Category: Trembling With Fear

Unholy Trinity: Legend of the Moon Children by Martin P. Fuller

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.

I

The wounding

It was once part of our molten world, ejected and exiled when our solar system was young. Apart, but still linked to the chosen ones.

The planetoids revenge

The small gods challenge failed, consumed but not before ripping part of it conquerors body away, where it orbited, waiting, brooding, demanding a blood price.

The mystic light emerges

As the Moons rock cooled, a power grew. A weird force which oozed out of its heart, drifting towards the wounded Earth on reflected light.

Union of the light

The special light could not be filtered by dark storm cloud, or rock or roof. It found the special children, the wild, and changed them.

II

The curse of the moon gift

The Moon, torn from the body of the Earth, retained a link of mystic evil. Sunlight reflecting from its surface,  gave out more than just photons. The light sought out the Moon children with a gift of change. Tooth, claw, fur, jaws of razor teeth, and a maddened insatiable savagery.

 

The worship

The Moon loves the wolf and the wolf adores its Mistress.  The savage that is man fears the wolf, knows of the bite and the tearing sickle claw. That terror draws the Moon’s attention and dark influence. Certain mortals bear the dark honour of being disciples of the lunar queen.

III

The law of the werewolf

You cannot hide from the light or its malign influence. It seeks you out, invades your trembling mind, controls sinew and muscle. Bone bends to its command, reshaping, reforming. And the desire for the smell and taste of blood, the crush of teeth through flesh dominates your thoughts. Be wild, progeny of dark nature, seek out the living and survive. Never forget to give thanks to the  Goddess who watches over you in the darkness. Howl out your vicious hymn, scratch your mark in the landscape. You that were once human, wear the skin of a worshiper of the  moonlight. 

 

Martin P. Fuller

Martin P. Fuller lives in his shoebox house in West Yorkshire. He was in his previous exitances: –

 a beer salesman, a pall bearer, a car delivery driver, and oh yes… a police officer for over 34 years.  

He started to write in 2013 after attending a creative writing class and since then has become a writing course junkie. 

Discovering his dark side, Martin has had a number of stories published in Trembling with Fear and several other anthologies including Deadcades published by Infernal Clock.

Trembling With Fear 08/29/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

A quiet week in the scheme of things: final proof read of Daughters of Darkness II and upload to amazon, novella has been sent to beta readers and of course Horror Tree – always Horror Tree! My current target is to try and get a short story written for a submission call which closes on Sept 1st. Will I manage it? Hopefully.

I’ve also been looking at marketing, which I hate doing, but if any of you are interested, I’ve discovered Publishers Weekly has a free site for indie authors – BookLife. I haven’t gone into it all of it yet, beyond uploading my project, ie one of my books, in this case The Five Turns of the Wheel. This site allows me to submit my book to PW for possible review, although there are no guarantees. There is the option to pay for a PW review but that is something I never opt for – I don’t pay for reviews and I don’t submit to anything which charges a payment to read. If you want to check it out, go here https://booklife.com.

Our first story this week in Trembling with Fear is Eloise by Matthew Gorman. This is an atmospheric chiller incorporating what appears to be a dream – or is it? Crows are one of my favourite creatures that automatically brings menace to a piece and their role in this tale is a prime example.

Critic by Chris Chapman is a brutal response to those who delight in picking up on continuity errors. Be careful how – or where – you speak out!

On the Road Again by Dale W. Glaser is a bleak childhood tale which hides a lot in its telling, conveying so much without being specific.

Sealskin by Deborah Sheldon finishes on a last line which turns a thoughtful piece into something much more sinister.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Not much to report on this week. On the Horror Tree front, as many of you remember we were in Writer’s Digest’s Best Websites of 2021 in the May/June 2021 issue. Well, they’ve made it official online now as well by including us in the ‘Writer’s Digest’s Best Genre/Niche Websites 2021‘ post that has now gone live. NEATO!
Outside of that, on the personal front I have a drabble coming out in Black Hare Press’s ‘666’ anthology and have been getting a lot of words in for 2 short stories and a re-write of a novel that I’ve got in the works all while having started my next class for my MBA program.
Have a great week!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 08/22/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

Peace is restored, the dust has settled (and been hoovered up!) and the house is almost normal. The past week has seen completion of my novella, which is now resting before a final read through and then out to beta readers, but mostly all things Daughters of Darkness II (from Black Angel Press). This collection of four women writers is due out October 1st and is a format we will probably continue in the future. There are so many talented female writers out there who barely get a look in when it comes to publication in the horror world, we hope can provide a boost for some.

