Please help me welcome Krysta Scott with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, The Last Wife...
There is a tiny black cat in this story named ‘Spot’. When I was in college, I had a black cat and couldn’t think about what to name it. My roommate suggested the name ‘Spot’. I protested that was a dog’s name. She acknowledged this was true but enjoyed the irony of calling a cat ‘Spot’. She offered a compromise. Why don’t I name the cat ‘Ink Spot’ and we could call him ‘Spot’ for short. That worked. I liked the irony in his name too. That’s why Spot makes an appearance in this story.
Delaney Endicott’s boring job covering social events for the local paper is not enough to feed her lust for a hot story. So when she learns of unsolved murders close to her hometown that seem to be connected, she dives in to investigate. Her involvement intensifies when she receives threats from the killer, and she knows she’s close to breaking the case wide open.
Before she realizes what’s happening, Delaney is caught in a sadistic trap and in a fight for her very survival.
Well, I met someone at work. This probably doesn’t sound anything like me, but the attraction was instantaneous. One minute he was sitting in the chair next to me, the next we were giving each other soul searching stares. It was like I’d always known him. He gets me and he totally understands how lost I am without my family. It’s impossible to describe how he lifts up my mood. Even when I’m having one of those foreboding feelings, he shows up and all my fears disappear. I don’t worry when he’s around. It’s so strange but also wonderful. Wish you could meet him. I know you’d like him.
She’d left out the part about how anxious she was when he wasn’t around. How anxious she felt at that very moment. That was the confusing part. It was more than the impression something bad was going to happen. It was a shaky sweaty need that could only be cured by his presence. She’d never experienced anything like this before. In truth she was a little scared.
About the Author…
Krysta Scott has always been a daydreamer, imagining worlds far away with happy endings. When she was in fifth grade, she was so caught up in fantasy she earned the dubious distinction of being named the girl who daydreams the most. The award for this questionable honor was a colorful transparent plastic poster made to look like stained glass. It was very cool. Given her flights of fancy, it came as no surprise to her family when she announced she was going to be an actress. Unfortunately, her pursuit into theater didn’t last long, because she was too withdrawn and shy to exhibit any talent in this area. Left with no other choice but to pursue a more practical avocation, she decided to major in psychology and then go to law school. Not able to let go of the worlds she created in her head, she returned to writing. She is excited to be a part of the Friday the 13th series.
Please help me welcome myself with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, Little Darlings...
I got the idea for my story from my cousin during a family reunion. He mentioned the legend of the Black-Eyed Children and it sparked the idea. (While our family members were discussing their children and grandchildren and swapping recipes, he and I were discussing horror and the best ways to creep people out. :)) Supposedly, people have actually encountered these frightening little beasts, though I haven’t actually heard of the Black-Eyed Kids murdering anyone…until my story. 🙂 The below is an interesting article about the legend:
Mollie Burrows and her friends, Caroline and Beth, rent a cabin in Colorado for a therapeutic getaway. Beth is despondent after a recent miscarriage and Mollie hopes the trip will alleviate Beth’s depression. The owner of the general store in town warns them about the Black-Eyed Kids—supernatural entities who pose as children and terrorize anyone who allows them into their homes—but Mollie scoffs at the ridiculous notion.
Not long after they get settled, four children knock on their door—and their eyes are as black as a starless night. Beth is drawn to them and is ready to offer them shelter, but Mollie and Caroline are freaked out and refuse.
When Mollie discovers the bodies of obviously murdered victims, she realizes the store owner was telling the truth. As the evil children begin their homicidal rampage, their determination to gain entry into the cabin becomes terrifying. Help won’t arrive until the following morning and a long, torturous night looms ahead. Can Mollie and Caroline prevent Beth from opening the door to the Little Darlings? If not, they could all end up dead.
Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she stood again, this time remaining on her feet. Unsteadily, she crossed the room and gripped the curtain in her hand, tugging it back just enough to peer around it. Involuntarily, she yelped. The same four children stood on the other side of the glass. Rain poured down on them, but they seemed oblivious to the fact they were getting soaked.
