Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “flash fiction friday”

Flash Fiction Friday: THE WICKED ONES

TODAY’S BREW: More hot beverages than you can shake a stick at before that stick freezes. It is 9 degrees out.

By Julie

For this Flash Fiction Friday, I dragged a chapter of THE WICKED ONES SAGA out of my good friend, Mr. Jackson’s, grasp for today. He keeps his work a little too close to himself for me. Once you read this, you’ll wonder how fast you can get your hands on more of his words, too. Enjoy this excerpt, and be absorbed.


The tears began to flood out of me. Attempting to hold them back proved ever so futile. As I held her in my arms, I knew my existence would never be the same. Never. She was absolutely, the most beautiful wight I’d ever laid eyes on. 
“I would love to name her Elizabeth.” My eyes now focused on the only being that could have brought such euphoria. My love, my partner…
“Please, don’t stop. Go on, I’d love to hear more.”
I opened my eyes seeking to shake the memories from my mind like it was an etch a sketch, I could only respond with the cold reality, the truth. “Those were of happier times. We need not speak of those moments.”
 Although my voice was firm, inside I was still reliving the pain I tried for so many years to erase. “I do apologize Iris, but I must beg your pardon. Perhaps we can continue this another time.”
Confused and discontented, Iris responded weakly, “Sure, no problem, Justin.” I watched from the parlor window as she entered her car and drove off.
Tonight was not the night for such emotion. I needed to feed and get Iris as far away from me as possible.
“Why did I agree to a meeting in the first place?”
Smarten up or deal with the consequences’.” The voice of my grandfather was so clear. It had been days since I last fed and the memories I was conjuring up would not mix well together. I needed to be alone.
  I have never spoken to another being regarding that day. For years I’ve pushed and pushed, until the pain was buried deep within my cold heart. I circled the parlor glancing at the piano, that once played such beautiful music. Soft melodies that encased raw emotions, allowing the soul to dance and swell up with such revelry, it would almost feel felonious.
I closed my eyes to listen closely to those amazing notes. “Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful, Eliza.” The smile on my little angel’s face was more than enough to illuminate any corner of the world. Moreover, it never failed to melt the ice around my heart.
“She has your ear for music.” I welcomed the words being whispered into my ear as two warm, loving arms slid over my shoulders to embrace me from behind. “I believe you may be correct in your assessment of our little angel. She’s progressing quite rapidly. However, it pales in comparison to the heart that she has, which is all your doing.”
 As I turned to face my queen and thank her for the greatest gift in the world, I was met by my dear old friend, loneliness. Here I stood, staring at my reflection in the mirror, not sure who was the man staring back. The black in my eyes served as a reminder that I was in dire need of feeding or I was going to lose myself. Losing myself was not an option, not in this town, or anywhere for that matter. I’ve managed to stay under the radar of people’s suspicions of my kind, or any other being for that matter, for quite some time now. I was simply a young man who loved music and would teach all who desired to learn. No one needed to know what I really am.
However, tonight a few unfortunate individuals would find out. Lamentably, they would not get the chance to tell another soul of their discovery.
The night air was crisp. Seeing my breath in front of me reminded me of Elizabeth. She would always, with a tilted-up head, blow up to the sky and say, “Did you see that, Daddy?”
I shook the image from my mind and continued down the lane, which led to many businesses. Most of which were closed to patrons many hours ago. Only the taverns and nightclubs would be open at this time of night.
It took all of a second to pick up his scent. Around the back of the White Pony stood the lead guitarist of the local band chosen to open up for Cold World. I recognized the face from the town flyer promoting tonight’s concert. The burning began in my throat. My eyes seeing the horror about to unfold. It was too easy to get what I was craving.
I drained him of every last drop. Quickly and quietly.
Wiping the blood from my chin, I ventured inside the White Pony for course number two. My recent meal had awoken quite the frenzy in me. A jolt of adrenaline was flowing through me. Trying to not rip through the throats of every single person in here was becoming increasingly difficult. All efforts were proving to be pointless until I heard her voice. “Justin? I thought you wanted to be alone tonight?”
Sounding ever so unhappy, with the posture to match, there stood Iris.
Truly surprised, I connected my eyes with hers and tried to excuse myself. “Hey, wait a minute. Where are you going?” Iris would not let me just cut this chance meeting short.
“I do apologize for earlier Iris. I just needed some fresh air and as I walked, my feet led me here. Must have been the music.”
Looking to seize the opportunity for more conversation Iris asked, “Wanna go outside?”
“Sure, Iris, lets do that.”
“So what’s the deal? Do you always push people away?”
The words were sharp, yet genuine. Iris was an amazing woman to me, and I knew she would not benefit from having me in her life.
“Iris, I’m rather complicated. You should keep a healthy distance.” If only she knew that I was referring to my desire to rip her throat wide open and indulge in her sweet smelling blood. Her blood was singing to me and I was loving every note.
“I can’t do that Justin. I am completely drawn to you.”
A feeling of regret flushed through me as the words hit my ears. What she wanted I could give her, but she would need to know everything. Everything.
“You wanted to know why I push people away. Truth is, I’d rather push than have them pulled away. You should know that I wasn’t always so cold and distant. I’ve loved and knew happiness. The world isn’t as good as you think it is. There are many faces of evil among us.”
Iris never moved her eyes away from mine and her body seemed so relaxed. No fear in her body for me. “There is no evil with you Justin.” So innocent was Iris. It kind of scared me.
Stepping closer to me, Iris was not making my desire for her blood go away. I was fighting with all I had. “What are you fighting to protect? What scares you?” As her eyes began to slightly water up, Iris began to speak again. “You can tell me everything when you are ready. I just need to tell you that I love you. I’ve loved you for some time now, Justin.” Softly crashing into my chest, Iris softly rubbed her head just under my chin. “You are always so protective of me. I want to take care of you. I just feel so attached to you. No harm or hurt will ever find you again. I promise.”
Finally overcoming the desire to drain her of every last bit of her sweet, melodic blood, I was now filled with a new emotion. As I held her close, Iris whispered softly into my ear “I would die for you.”
A small grin formed as I responded, “Are you ready?”

Flash Fiction Friday: Excerpt from RUNNING AWAY, the RUNNING HOME sequel

TODAY’S BREW: Egg nog coffee! For all the best things in life.

By Julie

I’m trying to breathe here, but it isn’t really working.

I promised you all an excerpt from the Bethlem Royal Hospital scene in the sequel to RUNNING HOME, and here she is! I didn’t give you alllll of it, but hopefully enough to whet your appetite and not feel spoiled. You very briefly meet a new character who I’m inappropriately obsessed with, and see something monumental for Eliza, right when she needs it. I hope you all feel it like I do. Thanks so much for reading.

Excerpt from RUNNING AWAY

*work in progress*

“You’re a Stephen King book waiting to be written, woman,” he said out of the corner of his mouth, nodding at a matronly nurse who looked like she could use a little mental help herself. “But I have to say, I’m impressed with how you’re holding yourself together.”

I tore my eyes away from the doors at the end of the hall, suddenly curious about him. “What was it like for you the first time you fed?”

