super-short tales of terror: again

It started as a mark.

By lunch, it burned, snaking past her wrist to wind ‘round the elbow and onto the bicep.

At day’s end, it spanned shoulder to shoulder, a wide band of flaking grey weeping crimson and cream.

Come morning, she stood,

swallowed head to toe,

in the bark of a ravening tree.

***

If anyone ever asks me how I get past writer’s block or get myself ready for the day, I’m gonna lead them to these 55-word shorts.

I love ’em.

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super-short tales of terror: the sequel

 

Dainty girls break too easy.

Which is why, after the effortless snapping of bones

and easy tearing of too-tender flesh,

he craved a Stout Girl.

One with meat on her legs, a heft to her stride.

Pudgy arms, thick wrists.

Yes, that’s the ticket,

he thought

as Stout Girl bashed his head with a brick.

***

Just another little something I wrote – a fairly complete, hopefully intriguing story with a 55 word limit – while loosening the ol’ writing muscles for the day’s work.

I do think I’ll compile these into a collection someday. 🙃

super-short tales of terror

I’ve knitted a shroud.

Or perhaps sewn is the right word.

Dollar store linen and bone-white thread beginning at my purple feet, past my arthritic knees and swollen stomach, onto my weeping breasts and blackened throat.

My knuckles knitting my sins into seclusion and shadow

where,

once the smell becomes toxic,

I will be found.

***

See? You don’t need a ton of words to tell a good, creepy, screwed up story. Fifty-five words – maybe even less – is sometimes all it takes.

Perhaps I should publish a collection. 🤔

 

An Anniversary painted darkest black

Anniversary. Apartment 1D. The fourth story in Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast.

After the grand scope of Lucky, the gut punch of Bullet and the nightmare of Click, I desperately needed a change of pace. And so out came Marta and Benji and Mr. Peabody. Out came levity and a bit of humor. Characters who share truly horrible experiences with a sense of aw shucks fun. The focus of the story more condensed than the others with the action taking place at a kitchen table during a meal, the narrative driven by dialogue.

Having cut my teeth on screenwriting, I’ve found it helps to shift from prose-driven stories to dialogue-driven stories once in a while. It snaps the senses of the reader, throws the rhythm a bit, and keeps them engaged and on their toes. Plus I suspect they enjoy it when a writer surprises them by landing a playful left hook.

But, as with everything on Eidolon, there’s a twist. And with Marta and Benji, considering it’s their 50th Wedding Anniversary and they’re celebrating it by finally getting their decades-long murder/suicide pact right (with Mr. Peabody’s help) I needed to take the carefree lightness and levity of the story and not only turn it on its head, but paint it darkest black.

I needed to take everything good about Marta’s love for Benji — and Benji’s love for her — and, by revisiting what’s been said, alter the context, revealing the reality to be something entirely different.

Then I needed to allow the building to exact its price. And, in Anniversary, the cost for what’s been done is chilling and haunting and, in the end, sad.

Again, after the grand scope of Lucky (1A), the gut punch of Bullet (1B) and the truly living nightmare of Click (1C), Anniversary, for me, hit the right blend of fun and frightening.

And it was a blast to write.

Eidolon-Peabody-crop

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

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

Eidolon-Bullet-crop

Jan 2016 from Crystal Lake Publishing