The tallest girl swiveled her head toward Mollie, black eyes gleaming beneath the patio light. Mollie’s heart leapt into her throat, and she let the curtain fall back.
“Hey, miss. Please let us in. We’re cold and wet. Won’t you please let us in?”
Mollie pressed her back against the wall, willing her heart to stop racing. What was the deal with these kids? What were they doing all alone at night, and why did they creep her out so badly?
“Come on, miss. We can’t hurt you. We’re just little kids. We just want to play.” That sounded like a boy, though his voice was high. He probably hadn’t yet reached puberty.
Maybe she should call the police. The parents needed to be reported for not keeping a closer eye on their kids. But for now…should she let them in?
On the one hand, she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving children outside alone in the dark, but on the other hand… she was quite frankly terrified. Something was not quite right. And she couldn’t dismiss the stories about the Black-Eyed Kids. Most rumors were based on some kind of fact, so there might have been some truth to the legend…
But then…if there really was a killer on the loose, how would she feel if she found out these kids had been murdered?
She blew out a long breath and shoved the drapes back. She reached for the latch to unlock the patio door but stopped. Her gaze fell on the object the smallest boy held in his hand. A large rock. He hefted it, his black eyes staring through the glass at her. “We wanna play rock with you. Just let us in so we can playyyyy…” The last word was drawn out, ending on a keening wail.
About the Author…
It’s me…I’m the author. 😀
Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite television shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Please help me welcome Christopher Farris with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, 13 Sessions...
The story started off as throwback to the character, Renfro, from the novel Dracula. I had initially intended for Patient 13 to be a Renfro-type who brought about the downfall of the doctor. That’s not where it ended up. 😊
Father Dragos Tepesch, asylum administrator, does not fit Dr. David Montaine’s expectations. His new employer is too religious, too old world, too—too, he can’t quite put his finger on it. Frightening, maybe? It doesn’t make sense. The priest is old and frail, his voice kindly. It’s his eyes, David thinks, something in his eyes. Hunger, maybe?
The Wallachian asylum is hopelessly behind the times. His wife, Sally, seems to have left him and, more troubling, his mind is playing tricks on him. Still, this new job is far better than the old. The authorities no longer hound him. The booze is free. He has a whole new practice to build, lunatics desperate for his particular brand of salvation and, right down the hall, Patient Thirteen. She’s silent, young, and oh, so beautiful. Her pain calls to him. And pain, Father Tepesch says, is a meal that must be eaten one bite at time.
“All considered, Father, I think things are looking—” Movement under Tepesch’s chair caught his eye. A giant rat, black as midnight and scarred from a hundred savage battles, sauntered from under the old man’s soutane, stopped on the oriental rug, and fixed David with a beady, red eye.
He stiffened. A shudder of disgust and fear coursed down his spine. The malevolence in the creature’s eye, the sheer hateful hunger froze him with his hand half-way to his mouth.
Tepesch cocked his head, “David?” He spoke as if he didn’t see the evil thing, though the beast stood not a foot in front of his black boot tips.
The rat rose on its hind legs and sniffed the air, exposing its long, yellowed incisors and its bare belly. The skin, the awful, wattled, bare skin of its underside showing through the wiry hair was too intimate, too… It was too much. And the thing smelled. A reek that settled into his nostrils and clawed its way into his throat. This was no common rodent. His imagination took him to dark places, dank holes and caves, to the morgue deep in the basement, to the trenches of World War I where millions of the damned things had swarmed the dead and dying. When he’d pictured those monsters, they’d look like this in his mind. Two-and-a-half feet tall and savage. No natural rat ever grew so big. He pointed with a quivering hand, “L—look!”
“What David?” Tepesch’s face registered confusion. “What?”
The rat grinned at David and shuffled forward on its hind legs, front paws waving in the air like a dog doing tricks for its dinner.
He shoved the chair back with a shriek. He wanted to cry out. “Don’t you see it? It’s right there? What’s wrong with you? Are you blind!” But all he could manage was a hurk-hurk-hurking sound in the back of his throat.
