Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CONFESSIONAL - BY HUNTER SHEA - IS THIS WEEK'S TERROR TUESDAY!




This is one super tale by Hunter Shea! Confessional rings true in so many ways. My first wife, passed a number of years now, was a nun for seven years and definitely believed in Confession. However, we're talking about Hunter's mastery at the craft and his awesome approach to the Sacrament. I can't say for certain, but I believe the new Pope would enjoy this story. It's that good. And while I am no longer a Catholic, I certainly am happy to see a good man in the Papal position. Read this great story and tell Hunter what you think. He loves hearing from his fans and making new ones. He will with this tale.

Visit our website and read more superb tales from the members of The Pen Of The Damned. Dark is what we are about!


Blaze McRob





Confessional

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. It’s been…ah, about twenty years since my last confession.”
Father Antonio leaned forward, his face close to the screen that separated him from the man opposite him. In the darkness, he couldn’t make out the man’s features. It was better that way. There were some parishes where penitents had to face the priest head on, without the anonymity of the screen. He’d served in one for a year back when he was fresh from the seminary. He always felt that people guarded their sins more when they had to look a priest in the eye and spill their darkest secrets.
Dark secrets were made for dark places.
“We are very glad to have you back,” he said. “God’s home and heart is always open to you.”
“Thank you, father.”
A long silence followed. Father Antonio heard the whistle of the man’s breath through his nose.
He was well aware that sometimes, especially when there had been a long absence in the confessional, you had to give them space to collect their thoughts. It had been a while since he’d had a prodigal son walk through his confessional door. Most weeks, he heard the same confessions from the same blue hairs who attended mass seven days a week. He’d often been tempted to tell them to ‘go forth and seek fun’. Come back to him with some real sins to be forgiven. The thought made him suppress a chuckle.
After the silence went beyond the typical summoning of courage period, he said, “Do you have any sins you’d like to confess?”
The wood seat groaned as the man shifted his weight.
“I…I did something terrible when I was younger. I thought I could live with it. When I realized I couldn’t, I knew I had to confess but I was too afraid to speak it. I even changed religions. I was an Episcopalian for years. You see, with them, you confess your sins straight to God in your head. And I confessed, every Sunday, kneeling before the cross.”
Father Antonio said, “And did you find forgiveness?”
The man sniffled. It sounded as if he was crying. He ran a finger down the screen.
“No.” He said it with a breathless desperation.
“Have you forgiven yourself?”
Father knew the answer but sensed the man needed to give voice to his sins and perceived shortcomings in order to find the path to healing. He felt a burning tension in his own core, waiting to hear the man’s confession. What must it be like for him, to have a sin so great he’s spent years finding a way to unburden his soul?
“No. I need your help father.”
“You need to tell God your sin. You’ll be amazed how lighter you’ll feel. No sin is without forgiveness. All you need to do is ask for it.”
“Should…should I just say it, then?”
“That would be best. Look at it like jumping into a cool lake. The moment you hit the refreshing water, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t jumped in sooner.”
He listened as the man took several deep breaths, expelling them through his mouth.
“Will God forgive me for taking another life?”
Father Antonio’s heart kicked into a stuttering gallop. He’d spoken to other priests who had been on the receiving end of confessions of murder. What lay people didn’t know, and shouldn’t know, was the weight of those sins that simply shifted from sinner to confessor. Priests were still human. To know that there was potentially a murderer in his parish, to wonder who it could be, and to somehow let it go, to be the conduit of forgiveness, was far from easy.
The man continued. “I was a kid when it happened, still in college. I’d been at a party, had a little too much to drink, too much to smoke, and I’d taken a few pills. At some point, I wandered off, left the club to get some air, I think. After that, I blacked out for a while. Next thing I knew, I was ringing someone’s bell. A pretty woman answered. I asked her if I could use her phone so I could call someone to pick me up and take me to my dorm.
“I must have woken her up. She was wearing a robe and it kinda fell open at one point. I saw that she’d been sleeping nude. She was beautiful. I forgot about the phone. I couldn’t help myself. Before she could scream, I put my hand over her mouth and forced her onto a table. I…I can’t remember exactly what I did, but when it was over, she wasn’t breathing any more. I’d crushed her windpipe. Like a coward, I ran. For weeks I watched the story on the news from the safety of my dorm. The police never even thought to look into the students at my college. My prints weren’t on file. I was free.”
Father Antonio’s mouth went dry.
“But I wasn’t,” the man said. “Please, forgive me Father. I can’t go on like this.”
It was difficult for Father Antonio to speak. He didn’t hear his own words as he doled out the man’s penance. Something about saying the rosary and asking Mary for forgiveness.
The man thanked him profusely, praising him and Jesus for their kindness. As he left, Father Antonio cracked the door open just enough to see the man as he shuffled down the aisle.
It was Gene Fenton. He always sat in the center pews so he could bring up the gifts during mass.
Gene Fenton.
Father Antonio fumbled within his cassock for his cell phone. He thumbed his brother-in-law’s phone number.
“I know who killed our Laurie,” he whispered.
“How?”
“God brought him to me. His name is Gene Fenton. I’ll get you his address when I return to the rectory.”
“You know what this will mean, don’t you?”
It was impossible to see through his tears. “Please, don’t tell me.”
But he knew. His wife’s murder was why he became a priest, to put as much distance as possible from the man he’d been to who he was now. In both incarnations, he was wholly imperfect.
He disconnected the call.
Stumbling from the confessional, he opened an adjacent door. Father Murphy sat on the other side, unprepared for what was about to come.
“Bless me father, for I have sinned.”
~ Hunter Shea

