Trembling With Fear 09/17/2017

Following Stuart’s recent article on author bios, it has been great to see a number of contributors have actually taken this advice onboard and a few have even sent in a revised bio as a consequence. I can guarantee these bios have given the author a more professional appearance, showing they take their work seriously. The hardest time to write a bio is at the start of your publishing career, I mean what can you say? I know that was the time I found it tough – everyone else was reeling off all their publications and there was me with nothing. That, for me, has now changed – as it will for any of you yet to be published, but, for those currently in this position, I would refer you back to that article and read what the editors in the business say themselves. Then go back to your bio and redraft it.

Stuart has a number of articles planned in the future which we hope will help you on your writing journey, however, if you have any particular topics you would like us to cover, please drop us a line at Horror Tree.

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

‘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.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Eat It

My shaking hand nearly drops the hunk of meat on its way to my mouth. I fight valiantly against my gag reflex as my tongue and teeth mash the fatty, globular slab of jiggling pink flesh against my gums. I swallow the macerated compote of raw protein, slimy and soft, down my throat. The taste is about as repugnant as you’d think. Pungent. Clammy. The tiniest bit salty.

The revolver’s hammer cocks, the only sound in the otherwise silent chamber. Cold metal licks the side of my head, pressing through my sweat-laden curls, into my skin. The blood pulsing through my temples struggles against the pressure of the gun and the bullet promised in its barrel.

“Another.”

His demand is husky. Vocals ravaged by a life of chain-smoking and barking orders.

My vision swims and swirls. The remnants of ketamine he’d stabbed into my veins blur my sight, corrupt my perception of reality. The restraints pinning my ankles to the fancifully carved mahogany seat at the head of the dazzlingly long, disturbingly empty dining room table seem to tighten. Their leather kiss is not gentle. I can feel the bruises blooming, sickening violet, putrid yellow.

I lift another chunk of brain from the gilded china platter. Meat oozes beneath my fingernails. Grease slathers my palms.

“Go on.”

My sob is involuntary, muffled behind a mouthful of my sister’s cranial contents. I chew slowly. Nausea churns my gut but the shame is a thousand times more potent, warping my mind, roiling my stomach, cinching my throat tight like a garrote.

I splutter. Bits of grey matter and frothy saliva spray onto the immaculate tablecloth.

His revolver slams into my head, snapping my head to the left. I can’t help the pathetic yelp and the effeminate whimper that escapes my lips in fear of the bullet inside.

“Eat it.”

I am a coward.

I don’t want to die.

So I force her brain down my throat, waging a grotesque war against my humanity with my will to survive, to flee this godforsaken place, and put as much distance between me and this cannibalistic monster of a man.

“Eat.”

The gun is a frozen, undeniable force against my skull.

“Go ahead, Michael,” he says. “It’s okay to like it.”

I shiver. I cry. Snot and tears do nothing to improve the taste.

I shovel quivering handfuls of my sister’s brain into my mouth, murdered by the man’s unforgiving axe just hours before.

I eat it. Piece by agonizing piece, I eat it.

Gobs of it lodge between my teeth. Drool slathers my face. My stomach moans in betrayal.

“Wasn’t so bad, was it?” His laugh is deep, drawling, casual. “I’ve tried it every which way.”

The revolver is icy.

“Sautéed. Baked. Grilled.”

His breath is rank.

“But raw…”

Goosebumps sting my skin.

“That’s the way to go.”

And then he shoots me.

Should’ve never gone to that damned dinner party.

 

Brianna M. Fenty

Brianna Fenty is a state maritime academy alumna hailing from New York’s wonderfully weird Long Island area. After spending a few months learning highland voodoo from Scotland’s resident fairies (AKA taking a gap year), she now keeps busy at home begrudgingly searching for a day job, writing strange stories, and forcing her very moody cat to read them. Brianna specializes in writing bizarre speculative fiction, including horror, sci-fi, and dark fantasy. Her work can be followed on her blog, https://briannafenty.wordpress.com!

A Simple Accident

It was just a simple misstep on the stairs.  She landed heavily, neatly snapping her ankle.  There was no pain, unless she tried to move.  She was stuck.

