Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

A Lost Classic Found

Today’s Brew: Market Basket Tea. Don’t knock it til you try it.

In the late nineties, I loved watching Forever Knight. It was only on at midnight on Saturday nights. At that time, series weren’t available on DVD or on demand. I had to make an effort to watch when it was on. I feel like an old man telling one of those “when I was your age…” stories. Thankfully, Saturday Night Live was in one of it’s sucky periods so I was able to happen upon this show by happy accident.

For some bizarre reason I also had a big Rick Springfield kick in the late nineties. I know Rick was all the rage in the early eighties but I’ve never claimed to be ahead of the curve. I still enjoy Rick but the shine is definitely off ever since he was accused of getting loaded and punching his wife in the face or something equally nauseating.

When I found out that Rick Springfield was the orignal Nick Knight in the pilot for Forever Knight, I HAD to own this movie. HAD to. There weren’t a million copies of this puppy floating around so the competition was stiff. I lost many auctions on ebay trying to get it. Then I think I finally won a drawing for it…it was something out of the ordinary. I can’t remember what it was, but I was pumped. I thought I’d tossed it during a move, but when I unpacked my CDs and DVDs from storage, I still had it after all. This is why you should never get rid of anything. (You would think I’d be a great candidate for Hoarders, but I actually do enjoy throwing things out. I only hoard wall hangings.)

The movie was made in 1989 and is an early shell of what the series became. I don’t have a DVD player right now, or else I’d pop it in and give more specifics. The back cover blurb does mention Lacroix. I could have sworn Natalie was also in this, but there’s no mention of her.

Soon I will own a DVD player again (Julie finds my current lack of technology unacceptable) and I can’t wait to watch this again!

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Do Fear the Reaper!: Messing With the Classics on Halloween Wars

TODAY’S BREW: HAZELNUT. So much it will hurt.

So, every year The Food Network does this show called “Halloween Wars,” which is flippin’ fantastic. Teams of pumpkin carvers (like Ray Villafane of MacFarlane toy fame), bakers, candy sculptors and such are pitted against each other to create frightening sculptures based on subject matter given to them. There’s all kinds of mechanics and craziness that only people adept at kitchenry would understand, i.e. not me. Rob Zombie guest judged on it once. I almost peed my pants.

While generally a huge fan of this show to the point that me and the entire family sit down with a bowl of popcorn to it, and allow our 5 year old to stay up past bedtime to watch it, this week I was sorely disappointed in all but one team. (Ray Villafane was not there, because he never disappoints.) The short challenge this week was to create a terrifying Grim Reaper. Nice. I am all excited.

Then it started. These clowns trashed a classic.

Now, I am all for creating a new mythology or persona for a classic horror or supernatural figure. Case in point, my vampire novel, Running Home. I am even for all the incarnations of evil that pop culture has made to symbolize Satan. I mean, Al Pacino is the Devil? Cool. But The Grim Reaper is a beacon of fear with a universal image that should be left untouched. He is the epitome of fear–the fear of death itself.

One team, Team Dead Man Walking, the only team that should win this entire contest in my eyes, kept old Grim the way he should be. At his finest, ferrying the River Styx into the gates of Hell with a soul underfoot. He had all his stuff…the hourglass, the sickle, a bunch of skulls. Perfect. The judges, however did not think they had enough detail?!?! Booooooo.

Team Screamish, AKA the ballerina pansies of the bunch, decide to make it cute. They make the Grim Reaper into a little black kitty with big claws dicing up a rat. Not even in the right stratosphere. The judges love this. Kill me.

Team Morbid Mayhem didn’t do too badly, making a classic Grim Reaper crushing an hourglass (by mistake, but they made it awesome), with red sand spilling out to signify time being up, sucker. Very nice. The judges were not overjoyed.

But the most horrifying disappointment in Halloween Wars history to me was Team Paranormal. These fools come up with this 21st century idea of “nobody talks anymore, so why should the Grim Reaper show up in person? He’s gonna e-mail himself to you.” Really? Really? They make the face of the Grim Reaper coming out of a computer screen. Take heed, all of you who spend too much time on Twitter…The Grim Reaper has been sissified, and this bitch is inside your laptop. You’re kidding me.

