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I am pleased to report that two of my "drabbles" (stories containing precisely 100 words), have been accepted by Shacklebound Books for their DrabbleDark Anthology! One drabble, titled Cicadae Fall, will be expanded into a much longer tale with the same title.
“Whoohoo! I’m 21 today, bitches!” Chelsea stumbles into me as we make our way to the next bar. I think she’s already trashed. Chels never could hold her liquor. I try not to hold it against her though. After all, she IS my best friend, and has been since we were in grade school together.
“Where to next, Birthday Girl?” I teeter a bit on my heels as Chelsea leans into me. I boost her up, and try to pull her dress up a little before she pours out of it. She loves to show off her boobs when she’s lit.
“OMG, Cortney! Are you trying to feel me up?” She says giggling and grabbing her breasts, one in each hand. “These are NOT for you!” She gives me a wink and dissolves into laughter. The boys on the street behind us hoot and catcall us, but Chelsea gives them the finger. “Are you guys looking at my asssss?” She yells over her shoulder before bending completely over and putting her palms on the filthy sidewalk. “STOOOOP LOOOKING AT MY BUUUUUUUTTTTTT!” She cackles.
Chelsea: always so modest!
I pull her upright and we stumble into the line at the Carnival Lounge, that trendy new bar downtown that everyone has been talking about. Chelsea has been here before, with a fake ID, but this is my first time here. The place is very trendy and the line goes half way down the block. The doorman catches my eye and subtly shakes his head. Obviously, we need to sober up a bit before he’ll admit us… but given how long the line is, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
“Be cool, Chelseabean!” I whisper in her ear and point to the doorman. “They won’t let us in if we’re too drunk.”
“I’m fine!” she shouts dramatically. “I can even walk a straight line… see?” She puts her hand on her nose and proceeds to weave back and forth over the sidewalk. Several pedestrians dodge her but she connects with one of two as we make our way to the back of line. One of the girls she runs into gives her a disgusted look, but her boyfriend just looks amused.
The traffic along Central is heavy tonight, which isn’t surprising, given the warm summer weather and the holiday weekend. Several cars thump by with their stereos blasting. Some teenage boys lean out the windows and catcall the Carnival Lounge’s waiting patrons. The air smells of exhaust, and if I am being honest, it stinks a little like garbage here at the end of the line. There’s an alleyway about 20’ away, and I am guessing that the dumpsters there are overflowing.
Chelsea and I settle into the back of the line but she seems oblivious about the congestion or the length of the line. She’s kinda off in her own little pink bubble. I am glad she has me around to look after her.
Or at least I thought she was.
The guys ahead of us start chatting her up and Chelsea is lapping up the attention. She has her back to traffic, and I am facing her and the street behind her. I am not really following the conversation, but I know it’s the same old “blah, blah, hello baby, where you been all of my life?” sort of nonsense that guys ALWAYS say. Chelsea plays along, whoring it up by biting her lower lip and playing with her hair. I don’t mind. It’s her night, and her birthday after all.
It sounds like a car backfiring when it happens. Or fireworks. That was my first thought: “who is shooting off fireworks downtown?” But then I saw the flash of the muzzle as it poked out the passenger side window. Something warm and wet splatters over my face and Chelsea’s eyes go wide. She falls into my arms, but I can’t seem to get a grip on her. Her back is soaked with blood. We collapse onto the sidewalk amidst the screams and gunfire. I can hear the bullets ricochet off the wall behind me, but all I can think about is saving Chelsea. Her beautiful dress is drenched in blood. She looks up at me and asks me what happened.
It all happens so fast. Before I know it, the shooting stops. Chelsea is looking up at me with those great big blue eyes of her’s, but there’s no life behind them. The blood drips off the sidewalk and into the gutter.
I am pleased to announce that my short story, The Prescience Game, will be included in the Game On Anthology, published by Zombies Need Brains! This story borrows from Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim character and from the Classical story of Cassandra (who KNEW the future, but nobody would believe her) and is told from the perspective of "Kevin" — a character whose voice seems remarkably familiar to me. ;-)
I just completed the final edits for my story last week, and I am told that the Anthology will be going on sale later this month! I will post the URL in this thread if you are interested in purchasing the Anthology (and I would encourage you to do so! It's a very good read!)
Tule Fog Press
I am pleased to announce that my short story, "At Dusk, Ye Shall Eat Flesh" will be published in Monster Fight At The O.K. Corral, An Anthology of the Weird Wild West Edited by Lyndon Perry. Anticipated release date for this anthology is August, 2023!
The Anthology is described as: action-packed Western horror with enough chills to give the skeletons in your closet the shivers. My story involves the 1840 Zombie Outbreak around Chromo Colorado. This is a companion piece to "The Lost Tribe" (which made its appearance in Scenes From The Carnival Lounge).
MetaStellar is an online publication focusing on horror, fantasy and science fiction, launched in September 2020, founded by a dozen speculative fiction writers, editors and artists from around the world.
Since its launch in September 2020, they have published more than 700 pieces (out of thousands of submissions) by more than 300 different writers. They are accredited as a Google News publisher and are in the Google Discover program. The Site has had more than a quarter million page views and are now averaging between 20,000 and 35,000 views a month.
So, getting a publishing credit there is a big deal! ;-) I will post a link to the story when it drops on January 2!
From Issue 76 of Scream Magazine.
I was thrilled to get a review in this month's Scream Magazine! This is the first "large scale" review of my work, and is the culmination of my efforts to promote Corpse Honey this year to a broader audience. The review runs concurrently with a full page ad in the issue.
Ultimately, I have the Denver Horror Collective's marketing program to thank for the exposure (what a GREAT investment!).
#ScreamMagazine #DenverHorrorCollective #HorrorCommunity #Corpse Honey
I am thrilled to announce that my short story, "A Kissidougou Christmas" has been accepted for Black Beacon Books' Anthology, Tales From The Ruins!
This anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction features a spectacular line up and is due to be released in 2023!
Details can be found here: https://blackbeaconbooks.blogspot.com/.../tales-from...
I am thrilled to announce that my story, “A Child Born Of Ashes And Shattered Teeth,” will appear in Dismember The Coop — A Horror Anthology benefitting The Solid Rock Teen Foundation started by Alice and Sheryl Cooper. Yes… THE Alice Cooper!
Dismember The Coop… features 17 stories inspired by Cooper’s music. I chose a lesser-known piece of Cooper’s, “Blue Turk,” as my inspiration for “A Child Born…”. For those of you unfamiliar with this piece, it’s from Cooper’s 1972 Album: School's Out.
You can listen to the track HERE.
The Solid Rock Teen Center serves disadvantaged and at-risk youth in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
I have purchased some ad space in the December '22 issue of Scream Magazine to accompany a review of Corpse Honey. This is the final render for the ad and includes some subtle changes to the original cover image. The ad itself was a pretty "heavy lift" creatively, as I had to redesign the janky CIPA logo (a low-resolution PNG file) and adjust the placement of the skull on the background in order to accommodate the text block at the bottom. This design represents one of three that I produced for the Magazine, but does not represent the design my friends and colleagues preferred, nor the one that I preferred (which was deemed too verbose by my ad's beta testers). SO, this design was the compromise.