She was alone; her husband was away on business, the phone was out of reach and the nearest neighbor a mile away.

For three days she lay there.  Their dog snuffled around trying to help, asking for food and water.

She realised she was going to die, not from the fracture, but from thirst.  The dog was the same.  She stared into its eyes.

“Help me.”

She felt breath against her throat.

RJ Meldrum

R. J. Meldrum is an author and academic. Born in Scotland, he moved to Ontario, Canada in 2010 with his wife Sally. His interest in the supernatural is a lifetime obsession and when he isn’t writing ghost stories, he’s busy scouring the shelves of antique book-sellers to increase his collection of rare and vintage supernatural books. During the winter months, he trains and races his own team of sled dogs.

He has had stories published by Sirens Call Publications, Horrified Press, Trembling with Fear, Darkhouse Books, Digital Fiction and James Ward Kirk Fiction.

You can find out more about RJ at his homepage.

The Chase

The intruder lunged, its claws grazed her arm. Clutching her cellphone, Helen burst from the house and scurried into the woods — her only escape. She could lose it in the woods.

No time for tears. Keep running. Breathe. Breath. Don’t look back. Run.

She switched on the phone’s flashlight. It helped a little.

Run. Run.

She tripped, but caught herself. She turned back. Nothing there.

Run. Breathe.

A sound came from the right. It reached for her. She dodged it.

Run. Run. I can’t see.

She tripped, falling head-first into a thick tree trunk. Helen was scared no more.

 

Pernell Rogers

Pernell Rogers is a product of the supernatural world. In his mind, the real world isn’t real at all. All human motivation is based on fear, and it’s that fear that he tries to expose in his writings.

You can follow his work on Smashwords.

The Greenhouse

Her ghost lurks in every corner. The shelf dust, the molding webs, even the corner shadows. I hadn’t been home in years.

“She’s obviously been here,” Mark said, pointing to ivy, flowering plants, fresh blooms. “Who else would care for these?”

But I didn’t reply. My brother’s question hung in the silent gloom as I traced roots along the walls, thickening like fat fingers pointing to a secret.

“Do you think she’s still living in this dump?” he yelled.

Vines wound their way into a back room, where they dug into Sarah’s corpse—the best fertilizer around.

“No, I don’t.”

Kevin Holton

Kevin Holton is the writer behind all sorts of work, ranging from dozens of short stories, to a variety of poems, and even a co-written screenplay. His first traditionally published novel, The Nightmare King, is forthcoming from Siren’s Call Publications. He also has a YouTube channel reading some of his drabbles and flash fiction. When not writing, he’s a gamer, actor, athlete, and coffee enthusiast who probably likes Batman too much.

You can follow his work on his homepage, Amazon, and Patreon.

Taking Submissions: After The Orange

Deadline: December 15th, 2017
Payment: $0.02 cent a word paid on publication + shared royalties.

B Cubed Press is accepting short story submissions for “After the Orange,” an original science fiction and fantasy anthology about the post-Trump world.

The Premise:

The Trump Presidency has come and gone.  Has this invoked the Trump Dynasty or has it spawned a return to core values, a hedonistic paradise or what?  Truly, what does the future, the post Trump future hold?

What We Want:

We are looking for near- or farther-future stories, society as it is AFTER 2032 – at least two presidential election cycles after Donald Trump’s last eligibility. Show us America or the world in a new era, or look at world politics changed by the actions of US policies and people. Or go beyond.

Stories may present an optimistic or pessimistic, utopian or apocalyptic visions of the future, with some clear connection to current events and the world as it is in 2017. Political shenanigans would be interesting, as well as romance, spooks, robots and evil overlords, satire or parodies. But remember, the world has moved on. The editors generally favor character- and/or plot-driven stories.

How to Submit:

Send submissions IN STANDARD MANUSCRIPT FORMAT* to: [email protected] in .doc., .docx, . or rtf .

Deadline – 12/15/2017

Publication Date. – Spring/Summer 2018

Word Counts – 500-5000 words

Pay US $0.02 cent a word paid on publication + shared royalties.

