stanley-film-festThe Stanley Film Festival (SFF), presented by Chiller and produced by the Denver Film Society, announced the audience and jury award winners, Birth.Movies.Death Filmmaking Frenzy winners and presented Tom Quinn, co-president of RADiUS, with the 2015 Stanley Film Festival Visionary Award. During his speech at the Stanley Awards Horror Brunch, Quinn referred to SFF as, “… the single most regal film festival, even though it’s a horror film festival. I feel like I’m walking around this country club and then at night it turns sinister.”

The Final Girls, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, received the Audience Award for Feature Film. Audience Award for Feature Film runner-up goes to We Are Still Here, directed by Ted Geohegan, which opens at the Denver Film Society’s year-round home, the Sie FilmCenter on Friday May 15.

The Stanley Dean’s Cup showcased 8 short films from local, national and international students. The competition featured a Colorado and International prize, with a $2,500 cash prize to the winning director, funded by The Stanley Hotel. The winner of the Colorado Prize was Moon Studios directed by Merritt Crocker and Inherent Noise, directed by Karol Jurga, received the International Prize. The Short Film Jury was comprised of Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb, the #1 movie website in the world, Jen Yamato, Entertainment Report for The Daily Beast, and Adam Krentzman, Director of Community Outreach CreativeFuture. The Babysitter Murders, directed by Ryan Spindell, was awarded the Jury Award for Short Film and voted the Audience Award winner for Short Film. Special mentions were given to The House is Innocent and The Salt of the Earth.

The Birth.Movies.Death Stanley Film Festival Filmmaking Frenzy challenged filmmakers to create a short film (5 minutes or less) about ghosts. Alix Bannon’s, White Island, was selected as the winner by a jury comprised of Blumhouse Productions’ Ryan Turek, The Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato and SpectreVision’s Daniel Noah. Bannon won a two-night stay in the famed room 217, the room that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining.

Stuart Gordon, the 2015 Stanley Film Festival Master of Horror, described the 4 day horror retreat as the “…scariest Film Festival I’ve ever been to.” Throughout the 4 days, the festival screened over 21 feature films, 6 retro titles and 18 shorts, 8 student shorts with 18 countries represented, while providing a fully immersive experience, thanks to a unique horror immersion game, panels, special events and more.

“This has been a phenomenal year for the genre. We are truly honored to host master storytellers, passionate filmmakers, innovative distributors and dedicated genre lovers throughout our four-day celebration of the finest in classic and contemporary world horror,” says Director of Programming, Landon Zakheim. “We look forward to supporting these macabre artists at our immersive playground for years to come.”

The 2016 Stanley Film Festival Dates will be announced at a later a time.

Awards were given out in the follow categories:

Audience Award for Feature Film
Winner: The Final Girls directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
Synopsis: Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends find themselves trapped in the famous 80’s slasher flick that made her late mother a scream queen. The millennial gang joins the throwback camp counselors with raging libidos (featuring a standout performance from WORKAHOLICS’s Adam DeVine) to battle the psychotic killer.

Jury Award for Short Film
Winner: The Babysitter Murders directed by Ryan Spindell
Synopsis: A dark and stormy night. An innocent babysitter all alone. An escaped psychopath out for blood. You know how this story will play out… Or do you?

Audience Award for Short Film
Winner: The Babysitter Murders directed by Ryan Spindell
Synopsis: A dark and stormy night. An innocent babysitter all alone. An escaped psychopath out for blood. You know how this story will play out… Or do you?

Stanley Dean’s Cup Colorado Prize
Winner: Moon Studios directed by Merritt Crocker
Synopsis: A great song is a living thing.

Stanley Dean’s Cup International Prize
Winner: Inherent Noise directed by Karol Jurga
Synopsis: A girl who comes to the house of an old, disabled soundman. The mysterious frequencies he produces guide her to a grizzly discovery.

