Trembling With Fear – Halloween 2021 Edition!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I always envision Andy Williams crooning away when October 1st rolls around. Though I prefer to believe he is singing about Halloween as opposed to Christmas (even if the lyrics don’t match the festivities). The entire month of October is magical: Pumpkin Spice, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses, Candy, Costumes, Trick or Treat, and the veil between here and the Spirit world shrinking to its thinnest on All Hallow’s Eve. The oppressive summer heat subsides to a cool autumn breeze, stirring the beautifully colored leaves as they wilt and fall from the tree branches. The smell of death, must, and decay is in the air. A horror writer’s dream. Tis the season of when things die.

For our October special, we are bringing to you a plethora of story treats that are sure to trick you into a false sense of comfort. You will be impressed by the masks that the monsters and serial killers wear in this collection to conceal their identities and true agenda. Be prepared to take a journey into a realm of dark fiction and horror that is inspired by the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanks!

Amanda

Amanda Headlee

Editor, Trembling With Fear

What a difference a year makes. Halloween is back baby as more of the world becomes vaccinated and more getting their shots daily.
What does that mean for Horror Tree? Not much! We’re continuing our regularly scheduled Halloween Trembling With Fear as usual!
Once again, this year we’ve got some great stories for you to enjoy and you’ll love reading through what has been sent in this year!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Siege of 89

The New and Improved Stuff of Nightmares Halloween Special by B. T. Petro

“All this week in advance of the Halloween holiday, we here at the Dark Markets Shopping Channel have been bringing you up to date on the latest news, gossip, and products across the nine realms on the topic Spooky Things After Dark. In this next segment, we will delve deep into the new and improved stuff of nightmares.

“Hello to everyone and a spooky shoutout to my good friend Maere and her team who are watching today from their cult headquarters in northern Maine. I’m Lilith Eveningstar, seventh-level sorceress and former holder of the coveted Malandru Cup for Most Compelling Enchantment. I’m going to present to you today some exciting and improved offerings from the full line of nightmare-inducing products conjured up by the folks at Middle Kingdom Magicks.

“Before I introduce the first product, let’s check the facts. If you and your followers are still focused on snakes and spiders, you’re missing the mark with the Millennials. Independent studies conducted recently by the Society for the Advancement of Anxiety and Nightmares show that the traditional phobias used successfully on the Baby Boomers are 70% less effective for the Millennials. Yes, 70% less effective! And, did you know, it’s even worse for Generation X and Generation Y! Now that’s scary!

“How in the world are you going to explain your sect’s loss of the all-important fear factor to your higher deity? Stay with me for the next few minutes and maybe you won’t find yourself in that embarrassing or fatal situation.

“Under the direction of their founder, Abu Aabeni, the witches, mages, and dragons at Middle Kingdom Magicks have done the research for you and upgraded their array of products to be the most effective in today’s marketplace.  Let’s begin with their flagship assemblage of aromatics, braziers, and incense.

“With so much confusion over what will work and what won’t work these days, why not let your user do the work for you?  With The Three Norns Night Terrors, they can run, but they can’t hide in the past, present, or future from the mind-bending experience that comes with this high-potency aromatic. The Three Norns takes the user on a deep, dark plunge into their most suppressed fears. Its low dispersion rate makes it a favorite of most master magicians 2-to-1 over the next leading brand. The new and improved formulation is also designed to bypass air most HEPA-rated air purification filters.

“As part of our Halloween promotion, you can order The Three Norns Night Terrors and any of the other featured products simply by calling the toll-free number listed on the bottom of our screen. Operators are standing by now. Mention that you saw this on the Dark Markets Shopping Channel in the next twenty minutes and receive 20% off your entire order. Or simply visit us at MiddleKingdomMagicks.com and use the code word “INSANE” (all capitals, please) in the promo code box at check-out. Act now because your biggest nightmare is not having the best nightmare products on hand.

“Now some of you may be blessed with a young, enthusiastic priestess or priest who wants to do some serious nightmare-inducing experimentation. For such a gifted follower, one product isn’t going to be enough. Four or even five aren’t going to be enough. With the Intense Incense Sampler, we’ve assembled six of our best-selling aromatics, smartly packaged in 60 4-ounce cones and 30 incense sticks.

“Used alone or in combination, your go-getter acolyte will be amazed with the versatility of Relentless Robocalls, Nausea Supremo, Carnival Clown Flush, Internet Service Unavailable, Stock Market Crash, and Customer Service Eternal Wait.  I can tell you from personal experience that seeing the results of the clown compound will leave you laughing.