The scent of old smoke from him. I wondered if it was consuming him or giving him strength.

“Angry. Sad. I didn’t want to do it, but I had to, of course. And the man I killed wasn’t ready. He didn’t want to die.” He was quiet, but the fire in him blazed so much I thought it might singe me next to him. I couldn’t believe the expressionless people around us didn’t feel it.

We went through the set of double doors at the end of the hallway, and I saw the sign for the kitchen. It was all I could do not to run there, leaving every questioning staff member and Kieran behind. I wanted her more than anything in the world.

“You knew the man,” I said before I realized I’d said it. I was transfixed on the kitchen doors, my fangs impossible to retract.

“I did. But how did you know that?” Kieran said from next to me.

“I don’t know. I’m sorry you had to do that to your friend. It should never happen that way.”

The kitchen loomed ever closer.

“You’re creeping me out, Eliza Morgan,” he said, but I couldn’t look at him to see how much he was kidding.

We’d arrived at the kitchen doors. They were as foreboding as all the others we’d passed with droning buzz that opened them.

“Do you want me to go in there with you?” he whispered.

Clara was whistling from the other side of the dingy white doors. I put my hand on the door, and wanted to cry.

“Yes, please.”

I pushed open the door, Kieran at my side.

The hospital kitchen was a jail cell in itself. Water-stained walls brought shadows of metal pipes to life, industrial puppets clanking and banging from within. Cracks littered every ceramic tile on the walls over the sink and stove, discolored and rusty like the slop basins and trash barrels around them. The cabinets would never be white again, the window never quite clear. One wall was cement, blackened in spots with age and damage. Every corner underneath the rusty metal work surfaces was brown with leakage and dirt that could never be hidden. Nobody may be looking there, but the grunge seeped onto the floor, as old as the horror that lived here. It was vacant of scent, not like any kitchen should be; there was no soup boiling, or cooking meat wafting through the air, or even cleaning fluid. Empty. The huge window over the sink housed a sadly spinning fan at the top, high enough that an inmate couldn’t reach it to escape.

And under that streaked window that looked out to nowhere, a gleaming thing in the yellowing disease of this place. Clara stood with her back to us, humming sweetly as her body gently shook with the scrubbing of dishes. Stacks more waited for the same. Stacks had already been done. And still, she hummed, despite the relentless filth here.

“Clara,” I said, not with a whisper. There was nothing to hide from her.

She spun on us, the whites of her eyes the brightest thing I’d seen in London.

“Oh,” she said, her fear spreading to a welcoming smile. She dried her hands as she walked towards us, her shapeless skirt swishing around her, and wiped a tendril of orange-ish frizz out of her eye. “I wasn’t expecting any visitors.” She positively glowed with simple happiness that was too good for the hospital, and yet so desperately necessary.

I hated what I was going to do, and wanted it even still.

“We aren’t really here to visit, Clara,” I said, looking as hard into her eyes as I could while her heart still beat.

Her eyes slid between me and Kieran. Panic set in, making her back away. God only knew the kind of danger she’d found herself in this place. But I would be the last danger she faced.

“What do you want? I don’t have anything,” she pleaded. Kieran was shuffling his feet in my peripheral vision, rubbing his fingers together, wishing he had a cigarette I was sure.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said, not knowing what else to say. She laughed at him. She may be sweet, but she wasn’t stupid.

But within a beat of her heart, her shoulders relaxed, and she stopped backing away. She looked at me, confused, but becoming less afraid, until there was no fear there at all. I made to walk slowly to her, but realized that was a human thing to do, a human thing that would frighten her again, make her think I was trying to diffuse the situation.

So I pictured myself next to her, and I was. She gasped, but her eyes remained unafraid as she met mine.

“That smell—“ she muttered.

“What do you smell?” I said. So, this was my first thrall. Designed especially for my victim.

She breathed in deep. “Peonies.”

I went cold at the mention of Kat’s favorite scent, the one she wore no matter what the season or event. Clara reminded me of her; the decided obliviousness to the cruelties around them. That light in them that created happiness wherever they went. Tears sprung to my eyes, and I touched Clara’s hair, remembering Kat’s red locks, and thought Clara’s might be that beautiful if she had the mind to bother with it.

“Clara, I’m so sorry for what I’m about to do.”

Her eyes welled with tears, and something in me responded.

“My mother had peony perfume,” she said quietly. It was hard to say who was more mesmerized, her or me. She gasped suddenly, a tiny noise. “And when she smelled just like that,” she said, pointing her finger at me, “a mix of lemon pie and peonies, I knew she had something bad to tell me. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, she put on a squirt of her perfume, and made me a lemon pie. She hated that pie, said it wasn’t sweet enough. I told her I had all the sweet I needed when I smelled her perfume and saw her smile. We were alone, you see. Always alone, and she was so sick. I loved her more than anything. Even when she had to tell me bad things.”

My throat was thick with tears I couldn’t bear to shed for her. I wanted to hold her, and kill her.

“You have bad things to tell me right now, don’t you?” she asked, entranced.

I closed my eyes ever so briefly, and hoped she had wonderful love in life. I hoped she wouldn’t remember how awful I was in her last breath. I wished it wasn’t all my fault. Kat, I wish it wasn’t all my fault.

“I forgive you,” she said.

And with a roar that deafened only me, I plunged my fangs into her neck.


Flash Fiction Friday: THE CHILDREN METHOD by S.K. Sophia

TODAY’S BREW: Eggnog! It’s Thanksgiving weekend, fools! Oh, who am I kidding, it’s beer.

By Julie

FLASH FICTION BLACK FRIDAY! MWAHAHAHAHA! I’ll force you to stand in horrendously long lines and read a short story you could have read tomorrow anyway!

No, seriously, though. I’m so pleased. My sweet, not so sweet friend Destructo Girl wrote this masterpiece for us. I can tell you in all sincerity, that just like her, this story is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Read first, then visit to donate to the rehabilitation of war children so they can get better physically and mentally and move on.

She rules for that link. And for so many other things. Follow S.K. Sophia on Twitter @sk_sophia) and visit her kick ass blog at

The Children Method

by S.K. Sophia


Tipu Maleng, the Holy Spirit, guided me. He revealed people’s bad intentions. He was my protector as much as he was my commander. That’s why I survived, and that’s why he’s in hiding.

“Diallo? Pst. Are you awake?” A frail hand touched my shoulder.

I turned to the small boy and frowned. “Don’tchu touch me, Chacha. If you touch me, I will hit you.”

“But I’m afraid,” his lips trembled. “I hear gunshots.”

“You hear gunshots every night.” But nobody ever came. “Now, leave me be.”

“But Diallo, what if he returns?” Chacha whispered.

I froze. Breathing was no longer worth the effort of expanding my lungs. My heart shriveled into a prune-like object; blood burned through my veins like acid. I rose to my feet, cold certainty fuelling my physical strength.

“What are you plotting?” The words escaped.

Chacha scrambled to his feet, terrified. “Nothing!”

