had much of a problem with pirates either.
Of course I had heard the stories, how he tortured his prisoners on a whim; decapitation, disembowelment, you name it, he did it. A particularly nasty trick of his was to bind a prisoner’s hands and weave the rope between the fingers. The rope would then be lit and allowed to burn through the skin, eating away at the flesh until it reached bone. Their screams, it was said, drove Lowe into an even greater frenzy. By the time it was my misfortune to cross his path even his crew had begun to doubt his sanity.
The events of that day have been seared into my memory, literally. You’re probably thinking that I too had my hands bound and burned but my suffering was to be more extreme, only a few of my crew lost their hands. Should I take pride in that? I don’t know.
It had been such a good voyage up to that point. The skies were clear, we had a fair wind and we were on our way home with 11,000 gold moidores in my safe. The hands were in high spirits, eagerly looking forward to their wages and the women and grog that that would buy on reaching port. Their dreams were of a safe harbour and a warm bed. Then came the cry from above.
I was not too concerned at that point, not until my first mate Rodrigues came running up to me; even beneath the tan of his weather-beaten face I could see his face had paled alarmingly. I frowned, he was not a man to scare easily and that worried me.
“Captain. The flag sir!” he said.
“You’ve identified her?”
“Aye. She’s a buccaneer sir. Red skeleton on black.”
He didn’t say any more. He didn’t need to. I could see the word had spread amongst the men; already they were making preparations to outrun the ship. I lifted my telescope to my eye and fixed on our would-be assailant. I was under no illusion as to our fate should we be caught.
It was The Fancy without a doubt. Two men stood on the quarter-deck, one of whom I immediately recognised as the infamous Lowe. Whilst I had never seen the man before, his description had been widely circulated. One look at his face, at the mockery of a mouth scarred by some accident and I knew it was him. If we could outrun him we would be safe.
Our luck, which had held for so long, chose that moment to fail us. The wind dropped and we became sitting ducks. The devil himself must have been steering his ship for still it came on, bearing down on us with terrifying speed. It was then I decided that whilst Lowe might take my ship, he would not get my gold.
“Mister Lopes!” I called.
“With me to my cabin.”
We made our way below decks to my cabin where I had stored the gold in my safe. Lopes found a canvas bag, sturdy enough to hold the coins. Together we filled the bag and then Lopes tied it to a rope so that it was able to hang safely outside my cabin window. Should need arise I would be able to cut the rope and send it down into the deeps; should we be successful, I would be able to haul it back in.
The battle, which I will not describe here, for the memory is too painful to a man of such pride as myself, was soon over. The decks were slick with blood and my men, what remained of them were crammed into the hold. I had been taken to what had previously been my cabin to await his pleasure. It was with some satisfaction, even at that time when I thought my death was imminent, to see the frayed rope that dangled from an open window.
When he looked up from my desk, the extent of his disfigurement shocked me. I do not think I remember the exact moment that the pirate discovered my subterfuge. One of his men had approached him, somewhat hesitantly I felt and said something in a low voice.
Lowe initially said nothing but it was as if the atmosphere in the room had suddenly become charged, just like before a storm you could sense that something was building. The crew avoided looking at each other, avoided looking at their captain. Then he exploded. His fist sent the poor messenger flying across the room and then he turned his blazing eyes on me, glowering with a rage that only confirmed my growing dread.
“You denied me my prize,” he roared. “The gold is mine by right of conquest!”
Terrified I somehow managed to look him in the eye. Whatever I said would not change what I knew was to come. If I had known how he intended to finish me perhaps I would have kept quiet.
“There you are wrong sir” I replied. “That gold was the result of honest trade, of the toil and sweat of my men. I will not allow it to be soiled by your hands. Better it be sent to Davey Jones.”
It was then my turn to feel his fist and I was sent sprawling to the ground. I did not remain there for very long as rough hands seized my person. I was somewhat dazed as they dragged me back up on deck to be paraded in front of the rest of his men.
