Category Archives: Horror Books

Christmas Horror Book: KRENGEL & THE KRAMPUSZ by M.C. Norris @mcnorrisauthor


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Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Supernatural Fantasy, Horror


kreng

The epic origin of a beloved holiday icon unfolds, as nine-year-old Klaas Krengel flees plague-ravaged Germania on a swashbuckling adventure across Medieval Europe to the remote ends of the earth, where he finds himself pitted against a gruesome host of adversaries, all resurrected from old Austrian lore. A bit of a spoiled brat, Krengel’s only friend is an insidious counterpart called the Krampusz, a blue-furred monster who suffers from a pronounced hoarding disorder.

Vexed by his half-brother’s lifelong privilege and pampering, the Krampusz enjoys nothing more than imperiling the boy through calculated misdirection, ultimately trapping him in the bottomless depths of the enchanted “Sack of Shadows.” Therein, a fantastic realm of weird and warring races demands a showdown between Krengel and its tyrannical ruler, a horrendous witch who alone holds a key to the connection between Krengel and the Krampusz.

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Excerpt:

Every bell in Bari had a unique tone and timing. Each was synchronized to the timing of a specific, daily event. The toll of a bell would prompt a skyward glance from anyone within earshot, to make a quick check of the sun’s position. The bells were so intimately linked to the passage of time that on the rare occasions when every bell in the city tolled at once, the experience rattled a Baresi to his very soul, stilled him in his tracks, for time itself unraveled and was strewn to confetti. The joyous crash of sound reverberated through the seaport’s writhing arteries to flush pigeons in dappled flocks that flashed in the sky like schools of minnows.

At midday on May ninth, the first day of the annual Festival of the Translation of the Holy Relics, Bari came alive with clanging bells. Starlings gushed from the clerestory windows around the pealing bell tower at Basilica di San Nicola, the final resting place of Bari’s patron saint. It was an imposing fortification, a somber hulk of ancient masonry that loomed darkly over the peninsula with its back to the Adriatic Sea. With its cruciform mass shouldered between Romanesque towers, it better resembled an English castle than an ordinary place of worship. And at times, it had served as such.

Across the bustling piazza from the seaward dormitories, a hooded figure emerged from the basilica’s Lion’s Portal. The brown fabric of his Dominican robes flapped in the briny wind, throwing back his hood as he skulked beneath the engraved names of those famous sailors who rescued Saint Nicholas from Myra, five hundred years ago. He jerked the hood back over his naked head and turned to face the wall. Head bowed as though in prayer, he reached into the sleeve of his tunic, and withdrew a steely dagger.

Cast upon the spike of shimmering steel, was a leering distortion of his broad face and blazing eyes. He lowered and tilted his chin, trailing his fingertips over his newly shaved scalp. It was another of the Krampusz’s bright ideas. Krengel smiled. He looked funny bald, a bit like Friar Otto.

In five months, he’d grown in height and width. Though they might’ve starved a passive child with their severe Dominican diet of broth and rye, what were Krengel’s lifelong failings, but symptoms of his indomitable will to have while others around him had not. Greed ran strong in both sides of his family. And it was no small irony that Krengel, now a custodian of the relics of a saint canonized for profound acts of generosity, had honed his naturally greedy edge to a perfect tool for survival. Since Christmas Eve in Rome, he’d grown meaner, stronger, and more formidable. Daily acts of theft and trickery against the hardened peasants of a foreign land had honed Krengel, right beneath the noses of his Dominican handlers, into perhaps the most dogged urchin in all of Bari.

Krengel lifted his tunic, glanced around the crowded piazza, and then sheathed the dagger back into a tight fold in his braies. He hitched up his secret contraption. The rope was itchy about his waist, and the weight of the invention had begun to chaff his flesh. The dangling wood blocks clonked between his knees. Should’ve wrapped them in cloth to quiet their knocking. Too late for any of that, now. This was the big day. Around front of the basilica, cartwheels rumbled against the pavers as guests and dignitaries continued to arrive.

He’d not yet spotted Cardinal Moretti, rumored still unfit to attend this evening’s festivities, deathly ill as he’d been. Moretti posed him little threat in his weakened condition, but he was indeed the one person in all of Italy who could possibly spoil everything by summoning for him at the critical hour. Thus, the first phase of Krengel’s plan for May ninth was simply to avoid Moretti at all costs, to meld into the visiting crowds and simply lay low until sundown.