“Lies,” I growled, grabbing the boy by his collar, lifting his feet off the ground. “You think you can walk away from me? Do you know what we do to traitors? We hack them with machetes and hang their bodies for everyone to see. You will be mocked for being such a weak fighter.”

Chacha struggled until I let go and ran straight for the door. I followed, my gaze piercing every surface it touched. I was consumed by an active thrill. My therapist called it ‘appetitive aggression,’ a side effect of a war criminal’s spiraling paranoia. What did he know? He wasn’t a fighter like me. He wasn’t chosen.

“Diallo,” a female voice projected, expertly radiating authority. Strong. Steady. Sure.

“Charlotte,” I said, reflecting her vocal attributes.

“You should be in bed.” She smiled as if I would obey like a powerless slave.

She would die first. “Of course, ma’am. Goodnight.”

I doubled-back whilst listening to the dying footsteps of my nurse. Once she was at an appropriate distance, I turned and sprinted along the corridor, entering the hall where the younger children slept. Chacha went pale when he saw me.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he said, pulling his duvet up to his cheeks.

“Wake the others,” I ordered. Time was of the essence.

Chacha shook his head, his wide-eyes filling with a tearful innocence I once had; a pathetic sight. I slipped my arm around the back of my shorts to pull out a Buck Mark pistol.

“Disobeying orders violates our army code,” I said, pointing the gun at his face. “Wake them. Quietly.”

He rushed around the room, shaking each child gently. They stirred and sat up, not afraid like children should be.

“Play is over. You are not children. You are soldiers.” I scanned the room, taking in each blank expression. These children did not scare easily. “Nobody will accept you. They want children back, but you will return as men.” I walked through the middle of the hall, turned on my heel and walked back to the front. “We will resume our mission. Overthrow Museveni’s rule. Once we do, you will all be rewarded with power and wealth. You will be high rank soldiers.”

The lights flickered on. Charlotte walked in. She looked at the doe-eyed children, and then she spotted the gun and fell back a few steps, eyes wide with terror.

“What are you doing with a gun? Where did you get that?” She trembled like a puppy in rain.

I turned to point it at her, eyes fixed on her pale expression. She held up her trembling hands in defense. The children watched in silence.

“It’s a shame. Men would pay top Sudanese pounds for you.”

“Diallo, put the gun down. These children have seen enough violence.”

“Bek!” I screamed. Fury bubbled under my skin, turning my bones to ash. “I killed my parents. We all did. What makes you think I will not kill you?”

“Because he’s not telling you to,” she said. “He can’t control you anymore. You’re mentally sick, Diallo. Let me help you.”

I straightened my back and furrowed my brow. “I answer to the code. This,” I nodded to the gun, “violates the army code if I don’t use it. You are nothing but a goffel.” I turned to Chacha who was watching through his fingers. “Kill this goffel for me.”

“I can’t,” he whimpered.

I glared at his tear-stricken face. “Are you not one of us? Please come forward and kill,” I said, holding the gun out to him.

The fragile boy approached me, watching the others as he passed. He took the gun into his shivering hands and pointed it at Charlotte.

“Chacha, don’t listen to him,” her voice shook. “He’s psychotic. Put the gun on the ground and kick it to me.”

I leaned down so my mouth was just inches from his ear. “The Holy Spirit told me she has bad intentions. Kill her or I will kill you, then I will kill her myself. Either way, she is going to die.”

Chacha’s grip tightened. He let out a blood-curdling scream and pulled the trigger, hitting Charlotte in the chest. Her back crashed into the wall behind with a loud thud and she collapsed into a heap on the floor, blood seeping from her wound. I pried the gun out of Chacha’s clutch and put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it to comfort him.

“You are a strong fighter,” I said, and turned to the rest of the children who were now huddled together, hugging and holding hands like a family. “We can make a difference once we overthrow the government. Power. Wealth. It will all be ours. They think of us as children, but the Holy Spirit chose us, just like he chose him. Let us escape this prison they call a haven and slaughter all evil.” I pointed the gun to the ceiling, my finger on the trigger. “Let us finish what Kony started.”


Flash Fiction Friday: IN A PINCH by Jered Meyer

TODAY’S BREW: This peppermint mocha just might happen today.

By Julie

IT’S FLASH FICTION FRIDAY! Today’s author, Jered Meyer, is best known on Twitter for his rogueish handsomeness and his ability to say what we’re all thinking during his live tweets of Dora the Explorer. Underneath the hilarity is an introspective, thoughtful and complex, romantic guy that knows a thing or two about writing. His novel, WAYPOINT is in my filthy little clutches, and in honor of his alcoholism, so is a beer. NOW GO GET ONE OF HIS BOOKS YOUR DAMN SELF, SUPPORT AN AUTHOR. And follow him on Twitter because you can’t even picture how funny he is. @The_KJM.

Now, enjoy his first dive into horror! I GOT HIM TO DO IT.



His left hand gripped the edge of the porcelain sink, thumb tracing under the lip of the basin. His right wiped at the bathroom mirror. None of the spots disappeared. Pale pink drops of dried toothpaste that stood in stark contrast to the brown-red rust creeping along the metal frame. He should clean it soon. Would clean it soon, as soon as he got to it, another home project for the list that he never had enough time to attack.

He never had time for anything anymore, it seemed. Not even family.

His son had been asleep by the time he’d gotten home from work, worn out on chocolate milk and cartoon marathons about fantastic monsters and talking animals up to no good. After kissing him and making sure his blankets were tucked in tight around him, he had gone downstairs and paid Kimberly her hourly rate plus a few extra bucks for babysitting on such short notice.

She was a sweet thing. Eighteen, dark hair. Watching kids to help save for her upcoming freshman year of college. Filling out still, blossoming into a beautiful young woman. Maybe in a year or two, he could-

Tight. His eyes closed tight and he frowned hard enough to make the bridge of his nose throb. He never would have thought of Kim that way before Anna divorced him. She didn’t deserve to be considered like that. He made a note not to hire her again.

From the bathroom to the bedroom he went, closing both doors behind him. Tie loosened, hung from the rack he had next to the door. Dress shirt unbuttoned, tossed onto the closet floor. Slacks undone, dropped into a puddle by the nightstand. Socks…who knows where they went, thrown haphazardly as he climbed into the comfort of bed. The satin sheets were slick and cool under his skin. The matching pillowcase soothed his headache.

In moments, he was asleep.

Something pinched the back of his neck. His eyes fluttered open and he looked around blearily. He sat up, pulling the blankets around his hips and rubbed at the base of his skull.

A sliver of light crept into his room and he realized with a start that his door was cracked open. He had closed it, hadn’t he? He had. He always did. A cursory glance around his chambers revealed him to be alone. But then…

He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and stood. His fingers scratched at his stomach as a yawn escaped him, and then he journeyed out into the hallway.

Save for the two bulbs in the hall, the lights in the house were extinguished. No noises drifted from the darkness of the building. It seemed almost normal. Almost.

“Skyler?” he called out as he neared his son’s room. The boy’s bedroom door was closed. There were no sounds of stirring. No response to his voice. “Hey, buddy? You okay?”

