Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Darkness In My Fiction

In almost every review and any feedback my fiction receives, there is the reference to darkness. Yes, it's fair--more than. Sometimes I wonder where that darkness comes from.

I said (and say) characters live in my head. Even if I'm not writing about them or thinking about them consciously, I know they're there, lurking.

Even as a child I saw the world had horror in it. I read some books when I was probably too young to have read them. My mother was on the lookout for books with sexual themes. She wasn't aware I was reading other sorts of books like Exodus and 1984. I read those when I was 11 and 12. Not good.

But I also read Nancy Drew and I loved it, but between Nancy Drew solving mysteries and my second guessing her, there was something else happening. I was seeing life beyond the comfort of my very loving and happy childhood home and I was thinking about it.

As an adult I am even more focused on the world around me. I always say how can I not write horror when there is horror all around me? Serial killers, matricide, patricide, homicide, infanticide, wars, disease, domestic violence, terrorism...see what I mean? I don't focus on these things too much. I don't have to, just having an awareness is enough.

The darkest novel I have written is my newest release,
Circus of Horrors. The characters are full of evil and pain. Evil and pain--do they go together, did one cause the other? Does it matter?

If severe physical child abuse produced vicious, disfigured children that grew up to become homicidal maniacs should that have been expected by society? I think the answer is yes. But that begs the question, how would society know until these damaged individuals did something?

I try not to dwell on the negative too much because life is hard enough. Still, when I sit at my laptop, these fully formed characters and partially formed ones begin to speak to me. When they become whole human beings, they give me the story.

We are all products of our environment. If horror didn't exist I wouldn't write about it. A friend of mine said it's a release for me. It is. But it's not fully released because there remains something of each and every character left behind in my internal self.

If you read my fiction, know that I am telling you not only my characters' stories, I am showing you my story, too. Life affects every writer out there. How each one of us deals with it, becomes our fiction. And because we all differ, we all write different things, that's the way I see it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meet My Character!

Joe Sabba 

Before I answer these great 'Meet My Character', questions from author JM Northup--for Meet My Character, let me just say Joe Sabba wanted me to tell you a bit about him so I will. Joe's a seasoned carny and quite a bit more. He travels around a great deal. He has many talents. It's possible you might meet him someday. If you do, be real careful. He might change your life forever and not in a good way.  

Okay, now for the post:


1. Who are you?

o   What is your name?

My name is Fred Dodger

o   Are you a fictional or historical character?

A bit of both you could say. I had a sideshow for years--before joining up with a big circus, that was in 1931. Times were hard and this fella, Joe Sabba came along--a carny all his life and a kind of a guardian angel I thought. Was I in for surprise! But hindsight, right?

Yup, he came along when we were so down on our luck, we were thinking about giving it all up. We had pulled over somewhere 'cause we had to high-tail it out of the last place we performed in on account of a murder. Yeah, see my people are kind of what you would call misfits and violent ones at that sometimes. They don't take kindly to insults. Guess, you might say that's an understatement.

o   What should we know about you?

I take care of my elderly dad. He's quite a handful. He's senile now. Lucky for him that he is because he's done some horrible things. Best not to recall that. If he did remember what he did, he wouldn't handle his souvenirs. They give him the only pleasure he's got. I have them hidden real good. Joe's looking for them though, I've caught him a few times. I know it's only a question of time 'till he finds them.

See, everything's connected to Old Pa's secret. I've killed in order to protect that secret. And I'll keep killing if I have to.

The other thing (sigh) is I guess you could say is, I try to help people, those society have persecuted--like the special folks in my sideshow. I really care about them. They've done some horrible things--well the clowns and the midgets have--not Baby Alice, though. She's our beautiful big lady. Course you could say being a cannibal would put some people off.

2.      Tell us about your story:

o   When and where is your tale set?

It's set in the south in America in 1931. Can I just say right here that we were hopeful when Joe Sabba came along. He helped us, well he helped me a lot or seemed to. Got us placed with a big circus. The owner Tommy Foster, was a friend of his. Well, sir--! Better not say too much, Joe monitors what I say, you see.

o   What is your personal goal?  I mean, what do you ultimately want?

I want to be a good employer and take care of my special people. I'm a carny at heart and love the life. And also, if I'm honest, I do want to meet some nice lady and settle down. I'm over forty now. I just didn't get the chance to do things for myself. I'm always thinking of my dad, guess you could say it's taken over my life. That and his secret as well as my own.

o   What is standing in your way?  What conflict(s) do you face?

See, now there you go. My own secrets stand in the way, when I protected Old Pa by killing. I have nightmares, wake up in cold sweat and everything. Guilt is just about the worst conflict a person can have, 'specially when there's no way to resolve it.
3.      How do I get a copy of your book?


o   What is the title or working title for this piece?

Hi, Carole here. Thanks, Fred for answering those questions as honestly as you have. My book--all about Fred and his troupe and some others is sold at Amazon. It's entitled, Circus of Horrors.
o   Is it available now or when can we except to see it released?

It is available now. If you like scares and a fair amount of murder and horror, this is the book for you. Yup, I'd get it before Joe Sabba comes around to check up on you. Yes, I surely would!

