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For the term "dante's inferno".

Taking Submissions: Infernal Clock: Dante’s Inferno

Deadline: August 15th, 2020
Payment: £10
Theme: Open to: LGBTQIA and POC
Note:

Payment: £10 and ebook

Theme: Dante’s Inferno

Closing Date: 15th August 2020

Open to: LGBTQIA and POC

Length: 3-5k

The Infernal Clock is the side-project of Stephanie Ellis and David Shakes. After a year’s break, they are bringing it back with the Inferno edition. Stories have been by invite but we are opening up 9 spaces to members of the LGBTQIA and POC communities only in order to be more representative.

The theme is Dante’s Inferno and each story will be set in one of the circles or the passages to/between circles. 

Whilst there are nine circles, there are a number of rings – or pouches – within each circle so there is a lot of scope. How you interpret your chosen circle/ring is up to you, eg it could be set below in the Inferno itself, it could focus on a particular sin, or you could recreate this hell actually on earth. 

We are particularly interested in stories set in the Second and Eighth Circles as we do not have any of these yet, although you are welcome to write in the other circles as well.

Stories need to be dark (but with the usual boundaries against extremes and gratuity) and 3-5k with flexibility, although we would prefer 4k.

Stories must be submitted in standard manuscript format as .doc or .docx to [email protected].

No multiple or simultaneous submissions.

No reprints.

Payment will be by paypal on publication.

If you have any queries please contact us at the above email address.

Taking Submissions: Infernal Clock: Dante’s Inferno

Deadline: August 15th, 2020
Payment: £10
Theme: Open to: LGBTQIA and POC
Note:

Payment: £10 and ebook

Theme: Dante’s Inferno

Closing Date: 15th August 2020

Open to: LGBTQIA and POC

Length: 3-5k

The Infernal Clock is the side-project of Stephanie Ellis and David Shakes. After a year’s break, they are bringing it back with the Inferno edition. Stories have been by invite but we are opening up 9 spaces to members of the LGBTQIA and POC communities only in order to be more representative.

The theme is Dante’s Inferno and each story will be set in one of the circles or the passages to/between circles. 

Whilst there are nine circles, there are a number of rings – or pouches – within each circle so there is a lot of scope. How you interpret your chosen circle/ring is up to you, eg it could be set below in the Inferno itself, it could focus on a particular sin, or you could recreate this hell actually on earth. 

We are particularly interested in stories set in the Second and Eighth Circles as we do not have any of these yet, although you are welcome to write in the other circles as well.

Stories need to be dark (but with the usual boundaries against extremes and gratuity) and 3-5k with flexibility, although we would prefer 4k.

Stories must be submitted in standard manuscript format as .doc or .docx to [email protected].

No multiple or simultaneous submissions.

No reprints.

Payment will be by paypal on publication.

If you have any queries please contact us at the above email address.

Can some of us ‘sense’ Hell?

“For centuries many have pondered the prospect of an afterlife and feared what came to be known as ‘Hell’.

In the near future, we map the elusive ‘dark matter’ around us, only to find out that it is Hell itself, and it is very real…”

That is the premise for the new novel Complete Darkness which sees us humans come face-to-face with the existence of a horrific afterlife destination. Very bad things happen as the satanic President Razour attempts to bring forward Armageddon to prevent humanity repenting. So, with the fate of us all resting in the hands of Cleric20, a hedonistic loner with a chequered past, and his robot sidekick, GiX, this Halloween you can grab this new ‘what if Hell was real’ scenario.

 

But is it possible that throughout time, some humans have been attuned to the potential existence of Hell? You don’t need to be bible basher to be interested in the afterlife either. Plenty of books that have plots that visit hell by authors such as William Blake, CS Lewis, Jonathan Swift, Chuck Palahniuk and Terry Pratchett. Cinematic depictions can be found in films like What Dreams May Come, Constantine, Event Horizon and Hellraiser. Videogames designed to allow players actually to battle in Hell include huge selling Diablo and Doom franchises. Various artworks from classical Jan Van Eyck’s The Last Judgment and Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, through to modern Franz von Stuck’s Inferno and contemporary Jake & Dinos Chapman’s F**king Hell.

 

There are even musical works both classical – Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini and Liszt’s Dante Sonata, and popular Slayer’s Hell Awaits or Highway to Hell from AC/DC. It seems that Hell has been much on people’s minds having formed inspiration for such creative outputs.