Online & Social Media: www.stanleyfilmfest.com, “Like” SFF on Facebook (Facebook.com/StanleyFilmFest), “Follow” SFF on Twitter and Instagram (@StanleyFilmFest) , join the conversation using the hashtag #StanleyFilmFest

2015 Stanley Film Festival Sponsors:
PRESENTING: Chiller; HOST VENUES: The Stanley Hotel, Reel Mountain Theater, Historic Park Theater; GOVERNMENT: Colorado Tourism Office, Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media, Town of Estes Park; MEDIA: Badass Digest, Fangoria, Shock Til You Drop, Daily Dead, Bloody Disgusting, IndieWire, Crave Online, EP News; COMMUNITY: 13th Floor Haunted House, Telluride Horror Show, Estes Park Shuttle; EVENT: Ghost Pines, Kronenbourg ; FESTIVAL FRIENDS: Fandor, Scream Factory!, CEAVCO Audio Visual

Comments (0)

enteratyourownriskEnter at Your Own Risk: The End is the Beginning
Edited by Dr. Alex Scully
Firbolg Publishing
April 2014
Reviewed by Elaine Pascale

In the simpler time that was 2002, Stephen Patranek, editor-in-chief of Discover magazine, gave a Ted Talk on “The 10 Ways the World Could End.” Number 10: We lose the will to survive. Citing suicide rates and mental illness, Patranek paints a scenario wherein the human race basically dies of ennui.

Flash forward to 2015 and the anthology Enter at Your Own Risk: The End is the Beginning seems to share that sensibility. The characters of the stories are resigned about either their own demise or the death of our planet. The themes are culled from contemporary fears: environmental destruction; evolution gone wild; chemical spills; big, bad government—all of the key players of paranoia-induced insomnia.

Edited by Alex Scully, Enter at Your Own Risk is a lengthy, dense tome that mixes mostly new stories with offerings from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, Hawthorne, etc. The classics are carefully selected so that they feel right at home in this contemporary anthology. In fact, all of the stories blend together seamlessly, showcasing Scully’s skill as an editor.

There is a common thread amongst the stories, most of which begin in medias res. Beneath the chaos, the paranoia, the desperation, there is an atmosphere of isolation. Despite stories containing several characters, there is a pervading loneliness. This is not as depressing as it sounds. In fact, I found many of the stories to be invigorating.

Some standouts: “Harvest” by Norman Patridge, is a surreal and magical way to kick off the anthology. Die Booth’s “Sphere Music,” and Gregory L. Norris’ “Every Seven Years, Give or Take,” handle that eerie concept of being attacked by vague and strange “others” in interesting and unique ways. I especially appreciate Booth’s take on tinnitus—a scary outcome for an annoying affliction. “There is No Wind That Always Blows” by Julianne Snow found me biting my lip, trying to read my way through the tension. The overarching bleakness of the titular wind is reminiscent of Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes, and the characters reliance on rope says much about the human condition. Michael Meeske’s “Feelers” sets survivor’s guilt on a lovely backdrop (Nantucket)—what a wonderful, yet horrible place to meet “the end.”

Even for rabid doomsday preppers, Enter at Your Own Risk is not for one sitting. There are some stories that offer much welcomed dark humor: “The Dreaded Hobblobs: A Heavy-Handed Fable for Short-Sighted Times” by Gary Braunbeck;” Nothing but Skin and Bones” by B.E. Scully; and “Her Living Corals” by Kenneth W. Cain, but overall it is a challenging book in terms of its quantity and depth of material. Enter at Your Own Risk is a high quality dystopian/apocalyptic anthology that would be more appropriate for the literary minded, as opposed to the “slasher” set.

Categories : Book Reviews
Comments (0)

TheHeavenMakerandOtherGruesomeTalesThe Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales
Craig Herbertson
Parallel Universe Publications
January, 2014
Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker

The minute I laid eyes on the title, I knew I had to read this book. I didn’t know what a ‘heaven maker’ was or why it might be gruesome, but the mystery of these questions drew me in. I’m very glad I gave this one a shot, too…author Craig Herbertson has a vivid imagination rife with brutal originality and terrifying concepts. If you’re a fan of short horror fiction, put this book on your Must Own list.

If you are not familiar with The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Parallel Universe Publications:

A collection of Horror stories some of which have previously been published in the Pan Book of Horror Stories, the Black Book of Horror and Back from the Dead: the Legacy of the Pan Books of Horror. Included this collection are:

Timeless Love (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
Synchronicity (originally published in Filthy Creations #2)
The Glowing Goblins (originally published in Auguries #16)
New Teacher (originally published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror)
The Janus Door
The Heaven Maker (originally published in The 29th Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Waiting Game (originally published in Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Art of Confiscation
Gertrude
Not Waving
Spanish Suite (originally published in The Sixth Black Book of Horror)
The Anninglay Sundial
Soup (originally published in The Fourth Black Book of Horror)
A Game of Billiards (originally published in Tales from the Smoking Room)
The Navigator (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
The Tasting
Steel Works
Liebniz’s Last Puzzle (originally published in The Fifth Black Book of Horror)
Big Cup, Wee Cup
Gifts (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)

I cheated a bit by not reading this book in order. I don’t suppose it really matters where you begin an anthology, but this time I jumped straight to “The Heaven Maker,” which is toward the middle of the book, and started there. This story set the whole tone for the book and is a perfect example of the horror found within it.