That's the cover. And that by the way is Happy the Clown. He's probably happy there because he's gotten rid of some aggression. Poor guy!

Hey! Thanks an awful lot!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Murder, Mayhem and Cannibalism. But Why?

I want to give some in-depth background to the lunatic characters that make up this circus troupe. Well, the clowns were deliberately abused as children, they were burnt with cigarettes and scarred so badly, they tried to hide from the world. But as they were doing that, they were becoming more and more antisocial, shall we say? They would, as adults, take that pain out on the world.

If it was impossible to zero in on their abusers, then they just stored that hatred up and waited. While they were waiting, they met a carny clown who taught them all about being clowns. He showed them the make up, how that pancake hides everything. He advised against keeping it on too long because the pores had to breathe which most of the time, they ignored.

The three of them were together by this time so it was a communal lesson. It did help them to wear the mask. But the rage and terror that was within them remained.

One of them, Happy said the best he could do was not to kill people. That's pretty sad. Sad, but true as they say.

The cannibalism just evolved of itself. It became part of the ritual of killing. Murdering one's enemies was not enough. Consuming them was better (to the clowns' way of thinking).

Baby Alice, the fat lady, felt as they did. Although, not filled, initially with rage, she just came to like the taste. Al, her boyfriend (one of two murderous midgets), was appalled by it as was his friend, Hank the other homicidal midget.

Now Al and Hank weren't as insane as the clowns, although they did make extinct their tormentors. Teasing they did not take, especially if it hurt their feelings or those they loved.

Cannibalism is nasty even for a horror novel, one thinks of Jeffrey Dahmer in real life and Hannibal Lecter in fiction. Now I don't know why Dahmer crossed over into the big 'C' territory, but I do know why Lecter did. In Hannibal Rising, Hannibal and his little sister are captured by Nazi collaborators. He witnesses her cannibalization. That, I think, pushes him over the edge and the only way he deals with enemies after it is to do to them what was done to his sister.

My monsters have reasons for what they do. We can agree with them or not, but those reasons are there within the storyline.

There's a great deal more to the novel. There are horrific secrets that are uncovered at last; secrets so horrible those that held them refused to remember them. Still, the reader won't forget. Oh, no. The reader will witness everything.

Did I leave anything out? Sure as heck did. But it's all there in the novel. I've chronicled everything. I felt I had to. See, they live in my head. Am I crazy? Maybe. But it's a great release!

"Riveting. Imaginative. Chilling. Fantastical."

"Wonderful horror with a side order of ribs."

"Never going to the circus again!"

"True horror!"

"The circus you really don't want to join."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Makes These Lunatics Tick?

Find out so you'll know. Believe me, it's better if you know before you jump in reading it! You can prepare yourself that way. 

How can you find out first? Easy! Author Julie Northrup was kind enough to interview me. Julie asked some really good questions about the plot, the characters and inspiration. She does great interviews and I'm honored she asked me.

Please hop on over to JM NORTHRUP BLOG where you can read what I had to say and get acquainted (if you're not already) with this great writer!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Excerpt From Circus of Horrors: The Clowns!

"They each mumbled something and took their coffee. Happy commented on the sunny morning and Fred answered him, trying carefully not to look repelled by Happy’s skin or his mates’.

It wasn’t easy. Of the three, Happy was the most disfigured. His face displayed a roadmap of his horrendous childhood and young adulthood. It told the story of brutality and unimaginable violence.

Happy’s real name was Arthur Mundt—not that it mattered. The happy clown face he wore gave him his name. But was he happy? Nah. How could he be? He used to say the best he could do was try not to kill people.
Yes, his life had been too hard.

The clowns met in the Storeyville Orphanage in Georgia. The place was infamous for brutality. The cigarette burns had long since healed as they had on the others, but the scarring from razors and broken bottles was particularly bad. There was copious scar tissue which had turned deep purple. Jagged lines of it covered his face and ears, too. Poor fucker.

What Fred had pieced together about Happy was, he’d been living with hoboes after running away from home. Cops raided the shithole they were all holed up in and he got dumped at the orphanage as he was under twelve.

Noble and Danny had been turned over to the orphanage shortly after being born. No one told them where they came from. Their names were given to them by a doctor who liked to read. That was why they’d been called Noble Dickens and Danny Shakespeare, respectively.

“We all suffered hell,” Happy used to say. “If we weren’t used by the orderlies for sex, we were loaned out to their friends. They drank a lot and when they were pissed, they’d really start in.”

After a few orphans died, things got better, but not for Happy or his pals. They were good friends by then.

Danny was the most cordial, probably because he was the least scarred. “My face might not show it but all the times I been screwed up the ass—that’s what give me my hemorrhoids.”

Sad, all of them—Noble had it better. If it hadn’t been for the scarring on his jaw and throat, he’d have felt okay about not covering his face up with clown makeup.

“Anyone want eggs?”

The eggs were Fred’s surprise. He smiled when they reacted with enthusiasm. “Got them yesterday.”

They decided to wait for Baby Alice, but before she came out, the clowns had swallowed their coffee and applied their makeup. They liked her enough not to upset her."

NOTHING ROUTINE HERE! CIRCUS OF HORRORS is a very special story, and I'm glad it introduced me to author Carole Gill, an exceptionally talented writer."