For the scariest thing you will hear this Halloween…THESE LUNATICS WON BY A LANDSLIDE! Kick me in the face, this cannot be real. If Rob Zombie was there, this would not have happened. If I was not such a fan of the show, and totally invested in Team Dead Man Walking winning at this point, I would have turned it off, but no, I watched. Thank Christ my team won the main challenge of Vampire vs. Vampire Killer. They rocked it hard with a vampire busting out of a casket in a catacomb with a ring of skulls made out of potatoes around it, a huge stained glass window behind, and a nun staking this living dead man. Kick ass. Then they bring out the big guns…the candy they have for the judges to try are roasted Columbian ants! Man, I love these guys. Not only do they find roasted ants in the pantry, but they make the judges that screwed them in round one eat them. Eff yeah, Dead Man Walking. Eff yeah.

The sissy team, Screamish, made a vampire bat hanging from a tree with the sun coming up. These clowns went home to do arts and crafts and watch Lifetime movies.

In conclusion, don’t ruin a classic. Do it right. Like me! Read Running Home! (Ha! You like that?)

Movies That Freak Kristen Out

Today’s Brew: hot cocoa. It’s a damp, cold, rainy Sunday filled with home improvement projects and football. (Go Patriots!)

I never claimed to be normal. In fact, normal bores me. So would I just give you a regurgitated list of horror movies? Hell no. Scary is all in the eye of the beholder. These are the movies that gave me the willies.

3. An American Werewolf in London

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be watching this movie. I used to sit on the edge of my bed as a kid when I couldn’t sleep and watch the TV in the living room. Everyone thought I was asleep, so sometimes there were some interesting things on. Like An American Werewolf in London. This scene scared the hell out of me as a kid. Now that I do makeup for a living, I look at this scene like “Oh, COOL!” squinting at the gore on his neck trying to figure out how they put it all together. As an adult, it’s campy and cute. As a nine year old, holy crap.

2. The Shining

All modern horror/thriller/paranormal writers need to tip their hat to Mr. King. If I ever see him at Fenway Park, I will definitely buy him a beer. As much as his books drew me in when I read them in my teenage years, the movies made from his books have largely missed the mark. I give you IT as an example. However, The Shining is a masterpiece. Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall make this movie. There are no guts, no gore, but watching Jack go mad is so convincing that when that cleaver comes through the door, you think he’s really lost it.

1. Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory


Shut up. I’m not the only one who found this movie disturbing as a child. This movie is what nightmares are made of. My mom said she thought I’d enjoy it, she sat me down as a kid in front of the TV and went about her business….minutes later I was screaming. That was the end of that. The scene that got me was when Veruca ate the gum that tasted like a roast beef dinner and blew up like a balloon. As an adult, I tried to watch it again with my friend’s daughter. They were in the chocolate canal and the willies returned. I asked Samira, who was probably 8 at the time, if the movie scared her. She thought I was nuts. I’ve still never seen the whole movie and I will never see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Even Johnny Depp can’t make this less terrifying.

Discoredia by JC Michael: Read This Horror Novel and Like It, Damnit!

TODAY’S BREW: As much coffee as I can fit in all 5’2″ of my body.

This, my fine young friends, is the first chapter of our good friend, JC Michael’s horror, Discoredia. What I love about his work is the very realistic fright fest it provides, all while giving you kick-ass imagery that makes it a thoughtful read at the same time.

Discoredia is currently #1 on the list of books headed to the editor’s desk on http://www.Authonomy.com. I could not be more pleased to see a horror novel take that spot, and even more pleased that it is JC’s. He has worked for it the good, old-fashioned, honest way. Enjoy the read, and check out the whole novel on Authonomy!