But just as swiftly as the storm had come so did it pass. Lowe was surveying me, calm once more, much as one gentleman does another when introduced for the first time. I did not see the nervous glances of those of his crew who now stood by him, nor did I notice how those on the edges of my vision had surreptitiously moved themselves a bit further into the background. The small time I had been allowed to observe him had given me a chance to recognise that that sudden calmness was the first sign of the madness that followed.
Yet still I felt merely apprehensive when in fact I should have been terrified.
“So Captain, you will not hand over the gold,” he said, amiably enough I thought. “Sometimes I find that good food, good wine, can be more persuasive to bringing about a certain meeting of minds – don’t you think?”
Still that smile but I had my standards. “That depends on the circumstances sir. Amongst gentlemen such an outcome can be envisaged; however, I do not believe that I am amongst honourable men therefore I am afraid I must decline your offer.”
Lowe’s smile remained, fixed into that terrible rictus grin of his, a smile that did not reach his eyes. “Oh, but I insist that you dine Captain. The law of hospitality demands it. In fact I take great pleasure in offering you the choicest cuts; I doubt you will find that you have ever tasted better.”
He called his cook forward, a burly sweaty man who did not seem to care for the niceties of personal cleanliness.
“Your knife,” Lowe demanded of the man. Reluctantly the implement was handed over.
The pirate approached me, still smiling, the knife gleaming in his hand. A chair had been brought into which I was rudely forced. A small table was placed in front of me. Another order was given to the cook and a small makeshift stove was prepared. A greasy looking broth was soon simmering nearby. By now I was somewhat bewildered. Lowe towered over me.
“You will not allow your lips to talk,” he said. “Lips that do not talk are useless. I think a little food for thought may encourage you.”
The knife gleamed in front of me. Then came the pain, such pain as I have never experienced. He took his time, cutting slowly, carefully, the agony becoming even more unbearable with each incision. My vision had blurred and I could feel the warm rivers of blood flowing freely from my mouth. My screams seemed to come from some place far away. Through the film that misted my eyes I watched in horror as the pirate threw my flesh into the pot, wishing that unconsciousness would claim me. My face burnt with pain as I waited for whatever other torture he had in store for me.
By now I was expecting to be carved up, a feast for his men; there had been rumours of cannibalism in some of the stories that had reached my ears. Instead he took a bowl and ladled the disgusting concoction into it, slamming it down in front of me so that its greasy droplets sprayed my face. He filled a spoon and thrust it into my hand.
“Eat,” he ordered.
I stared down at what had once been a part of me. Those lips of mine which had once commanded, had tasted, had kissed and finally, had defied, swam in front of me.
“Eat” ordered Lowe again, this time holding the point of a dagger to my throat.
My hand trembled violently as I guided the spoon towards the remnants of my poor mouth. The bile was rising in my throat and I had to fight to prevent myself from gagging.
“Eat,” roared Lowe, losing all patience and forcing the spoon between my jaws. He clamped my mouth shut to prevent me spitting out its contents.
I could not chew. This was unclean, ungodly. I began to choke. Struggling and gasping I found another mouthful was being forced on me. And another, and another. I could not breathe, I could not see. I prayed that my ordeal would soon be over and that death would claim me. And so the darkness came, took me to another world where spirits walked, seeking their revenge.
Now the Captain is my guest, at my table. A table for one. I have kept the broth simmering for a long time. I have seasoned it with the suffering that he has inflicted, the pain he has caused. The salt comes from the tears of the innocent, spiced with the anger of the murdered, peppered with cries for justice. The stock that is the blood of his victims now boils with their anger.
“Cook,” he bellows into the darkness, furious that his meal is late. He does not know that I have driven the servants from his house although I think that he senses that he is – almost – alone.
I conjure up a fire in the hearth, its light explodes across the rooms, fiery tendrils writhing around Lowe’s seated figure. He turns towards the source of the heat, its intensity making him sweat. I watch as he notices the cauldron. Still he sits, he does not run.
I pick up the knife, its movement hypnotizing him as it floats ever nearer, its sharpness reflected tenfold by the fire. Still he sits, he does not run.
Then he speaks. “They say I am mad and so I must be if I see a knife before me but no hand to hold it. If I am mad then this is not real, just pretty illusion – that is all.” He smiles.