“What in Heaven do you think you’re doing, back here?”

Krengel spun to find the rector glowering out at him through the Lion’s Portal. He seized Krengel by an ear and marched him along the wall toward the main entrance of the basilica. “We’ve been looking everywhere for you! Your benefactor has arrived!” The rector lifted him by his ear and flipped back his hood. “You’ve shaved your head. What is this?”

“I had lice?”

“Shush it!”

The rector harried him to the main portal, where Cardinal Moretti was being lifted from his wagon in a sort of birthing position by a host of able-bodied Dominicans. The friars set him gently upon his unstable feet. He swayed weightlessly in the bullying wind, as though might at any moment be sucked off the earth and flung through the heavens. He lolled back his head and peered at the ecclesiastical assembly from beneath his fallen eyelids. The purplish growth in his lower jaw had swelled to the size of an onion, forcing his tongue to protrude like a newly hatched chick. He attempted to speak, but his lips produced only bubbles.

Krengel’s survival for five months in the favored hunting grounds of this predator was owed mostly to a bout of poor health that robbed Moretti of all but an infant’s strength, slackening the musculature of his face, not a day after Miso del Gallo. As a result, Krengel hadn’t suffered sight of the awful man since Christmas Eve, which was fortunate, but rumor held that Moretti’s health was steadily improving. So said the Dominicans anyway, who’d just this morning doted over Moretti’s latest accomplishment of peeling and devouring a boiled egg all by himself.

A breeze kicked up and snatched the mitre right off Moretti’s head, tumbling and spinning it down the street. But the friars supporting the feeble body of their guest could only look on in despair as they goaded him forward, one cautious step at a time. A silvery thread of slobber whipped from Moretti’s lip and bowed like a harp in the wind. Snowy wisps of hair all writhing on scabrous pedestals, Moretti looked for all the earth to be some deranged and ancient warlock, routed from his alpine rookery.

As the trio approached, Krengel bent his knees until he felt those wood blocks beneath his tunic touch the ground. He then stepped atop them and rose, oh so slowly, to his tiptoes, causing the special knot from which they were suspended to unwind. Through the fabric of his robe, he gathered the reigns of his makeshift stilts. Those milling around him were so transfixed by the precarious transfer of Cardinal Moretti that none seemed to notice that Klaas Krengel had suddenly sprouted a foot in height, looking quite enough like an adult friar, with his broad shoulders and shaved head, to pass before the myopic eyes of the monster.

Moretti made some unintelligible grunt as they led him past Krengel, swinging his disheveled head. Yellowed fingernails splayed as he reached for the boy, but groped naught but thin air. Those rattling claws sliced past his face without touching, only to rasp against the doorpost as they pulled Moretti inside.

Safe. Just as the Krampusz had promised.

So many friars were about for the Festival of the Translation of the Holy Relics, tending to all the dignitaries being housed in the monastic dormitories that a hooded man-boy on stilts could walk freely through the piazza, disturbing only a few pigeons. The first phase of his great caper was complete. Krengel grinned at the dull impact of his clopping stilts upon the pavers. By nightfall, he’d be comfortably seated aboard a ship destined for the Habsburg Netherlands, his mother’s homeland, where not even the Holy Roman Empire could touch him. But first, he needed a hostage. And not just any would do. His hostage was to be a man more celebrated in Bari than both Christ and Pope Alexander VI combined, a man with the power to lift an orphan right out of Bari.


About the Author:

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M.C. Norris is an Active HWA member, whose first four novels, all published by Severed Press, are slated for release in fall of 2014: Deep Devotion (09/01/14), Krengel & the Krampusz (11/01/14), The Dread Owba Coo-Coo (11/15/14), and Nod (TBA).  His nineteen short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and e-zines, including: Withersin, Wrong World DVD, Brainharvest Magazine, Pseudopod, Malicious Deviance, and Dead Bait.  M.C. Norris also won 5th in Chizine/Leisure Books 13th Annual Short Story Contest.

Connect With The Author:

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Blog

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Amazon Author Page


Christmas Horror: 10 Books That Horror Lovers Will Love to Read This Holiday Season


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horror christmas article

Ah, Christmas. It’s a time filled with family and friends, gingerbread houses and candy canes, and warm, toasty nights spent in front of the fireplace as you dream of having your own white Christmas.

Or… maybe not.