CHAPTER 1

He was wrecked, wasted, totally, utterly, and unashamedly, out of his head. God it was good.
Back home he felt old, past his prime, almost thirty, and the drugs of the new millennium had disappointingly failed to live up to the promise of their ‘90s predecessors. He could remember a time when a couple of good E’s, Doves perhaps, were all he’d needed for a twelve-hour shift. Nowadays, gobbling down a dozen or more still wouldn’t guarantee he’d last an all-nighter, at least not without ending up huddled in a corner, wishing it would end. As for the music, to him it increasingly sounded like sped-up pop, the decline in quality seemingly linked to the current rise in popularity. Sometimes, he wondered why he still bothered.
Tonight, he knew why. Tonight was different. It was the payoff, the reward for his persistence. He felt young, a youth in his mid-twenties with his life ahead of him, and he was completely fucked; fucked on a single, solitary, pill. The music consumed him within his personal utopia. It was hard. Fast. Mean. It had retained its edge. This was real Hardcore, pride of place in the Main Arena, not shunted off into a shitty side-room to make way for the latest Top Ten bootleg. A Main Arena that in itself represented a step back in time to the good old days. An old school Shangri-La devoid of neon and fluorescents. No bright lights. No inflatables. No fucking foam. This was a proper rave, not a poor imitation like the ones back home that at times seemed more like a kid’s birthday party. The oppressive darkness was a world of shadows, a world filled with smoke and pierced by lasers. A warehouse full of Gabbers, not Hard House posers. He was overwhelmed. He was loving it. So what if he was abroad? This felt like home should feel.
This was RottRave, billed as Rotterdam’s hardest Rave of the year, and the first time he had travelled outside of England for a night out. By these standards, it wouldn’t be his last. Gabber, Techno, and Speedcore, an unholy triumvirate of styles of ultra-hard dance music, each of which endeavoured to trepan through his skull and bore into his brain. He lived for this music, so full of aggression and raw power.
He’d bought his ticket over the Internet; got a cheap crossing on North Sea Ferries with a voucher from the local paper. Made some new friends. Got drunk. Got caned on the best weed Amsterdam had to offer. Yet somehow still managed to get here. He wasn’t certain how. The pill had been purchased off a shady looking guy in a Feyenoord shirt. A bargain at five Euros. The end result? The night of his fucking life. He’d lost his new mates somewhere in the smoke, but he didn’t care. He was rushing like fuck.
This was how things should be, how they were meant to be, how they had been back in the day. The music engulfed him, taking away all perception of when and where. Time meant nothing; only the beat mattered. His hands, and the trails they made as he moved them, mesmerised him. How long had he been dancing? No idea. It must have been hours but he didn’t feel tired, not at all, he had energy to spare. Rushes of blissful euphoria swept over him in waves, swamping his thoughts with ideas of how this was it, nothing else mattered, work, family, life, all a sham, an empty way of existence. This was pure; he was one with the music, one with the crowd, the crowd he could barely make out through the smoke surrounding him. Everyone else just a shade in the mist. Brothers and sisters he knew were there, but by sense, rather than sight. He was lost but he was found, found himself, found a home, found God.
He stumbled, a momentary sickness coursed through him, but it passed, to be replaced by a glimmer of clarity as he remembered where he was. How long had he been tranced out like that? He tried to think, but the concept of time eluded him. Had he been dancing? Dancing like a shaman caught up in the rapture of ecstasy, or stood, barely moving, like a rock buffeted by the power of an angry sea, a violent ocean of beats and bass. He thought about it. He didn’t know. His thoughts moved on and someone spoke in his ear but the words were lost, drowned out by the sped up chorus of a track sampling one of the classics. “Eezer Goode, Eezer Goode, He’s Ebenezer Goode”. He began to dance and lost himself once more.
A melody swept around him, lifting him like an eagle on a thermal, before the percussive bass thundered in once more. Occasionally he thought that he recognised a tune, but before he could be sure, it disappeared. The mixing was tight and fast, each song replaced no sooner had it started. It was how D.J’ing should be, a skill, an art. Not one record played for three minutes forty-five before having its outro mixed with the intro of another mass-produced, music by numbers, piece of crap. He could barely tell where one track started and another ended; the changes so rapid it all merged into one, but he knew that although it sounded like a single tune, it was many. He tried to concentrate, to focus, but his head span, his attempts to think requiring too much effort when conscious thought was merely a distraction from the instinctiveness of being high. He closed his eyes and closed his mind, letting the music take him yet again.
Another stumble. He was at the front. Had he just got here or been here all along? He didn’t know. He turned his back to the stage and looked into the crowd. He raised his hands, and they raised theirs. He was a King. He turned. And saw his Queen.