I pour him a cup of wine which he drinks without comment. The knife I move closer, closer, until it is kissing his lips. Now it is I who smile as I carve his flesh, laugh as I toss the extra ingredient into the pot. He is screaming now.
I put a bowl beneath him to catch the blood that drips down, the fear he sweats out. All this I will add to the pot. Now he tries to run but I do not let him. I? I should say we, all those he has wronged in life now place their hands on him, forcing him down. So still he sits, he cannot run.
I fill a bowl, a generous portion, and place it in front of him. Solicitously I select one of the choicest cuts and spear it with a fork. I let him savour the aroma, that heady smell of revenge … of death. Then I invite him to taste, ignore his aversion, push the meat between his teeth. He chokes. Other ghostly hands join in.
We feed him forkful after forkful, spoonful after spoonful, until even the bitter dregs have been swallowed and the pot lies empty. He sits quietly now, no breath, no movement. He has eaten his last meal and dined well. We clear the table, as all good hosts do and leave our guest, appetites sated.
Lips smile, lips kiss … lips kill.
Reblogged from https://infernalclock.blogspot.co.uk/:
Here it is, everybody, the last of our time-themed anthologies at The Infernal Clock. Until now, you have only had hours and days but this time we give you DeadCades. This book weaves its dark stories from the 1880s through the Swinging Sixties and desolate Seventies, and then sprints into the future, finishing at 2020.
From across the globe, Australia, the USA and Europe and from the Bram Stoker nominated to newer contributors to the world of dark fiction, you will find a wealth of talent in this latest anthology. We are pleased to announce our author line-up as follows:
1880s Deborah Sheldon
1890s Martin Fuller
1900s R. J. Meldrum
1910s Sian Brighal
1920s Alyson Faye
1930s Chris Milam
1940s Sal Page
1960s Robert Lupton
1990s David Shakes
2000s Ruschelle Dillon
2010s Marie McKay
2020s AJ Walker
In addition, we are inviting all our flash friends to contribute a drabble for each decade. If you would like to be included in this anthology, send your drabble (100 words exactly, excluding title) in to us at email@example.com. As these slots are filled, we will update the Infernal Clock website so you can see where the gaps remain.
Deadline – June 30th 2018
Expected publication date - October 1st 2018
Content: nothing extreme or gratuitous please.
This anthology is non-paying (our future intention is to pay writers) but each contributor will receive a copy of the ebook and will retain all rights to their story.
Steph and Shakes
This is last week's entry for Microcosms which earned an Honorable Mention. I avoided horror, although it's still dark and does has the element of the horror of a drug-addicted life, but there is also romance - although not in the conventional sense being an affair of a different kind.
Elements included were: Drug addict; Victorian London; Romance
Edward slicked back his hair and pulled on his frayed jacket. Beyond his lodgings, the streets were crowded with those eager to escape the drudgery of their lives. Closing the door behind him, he too joined in their flight from reality, merging with the shifting shadows distorted by the dirty orange glow of streetlamps, becoming a ghost as the fog cloaked the poor of Stepney.
He walked quickly, eagerly, had money in his pocket, thought of nothing but his love. Her slender curves, her smooth perfection, would be waiting for him on that low bed where behind hanging curtains they could pass the time in pleasurable indulgence. But he wanted more of her, wanted her for himself, did not want others to share in his love. Tonight, he decided, she would be his and his alone. She was his one and only.
Mother Flanagan let him in, followed him through to the small low room where his love’s pleasant scent drifted towards him. She lay there, waiting. His and his alone. Behind him, Mother started to say something. She was the gatekeeper who allowed admittance. Get rid of the gatekeeper and all would be his. Still with a smile on his face, he swung round, pulling out a knife in one smooth movement. She barely registered what had happened before the life fled her eyes. Edward stepped over her body and firmly barred the door to the street. No one else would pass tonight.
Now it was just the two of them. Always they joined in silence, he cupping her in his hand with reverence before taking the sacrament of the pipe, inhaling her essence. In the bottle at his side, the rest of her waited … as she did in opium dens across the city. Poppy had other lovers.