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

THE MANIPULATOR - BY ZACK KULLIS - IS TODAY'S TERROR TUESDAY TALE!








Today's Terror Tuesday Tale is The Manipulator, by Zack Kullis. Zack is the newest member of The Pen Of The Damned, and while he's not as twisted as I am, he's working hard to catch up. On the other hand, his writing talent is already superb, and we will be treated to many a delightful tale from this very interesting man. On three separate occasions, I have written tales where Zack was either the hero or the goat. It is great to have him on board now. Time for him to obtain a little revenge possibly.

Go to our website for some great free reads from all our members. We have something for everyone, unless you're looking for fluffy lambie stories. The gang tears the fluffy lambies apart.

Enjoy Zack's twisted, delightful story!


Blaze




The Manipulator

Nothingness, absolute and pure, was broken by a suggestion.
~Rise~
Slumber torn asunder. Twinges of tissue and cognition, and then he WAS.
~ ~
Tired. So tired… Confusion and disorientation numbed his mind like cotton wrapped hands. Thoughts felt like a jumble of dusty moths bumped plaintively against a dim light bulb. He couldn’t grasp where he was – what he was doing. His limbs felt stiff and unused.
The stony grip of anxiety seized his mind and burned in his lungs. A deep breath was impossible. Thin air pulled slowly through his nose, bringing with it the smell of fresh clothing and an acrid smell that reminded him of a dissected frog. His anxiety doubled when he realized his mouth wouldn’t open. A hand finally responded to his slow mind. It moved sluggishly, fumbled around haphazardly until it found his lips. Glue. Somebody had glued his lips shut while he slept. Anger and the inability to get a full breath drove his fingers to tear at his lips with a horrible frenzy.
Dry tissue tore without pain or blood. Thin air cascaded over his teeth and dry tongue. His lungs responded mechanically, filling, expelling. Fingers that slowly gained dexterity and feeling touched what should have been painful tears in his lips. He was grateful it didn’t hurt and started to relax slightly.
Another strange sensation penetrated the musky fog of his lethargic mind. His eyes felt like they had something in them. The total absence of light wouldn’t let him see what he was doing, so his hands touched their way past his torn lips, his cold nose, and found his eyes. Tufts of cotton had been stuffed between his eyelids and his eyes. ‘What the hell,’ he tried to scream, but it came out in a hoarse growl. “Wwuu du hehh!”
His hand shot out in an effort to throw away the cotton when it struck something solid. The loud ‘thunk’ reverberated around him as if he were in a closed space. The frantic movement of the severely claustrophobic possessed him as his legs kicked and struck out all around him. A cacophony of quick echoes filled the tight space. His fists pummeled the surface above him, to the side, underneath, and beyond his head. Wordless screams bounced off the smooth walls.
Animalistic fury filled his mind and fueled his raging muscles. His hand shot out in front of him, and struck the surface above his face. The welcome sound of a loud crack met his ears. Lungs pulled at the failing air in massive gulps, like a doomed fish flopping on the shore. A primal scream erupted from his bloodless lips as he struck out violently against his prison.
“Unnghh!” he screamed between breaths. The sounds of his attack morphed from groans and creaks to the splintering of broken wood. A fist erupted through the fissure; his dry flesh scratched, torn and shredded against the sharp edges of his prison. Small pieces of something cold fell onto his face. His hand and fingers vaguely recognized the material as he started to pull his hand back inside and tear at the prison. Realization of what was falling on him came along with the avalanche of freshly dug dirt.