For those of you that enjoy the darker side of Christmas, read on for our book suggestions and recommendations. From ghosts to zombies and Krampus to serial killers, after reading these books you might not ever look at Christmas quite the same…

Want more Christmas reads? See our other holiday book lists and suggestions.


winter ghostsBy the author of the “New York Times”-bestselling “Labyrinth,” a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.
In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.
Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic, centuries-old mystery, and discovered his own role in the life of this remote town.

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13285562Ho Ho Horror is a collection of eight Christmas horror short stories from both established and emerging writers of horror fiction.

From the terrors of physical danger, to characters at the edge of insanity, unsettlingly disturbed children, poignant psychological horror, and the supernatural, this collection of Christmas horror provides a unique blend of Christmas cheer and Christmas fear.

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wolves of midwinterThe tale of THE WOLF GIFT continues . . .

In Anne Rice’s surprising and compelling best-selling novel, the first of her strange and mythic imagining of the world of wolfen powers (“I devoured these pages . . . As solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early vampire chronicle fiction” —Alan Cheuse, The Boston Globe; “A delectable cocktail of old-fashioned lost-race adventure, shape-shifting and suspense” —Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post), readers were spellbound as Rice imagined a daring new world set against the wild and beckoning California coast.

Now in her new novel, as lush and romantic in detail and atmosphere as it is sleek and steely in storytelling, Anne Rice brings us once again to the rugged coastline of Northern California, to the grand mansion at Nideck Point—to further explore the unearthly education of her transformed Man Wolf.

The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.

From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits—centuries old—who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers . . .

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23596898For your entertainment during this season of goodwill – five festive nightmares from the pen of best-selling thriller and horror author, Paul Finch.

The ghoulish events in the frozen workhouse …

The undead presence at the costumed ball …

The pantomime that became a massacre …

The winter goddess with the heart of ice

The thieves who awoke the darker side of the Christmas spirit

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merry christmas alex crossIt’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything–and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days. Alex Cross is a hero for our time, and never more so than in this story of family, action, and the deepest moral choices. MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALEX CROSS will be a holiday classic for years to come.

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15729539NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

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6969112Todd Curry wants nothing more than to spend Christmas with his son. But when a brutal snowstorm cancels his flight from Chicago to Des Moines, Todd and a few other stranded passengers decide to rent a Jeep and make the trip on their own.

During the drive, they pick up a man wandering through the snow, who claims to be searching for his lost daughter. He is disoriented and his story seems peculiar. Strangest of all are the mysterious slashes cut into the back of the man’s coat, straight down to the flesh…

When they arrive at the nearest town, it appears deserted. Windows dark, car abandoned, fired burning unattended. But Todd and the rest of the travelers soon learn the town is far from deserted, and that they are being watched…

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one too manyWill Bronson and his son Danny are on their way to Vermont to spend a quiet Christmas with a friend — until a snowstorm forces them to take refuge in an isolated country diner with a group of passengers from a disabled bus. With plenty of food, heat, and companionship, they figure everything will be fine. Then a pair of state troopers shows up, claiming there’s a murderer in their midst.

That would be bad enough. But Will Bronson and his son hunt werewolves. And sometimes the werewolves hunt them.

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13505670Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murderer, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. . . . I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide . . .
—from Krampus

The author and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of Krampus, the Lord of Yule and the dark enemy of Santa Claus

One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse’s new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, including how half a millennium ago the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.

Now Santa’s time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself in his family’s eyes, to save his own broken dreams, . . . and to help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.

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17702335A meteor shower pelts the earth with strange debris on Christmas Eve. The US power grid fails due to the impact of a large meteorite. The dust plume causes severe illness and death as it blows east across America. As a result the government quarantines the entire northeast. Military personnel wearing gas masks patrol the edges of the affected area, preventing anyone from crossing. But when the dead start coming back to life and eating the living, the US braces itself for a full-on zombie outbreak that no military barricade can keep contained.

The Lazarus Impact is a fast paced, high intensity, peri-apocalyptic zombie action thriller that traces the stories of eight unique and diverse characters as they travel through the madness, trying to head west past the quarantine to safety… or so they think.

