Category: Trembling With Fear

Trembling With Fear 10/18/20

Oh, the ups and downs of a writer’s life. The week started off with an acceptance for a poem, saw the Silver Shamrock anthology Midnight in the Pentagram launch (including my story, Family Reunion) and then rounded off with a rejection from Apex Magazine. I’d managed to get through a reading round, like before – and like before didn’t get any further. One day – perhaps! I’ll keep trying.

If you like poetry by the way, I’d really recommend Alessandro Manzetti’s Whitechapel Rhapsody: Dark Poems. Steeped in the atmosphere of the Ripper’s Whitechapel, it’s a wonderful read.

The first story in Trembling With Fear is The Wake by Steven Holding. A dark tale many of us can relate to. The time after a funeral is the time when old secrets come tumbling out, when grievances are aired and home truths are spoken. In this instance, there is an even darker undercurrent of ‘truth’ waiting to reveal itself. A few hints, crafted with a light touch, a creaking floorboard. You know what’s coming.

Ignorance is Bliss by Connor Long-Johnson attributes something horrific to something quite normal. With a main character lacking the imagination to see beyond the everyday, his blinkered view allows real evil to roam.

Passing on the Genes by Ryan Benson distorts the view of parenthood. You don’t have to feel fatherly just to humans!

Under the Corset by Alyson Faye is a wonderful gothic poem clearly showing the horror of the female lot during this era – of childbearing, of hunger and of repression (evidenced by the restrictive corset from which she escapes only at night).

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We have had a LOT of support come into the site this month, and I’d like to thank everyone involved. This is the sole message I want to share today as your support is vital to helping Horror Tree grow!

First off, we have *2* site sponsors helping us out. So, if you’re looking to pick up a new book might I suggest checking out both ‘SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire‘ which was edited by the extremely talented Nicole Givens Kurtz (follow her on Amazon!) and ‘It Calls From the Sky‘ from Eerie River Publishing. This one was edited by A. Robertson-Webb and M. River. The sales of both indirectly help fund the site as both of these are really helping us out in October. Be sure to order a copy of each of these anthologies today! 

Secondly, our ALWAYS AMAZING Patreons! Two of our Patreons increased their donations and a third chipped in which JUST put us to one of our goals where we can do token payments to our writing staff throughout the month. THANK YOU! This is huge. It has been a goal I’ve been pushing toward for months and hopefully one we can sustain and grow past. 

SQUEE. I can’t stress enough what your support means to us. 

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Serial Killers: The Thrill of the Hunt (Part 2) by Villimey Mist

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

I squeeze around the windpipe. My heart is jumping in my ribcage. My boner is raging. I look up to watch the terror unfold on her face.

Irritation clouds my excitement. Cynthia doesn’t seem frightened. Her eyes aren’t bulging. Her breath is stable. In fact, she seems mildly bored. Her hand has retreated to her side.

I throw pretense out the window. No more playing “Mr. Nice Guy”.

I push her against the door, with such force that she bangs her head against the window. I clamp my other hand on her breast and dig my fingers deep into the flesh, as if ready to tear it apart from her body. That could be her memento.

She gasps, her eyes widening.

I smirk. There’s the look I’ve been waiting for. The thrill rushes from within, giving strength to my arms.

Cynthia thrashes in the seat. She claws against my chest. The pain is bearable. It only makes me want to savor the moment longer.

However, my irritation remains. She’s not giving me eyes of terror.

She’s narrowed them. They shine with malice. I’ve never seen it on my victims before.

“Did you do this to Helena as well?”

Her question momentarily stuns me. My fingers freeze. How is she talking? I’m squeezing as hard as I possibly can.

Her smile is rueful. “Did you know that was her name? The woman you killed and left here in the woods?”

My own breath lodges in my throat. Cold sweat glides down my back. How does she know? Is she a police? Are they already onto me?

Panic grips me. I clamp both hands once more on her throat and squeeze.

“Enough with the foreplay, I guess.” She speaks calmly, even though I’m so close to crushing her windpipe.

She grabs my wrist and bends it. It hurts slightly. I grit my teeth. She smirks and bends it back more. My stomach drops. What is she doing? The ligament has begun burning. Her eyes glint with a dark purpose. She bends it back even further.