His fingers touched the doorknob and a shock of cold caused him to jerk his hand back. He looked around, bemused. The rest of the house was warm, almost uncomfortably so. The thermostat was always set at a decent enough sixty degrees, but tonight it seemed closer to seventy.

He gripped the doorknob again, prepared this time for the chill. It never came. The metal in his palm felt perfectly normal. Slowly, he turned it and pushed the door in.

“Skyler?” he called again. “Are you awake?”

It took a moment for his eyes to adjust and when they did, he found they could only take in one piece at a time. The room was quiet. The twin bed in the right corner was empty, the sheets made neatly. The thin curtains on the window were only partially drawn and a pale light shone through, casting a light blue patch to glow on the floor.

A chair was in the corner opposite the bed. A chair? He had never put a chair in the room. There had been no reason to. His gut filled with lead. A slender figure sat in the seat, holding his son. A woman. She had light hair that hung down to her shoulders with no direction.

“Anna,” he whispered. “What are you doing here? It’s the middle of the night. You’re not supposed to pick Skyler up until this weekend.”

The woman didn’t respond. She sat, still, clutching the young boy to her chest.

He moved closer, concerned and more than a little angry. It was presumptuous of her to just show up in his home. It would confuse their son and it had scared the shit out of him. Five steps took him directly before her.

“Give him to me, Anna. Let me put Skyler back to bed.”

She looked up at him without a word. The noise that burst from his throat was technically a moan, but it registered at a decibel generally reserved for screams. Her face was no face at all, but a veiny,yellow slab of flesh. There was no protrusion that resembled a nose. Where her eyes and mouth should have been were instead perfectly round holes. The meat around them throbbed and they oozed some thick mixture of pus and blood.

With urgency, he yanked his son from the arms of the monster. He stepped quickly back, towards the center of the room. The creature in the chair stayed seated, silent, exhibiting no signs of distress at having the boy stolen from her.

He held his boy out from him, just enough to look him in the eyes and assure him they would be okay, that they were leaving, escaping the house. The eyes, sky blue, looked back and forth into his own, animated, meaty and with no sense of worry. The rest of the child was made from a material not unlike the porcelain of the bathroom sink. More durable. Lacquered wood, perhaps. It hung limply in his hands.

An anguished wail ripped through the room and he tossed the thing aside. It hit the floor near the bed, the doll-creature’s neck slapping against the frame holding the mattress in place. The head fumbled away and black ichor sprayed from the neck stump over his son’s bed and and the wall behind it.

Mind scrambling, he turned away from the whirlwind of evil that had consumed his child’s room. He darted for the door and slammed face-first into the wall. Frantically, he searched for the exit, but the same wallpaper – light green with wide-eyed Japanese cartoon characters plastered on it in repeating patterns – extended unbroken all around him.

He screamed in frustration and beat at the wall, the barrier separating him from the peace he had felt only moments before. He begged for an escape.

Something pinched his neck.

With a long, desperate gasp of air, his head raised from the bed. His eyes were open so wide it almost hurt. He looked both ways, chest pounding, searching and finding nothing. The walls were clean, soft and white. The floor was the same, but linoleum instead of wood. The door, closed, set at the foot of his bed. Normal. Perfectly normal.

His wrists were wet. He looked down and saw that he had rubbed them so raw against the restraints that a small amount of blood had begun to stream through. It stung, but it was not an unfamiliar occurrence.

He laid back on the sterile, rolling bed they had assigned to him and closed his eyes. His heart-beat began to even out. There would be someone to take care of him come morning.

Thank God, he thought. Just a nightmare.

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY!! Bones by Tammy Farrell

TODAY’S BREW: This Columbian Something or Other that benefits Save The Children. BECAUSE I AM SO KIND.

By Julie

I LIED! This post isn’t really by me, because today is FLASH FICTION FRIDAY!! And true to our roots, we have a vampire story for you, by the wonderful Tammy Farrell. We’re fans of Tammy’s on Twitter (follow her @TamzWrite), and we’re both really excited for her novel THE DARKNESS OF LIGHT to come out on January 28th!! I mean, LOOK AT THIS COVER.

The Darkness of Light (The Dia Chronicles) by Tammy Farrell (Jan. 2014)

YAAAAAAY!  (Trust me, add her on Goodreads here For now, enjoy her short story, Bones!


The scent of lilacs and orchids swept over me, but it wasn’t from her hair anymore. That surely faded some time ago. Now the aroma came from the vibrant bouquet atop her headstone, mixed with the musty odor of damp soil and a rotting corpse.

I dug deeper, using all of my immortal strength to reach the coffin. The dead were a definite six feet under in those days, sure to keep the plague from rising up. My dark trousers and white cotton shirt were torn and filthy from my frenzied digging.

There wasn’t much time left before dawn.

I swept a strand of black hair from my face, completely unaware of the wretched monster I’d become. What did it matter? No one was around to see me, not at that hour.

Two years had passed since I last saw Clara’s angelic face. She was the picture of innocence at 17, and from the first moment I saw her, I knew I wanted her. The last night of her life, was the first night I went to her. There was no need to glamour her then, for my alabaster skin and fair brown eyes were mesmerizing enough.

She made no sound when I entered her room, and she watched me with large blue eyes as I closed in on her, stepping to the rhythm of her mortal heart.

I wanted her. I wanted her blood, and I wanted her spirit.

“Be with me forever.” I whispered in her ear. “Be my bride.”

She smiled—even in the face of a night demon—she smiled.

I ran my fingers through her precious golden hair, and her perfume coiled through the air until it was all around me. Then I cupped my hand on her warm cheek, and with my sharp thumb-nail, I grazed the smooth texture of her skin.

She let me wrap my arms around her as I leaned in to bite. She was to be mine. Soon I would not only taste her sweet blood, but give it back to her and make her my immortal companion.

My immortal bride.

When I pierced her flesh she gasped, and I drew at the pulsing life that flowed over my tongue like a thick, delectable syrup. While it coursed through my veins I became entranced by the heavenly light that came with her blood.

I was lost in her.

When I finally pulled away it took several seconds before the light faded from my eyes and I was able to see my princess. She was limp on the bed, her eyes were open in a vacant stare and the swell of her bosom no longer rose and fell with each breath. I waited for her to move, but her arms hung at her sides like a fallen branches.

She was gone.

The next week I visited her grave, anguished at my ravenous attempt to make her mine, but instead, like a fool, I took her life.

I watched the freshly dug mound as if she might break through at any moment, but all was silent. Even the little bell attached to her headstone, used by those who had been buried alive, was still with death.

“My darling,” I sobbed into the ground. I was certain I was alone, but my moment of anguish was soon interrupted when I heard a gentle whisper in my ear.

“William. William,” it said in a voice like a thousand ringing bells.

I perked my ears as the voice called to me.

“William, it is Clara, I am here. I am your immortal princess, just as you desired.”

I wiped the tears of blood from my eyes and peered around the cemetery for the source of the ethereal sound. “Is that really you, darling?” I called out. “How is it I can hear you when you are buried beneath the earth?”

“You wanted me forever, and I am yours,” the voice rang out. “I will be with you now forever.”

“Yes, but I did not want a spirit,” I cried. “I wanted you whole.”

