Tagged: Trembling With Fear

Trembling With Fear 01/23/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. I’m currently reading John Connolly’s A Book of Bones, a supernatural crime which is ticking quite a few folklore boxes.

I recently had a chance to read Patrick Winters novella, Seeing. If you’ve read his work in TWF, you will know he is a great writer and this continues in Seeing, a haunted house with a touch of southern gothic. If you want a quick read, why not grab a copy here.

Our first story this week in Trembling with Fear is The Jangly Man by Dana Vickerson gives us a child’s nightmare. The use of a child’s voice, the expression of their fears, is something which always ups the sense of dread in a story.

Soul Stealers by Alyson Faye is a wonderfully dark poem which carries elements of folk horror alongside its chilling ghostliness.

What it may Hold by Sammi Leigh Melville feels initially like a story we’ve all heard before – until you realise exactly where the person (or entity) is; a nice twist.

What Lives in the Woods by Nick Watts has a fairy tale quality and like those contains a moral – heed the warnings!

Enjoy the stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I’d like to note that historically, next month is Women in Horror Month! With that in mind, we’re quite eager to feature female women in the horror writing community throughout February and would love any guest posts that you would be interested in having us feature! Please reach out to us on our contact page today if you’re a writer, reviewer, editor, reader, etc and would love to have something featured on the site!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: Reflections by Deborah Tapper

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.

Mirror Image

His kid sister’s banging on the bathroom door again, so he turns the music up even louder. Combs his fingers through his dark hair. Tilts his head a little, admiring the effect.

The mirror boy smiles back, exposing razor teeth.

He stares in frozen disbelief as the grin splits open, mouth stretching until those teeth are all he sees. Then he moves. Too late. His twisted image lunges out, jaws crunching shut.

Deafening music drowns the screams, the terrible wet ripping.

His reflection slides back below the mirror’s surface like a satisfied shark, tattered skin still caught between its teeth.

 

Night Vision

The room looks slightly different at night.

He stands in front of the mirror. Bed, closet, unwashed laundry – all normal. Then he snaps the light off. Stares at the shadowy reflection. Something in the far corner, hunched and shapeless.

Not in his room.

Only in the mirror.

It creeps closer every night. Slow. Furtive. Hungry. When it climbs on his bed he gets scared. Hides in the bathroom. There’s nothing in the mirror the following night. He sleeps in the tub again anyway. Just to be sure.

That’s where the police find his skin.

But they don’t find anything else.

 

Looking Glass

The smudge won’t go.

She breathes on the antique mirror, tries again. She’s selling to a fussy collector, who won’t buy if he sees this flaw. It’s almost like an eye. And rubbing only makes it worse.

She pushes harder – harder – and her hand plunges through.

The glass seals around her wrist, trapping her. She struggles, kicks the mirror, but it won’t break and it’s sucking her in. It’s already swallowed her arm to the elbow. She fights until her face squashes against the glass. Then she screams instead.

She’s gone.

The mirror ripples.

And something very different comes out.

Deborah Tapper

Deborah Tapper loves all things strange and macabre. She writes at an old desk surrounded by five hundred pet bugs.

 

Trembling With Fear 01/16/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. Many thanks to those who responded to our call for drabbles! We had a number but keep them coming!

I’m sat here waiting for the glazier as I type. The damage to our house caused by Storm Arwen back in November is finally getting looked at – the fixing will be in a couple of weeks though! Another plus has been the release of my latest novella, Paused, which I hope people will like. Initial feedback has been pretty good. I’ve a few writing projects on the go but rest assured, the 2021 TWF anthology is one of them!

Latest reads? Chad Lutzke’s Cannibal Creator, not something I would normally pick up but I’m glad I did as I discovered what a great storyteller he is. It also prompted me to finally read Of Foster Homes and Flies (a heartbreaker) and Wormwood (brutal in parts but poignant) which he co-wrote with Tim Meyer. All three of these books are novellas. I also took Kenneth W. Cain’s A Season in Hell.