Adrenaline, or its mystical counterpart, burst through his system. ‘Damn this place’ he thought as he struggled against the wood and dirt. ‘Damn whoever put me here’ he thought as he finally got to his knees. The weight of loose dirt above him pressed down on his shoulders and head. Arms tried to push through the soil and pull him up. Hands searched frantically for leverage, for anything. Nothing.
There was no point. Dirt pressed against his eyes, stuck against the dry orbs, preventing him from the tender mercy of a blink. Not even a blink. Small bits of soil worked into his nose. The smell of loam and old decay filled him. Gagged him. He thrashed his head. How long since he took a breath? Fighting to keep his mouth closed was in vain. The muscles in his jaw worked against him. ‘Don’t open’ he screamed in his head.
His head thrashed wildly when his mouth opened. Dirt, a few rocks, and who knows what else poured in. His movements slowed against his will. Hands stopped grasping. Arms stopped reaching. He was dead – or would be. The cold hand of eternity gripped him tightly. He would pass, and be finished with his awful fate. Soon. Please.
There was nothing. His mind still worked, toiled against being stuck in this cold between. Then there was something. From above. A presence. It waited, knowingly. It beckoned. Then it spoke in his head.
Rise…”
‘Can’t move,’ he thought in reply. ‘Can’t breathe.’
Dark laughter filled his head. It remained silent long enough that he decided he had gone mad. ‘Yes,’ he thought. ‘I’m mad.’ The voice filled his head again.
Mad like the Arab with his Kitab al-Azif? No. Forget who you were, that which was is no more. Stop struggling for air. You no longer need it. Rise!”
It seemed too much, but he couldn’t deny the voice. It knew. The voice was more than suggestive. It carried with it an air of command that left no room for questions or derision. As a marionette moves at the behest of the manipulator, so too was he compelled to move. He pushed deeper into the earthen barrier, inched upwards, and endured the agony of his impossible climb. He fought against the spasms of his lungs craving oxygen they no longer needed as he heeded the call.
Fingers clawed through dirt and grasped at moist air. Forearms broke through soon after, quickly pulling his head past charnel soil. His eyes worked to blink away the earthen mess they had gathered. He hung his head forward, disgorging a voluminous pile of graveyard dirt that had filled his mouth and esophagus. Once the dirt was gone, he pulled in air. Not for a breath, no, he cried out with a nightmarish mix of relief and malice.
He lifted his head up to find the voice. The manipulator. His eyes absorbed the tenebrous night with preternatural ability. A huge moon hung far overhead, shedding its gossamer rays over a small clearing. Spanish moss clung tenaciously to an old Cypress tree.
“Here,” rasped a gravelly voice. The voice spoke in his head as it sounded in his dirt-filled ears. He turned his head and saw the Manipulator standing underneath the Cypress tree. It was too dark under the ancient tree to see the owner of the voice, but he could see a figure of absolute darkness and haunting shape beneath the heavy limbs.
“You are reborn, freed from death’s hold through this necrotic birth. I have not given you life, but something utterly different and blasphemous. You have breached this unhallowed soil which is your second womb. You enter this world bloodless, severed from humanity and unbound by all law but mine.”
The Manipulator raised an arm, cloaked in dominion and despair. A withered hand moved in lesser shades of dark and prompted the reborn man to finish rising. Enthralled by his master, he pressed his now powerful hands against the ground he had crawled from. He pushed, struggled, and cried out with the effort. At long last he dragged himself from the loose soil and ambled towards the Manipulator with manic obsession. The filthy clothes, clean when the man had been buried two days ago, dropped clumps of dirt and soil as he made his way to the Stygian shadow under the Cypress tree.
He stood under the tree and shook with necrotic joy. Eyes bright with malicious zeal looked excitedly at the being that had given him all. “Come,” said the Manipulator. “You and I have work to do.”
~ Zack Kullis