“You wanted me and now I am yours.”

I waited for her ghost to appear before me, to see her face once more, but the night was unmoved and I cursed the God that would send a formless spirit to haunt me.

The following evening I was awoken, not from my nightly hunger, but from the echoing chant of my bodiless bride.

“Wake up, my love. The sun has set.”

“Leave me now, child,” I urged. “Go to the heavens where you belong. I have no need for such a being.”

“You said forever, love, and forever is what you will get.”

This was the first of many nights that her presence would stalk me. Even as I wandered the streets, she would speak for my ears alone, and anyone in my company would retreat from my constant bickering with the air. When I hunted, she spoke to me, spoiling the comfort I might find in the blood of my prey. She was vicious and relentless and would give me no peace.

I endured two years of this torment and no amount of pleading or prayer would drive her away. When I found myself back at the cemetery I was desperate, and resolved to unearth her. It was then I noticed the silence. I dug faster.

Finally, when the sharp blade of my fingernail scraped the surface of her coffin, I almost expected her to scream from within. And when I punctured the lid with my clenched fist, her voice remained unheard. Only the crickets and night owls kept me company.

Through the jagged whole of the lid I saw her skull. The large black holes where her beautiful eyes once rested looked up at me, and the wide, toothy grin seemed to mock me. I lifted her out, thinking the skeleton might come to life, but it did not.

Her body of bones was clothed in a white lace dress that had begun to yellow, and I laughed at the irony of it. Here was my bride of bones, dressed in her wedding gown.

Her remains crackled when I gathered them into my arms and for the first time in two years, I knew peace.

My strides were long and steady as I made my way out of the cemetery, cradling the dress and bones close to my chest. I now had my bride, and her voice was finally hushed. That night I went to sleep for the day as I have every day since then, with my bride of bones tucked close by my side. A small price to pay, I suppose, for my peace of mind.    Main web page is

Flash Fiction Friday Favorites

TODAY’S BREW: In light of my Trick or Treating hangover (because yes, my neighbors do serve drinks), I shall have inappropriate relations with vast amounts of coffee.

By Julie

This Halloween was a blast. So much amazing flash fiction flying around out there. I loved Joe Hart’s 31 Days of Flash Fiction (, and The Dark Carnival on Pen and Muse was incredible. (My favorite was Mark Matthew’s  Here’s a link to my very own story there that went up last night, featuring the Tunnel of Love. LOVE CONSUMES US., and if you missed it, Kristen’s incredible story, HEAVEN’S ON FIRE is here, and it’s the perfect thing to gear us up for release of BECAUSE THE NIGHT in just four short days!

For our special Halloween treat, however, Kristen and I put our fiendish minds together to bring our vampires that you love to hate into the same bloody room. See what happens when our worlds collide. Chris Lynch, my serial killing attorney turned vamp, and Tristan, Kristen’s rock star bad boy make interesting company.


The Clash of the Vampires

Her skin was so tan, it begged to be cracked and broken open like a tropical fruit, to let me taste the sweetness inside until it was gone.

Not here. I threw the dice again, willing myself not to look at the tan one, or even to feel the slowly lapping tongue of the chubby blonde in my ear on the other side as she crawled up and down my suit, wrinkling it. There would be a busty maid waiting to pick up my suit no matter what time I got back to the room, and when that busty maid quietly disappeared, another would replace her. Just like magic. This was Vegas, and magic happened all the time.

I needed to get the hell out of New Hampshire for a while, to somewhere with some refinery that appreciated a man with taste, and with taste for a special kind of sin. Looking around the high roller room, I thought I’d found it. Until my eyes landed on him.

Surrounded by a swarm of bimbos that made my dates look like choir girls, hair and leather sprawled out from the chair at the table.  He didn’t have a glass in front of him, but a bottle, that he lifted to his lips in between sucking on the necks of the girls closest to him.  He didn’t even look at them, how could he, his eyes open little more than slits.

“Young lady,” I said quietly to the waitress, a pristine thing in black and white, an old movie waiting to be colored red. She came to me quickly, smiling shyly.

“Yes, Mr. Lynch?” she said, a melodious voice that I wanted to hear scream.

“Can we please,” I glanced to the over-active corner, “tidy up a bit?”

Her eyes widened, her lips moving with a childlike uncertainty. “Oh, sir,” she said. “That is Tristan Trevosier.”

I ran a finger down her arm, feeling the goosebumps rise under my cool touch. “Why should that matter to me, darling girl?”

“He’s famous, you know?  He’s in Immortal Dilemma.”  Her eyes widened and she jerked her head back to the spectacle at the table in the corner.

“Still doesn’t matter.” My words were little more than breath against her skin.  She shivered as I spoke. “Why would that make him special?”

“I’ve heard he’s a…” She turned back again, looking nervous and lowering her voice.  “Vampire.”

“Do you know what vampires do?”

She was trembling, and it hurt to look at it. I would crush her butterfly wings to stop them from shaking. “Are you saying you think they’re real?”

“I don’t have to think it.” My shield was a fluttering thing around us, but still strong enough to keep the women I escorted from seeing as I leaned in, sniffing deeply her hot pink aroma.

“Mr. Lynch?” she squeaked, eyes darting to the shimmering air around us.

“Sssshhh.” And I plunged my fangs into the warm pulsing vein in her throat, my hand over her mouth so I could feel the scream. I’d been drinking, and my shield was a near failure. I would never be the strongest vampire. The thought of that made me drink deeper, squeeze her cheeks harder, want to consume and obliterate all at once.

“Hey! Hey, man. What the fuck are you doing?” The famous vampire approached me, snapping me out of my thrall.  There was delicious suction when I pulled my mouth from the waitress, her blood salty and thick.  She whimpered softly against my hand, now wet with her tears.  Gasps and murmurs swirled around us.  “We don’t do that shit in public.”

“You…you saw that?” It was my turn to be surprised.

The rockstar already slid his hands around the waist of my waitress, again making the swarm of on lookers and hangers-on cry out with objection or envy. He pressed her against his body, concealing her open wound.  “Yeah.  That’s not how you do it.  You do it like this. Are you ready, sweetheart?”

Drowsy, the waitress nodded as Tristan ran his tongue along her neck then laid her down over the lip of the craps table, so her legs were up above her head.  He ran his hands along her thighs, pushing up her already barely there uniform skirt and biting into the tender flesh of her inner thigh.

“What are you doing over here?” the chubby blonde bitched at the rock star. “Lynch, what is he doing?” she said, turning to me as I wiped a smear of blood off my chin. She noticed, and came quickly to look at it. “Are you okay?”

So she hadn’t seen me take the waitress’s blood. Only he had. He actually was a vampire.

I tapped him on the shoulder as he ravaged the waitress’s thigh. “I think you should go back to your hole in the earth, little boy, before I take your harem away from you.”

He raised his head just enough for me to see the blood glisten against his chin.  His eyes burned black and he bared his fangs to me.  “Try it.” He growled.

Faster than he could think, I took him by the mane of hair, wishing I didn’t have to touch it all the same, and slammed his face hard into the table next to the waitress. She screamed, a tinkling sound in this place, but only had the life left to curl in a ball on top of the game.