Each story in The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales is written well and flows at a nice, even pace. I commend on Herbertson for his pacing; some short story writers tend to rush sometimes and try to reach the punchline faster than they should. Not so here; Herbertson pulls the reader into each story from the beginning and then delivers a sucker punch when it is least expected.

One of my favorite stories in this collection is “Gifts,” a rather short tale measuring only a page and half in length. This one is told from Santa’s perspective one Christmas Eve, however something is different this year…and it might be a very bad kind of different. The imagery in this story is very vivid, and the twist ending is unnerving to say the least.

My sole complaint about The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales is from an editing standpoint. I ran across numerous typos and errors throughout the book, more so than I think any edited publication should contain, in my opinion. Granted, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the book, however I feel it worth mentioning.

Otherwise, The Heaven Maker and Other Gruesome Tales is a big win for me. This is a solid anthology with some interesting concepts and horrifying realities. The book is available now in a variety of formats.

Categories : Book Reviews
Comments (0)

By Brandon Engel

The 80s were all about excess. From the era of big hair and bold fashion also came some of the most unforgettable horror movies of all time. Fans of blood, gore and extra “cheese” will love these five creature features that embodied the over-the-top spirit of this unforgettable decade.

pumpkinhead[1]5. Pumpkinhead (1988)
The blood, guts and gore of this film are undercut by raw emotion centered around the unthinkable. A man’s young son is killed in a motorbike accident by reckless teenagers. His father, portrayed by Lance Henriksen, decides to avenge his beloved son’s death by summoning a demon known as Pumpkinhead who sleeps underneath a pumpkin patch. Directed by the late special effects  guru Stan Winston, the film is a deeply flawed, but effective 80’s monster movie. It offers the right blend of cheesy, gory and heartbreaking at the same time — a must-watch.

 

 

 

 

toxic-avenger4. The Toxic Avenger (1985)
This super-cheesy story of a nerdy janitor turned mutant killer is a true 80’s comedy/horror classic. This is also potentially the most popular film from the production company Troma (for whatever that’s worth).  In The Toxic Avenger, Melvin, an incredibly awkward fitness center janitor, transforms into Toxie after falling into toxic waste and declares war on evil. Melvin as Toxie is brutal, ramming mop sticks into heads and ripping off arms. This film is packed with gratuitous blood and gore, in addition to the film’s atypical 80’s love story and endless corny jokes. Mutant Toxie falls in love with a blind girl who sees the man inside loves him. The film also features Marisa Tomei in one of her first feature film roles.

 

 

 

510AG1AATZL3. The Deadly Spawn (1983)
Centered around a stereotypical group of nerdy teenagers and a horror-enthusiast tween, The Deadly Spawn is about monstrous razor-toothed slugs from space who travel (via a meteorite) to New Jersey. The slugs set up camp in the basement of a suburban home. Trapped in a house with a monster that multiplies, the family must figure out how to kill it before they become slug food. It’s a memorable, slimy eighties video nasty. Expect a few moments of 80’s teen romance, with plenty of gooey special effects. Derided by critics, the film did well on the video rental market, and it’s still shown from time to time at horror marathons.

 

 

 

 

51aGF85MhmL._SY300_2. C.H.U.D. (1984)
This tale of flesh-eating NYC sewer-dwellers is a cult classic thanks to its low-budget yet gloriously gory special effects and host of now-notable actors. Watch for John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry and John Goodman, with “Everybody Loves Raymond”’s Patricia Richardson also making an appearance. In this film, a photographer documenting the homeless discovers a conspiracy about killer mutant cannibals, then teams up with a reporter, police officer and a priest to wage war against not only the monsters, but also a crooked city official. The VHS of the film was a hot seller, and the film still shows regularly on niche TV networks (details here about where you can catch it locally). The many stomach-turning moments, of C.H.U.D. are offset with moments too cheesy to be scary.