The M.C surveyed the crowd before him. It was a good night with the D.Js on top form and those packing the dancefloor seemed well up for a party. He took a drink of lukewarm water and looked around some more. What the hell was Ruud doing? He recognised the girl as a regular at Gabber nights in the area, but why Ruud would be helping her up onto the speakers, he had no idea. If he wanted a “gabberinnen” to put on a bit of a show there were plenty more to choose from, the vast majority of which made this one look like the trash she was. Scrawny with greasy lank hair, and wearing the same grubby pale blue outfit and beaten up trainers she always wore, she looked terrible. Part of him hoped she would fall off the speaker stack; her attempts at dancing were an embarrassment, although there was some nut gazing up at her who looked positively besotted. He’d heard the rumours that the bitch was anyone’s for a line of coke or a hit of crack, but Ruud just wasn’t into that kind of thing. It didn’t make sense but then again, so what? Ruud now seemed more interested in the guy dancing like a lunatic in front of the little skank anyway, though God knew why. He put down his bottle and, raising the mic to his lips, berated the crowd for being too quiet. He could quiz the Ruudster later.

He heard the MC on the stage demand that the crowd make some noise but he was too engrossed in the divine image of the goddess in front of him to care. She was beautiful, and had been placed on a pedestal just for him. As she danced atop the speaker, he felt himself imitate her movements, first in canon, then seemingly in unison. He stopped imitating when she looked at him and smiled. He was transfixed as she raised her hands above her head, clamped her fists together, and danced as though performing for his own, personal, enjoyment. Performing a sensual, sexual dance around an invisible pole.
As the lasers on the stage behind her penetrated into the darkness they lit up the blonde streaks which shimmered as they shot through her long hair. Hair which was so luxurious it belonged in a shampoo advert. Hair which was held back from her face by a thick, pale blue, Alice-band only a shade lighter than the tight, cropped, running top and matching micro shorts that she wore. Hair which framed the angular features of her angelic face. His eyes lingered for a moment, noting her clamped-shut eyes, small nose, and rich, full, lips, before looking down over the curves of her slim, athletic figure.
Reaching out, he touched the pure white Nike trainer that, despite the writhing of her body, remained rooted in its spot on the speaker before him, level with his own shoulders. He felt the vibration of the bass through her foot and ran his hand up over her ankle to her calf, the nylon of her tan tights sending a tingle of static through his fingertips. The tingle was matched, and then exceeded, by a jolt of electricity that he now felt rushing up his spine to the base of his neck. He tilted his head back to gaze upon her. His whole body rigid. His penis erect.
Her foot pulled back and he looked up. Looked into a pair of ice-cold eyes above a sneer that demanded, “Who the fuck are you?” How could she not know he was her King? He smiled to bring her out of her confusion. She showed him her middle finger. The sign was universal and it was treason. A blatant act of treachery compounded by the audacity to only now bring a smile to her face.
The rage that exploded within him saw the tingle within his spine vanish, its replacement feeling like a column of molten lava erupting upwards and into his brain. He lunged forwards, sinking his teeth into her calf, his incisors biting through the nylon and puncturing her skin. The coppery taste of her blood excited his tongue, and as he pulled away, the nylon of her tights stretched and then tore into ladders running up towards her thigh, like a damaged spider-web. The fabric snapped as he ripped away a mouthful of flesh. His Queen fell to her knees, falling where she stood to bow down in supplication before her Lord, but her obedience had come too late. With her face only inches from his he paid scant attention to the wide-eyed terror that had consumed her, for now he could see her for the hag she was. The music pounded in his head, beating upon his brain. What trickery, what witchcraft, had she used to deceive him so? She looked at him, her eyes pleading for mercy, but nevertheless, she had disrespected him and must pay.
As violent eruptions in his brain demanded retribution that be both swift, and brutal, he knew that if he didn’t succumb, if he didn’t obey and deal with the slut before him, his head would crack open like the slopes of a volcano. He showed her his own middle finger and then thrust his head forward, straining his mouth open so wide that his jaw cracked, and bit her again, this time her neck. His teeth were clamped down, the jugular, yes; he remembered the vein’s name from the vampire films he’d watched in his teens with a fleeting clarity that had no business interloping on the fury that devoured him. He felt her pulse with the tip of his tongue as she tried to pull away, and bit down harder. The vein was severed and, as the lava continued to erupt in his brain, her blood pumped onto his face from the fissure he had torn in her flesh. His vision was gone, a thick red curtain brought down over his eyes. He swallowed a mouthful of blood and revelled in its richness.