Wolf, an extreme survivalist television personality, is the first one on the scene when the meteors hit, filming the damage. Dr. Vogel, a former infectious disease lab rat turned physician, is on a mission to get to the CDC to give them samples of what he thinks might be the basis for a cure. Willy, an old, hardened, Vietnam War veteran suffering from PTSD, witnesses the outbreak as it ramps up in intensity at the hospital where he works as a janitor. Sheryl, a suburban housewife, learns of the dust when she gets a call from a neighbor that her boys are sick on the football field. Marcus, a reformed prison inmate with a violent past, escapes with a band of unscrupulous marauders during a riot. Michael and Amy, a bickering couple from NYC, struggle to get out of Manhattan despite the bridges and tunnels being barricaded and locked down. And Brandon, an awkward teenager with an obsession for horror comics and video games, hides out in his parents Cold War era bunker until he runs out of fuel.

When their paths intersect they must help and rely on each other for survival. The plan is to move west, past the quarantine, and make their way to a secure compound where people have been preparing for doomsday for decades. But the nightmares they face on the way west are only a shadow of the dangers they may encounter on the other side of the quarantine, where the American people have taken up arms to defend their new but porous borders. Will any survive the journey? Is it even worth it?

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Readers, now it’s your turn! What are your favorite Christmas horror novels?  Share them below!

Horror Book Spotlight: The Unholy Dead by Sylvester Murray


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Horror, Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Occult


the unholy dead

A cold Northerly breeze blew bitterly, chilling them to the core, as Meghan and her partner Jason, crept silently. Overhead, dark clouds drifted and blotted out the full moon, casting the cemetery into a murky blackness, yet further on, they could see a storm brewing. Lightning danced in the sky as they hurried along with the desire to read the tombstones that brought them out in the middle of the night. Some of the graves were hundreds of years old.

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Excerpt:

“Come on guys, we talked about this and you promised we were gonna give this thing a real shot. Think about how much this video could change our lives. I’m talking money, exposure, maybe even chicks. We’ll be like a real life Indiana Jones or something. Just wait a couple more….”

Suddenly, he stopped talking and looked down at his stomach. Then looked back up again at John and Ed as blood poured down the sides of his mouth and he toppled to the side, clutching his throat and gasping for breath. Ed and John watched his body drop and then their eyes travelled slowly upwards and they stared at the thing standing above Richard. It was human, yet not human. It opened its mouth and a thin guttural sound came out from its throat as it snarled at them. John pissed on himself as the both of them stared at it. Then it lunged and went after John, who was the closest person to it, grabbing him with a speed that was unnatural and tearing at his neck with a strength that had him pulling out John’s Adam’s Apple when his hand came away. Instantly, he fell on the body and began to paw at his chest, ripping his clothes away until he could get to the skin beneath. It broke through his rib cage like it was play dough and ripped his chest wide open. Then it pushed its mouth into his chest and began to feed on his intestines, so focused on this one action, it seemed to have forgotten about Ed.

The sound of a shot being fired made it lift its head. Then a second shot hit it right in the chest and it looked up to see Ed holding Richard’s gun and firing it. Another shot went wild, and Ed cursed, tears running down his eyes as he pressed down on the trigger, emptying the clip into the creature. “Die, die you evil son of a bitch,” he sobbed loudly as he kept shooting at it. Each bullet that hit the creature had it jumping back a little until it was a few feet from the body. Then Ed pushed on the trigger one more time and heard a clicking sounding, the chamber of the gun now empty of bullets.

“Shit,” he said, as he looked up to see that the creature was already back on its haunches, staring at him with eyes that glowed black. He turned around towards the gate and ran for his life, taking about three steps before he felt a bony hand curl around his ankle. Ed screamed out loud, begging and pleading for his life, even as the creature scampered up Ed’s body to rest on his chest and began to claw at him.

Meanwhile, the camcorder laid on its side, silently recording everything that crossed its path.


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About the Author:

sylvester murray

The author is a hopeless romantic who lives in a quaint little seaport town—just minutes from the ocean. In 2004, he won the Joseph G. Pietrantoni Outstanding Employee Award from Duke-based in Durham, N.C,-and the following year he won the Duke University and Health System Presidential Award, presented to him on April 28, in the Washington Duke Inn by the school’s president, Dr. Richard H. Brodhead. He is an accomplished songwriter, poet, and an author of 15 published books in different genres that include, Audio books, Cooking, Science fiction, None fiction, Drama, Romance, Mystery, and Horror. He enjoys hiking, fishing, and leisurely walks along the beach. When life unwinds from it hectic pace, he busies himself with various writing projects.