The animal leapt under the desk. Before he could get his legs up onto the chair, the thing pounced into his lap. Its weight pinned him to the chair, heavy as a bowling ball. The creature’s questing nose nuzzled into the soft flesh of his belly and groin. He screamed and a flush of hot urine spread across his lap as his bladder let go.
About the Author…
Christopher Farris Christopher Farris lives in a very old, very small house in a very old, very small town nestled deep in a valley of the Boston Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. He is not a hillbilly, but he is trying. He has four well-adjusted children and the two best granddaughters available.
His horror novel, The Fountain, was published by The Wild Rose Press in January of 2021. His Christmas novel, Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol, was published in November of 2021. Both are available at Amazon.com.
Please help me welcome DJ FitzSimons with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, Last Train Out...
I am British and grew up riding trains everywhere. I have always loved them, so I thought it would be great to centre this story around a train ride. On the older trains, with their separate compartments, it was always creepy being in one late at night….
Cold-blooded killer Terrance Higgs escapes from a mental institution in the English countryside and manages to catch the last train out. The train is strangely empty, except for one passenger who doesn’t want to talk. The night passes slowly, the train never stopping at other stations until Terrance begins to question where they are going.
The comforting rocking motion of the wheels rolling along the tracks lulls Terrance into a dream-filled sleep. The past replays itself while vivid memories dance through his mind.
But as dawn breaks, Terrance realises this is no ordinary train, nor the journey he planned to take. It’s a terrifying destination he never expected. Has the table finally turned? Is the killer now the victim who’ll have to beg for his life?
I like the sticky feel of blood on my fingers. In biology lab at school, I always enjoyed picking apart frogs and dissecting stuff. Anatomy is a beautiful thing. Sometimes, I’d even cut myself, just to watch how my blood sort of oozed out the thin slit in my skin, coagulate and then stop. Cool right? How did Mother Nature, or God, or whoever the fuck made us, design creatures with the ability to stop themselves bleeding with some agent in our chemistry?
Except if you hit an artery. Now that’s like watching your blood getting pumped out by a little motor. I killed this old lady when I was sixteen. I knocked her out, then when she hit the floor, I nicked the carotid artery in her neck and then just watched it go. It was like a tiny volcano erupting. Her blood came out faster than I thought it would and made a hell of a mess, but it was fascinating.
That was many years ago, but I can close my eyes and be right there. Funny how the mind is. Today’s Friday the thirteenth. I’m not superstitious, but I like the fact it’s one of those weird dates on the calendar, and I’m going to do something memorable. I’m lying on the hard bunk in my tiny, sterile room. We’re on lock-down for the night as it’s gone seven. Well, I should clarify that everyone else is on lock-down except for me. Any minute now, my door’s getting opened.
About the Author…
DJ FitzSimons is a misplaced Londoner living in the Midwest. This is her second collaboration for a Friday the 13th collection. DJ is currently working on a contemporary thriller set in Oklahoma, and a ‘chiklit’ story set in England. DJ also writes gothic mysteries and a monthly blog under the pen name of Jude Bayton.
Please help me welcome Callie Hutton with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, The Hotel California...
Of course, the book is based on the Eagles song, Hotel California. I just started to imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a place where you can never leave and what would happen while you were there.
It had been planned perfectly. Then it all went to hell…
Lauren Adams hadn’t intended to kill her ex-boss. She only wanted his money. Now, with a suitcase full of bills, she’s on the run. But very strange things are happening at the hotel she stopped at along the highway.
She tossed the suitcase on the front seat of the shiny ‘previously owned’ Toyota 4Runner she’d bought that afternoon. The sleazy salesman was so anxious to sell her a car that he let her take it without checking her application or depositing the five thousand dollar check she gave him for the down payment.
On a bank account she closed two days before.
She climbed behind the wheel, her heart pounding. By the time the cops were notified when the men returned Monday morning, she would be far, far away. With a new identity. A quick look in her mirror reflected a woman with glasses, short curly black hair and brown eyes.