Monday, November 18, 2013

CINDY KEEN REYNDERS - BIG BOOK SIGNING AT BARNES AND NOBLE ON FRIDAY!

  







Cindy Keen Reynders, author of A Witch At Midnight, among other great books, will be having a benefit book signing at the Cheyenne, Wyoming Barnes & Noble on Friday, November 22nd. She has waited for this for a long time. There is a new manager at the store, and I wish to thank her for allowing Cindy to sign her great books. This is a great honor and pleasure. Needless to say, I will be there.

Also, Cindy and Mary Gillgannon, another local author with many titles to her credit, will have a special appearance on our local television station that morning. Great stuff for these two fine ladies. Also, the great Amanda Cabot will be there with them at Barnes & Noble. Amanda is a very generous lady and sets up many benefit book signings. Thank you, Amanda!

This is great news for these special ladies and quite an honor for Angelic Knight Press. Way to go!


Blaze McRob





Cindy was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived all over the United States and also in Japan. She has visited Canada, the Philippines, the Caribbean, Samoa and New Zealand. Her Saucy Lucy series books are The Saucy Lucy Murders, Paws-itively Guilty and A Killer Slice. She also writes an urban fantasy line for Angelic Knight Press, and the first book is titled, The Seven-Year Witch.
Visit her website at www.cindykeenreynders.com where you can contact her via e-mail. From her website, you can also link to her blog or visit her on Facebook.
Over the years, Cindy has won or placed in different writing contests. She has also written for and edited many newsletters. Additionally, she has sold several non-fiction magazine articles to "True West" and "Wild West."
Cindy currently lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband Rich. She works as Laramie County School District 1's marketing specialist and writes feature articles for the Public Schools Chronicle.




Benefit Bookfair for the Village

Event:
Benefit Bookfair for the Village
Start:
November 14, 2013 8:00 am
End:
November 14, 2013 5:00 pm
Updated:
November 14, 2013
b n for blog 300x250 Benefit Bookfair for the VillageGet an early start on holiday shopping and support the Paul Smith Children’s Village at the same time.  Don’t miss Discovery Day at Barnes & Noble on November 22nd which is a day of special events, including a bookfair to benefit the Children’s Village.  Everything you buy, including CafĂ© purchases, benefit the Children’s Village as long as you tell the cashier you want to support us.
The bookfair includes, a book signing by three popular Cheyenne authors from 6 to 8 PM. They include Cindy Keen Reynders, Mary Gillgannon and Amanda Cabot as they discuss and sign their recent releases.   Reynders is the author of the “Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan,” a paranormal romance series that includes “7 Year Witch” and A Witch at Midnight.” Gillgannon will be signing the fourth of her Dragon of the Island series and The Silver Wheel,” a tale of Celtic Britain.  Cabot’s most recent release is “Waiting for Spring,” an inspirational romance set in 1886 Cheyenne.
Gardens staff will be at B&N from 5 – 9PM with a special welcome for customers.  For more information, contact Darcee Snider at 307−637−6458.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NANA'S GIFT - BY AGY WILSON - IS ONE GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOK!