“Security to the front of the stage. Fuck. Fucking Security. Down Here. Now.” They were words he barely registered.

He wiped the blood from his brow and the vision returned in his left eye just in time to see the M.C, microphone still in hand, jump off the stage and run towards him down the metre-wide gap between stage and stand-off barriers. He guessed that the muscle-bound skinhead bearing down towards him, with what looked like a bootprint tattooed on the right side of his face, was a fighter, and that was one skill he had never had, but the explosions in his head had opened up his brain. Areas previously unaccessed had swollen and burst, releasing the suppressed knowledge of ancestors now forgotten by time, but who had existed through eras far more warlike than the twenty-first century Europe he knew. He was suddenly aware of his bloodline, the warrior DNA that had been hidden for so long, and he had nothing to fear. The right hook, which M.C Bootface probably thought was a dead cert to break his jaw, came at him and he ducked it with ease. Now it was his move.
Throughout his act of aggression towards the innocent young woman, now collapsed, twitching, on the speaker before him, and the attempted retaliation that had followed, his middle finger had, unlike his manhood, remained rigid. In the absence of any weapon, other than his own body, he plunged the digit into Bootface’s right eye socket as hard as he could. He felt the eyeball push back and then ride up over the finger that he now curled and hooked into the socket, before yanking back and simultaneously launching his head forwards. The resulting collision shattered Bootface’s nose and, hearing the crack, he realised that the music had ceased. Cries, shouts and screams had taken its place but he didn’t care, the music was still there for him, there in his head. The red curtain descended again as more blood spilt over him. Act Two was complete. He felt so alive and wiped his face clear on his sleeve. Adrenaline coursed through his body like never before. Then another crack, this time from himself. Cheek? Jaw? He was unsure. His conviction began to falter as pain muscled into his thoughts. He fell to the floor and rolled to his right, looking up just in time to see the boot of a bouncer stomping down towards the side of his face. He moved. This time his reactions let him down. The boot connected, mashing his cheekbone further and leaving an imprint eerily similar to that etched on the M.C’s face. The red curtain dropped for a third time and the fire within him began to subside, the lava within the column of his spine and crater of his brain cooling and solidifying into paralysis.
Grabbed by the arms he found himself being dragged away. Through his court. Through his subjects. What had happened? Wasn’t he their King? Or was he a usurper whose rule was now coming to a bloody end? Confusion drifted upon him, the rush of adrenaline spent. Where was he? What were these people looking at? Looks of horror and disgust contorting their faces as he passed. Dragged further now, beyond those who had bore stunned witness to his madness, and to those unaware of what had just transpired and who seemed only to care why the music had stopped. Past more who looked at him with a morbid fascination. Why? He could taste blood. Was it his? Someone else’s? A cocktail of both? Had he had a fit? Collapsed? Been attacked? He felt sick but was unable to retch. Dragged further. He could see a light; a side door had been opened.
Hauled towards the opening now and he spotted a guy in a Feyenoord shirt standing out in the crowd. Did he know him? He thought so but the jumble in his mind failed to either confirm or deny. The man was talking into his mobile, but as he passed him he lowered it from the side of his face and looked straight at him, smiling as he did so. Who the fuck was he? Did it matter? And then he was gone, lost back into the throng of gabbers as he himself was hauled from it through the door and into the light. A pulse of nausea convulsed his stomach, creating an unsettling feeling that something intangible had been torn from deep within him. He was beginning to lose consciousness, but a voice pulled him back, someone saying someone had been assaulted, killed, could it be something to do with him? He didn’t know. He felt drowsy. He felt himself being dropped to the floor, but his eyes were now closed. Oblivion demanded him.

http://authonomy.com/books/42398/discoredia/ Now, go! Go, and back this novel for free on Authonomy so we can see this sucker in print!