“This is horrific in the best way! It is extreme ... and disturbing.

"Riveting. Imaginative. Chilling. Fantastical."

"Wonderful horror with a side order of ribs."

"Outstanding story line and strong characters. I felt like I was right there and a part of the sideshow.
"An awesome little creepfest!"
"Never going to the circus again!"

"True horror!"

“Scary from beginning to end! Sit back and read your way into a horror filled tale! Enjoy!”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Anthologies I Am Proud To Be In!

Come one, come all! The Sideshow has come to town! This isn't your usual freak show, we have wonders to show you that you will not find anyplace else. Marvel at the Human Illumine, lose yourself in the Amazing Mirror Maze. Come for the Last Show of the Day! We have it all. But be careful, not all is as it appears...danger may lurk in the shadows. There are some things that should be kept in the dark. Ticket please...

FRESH FEAR: Contem­porary Horror is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. This collection has no central theme other than the story's ability to scare the hell out of the reader! Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and inner landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling. Prepare yourself for 28 tales of terror-inducing fiction that will have you checking the locks on every door and window of your abode!

Vampires! Sixteen authors give you a glimpse into the dark worlds of lost love, murderous rage, and undeniable sex appeal where deadly quests and blood lust spanning centuries of time reign supreme. Explore some of the most unique vampires to exist on this side of the grave. Essays, excerpts, and short stories from award winning authors Karen Dales, Kurt Kamm, Bertena Varney and more including veteran horror writer Carole Gill. They will entertain you, thrill you, and bewilder you as they reveal the dark secrets of the most beloved creatures of the night, including eleven times bestselling author Terri Reid creator of the Mary O'Reilly Series. There is something for everyone in this book from Paranormal Vampire Romance to Vampire Horror.  So, which will it be: the romantic vampire, the revenant vampire, the elemental, the fanged vampire, or the mythological female vampire? Begin reading and find out!

A newspaper vendor in the nineteenth century could always ensure sales with the gruesome cry “Murder! ‘Orrible Murder!” Published around 1870, the Victorian tabloid The Illustrated Police News took this sales tactic to heart. It had the largest circulation of any periodical of its time. The public devoured a weekly diet of real-life horrors deliberately calculated to churn the strongest stomach and boost the next issue’s sales. The Rogues Gallery has resurrected these disturbing, morbid images to bring you a collection of flash fiction as equally frightening. Using Victorian England's murder and mayhem as their inspiration, dozens of authors will haunt your nightmares long after the lights go out. Three Gothic tales of terror from the masters Poe, Lovecraft, and Thackeray round out this macabre Rogues Gallery of terror. With an introduction from DarkMedia's Eva Layne, remember this... you have been warned!

Some of the most enduring masterpieces of Gothic fiction are as intriguing for the stories they don’t tell as for those they do. The voices hidden in the wall of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat;” the secrets buried beneath the earth of Sleepy Hollow in Washington Irving’s legendary Headless Horseman tale; the dreams of a monster and an ancient book with a life of its own in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu;” and stories that reveal Polidori’s hypnotic, archetypal Vampyre as far more than what he first appears to be. In Firbolg Publishing’s third volume in the Enter at Your Own Risk series, ten modern storytellers reimagine the mysterious characters lurking within four classics of Gothic literature. As you read the original stories, a sinister whisper drifts in on a cold chill. But there are other voices beneath the whisper. You can hear them crawling out of the growing darkness. Then the whispers become a scream... 

With an introduction from acclaimed author Gary Braunbeck, Dark Muses, Spoken Silences invites you into the hidden shadows of four of the most famous dark fiction tales ever told. 

Are you brave enough to enter? 

If Gothic masters like Lovecraft, Poe, and Stoker could whisper new tales from beyond the grave, what stories would they create in response to increasingly urgent issues such as the threat of environmental collapse, the ongoing struggles for equal rights, and the innumerable challenges, thrills, and dangers of life in the 21st century? In this new anthology, classic Gothic tales are juxtaposed with modern short stories in a fascinating exploration of how much things change in the world of horror and chills—and how much they stay the same. With 26 tales from three centuries’ worth of delightfully deranged minds, this collection reveals the astonishing scope of the Gothic writer’s incomparable genius for revealing our deepest emotions and penetrating our darkest dreams.

Eighteen Tales of the Zombie Apocalypse... Featuring stories by Joe McKinney, Carole Gill, Eric S. Brown, W.D. Gagliani, Todd Sprague, Armand Rosamilia, JD Gillam, Scott M. Goriscak, Lawrence R. Dagstine, Kevin L. Jones, P. David Puffinburger, Zach brunner, Scott Nicholson, Ian DG Sandusky, Chantal Boudreau, Mark Tufo, Jeremiah Coe, Ian Woodhead and Zombie Poetry from Rich Orth!


Frozen Limbs... falling sheets of snow... blood on the ice... frostbite... and the undead trying to bite through your icy neck... 

Nine Zombie Tales from Armand Rosamilia, Brent Abell, Suzanne Robb, Jonah Buck, R.S. Pyne, Tim Lieder, Blaze McRob, Lisa McCourt Hollar, and Carole Gill


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fritz Lang’s ‘M’ And A Very Real Child Killer!