Finally, a crack. It penetrates my ears like a drill. I stare at the crooked shape of my wrist. Then blinding pain shoots up my brain, like venom. I scream.

“Did that hurt? I bet Helena was hurting more when you killed her.” Cynthia cocks her head to the side, as if actually oblivious of her own action.

“Who the fuck are you?” I scream, clutching my broken wrist.

She ignores me, instead opening the glove compartment and picking up the necklace that I had put there for safe keeping. “Another victim? Where’s Helena’s memento?”

“How do you know about her?” I spit angrily.

“Her sister, Lydia, prayed to me when Helena hadn’t been found within a week. Given her line of work, Lydia knew she was dead. And Lydia wanted revenge.”

Prayed? Is she a priest? She certainly doesn’t look one with those ripped jeans and leather jacket.

A wolf howls in the distance. Cynthia smiles as she gently pockets the necklace.

“I thought I wouldn’t find you. Portland’s a big city. Lots of people. But I’m patient. As a hunter, you have to be.”

My brow furrows. Hunter? What is she talking about?

She laughs. “You still haven’t figured it out? Nah, you killers don’t seem to have either the intellect or the patience. I go by many names. Cynthia after my birthplace on Mount Cynthus. Diana in Rome. I, however, prefer my true name. Artemis.”

She slowly turns her head to me. Markings appear on her face and body, like stars popping up in the sky outside. They look ancient, pagan even. Like Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek letters melted into one. Black soot covers her eyes, yet they sparkle like diamonds.

My balls shrivel. I almost forget about the pain in my broken wrist.

“I promised you a thrill. You have twenty seconds to run. I wouldn’t waste them. You saw what I did with your pathetic human hand.”

I can’t explain how she changed like that. Is she an illusionist?  How can a girl her size be stronger than me? She said her name was Artemis. If I remember my high school mythology class correctly, she’s said to be the Goddess of the Hunt. How is that possible? How can she even exist and inflict pain on someone like me? I want to stay and fight her, but my dominant hand is useless. I can’t trust my own strength.

I do, however, trust my balls.

I scramble out of the car, and rush into the woods. I haven’t run like that in ages, the searing pain in my side reminding me of that fact.

The moon is the only light in this maze of a forest. Trees everywhere. Nowhere to hide. Why can’t I hear her running after me?

A wolf howls again. This time, it feels closer.

I don’t like this. How my heart is almost exploding. Not with exhilaration, but with a fear that digs deep.

Something whistles in the air.

It plunges into my shoulder, nailing me to a Douglas fir. I scream. Wincing through the pain, I look down at the wound. Nothing. So, why do I feel like there’s an arrow stuck in my bone? I grope for it in the dark. Again, nothing.

Another whistle.

I scream again. My other shoulder has been hit. I wheeze through the pain as it sends flames up and down my body.

A laugh echoes through the forest.

It sends chills down my spine. I’ve never felt fear like that.

She struts towards me, carrying a primitive bow. Her smirk is victorious. “Nothing beats the thrill of the hunt.”

“All right, all right. You’ve got me. You’ve got your hunt. Now let me go.” I demand. 

She shakes her head, chuckling. “You’re right that I’ve got my hunt. But I haven’t avenged Helena’s death yet.”

Light footsteps pitter-patter on the soft ground. Too limber for a person.

A wolf strolls towards Artemis, its amber eyes gleaming in the dark.

Sweat beads down my temple. “Your pet?”

Artemis scratches the wolf behind its ear. “A companion. He usually gets what I hunt.”

I struggle against the invisible arrows. The wolf growls as it approaches. I kick frantically, sweeping dirt into the air.

“Are you really feeding me to the wolf?” My voice comes out high-pitched in disbelief.

“Not just the wolf.” Artemis’ smile is sinister.

Heavier footsteps crush the ground. I feel slight tremors behind me.

I swivel my head. My breathing has become erratic, fearful. Not at all what I’m used to. What could she possibly have summoned from the dark?

A giant bear comes lumbering at my side.  The scent of rotten leaves on its fur tickles my nose.

My legs go numb. Blood drains from my face.

“Please.” 

“Too late for please. You gave that up when you squeezed the life out of Helena. I’d wish you a good journey to the underworld, but I hear your kind isn‘t received well there.”

She gives her head a jerk forward.

The bear stands up on its hind legs. It raises its clawed paw and strikes down in one, swift motion.