Apparition Lit hold a monthly flash fiction competition, each on a different theme. Only the winner gets published. I enjoyed writing for February's contest which was based on Margaret Atwood's Marrying the Hangman and the idea that a woman condemned to death could be saved if she married the hangman or persuades someone to become a hangman and then marries them. Although I didn't win (as usual), here it is:
The Wedding Dance
He is the wall. I am the mirror. We stand opposite each other in the darkness, speaking in death’s competition, our voices, disembodied, seeking each other out. We are disturbed by the ritual of the prison day.
“Morning, Susan,” says the gaoler. “How’s the courtin’ goin? Wedding bells yet?” He smirks and leaves me a bowl of watery gruel.
I kick the dish over and watch it seep into the filth-crusted straw. I might lick it up later if I get hungry. I return to my wall, my rock, and murmur into the crack through which we communicate.
“You can save me,” I whisper. “Become the hangman and marry me. I will live.”
“I am a servant of God,” he says. “I sinned and must now pay, but I will not, I cannot kill.”
He is a sanctimonious prig, has defiled his flock and still claims the moral high ground.
“Why?” I ask, “Because of the collar at your neck? The words in your Bible? Do they not exhort you to save the fallen? Redeem yourself and save me.”
She pictures the man of God on the gallows platform, noose in hand. Sees him slip the canvas hood over the head of the condemned, pull the lever, hear the snap of bone … She smiles as she recalls that sound, so clear and pure followed by the percussion of the dance.
“You like women,” she continues. “With me at your side, you would no longer need to look elsewhere, your virtue would be restored … think of the nights … of young flesh. I am young you know, and many call me beautiful.”
“The gaoler has described you to me,” says my intended.
I detect desire in his voice. My turnkey has served me well and one night with him was a small price to pay.
“I can be yours,” I murmur. I hear him groan and I know he is mine.
The next day the cell is empty.
“Seems we’ve got ourselves a new hangman,” the gaoler says. “He’s a good ‘un, certainly knows how to fix a noose. Three drops today already.”
I eat my wedding breakfast and smile. The turnkey will take me to my husband. He offers me his arm and we walk together, leaving cell and prison behind. In the carriage sits the vicar whispering prayers which I ignore.
Up the steps I walk and I face my hangman. He wears a mask and starts to take it off. I stop him. It is the perfect outfit for my groom. Confusion clouds his eyes as the priest prays for my soul.
“Good morning, husband,” I say in a wifely voice. “It is a beautiful day for our union, is it not?”
“There has been no wedding …” His voice is muffled by the cloth but it does not hide his anxiety, his desire.
“No wedding? Of course there was. We exchanged vows when you took to the gallows. We consummated our union when you slipped the rope around your first victim’s neck. Did you not enjoy the fragility beneath your hand, the sweat of fear, the climax of the drop. When you killed—for me—we became one. We have no need of words from that book of the damned.”
I knock the Bible from the priest’s hands. He is furious.
“Deliver us from this abomination,” the minister cries, pushing me into the hangman’s arms in his fury.
At first my new husband doesn’t move and then he forces the hood over my face, thrusts the noose around my neck, pushes me to the trapdoor. “Bitch,” curses the hangman, “Devil’s whore …”
He sees the truth of me at last, almost, for I am not the Devil’s whore … I am his daughter. I do not fear the drop. I have fallen so many times and will do so again and always it is with the gift of a soul for my father.
The bells begin to toll. It is time for the Wedding Dance.
Below is the review I gave to Brain Tumours for Dummys by Daniel Lewis. Due to the nature of amazon's review policy, I kept any hint of knowing the background to this author out of it. I did not know Dan, but one of his nieces has been my youngest daughter's best friend since Reception year - they are now at college(!) - and through that link I have got to know a few of the family. I have known of his battle with this tumour for a while, usually via the Facebook updates from his sister and it was through her I also discovered he had written a book. Sadly Dan passed away recently and I finally got round to purchasing his story. I wish I'd bought it sooner. Everything I say below is an honest opinion, regardless of the small link I have to the family. I would urge anyone to read it. It puts so many of life's problems in perspective and makes you appreciative of what you have.