The classic Fritz Lang 1931 film, ‘M’ is about a child murderer on the loose in Germany. Peter Lorre’s performance is unforgettable as is the film. But is the film based on the real murders committed by Peter Kurten?

Kurten served eight years in prison for strangling a ten year old girl. He was released in 1921 and returned to Dusseldorf where he began the series of crimes for which he is best known. From February 1929 through November 1929, Kurten went on the attack and viciously murdered six people.

Then in early 1930, Kurten began a series of attacks with a hammer. None of his victims died. His last one reported him to the police.

Kurten confessed to nine murders and seven attempted murders and in April 1931, he was convicted and sentenced to die by guillotine.

 "I had a small but sharp pocket knife with me and I held the child’s head and cut her throat. I heard the blood spurt and drip on the mat beside the bed. It spurted in an arch, right over my hand. The whole thing lasted about three minutes. Then I went and locked the door again and went back home to Dusseldorf."

~Peter Kurten
 (Vampire of Dusseldorf)

Kurten was a child murderer. He was obsessed with blood and wanted to know from the executioner if he would hear his own blood flowing upon decapitation.

It’s likely that the film certainly might have been inspired by this mass killer. Its release was timely to say the least. In a place where these sorts of killings occurred, it is natural for the question to be asked, ‘Who will save the children?’ Shadows can be lethal. Predators hide in them. Danger is all around. What can parents do? Even the most vigilant might be defeated by evil’s cunning.

The Film:

At the start of the film we hear whistling and it is ominous.  Something wicked this way comes from the very first shot when we see children playing and singing, setting the scene. There is even a sign asking, WHO IS THE MURDERER?  A little girl doesn’t know it, but Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) is about to kill her. We see her and fear for her. We also pity her mother who is busily making dinner. Tragedy is going to strike that we can only bear witness to. Though a film, it is uncomfortable.

I think both Fritz Lang and the screen writer Thea von Harbou (Mrs. Lang) effectively made this film to reflect that awful time in the wake of the child murders when parents feared for their children while other families’ mourned theirs.

Peter Kurten

What makes the film memorable is the killer’s pleading to be caught in letters he writes to the press. This gives more of a dimension to the killer, one I don’t think applied to Peter Kurten. We can hate, condemn and fear the killer in ‘M', but we see a disturbed man driven to kill. It’s almost not his fault. Still, the crimes must be punished and the killer dealt with.

Lang shows how it is in the ‘nonviolent’ criminals’ interests to have this fiend caught. The streets are full of police and a hard working pickpocket is unable to make a living!

For me, the most effective scene is when someone writes on the killer’s back the letter, ‘M’ – that’s it. He’s been identified. It’s the mark of Cain; it’s going to lead to his downfall, his capture. He sees the reflection and even though he wants to be caught ostensibly, he is terrified.

Early German cinema was so innovative. There could have been so much done—but sadly both for humanity and art—those films would have to wait until rationality returned to the land.

It’s interesting that a murderer can terrorize the population—picking off its most vulnerable members of society—the concept of who is vulnerable may differ but really any human being singled out for whatever reason is vulnerable. Vulnerability only differs in the eye of the predator as predators indeed differ.

If you have never seen ‘M’ make sure you do, it is well worth seeing in my opinion.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Shining: Review And A Fun Tidbit!

The Shining (1980) is is so well-crafted, directed and acted; it is just as hard-hitting and chilling as it ever was.

Now, I read the Stephen King novel first and truthfully that is a long time ago. I remember it is different than the film. I Intend to re-read the novel but it is the film I am discussing now.

I love the characters that go crazy in King’s stories. Jack Torrance, in the great tradition of Annie Wilkes of Misery, is on a fast slide to hell. She had her own demons and he has his.

His lunatic character is a teacher and writer who is losing it. He didn’t look entirely with it in one of the first scenes in the film when he’s driving his family to the hotel where his new job is. The pitch of his voice was odd when he spoke to his son and I could feel the madness taking over. The feeling was palpable.

Nicholson gives one of his finest performances and Shelley Duvall as the terrorized wife and mother is perfect. She is so pitiful, we want to holler, OVER HERE, WENDY WE’LL PROTECT YOU AND DANNY!

The amazing thing about the film is it was entirely shot in England. Yes, it’s all Hollywood magic only it was done in the U.K!! I find that incredible.

Iconic, director Stanley Kubrick was a purist. The scenes of blood rushing down the hotel corridors is not a product of special effects. There really is red liquid gushing along a scaled down ‘set.’ There is interesting speculation on what that blood is supposed to represent. I think the most popular view is that it has something to do with the fact that the hotel is built on Indian burial ground; slaughter of Indians—that sort of thing.

Kubrick, being the purist that he was, insisted that the horrific scene wherein Wendy discovers hundreds of sheets of typed written manuscript all have the same line: All work and no play make Jack a dull boy…was actually hand-typed. Kubrick as the story goes, preferred that to having printouts.

The plot ingredients are interesting. The father is a frustrated writer who has a history of anger and there is a school report. He over-did physical punishment with his son.  The scene where Anne Jackson playing a psychologist visiting with the mother has been cut from the UK version for some reason. I don’t know why. Her name is in the credits. I do recall seeing the film in the early 1980’s in the U.S. and seeing that scene.