Trembling with Fear starts this week with Personal Reflections on Bloody Mary by Jennifer Lee Rossman. Written in a casual tone, it sprinkles little asides and snippets as if chatting to the reader directly. It explicitly refers to our understanding of Bloody Mary, as something we can dismiss as no more than childish belief and then undermines that completely by introducing a much darker, and ultimately horrific, element. A skilfully told tale.

Captain of the Dead by Dee Grimes takes us out to sea for a survival story, but who ultimately survives is the twist.

Salon Secrets by Elyse Russell brings in my own personal horror – the trip to the hairdresser which necessitates small talk. It’s where gossip spreads and secrets are learned, or you’d think so.

Water Babies by Jonathan Worlde is a great, almost humorous twist on an alien invasion.

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Progress on the new layout and changes are slow, but they are happening! 

Interested in writing for the site? For those who love speculative fiction- we’re always open to guest posts, blog tour stops, ongoing column writers, book reviewers, and author interviewers! Please reach out on our contact page!

Last time on the following for now: 
Just a reminder – we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together. A perfect time to sign up! (Especially with having lost a couple on the new year.)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: It’s a Long Way to the Top by Marc Sorondo

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.

Author’s Note: These stories were inspired by the music of AC/DC. I think music and horror pair so well together, and AC/DC in particular has so many songs that could work as inspiration for horror stories.

 

It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’n’ Roll)

The price of fame was high. 

At first it was a soul for a hit song, freed with a blade across the neck. When it was time for an album, we had to sacrifice an entire family, children first so the parents last image was their children dying. 

We paid for successful tours and glossy magazine covers with innocent blood…and it was worth every crimson drop.

When the dark man came and said it was time to pay again, that the price of being legends was the life and soul of our frontman…well, that was worth it too.

Back in Black

The price of resurrection is high, a price I’ll pay for eternity once I’ve had my revenge, but I will have it…and then some. Those bastards forgot…Ol’ Scratch will make a deal with anyone if they make a handsome offer, and the offer I’ve made is almost as handsome as me.

Those backstabbing assholes traded my life to be rock legends. Soon, they’ll be dead and I… risen like a phoenix, covered in the black ash of hellfire…I will take the stage. I will be a rock god. 

Even everlasting torment is a small price to pay. 

Highway to Hell

The time had come. With one final act it would all be over. I’d taken the reigns of my own destiny and become a legend. 

It was time to give the devil his due in a moment of violence and chaos, an ultimate blaze of glory. 

I floored the gas and lit a final cigarette. I turned up the volume on the radio and laughed. I’d die to my own song blasting.

I hit the curve going just over a hundred miles an hour, and smiled the ground rushed up at me, knowing I’d see my old bandmates in Hell. 

Marc Sorondo

Marc Sorondo lives with his wife and children in New York. He loves to read, and his interests range from fiction to comic books, physics to history, oceanography to cryptozoology, and just about everything in between. He’s a perpetual student and occasional teacher. For more information, go to MarcSorondo.com.

Trembling With Fear 01/09/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. Many thanks to those who have submitted stories to TWF – remember we can always do with more drabbles as we eat them up at a rate of 3 a week!

I would like at this point to politely remind folk to check our submission guidelines for appropriate word lengths and a reminder that we do not accept work in the body of an email. We have a process which progresses stories from initial reading to acceptance or rejection and which relies on the use of easily movable – and editable – documents; we cannot do this with emails. At present, I have copied and pasted such submitted stories to new documents but this does add to the workload. I have not automatically rejected such submissions – yet! Please help me avoid a breakdown and submit stories as a .doc or .docx attachment and not .pdf. If you do not have Word you can use google docs as an alternative. Thank you! 😊

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Hunger Pangs by Cecilia Kennedy. A strong, and grim, tale of pregnancy and cravings. I particularly enjoyed the ending paragraph which loops back to provide a distorted reflection of the first. The tragedy that transpires, whilst horrible, is something we know happens in the wild, and a reminder that basically humans are still animals.