It also brought to mind an old friend of mine, and one of my husband's childhood friends, who also succumbed to a brain tumour at the age of only 29. We still keep in touch with his Mum and even now, see how much of a loss he is to her and always will be. To witness a parent losing a child at any age is tough.
This book was written before Dan lost his battle but it is not depressing, despite the subject matter. He has provided an honest account of how he coped and there is much in there that might help anybody else going through the same sort of thing; not least all the addresses and organisations which offer support listed at the back. There is also much to raise a smile. I know the family are proud of him and, having read this, rightly so.
Brain Tumours for Dummys by Daniel Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Powerful and Moving
A raw and honest personal account. Despite the horrors of living with a brain tumour, Dan writes with an inspirational and entertaining style. He shares the lows of radiotherapy with the highs of becoming a father of triplets, the ignorance and selfishness of neighbours from hell with the undeserving love and loyalty of family. His is a story that deserves to be shared.
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Last week's entry to Microcosms 107 became, to me, an unexpected Judge's Pick. I'm always surprised when a story of mine gets placed, always think that others have done it better, and so am always appreciative of any kind comments or support that come my way. The story used the intro to Rammstein's Sonne as a framework. The video follows after the story if you want to check it out.
Elements: Arrogant Teen; Rock Concert; Horror
He saw them looking. Eyes flicking in his direction. Small smiles. Wanting to be noticed, to become the One. Jay suppressed a self-satisfied smirk. Attention was a small price to pay for a free ticket to see his favourite band; the girls had invited him. He didn’t notice Fran standing at the back of the group. He certainly didn’t remember how he’d humiliated her, the pretend date, the shared photos of her alone at the diner. His attention was on the stage. The countdown began.
Jay watched the lead singer, noted moves he could copy.
Fran moved closer.
Torches flamed against the backdrop. Jay ignored those around him.
Fran took another the step. The girls around her followed, giggling. A coven.
The drums rolled thunder, drew him in further. Jay was the lead singer, the girls his backing band.
They were behind him now.
Flame erupted from keyboards, guitars, drums.
The girls fanned out around him.
No longer present, Jay allowed the pounding metal to take him away from everything.
Fran whispered something in his ear.
Jay felt a light fluttering at his cheek. Ignored it.
The circle was complete. Fran spoke and the others responded. Call and response, each time with fire as their backdrop.
Fire soared over the crowd. Jay looked on in awe.
Fran ignited her own flame.
Guitars scraped through him, their jagged edge commanding his attention.
The coven took Fran’s fire, spread it between them.
On stage, glittery embers started to shower down from above. Jay yearned to be up there, absorbed by flame.
Fran read his mind. Saw his dreams. She was only too happy to comply, to fulfil his wish.
Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have read some of Ruschelle’s work previously online and in the latest Women In Horror Annual 2 so I was curious to see what sort of collection she would come up with. I had high expectations as she writes to a high standard and I am pleased to say this was reflected throughout her book.
Arithmophobia is a Greek word meaning the fear of numbers. Each story within this collection carries the importance of a particular number as a central theme; the numbers ranging from one to nine. These stories range from the squeamishly horrific, to the horrifically tragic with a dollop of dark humour thrown in for good measure. The standard is such that it is hard to pick a favourite, but here are my standouts:
Three is as Magic as can be. A cop hunts for parents who have disappeared in strange and worrying circumstances as his own family life crumbles around him. The eventual discovery of the murderer also allows him to resolve his own personal issues and you think, ah a happy ending until you get to that final, tragic twist; a heartbreaking denouement.
Four Men on Horses. I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and this tale of the Four Horsemen of the (failed) Apocalypse is wonderful and strongly reminds me of his writing. War, Famine, Death and Pestilence each take on the modern human and each is defeated. The responses of man, woman and child, whether the desire to take selfies with War or happily join a new Death ‘cult’, are not what the four expect and ultimately defeats them.