I would love to know if the scene is still in the US versions of the film. Anyone know? Please comment if you do.

So what is the shining? It’s a gift. Danny has what kindly cook, Scatman Crothers calls a special gift. In Danny’s case, this gift has taken form as Tony – a voice in Danny’s mouth.

I wondered if this gift could protect Tony. I didn’t wonder long. The Overlook Hotel is a child’s paradise, sure. There are kids to play with! He can have two nice little friends in the hotel. There’s just one problem. They were hacked to death by their strict daddy who corrected them. Actor Philip Stone says, ‘corrected’ in a way that will give you chills in your head. He says he corrected his daughters and when his wife complained he corrected her.

Yes, I know that the girls were referred to as being eight and ten which doesn't fit with the identical looking girls that appear. Are they some other ghosts? Or is it one girl that seems to be two? I’ve often wondered about that.

Since Danny has this gift, he immediately knows what the hotel is about.

As soon as he steps inside, we see what he sees.  He sees and feels this evil. It’s just waiting. How can a young child get his parents to leave? He can’t so he cycles around this piece of hell on earth (remember, it’s built over an Indian burial ground) I’d not walk within ten miles near that place!  Please!

He soon knows something horrible is in room 237 and he’s right.

And when dad goes to investigate and sees an attractive naked woman and thinks he’s going to enjoy himself, he gets a big shock (as do we all) when he suddenly realizes that this babe he’s kissing is really a rotting, horrible aged hag. What’s the story with her? Was she in the bath too long or what? Nah. It’s a lot worse than that. Her coming toward him, laughing at him in the best witch cackles I’ve ever heard gives me goose bumps every time I see it.

The maze that mom, Wendy and Danny go into early on is symbolic of them being trapped in the hotel, I think. As they walk down the different paths and discover one dead end after another, we feel the menace. There doesn’t seem to be a way out. And when the screen pans back to Jack looking at a model of the maze in the hotel lobby and smiling weirdly, we see the very tiny, helpless mother and son, no bigger than insects, walking through the maze. That’s one hell of an effective scene.

Here are some memorable scenes from the film:

Those are three of my favorite scenes. THIS is what horror is all about! I think this is one of the best horror films of all time.

By the way, here's a fun tidbit: Some say Nicholson was parodying Kubrick here. What do you think?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Circus of Horrors Is Coming Soon!

These two started it all! Yes, Al and Hank--special people in a very special circus!

Here's a teaser from the first chapter:
First chapter:

"The vehicle was a beat up well-travelled 1929 Ford school bus. It had been painted a bright red and said ‘Fred Dodger’s Circus’ on the side. Amid peeling paint, the image of ecstatic clowns was a bit pathetic looking. Curtains hung on each of the windows. Baby Alice had sewn them; now she sat outside with her pals waiting for the meat to be cooked.

An old man, somewhat senile in appearance and actions, sat licking his lips. His son, the owner/manager, had gone to town on business in his pickup.

The bus had withstood a lot of wear and tear. Well, it would have—what with three clowns, two midgets, and one fat lady riding it.

Al drove the bus. With him being three feet tall, there were adaptions to the driver’s seat. This, the manager had seen to and Al was pleased. His lady friend, the huge Baby Alice, sat near him. Her seat had also been adapted in order to accommodate her girth.

None of the troupe disliked riding in the bus or camping out in tents. The weather occasionally made it difficult for them, though. Once, near Tupelo, Mississippi, the bus had to be dragged out by the pickup. The manager had extensive experience in such matters and everyone was grateful he did.
Fred Dodger loved his people and looked after them very well, and they knew it. He had explained about leaving them to go to town in order to get some money. They said fine and decided to have a cook out.

Any car or truck driving past would have been amused at the scene. Clearly, they were circus people—carnies—with the clowns in full make-up, Alice who weighed just under four hundred pounds, and Hank and Al, both 3 feet tall.
Hank got to arguing with Al about the progress of the meat being cooked. When it was at last ready, Al served it up. The old man got his first out of respect. He dug right in. Baby Alice did the same, as did the clowns. Al and Hank had a salami they swiped from a deli. They weren’t going to eat what everyone else was eating. They weren’t cannibals..."

Watch this space! It's coming!
Next update THE COVER! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ever Wonder What A Satanic Pact Involves?

This two chapter excerpt from Unholy Testament - Full Circle reveals how power for one, Dr. James Bannion (The House on Blackstone Moor) was accomplished!


From demon, Eco's journal:
Chapter 30

I got to know Dr. Sutton before I murdered him. I will, of course, elaborate on this, leaving out nothing I feel you should know. I just wished to state that first. With regard to James Bannion, I found him to be an interesting young man as I have said. We did indeed see promise in him, a propensity for evil as it were. Naturally, Satan was thrilled by the pact which he asked James about.

“What do you seek, young James, that you wish this pact?”

“I want power and wealth. Dr. Sutton says I will go far and I intend to!”

That quite excited Satan and fueled his desire for souls and new entrants to Hell. I think though, in retrospect, James’ avarice surprised even Satan.