I’m quite pleased that Horror Tree has consistently published the work of women writers and if it appears we’re going through a ‘male’ phase, then that’s because there were no submissions by women at that time. One thing I’ve noticed is that a few of our male writers send in batches of drabbles which we then spread out over the year – some of them are even scheduled into next year. I have yet to see any of our women in horror writers doing this as regularly! Remember you can send in three drabbles at a time (they don’t have to be for the Unholy Trinity) and these can be followed up quite quickly with a further submission. You don’t have to wait! Just bear in mind we spread out your submissions over the year. 😊

G.A. Miller leads the stories this week in Trembling with Fear with his The Timekeeper dwells on our preoccupation with time-whether it be past, present or future. I particularly liked the idea of the hourglass as it was revealed to him and the implication of treading on grains of sand when he walks to the door. A nice touch of showing.

Boo Hag by Elyse Russell is a nightmare poem with a last line which is so blunt and matter of fact it adds a great contrast to the murderous intent of the hag.

Soul Song by Catherine Berry uses the sense of sound to full effect in creating this atmospheric little piece.

Thaw by Ken MacGregor misdirects you at first, makes you think the worst of the protagonist, especially with his murderous attitude towards family and lover – until you discover his reasoning.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Hello all! Last week I reported on issues with our calendar view and contact page. Both of these should now be resolved! I’m still playing catch-up but should have some more for you soon.

On huge bonus for those who like to feature the site and have either had their open calls or original fiction appear here, we now have graphics for that!


Finally, If you’ve purchased ANY of our Trembling With Fear releases, please do leave a review. You can get to ALL of them easily from this link!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: 3 Drabbles by Diane Arrelle

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.

A  Much-Needed Companion

Alicia walked into the dying forest following the bleat of the fawn.  She knew it was starving. Everything was starving,

  And dying of thirst. With Earth heating up, clean water became impossible to find.  Alicia still had a couple of gallons hidden away. She knew it was futility, but the drive to survive was overpowering.

Alicia found the baby deer and carried it home. She soothed it, kissing its sleek fur.  It was a much-needed companion for the end of the world. 

And if it didn’t end quickly enough…  well, then, she’d cook it and survive a few more days.  

 

Watching The Rain Fall

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a few days,” Roger reassured her. 

Sherry smiled and watched her husband drive away.  She stayed at the farm and took care of the crops and animals. 

The rain came and the river overflowed its banks. Roger called and said he was on his way home. 

The rain continued and the water covered the roads. Roger called and said he had a boat and was almost there. 

The flood drowned the animals, and Sherry was forced up to the roof in time to see Roger’s body floating by as the water continued to rise. 

 

Too Little Too Much

Alex and Alexi sat in the never-ending heat watching their vegetable garden wilt. “How many bottles of drinking water are left?” Alex asked.

“Five.” Alexi answered. “If we drink a mouthful a day we may be able to keep the food growing another two weeks.”

Then like a miracle the rain came. Dirty gray sheets of water falling day after day. 

The garden drowned and they heard the crack of the dam bursting a few miles away.   

Alex and Alexi sat, greedily gulping the last bottles of clean liquid and waited for the wall of water to sweep them away.  

Diane Arrelle

Diane Arrelle, the pen name of South Jersey writer Dina Leacock, has sold more than 350 short stories and has three published books including Just A Drop In The Cup, a collection of short-short stories and her collection of horror stories, Seasons On The Dark Side.  Retired from being director of a municipal senior citizen center, she is now co-owner of a small publishing company, Jersey Pines Ink LLC. She resides with her sane husband and her insane cat on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens (home of the Jersey Devil).of a small publishing company, Jersey Pines Ink LLC and resides with her sane husband and her insane cat on the edge of the Southern New Jersey Pine Barrens (home of the Jersey Devil).