“Not sure if this is right for you? Middle Kingdom Magicks has a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee on any product that you are not 100% completely satisfied with. Just send us the unused portion back in the original packaging. We’ll even pay for return shipping charges.

“No matter what realm you reside in, you have seen the growing divisiveness along political factions. Delicious. The fear, doubt, and anxiety generated by the social media help make Phoebe’s Phobias – Pox Politico Limited Edition ripe for the times.  We offer three varieties to cover the political spectrum: Liberal Dystopia, Conservative Ruination, and Triumph of the Independent. Still available in a 4-ounce atomizer, for our Halloween promotion only, we are offering Pox Politico in 20-ounce spray bottles.

“Did you miss it? Last year, Aabeni correctly predicted the number one emerging wide-spread fear. Cults and sects that purchased his recommended nightmare products from Middle Kingdom Magicks saw results up to 50% better than competitors. Sign up for Aabeni’s Nightmare Newsletter and don’t be left behind by sending an email to [email protected]  With your one-year subscription, we’ll send you a free copy of the 65-page report The Top Ten Terror Tips for Generations X, Y, and Beyond.

“For centuries, Aabeni and his team have been realm-wide market leaders in coffees, teas, and additives for inducing nightmares. Now, all of our additives now contain only natural ingredients. They are GMO-free, free from artificial colors and flavors, and have zero sugar added.

“Our Cthulu Chai, for example, is having its moment of fame in the darkest of social circles. We get it exclusively from the depths of Naraka. It’s the perfect blend to administer to the individual who believes they have found a path to peace that includes the medicinal and meditative benefits of chai tea. Our Cthulu Chai is gluten-free, but not free from a pantheon of hallucinations that includes Crawling Chaos, Azathoth, and just a sprig of Yig for good (or bad) measure. Now available in de-caf, Cthulu Chai comes in sachet bundles of 500 or 1,000.

“Listeners, I’ve just been notified that our phone lines are lit up like fir trees at winter solstice! Our sales window has been increased an extra hour to accommodate this surge of interest. And, as a special bonus offer for orders placed in this time period, we will include a trial size of a new additive, Blithering Idiot. 

“Are you stuck on how to just induce the right amount of mayhem at a large corporate gathering where it’s a good bet that the attendees will literally be drinking the Kool-Aid? Add Blithering Idiot to the punch and it’s a board meeting gone wild! This colorless and tasteless additive was developed in partnership with the Mara and has consistently scored in the 90th percentile on Madame Mim’s Madness Scale in field tests conducted by an independent laboratory. You’ll see results with Blithering Idiot in minutes, not hours, like most competitive brands. Frightening, to be sure!

 “Still not convinced about our newsletter? Listen to this testimony from Baroret Bugbear, president of Goblins and Hobgoblins Union – Local 288. ‘Aabeni is right on the money! I switched my entire clan to Middle Kingdom Magics products recommended in Aabeni’s Nightmare Newsletter and saw results within weeks. We are tops when it comes to terror in all the Tatra Mountains. I’m all in!’ Baroret isn’t alone, but you and your followers could be if you’re not using Aabeni’s unique market insights.

“One of Baroret’s favorites, by the way, is our Draught of the Draugar potion. When the occasion calls for the haunting nightmares of the undead, nothing beats Draught of the Draugar.  It was named “Excruciating Elixir of the Year” by Dark Mage Magazine Monthly.

“Laced with traces of dark chocolate and, now, extracts from our very own Kill Me Now high-caffeine coffee beans, its appealing aroma and taste belie the unmistakable stench of decay of the Zombie dead that permeates a recipients’ subconscious for days and even weeks. It’s so potent that we’re seeking to patent it!

“Well, we’ve got time for just one more product, and I must say that we’ve saved the best for last. It’s a potion and what a potion! The popularity of disease-related nightmares is surging, and we have found the perfect recipe that now comes in a bulk size. Whether you are trying to influence a small gathering or scare an arena-sized crowd of non-believers, Pandora’s Pandemonium is your new go-to at a non-ceremonial price. Specifically formulated to slowly build to its top insanity potential, its profound effects of helplessness and lack of control are well worth the wait. Still available in 1-gallon jars, we now offer Pandora’s Pandemonium by the 5-gallon barrel!