So different from Lauren Adams, the long straight blond hair, blue-eyed former clerk at Murphy’s Trucking Company. Plus it had been two weeks since she’d been fired. The truckers probably wouldn’t even remember her, since there was most likely another poor girl fielding their gropes and lewd comments.
But covering all her bases, she carried the driver’s license of Darlene Marshall with Lauren’s new persona on it. Despite having to kill Mr. Murphy, she had no regrets. She’d hated the stupid job, hated her boss, hated the truckers with their constant gross remarks and gestures, and even hated her small, dull, apartment. She was meant for better things. And now she would have them.
Three hours later, her head snapped up when she found herself nodding off as she zipped down the deserted highway. Her headlights reflected the sign coming up. Winslow, 53 miles.
It had been her plan to stop in Winslow for the night before continuing on to California, but she would never make another fifty-three miles. It had taken her longer to kill Murphy and clean out the safe than she’d expected. Who knew the old man would even be there? His threats that the money wasn’t all his confirmed what she’d suspected. He was doing something illegal.
Within minutes a building seemed to rise from the desert on the north side of the highway. Hopefully it would be a hotel or motel so she could spend the night in comfort. The thought of sleeping in her car, no matter how comfortable it was, held no appeal.
She swung her vehicle into the parking lot and parked in front of the building. She grabbed her backpack and suitcase with the money in it, and slid out of the car, grinning as she looked up at the name of the hotel.
About the Author…
USA Today bestselling author, Callie Hutton, is the author of more than forty-five historical romance books and historical cozy mysteries. She writes humorous and spicy Regency and Victorian with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). With a million novels sold and translated into several languages, she continues to entrance readers with her heartfelt stories.
Please help me welcome Stephen B. King with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, Thirteen Past Midnight…
Can dreams foretell the future? Every night Jonathon returns to the same nightmare…where a cat that seems spawned from hell is always waiting for him. The dreams began at the stroke of midnight, but the following dreams happen one minute later than the night before.
A sense of dread looms over him as the clock ticks ever closer to 13 past midnight. Will he realize they’re nothing more than frightening dreams…or will he die in his sleep?
I have always been fascinated by dreams, and in my much younger, impressionable days made a bit of a study of all things occult. It started with watching a movie, called, The Devil Rides Out, which I loved and wanted to learn more. I discovered it was based on a book by Dennis Wheatley, so I read it and while by today’s standards it is tame, to an impressionable youth it beckoned its crooked finger. From there I made a trip to the British Museum and spent a few days studying Witchcraft and black magic. I don’t think, looking back, I was ever drawn to trying to be a participant, it was more a deep-seated fascination and thirst to know more.
It was a natural step, after reading more of Mr. Wheatley’s books, to study dreams and in particular Astral Travel, which is the ability of a practitioner to direct their dreams, and even to meet other people on the plane and have different experiences not possible in ‘the real world.’
Of more recent times I saw the movie Inception, and while I accept this is a remarkable work of fiction, scriptwriting and cinematic spectacle, designed to entertain, here again was a concept about directing dreams to achieve an end. Ever since I saw the movie, I think for the fifth time, I wanted to write a story about dreams.
Who knows where random thoughts of inspiration come from? I certainly have no idea where mine originate from. They seem to just hit me from out of the blue. Once I have an idea, I must explore it, and can only do so by writing it chronologically from that point forward and seeing where it takes me. So, while I wanted to write a story about dreams, I still need a spark to get the fire going and it came from Alicia Dean, asking if I would like to contribute a story to the second volume of Friday the 13th and I literally jumped at the chance. My first foray was a lot of fun to write, a tale featuring my favorite character from the Deadly Glimpses Series I’ve written, a criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, turned cop, and having her attend a murder-mystery dinner party with other psychologists, but there is an uninvited guest intent on murdering them all for real.
So, when asked to come back for round 2 by Alicia and agreeing obviously meant I had to come up with a story that would suit the theme. That’s when I recalled wanting to pen something around dreams. I love the symbolism of Alicia’s charter: thirteen authors, thirteen chapters etc, and so – yeah shock horror here’s that inspiration I thought of a clock telling the time of 13 past midnight. And so began my favorite question; what if…..