 www.arrellewrites.com  FaceBook: Diane Arrelle  www.jerseypinesink.com

Trembling With Fear 08/15/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

There has been enough noise in our new house this week to raise the dead but thankfully my graveyard neighbours have slept through the disturbance. We’re having our old boiler and water tank ripped out and updated. Not the best atmosphere for writing – I’ve been continually expecting the ceiling to come down on me – and the weather hasn’t been the best to sit outside but I managed one short tale. I also had the chance to talk to Wendy N. Wagner on Shane Douglas Keene’s Shotgun Logic podcast. Editor-in-chief at Nightmare magazine, she has boundless energy and enthusiasm for the genre and is also a wonderful author in her own right – check out her The Deer Kings, a great coming-of-age/supernatural page-turner. If you’re curious about the level of submissions to Nightmare, now’s the chance to find out!

The current episode being aired is with John D. Taff, another great writer who’s recently taken to wearing the editor’s hat. I’ve had the privilege of reading Tor Nightfire’s Dark Stars, which is out next March, BUT I must urge you to read The Bad Book. This particular anthology is, I feel, a masterclass in the art of short story writing. I bought the ebook of The Bad Book but I will be buying the print version – and that is something I don’t often do!

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Ice Cold Lemonade by Kevin M. Folliard, a writer who I continue to rate beyond the realms of Horror Tree. Just desserts are delivered to a greedy—in more ways than one—CEO. The finale reflects back on the preceding section in a very clever way and makes you look at it with new eyes. Another aspect I like is the way the reader’s senses are engaged, vocabulary choice drawing you in to feel heat and thirst.

For Entertainment Purposes by F.M. Scott reminds you it’s always a good idea to read the small print. You never know what you might have signed yourself up for.

Hen Fenyw by Nicolette Ward is a wonderful bit of Welsh mythology with the creepiest last line ever.

Setting the Perfect Scene by Brian Maycock is a lovely horror-sci-fi mashup, and how can you not feel a little love for the robot. Its heart is in the right place after all!

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Hello all! We’re having some caching issues which are causing issues with both our contact form and our calendar view. I’m aware of it and will hopefully be looking into it over the next week. I just finished up another of my MBA courses SOOO… I’ve got some free time at the moment.
Just a reminder, our October Specials edition is open and we’re looking for Halloween-themed shorts and drabbles! You can find the details on our Submission Page.
Finally, If you’ve purchased ANY of our Trembling With Fear releases, please do leave a review. You can get to ALL of them easily from this link!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: Good Bones by Gus Wood

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.

Bone Concert

Olivia, after her years of brutal tutelage,

has mastered the flute. 

She should hate this particular instrument.

The flute’s crude construction bends every breath into noise.

It’s such a struggle to get good music from bone.

Each note is a power drill,

a hack saw through a stubborn teacher’s skin.

Olivia, when she closes her eyes and plays,

can only hear the sound 

of her music teacher screaming 

as she taps her fingers across the holes.

She imagines him as she last saw him,

pale, bleeding, clutching a bleeding stump, 

watching her play his favorite song,

blowing into his femur.

 

Missed Cue

The lights burned

as Leopold struggled with the words to Hamlet.

“Alas…poor Yorrick…”

Nothing. 

He started pacing, buying time.

Leopold wondered what the old critic

would’ve thought of his performance.

What a man who loved theatre enough to donate his skull 

thought of a college kid butchering the bard.

Leopold tripped, gripped the skull to ground himself.

Then, the click of polished teeth,

the squeak of spurting blood,

the thump of fingers hitting the floor.

The critic, his bleached teeth streaked red, 

hollow mouth full of knuckles and skin, 

was never shy about giving a review with a bite.

 

Mr. Ossum’s Bones

Mr. Ossum starts the lesson.

The entire class rolls their eyes.

“The human body has 206 bones,” he says.

Pointing a ruler at each one, 

he rattles off their names.

Phalanges, Tarsals, Metatarsals, Tibia, Fibia, Femur, 

No one is paying attention.

Cocyx, Sacrum, Lisa, Renee, Joan,

The names slip out quiet and uneventful.

Ossum stops himself and clears his throat.

Nobody notices,

except for the quiet girl in the back

who stopped talking when her mother went missing

The girl stares at the skeleton,

all its different bones,

including the long, slender, familiar fingers

that could have taught her piano.