Via: B Cubed Press.

Taking Submissions: ROAR 9

Deadline: February 1st, 2018
Payment: 1/2 cent per word and one contributor’s copy.

We’re looking for excellent general audience furry stories on the theme “RESISTANCE.”  If you have an excellent story, but you’re not sure it fits the theme, give it a try.  We can be generous in how we interpret “resistance,” but all stories must be furry.  That means an anthropomorphic animal figure should be significantly featured in your story — it could be anthropomorphic in body or only intelligence.  We’ll consider any type of furry fiction from secret life of animals to fox in Starbucks — as long as it’s excellent.  Though, the editor does have a preference for stories where the animal nature of the characters matters — if the reader can’t even remember the species of the characters by the end of the story, then that’s not a good sign.

We are interested in underrepresented voices. If you have personal experience relevant to your story, feel free to mention it in your cover letter. For instance, if your story is about a space unicorn and you are a space unicorn (or a research biologist who studies space unicorns), let us know.  We are not interested in stories that involve rape in any way.

Please send submissions as an attached .doc, .docx, or .rtf file in Standard Manuscript Format to ROARanthology(at)gmail.com with a subject line that reads:  SUBMISSION:  “Story Title” – word count.  (For an example of Standard Manuscript Format, see this essay by William Shunn.  For help with writing a cover letter, check out this excellent advice from Strange Horizons.)

  • Length — Between 2,000 and 18,000 words.  Query if longer or shorter.  We tend to prefer stories between 4,000 and 12,000 words.
  • Multiple submissions — Keep it reasonable; two or three stories at a time is probably okay; ten isn’t.
  • Reprints — Yes, but include information about where the story was previously published.  We’re more interested in stories that will be new to the majority of our audience.
  • Simultaneous submissions — No.  If you send a story to us, please don’t send it anywhere else until you hear back from us.
  • Response time — Most final decisions won’t be made until after the deadline, but all stories should receive a response by March 1st.
  • Payment — 1/2 cent per word and one contributor’s copy.*
  • Deadline — February 1st, 2018
  • Expected release date — July, 2018

The ROAR anthologies are a FurPlanet production.  The editor for ROAR 9 is Mary E. Lowd, who also edited ROAR 6ROAR 7, and ROAR 8.

Via: Mary Lowd.

Taking Submissions: One Story

Deadline: November 14th, 2017
Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies

What kinds of stories is One Story looking for?
One Story is seeking literary fiction. Because of our format, we can only accept stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone.
Does One Story pay?
Yes. One Story pays $500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights. All rights will revert to the author following publication.
Does One Story accept previously published material?
No. One Story is looking for previously unpublished material. However, if a story has been published in printoutside of North America, it will be considered. Stories previously published online—on blogs, personal websites, online literary magazines, or forums—will not be accepted.
Does One Story accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes, but please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted for publication elsewhere.
What file types can I submit?
We accept PDF, RTF, and TXT files that are less than 500KB. Please include the story title and all writer contact info on the first page of the submitted file.
Will you send me comments on my story?
No. One Story receives close to 100 submissions each week. Please understand that we do not have time to comment on individual stories.
Can I change the story I submitted with an updated draft?
No.
Do you consider translations?
Yes. Please include the name of the original author and language, as well as the name of the translator on the first page of your submission.
How do I submit to One Story?
We have an automated system for you to send us your work. It will securely send our editors your story and email you a confirmation that it has been received. To use the automated system, you need to have a One Story account.

If you have subscribed to One Story or One Teen Story, joined our mailing list, given One Story or One Teen Storyas a gift, or submitted a story to either magazine, you already have an account. If not, the first time you submit a story your account will be automatically created.

Using this account you will be able to check the status of your submission at any time by going to our login page.

When you are ready to submit please visit our Submission Manager.

When can I submit to One Story?
We accept submissions from January 15th to May 31st and from September 1st to November 14th.
How soon can I expect to hear about my submission?
We do our very best to respond to submissions within 3 months after they are received. If you don’t hear back from us within that time, please be patient! It is our goal to make sure that each submission gets a good read.
Can I check the status of my submission?
You can check the status of your submissions at any time by logging into your account“Received” means that we have your story and are considering it.
Can I submit the same story to One Story and One Teen Story?
No. One Story and One Teen Story are looking for different kinds of stories. For more information on submitting to One Teen Story, go here.