 

 

 

the-thing-dvd-cover1. The Thing (1982)
From horror movie mastermind John Carpenter comes The Thing, a legendary horror film starring a young Kurt Russell. Set in Antarctica, the movie begins with a helicopter shooting at a dog. The dog is rescued by a group of scientists — who soon discover their new pet is a mass murdering monster. Able to assume the appearance of its victims, the “thing” also causes its victims bodies to explode in a gory profusion of blood, guts and goo. Russell’s helicopter pilot character teams up with the group’s doctor to destroy “The Thing” before it destroys them. Even though the film had its detractors and failed to captivate mainstream audiences upon its release, it’s now regarded as one of the best sci-fi/horror films of all time.

 

 

Categories : Horror Movies
Comments (0)

GulfsOfDreamfrontIn the Gulfs of Dream and Other Lovecraftian Tales
David Barker and W.H. Pugmire
Dark Renaissance Books
Reviewed by Michael R. Collings

While at a science fiction/fantasy conference some thirty-five years ago, I picked up a collection of tales by the estimable Gene Wolfe. I had not yet encountered his memorable Book of the New Sun tetralogy, so I must admit to having been drawn to the book primarily through its intentionally odd name: The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories, the last phrase being the critical one in hooking me. With a glance at the contents, I discovered that the titles of three key stories (a Nebula-award winner and two nominees) performed permutations on three words—island, doctor, and death: “The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories” not only hinted at a debt to H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau—another echo of which Brian W. Aldiss had just published as Moreau’s Other Island—but also set the stage for stories to follow: “The Doctor of Death Island” and “The Death of Dr. Island.”

In much the same way as Wolfe’s title did so long ago, the title of Barker and Pugmire’s latest collaboration intrigued me as it simultaneously identified genre (or sub-genre), inspiration, and important words. Or rather, types of words, since gulfs and dream prepare not only for the central novella, “In the Gulfs of Dream,” but also for such titles as “The Stairway in the Crypt”; “Among the Ghouls”; “The Temple of the Worm,” with its nod to Bram Stoker; “The Stone of Ubbo-Sathla”; “Within One Earthly Realm”; “A Dweller in Martian Darkness,” in which a one-word addition avoids a near-quotation from HPL; “Elder instincts”: “The One Dark Thought of Nib-Z’gat”; “Descent into Shadow and Light”; “The Horror in the Library”; and others.

My first reaction to the title and contents page echoed my reaction to The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories. On one hand, the overall title identified; on the other, it seemed slightly redundant—a collection featuring “In the Gulfs of Dream” and stories with such directly evocative titles could only be Lovecraftian.

My second reaction, however, was to brace for stories well beyond the lukewarm Lovecraft so frequently served up as new and ingenious. I have read and enjoyed other Barker-Pugmire efforts and thus anticipated more than simple imitation or clumsy pastiche. And the initial tale, “The Stairway in the Crypt” immediately fed that anticipation. The opening paragraphs paid homage not only to Lovecraft but also to Poe, through the introduction of a “beloved late wife” with the exotic name of Lunalae Kant née Morelle; an emotionally fraught internal monologue identified by copious use of italics; and a setting in a deserted New England cemetery. The tone, the atmosphere, the feeling was perfect Poe.

Until I hit the sentence, “I thought he was bullshitting me, but one look at his face told me otherwise,” followed by an slighting reference to “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.”

Bullshitting! Really? In Poe?

I was startled for a moment at the apparent break in decorum. As the story progressed, however, it became clear that there was more involved than a mere drop in diction level. “The Stairway in the Crypt” alludes to Poe and Lovecraft, yes, but it is also about two authors, one whose imagination is saturated in things-Poe and another who is just as strongly a Lovecraftian. While each does not hesitate to speak in the language of his respective hero and bandy around such pointing terms as sepulcher, Marceline, windswept graveyard, melodramatically, and the always obliging eldritch, both introduce moments of raw, modern, colloquial diction into their dialogues. In effect, they consciously draw attention to one great similarity between their idols: their use of distinct, clearly recognizable, easily parodied styles.

This is important to the collection because almost without exception, while the stories incorporate plots, characters, treatments, themes, and images that resonate with readers of Lovecraft, they most obviously (at least for me as retired professor of literature and creative writing) function as vehicles for demonstrating language as horror, for the incremental revelation of the unknowable and indescribable, for the final moment of gorgeousness and allusion and suggestion that incorporates the entire horror. In other words, for approaching horror in precisely the way Lovecraft did. And as such, these stories are worthy successors to the master himself.