Of course, Eve would play a great part in getting James off on the right track; although really, he was already there or almost there. While he was learning medicine under his mentor’s tutelage, much was happening with Louis and Eve. It began with Louis’ so called brainstorm involving clubs. Private clubs obviously patterned after my brothel which would in time be known as the Crimson Clubs. I could hardly believe Eve when she told me about it. He was opening one in London ‘to test the waters’, he told her.

“Truly, he means to do it.”

“But it goes against his principles, doesn’t it?”

She shrugged and said she didn’t know what was behind it. I thought she did and didn’t want to say. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t all that surprised. I suspected Louis was not quite as holy as he liked to think he was. Throughout the course of my existence, I have found many instances that proved this and not just with Louis. Many so-called saints and others had amazing faults and other sides to them that were never revealed.

Such is Louis, I think. He is demon spawn just like me, Rose. He drinks blood and he has been debauched many times. I have seen it with my own eyes. He is no saint. He may drink that rubbish tea, but what he is, he cannot change. And since we are on the subject of Louis Darton’s less than saintly past, let me tell you of some things he might have neglected to mention.

Louis never turned down a good vampire orgy. Did you know that? He fornicated his way through the Dark Ages for one thing and truly, he must have created thousands of vampires along the way.
I have seen him so satiated with blood that he was not able to rise or function for days or weeks on end.

Oh yes, in between he might have stuck his nose in where it didn’t belong, but really—he has also been a naughty boy. His father, Tulle, Tibet’s favorite monk acolyte, began to single his son out for lectures. Oh yes, he had tried it with me as well, but I proved impossible to influence. I’ve always been proud of that, whereas Louis immediately caved in. Satan told me all of this by the way. He was there at the time and witnessed the entire thing. As a matter of fact, he was in his human form and dressed as a monk!

Can you imagine such a thing? Not only that, he wasn’t noticed, or as he says, if he was, they were too polite to ask him to leave! Not that he probably would have left. Tulle was adamant and repetitive: “If you don’t do this and you don’t listen, Louis—I will be so disappointed in you…”

On and on he went. Apparently, it always worked with some rare exceptions. In time, that became the focus of Louis’ behavior—this need to prove he was better than he ever could be!

I mean, the mind boggles! I always thought it would be far healthier if he didn’t put himself under such a strain by pontificating about his damnation. It is difficult and because it is, he periodically gave in and wallowed in sin. Hence the clubs. You see what a hypocrite he is! When it is convenient, he forgets about the saintly advice and tries to outdo me! I asked Eve exactly where the clubs would be located as I didn’t wish to have one nearby. She told me he opened one in Richmond. Then she added that he had gone to Manchester and one or two other towns to see about setting some up there.

At first I thought it stupid, but then I changed my mind as Manchester had a growing merchant class by this time. Surely there were some who would enjoy such activities. In order to see if this was so, I had taken a few of my whores up there and we had quite a time. The railway magnets and mill owners loved my wenches. One or two nearly perished from vampiric orgies. I told Eve he’d probably do well there. I can be honest.

However, Eve said she was troubled by Louis’ intention to have a residence in Manchester.
“I shan’t like it at all, Eco. I will be away from London and I’m so used to it.”

Louis didn’t care, he did as he liked. He said he wished to have a townhouse in Manchester but when Eve wrinkled her nose, he agreed to a country retreat. It was Eve who suggested Blackstone Moor. Knowing Eve, that is understandable.

Yes, that which was Bloody Stone Moor was eventually known as Blackstone Moor. I had been there quite a bit throughout time. Well, the druids loved cavorting around naked and offering up bloody sacrifices so naturally, this appealed to me. Thousands had been offered up on Bloody Stone Moor.

Odd that Louis built his grand house there for himself and his family. I suppose he wished to please Eve. But I think also he felt damned and wished to abide amongst the demons that haunt that place and always shall.

Another Louis trait: feeling damned and letting it make him miserable, something I try to avoid as much as possible. Eve said the children quite liked the moors. Well, you recall they did. They enjoyed the wildlife and took mischievous joy in trying to frighten you about the legend. I know that for Eve told me.

I kept up with the whole thing, all their plans coming to fruition. I saw Blackstone House being built there. Eve showed me. We spent many a chilly afternoon standing atop the rise there. Louis was, of course, never present at such times, busy man that he was. Well, he was a man with prospects, was he not? A merchant now, dabbling in the business of brothels and vampiric ones, to be precise.

They started to do well immediately. And since that was so, he wished to live as he felt he should. He began drawing from his own coven a staff of servants. People like Tom and Molly and Dora; vampiric beings he had raised up were arriving to be employed as servants.

Eve didn’t mind. She had her children and the hope, tragic as it was, that Louis might love her once again—and if nothing else, she had Sternwood’s attention. But what she could always count on was my affection for her. And in time, she could also count on young James Bannion’s attention for truly it became an obsession for him as I have rarely seen.
Yes, James. I saw he was aroused the first time he laid eyes on her. He tried to move in such a way as to hide this rather amusing fact, this obvious give away protruding from his trousers. Eve was at her most seductive. The light in her eyes would grow brighter as his eyes swept over her d├ęcolletage.

We were dining there at the brothel. Dining elegantly, too, I might add. James had been trying to show off about his studies and Eve was delighted to listen.