Having currently run short of drabbles, we are publishing a three-from-one this week. Richard Meldrum has been a long-time supporter of, and contributor to, TWF and the Horror Tree. Richard has a talent for pinpointing common points of view or everyday ideas and turning them into story fodder. Here he gives us:

Forbidden develops the idea that the young always know better than their elders – at least in their own minds!

Obsession is another story which shows where curiosity could get you. You might get your answers but will they be of any use in the long run?

The Edge is a bleak and despairing story of literally living close to the edge.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Happy New Year my friends!
Just a reminder – we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together. A perfect time to sign up! (Especially with having lost a couple on the new year.)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 01/02/22

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first Trembling With Fear of 2022. It’s that time for both looking back and then fixing our sights firmly on the year ahead. I sincerely hope that we finally start putting the pandemic behind us. I’ve been jabbed and boosted, though with talk of the possibility of a 4th jab, I am beginning to feel like a human pincushion! I haven’t made any resolutions although I have a mental list of things to do and I’m trying to bring a bit of discipline back to my writing, it all went a bit AWOL over Christmas. The main decision has been to try and restructure my day so that I’m not working in the evening as well – a habit grown into when I was working the day job and which has continued, resulting in little ‘free’ time. Not sure how well that’ll go!

My Christmas Day book this year was The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers, and I can’t rate his work high enough. I’ve read two of his books now and I’ll be collecting the rest. He has a wonderful way with language and he is also a poet which feeds into his fiction. I love finding a new author and collecting them. I also finished Winterset Hollow recently by John Edward Durham. Plenty of whimsy but also plenty of horror alongside the fantasy. Now I have to start a new goodreads challenge! If you want to see what I read last year, go here.

The first story of 2022 in Trembling with Fear is Pitched Terror by Bernardo Villela takes you into that dreaded realm of sleep paralysis and the tricks the mind plays. When the visions overlap into a supposed reality, the effects can be horrific.

Conspiracy by RJ Meldrum delves into the world of conspiracy theories, some of which were bizarrely shared on social media in recent times, and turns them to good effect.

The remaining drabbles are offerings from myself and Stuart. We hope you enjoy them!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Happy New Year my friends!
I don’t have too much to add this week. With the holiday season, not much new has happened. I’ve been spending my time with my family and have been trying to relax. The one thing I did do, as we lost about 300 subscribers when switching from Mailchimp to Sendfox is to add an opt in form on the main HorrorTree page again (top right if you’re in desktop mode or under the “more” section if you scroll down quite a ways on mobile. I’ve also added one to our contact page AND you can also subscribe directly to our newsletter right here. Our newsletter is compiled weekly by the extremely talented Holley Cornetto and contains our favorite posts from the week, more original free fiction from around the web, and any site news we have to share with you!

I will say that for those who enjoy writing drabble, we’re once again a bit short on them and could use more! For those of you who already max the amount of drabble we will print from an author each year, we will also be adding another opportunity! That is one a month and one for each of our four specials to those who keep count and there are a couple who do fill them up and we’ve got something growing to share with you soon!

We also have a new perk coming to our Patreons soon which Steph is putting together.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 12/26/21

I hope you had a lovely celebration yesterday – in whatever form that took. I have my family round me and hope to see my parents soon. I know more restrictions are coming in but I hope not for long. I’ve had my booster, which brought on a few side-effects, but this is still better than the illness itself. I’m keeping everything crossed that 2022 will finally see the virus reduced to a more harmless infection and we can live normally again.

Whilst I hope you continue to have a peaceful and restful holiday, I think it important to recognise those who aren’t so fortunate. To those of you who are having to work this period to keep the rest of us going, I’d like to offer my thanks and hope you get to enjoy your own breaks soon. And to those for whom the festive period brings a sharp reminder of personal loss or isolation, please do not suffer in silence. Organisations such as the Samaritans are there to listen and support.

