I’ve been bad

She watched the stain. “I’ve been bad a long time, I think.” She traced it, running her finger all around the edge. Wondered if it tickled. “I can say that to you because you’re a friend. I think that maybe sometimes I can be sorta bad. Sometimes.”

– Umbra, Eidolon Avenue, Apt. 1D

Eidolon-Umbra-crop

Jan 2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing

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the frozen flesh

A month later the frozen flesh had started to tighten, the nails were coming loose, the eyes had shriveled and sunk, and the barest hint of marbling appeared from her armpits and around her neck. His plaything had become unpleasant.

– Colton Carryage, Eidolon Avenue, Apt. 1C

Eidolon-Click-crop

Jan 2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing

horns and hooves and snarling teeth

Her blue lips had kissed the devil then. Found him near the small of his back. Horns and hooves and snarling teeth. Greedy paws clutching a flaming pitchfork, his razor sharp tail whipping the wind. Her lips found him and, her forked tongue licking his skin, had blessed him.”

– Bullet, Eidolon Avenue, Apt. 1B

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Jan 2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing

A little Click

Here’s yet another peek at Eidolon Avenue (earlier looks included China and Bullet), a collection of novellas and short stories due out in early-2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing, considered one of the best publishers of horror and dark fiction in the business today.

Really looking forward to you guys checking this out. Oh! And did I mention it’s already being circled for adaptation into a TV series? Stay tuned. —

He hip checked the door open and, taking her hand, led her into the apartment.

She stood, her eyes above him, to the walls, the ceiling, as he unbuttoned her rain coat and dragged it away from her shoulders. “Who are they?” she said.

“Huh?” He threw her coat in the hall. “Who? That’s just Brody. Relax.”

“Who?”

“Brody. Brody!” He watched her. “My bud Brody. He’s cool. That is who you’re talking about, right?” He pulled closer.

She shook her head. “No, no, I don’t know.” Her breath grew ragged. “There’s more than one. I don’t like them. Their eyes, they’re dark. Like people, but not people. And their fingers are like scary claws. And the smell, they smell, it’s –” Her cheeks blushed as she fought for breath, her chest rising and falling in quick jerks. “I don’t … I don’t like it.”

“Hey, hey, hey,” he said, cradling her face in his hands. “Relax. You’re okay. We’re just getting out of the rain for a minute, alright?”

“I can smell that thing. Can’t you smell that thing?” Her eyes rolled back in her head as her chin titled up. “Oh my god, Mom, Mom? Help! This is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong –”

“Yo!” He gripped her face tighter. “Hey! What’s wrong?” He gave her a quick, violent shake. “Freak! Yo! Answer me!”

“It … won’t … stop … breathing.” She screwed her eyes shut and started to cry.

“That’s you.” She shook her head. “You’re the one breathing, okay?” He stopped her. “You need to settle down. You’re fine.” He lifted the umbrella. “You want this back? Here you go. See? I promised. Take it.”

She opened her eyes, her cheeks stained with tears. She ignored the umbrella.

“You can’t leave.” She sniffled. “It won’t let you.”

“You said I looked like a prince, remember? Remember that?” He forced a smile. “Wanna kiss a prince?”

She shook her head. “I want to leave.”

“Aw, c’mon.” He moved closer, pressing his body against hers. “Just one kiss? When have you ever gotten to kiss a prince, right? One time shot, right here.” A smile. “Yeah?”

Another shake of the head, this one slower, more careful, her eyes on him. She started to cry again, her nose leaking thick streams of snot, her shoulders rising as she hiccupped and sobbed.

“Shhh, shhhh, shhh.” He traced a tear with his thumb, rubbing it into her cheek. “Relax. It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.”

She caught her breath, her tear-filled eyes watching him. “You lie.”

A glimpse of China

Just a little something from my latest WIP (work in progress) Eidolon Avenue, a collection of novellas and short stories due in early-2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing, the top publisher of horror and dark fiction.

For ten years she ruled from her one bedroom in Toronto, leaving for bloody East Berlin when she grew bored and restless. Rome, London, Zurich, Amsterdam followed. An endless parade of butchered bodies and broken dreams trailing her as she, the assassin no one could see, stole away unnoticed and anonymous.

Her ledger in the black, always in the black, she then came to Paris where she settled.

And then stopped.

“My name is Samuel,” he’d said. She’d taken his hand in hers and, together, they’d navigated their way through the puddles dotting the rue Mazarine near Boulevard Saint-Germain. He was Swiss. German Swiss, to be exact. “Dinner?” he’d said. She’d nodded. “A walk?” She’d smiled and agreed. More dinners followed. Phone calls and meetings. Laughter over afternoon cups of coffee. Shared smiles and lingering looks.

His scalp was smooth, his brilliance evident and unapologetic, and his voice could calm her with a single word. He stood tall and straight, offered easy smiles and patient approval, and had a touch that took her breath away.

“I love you,” she said as they strolled the Seine. He smiled, his lips pressing close to linger on her cheek.

“Leave him be,” she said to the shadow. The shadow paused.

“He is precious,” she said as, bouquet in hand, she walked the hall to the judge who would pronounce them man and wife. The shadow stirred.

“What will it take to give him a long life in peace?” she said as she watched her beloved sleep, the comforter brought to his chin. “Whatever is needed, it’s yours.”

Two months later, the first child was taken from her womb.