Tristan sprung from the table, but swayed when he stood. And I was the undisciplined one? He was a raging mess of a boy, with bloodshot eyes and a drug-thinned body. He ran at me, and I hit him, sending him back against the table. The girls were all screaming, mine and his alike. It made my teeth gnash and my heart pound.

My interests were no longer on him.

“Alright, man, I get it, you’re strong,” the rock star said.

If he said anything else, I didn’t care.  The plump blonde cried out, pushed away from the table by Tristan.  She somehow made her way into a chair, her arms wrapped loosely around her body in a hug. Nothing was going to bring her comfort tonight. I walked to her, going down on one knee and smiling into her tear brimmed eyes. I pulled her arms away from her stomach, pulling her body to mine, to taste the sweet nectar she held inside.

“Stop screaming,” I said through a smile. “It makes me crazy.”

But all the screaming around me, a cacophony of songbirds, had my teeth roaring to sink in to any one of them and all of them.

Her soft belly was in front of me and I pinned her to the chair, ripping my teeth into the flesh of it while she writhed like she loved it. The wound was wide, and she wouldn’t live long enough to enjoy me finishing her blood.

When I drained her, I moved to the next one, and the next one, wondering how long I had before the cameras caught on through the shield. I saw Tristan flash by as he did the same, laboring over the sucking of each girls’ thighs and chests, while I relished the distress of the others. It was a beautiful tragedy, perfection of destruction.

All too soon, the bystanders were reduced to bodies strewn on the carpet like emptied drink cups.  The rock star sat back down at his game table and ran his fingers through his hair.  He raised his bottle to me. “Cheers.”

Invigorated from our little competition, I couldn’t help but ask. “So what else is there to do around here on a Friday night?”

***You can find more Lynch in Running Home and more Tristan in Because The Night.***

Flash Fiction Friday: ABIGAIL by Callie Armstrong

TODAY’S BREW: Vampire Wine! It’s almost time for Dracula, dawg! (sorry about the “dawg.”)

By Julie

For our Flash Fiction Friday double header, I’m pleased to bring you a Scream/ Paranormal Activity mindfucker of a story from the beautiful and very funny Callie Armstrong. I love this chick from Twitter, and begged her to write me a story because I wanted her on NOW. So enjoy!

You can read more of  Callie’s short stories here and prepare for hilarity on Twitter at


Abigal had been nervous to to tell her three best friends that she wasn’t going to Georgia State with them, more nervous than when she’d asked her father to pay for Georgia Tech, but Emily, Grace and Ashlee had taken the news well. They told Abigail to quit worrying about nothing. “We can still live together.” Emily reassured her “The schools are basically on top of one another.”

The girls spent the summer before their freshmen year looking for the perfect apartment and jobs that would help pay for it. On the day they moved in, they spent the night drinking wine they’d stolen from their parents before they moved out, eating pizza, reminiscing about the 15 years they’d known one another, and making plans for how much better the next 15 would be. When they finally drifted off to sleep that night Abigail was woken up by crying. When she got out of bed and went into the living room Grace was sitting with her back against the sliding glass door that led to their deck. Her eyes were wet and swollen almost shut, snot was coming out of her nose and she was heaving. Abigail ran to her, knelt down, and tried to hug her, but Grace pushed her away.

She screamed, “Get off of me! Get off of me!”

Abigail tried to talk to her, to find out what was wrong, but all Grace would say was, “My blood, my blood. Get it out!”

Terrified, Abigail ran to the room Emily and Ashlee shared, but neither would wake up. Abigail shook them and yelled at them, frantic, not wanting to go back into the living room alone where Grace was ripping off her clothes and tearing at her skin, but they wouldn’t wake up. They wouldn’t flinch.

Abigail spent the night next to Grace, trying to hold her and comfort her, trying to keep her from scratching herself as she screamed. Someone has to hear this, Abigail told herself, someone has to come help me. She prayed to no one, for someone. She tried to dial the police but her cell phone’s reception was bad and she couldn’t find any other phone. She was too distracted by Grace’s screaming and moaning to look for long before going back to her.  

At some point she must have fallen asleep, because she woke up on the living room floor, the right side of her face imprinted from the carpet. Grace was eating cereal with the other two girls in the kitchen. Before Abigail sat up and saw them, she heard their laughter.

The three girls continued to laugh when they saw her stand and joked about how drunk Abigail must have gotten to fall asleep in such an uncomfortable way. She was too distracted and confused, to respond to them. She sat down without speaking in the chair across from Grace and began eating an apple. She knew it hadn’t been a dream.

Grace looked at her and mouthed, “Are you ok?” while the other two were talking about Emily’s new job. Abigail nodded then went to her room to change and shower, wanting to pull Grace aside but thinking that she must be embarrassed or not remember.

“Maybe she was sleepwalking.” Abigail said aloud to herself, turning the shower handle to hot and stepping underneath the water. She felt the bruise forming on her shoulder where Grace had hit her while she thrashed.

Grace didn’t remember. She didn’t remember crying or screaming. She didn’t remember being naked. “I woke up with the same pajamas on that I was wearing when I went to bed.” She told Abigail later that day on a walk to the grocery store. She acted offended when Abigail pressed her about it so she dropped it, settling on the fact that Grace was most definitely embarrassed.

The next night it happened again, and again three times a week later. Not wanting to be alone in her confusion, Abigail told Emily and Ashlee who didn’t believe her until she showed them the scratch marks on her neck and arms when Grace attacked her while she tried to restrain her from jumping off the balcony.

“Your blood is bad too,” Grace screamed into the night, one leg hanging over the rail, “Come with me! Doesn’t it burn? It burns.” She had ranted.

The next night Grace slept without waking. Abigail stayed up late studying and fell asleep at her desk. At 4 she was woken by familiar screams from an unfamiliar voice. It was Emily screaming about her blood, naked and crying. The night after was Ashlee. Abigail no longer got nights of reprieve. When Grace and Emily slept, Ashlee was afflicted. When she slept it was one of the other two. When Abigail tried to talk to them about it in the mornings they looked at her as if she had lost her mind. When she showed them her scratches and bruises they berated her.

“I wasn’t here last night” Emily yelled at her one morning. “How did I fucking attack you if I wasn’t here?”

Abigail had no answer.

When the police found the bodies, Emily, Ashlee and Grace had been bled of every drop of their blood. They lay stacked like dolls put away on Abigail’s closet floor, rid of the toxic blood that haunted her dreams. Abigail was found 5 floors down, broken open like a pumpkin, blood and brains pouring out of her. It was declared a triple murder/suicide, and the case was closed with condolences to each family but Abigail’s.

The families paid a service to clean out the girls’ apartment and to donate their things to charity. If they had done it themselves, one of them might have taken the time to look at the video in the camcorder that Abigail set up the night before her death. It would have shown three girls screaming in the living room and one trying to help them.

Flash Fiction Friday: SCARECROW by Joe Hart

TODAY’S BREW: An ulcerative amount of coffee.