Before I get to TWF, I’d like to give a couple of shoutouts here to TWF writers Eric Fomley and Patrick Winters. Eric has a collection of flash fiction available – Rehuman –  to pre-order here and Patrick has a a novelette, Seeing due out soon. As soon as I have cover and order details I will share them. I am also delighted to share the cover and pre-order details of my own novella with Silver Shamrock Publishing, Paused, here. And if you want gothic darkness, I’ve recently read (and written the introduction for) the latest anthology from Brigids Gate Press, A Quaint and Curious Volume of Gothic Tales, ed. Alex Woodroe, due out January. Another truly wonderful collection which I’ll put into my top 3 anthologies of 2021. In 1st place is The Bad Book, ed. John F.D. Taff, and tied in 2nd are The Jewish Book of Horror, ed. and A Quaint and Curious Volume of Gothic tales.

Rehuman & Other Small Stories : A Flash Futures Collection by [Eric  Fomley] Paused by [Stephanie Ellis]

Our first story this week in Trembling with Fear is Silence from the Dark by Reed Martin Miller. A tale of hiding from life and not grasping opportunities, it reads as a warning and a tragedy. The final sentence is one that sums it up perfectly and has stuck with me.

I Wandered Lonely in my Shroud is a darkly funny parody of Wordsworth’s classic poem.

Signed. Sealed. Undelivered. by Connor Long-Johnson is a neat ghost story.

Spaceship Terror by Christina Nordlander brings sci-fi horror which questions reality. Being slightly ambiguous, it adds an extra chill.

Enjoy our stories and send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Today is a double Trembling With Fear weekend! Not only did we have our Christmas Special yesterday but we’ve got our normal one today! So much fiction, so little time!

As mentioned in thel ast update, I’m slowly working on adding new features to the site. One we had mapped out in MAY of 2021 and I just did was to update our Contact Form. It still takes a few seconds to load once you get it, however, when you select the right area in “to” to now allows for different text to show what we’re looking for, depending on who you e-mail. AND, it is allowing for a few other neat things on our end which is exciting.

Coming up next is the new year, I hope that you all have a great fresh start and have wins to celebrate from the past year in your publishing endeavors.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: It’s a Long Way to the Top by Marc Sorondo

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.

Maturing in the Apocalypse

Dear Bill-Roy Champs, I’m sorry I was mean to you at the hoe-down last year. I was a bitchy, spoiled child then, obsessed with wealth, popularity, and making pretty babies. After watching the news yesterday about how the zombie pandemic keeps getting worse, I told Tyler Bose he should quit his stupid band to focus on survivalist skills and I’ve never seen him so angry. This morning, I gave him back his ring. If humanity is going to survive the apocalypse, we need sturdy babies who can hunt, steal, and forage. We need your babies, Bill-Roy. Want to get married?

 

Farewell Note

Hi babe. No good deed goes unpunished! I saw Mrs. Gottberg banging on her own front door earlier, and thinking she’d lost her keys or memories again, went to help her out of habit, forgetting for an instant to check first for signs of the zombie virus. Bitch bit me. Sorry, babe. I wish I could write a longer goodbye, but they say the new strain acts quickly, so I plan to be far away by the time you read this. At least I got everything on your grocery list first. I’ll just put away the perishables befo..put…shibles…p… 

 

Missing You

Dearest Bonnie. I miss you. I’m sorry I lost my temper when you told me to quit music to study survival. If I had listened, we’d be together, and I might still have a band. The sight of Maurice being eaten alive by groupies still haunts me. I wrote new lyrics about it, but they honestly sound lame without his guitar. He was the real talent. 

Don’t sweat any promises you made to that cheating pervert Bill-Roy. When I drove past your house yesterday, I witnessed him French kissing that toothless cougar, Mrs. Gottberg. Gag!

Please come back. Love, Tyler.

 

 

Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the author of Hungry Thing, an illustrated dark fantasy tale told in poems, plus more than 200 other poems and short stories, published in over 80 anthologies and e-zines, including previous issues of Horror Tree. He specializes in speculative fiction with a touch of humor. He lives with their affectionate Maltese wherever his globetrotting wife, Sara, leads them.
Find a complete index of Shawn’s published works on his creative writing blog, “A Jot in the Dark”: http://jotinthedark.blogspot.com; or follow his writing adventures on Facebook: www.facebook.com/shawnmklimekauthor/ and Twitter @shawnmklimek.