“Are you still not signed up for our monthly newsletter? I’m worried that you’re making a big mistake and I don’t have much time left. This offer is just the treat that could  help ensure the future of your cult.

“So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be tricked into thinking you can do it alone. What are you afraid of?”

B.T. Petro

B. T. Petro is retired and living in Ohio.  His published story genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.  The stories generally have a bit of whimsy or a touch of the macabre.  His best friend when he was growing up was an invisible robot, who still visits from time to time.

Halloween Time

They’ll Do by Steve Sullivan

So far, Donnie pretty much hated it here. It was bad enough that his mom had moved them from the city to out here in the boonies, but to do it right before Halloween was almost unforgivable. 

There was nothing much of interest to Donnie in this hick town. The only thing that was even slightly a curiosity was the old man and the dog who lived in the creepy, ramshackle house at the end of the lane. The man was rarely outside, while the mangy old mutt spent most of its days tethered beneath a tree in front of the house.

When Halloween day rolled around, it seemed like it was going to be a total bust. No friends to go trick or treating with, plus the weather promised to be bad. It was a hot, cloudy afternoon with the high humidity suggesting a thunderstorm was incoming. 

Donnie was sitting on his front porch, feeling sorry for himself, when two boys he’d seen around the neighborhood rode up on their bikes.

“You, Donnie?” asked the bigger of the two.

Donnie looked at them and shyly said, “Yeah.”

“I’m Jeff. This is Mike. He’s my brother. Our mom said to come over and introduce ourselves. See if you want to go trick or treating with us tonight. So that’s what this is.” The brothers dropped their bikes and walked over to Donnie. “We hear you’re from the city. That’s cool. Bet you hate it here.”

Donnie smiled and said, “It’s so boring. Ain’t there anything to do here?”

Jeff and Mike laughed. “Not really,” said Mike. 

“What’s the deal with that old house down there? Seems kind of spooky.”

“That’s old man Johnson’s house,” Jeff said. “He and his dog have lived there forever.”

“They say he’s like 200 years old,” added Mike. “The dog, too.”

“And yeah,” Jeff said. “Definitely spooky. Kids have been playing pranks on him for years.”

“The only time anyone ever sees him is when he comes out to yell at us,” said Mike.

Finally, thought Donnie. Something interesting about this place. “What do y’all do to him?”

“Mostly just knock and run,” Jeff said. “He hates it. Gets all worked up.”

Mike jumped in, “Everybody’s done it. And most lived to talk about it.”

Donnie looked at Mike. “What do you mean?”

“Some people were never…seen…again,” said Mike, stretching out the last part of the sentence for effect.

Donnie laughed. “Yeah, right. Can we do it? Will you show me how?”

“Sure,” said Jeff. “When do you want to do it?”

“How about tonight?” Donnie answered. “It’s Halloween. A perfect time to do it.”

The boys made plans to meet at 7 o’clock and make the Halloween rounds of the neighborhood. Then they’d cap off the evening by pulling the trick on old man Johnson. 

By the time they collected all their Halloween treats, it was dark as midnight, thanks to the thick clouds that signalled the storm was almost upon them. All the other kids had long headed home, but Donnie, Jeff and Mike ran and hid behind a cluster of bushes in front of the Johnson place. Thunder rumbled nearby, making the house seem even scarier than ever. “Okay, so what do we do?” asked Donnie.

“You mean, what do you do,” Jeff said. “Mike and I’ve done this a thousand times.
It’s easy. Just sneak up on the porch. When you get to the door, knock three times real loud.”

“Yeah,” said Mike. “The dog’ll start barking, then you run like hell. We’ll be waiting here.”

Donnie took a deep breath and began to slowly trot toward the house. When he reached the porch, he paused for a minute before climbing the steps and approaching the door. He looked back over his shoulder at Jeff and Mike who were pumping their arms in the air in a show of support. Donnie scaled the steps to the porch and went to the door. He balled his hand into a fist and loudly rapped three times. Immediately after the third rap, the hound started howling.

Donnie turned to run. But before he took his first step, a trap door opened and the porch dropped out from beneath his feet. The house had swallowed him up. Inside, old man Johnson walked over to the excited dog and patted him on the head. “I know, old feller. I hate kids, too. But when there’s nothing else to eat, they’ll do.”

Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan is a novice fiction writer who spent most of the past 40 years as a multimedia journalist. He lives in Towson, Maryland and can be contacted at [email protected].

