Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Day of Reckoning

Those who visit this blog might remember that back in February, as a participant in Holly Strange's Vampire's Day Soiree, I wrote a segment of a story I'd been working on. I got some good feedback on the piece, so I'm happy to report that A Day of Reckoning is now finished and is available for reading. Here are a few more details for those who are visiting here for the first time, and for those who would like their memory refreshed.

A young woman awakes suddenly during the night. She arises and looks around the dark room. Something doesn't seem right, but she can't place the source of her discomfort. She glances behind her; and, much to her horror, discovers the source of her discomfort. Lying on the bed is her own dead body. Two puncture wounds on her neck reveal the horrible truth. She had fallen victim to a blood drinker, and now her earthly life was over.

"Vampire or not," she tells herself, "he's going to pay for what he's done to me." She sets out to do just that.

So begins my latest novelette entitled, "A Day of Reckoning." It is now available exclusively on Kindle, and you can find it by clicking here.

I know that I often keep you all waiting when I contribute to the Vampire's Day Soiree, but at least I try to follow through on my promises. Thanks for being here!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

World Goth Day 2019

It seems that I rarely post here anymore; maybe two or three times per year at the most. Life and time constraints are simply getting in the way these days. 

That said, today is May 22, which means that World Goth Day is once again upon us. So, I just want to take a moment to wish all of you in blog land a Great World Goth Day--and remember, keep it spooky! 

Photo credit goes to Art by Andi.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Vampire's Day Soiree 2019: A Day of Reckoning

Hello, Dear Readers, and welcome to the eight annual Vampire's Day Soiree, hosted as always by Holly B. Strange, owner of the blog, Holly's Horrorland.

The Vampire's Day Soiree is an event that I always look forward to. As Ms. Holly herself puts it, 

"... Vampire's Day is my alternative to Valentine's Day. For those who prefer bloody hearts.
I celebrate by hosting a virtual sanguinary soiree. All you have to do is post something vampire related on February 14. Say it's for the Vampire's Day Soiree (use #VampiresDaySoiree on social media) at come back here to "mingle" with the other guests."

Mingling with the other guests involves not just sharing comments, but also clinking on the links provided on Holly's Horrorland to other sites in order to see what the various participants have posted about vampires. It's just that simple, but it's an event to look forward to.

My offering usually involves an excerpt from one of my pieces of fiction, and this year will be no different. Still, this year's contribution comes with a disclaimer: As of the time of posting, the story has been proof-read by me once, but has not had it's second going over for errors and has not yet gone to my editor. Yep, it's that new. The piece is still somewhat in it's raw form and so might contain grammatical errors, redundancies, misplaced punctuation,--whatever. Now for a bit of background:

Over the past six or nine months I have become interested in a Facebook page called The Gothic Library, Hosted and given loving attention by a young writer named Mindy Leah. One of the features of her pages involves art inspired stories, and many of the pictures she places on her page certainly does inspire. Because of her work, I have delved into the world of flash fiction; very short stories usually containing 500 words or less. Today's contribution, A Day of Reckoning, started out that way and remains somewhere in The Gothic Library as a very short piece of fiction. Still, there was something about the photo provided and my imagination that couldn't let the story lie in it's short state. I picked it back up and brought it to a much longer form with an entirely different conclusion. It is now the second longest piece I have written.

This time around then, I will start at the very beginning of the story and will present it as I had originally intended; as a piece of flash fiction.

Jessica arose with a start, and looked around the dark room. At first glance everything seemed normal, but she couldn't shake the feeling of unease that had overtaken her. Something was wrong; yet, she couldn't determine what it might be. As the young woman turned toward the bed, she gasped in horror. Stretched out across the covers was the lifeless body of a young woman. A closer inspection revealed that it was her own body. A trail of blood trickled down from two puncture wounds on her neck.

"Oh my God," she screamed. "My God! It can't be! No! Please no!"

The horrific memory of all that had just occurred flooded her mind. She remembered turning off the
lamp on the end table, and only moments later, feeling the breath of the cold night air caressing her skin.

"I don't remember opening the window," she had mumbled to herself while arising to shut it.