Seven Colors focusses on a scientist who, whilst experimenting with light, captures himself a leprechaun … and good old-fashioned chaos ensues.
Ruschelle Dillon is certainly a woman in horror to watch out for.
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Badlands by Alyson Faye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Having read and published some of Alyson's work at HorrorTree.Com and read her contribution to the Women In Horror Annual 2, I was looking forward to this collection of hers. I am pleased to say it doesn't disappoint. Comprising 36 stories of flash it takes us into a world of tragedy and darkness relieved by some well-written black humour. The stories vary in length from drabble form (100 words) to longer flash, up to 1000 words. Tales are told against backdrops varying from the trenches of World War I to post-apocalyptic settings. There are ghosts and evil children, assassins and abused women, with styles ranging from the gothic to a nod to the Brothers Grimm. I enjoyed all the stories but particularly the opener Children's Games and its treatment of the horror of homelessness, No Home for Holly and its emerging love story between two damaged souls, and Scarecrow with its tale of grim revenge. A truly enjoyable book to dip into - trouble is you won't just dip into it, you will stay and turn the pages as I did.
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I haven't posted a bit of flash for a while so I thought I'd share my story, Complicit, from last week's Microcosms contest where it was placed 2nd Runner Up. But the main reason I'm posting it is because I cannot stand hypocrisy and as I developed the story it somehow gravitated towards recent events involving Harvey Weinstein and the reaction of women in the movie industry, particularly those in high places whose silence has allowed men like Weinstein to operate in safety.
Keeping quiet about such behaviour is nothing short of collusion. Powerful women in show business have had a voice for years, why have they kept quiet until only recently and on what planet do they expect a protest involving, in a number of cases, dresses slashed and plunged, to be taken seriously? To me the recent protest at the Golden Globes was shallow and self-serving. It does women no favours, especially when you know there are those Hollywood who could have spoken out sooner but chose not to. Instead they wore a nice dress - so that's all right then. Rant over.
Story elements to be included: Hollywood Actress, Washington DC, horror
She chose the black dress she had worn to the previous night’s ball at the White House. It skimmed her figure, was slashed and plunged in all directions, exposed just the right amount of flesh. Ebony silk contrasted sharply with ivory skin, caused the group of devotees who had gathered to greet her to shiver involuntarily on her behalf. Lauren, however, was immune to such sensitivities; ice did not affect her but fire … oh, fire was such a different matter. She needed to burn. The script was in her purse and the director she had come to see was waiting.
“Lauren! Lauren!” Insistent calls demanded she detour from her task, sign the autographs, pose for selfies. Lauren flaunted her virtue, and they lapped it up.
Duty done, she headed indoors. The lift climbed slowly, red-lit numbers reflecting the colour of her eyes which sparked and crackled in her moving tomb. All was electricity. Eventually it stopped and she glided out.
She knew what to expect. Soft lighting, music. It wouldn’t be the first time. Lauren felt the hunger, the thirst, rise. She needed to feed, ran her tongue along bladed teeth, wondered what would be on the menu tonight.
The door was unlocked and she slipped inside as instructed. He was already there, waiting. A monster they called him … but they didn’t know the truth.
Frightened eyes, grateful eyes turned towards her as their owner wriggled into the corner of the couch, away from Matthew, the script forgotten on the floor. “I didn’t believe what people were saying,” she whispered, “but now …”
Lauren ignored her, looked at the director, waited.
“Action,” he said and she stepped forward.
Complicit, they fed on the girl and on camera wore black.
For the anthology “12 Dark Days: One Hell Of A Christmas” (published by Alex Johnson’s Nocturnicorn Books and supported by John Gilbert / FEAR), Romain Collier wrote the final story entitled “Echoes of Drum” (based upon the 12th Day of Christmas – 12 Drummers Drumming). This is a deeply personal tale and Romain’s only third story in English. Romain is a double award winning scriptwriter (The Tragedy Of The Duke Of Reichstadt) and was Assistant Director on the short film 15 (Midas Light Films).
To check out Romain’s tale and all the other brilliant stories, please visit the UK LINK here:
A writer - I think that says it all.