“I study under the tutelage of Dr. Sutton…” he said, sounding boyish and so proud.

On and on he went as Eve dimpled and twinkled and simpered—and with every coy movement of hers it seemed her breasts were being exposed ever more.
Later on, when we retired to the parlor, I sent for some wenches who began to pleasure him, yet all the while he continued to stare at Eve. Yes, Eve was there watching, looking more beautiful than I have rarely seen her.

If you are wondering what all this was about, aside from Eve getting to seduce young James, it was about the devil pact. The devil rites hadn’t yet begun in full or seriously at this time. But they would.

At one point, James pushed the whores aside and rushed toward Eve, pulling her dress down to bare her breasts With a cry, he fell upon them and began to suckle first one and then the other. This quite excited Eve, and I could tell she was not acting.

Honestly, I have rarely seen such a marathon of sex take place after that. Every position was tried. All of it lasting so long I actually fell asleep and was only roused by James’ cries of delight. Eve is very adept at what she does.

I quite knew the subject of the pacts would soon be mentioned and I was right. She mentioned it at a most peculiar time, engaged as she was with her young lover. Truly, I could not wait to tell Satan.
I was somewhat on guard later, when James asked me about them. “I can have whatever I wish, even the lady Eve?”

Yes, that does sound funny; Eve thought so, too. I answered in the affirmative. “I think really she is already yours, James.”

He looked so proud of himself and jumped at the chance of attending one, although we had to schedule it around his exams.

“Sunday, say, in a fortnight?”

I always liked Sundays as Satan gets a special kick out of appearing on that special day.
And so we all looked forward to it, especially James, who seemed so excited he said he hoped he’d be able to wait until then.

Chapter 31

The two weeks passed and James arrived looking haggard but excited. His eyes looked feverish. Clearly, he couldn’t wait to get started. I couldn’t either for there are all manner of intriguing possibilities with regard to devil rites. And truly, it had been a very long time since I last saw one. I believe it was nearly a century.

Initially, James had asked a great many questions when told about Satan and Hell and so on. He wasn’t a fool. Well, he was if you think about it, but not as in one who can be tricked. It was more a question of ‘why should I believe you, this sounds like utter rubbish.’I told him we did not expect for one second anyone to accept the truth of what was offered without some sort of substantive proof. Therefore, Satan spoke to him for a while, telling him he would show him whatever he wished. This he had done by zipping James away.

“Yes!” he cried. “I shall show you Hell. Surely you would enjoy that!”

He gave him a guided tour, similar to one I had been given eons ago. Young James was shown the many levels and chambers. And yes, the early medieval writer, Dante came very close in his description of Hell, but there were reasons for that. Dante had also been a skeptic, not a Satanist by any wild stretch of the imagination, but he had been curious. So curious, in fact, he actually conversed with Satan about Hell.

Satan can often be surprisingly helpful and not the monster he really is (the pot calling the kettle black, I know, but I am making a point). He offered to show him Hell as he wished in order for it to be pictured accurately. Dante was fearful but he was actually more fearful of winding up on some cleric’s list of heretics, eventually winding up on the rack.

Of course, there was always that other delightful possibility—being burned at the stake. Dante was lucky, for unlike many of the curious, he did not wind up forever burning in a place he wasn’t sure even existed! But we are talking of James now.

Satan did indeed see promise in James and was fair with him, not a typical occurrence. “Well, come then,” he said in his booming voice. “You shall see it for yourself.”
I saw them leave in a cloud of smoke and I rather wished I had gone along, for I would have wanted to see James’ reaction to everything.

They weren’t gone that long, but time ticks differently when one journeys so far afield.
As for our James, suffice it to say, when he returned he looked ashen and weak. He looked as though his legs couldn’t support his weight.

Satan turned him over to Edmund. “See that he rests, he’s had quite a journey. I have never seen so much fornication. Truly, it will be remarkable if his cock doesn’t fall off, as it looks quite purple and overused.” Then, turning to James, he smiled. “It’s alright, lad—you’ll get used to it. So accustomed you will be that you will eventually think of it as your second home, only meanwhile I would suggest cold compresses.”

Poor James, he hardly reacted, only to nod weakly.
A fortnight later, he was about to witness his first devil rite at Blackstone Moor. He had already told me pompously that he’d managed to pass his exams and would be taking a position at an asylum in the north. Marsh, he said it was. Marsh, you are familiar with that, are you not, Rose?

“I feel my work lies there with those unfortunates.”

I told him he would be a credit to the place. He looked pleased and gratified. At last, it was time and I motioned him toward those dark cellar steps that would lead to the pact creation. Blackstone House was nearly finished at the time.

You remember the cellar there, Rose. That was where you discovered the food store; you see, it isn’t just me or my vampires that feed off living humans!

“Down there?” he asked.

“Yes, son.” I smiled as I followed along.
The cellar looked most sinister as well it should have. If you really want to know the truth, we always endeavor to provide as creepy a mood as possible. And I must say we succeeded. The cavernous cellar was the perfect setting. The shadows seemed to have their own shadows; great unknown sinister depths abounded.

Eve had done the altar up beautifully for there were great black candles that surrounded it. Their wavering flames flickered and hissed, adding to the tension. Neither James nor I said a word, we just waited.