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African-American Horror Literature Spotlight: THE DREAD OWBA COO-COO by M.C. Norris @mcnorrisauthor


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Horror, Historical, African-American Lit


Dread_Owba_ebook_cover

It’s a snapshot from the darkest chapter in human history. A crippled slave ship, dismasted in the heart of the Middle Passage, comes to resemble a hellish island where there is no escape from the suffocating heat, from the circling sharks, from each other. But there is something else in their midst. Something ancient. Something evil.

Based on real events from the slave trade era, this intelligent approach to the zombie origin pursues a fly-borne plague to its African roots through a series of letters, log entries and balanced narratives from European and African perspectives, to an ancient pact forged between a dying Vodu witch and Sakpata, the god of disease. The product of the dark bargain is a creature both beautiful and terrifying to behold, relying on bloodsucking insects and a booming slave trade to spread its bloodline overseas to the shores of its new homeland, an island known as Hayiti.

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Excerpt:

Vincinte Madeira is escorted down to the Main Deck. They’ve moved a furnace down there, where a heifer is being butchered. Kettles of rendered fat boil and froth over their rims. Kneeling tanners rise and fall upon the hides like Mohammedians, scraping their fleshing blades with the regularity of lapping waves. Sailcloth is spread all around them, beneath heaps of boned flesh and innards. It looks as though a cow has exploded.

“Vin-cin-tay!”

Madeira’s gaze climbs the walls to the Quarterdeck, where the gray-green corpses of those three unruly Negroes continue to sway from stretched necks, their bellies distended like wormy pups. They turn on their shoulders with the rhythm of the ship’s lilt and pitch, like a troupe of necrotic dancers depicted on some painting from the black plague era. As the Redlowe crests a wave, all three corpses leap from the wall to kick up their feet and clap their putrid hands.

“Vin-ciiiin-taaaay!” High above, Joaquim waves from the Quarterdeck.

Guardsmen seize Madeira by his upper arms and drag him on his heels past the furnace of boiling fat. There, they bind his wrists and ankles to the great stump of their fractured masthead. Joaquim disappears from the sky’s edge. Below, an accordion player picks his way through the piles of boned meat, eyes closed, pumping away at his queer instrument as if he were strolling the starlit boardwalks of some Venetian canal.

For Madeira, the odor of rendered fat is richly nostalgic. The brothel where his mother worked served a chowder of shellfish and beef marrow. On the days the marrow was rendered, the brownish bovine essence would permeate every fiber of his clothing. He would smell it for days after the last bowl had been consumed. It was disconcerting to consider that although the last scrap of the bygone beast had been ingested, its spiritual presence lingered still on the longcoat of the son of a whore.

Joaquim appears atop the ladder, following the Slavemaster, Duarte Davila, down to the Main Deck. Madeira closes his eyes and breathes savory steam in and out through his nose. His heart rate quickens. Spanish spurs ring over the braying accordion, and ever more sharply as the Slaver draws near. The bootsteps stop, a short distance away. Madeira opens his eyes.

Smiling, Joaquim slips through the steam behind Davila. He creeps past the row of bobbing tanners toward the pile of boned meat. The Slaver withdraws a cat-o-nine from his sash. He presses the coils of leather to his nose, inhaling with such ecstatic force as to suggest the braids contained the antidote to a malady with which he was afflicted. The whip’s tails, black as the heart of Africa, glisten in his fist like a nest of vipers. No doubt, he tanned this leather from the hide of some unusual beast, for nothing about this scourge of humanity be affected with the ordinary. Unlike the ephemeral odor of a bull rendered to chowder, the spirit of whatever black-skinned creature was immortalized into the coils of the Slaver’s whip should outlast the remains of its screaming victims. Woven into its oily braids are ivory stars of intricate design, likely whittled from the same bone from which the weapon’s handle was fashioned. ‘Tis about the girth of a human femur.

Davila lowers the writhing leather mass into a kettle of boiling lard. Displaced foam spills over the side. Yellowish ropes of fatty froth hiss and spit as they slither down the scalding metal. Before they ever reach the deck, they have evaporated into pearly trails. Davila lifts the flails from the pot and lowers them to a pile of Guinea salt at his feet. He rolls them back and forth until each sting is wholly encrusted. Davila’s spurs sing with every step. His whip drags behind him like a cord of salted slugs. “There was once a guardsman at Axim who allowed himself to be overtaken by the Negroes, moments before the dungeon was locked-down for the night. I found what was left of him the next morning. What remained of that man had to be collected in a scuttle tub. That was fascinating to me, what enraged men are capable of doing to another with their bare hands. I salted and preserved those discorporate parts for the purpose of making a keen point in the training of that gentleman’s replacement. So, tell me your story, Pirate. How did you manage to survive your night below deck with them?”