 

Oddly considering it being one of only two possible endpoints for life there’s little description of Hell by the authors the Christian Bible which has more than 600 mentions of Heaven but only15 of Hell.

 

Two of the probably best-known Hell architects who may well have been somehow ‘aware’ of Hell are the poets – Italian Dante (c1265) and English John Milton (c1608). 

 

Dante is cited as the architect of how many, especially in the West, conceive of ‘Hell’ as he describes it vividly in his Divine Comedy that tells of Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead. Sure, he might have just been having a dark few months, but his vision of Hell is intricate – describing it as consisting of nine concentric circles, going towards the centre of the Earth. Each of the nine is the destination for various sinners – depending on the sin – with circles devoted to gluttons, heretics, the lustful and fraudsters etc. This realm even has a river ‘Acheron’ running around it, separating it from the outside world – that’s quite a lot of detail to go into for a setting for a poem.

 

The modern image of Hell, with pitchfork wielding imps and possibly Pin-headed demons is actually not much worse when compared with some of the medieval depictions. The popularised ‘firey’ view is probably the legacy of Milton, who in his epic ‘Paradise Lost’ goes heavy on the heat imagery with phrases such as ‘with flames that offer no light, but rather darkness visible’.

 

The Hell attuned visionaries In the Middle Ages, seemed to see it as being located literally beneath us, underground, and this in no small part fuelled legends of travellers seeing its smoke coming up through holes in the ground even in England. Dante would concur having placed Satan at the bottom of Hell, in the centre of the Earth.

 

It’s not all hot stuff though – in the ninth and deepest circle of Dante’s Hell, Satan himself is encased in ice which makes the possibility of Hell freezing over fairly high, backed up again for Milton who includes regions of icy desolation in his Hellscape.

 

More modern perceptions of Hell have come both from some who claim to have contacted the residents of the afterlife realms directly such as James E. Padgett (c1852), a prominent Washington, D.C. lawyer who started receiving spirit communications after he lost his wife. He heard from spirits that Hell wasn’t a ‘place’ but more a ‘state of unpleasant existence’ – he also said he got long messages from Jesus but those weren’t about Hell.

 

Along with the host aforementioned films and novels keeping the imaginations ‘firing’ for creatives who seem prompted to imagine what lies in wait for wrongdoers after death. My inspiration for making the mapping of Hell a core element to Complete Darkness was the sheer enormity of the gambit i.e. after our few short years ‘alive’ where will we spend eternity?

 

I think we are perhaps due a new imagining of what potential Hell might be awaiting us? Having recently read the late great Iain M Banks’ Surface Detail where he envisions a far future where we have created electronic ‘Hells’ in which to torture those found guilty of crimes during their lives. The prospect of man-made virtual Hells, each bespoke to cause maximum discomfort to its inhabitants might just be the scariest prospect on the subject matter yet conceived.

 

What creative interpretations of Hell are your favourites?

 

Have you ever sensed ‘Hell’?

Wondering what to expect from ‘Complete Darkness’? Here is the novel’s synopsis!
For centuries many have pondered the prospect of an afterlife and feared what came to be known as ‘hell’.

In the near future, we map the elusive ‘dark matter’ around us, only to find out that it is hell itself, and it is very real…

As the satanic President Razour attempts to bring forward Armageddon to prevent humanity repenting, the fate of us all rests in the hands of Cleric20, a hedonistic loner with a chequered past, and his robot sidekick, GiX.

An action-packed literary shock to the senses that mixes flights of comic fantasy with bouts of brutal violence. Mankind’s only hope seems to be having a very bad day.

Can Cleric20 halt Razour’s devilish plans after an experimental bioweapon deployed to kill him accidentally gives him superpowers?

Has the Devil inadvertently created a hero who could actually stop him?

Little can prepare you for this spiritually-charged, cyber-noir thrill ride.

Matt Adcock

Matt Adcock

As well as an author, Matt is a blog editor, Head of Communications for a charity, and the weekly film reviewer for a regional newspaper group.