For a moment, I think it missed.

Something slithers with a squelch on the ground. My middle feels cold. I look down. My stomach has been ripped open. Innards leak in a mess down my pants. The grass below is painted in crimson. A part of my dick nestles between my feet.

Blood trickles down my mouth. My eyes shoot up when I sense movement.

The wolf’s open maw is the last thing I see.

But it’s not the last thing I feel.

I’m still alive as those beasts feast on my open stomach.

The last thing I hear is a girl’s tinkling laugh.

Villimey Mist

Villimey Mist is an Icelandic indie horror writer. She has always been fascinated with horror since she was introduced to horror movies such as Alien, The Thing and Bram Stoker’s Dracula when she was a little girl. Dracula, in particular, is a favorite and the vampire lore inspired her to write her own vampire horror series. Two books of the series are already published and the third one will come out in 2021.
You can connect with her and her art on both Twitter and Instagram.

Trembling With Fear 10/11/20

I had a query the other day about whether we took stories from other countries if said stories focussed heavily on their own geography and culture rather than our own more recognisable ‘Western’ tropes. Naturally, my answer was of course we’re open to such submissions – our only criteria being that the story is good and is the right fit for Horror Tree. To be open to other cultures, be exposed to stories from different viewpoints and backgrounds, can be nothing but enriching. Remaining within what you ‘know’ as a reader – and as a human being – is limiting.

I have also taken another step this week following the swirl of comments in the media about freedom of speech and officially joined English Pen, the UK branch of PEN International. This charity supports and fights for the rights of writers around the world. I thought it was time to move beyond the retweeting and occasional involvement and become an actual member. Freedom of speech, a basic human right, is something I care very deeply about. It does not mean carte blanche to abuse others but it does mean the right to express an opinion and to tell dark tales!

Speaking of which, our first story this week is Out of the Dirt by Pete Alex Harris. This tale reels you in so smoothly with its gravedigger providing a service to the local community, taking pride in his job. He even has a cat. Truly atmospheric misdirection.

It was the Couch by Radar DeBoard shows how we don’t have to rely on humans, supernatural creatures or plain old rabid animals all the time. Objects can be used to effect.

Strange Fruit by Mark Anthony Smith gives us a warning about eating that bizarre-looking fruit in the bowl. It might be exotic – or something else entirely.

With Apologies to Dr Seuss by Catherine Berry warms my heart. My children pretty much learned to read with Dr Seuss and I remember the rhythm and the pace of his rhymes and stories. This is a wonderful pastiche.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

First off, a big thank you to Rebecca Rowland. She was recently interviewed over at Genre Junkies and right about at the 36-minute mark we got one of the nicest shoutouts we’ve had this year! THANK YOU!

Secondly, progress on the potential podcast is still occurring, just not quick so don’t get your hopes up that we’ll have something live in the next month or so. We’re currently organizing stories we were given the rights to in order to compile episodes and after that will re-reach out to authors who have in the past given us permission to verify they’d still like us to record their work.

Finally, If you’d like to interview any of Horror Tree’s staff on your website or podcast please reach out! We’ll see what can be done. 🙂

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Serial Killers: The Thrill of the Hunt (Part 1) by Villimey Mist

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

That supple skin.

Smooth, beautiful.

I love how it feels against my big, callous fingers. How it tenses when I put more pressure.

Her eyes are widening. With shock. With fear.

Yes. Struggle more. Let me feel that despair.

Her nails don’t hurt me. They only spur me on, urging me to squeeze harder. Her feeble strength is nothing compared to mine.

Those short bursts of breath that escape her lips are like a sweet serenade to my ears.

When she lets go of her last breath, I moan with pleasure.

The ecstasy is always so short, though.

I hate that.

I look down at the body. It’s useless to me now. I need to feel the blood pumping into the veins as I squeeze the life out of her.

I drive to the nearest deserted highway and dump the body there. I don’t bother with laying it down gently. It’s just a heavy marionette. Absolutely useless.

Well, not quite. I have her necklace. It still feels warm to the touch.

It should quench my thirst for a couple of days.

 

******

 

The itch is back.

It’s time for another prowl in the night.

I take my car and cruise downtown Portland.

I can’t say there’s slim pickings in Old Town. It’s more like a smorgasbord, waiting for me to select the best of the best.