Poor James jumped when a black cloaked figured suddenly emerged from the shadows.

“It is only Edmund,” I whispered. “He must be here.”

Edmund was assisting as ably as ever. He carried a large cut glass vessel, like a big soup tureen. Actually, it was for the blood as it’s all a bit messy—but that is really the whole point of it. The vessels are used at the most exciting moment of the rite, when the blood flows. Neither Satan nor Eve were there yet. They would come later. In truth they were in another room fornicating like mad in order, as Eve later put it—‘that we might better get into the right frame of mind.’

I shrugged at her statement, although I did feel the slightest bit jealous. As we waited, James confessed how frightened he was. I smiled for it was so typical of a human being. These people, who covet all sorts of wealth and privilege and promise away their souls, are always the same.

When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the pact, they always seem holier than though (if you’ll excuse the expression)—not only do they seem fearful, they look as though they’d run away if permitted to. But alas they cannot. A pact is actually sealed upon request. Ask for one and you have already lost your soul for it is claimed immediately by Satan.

I have found most supplicants to be completely unaware of this. Actually, there is so much they don’t know. For instance, did you know there is light in souls? Yes, actual light. Still, most of those who bargain have the darkest souls of all and never notice when their own is gone.

When it came time for James to be asked about his decision, he was certain or at least he tried to sound as though he was. “I know what I am doing.” he said, lying to me and to himself. “I understand the gravity of this pledge and what it will entail.”

Yes, that’s right—he didn’t yet realize it had already left his being. I said nothing; I merely smiled as I always do, then I said what I always say: “Come, James and witness the blessed rites of the kingdom of his Satanic Majesty!”

Another hooded figure appeared then. I knew it was Eve and sure enough when she stepped closer I could see her face. She was beautiful, her skin looked so white against the black hood; James was entranced.

She nodded toward the altar and then took her place at the side. A young girl, not more than sixteen, was brought out, carried in on a litter. Several of my coven were helping with this, each of them cloaked as well. Naked, her pale body struggled, but so securely was she fastened, she could barely move.

And then, different perhaps from what you think you know about devil rites, she began to be molested, first by Eve who dropped her cloak and climbed atop the girl.This took a rather long time for I thought Eve was enjoying it a bit too much. Then, suddenly, she stopped and with arms raised, she called upon Satan for his mercies.

Satan floated in as I have seen him do like a black mist. He was in his demonic form. Young James nearly bolted. I grabbed him. “You can’t leave now, this is all for you!”
He nodded and I swear I think I saw tears in his eyes.

I led him to the altar where the girl was again ravished, this time by Satan.
At last it was over and at that moment, her throat was cut. Satan did it with one of his claws.
She was then gutted and disemboweled, her guts being held up high as a sign for James to know it was time for the actual signing. A parchment appeared and Satan nodded:


That was all he said as there was no reason to add another word. With shaking hands, James signed the document. And the girl’s intestines were shared by all and we feasted, even James.
Her blood was passed around too, but it was laced with an opiate so that James soon looked numb, which I suppose was a mercy.

Satan began to praise his young acolyte but James was barely conscious. He was led to the altar, where each of the coven members, including Satan, sodomized him.

Eve did as well, for she wore about her waist the replica of an erect penis. Odd perhaps, but true nevertheless. This is by the way how the pacts are sealed, whether the supplicants are men or women.

When it was over, James was led to a specially arranged orgy for the members of the satanic cult. Some of the brothel’s most important clients are members. The orgy carries on for days, weeks sometimes. It is a veritable sexual marathon with the most recent pact signer being the star repository, if you know what I mean.

James eventually came to his senses, and I promise you as on so many occasions of these rites, he looked to me far more evil than before. I could see it in his eyes, the hunger for evil.

If you think he was in shock, that shock had passed for Satan had successfully demonized another human being, a being who would do great evil. And that evil would begin in a few years, Rose, when your own father let James Bannion watch him mistreat you in your own home. And because of this, James would desire you even more.

Indeed, the James that emerged after this rite was a predatory being, covetous of sin and evil in the extreme. No sin was too deviant, no perversion too despicable; he was corrupt and as poisonous a being as he could have possibly been."

End of excerpt.


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I for one found this gloriously gothic, refreshingly brutal, honestly horrific and a great read. 
~Taliesin Meets the Vampires

eFestival of Words 2014: Best Villain, Eco/ Best Horror,The House on Blackstone Moor

"The figure of the gothic child was there. Stoker's horror was there. Along with the romance! At the heart of her writing one stumbles upon a genuine search for that darkness we lost with the loss of Stoker." 
DR. MARGARITA GEORGIEVA ~ Gothic Readings in The Dark

Top 10 Books - 2013
Aoife Marie Sheridan - ALL THINGS FANTASY
Publisher, Ultimate Fantasy Books 

"92 Horror authors you need to read right now"
Carole Gill -- the Blackstone Vampires series
~Charlotte Books - EXAMINER

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Carole Gill's House of Horrors NEEDS YOU!!!

Yes it does because it's been nominated in the 

Preditors & Editors Annual Readers' Poll!

My anthology is one of those listed! If you could manage it, I would love your vote!


voting closes Jan 14

Thank you!