What if someone has a recurring dream, not just recurring, but a continuing dream staggered exactly one minute apart, starting at midnight? The dream appears to be warning of an impending danger a threat of death not to continue, and each night the horror grows. What would happen at the appointed time, death, or worse?
Jonathon is a troubled young man. He hates his job, is engaged to a wonderful woman who works with lots of incredibly fit Olympic swimmers as a physiotherapist and deep down, he worries. He fears she doesn’t really love him, that she is so much better than he is, and that the baby she carries isn’t his. Then, a woman, who in some lights reminds Jonathon of an evil looking grey cat, wants to commission him to renovate an old house. This house has a history of black magic ceremonies, murder, and suicide. As each nightmare gets closer to 13 past midnight, Jonathon gets better at controlling his dreams, and tries to fight the evil that is coming relentlessly nearer.
Many thanks to Alicia for inviting me to write this tale, I had so much fun writing it, and I think, though of course I am terribly biased this could be the most interesting story I’ve ever written. What do you think, dear reader?
I knew I was dreaming when I peered around the trunk of an ancient Red Gum tree in the park to see if I could spot the cat before he saw me. He, or she, I had not been able to discern the sex, was prancing back and forth across the path. It was waiting for me, and it looked pissed. Suddenly it stopped and jerked its head around, and I ducked back behind the trunk, my heart pounding.
The thing has seen me. How the hell did it know I was here? Now what do I do? My mind raged in overdrive.
Why not just wake up? I replied, then closed my eyes, shook my head, and opened them again.
Nope, not working, I’m still here. Any other bright ideas?
Look, dummy, it’s just a cat, what are you so scared of? Just walk up, kick it out of the way, and get to…to…where the fuck am I going in a hurry?
I took a long, slow, calming breath and stuck my head around the tree again.
HISSSSSSSSSSS. The cat had crept up on my hiding place and launched itself at me, claws out. In a second, it would be on my face biting and scratching.
I woke, sweating, frantic rubbing my face, while the alarm clock glowed and flashed three minutes past midnight.
Me – just some bits and pieces about – ME!
(Or as my wife often says: “It’s all just about you Steve isn’t it?”)
I’ve said, more than once, life is about the journey, and not the destination, and what a journey my life has been. We are the sum total of our experiences, and not what we eat, in my humble opinion, and when I start talking about my life to people – just before their eyes glaze over – they often say: “You should write a book.” So I have, several in fact.
Thrillers and crime genres have always fascinated me, and in particular, the dark world of serial killers, and while my beginnings were in the ‘Make love not war’ sentiment, I love a good, unputdownable, thriller. You know, the kind you just want to read one more chapter of, and then another, and then you realise you are late for work. Have I succeeded in creating stories that can take people to that place? Boy I hope so.
Please help me welcome Peggy McKenzie with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, The End of the Road Hotel…
I write western historical romance, but I needed a genre that offered a change of pace so I wanted to try my hand at something new. That’s when creepy came along. Could I do it? I had no idea, but I wanted to try.
Sometimes, the end of the road is just the beginning…
Felicity Simon is at a crossroads in her life. She and her on-again, off-again boyfriend have been together for seven years with no progress toward matrimony. Perhaps it’s time to make a change. Suddenly, she receives the unexpected news that she’s inherited her great aunt’s estate, Could this be the change she’s been looking for?
The moment they arrive at the hauntingly beautiful old Victorian, Felicity senses something is off with their host, but she can’t quite put a finger on the problem. He’s amiable, attentive, and accommodating. And, his handsome face and impeccable manners hold an allure she finds very enticing. And yet…her instincts warn her to be wary.
It doesn’t long before she realizes her instincts were right.