The women give me sensual looks, turning in circles to allow me to see the whole package.

None of them excite me, though.

I don’t feel that rush bubbling beneath the surface.

I’m about to turn the car around, irritated that I can’t scratch my itch tonight, when I spot her.

A bit younger than I usually pick. Sharp cheekbones, tanned skin, little braids on the side of her head, pulled into a thick ponytail. My fingers yearn to pull it.

She sees me. My heart gives a little jump.

Her eyes are big, almost doe-like.

So delicious.

I pull over next to her.

She gives me a coy smile while running her eyes up and down. Funny. It’s as if she’s appraising me.

“Good evening, stranger,” she says when I let the window slide down and she leans over it. “What brings you here?”

I lightly lick my lips with the tip of my tongue. Her voice is like honey. I bet her gasps are like Turkish delights.

“I was hoping for a good time with someone special.” I dip my chin down and give her my best, rehearsed smile.

She giggles. Her laugh is like a tinkling bell. “And I’m the lucky gal?”

I nod, gripping the steering wheel. “You bet. Hop in.”

A tremor of pleasure runs through me as she jumps into the car with a triumphant smile. She waves to her “coworkers” while I take us to a more secluded place.

What a Godsend.

 

******

 

“What’s your name?” I’ve never asked them their names. It never mattered to me, but I feel like I must burn that girl’s name to memory. She doesn’t seem to have anything on her that I can keep for later, anyway.

“Cynthia.”

I glance from the road at her. She’s got her eyes straight on the asphalt, a stoic calm about her. Something tingles within me. I’ve never felt that before. I shake it off by chuckling. “That’s a pretty name.”

She shrugs. “It’s nothing special.”

“You’d prefer something different?”

“I’d prefer a name that goes places. That people will remember.”

Don’t worry, baby. I won’t forget yours. For some reason, I feel compelled to take her further up into the mountains, where I did my first kill. That girl had been unremarkable. I barely remember what she looked like, but she had satisfied my urges and that’s a good enough memory. The place I killed her is secluded and quiet. I doubt even the animals there will bother us.

“Are we going hiking?” Cynthia giggles.

“I like a little privacy.”

Cynthia’s eyes glint. “So do I.”

Once more, something creeps up at the back of my mind. It’s like a tick, biting into my skin. Never felt that way before. I shake my head. It’s probably nothing. It could be a new form of excitement. Besides, I have to be focused. My itch needs to be scratched.

The thought of running my fingers through that skin of hers is enough to make me hard.

Not long now.

“What are you expecting for tonight?” Cynthia asks as she twirls one of her tiny braids between her fingers.

I smirk. “Something of a thrill, perhaps?”

Cynthia nods, smiling. “I can give you that.”

A surge of excitement courses through me. I’ll bet you can. You’ll be my best kill yet.

The road has become dark, with the moon the only beacon of light above us. Fir trees as tall as skyscrapers flank the car as we climb higher up the mountain. I couldn’t be happier with the spot. I have to hurry. My hard-on is starting to hurt.

I park the car near a small rest area with a lonely bench almost shrouded by the trees. I better not dump the body there when I’m done. It’d be too easy to see.

“Well, we’re here.” I turn to Cynthia and graze her cheek with the back of my hand.

It’s so warm, as if the whole sun radiated from her. I can’t wait to squeeze it out of her, so nothing remains but the cold terror in her eyes.

“You really picked a great spot.” Cynthia purrs as she sidles closer to me. Her hand snakes towards my thigh and caresses it. A greedy gleam in her doe eyes.

Not as greedy as mine.

My fingers drift down from her cheek and I wrap them around her throat.

If she senses something, she’s being coy about it. From what I feel, she’s allowing me to take the reins.

The perfect victim.

 

Villimey Mist

Villimey Mist is an Icelandic indie horror writer. She has always been fascinated with horror since she was introduced to horror movies such as Alien, The Thing and Bram Stoker’s Dracula when she was a little girl. Dracula, in particular, is a favorite and the vampire lore inspired her to write her own vampire horror series. Two books of the series are already published and the third one will come out in 2021.
You can connect with her and her art on both Twitter and Instagram.
 