Indeed, as with Lovecraft, a number of the stories seem essentially plotless soliloquys, several only few pages long, one complete in less than two sides. Plotless, however, is not meant to imply pointless or empty. In Barker’s “The Horror in the Library,” a man reads an old book. That is basically the story. And yet…and yet, through the magic of evocation, allusion—of the sheer force and majesty of language—it succeeds as a crystallization, a distillation, an encapsulation of terror, repulsion, and dread.

I have focused on only one of many excellences of In the Gulfs of Dream and Other Lovecraftian Tales. The authors’ command of characterization (in the Lovecraftian sense of an often unstable first-person narrator enduring the impossible…right now); landscape, even when their quest for dreams and horrors leads them to a darkly Bradburian Mars; and pacing and momentum, whether for a short-short or a novella—all lend strength and convict to their storytelling. Haunters after darkness and fear will find much to recommend the book.

Categories : Book Reviews
Comments (0)

through-the-woodsAntagonist will deliver constant tension and dread that lingers for hours with Through the Woods. This third-person psychological horror game will be available for Windows, Mac and Linux in Q1 2016.

Set on the coast of Norway, Through the Woods tells the story of the extremes a mother would go to in order to save her child. The narrative begins with the mother, Karen, who is being interrogated regarding the mysterious disappearance of her son. Gameplay starts as she recounts the terrible events surrounding this tragedy.

Equipped with only a flashlight, players must help Karen navigate immersive and foreboding woods, decrepit cabins and pitch-black caverns while simultaneously avoiding grotesque mythological abominations as they lead her through the awful recounting of events.

Listening is key to surviving this perilous journey, as often times what dangers lurk in the shadows are attracted to the protagonist’s flashlight. When the flashlight is off, the volume in the game increases and the direction from which the sound originates becomes more readily apparent. Through the Woods also employs dynamic narration, so the conversation between the interrogator and mother will change based upon the player’s actions.

As audio is essential to the story telling, Antagonist has recruited a world class sound team whose resumes cite voice-acting on Telltale Games’ Walking Dead series and two Official U.K. Top 40 singles. Antagonist is also collaborating with Funcom, developer of The Secret World and Age of Conan, to record motion-capture for multiple characters.

Inspired by classic Norwegian mythology and art in addition to Japanese horror games; Antagonist draws heavily from the dark folklore and paintings they grew up with as children and their favorite video game genre.

“Growing up in Norway, our parents frequently told us fables about horrifying atrocities that lived in the woods and preyed on children; not the watered down fairytales Hollywood provides kids today,” Anders Hillestad, producer, Antagonist, explains. “Through the Woods will deliver a terrifying experience, making players fear for Karen and all that she holds dear.”

For more information regarding Through the Woods please visit http://antagonist.no/throughthewoods/

Categories : Horror Video Games
Comments (0)

ThatRisenSnowGuest Post by Rob E. Boley

 

One of my favorite writing prompts is an exercise that I call a seed story. I can’t remember where or when I first heard of this technique, but I’m sure I’ve stolen it from someone. To write a seed story, you simply take a short piece of writing—a paragraph or poem or song—and use each of its words in sequence to start the first word of each sentence.

 

This is an example.

 

This would be the first sentence.

Is it making sense yet?

An easier writing prompt you could never ask for.

Example complete.

 

Not only do these little prompts offer you endless fodder for new stories, but they also sharpen your writing skills—demanding economy of word, creative sentence structure, and quick wit. What’s more, they demonstrate the pliable, almost organic, structure of words. Sometimes it’s easy to think of words as bricks—static things that we stack and arrange to build massively impressive walls of text. I’d argue that words are more like living things. By writing seed stories, we break down a dead body of words and use it to grow something new.

 

So, seed stories are like compost, except they smell better!

 

I’ve created seed stories from poems and songs, but for this post to HellNotes, I wanted to do something appropriately sinister. So, I turned to one of history’s most enduring and horrifying mysteries—Jack the Ripper. During the Ripper’s frenzy of madness, several letters were sent to the police from individuals claiming to be Jack. Experts debate the authenticity of these notes, but one of the most famous is the From Hell letter.

 

Incidentally, From Hell is also the title of the scariest, most disturbing graphic novel I’ve read, courtesy of Alan Moore. If you haven’t read it, please do so, but brace yourself for one jarring damn literary experience.

 

Here’s the full text of the From Hell letter, courtesy of Casebook: Jack the Ripper, possibly the world’s largest public repository of Ripper-related information (http://www.casebook.org/ripper_letters/):

 

From hell.