Halloween Time

The Mask by Diane De Anda

She felt a slight shiver as she looked at the faces in the shop window.  She had never seen such realistic looking masks.  Halloween was her favorite holiday, and each year she tried to top the Halloween party she threw the previous year, adding more animated ghouls and witches.  She had just spent $500 on an eight foot dragon that belched smoke as it shook its head towards anyone entering her house.  And now there in the window was the perfect complement, a mask of Maleficent with raised eyebrows and the pinched face of evil.  All she would need was a piercing look in the space where her eyes would fit.

Vivian smiled as opening the door set off a loud creak followed by screams from a speaker inside the costume shop.  It was a bit predictable, but fit the atmosphere.  A stocky middle-aged man approached her.  His face was broad and pock marked, with bushy eyebrows and fleshy jowls beneath a messy mat of white hair.  

“Happy Haunting,” he said with a nod, “welcome to my little shop of horrors.”  

Vivian resisted the urge to run out of the shop.  “I’m interested in the Maleficent mask you have in the window,” she blurted out, her voice higher pitched than usual.

“Oh yes,” he replied.  “We specialize in villains, beautiful ones like Maleficent, and disgusting ones like the Mr. Hyde you see before you.”  With that he yanked off his mask and wig and pulled off the stuffed body suit he was wearing.

Vivian voiced an audible sigh as she saw the thin, handsome man in his mid-thirties suddenly appear before her eyes.  “It was so realistic!” she exclaimed.

“That’s our claim to fame,” he said with a smile as he removed the Maleficent mask from the window.  “Follow me; you can try it on with her crown and veil.”

Vivian followed the shop owner into a large room.  The rear of the room appeared to be a work area, with a large stainless steel table and sinks.  Plastic boxes filled with wigs were lined up on wooden shelves.  Three large skeletons hung from hooks in the ceiling.  On a high shelf to the left of the entry sat a number of stuffed animals including an owl, a raccoon and a bobcat.

The man led Vivian to the right, to a large space with several tall mirrors.  On shelves were neatly combed wigs on styrofoam heads and several masks lying in neat rows.  A stethoscope hung from a hook on the side of the shelving.  In the middle was what appeared to be a dentist’s chair.  

“Go ahead and take a seat,” he said, motioning to the chair.

“Isn’t that a dentist’s chair?” ventured Vivian.

“Why yes.  Isn’t it a scream?  It’s an antique I was able to find at a thrift store.  And it serves my needs perfectly,”  he responded with a broad smile.

“Did you get the stethoscope there too​?”  Vivian’s curiosity was peaked.

“Oh no, that’s left over from medical school,”  he replied

“You’re a doctor?” she blurted out not able to hide her sense of astonishment.

“Oh no, I had planned to be a surgeon, but had to quit medical school when my dad died.  I couldn’t afford it on my own, and someone had to support my mom, so I came home and took over the business.”

“So your father owned this costume shop before you?” she queried.

“Actually, he was a taxidermist.  You can see some of his work on the far wall.  I helped him with the bobcat.  He did okay for a while, even stuffed Roy Rogers’ dog Bullet and did work for the studios. But there isn’t much call for that kind of thing any more, so the business couldn’t pay the bills.  But luckily I was able to transform it into what you see here.   My profit comes from selling to the studios, the theater, and costume shops across the country.”

Satisfied that she had a better understanding of her surroundings, Vivian took her place on the big chair.  

“I just have to take a few measurements to know what size straps I need to attach to the mask,”  he explained as he took a measuring tape out of his pocket and slipped it around her head.  Then he handed her a felt crown with an attached veil and told her to try it on for size while he was gone.

“Sorry that it’s a little musty in here.  I’ll just put a pinch of incense in the incense pot to sweeten things up.  Just try on the crown then sit back and relax.  The chair’s really comfy,” he said on his way out of the room.  

Vivian tried on the crown; it fit securely, held in place with a thin elastic band.  She looked across at her image in the mirror.  The image appeared a bit cloudy and distorted.  She tried to focus her eyes harder and began to feel dizzy.  She lay her head back on the headrest and slowly found herself losing consciousness.  