Trembling With Fear 10/04/20

As I write this, it’s grey and miserable and rainy, the stereotypical British day. Restrictions have again tightened and my kids at uni are feeling the impact. My youngest’s uni is experiencing a covid outbreak whilst my son is restricted by Cardiff’s local lockdown and he can no longer attend my sister-in-law’s wedding. The only way I can forget these depressing conditions is, as always, through books and so I have continued to read as much as possible. I’m almost through Lee Murray’s Grotesque Monster Stories and loving it. It’s a breath of fresh air with its mix of stories of maori culture, historical sci-fi – to me reminiscent of a Dr Who episode (Lee, you should send it to the BBC!) and body horror. There is so much more room for horror stories featuring different cultures and other time periods. Take the paths less trodden! Alongside this, I’m dipping into Tim Waggoner’s Writing in the Dark but I’ve also got Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism calling me. I desperately just want to put everything on hold and read it – but I’ll write this editorial first!

The first story this week, Esplanade by Sourya Chowdhury, appealed with its theme of helplessness as exemplified by the holding out of hands. Initially this simple gesture is seen as sinister, something to run away from. The main character is truly helpless as those who could help leave them to their fate. The realisation as to the meaning of the outstretched hands is an emotive one and – I’ve just noticed – a perfect reflection of our current situation. We are human and we all need the touch of a hand. Whether this is good or bad, you’ll have to read and find out but its simplicity adds to the punch at the end.

 Anticipation by RJ Meldrum is a little bit of human tragedy. Seeing someone so lost in this manner is really sad. Very simple, very understated and all the more powerful for that.

Hall of Mirrors by Mike Rader brings us the creepy carnival setting. I would never want to be the one who locks up anywhere.

Premiere by G.A. Miller mixes our current covid situation with a movie setting. Weaving in society’s current preoccupations is a good source to mine for stories.

Whiskers by Tabatha Wood is an enjoyable and darkly humorous tale. It really turned the idea of the dreaded cat lady on its head.

Enjoy the stories and poems and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Things are still a bit crazy with work and keeping the kids learning remotely and life in general. That being said, I’ve been able to fit a little more writing back into my life which has been quite liberating. It isn’t much but getting words down on paper is a mental health check I really needed.
Also, folks, I’ve started working on getting our gameplan together for doing a test run of how the podcast would go through with our team. I wouldn’t hold my breath on hearing it go live anytime soon but things are slowly progressing!
Coming soon: We have 2 site sponsors for October so far. THANK YOU! (If you’re thinking about helping the site out in any way from financially to writing to marketing, do reach out!)

Side note: Our first “Wandering Tales” article has gone live. This is a new feature that will explore monsters, mythology, and folklore that are prime to be examined for reading pleasure and inspiration for all of our writing! These articles are meant for both authors and readers alike so are worth checking out! 🙂

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: In the Forest by Christina Nordlander

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Note on the stories:

I was intrigued when I first saw your Unholy Trinity category and wanted to write something for it, but inspiration didn’t come easily: after all, writing three connected-but-independent drabbles isn’t the same as writing a 300-word story. Some time later, I got the idea for the following three drabbles. My idea was to have the perspective change between the sections. The protagonist starts off as a helpless victim, then turns out to be more dangerous than her pursuers, who finally still turn out to have the upper hand.

The Chase

The nocturnal forest was so chilly, pain stabbed Junia’s inner ear, and her nightdress couldn’t keep the cold from her chest.

They didn’t seem to follow her. She heard nothing above her crashing pulse, the breaths that injured her throat. Shouldn’t there have been night-birds, owls? She pushed through the wet branches. There was no traffic. Climb a tree? Not in this dark.

Twigs snapped. She ran as if she still had her strength, but her foot skidded. She fell face first with black liquid around her limbs, in her eyes. When she rolled over, torches gleamed over the ridge.


The Cult

Ditmar kept behind the sturdier brethren in the front rank. He was one of the unarmed ones. The offering was unarmed, too.

He didn’t think he could have tracked her – perhaps a distinct footprint in mud – but the leaders bent their torches to the ground and never hesitated.

There, a white flicker. She lay prone in a bog that was just blackness. One second he thought she was dead, and what would happen now?

He couldn’t see her eyes opening, but he heard the drawn-out groan when she registered them.

Her body rose to sitting. Her eyes were white surfaces.