Gus Wood

Gus Wood is a game designer and horror writer. You can access all of his games, fiction, and horror criticism at www.gusonhorror.com. He hopes you read this by candlelight.

Trembling With Fear 08/08/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

This week I have actually had time to investigate some submission calls at Horror Tree for myself. I need to finish my novella, about 5000 words left to finish the first draft, but short stories continue to pull me back. There has often been an argument about whether writing shorts is useful as a career step or not. I am inclined to the former, it being not just a brilliant form to read but also a great way to develop your story-telling skills and, of course, to boost your profile.

In many branches of literature, names can be made on novels alone and yes, there are some within our own world of horror who are also able to do that. For the rest of us lesser mortals, ie me, I see it as both enjoyable and somewhat necessary. Horror is a niche market, hard to break into, but the short stories bring with them a growing recognition of your name. I also regard this as part of my ongoing apprenticeship. You may have a different view, but for now I’m going back to both novella and a certain black metal submission call …

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is The Woods Out Back by Jason M. Tucker. A wonderful creepy chiller set in woods forbidden to two girls – but what happens when a parent tells you not to do something? Well naturally, they do the opposite. Its ending delivers extra shivers as you realise what has happened – although this is inferred and not explicitly stated. Skilfully done.

In Principle by April Yates brings us many everyday phrases, all perfectly acceptable, perfectly normal. Until it isn’t. Great use of the twist.

Willie by G.A. Miller is a tender ghost story, a tale of horror bringing its own comfort. Emotive.

Your Recent Application to Clone Me Program by Eric Fomley is certainly a dark way to bring bad news! So clever.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Hello all! We’re having some caching issues which are causing issues with both our contact form and our calendar view. I’m aware of it and will hopefully be looking into it over the next week. I just finished up another of my MBA courses SOOO… I’ve got some free time at the moment.
Just a reminder, our October Specials edition is open and we’re looking for Halloween-themed shorts and drabbles! You can find the details on our Submission Page.
Finally, If you’ve purchased ANY of our Trembling With Fear releases, please do leave a review. You can get to ALL of them easily from this link!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

(more…)

Trembling With Fear 08/01/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

Dear all,

I had written up an editorial and it was all primed and ready to go but that will now be held over to next week. On Thursday, I received an email from Stephen Bustanoby’s former landlady letting me know that Stephen sadly passed away on the 26th July. Looking back at our records, I found he started submitting to us early summer 2020 with serials and short stories and was building up a solid record of acceptance with his actual publications appearing earlier this year. His landlady also told me that she is nowhere the character’s age or description in his serial, The Boarder(!) and that she will miss him. It is sad to see an emerging talent cut short in this manner and Horror Tree would like to extend their condolences to his family and friends.

On behalf of Stuart, Steph, Amanda and everyone at Horror Tree

 

 

Trembling With Fear 1st Aug:

Due to a slight mix-up – such things happen – we have two short stories in Trembling with Fear this week. The first of these is The Phobic Vampire by Martin P. Fuller. Martin is always someone I can trust to bring in some lovely touches of humour to our dark little genre. The Phobic Vampire is an exploration of what it takes to fill such a bloody role adequately, and perhaps a warning to those who seek to ‘turn’ others that they should look into their history first!

Our second short story is A Time of Loneliness by Varian Ross and is one of the most beautiful and touching zombie stories I have ever read. This tale brings back the humanity to those often thought of as nothing but rotting flesh, reminding us that maybe, just maybe, there is something still left behind.

Fortune Cookie by RJ Meldrum plays into the human weakness of believing the old fortune teller. Is it luck that causes the outcome of this story or something else though?

Purblind by Patrick Winters gives a whole new meaning to the term recycling and reuse, all in the name of greed.

The Convent by Mike Rader is a lovely little religious chiller. It makes you look at the main character in two ways – is she someone with compassion, or someone who wrought horror in the first place?

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Hello all! I’m busy traveling this week and the next week and a half so things are a bit messy. Not much in the way of updates this week though I’m hoping to have some news next! 
One final reminder – All of this year’s Trembling With Fear copies are now available both in physical and digital format which you can find below! Please, if you’ve ordered these or previous installments, do leave a review on Amazon!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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