Mr Lusk,

Sor

I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

 

signed

Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

 

Using this letter, I created the short story below. For clarity, I cleaned up the spelling but otherwise left the words untouched. Casebook.org also has the text of the other Ripper letters. If you enjoy the story below, why not try a seed story of your own?

 

If you do, please feel free to send it to me at rob@robboley.com. I’m dying to see what you come up with . . .

 

 

The Old Scratch and Sniff Variety

By Rob E. Boley

 

“From what I gather, you’re an excellent chef,” the man standing in my kitchen rambled to me. “Hell, I’ll be happy if you don’t burn dinner.”

 

“Mister, you’re in good hands,” I said.

 

“Lusk, how’s that blaze coming along?” the man yelled out the open door.

 

“Sir,” I said, “I’m sure all’s well.”

 

“I reckon. Send a fella to tend to a campfire, you don’t figure it’ll take all night. You don’t reckon he’ll be much longer do you? Half the night is gone and I’m powerful hungry.”

 

The forest outside chirped and crackled in response. Kidney beans cooked on the stove in the kitchen. I let them simmer and kept an eye on the rice.

 

“Took us all day to hike eight miles,” the man said. “From Crickets Hollow to here, so I appreciate you letting us stay the night.”

 

“One can get swallowed up in these woods. Woman and her boy last spring just disappeared.  And the previous winter, three college boys.”

 

“Preserved this for dinner,” the man said, holding up a murky jar from his pack. “It just took some vinegar, garlic, mustard seed, and a few other things.”

 

“For tonight?”

 

“You ain’t never heard rice and beans until you seasoned it with pickled meat.”

 

The lid popped off with a rusty hiss. Other than at family reunions, I’d never smelled anything like it.

 

“Piece of this will make your eyes piss and your dick cry,” the man said.

 

I chuckled.

 

“Fried meat has its virtues,” he said. “And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise but there ain’t nothing like pickled meat. Ate a whole jar of pickled pork one day. It was the best day of my life. Was the worst morning after, too, but it was worth it. Very good of you to have us. Nice folk are hard to come by.”

 

“I don’t get many visitors,” I said. “May as well make the most of it.”

 

“Send us on our way is what most folks would’ve done. You went above and beyond. The world needs more people like you. Bloody well has an abundance of assholes, so it’s no wonder we’re all drowning in shit.”

 

“Knife,” I said, and pointed at the table.

 

“That is one fine blade,” he said, handing me the utensil handle first.

 

“Took vinegar, mustard seed, and what else?” I said.

 

“It had Tabasco and celery seed. Out of curiosity, I added bay leaf.” If the man smiled any bigger, surely his cheeks would’ve split.

 

“You have a passion for food, don’t you?” I said.

 

“Only for the right kind.”

 

“Wait for Lusk?” I said, turning off the stove and stirring the beans and rice together.

 

“A good meal is worth waiting for,” he conceded. “While we wait, maybe we could compare notes.”

 

Longer fingers than any I’d ever seen plucked a folded notebook out of his pocket. Signed sketches waited within—such delicious sights that I wished the scenes depicted where of the old scratch-and-niff variety.

 

“Catch them all yourself?” I said.

 

“Me and me alone.  When men have appetites like ours, we rarely have allies.”

 

“You can count on me,” I said.

 

“Can I?”

 

“Mister,” I said, raising my knife and nodding at the door, “I think it’s time.”

 

Lusk waited for us outside, seasoned from the hike and crispy from the flame.

 

###

 

 

About the Author:

Boley_WebRob E. Boley is the author of The Scary Tales series of novels, featuring mash-ups of your favorite fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters. He grew up in Enon, Ohio, a little town with a big Indian mound. He later earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Aside from The Scary Tales series, his fiction has appeared in several markets, including A cappella Zoo, Pseudopod, Clackamas Literary Review, and Best New Werewolf Tales. His stories have won Best in Show in the Sinclair Community College Creative Writing Contest and the Dayton Daily News/Antioch Writers’ Workshop Short Story Contest. He lives with his daughter in Dayton, where he works for his alma mater. Each morning and most nights, he enjoys making blank pages darker.

 

Author Website:

http://www.robboley.com

 

Sign up for Rob E. Boley’s REBolution E-newsletter and receive a free short story:

http://www.robboley.com/freestory/.

 

Download a free copy of That Risen Snow from Amazon by clicking here.

 

Buy a print copy of That Risen Snow by clicking here.

 

Categories : Book Release
Comments (0)