Jessica recalled the electrifying fear she'd felt when she saw a darkly dressed stranger standing by the gently swaying curtains. She remembered retreating toward the door when he hissed at her threateningly before opening his mouth wide, revealing two obtrusive fangs. She recalled struggling valiantly against the stranger's attack, and vividly recollected the sharp pain in her neck as the man's incisors penetrated her soft skin. She sobbed uncontrollably as she gazed upon the body that was once hers; now lifeless and drained of its essence.

Time stood still as the young woman, filled with grief over her own passing, continued to stare at that
which had once been her earthly vehicle--a body that once experienced pain and pleasure as well as the feel of the cool wind blowing through her hair. She thought about the young man she loved waiting for her back home, and how he had no way no way of yet knowing that she would not be returning to him.

She recoiled with the thought that her best friend, with whom she was staying, would react in the morning upon discovering her dead body. Her thoughts then turned to her friends and family back home, and the good times they'd all had together. Jessica grieved for the fleeting life she once had.
Seemingly frozen in time, she struggled to make peace with that which had happened.

When Jessica could no longer bear the sight before her, she stooped over in an effort to touch her former earthly vehicle. Then, she turned and walked out the door, without even attempting to open it.

Upon her arrival in New Orleans, she'd heard stories about resident blood drinkers, but had dismissedthem as superstitious fantasy and failed to pay them any mind. Now she believed; and, as she strode out into the darkness of the night, she promised herself that she would make the creature pay for what he'd done. 

"Vampire or not," she told herself, "he'll pay a high price for what he's done to me."

There you have it; A Day of Reckoning in it's original form. The full story will appear in my next book. I'm just not sure when it will be published as more material still needs to be written first. I will say however, that I'm well along the way toward that goal. At least I didn't exactly leave you the reader hanging this time; or, did I? 

Again, many thanks to Holly B. Strange for hosting this annual event. If you want to access the Holly's Horrorland website click here!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Vintage Halloween Pictures 2018

Well folks, the spooky season has arrived once again, so that can mean only one thing; it must be time for The Gothic Embrace's annual exhibition of vintage Halloween art and pictures. I think I've chosen some great representations of Halloween from times go by, so let's jump right in, shall we? 

What better way to begin than with a picture of an old witch flying in front of the full moon This is classic old-time Halloween stuff. As in this case, there was often a short poem or saying that accompanied this type of art work. Might this particular piece have graced the front of a greeting card? Or perhaps it was a party invitation to further entice anxious youngsters to attend. Either way, I like the Jack-O'- Lantern that hangs off the back of her broom stick as well as the bats.

Next, we have the cover of a publication called Tick Tock Tales. A child sits on his bed reading Halloween tales as his animal friends (stuffed animals perhaps?) and a ghostly Jack-O'-Lantern looks on. Although the date of the publication (if it was ever real) is missing, you can get a clue to its age by looking at the price, which is partially covered up by the ghostly one. It looks like ten cents. How long ago was it when you could find comic books for that price?  

Are these trick or treaters or something from beyond the veil? Only they know for sure. 

This one is simple, but typical of older Halloween art work. The small lettering says the way it should be. As a Halloween and horror traditionalist, I must concur. 

Here we have another witch. Unlike images of of darkly dressed witches that were and still are depicted as scary, this lady in green seems far less so. Still, if you look closely you'll see what appear to be dark Jack-o-lanters on her gown. This time, an owl rides at the back of her broom. 

I always like to guess, by the art, what time period photos such as these were created. Judging from this lady's style of dress and the fact that she appears less evil, I'm guessing the 1910s or 20s. What do you think? 

Last but not least we have this scary guy standing inside of a coffin-shaped....well, something or other. He's carrying a Jack-o'-lantern and is flanked on either side by two black cats. A bat sits atop the clock that graces the top of the coffin. Such clocks with faces also help date a piece of art. That said, your guess is as good as mine as to when this might have been created. And just what is that guy? His head is skull-like, so he could be a skeleton. Then again, he might be a vampire. They do, after all, spend a lot of time in coffins.  

Well, there you have it; this year's vintage Halloween art offering. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoy finding something to put up here. 

A Happy and Spooky Halloween to all! 

This year's photos were all taken from the public photos section of Vintage Halloween Pictures on Facebook.