Matt is a lover of all things virtual, sci-fi, superhero and theological… 

He loves to interact: Tweet him: @Cleric20 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/completedarknessnovel/

Buy your copy of Complete Darkness: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0957338775

Discover more about the Darkmatters Universe: artwork, merchandise, links to prequel short story, media and future plans at: www.Completedarknessnovel.com

Taking Submissions: Infurno: The Nine Circles of Hell

Deadline: August 1st, 2017
Payment: Contributor’s Copy

Thurston Howl Publications is now accepting submissions for its third furry anthology, Infurno: The Nine Circles of Hell.

Deadline: August 1, 2017
Word count: 2,500-8,000; a little above and a little below will be acceptable

The Nine Circles of Hell has been a much-loved conception of the inferno, popularized by Italian poet Dante. Look here for the basic elements of the circles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante)#Overview. This collection will be divided respectively into the nine parts. We expect stories to be framed to focus on people who will end up in a specific circle. Most of a story should focus on what they did back on Earth in life. Showing how they died is not required. We need to see their sin that brought them there, and you can definitely have them in hell (always fun to describe; in general, try to keep infernal descriptions consistent with Dante’s). We want to see anthro-animal characters at their darkest and weakest moments: at the whorehouse, at the chopping block, in the morgue, in the dining room with the candlestick. It is perfectly fine but not required if submissions are NSFW. We are honestly expecting a fair amount of horror and erotica. However, again, adult stories are by no means required for acceptance. All story submissions must be “furry” in nature.

We will NOT accept:
Racism, sexism, or discrimination presented in a positive light.
Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age of 18 presented in a positive light.
Rape, torture, dubious consent, forced seduction presented in a positive light.
Snuff or Necrophilia presented in a positive light
Bestiality presented in a positive light
If you are in doubt, ASK. Better to ask then to get a straight up rejection! If you are unsure, just shoot me an email at [email protected]. (restrictions borrowed from Voice: https://t.co/MWykJ6RY36)

You can submit up to three stories, but we will only accept one per author (if any).
Reprints are fine, but you have to own full permission of the work in order for us to consider it.
We will not accept simultaneous submissions.
Payment: Authors will receive a free copy of the print book.
Send submissions in .doc or .docx format to [email protected].
Title your email with the circle in all caps, e.g. “FIRST.” If you are sending more than one submission, send multiple emails instead of putting them all in one.
We will inform all authors regarding decisions within a week or two after the deadline.
Book will likely be released December in plenty of time for a hellish Christmas.

Submissions per theme so far (do research to find more info on each of the circles; below we’ve listed a general quality frequently attributed to each circle, but they are often more complex than this):
First (Limbo): 0
Second (Lust): 0
Third (Gluttony): 0
Fourth (Greed): 0
Fifth (Wrath): 0
Sixth (Heresy): 0
Seventh (Violence): 0
Eighth (Fraud): 0
Ninth (Treachery): 0

Via: Thurston Howl Publications.

Trembling With Fear 01/08/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

For our very first week I opened the mic to some of our staff members to increase their recognition (and buy me time to finish writing up contracts for every one we accept. Already have a slew of great work hitting the inbox folks that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!)

If you enjoy any of the stories found here, please leave a comment below!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Count Your Blessings

By: Ken MacGregor

It’s the thirst that gets you. Before today, if you’d asked me what the most terrifying thing was about the sea, I’d have said “sharks.”

And they are. Terrifying. Especially when they breach. You’d think you would focus on the teeth, right? Hundreds of sharp yellow cutting tools, in rows, attached to the only actual bone in the animal’s body: the jaws.

But, no. It’s the eye. You can only see one at a time, because the head of that fish is too damn big. That endless, ebony orb that stares back into you. It is sizing you up, that look. It is wondering what you might taste like. How many bites does it take to get you all the way down? To slake the endless hunger.

I’m not sure what kind of sharks they are. They’re big, gray and scary-looking. Great Whites? Tigers? Makos? How the hell do I know? I’m not a sharkologist.

Yeah. They’re bad all right. But, sharks are a distant third to the really scary things about being lost at sea.

Second to worst is the sun. You try to cover up, but of course, when the ship went down, you were only wearing swim trunks and t-shirt. Your head, arms, legs and feet are slowly roasting out here. Mine. Sorry. I’ve been adrift for a couple days. I get confused. Maybe my brain is getting cooked inside the toaster oven of my skull.

The sun’s bad, all right. First, I was deeply red and my skin was sore. Now, I have blisters: second-degree burns. Can the sun cook my flesh all the way? Will I be Cajun Blackened Jeff Sturges?