Nana's Gift, by Agy Wilson, is a great children's book! The cover art, interior art, and the story all interweave to create a most delightful read. Some of you know that I am getting ready to venture into writing children's books as well as my usual horror offerings. Don't laugh. I know where you live. Before Visionary Press Cooperative started doing children's books, I was pulled in by the work that my talented friend, Agy does. And, I'm still drawn to her mastery. I saw some recent, in the works, things she's working on, and something like what she had done is perfect for a tale I have in mind. The mood and colors she had would fit my tale perfectly. I'm not saying anything more about me here, other than the fact that Agy will be doing some art work for me.

Enjoy Agy Wilson's mastery at the craft. I do.


Blaze McRob

Book Description

March 7, 2012
Darlee Sims does not want to be left at her Nana's house at first, but with the help of Nana, Pasha and Honey, she learns about her family, Grampa Jack and best of all about herself. A quiet story with fun language and warm illustrations, Nana's Gift is appropriate for readers young and old.
 

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

I am an author, illustrator working in Maine. I work in Photoshop now, though I've trained with many different types of media. I have wide interests, including history, science, literacy, relationships and sustainable living. Nana's Gift was a labor of love and learning, as it was the first picture book I wrote and I taught myself Photoshop in doing the illustrations, with the help of Will Terry's Folio classes. This represents the second edition, reflecting new found skills and a better formatting. I hope the book is enjoyed as much as I enjoyed making it! 

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Nana's Gift, By Agy Wilson, Will Warm Your Heart!, November 16, 2013
This review is from: Nana's Gift (Kindle Edition)
Nana's gift is a treasure! Agy Wilson did a great job with the story as well as the art. When everything comes together as it does with this book, it warms my heart. I can visualize a child reading this tale, lingering over the words, and smiling at the pictures. Bravo, Agy! 

5.0 out of 5 stars Nana's gift is understanding, patience and love September 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Nana's Gift is such a lovely well rounded book. The very author is also the illustrator. I love the flow of her images and the story took me back to my childhood.
The story has a strong messages about honesty, forgiveness, understanding and owning up to ones mistakes.
It is clever how the author makes the grandmother so human and nostalgic. Agy Wilson has a great way of portraying her characters into great depth.
Nana's gift is understanding, patience and love all nicely wrapped in a beautiful music box and a sweet strawberry rhubarb jam. A well-deserved five stars for both the words and the illustrations. 

5.0 out of 5 stars A cute little story the whole family will enjoy May 6, 2013
Format:Paperback
10*s. I received an eARC copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

WOW...This is an incredible children's story!! I loved how much fun Darlee had with her Nana. This story kept my attention from beginning to end with the plot and the illustrations!!! I absolutely loved the hand drawn look of the illustrations too!! This is a MUST read fabulous story that the whole family will enjoy for years to come!! Thank you, Agy Wilson, for the opportunity to read and cherish this remarkable children's book!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

BOOK REVIEW FOR - THE MURDERED METATRON - BY JAMES GLASS!







This is a short book, but it is a great book! The Murdered Metatron, by James Glass, is a wonderful blend of genres. It just so happens that I like all of them. Added to the sense of mystery is the author himself. I love the mystery inherent within his own personality.

Read this great tale. Tell them Blaze sent you!


Blaze McRob



Book Description

November 10, 2013
The voice of God is dead.....

When John Smith wakes from a coma in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania he remembers nothing of his past except that he might have tried to commit suicide. In an effort to pay the bills he becomes a private detective and is hired by a strange pair of clients who are determined to find out who killed the Voice of God. The clues lead him to the doorstep of the strange and reclusive Virgil Calahan and a hundred year old crime.



5.0 out of 5 stars James Glass Joins The Ranks Of The Best Detective Writers. Horror Style!, November 15, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Murdered Metatron (Kindle Edition)
The Murdered Metatron is a classic blend of horror, humor, and detective work. While it is relatively short, all the elements of a great page turner are here. I love stories of Angels and Demons and write a lot about them myself, but the author has added an entirely new twist, actually many new twists, as well as winding turns. The reader is taken on a merry ride of adventure. I dare you to figure out the ending to this beauty!