She and Teddy arrived just outside the closed dining room doors. “Prepare yourself for the thrill of a lifetime, my pet,” he announced with all the flourish and excitement of a boxing ring announcer. My pet? She did not like the sound of that, and she was about to say so when he pushed the double doors open wide, revealing a dining room full of people sitting at a long narrow table covered in white tablecloths, crystal stemware and silver place settings all reflecting the flickering lights of a room full of tall pillar candles. Everyone was dressed in black formal attire from the same era as Teddy’s tux and her dress. So, it was a costume party from the roaring twenties after all. And there was a dining room full of people, which surprised her. She’d convinced herself she was here alone with Teddy. Now, she wished Austin was here for two reasons: she wouldn’t have to worry about him, and she could say “I told you so” with a big, wide grin on her face. No one would have been more shocked than Austin to learn there were other people in this place, after all, and she would have enjoyed the hell out of watching him scramble to apologize for doubting her.
Teddy escorted her into the room on his arm with a flourish as if she were a grand lady on display, but the closer she got to the occupants of the table, the more her brain had trouble processing what her eyes were seeing. What exactly was she looking at? It was as if everyone was frozen in time. Literally. No one was moving at all. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet our special guest, Miss Felicity Simon. Felicity, say hello to everyone. They’re dying to meet you.”
She stared hard at the first person she came to—really stared at her—or rather…it. Finally, realization punched its way through her confusion. And then, she screamed until she lost consciousness.
About the Author:
Where Love Becomes Legendary…
An Amazon best-selling author, Peggy McKenzie was born and raised in Oklahoma, and she’s been in love with stories of happy endings and second chances since her first fairy tales in grade school. It wasn’t until she became enamored by Miss Kitty and Marshal Dillion’s love story that she decided to write her own romance stories where she makes certain the cowboy ride away with his lady love and they live happily-ever-after.
Now living in East Texas, she’s right smack dab in the middle of cowboy country, and she’s more determined than ever to fill her stories with rugged, flawed heroes and courageous, strong heroines. If you like happy endings and second chances with a touch of humor, you’ll like this author.
“Heartwarming sweet romance at its best.”
Sylvia McDaniel-USA Today Best-Selling Author
“You will not just read a story by Peggy McKenzie, you will live it.”
Hildie McQueen-USA Today Best-Selling Author
To learn more about Peggy and her books,
visit her website: PeggyMcKenzie.com.
Follow Peggy on her adventures through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, BookBub, and Goodreads. Gain access to her fan-based webpage where she posts exclusive content by joining her monthly newsletter at https://www.peggymckenzie.com/newslettersignup.
Please help me welcome Robert Herold with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, Witch Ever Way You Go…
Witch Ever Way You Go is set in the Seattle area where I live. There is a bit of rivalry between Seattle proper and the suburban areas. Playing with this idea, I envisioned two rival covens, one in Seattle, the other in the wealthy suburb of Baalberith. (Baalberith is the name for a powerful demon who tempts people to engage in blasphemy and murder. Heck, there is a Diablo Dam and Diablo Lake in Washington State. Diablo means devil, so I didn’t think it was much of a stretch to call a Seattle suburb Baalberith!)
I used many other actual locations for the story: the University of Washington, the 520 Bridge (which was under construction in 2015, when the book is set) and neighborhoods on Capitol Hill. One of my favorite places was a decrepit but awesome Victorian house. Here’s a picture of it:
I have a wonderfully grisly scene in that place! I had planned to do an Instagram reel in front of the house to promote my story. Unfortunately, I just discovered it has turned into something really scary:
Bonus fun fact:
As a boy, Robert Herold wanted nothing more than to grow up to be a werewolf. (Is there any wonder why he writes horror?)
When an ill-fated graduate student and his girlfriend are lured into a terrifying world of witchcraft and murder, they become targets for human sacrifice. Is there a chance they can escape a bloodthirsty coven of witches and certain death until the curse is lifted? A spellbinding story of modern horror.
The crowd in the room became more animated, their voices rising until they were shouting. The man standing over the woman turned one way then the other, presenting the dagger. As the crowd continued the deafening chant, he raised the blade as high as possible, then thrust it down, just below the woman’s left breast. He yanked the knife free, and a fountain of blood sprayed over the man’s robe and white tuxedo. The crowd erupted in ecstasy.