Julie Writes “Jerk” Like Nobody Else: A Short Story

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut, as much as I can get.

This is just a quickie I wrote, that may or may not be the very early stages of a prologue. It is the bastardizing of an idea my husband had, that I twisted and made mine. A jerk vampire, bored with “life,” who makes a habit of invading funerals to taunt the mourners. I like this guy.

“It’s so tragic…” She sniffled and sobbed into a mess of filthy kleenex, blubbering in a tangle of over-hairsprayed curls and too-tight clothes that she had probably worn to the last wake. I think I was there. The food sucked afterwards. Crying makes people taste soggy, but mourners are just too much fun not to kill.

My eyes hurt from rolling them. I honked loudly into a tissue, pointing at Miss Hairspray. I smiled at an old man staring at me with horrified eyes. He should not be afraid of me. He should be too worried about his own fast-approaching demise. He already had on the right suit.

I got up to pace the rows of folding chairs again. I bumped into a douchebag in suspenders. I scratched my cheek subtly giving him the finger. I couldn’t help it. It had a life of its own. More than could be said for…”Travis Carter II, age 19.” I didn’t have to squint at the name on the plaque, but I did for emphasis. I was whistling, hands in my pockets, but took one out to run a finger across the satin lining around Trav’s head. I threw a charming smile at the pretty girl knelt at the casket right next to me. “Nice casket! Mahogany.”

She cried harder. Typical.

“You’re ruining that perfectly nice blouse,” I said, handing her my balled up tissue.

She looked at me, from her knees, with her bloodshot blues. “Who the fuck are you?! I want some time alone with my brother!”

“Well, baby, you aren’t gonna get it here! I mean, look at all these fuckers!” I motioned behind me with a sweeping arm. She gaped, exposing a mouth full of fillings.

Unable to even want to stop myself, I trembled as I looked behind me at the masses of cheap flowers, the podium, the photo board that nobody had bothered to make when Travis Carter II doled out his humanity amidst high school dropouts and wannabe construction moguls. I stared, grinning at the faces staring back at me, bloated and lined, sad and selfish. “Maybe I shouldn’t be up here,” I whispered to Travis’s sister, “but you shouldn’t be making a scene, young lady. This is about Travis, isn’t it?” I blew her a kiss.

I swaggered away with purpose, all eyes on me, the way I said I didn’t like it.

“…so young…” gray-dressed Auntie whined into Uncle’s shoulder.

“Awww, was he?” I taunted, popping gum into my mouth.

I moved on toward the ushers at the door, the familiar scent of funeral parlor mints and hand soap waving me goodbye.

“So…so…tragic…”

“Yeah, poor Travis Carter II,” I comforted, patting ex-girlfriend on skinny shoulder.

You and I both know, the real tragedy is when you can’t die fast enough.

Like anything good, I found this when I wasn;t looking for it. I mean, that is one short story, and I love it. Enjoy!

365thingstowriteabout

I saw a ghost once, in the watchtower.

It stared back at me and waved.

I wondered if it was friendly like Casper. Casper would have smiled when he waved. This ghost didn’t smile. It watched me with dormant eyes and a grim line drawn across its mouth.

The past made it sad, something I could understand. It’s hard looking back on things you can’t change, even more so when you’re dead. The living are afforded the chance to amend their ways, forgive trespasses, embrace joy. Ghosts are chained to their reflections and forever haunted by regret.

I’m not going to be a ghost, I decided.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned.

Ghosts have a tendency to sneak up behind you, almost always when you least expect them.