Which brings us to our winning entry in the “what’s the most horrible thing about being lost at sea?” contest. The thirst. It tastes like agony.

I’ll tell you the worst part: all you can think about is water. And, all around you is…yep: water. Only, you can’t drink it. The salt content will kill you. I know this, intellectually. But, just look at, sloshing against the sides of the raft, sparkling in the sunlight. So pretty. Just one little taste can’t hurt.

Nope. Not going there. Not yet anyway. Maybe later. Keeping my options open. I’m crafty like that.

My father used to say, “Count your blessings.” When I broke my index finger, he said, “Hey. At least it wasn’t your whole arm.” It was a grim sort of optimism that pretty much defined who he was. So, I’m counting my blessings.

One: I’m still alive. That’s pretty cool, considering the other three people who were on the boat are not. Alive, I mean.

Two: I have the raft. This is a big one. If I were just floating in a life-jacket or something, I’d have been shark-food by now for sure. If not, then I’d be dead of hypothermia.

That’s all I got. Two blessings. My dad would say, “Hey. At least it’s not zero.”

Something bumps my raft. Could the sharks be getting bolder? If they bite my inflated craft, I’m screwed. That’d be the end of both my blessings, I bet.

Of course, if I die, I won’t be so damn thirsty anymore.

I am reminded of that one guy in Dante’s Inferno. You know, the one in the water up to his chin, but every time he goes to drink it, the water disappears. Or, as long as I’m on a classic literature kick, that poem that goes on forever – I forget the name. The line I’m thinking of goes, “Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”

I’m betting the two writers spent some time at sea. Maybe a long time, all alone, surrounded by miles of wet, shiny, oh-so-tempting poison.

I could just take a tiny sip. Not enough to do any real damage. Just, you know, wet my lips a little.

No. Bad idea. Stop it, brain.

Another bump. This time, I could feel it slide under me, all the way across the bottom of the raft. Whatever that is, under me, is getting more curious. Or more bold. Or just trying to scare the piss out of me. Well, joke’s on you, shark. Too dehydrated to pee.

I miss my phone. Not that I would be able to get a signal out here, but at least I’d know what time it was. What day, too. I mean, the sun has gone down and then back up twice now. So, it’s been at least 48 hours since the boat developed that fatal leak and went down to the bottom of the ocean with my $300 phone and my three friends.

Well, my friends didn’t sink right away. They lasted a good while. Constance almost made it into the raft with me. It was damn close. She could still be alive.

If I hadn’t shot her.

All the blood in the water is what probably drew the sharks in the first place. Now, they were hanging around, hoping for more food.

I didn’t mention the gun earlier when I was counting my blessings. That’s because I used all but one bullet already. Eight shots in the clip and one in the pipe. That’s the expression, right? Picked that up from movies. So, yeah. I burned seven of them in rapid succession. Three in the bottom of the boat, one in Cliff’s head, two in Carla’s ample chest and one in Constance’s leg. It was a terrible shot, but she was attacking me at the time.

She fell to floor of the sinking boat, clutching her thigh with both hands. She looked more pissed off than hurt. But, it gave me enough time to pull the cord on the inflatable raft, jump in and shove away.

She dove in after me. You have to admire that kind of tenacity. She got an arm over the edge of the raft. She was spitting and swearing, if you’ll pardon the pun, like a sailor. I calmly put the barrel to her forehead and she shut up.

“I’m sorry, Constance,” I said to her. “No passengers.”

I pulled the trigger. She looked surprised and indignant as she slipped beneath the surface. I guess I would be, too.

So, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s eight bullets. Out of nine total. I have one left. Not really a blessing. More of an unpleasant alternative to dying of thirst. Or to drinking the salt water. Or being shark bait.

The raft is moving. I mean, it’s always moving a little, but now, it’s more like, um, traveling. I grab the solid rubber handles so I don’t get tossed over the side. Looking into the water, I see something I don’t understand. There’s a thing under me. It’s not a shark. Too big.

Maybe it’s a whale? It could be. I mean, from here, it looks like an endless expanse of gray flesh. If I were forty feet up, I might be able to see what it was more clearly.

We pick up speed, my tiny raft, the monster we ride, and I. Wind whistles in my ears. My sunburnt skin recoils from the sudden cold breeze.

I hang on. What else can I do?