My stomach turned in revulsion. We had been flirting just a few minutes earlier, and now she was dead. “Holy fuck.”
About the Author:
The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since my mother refused to allow me, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)
As a child, fresh snow provided me with the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with my fingers as far as I could stretch. I would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)
I have pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to me. You could say I was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call as an adult, I began writing horror.
Ultimately, I hope my books give you the creeps, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Please help me welcome Anna Kittrell with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series, Deadly Illusions…
A skilled magician (not unlike a skilled writer) can suspend reality, causing the audience to escape into a different realm. Illusionists emit a sense of danger. They captivate and control, challenging us to believe the unbelievable. And who can keep their eyes from that sexy, scantily-clad assistant who drifts and twirls across the stage before succumbing to the handsome magician’s sinister tricks? Add in some mysterious music and billowing smoke—and wow. That’s entertainment! However, magic is predominantly a men’s profession, with less than 8 percent of magicians being female.
While writing Deadly Illusions, my goal was to have the book’s heroine embody the same commanding power and sensuality I’ve seen exhibited in male illusionists. The end result was Melinda Sloan, a beautiful independent woman with a love for magic that sadly, is rivaled only by her love of alcohol. I enjoyed writing a strong main character with real life struggles, who ultimately triumphs when faced with her demons. And the researching of magic tricks and viewing of wildly talented illusionists on YouTube while crafting Melinda’s stage performances was an exciting and unexpected bonus!
When Melinda Sloan’s dream of becoming a professional illusionist comes true, she’s headed for the bigtime—maybe even Vegas. But when a dangerous illusion goes wrong, killing her assistant and closest friend, Celine, Melinda’s dream turns into a nightmare—and a whiskey bottle turns into a friend. Hopeless, she vows to give up magic forever. However, when Melinda is evicted from the family home, her sister, Julia, convinces her to return to magic—and is dead set on being her assistant. Before long, Melinda is onstage in Las Vegas, doing what she loves most. But when her booking agent demands Melinda perform the very trick that caused Celine’s death, Melinda’s refusal results in a breach of contract. Julia persuades her to do the trick—penniless and unemployed, she can’t afford not to. But as she faces the sword-riddled cabinet that holds Julia, her blood runs cold. Is her baby sister lifeless and bleeding inside the sword box? Has she murdered Julia, the way she murdered Celine? Or is the magician being tricked?
Melinda raised the final sword high in the air, twirled it, then rammed it partially into the box, feeling for Celine’s tug on the blade. With the weight of the audience’s stares on her, seconds felt like hours. What was taking Celine so long?
Finally, she felt a slight tug.
The booze swirled in her stomach, making her sweat. She grunted, pretending to struggle as she shoved the sword further into the box—then struggling for real as the blade met with resistance.
The music reached a maddening crescendo, each chord striking a nerve in Melinda’s pounding head.
How much time had passed?
The whiskey clawed at her throat as the room spun.
Just then, she felt a definite tug on the sword blade. Relief flooded her soul. Celine must’ve had a bit of trouble navigating the final blade around the others.
What had it been—five seconds? Ten at most?
Melinda shoved the sword down with all her might, feeling no resistance from Celine. The sword slipped easily through the box, into position.
Confidence soaring, Melinda placed a hand on the box and pranced in a slow circle, turning the platform, showing the spectators every side. She faced the box toward the audience.
Time to retrieve the swords and open the box. She loved this part. Celine would be sitting straight up, beautiful as ever, without a scratch on her. The audience would go wild, like they always did.
Melinda removed the first sword, followed by the others, saving the sword jutting from the top of the box for last. Grasping the handle with both hands and closing her eyes, she made a show of slowly pulling the sword from the opening, Excalibur-style, and holding it above her head.
The music stopped. Shocked cries punched through the silence as something warm dripped onto her face.
“Blood!” Someone shouted.
Who was cruel enough to yell out a thing like that? Sick bastard. The horrible word stuck to her, burning like hot tar.