 

– Written by Miss A October 6, 2012

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The Japanese Do It Right: Gashodokuro & Hagoromo Gitsune

TODAY’S BREW: Booze. We have been writing queries.

I found one of the scariest creatures in mythology I could find…Gashodokuro.

In Japanese mythology, Gashodokuro is a 15 foot tall skeleton with unconnected eyes rolling around in his sockets. He is generally wriggling around like a snake, this giant skeleton, making him a real nightmare. He was created by gathering the bones of people who have died of starvation. This dude will literally bite your head off, and the only way you will know he is coming is that your ears will ring. This guy is Iron Maiden’s Eddie on steroids, and you will never know he’s behind you.

The giant, terrifying skeleton is steeped in rich legend,and the more I researched, the more fascinating I found it. Gashodokuro is a creature of the Yokai species, male, and a Virgo, ladies! (Seriously, his birthday is September 3rd.) Trapped beneath a seal in a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, he was guarded by Hisa Keikain, a female onmyoji, a human who battles the Yokai with spiritual power. Legend has it, that when he is freed, he gathers together the army of “the demon fox,” the head of the Kyoto Yokai. Gashodokuro is the primary guard of this fearsome Master of Spirits, named Hagoromo Gitsune.

Hagoromo Gitsune, the leader of the Kyoto Yokai, first appeared in Japanese history in turbulent times, possessed by the body of a child. She gathers power by absorbing hatred, envy, anger, despair and malice, and grows stronger with increasing malice in the world. She only has a human lifetime, but can extend it to 1000 years by hiding when her host dies until she can take control of another. Currently she takes the form of Yamabuki Otome, a woman with long, black hair, pale white skin and deathly black eyes. She is always dressed like a Japanese schoolgirl. Cool.
Hagoromo is a total narcissist, with a talent for intimidation of her opponents. She finds humans to be impure and inferior, and works at creating a world of darkness. The only love she feels is for her henchman, though nobody is as important as her son. Hagoromo is described as a fiercely devoted mother. Her only care in the world is to reunite with him, to take human form that will allow her to give birth to him again. It is so critical, that the entire reason the Kyoto Yokai exists is to reunite them again.

When the reunion finally occurs, (a grisly thing indeed), the Yokai follow them both back to Hell where they belong. Gashodokuro is one of the few who stays behind on Earth, preying upon people as he awaits the return of his Queen.

(Am I sick for finding this story kind of beautiful? Overjoyed to have found such a legend, I became even more excited that my second novel, the seuqel to Running Home, is set in Japan. My mind is bursting at the seams with plans for Hagoromo.)

The Japanese know how to make a scary thing beautiful like no other people on the planet. Congratulations, Japan!

Halloween Makeup Basics!

Today’s Brew: Whatever it was that Julie made me. I had a lot of it.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Okay, the second most wonderful time of the year behind NFL Kickoff Weekend. It’s Halloween! Candy, horror, dress up, apple everything, how can we possibly go wrong?

The question on everyone’s lips should be: What are you going to be for Halloween?

My phone is ringing off the hook with requests for Halloween costume makeup. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a makeup artist by day and a mild mannered aspiring writer whenever time allows. Character makeup and guts and gore are hands down the most fun parts of my job. So far I’ve had requests for Chinese emperors, tequila bottle people, The Black Swan, and The Addams Family.

Since I can’t be everywhere at once to get you ready for your big Halloween extravaganza, here are a couple of quick tips to make you look totally kick ass so you win top prize in your costume contest!

* Get the good stuff! Those awful cream makeups sold at the fly by night seasonal costume shops suck. You’re starting early, you have time to do it right. I suggest Ben Nye Creme Colors. These are long lasting, highly pigmented, and easy to use. Best of all, they aren’t expensive at all. You can get bruise, burn and zombie color wheels as well. They have many varieties of blood and it’s actually the right color.

* Set your work! Everyone sweats in those heavy costumes, and even more after a couple of beers. There is nothing sexy about your face running off, even if you are a zombie. Keep all your hard work put. A translucent powder applied liberally over any cream makeup will set your creation nicely. You can also get setting sprays. Since I’ve already sent you the Ben Nye site, they’ve got a theatrical quality one. If you’re shopping last minute, Urban Decay has a great one that’s available at Sephora or Ulta.