We’re going up, rising out of the water. Now, I am forty feet up, but I still have no idea what I’m riding on. It’s not a whale. Too big.

I didn’t think there was anything bigger than a whale.

Something else is breaching the surface behind me. It’s even bigger than the beast I’m on. We climb higher. The mind-boggling mammoth behind me keeping perfect pace as more of it emerges from the sea.

Eyes the size of city parks. Nostrils big enough to inhale skyscrapers. Below them, teeth. Hundreds of them. Big enough to eat the world.

I realize where I am. My raft is not riding a separate thing. I ride the monster’s tongue.

Okay. So I was wrong. The thirst is not the worst.

I am about to be swallowed whole by an impossible monster. Maybe this is my Hell. My punishment for murdering my faithless friends. Well, Cliff, Carla and Constance, you three cunts, you have your vengeance.

Of course, I had mine first, you cheating assholes.

As the mouth closes over the withdrawing tongue, over me and my raft, I think, Hey. At least I still have the one bullet.

Laughing, I say it aloud.

“Count your blessings.”

Ken MacGregor’s written work has appeared in dozens of anthologies and magazines, and the occasional podcast. His story collection, AN ABERRANT MIND is available online and in select bookstores. His second collection, SEX, GORE & MILLIPEDES comes out later this month. He edits an annual anthology ( RECURRING NIGHTMARES ) for the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. Ken is an Affiliate member of HWA. He has also written TV commercials, sketch comedy, a music video, and even a zombie movie. Recently, he co-wrote a novel and is working on the sequel. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and three cats, one of whom is dead but still haunts the place.
Homepage: http://ken-macgregor.com/.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KenMacGregorAuthor?ref=hl.
Twitter: @kenmacgregor.

Nuisance Neighbours

By: Angeline Trevena

Ellen pressed her hands over her ears. Why did they have to bang so loudly?
She poured two glasses of wine and carried them back through to the living room where Tom was browsing her CD collection.
“Into heavy metal?”
“It drowns out the neighbours.”
She winced. They were at it again.
“They must be really noisy. It’s quite rural here. How far are your nearest neighbours?”
Ellen looked out at the rutted garden, each lump of the lawn marked with a popsicle stick. She hummed thoughtfully. “Not as far as you’d think, and not as restful as I’d like.”

Angeline Trevena is a British dystopian horror author. The first book in her Paper
Duchess series, The Bottle Stopper, was published in 2015, and her short stories
appear in various anthologies and magazines. The most unlikely of horror writers,
Angeline is scared of just about everything, and still can’t sleep in a fully dark
room. She goes weak at the sight of blood, can’t share a room with a spider, but
does have a streak of evil in her somewhere.

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Second Skin

By: Liz Butcher

Malach breathed a contented sigh as he listened to the hypnotic whirring of the sewing machine. He paused, lifting his work to admire the faultless seam. An untrained eye would never know the pieces came from two separate people. Malach stroked the skins, recalling their donors – long since disposed of. He wondered why he’d wasted years working with inferior materials. He was making up for lost time now. Years he’d spent, collecting the thirty victims he needed for the thirty-piece pattern. It was his masterpiece. Malach pressed down on the pedal, relieved as the whirring drowned out his victim’s screams.

Liz Butcher resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats, Pandora and Zeus. While writing is her passion, her numerous interests include psychology, history, astronomy, the paranormal, mythology, reading, art, and music – all which help fuel her imagination. She also loves being out in nature, especially amongst the trees or near the water. Liz has published a number of short stories in anthologies and currently has a multitude of projects in the works including her upcoming novel, ‘Fates Revenge’.

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Masks

By: Jess Landry

The face looking back at her through the mirror was perfect.

She ran her fingers over the smooth ridges of her cheeks. She traced the contours of her flawless jawline. She admired the ruby hue of her lips, accentuated by her porcelain skin. She watched them curl into a smile. She hadn’t smiled in ages.

She brought her fingers over the nose, stopping on the bridge. The slightest of bumps protruded from under the skin, burrowed like the pea under the princess’s mattress. The smile faded from her lips.

She ripped the perfect face off and went to fetch another.

Jess Landry is an eccentric billionaire, the inventor of the hacky-sack and a compulsive liar. She spends her time mentally preparing for the zombie apocalypse and playing with her cats. You can find some of her work online with EGM Shorts and The Siren’s Call.

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