By Julie

This Flash Fiction Friday needed to be cool as hell because Dracula starts tonight and so AWESOME DAY FOREVER, ALL DAY LONG. We have a double header today! Later, you’ll get to read something a little different for us, a very cool story from Callie Armstrong, who I think is just fantastic. Right now, I’m PSYCHED to give you a piece by Joe Hart, author of Lineage, Singularity, and The River Is Dark. He’s doing 31 Days of Flash Fiction on his own blog, and EVERY SINGLE ONE is amazing, not to mention done in the sparest amount of words I’ve ever seen, and he is doing ALL of them. Imagination for days. Go check them out, you’ll be shocked and amazed.

Joe and I are internet roommates based on our mutual love of fall, hot drinks, alcoholic drinks, writing as kind of a living, and staring out the window. Critical in my Twitter feed, and just a fantastic friend, I present to you, Joe Hart.



“Scarecrow’s comin’ tonight, Jonesy.”

Jones looked at his older brother, his profile a shadow against the failing light of the sky.

“That’s bull and you know it.”

“Tough talk from a little fatty,” Bobby said, pinching several inches of the blubber that hung around Jones’s waist.

“Stop it, Bobby!” Jones said, slapping his hand away. He hitched his dirty overalls a little higher, adjusting them on his rotund body.

“You gonna cry?”

“No.” Jones kicked a rock on the dirt road. It rolled and bounced into the solid darkness of the ditch. Rows of corn waved in the night, a field of whispering leaves. Their pointed heads nodded in the waning light, an agreement with his brother’s words.

“It’s comin’, daddy even said so,” Bobby said, spitting at the side of the road as they walked.

“How come he lets you call him daddy? He always makes me call him reverend.”

“Because I don’t eat as much as you, chunky ass. I work hard and only take enough to get by. Mom and daddy appreciate that.”

“I don’t take more’n my share, I’m just so hungry after chores.”

“Well, daddy ain’t got the money to be feedin’ your gut, so he called the scarecrow to come take you away.”

Jones stopped dead in the road, the gravel crunched beneath Bobby’s feet and then stopped.

“You’re lyin’, Bobby.”

“Am not.”

“You are!”

“Nope. I knew it was comin’ too, ever since them rows of corn came up and didn’t have no ears on ‘em, I knew.”

“Bull Bobby!” Jones felt warm tears glide down his face and he was thankful of the darkness.

Bobby walked toward him, his footsteps scratching the dirt. “It comes when there’s someone that needs takin’ care of, Jonesy, when a family’s goin’ hungry. It comes through the corn. Its arms are long and so are its fingers. It has a mouthful of sharp straw like needles and if it wants you, all it has to do is reach out, and GRAB YOU!”

Bobby punctuated his last words by jumping toward Jones and latching onto his upper arms. Jones tried not to cry out but failed, a pathetic whimper wheezing out between his teeth. Warm urine squirted once into his pants before he could clench it off.

Bobby released him and howled with laughter before falling silent.

“I hate you, Bobby.”

“Shhh, you hear that?”

“Quit it.”

“No, I mean it, be quiet.”

A gentle breeze eased down the deserted country road. The corn spoke in malicious whispers. The moon rose above the field, a rotting yellow eye.

“There it was again,” Bobby said, his voice low.

“I didn’t hear nothin’,” Jones said, peering past his brother, cursing the dying light of the sun while he willed the sick moon to rise faster.

Without another word, Bobby ran away from him, off the dirt road and down into the ditch. The first stalks of corn swayed with his brother’s passage and Jones stood rooted to the gravel, his mouth open in a silent cry.


Nothing. Jones’s eyes watered and he glanced up the dirt road.

Something stood in its center on the next rise, a humped shape darker than the rest of the night.

Jones sidled off the road and stumbled down into the ditch, his eyes never leaving the figure. When the reaching touch of a cornstalk grazed his arm, he moaned but dove headfirst into the tight rows.

The slim stalks brushed by him, their earless bodies looking like overgrown weeds. Jones half walked, half ran down the row, tripping and thrashing while his heart became the loudest sound in the world.

“Bobby?” Jones asked the night, praying for a response. When none came he moved further into the field and stepped into a large clearing completely devoid of corn.

It looked like a square, its corners definable even in the night. The moon’s yellow light slanted into the clearing and sprayed shadows across the soil, dark as motor oil. Jones waited, stunned by the existence of the opening. He took a tentative step forward.

A hand grabbed his wrist.

Jones began to cry out, terror scrambling his thoughts like a snapping livewire, but another hand, one he recognized now, clamped down over his mouth.

“Shhh, dummy, he’ll hear you.”

Jones turned around to face his brother who looked taller in the dark. He always wanted to be tall like Bobby, not heavy like he was.

“Bobby, what-”

“He’s back there,” Bobby whispered, throwing a thumb over his shoulder. “The scarecrow. He’s following us. We gotta cut across the clearing to the other side. Old man Carrol’s field is a half-mile away. We make it to that we can cut through his yard and into ours.”

“Bobby, I’m scared.”

“Don’t be, just run toward that other side when I tell you.”

Jones nodded, hoping his brother couldn’t see the fear that pulled his face tight. Bobby’s hand squeezed his shoulder once.


Jones ran. He ran faster than he ever had before. The ground sped by him and his belly jounced while his legs began to burn. The night air coursed past and his breath heaved in and out. He kept his eyes trained on the other side of the clearing, praying nothing would follow them through the corn once they reached it.

When he was three steps away from the wall of stalks, they parted, a figure materializing where none had been before. Jones slid to a stop and tried to run the other way, but fell in the dirt, a short mewl coming from his chest. The figure wore a brimmed hat and its shoulders were wide. Straw poked from its tattered clothing and when it stepped into the clearing, Jones saw that it carried something in its long-fingered hands.

The axe blade caught the moon’s light as it swung.

Bobby watched from across the field, hearing the wet chop that cut off his brother’s screams, and then the harder thunk of bone breaking beneath sharp steel.

“I told you you ate too much,” Bobby said.

After some time the sounds stopped and the scarecrow came closer, a dripping potato sack slung over its back. It stopped beside Bobby and placed a hand on his shoulder. Bobby stared up into its face and smiled.

“Can we go home now daddy?”



Haunting Poetry From Alistair Cross

TODAY’S BREW: An almost sexual amount of Hazelnut.

By Julie

You met my friend Alistair Cross, aka Jared S. Anderson for Flash Fiction Friday with an excerpt from his work in progress, The White Room. (You can read it here, and I highly suggest you do or else. I’m not done with him yet. I love his poetry, and so we bring you some of Alistair’s more eerie work in the spirit of the month and stuff. I’ll start with my favorite.