Sweat rolled down her forehead, into her eyes and mouth. It tasted like whiskey. No. It tasted like blood.
About the Author:
Anna Kittrell resides in the same small Oklahoma town where she grew up, and has been a secretary at Anadarko Middle School for over twenty years. She married her high-school sweetheart, raised two children, and has an eight-year-old grandson who is her very best friend. She has written for as long as she can remember and still has many of her tattered childhood creations—stories she used to sell on the playground for a dime, penned on notebook paper. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
Happy Friday the 13th! It’s release day for a series of horror short stories revolving around Friday the 13th. I will be sharing each story on my post, one per day. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Diane L. Kowalyshyn with her story, Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror…
I’m fascinated my Native American mythological creatures. I wrote about the windigo in Crossbones, the skadegamutc in a Friday the 13th Short Story, and the chepitchcalm in When the Earth Moves (WIP). There are two more Native American creatures I’ll be bringing to life in the Earth, Wind and Fire series sequels.
Officer Pauline McCrory arrives at Alma Wildberry’s cabin under the impression the elder died of natural causes before her hungry one-eyed cat consumed parts of her face.
When the medical examiner rules the case a homicide, Pauline must determine who drained six pints of blood and removed a pound of flesh from Alma’s head and neck.
The investigation brings an age-old Passamaquoddy legend, the Skadegamutc to life, and Pauline must find the ghost-witch before it kills again.
Bob. Alma’s one-eyed cat. A bad eye infection forced the local farm vet to remove the diseased orb and sew up the empty orifice. “Hi Bob,” Birdie exclaimed, just to break the sinister silence in the room. “Where’s Alma?”
Bob didn’t pay any attention. He waddled toward the kitchen and disappeared behind the center island separating the two rooms.
A stale smell, like rotting garbage, wafted from the kitchen. Many locals used a compost heap for table scraps and burned what little garbage they generated. Her footfalls slowed when she noticed broken glass shimmering like sparkle dust on the floor. Slivers crunched underfoot, despite her trying to avoid them.
The antique mirror hanging on the wall between the bedrooms and the kitchen had fallen to the floor. A shattered bulls-eye of beveled glass leaned against the baseboard. Alma loved that mirror. She loved finding and restoring treasures from tag sales and repurposing them.
Bob started to meow. Soon it turned into languishing yowls. The cat had to be hungry.
Birdie’s progress ground to a halt.
Maybe Alma had gone out to gather mushrooms or flowers and herbs to pulverize and dry, but it didn’t make sense she would leave the broken mirror on the floor. It made Birdie worry that Bob might cut himself so she jumped to attention. She’d sweep up the flakes of glass and take the smelly garbage to the compost before Alma returned. She bee-lined for the closet beside the fridge and pulled out the broom and dust bin. When she spun, she saw a pair of moccasin clad feet—feet that had been previously obstructed by the position of the island—jutting out from the end. Bob sat hunched over Alma’s face gnawing on what remained of her nose.
“Oh, my God, no.” The broom and dust bin clattered to the floor and she ran toward her friend.
Birdie’s stomach roiled when she got closer. It sent her reeling over to the sink where she wretched up the remains of her lunch. Several bouts of nausea assailed her. She splashed some water on her cheeks and forehead and when the heaving subsided, she reached into her pocket and dialed.
“911. What’s your emergency?”
“Alma Thornberry is dead. I found her body in her kitchen. I think she’s been gone a while because her cat’s been eating her.”
About the Author:
Diane L. Kowalyshyn writes heart-hammering, high-voltage thrillers—adventures that run on action, intrigue, and romance. Her first book earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is an avid sailor who’s listened to her fair share of marine storm warnings and relied on the intermittent pulse of a lighthouse beacon to bring her safely back to port. When she’s not on the water, she loves to travel to faraway lands where she navigates rustic landscapes and meanders through ancient and decaying palaces, and castles. Her books are available in paperback and ebook through Chapters/Indigos, Amazon, Google, Nook, iBook, and Kobo.