About five minutes later, the shop owner entered the room with a mask strapped to his face.  First he put the incense pot into a large jar and screwed on the cover.  Then he turned on a large air filter and left the room.  He returned in fifteen minutes without his mask, carrying a stainless steel tray with a syringe and a scalpel, putting the stethoscope around his neck as he entered.  He pulled a stool up next to Vivian, removed the crown, then listened to her heart with the stethoscope.  He felt for her carotid artery and inserted the syringe, emptying its contents.  In a few moments, her arms fell off the arm rests, and he again pressed the stethoscope to her chest.  A smile slowly stretched across his face. He picked up the scalpel, and carefully he made an incision and began to lift her face off the bone.

Diane De Anda

Diane de Anda, Ph.D., a retired UCLA professor and third generation Latina, has edited four books on multicultural populations and published numerous research articles in scholarly journals primarily on issues affecting adolescents, as well as developed cognitive behavioral intervention programs in violence prevention and stress management for adolescents. She has published short stories, poetry, and essays in Rosebud, Straylight, Storyteller, Pacific Review, Bilingual Review, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Bottle Rockets, Presence, Ruminate, Third Wednesday and others, thirteen children’s books (plus 3 in press) which have won multiple awards, satires and parodies on a regular basis in Humor Times, and a collection of 40 flash fiction stories, L.A. Flash.

Her books can be viewed at: deandabookshop.com.

Pumpkin Smash       

The hammer slammed against the tree stump as chunks of red coated the area around him. 

“Stop!” The children cried, dreading their turns. 

“Just another pumpkin!” he sang, dragging his next victim to the chopping block. The tiny body was no match for the large man. 

“Trick or treat?” he teased, relishing their screams before bludgeoning their friend’s head into a bloody pulp. 

The red light on his shed door indicated the arrival of new victims. 

“I’ll be back!” 

Lennon opened the door to three costumed kids. 

“Trick or treat?” They sang.  

“How about a treat? For me…” He smiled.

Nerisha Kemraj

Nerisha Kemraj resides in Durban, South Africa with her husband and two daughters. While poetry has been a love since high school, she began writing short stories in 2016. A lover of dark fiction, she has over 200 short stories and poems published in various publications, both print and online. She has also received an Honourable Mention Award for her tanka in the Fujisan Taisho 2019 Tanka Contest. Nerisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of South Africa.

For published work:
https://www.amazon.com/author/nerisha_kemraj
Visit her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Nerishakemrajwriter/

Halo Win

The serpent and seraph appear once a year, moving amongst the trick or treaters. 

Their goal?

To bend the will of a soul, forcing a decision at a fork in the road.

Perched on the shoulders of a bloated psycho, hunched over a bowl placing blades in treats, the snake hisses KIDS WILL THINK THEY’RE DELICIOUS…

The seraph states his case, “It’d be a shame to waste such tasty titbits!”

As the maniac eats, stuffing his face, the serpent screams IT’S A DISGRACE. SUICIDE’S A SIN…

The seraph agrees with a grin.

But still chalks it up as a win.

Steven Holding

Steven Holding lives with his family in the United Kingdom. Most recently his work has appeared in the collections OCEANS and ANCIENTS from Black Hare Press and the TWF anthologies TREMBLING WITH FEAR YEAR 3 and MORE TALES FROM THE TREE VOLUME 2. You can follow his work at www.stevenholding.co.uk

Pumpkin Flower

“Beyond the farmland, at the edge of the cemetery, a rare October flower blossoms with fiery petals and coal-colored jack-o-lantern eyes.

“Fetch it, and I’ll cook it into a spicy brew.

“Drink the scalding potion all at once. Never mind the pain.

“Then, find this woman you pine for, lock eyes with her before midnight, and claim her heart. 

“Fail, and you’ll burn alive.”

Lester followed the crone’s instructions. Then, later that night, he scoured the harvest festival for his raven-haired librarian. 

By the time he realized she wore a foam-padded Frankenstein costume, the clock struck twelve. 

His heart burst.

Kevin M. Folliard

Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose fiction has been collected by The Horror Tree, Flame Tree Publishing, The Dread Machine, and more. His recent publications include his novella “Tower of Raven” from Demain Publishing, his 2020 horror anthology The Misery King’s Closet, and his YA fantasy adventure novel Grayson North: Frost-Keeper of the Windy City coming from Dark Owl Publishing December 2021. Kevin currently resides in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL, where he enjoys his day job in academia and active membership in the La Grange and Brookfield Writers Groups. When not writing or working, he’s usually reading Stephen King, playing Tetris, or traveling the U.S.A.