The Catch

One of the robed figures approached down the ridge side. Junia looked at her hands, white and half submerged in the muck. Let him come. One swipe, and he would writhe with eyes unfocused and blood pumping from his jugular vein. She could smell the fluids, as if it had already happened.

He stopped two steps from her. She saw the glinting edge of a smile.

“Hatched one,” he said. “Rise.”

She obeyed, as if something in the new pattern in her neurons were directly subject to his voice. They cloaked her in a warm robe, the only red one.

Christina Nordlander

Christina Nordlander was born 1982 in Sweden, but has lived in the UK since 2001. She is currently living outside Birmingham with her husband Graham and two cats. She also has a PhD in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Manchester. She has published about ten short stories both in Sweden and the English-speaking world, most recently the drabble “Maneater” in Trembling with Fear (2020).

Link to her Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=79474

Trembling With Fear 09/27/20

The vice tightened this week with new restrictions across the UK as covid triggered the expected upswing. Whilst I obey whatever strictures are sent out (despite a differing viewpoint), I still find it extremely hard to reconcile to the almost authoritarian government which seems to have emerged in recent months. It’s certainly made me value personal freedom even more and I look forward to that being restored when vaccines and testing take control of this awful virus. My poor sister-in-law has had to rearrange her wedding and has been hit hard in terms of who can be invited – 15 guests in all and visits to family at Christmas are out. And lo – there has been panic-buying of toilet rolls and pasta – again! I don’t think 2021 can come quickly enough. I hope the US manages to avoid this upswing.

This is why we need stories. We need to escape and leading the charge this week is A Personal Heaven and Hell by J Sloan. This is a great piece of misdirection. As you read, you’ll be wondering why it’s in TWF, where’s the darkness? It read initially like a creation story, with an almost biblical feel at the start. Keep reading though and it turns all your misconceptions on their head. Cleverly done.

But Each Night by John D. Adams is a lovely little ghost story, delivering a chill.

Not my Fault by Kevin M. Folliard is a poem with a nursery rhyme feel to it. Its rhythm bonces along quite innocently – until you hit the last line.

Silent Witness by Lionel Ray Green uses a horror trope at the start and twists it so the image becomes an all-too-real moment of human heartbreak.

 

Enjoy the stories and poems and send us yours!

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

What a week. I know that every week lately I’ve been saying that I’m busy but it seems to be snowballing in how much work I have on my plate these days.
Totally okay. Yup. Absolutely.
So I’ve gotten a whole lot of no writing these days and the only reading that I’ve been able to make time for are your lovely submissions to Trembling With Fear. So, at least I’ve got some great fiction to read that is keeping me going!
Work is pushing forward on our future expansion plans but it is slow and will likely be awhile until we have a major announcement so I’m going to try and not bring that up for a bit.
I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and do remember to comment on these posts to share which stories you have enjoyed!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 09/20/20

Last week brought me a highlight of my writing year. I finally saw the cover of my new novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel. If you pop over to our Pandemic Book Launch page, you will see it has now claimed its place on the October shelves. The artist is Kealan Patrick Burke and I can’t recommend him highly enough.

A couple of shoutouts this week. First to the boss, Stuart. His stories are gracing the pages of Forest of Fear 2, an anthology of microfiction. Also, please support the good folk from Things in the Well. Their charity anthology Trickster’s Treats #4, Coming Buried or Not is raising money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Improving literacy, and therefore the life chances, of people is critical. It’s a central feature of my day job and something I am passionate about.

Stranded by Karen Crawford is our first story in Trembling with Fear. A rain storm, a creepy motel and a breakdown feature, as does a deliberate homage to a certain classic in the cannon. But the writer’s made it their own with a great sense of setting, and almost movie-like imagery.

Broken Shell by Nicolette Ward is a potted apocalyptic vision. I do like this sort of story but we don’t tend to get that many.

Holding Hands by Alyson Faye is a great bit of zombie humour, mixing the fussy mindset of the elderly made me chuckle. Cockneys vs Zombies is a great film in this ilk, by the way.

The Walls have Eyes by Tabatha Wood brings us assumptions vs reality and a punch in the last line.

Enjoy the stories and poems and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Between helping with remote learning and my day job. I’ve been in a bit of flux on updates as of late. Thankfully, we’ve got some great fiction for you to read over this week which will hopefully keep you distracted that I don’t have much news to share about the site in the works! 🙂

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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