Panting as though physically exerted, Madeira maps the barber surgeon’s scarred face. One of Davila’s eyes, he just notices, is distinctly hazel, while the other is a murky green. This is no man standing before him. It cannot be. It is a daemon that barely manages to retain its human form. “They presumed me an officer. I was protected by a few who believed that to save my life would assure their freedom.”

“And which charter would that be?”

“Sir?”

“Which Negro race did shelter you from the rest?”

“’Twas a mixed lot, Sir. Not any one Race that I could tell.”

Davila dipped his chin. “And what of the missing pistol?”

“A pistol, Sir?”

“Aye. You know of it. Copper fluting with a scrimshaw grip. A finer weapon than I ever did own. Where is it?”

“We were separated in the skirmish … it was dark, Sir.”

Davila takes three steps back and turns, all too naturally, into a flogging stance. “Negroes are not subtle creatures, pirate. Whoever stole that pistol would’ve trumpeted it all throughout the hold, leaping about and chanting, he’d have been. Aye, if there’s one thing I know well, pirate, it’s Negroes.”

The Slaver intends to whip him to death. Biting down on the insides of his cheeks, Madeira beseeches the Heavens. Stinging droplets roll into his eyes. “If this is about the journal, then dispose of it. Throw it overboard.”

“Eh?”

“I know you have it, and you’ve every right to be disappointed with the content. Destroy it. Destroy it and let me work for you, earn my keep. You’re desperate for able hands.”

“I’ve no airthly idea what you mean, pirate.” The Slaver grins. “I’ve acquired no journal.” With a delicate flip of his wrist, Davila unfurls nine braids across the timbers.


About the Author:

headshot

M.C. Norris is an Active HWA member, whose first four novels, all published by Severed Press, are slated for release in fall of 2014: Deep Devotion (09/01/14), Krengel & the Krampusz (11/01/14), The Dread Owba Coo-Coo (11/15/14), and Nod (TBA).  His nineteen short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines and e-zines, including: Withersin, Wrong World DVD, Brainharvest Magazine, Pseudopod, Malicious Deviance, and Dead Bait.  M.C. Norris also won 5th in Chizine/Leisure Books 13th Annual Short Story Contest.

Connect With The Author:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Amazon Author Page


Halloween Reading Spotlight: Twisted: A Horror Anthology With 9 Amazing Authors @auth_LWilliams


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Horror


twisted-a-horror-anthology

by Lindsey Williams, Katherine Bryant, Bartholomew Aloiscious, R.G. Westerman, Stacy Overby, Juliet Meredith , T.S. Dickerson, Sarah Buhrman, Nelda Kai Dahl

Release Date: 10/31/2016

The world is full of horrors if you’re a woman. Vengeful spirits, crazy cowboys, homicidal hillbillies, the grossest case of post-partum depression ever, possessed stuffed animals, and a demented Poseidon – to name a few. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, get this book for starters. Then try not to lose your marbles (or your lunch) as you go about your business after reading some of the most mind-bending horror around. Then you can share all the gory details with your fellow horror fans, if you think they can handle it.

Just remember, always keep it Twisted.

This tragic tome includes thirteen tales of terror from some of the hottest new names in the game:

Fountain of Youth
Rancho Viejo
Bringing Baby Home
Scavenger Hunt
Taste So Good
Progress
Blackpool Quarry
The Spectre
Karma Incarnate
Freeze Burned
Initiations
Mirror Mirror
A Strange End

*Not for readers under 18*

Buy this book now at:

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The 31 Nights Of Haunted Reads


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Fire and Ice Book Promos Presents....

Welcome to the 31 Nights of Haunted Reads at Fire and Ice Book Promos

Here at FAIBP, we love Halloween! With it’s chilly nights, falling leaves, and shorter days, it’s the perfect month to read books that will chill you, thrill you, or just plain scare you. If this sounds like fun, our 31 Nights of Haunted Reads is the perfect resource for you.

