Trembling With Fear 07/15/2018
Important things first. Belated Happy Birthday to Richard J. Meldrum, one of our more prolific submitters. Look out for his stories in August and September. Also, lovely to see @SophieKearing celebrating the publication of her story, Servitude, in TWF on twitter and the responses from people to this. First publication is always a huge step for anyone, I know it was for me, and it’s great to see writers cheering each other on.
There are many other firsts to come as well following on from publication and something I have still not got used to is the online interview. An accepted story will often go hand-in-hand with a request to answer questions ready for promotional purposes. I’ve done a few, not loads, but they always make me cringe inside (possibly a British thing). I don’t know about anyone else but this is often the time I feel like a fraud. Other interviewees declare how they knew they would be a writer from the age of five, loved horror in all its forms and proceed to quote classics, use long, ‘intelligent’ phrases … and then there’s me. I’ve always loved reading but never considered writing until a few years back, never crossed my radar as a career, the onus being to get out and work. Horror films – enjoyed Hammer Horror in 70s, saw all those 80s horror films, then went off them. Read Stephen King and Poe but on the whole did not delve deeply into the genre until more recent times when my writing took me that way, although the books I did read always had a dark undercurrent; never was a Mills & Boon fan. What has always affected me more is the dark nature of music and the atmosphere of places, whether twilit fields or old ruins. So, do I try and be part of the club or do I be myself? Well, I’ve opted for the latter, better to be true to yourself than say what you think people want you to say. I might not sound as ‘learned’ as others but at least it’s me.
Talking of music, I was about 13yrs old when punk (and later, new wave) hit Britain and I was a big fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees (her music was always dark – Juju was a classic album), The Stranglers, Magazine, Joy Division. These days I listen to a lot of the darker side of metal and I often share it with people on twitter, just because I love it. The emotions in the music and the story in the videos can often be as powerful as any book or film, two favourite videos being Behemoth – O Father O Satan O Son, which has a hypnotic quality to it and Rotting Christ’s 666, nor should you forget Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams. So if you can’t find inspiration in book or film, turn to music’s darker side. It’s a wonderful world out there. (And just to clarify, I am not a devil worshipper!)
At the time I wrote this there were a few days left on extended contracts for our anthology from last year. At the time you’re reading this we’ve closed up shop and have a solid idea of whose work will be included! This means that if all goes well, I’ll be ordering a proof copy for both Steph and myself by the end of this coming week and we might actually get this thing out and into the world soon!
I’m not going to hint at a release date quite yet as we need to make sure everything looks good first but hopefully, at long last, this is happening! (I promise you that this years release won’t take nearly this long to release and the year after Steph and I are already discussing on how to mix things up even further!)
‘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.
A line of cards with prints of flowers and comforting messages stand uniformly along the mantelpiece above a warm, crackling open fire. Orange flames dance between charred, splintered logs sending spirals of incandescent sprites twisting up the chimney flue.
I sit on the sofa, eyes wandering between the flickering images on the TV screen and my dad, sat snug in the recess of his favourite chair. He stares blankly across the room barely registering an acknowledgement to what is happening.
It’s been six months since the accident and I think dad still hasn’t come to terms with the unfortunate situation. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing has hit him badly.
Mum, sitting beside me on the sofa, places a hand on the back of my head and gently strokes and toys with my loose, blonde curls. She hasn’t done this since I was a little girl and the whole thing brings back a flood of memories of happier times. Baking cakes, going on picnics, dressing up and inventing fun games on soaking wet Sunday afternoons.
The TV show draws to a close as the credits role steadily up the screen. A musical crescendo finishes everything off. It’s time to go.
Mum stands up, straightens her skirt and offers me a comforting smile as she walks over to the television. A soft, white light appears. The brighter it gets the more transparent mum becomes until she disappears completely.