Also, I love great detective tales, mention Mickey Spillane and I go ballistic. Now, I can do the same when James Glass is whispered into my ear.

My advice to you is to set aside enough time to read this great book in one sitting. You'll be hungering for more . . .








James Glass enjoys his privacy, but frequently finds that he plays an unwilling host to Xircon. When not visiting red light districts of red light cities, he can frequently be found contemplating life in the seediest of libraries.
Find James Glass on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesRGlassII


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW FOR - 3-Z - BY LORI. R. LOPEZ!



My book review for Lori R. Lopez's great collection of Zombie shorts is at the bottom of this post. All three stories are diverse and superb, but Pound Of Flesh is my favorite. If you want to read three super short stories of the Undead, 3-Z is your cup of tea. Make certain you keep a watchful eye about you, though.


Blaze McRob

Book Description

October 31, 2013
A trio of short but sweet zombie tales ranging from suspenseful to quirky and weird, and finally a deft blend of humor-laced horror . . . With “3-Z”, author Lori R. Lopez presents a brief set of zombie shorts to satisfy your cravings. In “Pound Of Flesh” a woman is trapped next to a hungry moldering maniac when a Halloween Zombie Walk turns real. “A Big Problem” is a darkly humorous bizarro piece that presents a cross-eyed view of The Undead. “Knock Knock” describes what can happen when a Trick-Or-Treater isn’t actually wearing a costume.
 
 
 
 
 
Lori R. Lopez wears many hats, literally and otherwise. She is an artist who designs her book covers and illustrates some of her tomes. As an author she writes poems, short stories, novels, songs, children's books and nonfiction as well as a quirky humorous-slash-serious column called "Poetic Reflections" at http://fairyflyentertainment.com/category/category/poetic-reflections. She is a musician, actress and filmmaker.
She has been an animal-lover since small. A vegetarian, her work often contains themes of conservation and animal rights. Also, messages regarding the rights of children.
Her books include CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE FAIRY FLY for ages twelve through adult; THE MUDPUPPY and THE FOX TROT for children (and all ages); DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, and POETIC REFLECTIONS: KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD. Her stories and verse appear in anthologies such as MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON'T, SPLATTERPUNK SAINTS, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, SOUP OF SOULS, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE: 14 TALES OF TERROR. Fifteen of Lori's poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY (Triskaideka Books).


5.0 out of 5 stars Humour & Zombies! November 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
As always with LRL the wording is lilting but has such a wonderful depth. I love that she makes me look up words!

This is 3 amazing zombie based stories all wrapped up in one snuggle fest.

Pounds of Flesh: As you read the full extent of the horrible situation it dawns on you how brilliant LRL writing is, as she slowly leaks little pieces of information to you, like panning back/outward when watching a film. As the emotion is ratchet up with a phone call LRL manages to slip in all sorts of horrifying descriptions in that lovely lyrical "did she actually say that" style.
The ending was not what I expected but welcome nonetheless.

A Big Problem: oh my goodness, should you really be giggling they whole way through a horror story? Just who do you call when your ear falls off from the zombie virus? Dagdon of course! He has the solution to all the issues....

Knock, Knock: another one to make your heart bleed. A real case of mistaken identity, I cant say too much without giving what happens away but this was by far the best ending I have ever read! it is so cleverly written you begin to doubt who the trick or treater is too. 
 
 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars 3-Z, BY LORI R. LOPEZ, IS FIVE STAR A+, November 13, 2013
By 
Robert C. Nelson (CHEYENNE, WY, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-Z (Kindle Edition)
3-Z, by Lori R. Lopez is vintage Lori. A Pound Of Flesh is beyond explaining. I have never read a Zombie tale which captured the human side of what might happen if the Zombie Apocalypse were to come any better than Lori has here. A Big Problem and Knock Knock are pure delight with what I must describe as a wonderful blend of bizarro and cognitive thought. The ending of Knock Knock was superb. A Big Problem was a gem of a read with many plots and subplots that had me hanging on for more. Read these gems. You will be delighted!