Halloween Revenge

Jamal’s Halloween was a bust because of some alien virus. Few houses had lights on beckoning trick-or-treaters and there wasn’t a Wonder Woman or Jedi knight in sight. However, the football-sized object that streaked across the sky and crashed into Old Man Marcum’s elm tree promised something interesting.

Staring at the broken ship, Jamal spotted a pool of oily green gunk and a growing number of something elses scurrying from an opening in the hull. In a rage, he yelled, “Once is enough!”

Using the super-sized fists of his Hulk costume, he walloped flat every one of the bug-eyed critters.

B.T. Petro

B. T. Petro is retired and living in Ohio.  His published story genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.  The stories generally have a bit of whimsy or a touch of the macabre.  His best friend when he was growing up was an invisible robot, who still visits from time to time.

Over the Top

I clawed my way up the slope, flush to the sodden ground, the rich loam clinging to me.  The summit rose ahead, wreathed in evil-smelling smoke.  

October the thirty-first, I thought, a fine day to die in Flanders.

Higher I pushed myself, higher, until I could see over the top.  The ground dipped down into a sea of dead men, limbs splayed, soldiers of the king.  

But one of them, so familiar, despite half his face blown away.  

My God, it was me!

And I broke out laughing.  It must be true, the living do meet the dead on Halloween.

Mike Rader

Mike Rader is a pseudonym used by Australian author and poet James Aitchison.  As J J Munro and Mike Rader, Aitchison writes horror and noir crime.  As James Lee, he writes Asia’s biggest selling horror series for middle readers — Mr Midnight — which has sold over three million copies.  His work can be seen at www.flameoftheforest.com

Killerween

Mine is the first farm on the highway out of town.  Come Halloween, my pumpkin crop is trashed.  

But not this year!

Headlights approach, a truck stops, two men are over the fence and into the field.

My first shot drops one.  I pump another into the second guy’s forehead.  His head explodes in a red mist.

More headlights.  A car pulls up, a man and woman climb the fence.  They’re in my cross hairs.  They’re dead meat.   

Another car, two more pumpkin thieves die.

Time to plow the field, destroy the evidence.  Maybe next Halloween, I’ll meet their ghosts. 

Mike Rader

Mike Rader is a pseudonym used by Australian author and poet James Aitchison.  As J J Munro and Mike Rader, Aitchison writes horror and noir crime.  As James Lee, he writes Asia’s biggest selling horror series for middle readers — Mr Midnight — which has sold over three million copies.  His work can be seen at www.flameoftheforest.com

Eco-Halloween

Child who cares for environment eschews costume of artificial materials, preferring a white sheet to conceal their identity. Shuns, too, plastic skull to collect candy in, choosing instead real human one.

Having decapitated their neighbour, considers fresh human meat is better than ersatz chocolate, warm blood tastier than pop. Recycles corpse rather than leave to rot. No waste.

Stumbles home, sated. Linen sheet burns, disposing of the evidence. A skeleton dangles behind closet door and they stitch new lampshades for their room.

The police end their investigation, perplexed, and neighbourhood gossip dies, all while child prepares for next year’s Halloween.

DJ Tyrer

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 Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories (Hellbound Books), and EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness (Otter Libris), and issues of Sirens Call, Hypnos, Occult Detective Magazine, parABnormal, 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 https://djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk/

The Atlantean Publishing website is at https://atlanteanpublishing.wordpress.com/

Trick or Treating Pair

“Don’t you both look so scary?” The kindly lady said as she put chocolates into the plastic pumpkin bucket.
“Both?” Lucy asked.
“Yes, a little witch and a tall skeleton, very good costumes for the pair of you.”
The lady smiled again then closed the door. Lucy paused, then made her way down the driveway. She had been right, there had been a cold spot in her room, a presence nearby. She wondered if the woman in the woods who had cursed her for picking her flowers would recant the curse if she offered her her Halloween haul of sweets. 

Yvonne Lang

Yvonne’s short stories and comedy articles have been featured in a range of publications, from Your Cat Magazine to Northern Life Magazine as well as ranking highly in competitions throughout the UK. She has featured in online publications Café Lit Magazine, The Daily Drabble and Paragraph Planet. Her latest horror stories have been published as part of the Short Sharp Shock Series by Demain Publishing and are available on Amazon. Her horror has featured in Siren Magazine, Schlock Magazine, Trembling with Fears’ Unholy Trintiy and her science fiction on sites such as 365 tomorrows. She resides in Yorkshire, England with her partner and cat.

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