The Wooden Box

She wasn’t really beautiful

But she exuded such a grace

That it was easy to overlook

The imperfections of her face

She wasn’t unusually well-spoken

But she said such beautiful things

That you’d get caught up in her words

And give no attention to their meanings

She wasn’t remarkably brilliant

But she had such inscrutable insight

That it was easy to believe

She was ingenious and ultra-bright

She was never immoderately animated

But she looked so alive in red

That if she weren’t in that wooden box

I would have never known that she was dead

* * *

My Lovers Face

I never get tired

Of watching her face

It’s prettier now

Than it was in the first place

With my hands I explore

Every valley and peak

Of that beautiful face

Each night before sleep

And as for my deed

It had to be done

If ever I was

To be her only one

At first she was kind

But now she’s so cold

For, I love her to death…

She will never get old

And maybe it’s strange

Or so some would say

But at least they will never

Take her away

So, every night

To the icebox I traipse

Because that’s where I keep

My lovers face

*   *   *

Dark Hotel

At the top of the winding road

That was only evident through moonlight

Stood the hotels silhouette…

Tall and black against the night

I’m not sure where we were coming from

I’m not sure where we were going

But as we near the looming structure

I feel a nearly-eerie knowing

On a level deeper than instinct

And deeper than intellect

I know that I’ve been here before

Though I can’t fully recollect…

I don’t recall the lobby

Any stairs or any halls

But our room had scarlet carpet

And famous paintings on the walls

The hotel was bathed in silence

Yet I was somehow made aware

That you and I were not

The only creatures dwelling there

I approach an open window

Where red curtains billow inward

And I gaze on blackened trees

And hear the haunted songs of night birds

And you touch me on the shoulder

And whisper something in my ear…

Perhaps, a command I can’t remember

Or a rumor I wasn’t meant to hear

But those shapeless words sedate me

Like poison in warm milk

And as the clock strikes some late hour

We slip in sheets of wintered silk

…And the dream is a forewarning

Or so, at least, it seems

As I wake at breakneck speed

Just to wonder what it means

* * *

I, Madman

Sometimes I still dream of her

In a deep and empty splendor

A fool for love and money, yes

But I will still defend her

She is not my friend

And she will never be my love

But her lullaby soothes me gratefully

And shades me as it does…

Every river meets the sea

And waterfalls just slide

Into pools of dormant thought

And claim that they survived

But she was not a river…

Somewhat unlike me

And not at all a waterfall

This one was the sea…

I am still skating around

A truth I’ll never know

I have ravished all these rooms

And caught not one glimpse of her shadow

But sometimes at night

Outside my bedroom door

I hear her whisper through the light

That the moon casts on the floor

And in these chambers, like a grave

Days on end I weep

For a woman that is cold and gray

And buried six feet deep

* * *

Contact Alistair:

Twitter: @crossalistair


Facebook Fan Page:



Flash Fiction Friday: THE WHITE ROOM excerpt from Alistair Cross

TODAY’S BREW: Red velvet Dark Roast. I need something dark and decadent for today’s post.

By Julie

Jared Anderson, aka Alistair Cross, gets immediate attention from me whenever he writes something new.  His work is haunting, sexy, brooding and eerie. His poetry I read over and over for its jarring images and richness of language. The man himself is hilarious, or I wouldn’t like him. It’s possible I have a crush on him now.  SHUT UP, YOU DO. (Sorry, knee jerk)

I have a bunch of his work to pick from for Flash Fiction Friday, and I want to put it all up, so this will sort of be Allistair Weekend. It’s happening. Today, you don’t get any poetry. NO, YOU COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THAT. Today, an excerpt from his work in progress. I want to die at how much you guys will love this.

Download 314502_102607213178371_100002872777585_9875_6911060_n.jpg (108.1 KB)

That’s the guy.


Download Monsterblue.jpg (197.1 KB)

This is not him. This is his book. Come on guys, you knew that.



work in progress

* * *

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. His voice was steady and gentle, almost soothing.

Marnie gaped at the air like a fish suffocating on oxygen. She felt the painful thrum of her heart beat in every nerve ending of her body. Fear held her in place as he walked slowly toward her. Her mind raced, but whatever sense the situation might have made, it eluded her.

He stood directly in front of her now, staring down at her. His eyes were intense and busy, as if he were trying to take in as much of her as he could. His respiration was heavy but controlled, and his breath, as it pulsed down on her, smelled sweet and somehow sickening.

The man knelt, as if he were going to propose marriage to her. He took the fabric of her apron and lifted it, slow and gentle, above her knees.

“What do you want?” Marnie’s voice sounded foreign to her own ears.

“Shh,” said the stranger.

He pried her legs apart from each other in a fluid, non-threatening way, as if there were nothing unusual about the act. Bringing his face closer to the center of her, he inhaled, and appeared to be relishing the scent of her.

Marnie stared down at the man, trying to make sense of what he was doing to her.  She was terrified and somehow excited, uncertain whether this was a nightmare or a fantasy.

He grabbed a handful of each of her plump hips and pulled her to edge of the chair. A mouse-like squeak slipped from her lips.

“Please, don’t hurt me,” she whispered.

He probed his head between her knees again, using it to pry them apart until his face was at her core. He inhaled her again, then pinched at the fabric on either side of the seam in her slacks and ripped the fabric away from itself.

Marnie squeaked again, tensed, and felt utterly helpless as he began to tear at the material with his hands and teeth. Terrified, Marnie put her hand on his head as if to push him away, but the man’s neck seemed to have more strength in it than both her arms.

He clawed and chewed at the material, a low growling noise, like an angry dog, issuing from somewhere very deep in his lungs.

Marnie felt pieces of her pants slip away from her flesh and in less than thirty seconds, her lower half was bare except for the few shredded remnants of what had been her slacks and panties.

The man had bared her flesh like an expert, somehow managing not to hurt her. She instinctively brought her knees together to conceal her privates, but the man pushed them apart again, burrowing his face into the thickness of her meaty, plentiful thighs until she could feel his breath on her most intimate place. He placed a hand on each of her hips, holding her in place. It was a powerful, solid grip, and she wondered if she could have escaped it if she tried to.

Her breath came in shuddering gasps. She whispered the word no more than once, but somehow, she knew it went unheard.

She felt something sharp, like the edge of a paring knife gently tracing the skin in the hollow where thigh and pelvis met. The pressure increased, then she felt a slight pricking. She panicked a moment, realizing the man had bitten her.

She screamed and tried to scramble away, but the man’s arms became iron bars that locked her in place. Then, just as her anxiety peaked and she thought she might have to bring the computer monitor down on his head, she felt a pleasant, tingling warmth where just a moment ago there had been pain. Within seconds, her fear drained away like slow rivulets of rain down a window. A kind of warm, soothing electricity moved like a velvet serpent through her veins, replacing her terror with an unequivocal sense that everything was okay, that nothing would ever be wrong again. Marnie let her head loll back in her chair and widened her thighs to allow the man more room to work with. “Who are you?” she said in a breathy whisper as her mind began to lift and wander away from her.

She thought she heard a voice, but she couldn’t make out any words. Her nerve endings began to tingle with a rapturous buzz, and a silky feeling wrapped itself all around her. She felt light, as if she were no more than a mote of pollen on barely perceptible breeze. She wondered if this was what it must be like to die, then realized without any dissent or trepidation, that this was exactly what dying felt like.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!  Do yourself a favor, pick up BEAUTIFUL MONSTER while you wait for THE WHITE ROOM.

Beautiful Monster is available at:

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