I get up from the sofa and cross the room towards dad’s chair. He’s still staring with sunken, empty eyes towards the TV. I bend down and kiss him gently on the cheek. A translucent tear builds in the corner of one eye then spills over the aged, wrinkled creases around his eye and rolls down his cheek. I’m touched by his sadness. With an emotional lump in my throat and a heavy heart I turn to leave the front room.
As I approach the door I hear a rasping, hushed voice. Dad is calling my name, Jane.
He calls again, this time he’s closer. Jane.
I turn to see my dad standing before me, his eyes are looking pleasingly brighter.
“Wait for me,” he says, holding out a fragile hand.
I gently take his hand in mine and together we turn and walk towards the living room door.
A the warm, inviting, bright light appears and hand in hand we continue on our way.
Dad has made his peace and now, despite the accident that stole the lives of mum and I, we’ll all be together once more.
With two novels to his name and when not watching soccer Gary enjoys writing short horror tales. He lives a hectic family life outside of a small town in the north of England.
Another Nail In Your Coffin
Another nail in your coffin, every lie you ever told me. Each time you put me down when you made me feel as if I was not good enough. You never will see who I have become.
Red hot love, now just bitter ashes. Used to burn bright enough to light up even the darkest of nights. Now your screams will rip open the skies as I slam the lid shut. Each nail is a dream I had, now my dream is your death.
Your death is my freedom, I shall walk away knowing you will suffer as I did.
Kim Plasket is a Jersey girl at heart relocated to sunny Florida. She enjoys writing mainly horror and paranormal stories and lives with her husband and 2 kids. When she is not slaving away at her day job, she can be found drinking coffee with fellow author Valerie Willis and planning the demise of some poor character. Currently she has several short stories featured in anthologies such as ‘Demonic Wildlife’ and ‘The Hunted’, also has a story in an Anthology Titled Fireflies and Fairy dust she also has had a story featured in Shades of Santa with more to come.
Down in the sewers, fat and wet wipes collect, combine, grow grotesquely in the darkness, merging with layer upon layer of filth. And, so fatbergs are formed.
Workers, masked and suited, with high pressure hoses, grudgingly descend into the malodorous darkness and set to work breaking it up.
Muttered curses and the whoosh! of water muffle sounds in the shadows, soft whispers like running water.
Oblivious, the men prove easy prey for the viscous darkness that flows from shadowed pipes, sometimes liquid, sometimes plastic, reaching out with crude and temporary limbs.
The men vanish and the fatberg continues to grow.
DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines around the world, such as Chilling Horror Short Stories (Flame Tree), All The Petty Myths (18th Wall), Steampunk Cthulhu (Chaosium), What Dwells Below (Sirens Call), The Mad Visions of al-Hazred (Alban Lake), and EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness (Otter Libris), and issues of Sirens Call, Hinnom Magazine, Ravenwood Quarterly, and Weirdbook, and in addition, has a novella available in paperback and on the Kindle, The Yellow House (Dunhams Manor).
DJ Tyrer’s website is at http://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/
The Atlantean Publishing website is at http://atlanteanpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/
“Where’s my supper, woman?”
“You’re late, deadbeat.”
“Watch your lip.”
“Or I’ll make it fatter.”
“Dinner’s cold now.”
“It’s food, ain’t it?”
“All I could scrape up.”
“What’s in it?”
“Broth and desert sage. And reptile.”
“You couldn’t find a bird?”
“Slim pickins along that road.”
“Slim pickins when I married you.”
“You lose tonight?”
“Who says I wagered?”
“That fucking casino!”
“It’s my money!”
“Never for long.”
“Watch that lip!”
“You can’t make me any uglier.”
“I can make you hurt.”
“Dish up your own stew.”
“What the—Something’s moving in this pot.”
Kevin M. Folliard
Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose published fiction includes scary stories collections Christmas Terror Tales and Valentine Terror Tales, and adventure novels such as Matt Palmer and the Komodo Uprising. His work has also been collected by Double Feature Magazine, Flame Tree Publishing, Parsec Ink, and more.
Author Website: http://www.kevinfolliard.com/
Christmas Terror Tales on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasTerrorTales/
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!