Via: One Story.

Taking Submission: ‘Alien Invasion’ And ‘Endless Apocalypse’

Deadline: September 29th, 2017
Payment: 6 cents per word
Note: A 2-for-1! I just found out about these listings and as the deadline is coming up I wanted to do a bonus post to get them before your eyes ASAP!

Continuing the success of our previous call for submissions, we’re looking for around twenty to thirty short stories by contemporary writers to complement a selection of classic tales in two new anthologies. We are keen to encourage new writers, without prejudice to age, background or previous publication history. It’s the story that matters, and the quality of writing.

Submit by email to [email protected] 

The Two New Volumes

Alien Invasion: Visitors from other planets have long obsessed us. H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds spawned a huge wave of speculative fiction but the roots of such fears run deep in our literature, where the mysteries of other cultures have long threatened the familiar and the comfortable. Did aliens build the ancient pyramids? Do they live amongst us today? What happens when they invade? Would it be an inevitable act of aggression, one of assistance and care, or simply a reminder of our paltry existence in a crowded universe?

Endless Apocalypse: Stories of the end of civilized life have always fascinated us, from the mythological world endings – Armageddon and Ragnarok – to the flood stories from across the Ancient world. They make us wonder what we would do if all around us came to an end – no transport, no fuel, no communications, a retreat into the desperation, the onslaught of disease – how would we survive?

Formal Call for Submissions (2017)

We are looking for new and recent short stories. We do not require exclusivity. You hold copyright, licensing us just for this publication. We don’t mind if your story has been previously published online or in print (though we do need to know publication and date). Simultaneous submissions are fine, but you must have the right to license your story in an anthology.

Word length is most likely to be successful at 2000–4000, but we will still read stories slightly outside this range. 

Submit by email to [email protected]

Fees, Copyright and Other Terms

  • We pay Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates of 6 cents per word.
  • We would prefer to pay via PAYPAL because bank charges to the US and Canada in particular can be crippling for all concerned.
  • Payment will be made within 30 days of the final advertised publication date (see our website, flametreepublishing.com for details), although we might choose to pay some early.
  • Submission does not imply the right to publication. Each story will be read and assessed by the selection panel.
  • Please submit in .doc or .rtf formats, double spaced, with your name and email address in the footer or header of each page.
  • We will aim to read each story and confirm its status within 30 working days of the submission deadline.
  • The anthologies will be published worldwide, available online and to bookstores worldwide, in print and ebook formats.
  • You can submit more than one story, and to each collection.
  • Final submission date is 29 September 2017.

Submit by email only to: [email protected]

Selection Panel

The selection will be made by our group of life-long, in-house enthusiasts: Nick Wells (Publisher), Laura Bulbeck (Senior Editor) and Josie Mitchell, Gillian Whitaker and Cat Taylor. If required, the final selection will be mediated by our series editors. We try to keep everyone up-to-date as much as possible with occasional email updates.

A Word about the SFWA

To confirm, we became an SFWA qualifying market last year, so being published by us will help your status with them of course, but also with other readers and writers.

About Flame Tree Publishing

Now over 25 years old we started in 1992, covering a wide range of art and culture titles, with a strong vein of highly-illustrated Gothic and Fantasy books, notebooks and art calendars. Our Gothic Dreams books include NecronomiconSteampunkDystopia, our large format titles Gothic ArtFantasy Art and Dragon Art are sumptuous, and we publish gothic fiction reprints by Mary ShelleyH.G. WellsJules Verne, and more, in our Flame Tree 451 imprint. 2017 also sees the publication of a true labour of love: the all-new Astounding History of Science Fiction.

Our anthologies are designed to be read in print. They look and feel fantastic. You’ll feel proud to hand them to your friends, family, colleagues – so do send us your story!

Thank you, and good luck. We look forward to reading your tales of imagination.

Via: Flame Tree Publishing.

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