* Make sure you have everything you need! If you’re applying face or body hair, you need spirit gum. Don’t forget spirit gum remover as well. Sometimes spirit gum doesn’t give the best results. Medical adhesive is even better. You will need 99% alcohol to remove. It can be ordered from your local pharmacy.

* Don’t forget the details! Pay attention to your ears, neck, hands, and any other exposed skin. Do you need teeth to complete your look? What about your hair and nails? Don’t half ass it, unless you’re hoping to win the half assed costume contest. Go big or go home.

* Be Careful getting dressed! You may want to drape tissue over your made up skin so you don’t get makeup all over your costume.

Have fun! Want to see more Halloween makeup tips?  Click here.  You’re welcome.

HAPPY HORROR MONTH!

TODAY’S BREW: pumpkin, of course

It’s Horror Month here on Deadly Ever After! And also at every strip mall that features a Spirit of Halloween store.

Kristen and I love Halloween, though oddly, not getting dressed up in costumes. I am a little too low maintenance for that, and spend a little too much time doing it with the kids. Any day I get out of pajamas is like getting dressed up for me.

October promises all kinds of creep factor! We will feature a blogspot for our friend, JC Michael, and his fantastic horror novel, Discoredia. We are planning a trip to Salem! I am very excited for this, and haven’t been there in years. We will give you the scoop on how awesome that is. There will be plenty of zombie-related material, some courtesy of our good friend, Rob. (See Zombie pin-up calendars! Place your orders now!) We will find horror-related fashion, and horror art. We will post pics from my trip to Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Pumpkin Spooktacular, an annual tradition for the Hutchings family. (Hope for me that there is a Bea Arthur pumpkin again!) We will do a short story or two for you all. I will tell you my favorite horror movies and why, may favorite horror novels and why, my favorite everything about October and why. Why you ask? Because I can, that’s why.

Robert Downey Jr. Would Be the Best Vampire Ever

TODAY’S BREW: A little thing I like to call bottom of the pottom. Nothing good.

Not sure what it is about a superhero movie that really inspires me. Sure, I am inspired by nature, and music, and the kids, blah blah blah, but Iron Man? That’s what I’m talking about.

I am a snob about the superheroes I like. A long-time fan of Batman and Iron Man, I know exactly what it is about these guys that gets my creative juices flowing…they chose to be superheroes. They had it in them, and they knew it. That’s a hero to me. Regular dudes who up the ante, who push themselves past their limits. They may have inherited money, but they use it for the greater good, and to further their ideals. Superman, on the other hand, was born into heroism. This does nothing for me. Superman got lucky. Batman busted his ass on a bitterly cold mountain top to become fantastic. Iron Man built a suit based around his new disability, for crying out loud. Both Batman and Iron Man have their flaws, also, which is what I need for a superhero to be truly believable. Most of all, both of them have occasionally questionable ends to serve the greater good, and that is where my vampire crosses paths with them at the heart.

Where does Superman get off thinking he’s special? He did nothing to deserve it. (Side note: I like Christoper Reeve as much as the next opinionated person, but do not identify with his world renowned identity.)

This all being said, Iron Man was the source of inspiration for my fantastically cool vampire, Nicholas French. Nicholas is one of those guys who is inherently good at things. People like him, he’s smart as a whip, handy, sarcastic to the point of physical pain, and just a touch conceited. I like this in a person. I far prefer a person, not just a man, with a bit of a superiority complex over one who struggles with disliking themselves. Nicholas and RDJ also share a crazy skill level in martial arts. And not for nothing, Nicholas is a stone cold fox just like Robert Downey, Jr. He is Nicholas, there is nobody else to picture. The movie in my mind stars Robert Downey, Jr., who I believe is the highest paid actor in Hollywood. I love RDJ as Nicholas because they both have their darker sides, and it creates a depth that you don’t get just anywhere.

RDJ are you reading this? Could you possibly care less? Probably not.

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