All throughout October we will be sharing all kinds of awesome books and reads to stock your Kindle with. Although the majority of the books and reading lists we share will have a Halloween-theme, we are also including some classic horror, thrillers, and suspense books that can’t be missed this time of year. You’ll be able to see all of our book recommendations below on our Halloween Master List.


The 31 Nights of Halloween Reading Master List

October 2017 List of FREE Books – Updated through Halloween!

10/1: 15 Terrifying Halloween Books for Adults

10/2: Halloween Books For Adults: Sweet and Spicy Romance Novels

10/3: Halloween Books For Adults: Mysteries and Thrillers

10/4: Halloween Books For Adults: Books That Go Bump In The Night

10/5: Four Zombie Series That Women Will Love

10/6: Must Have Halloween Cookbooks: From Cute to Creepy Creative Recipes To Make Your Halloween a Tasty One

10/7: For Young Halloween Readers: I’m Glad I’m Not a Zombie by d. washington-jones

10/8: YA Horror Feature: Girl Clown Hatchet by Mav Skye

Nine Must Read Gothic Fiction Books

 10/9 Mark Kasniak Presents: 2 Must Reads To Add Some Humor To Your Halloween

10/10 Magic and Witches Fantasy Feature: The Part That Doesn’t Burn by Sam Poling

10/11 Urban Fantasy: Hell Hath No Fury: Queen Of Hell Book 1 by Samantha Gregory

10/12 Demons and Druids Fantasy Romance Feature: The Sacrifice by Shirley Martin

10/13 F/F Erotic Romance Feature: Weekend at Wilderhope Manor: A Lesbian Erotic Halloween Story by Lucy Felthouse

10/14 Halloween Must Read: The Bride Wore Brains: A Horror/Comedy Zombie Apocalypse Story by Emily Wesley Stringer

10/15 For Young Adult Readers: 8+ Books To Read This Halloween

10/16 Magic, Demons, Witches, & Zombies: Books By Juli D. Revezzo To Read This Halloween

10/17 From Author Dan O’Brien: Two Chilling Horror Books To Read This Halloween

10/18 YA Halloween Romance: The Seer: Deadly Fairy Tales, Book 1by Elizabeth Marx

10/19 Featured Book: Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2016 by Colleen Aune

10/20 Harlequin Halloween Romance Must Read: Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

10/21 Cozy Mystery Halloween Feature: Candy Corn Crime by Grace Lemon

Paranormal Romance Feature: The Mistress of the Vampires by Deliaria Davis

10/22 Supernatural Fantasy Feature: The Halloween Chamber: Revenge of the Corvids by Mr Richard E Harding

Historical Fantasy Feature: A Necessary Darkness by Susan Catalano @scatu2

10/23 Mystery & Magic Contemporary Fantasy Feature: The Worlds Beyond Scripture Series by Byron Fortin

Halloween Cozy Mystery Feature: Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Steampunk Mystery Feature: Whispers of Bedlam Asylum by Mark C. King

10/24 Paranormal Romance Feature: Spirit Board by Erzabet Bishop

Paranormal Romance Feature: Possessing Prudence by Betty Ann Harris

Horror Book Spotlight: Gretel by Christopher Coleman

10/25 Halloween Contemporary Romance Feature: Batten Down the Hatches by Roxanne D. Howard

Book Feature: Everblossom 2: A Short Story and Poetry Collection

Erotic Gothic Horror Book Spotlight: The Family Tree by John Everson

10/26 Comedy Thriller Feature: Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer by Domhnall O’Donoghue

10/27 Suspense Feature: In the Graveyard Antemortem by Stephen Stromp

Zombie Novella Feature: Giovanni Goes To Med School by Kathy Bryson

10/28 Paranormal Romance Feature: Restless Spirits by Kathy Bryson

Psychological Horror Book Spotlight: 12:07 The Sleeping by L. Sydney Abel 

10/29 Paranormal Mystery Feature: XIMORA by Patty G. Henderson

Paranormal Romance Feature: Witch’s Cursed Cabin: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale by Marsha A. Moore

10/30 Gothic Mystery Feature: This Madness of the Heart by Blair Yeatts

 10/31 Paranormal Memoir Spotlight: Keep Smiling, Your Teacup is Levitating: Ghosts, Premonitions and Other True Stories Boyfriends Couldn’t Tolerate by Vivi Stutz

Halloween 2016 New Release: Twisted: A Horror Anthology With 9 Amazing Authors