Issue #9.5 features "Allhallowtide (To the Faithless Departed)", my experimental poem that bears a resemblance to "The Undertaker's Melancholy", which appears in Darkness Ad Infinitum. The full Table of Contents is as follows:
* Halloween On by John Boden and Bracken MacLeod
* Night in the Forest of Loneliness by David G. Blake
* Kore by John Langan (Holiday Recollection)
* Out of Field Theory by Kevin Lucia
* Tricks and Treats by Rose Blackthorn
* Witches and the March of Dimes, and Mike Warnke by Babs Boden (Holiday Recollection)
* Howdy Doody Time by Kriscinda Lee Everitt
* When I Scared Myself Out of Halloween by Jeremy Wagner (Holiday Recollection)
* Untitled by Barry Lee Dejasu
* The Mansion by Lee Thomas (Holiday Recollection)
* Allhallowtide (To the Faithless Departed) by Sydney Leigh (Poetry)
* Flay Bells Ring, or How the Horror Filmmaker Stole Christmas by Mike Lombardo (Holiday Recollection)
* The Candle Eaters by K. Allen Wood
* Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)
So I'm feeling honored, to say the least. The Kindle edition is available here and the print mag will be ready soon...if you buy the print edition, you also get the Kindle version for free.
Thanks to Ken Wood and John Boden for putting out such a phenomenal mag, and for being such great people. Shock Totem truly rules.
The Wicked Library
This twisted little tale appeared in Demonic Visions 50 Horror Tales Book 2 last December. Check it out, along with the other pieces from Paul Michael Anderson, Jessica McHugh, Lindsay Beth Goddard, and Joseph Matulich.
Listen to the podcast here: HALLOWEEN SPECIAL III and let us know what you think!
TALES THAT SLITHER, CREEP, AND CRAWL
My story is a tribute to someone who led a very tragic life and died young...someone I never met, but got to know through the eyes and memories of someone who loved her dearly.
This story was tough to write. It's very dark and disturbing, and I was afraid it would turn people off. In fact, I had a panic attack after I sent it because Phil Perron of Great Old Ones Publishing had just had a baby, and I worried it would hit too close to home.
Instead, he chose it as the anchor tale. And then sent word that Simon Rumley, the incredible director of Red White & Blue, Little Deaths, P is for Pressure, Club le Monde, The Living and the Dead, and more, said some very kind words about it in the Foreword:
"My personal favorite undoubtedly reflects my taste for the crazed, the realistic and the extreme, and manages to invent a new type of madness with its own demented and, actually, disgusting logical conclusion. What makes Sydney Leigh's 'Baby Breath' all the more horrible is that it comes from a lost love and an inability by the main character, a pregnant woman named Diane, to face the truth. Warning: read at your own peril. Not for the faint of heart. Or pregnant women!"
It meant the world to me that someone like Simon "got" this story. There's more to it than mere shock value. I'll never forget watching Simon's "P is for Pressure" segment in the ABCs of Death and feeling traumatized, but knowing full well what he was saying with the crunch of that kitten's skull. I didn't kill any kittens in my story, but I hope you guys "get it", too.
This anthology also features the late, great Lawrence Santoro, Tracy Carbone, B.E. Scully, Gregory Norris, the lovely Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks, Patrick Lacey, MJ Preston (who also provided the cover design), Roxanne and Karen Dent, and more.
For now, BUGS is available in paperback on CreateSpace here and in Kindle format on Amazon here.
Please check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Thanks for reading, guys.
Pick it up in paperback or PDF . . . or contact me for a signed copy, as with any of my books. Thanks to Jim and Janice Leach from TheDailyNightmare for all their hard work.
by James Ferguson
Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole,
Black as a blackamoor, blin' as a mole:
Stir the fire till it lowes, let the bairnie sit,
Auld Daddy Darkness is no wantit yit.
See him in the corners hidin' frae the Iicht,
See him at the window gloomin' at the nicht;
Turn up the gas Iicht, close the shutters a',
An' Auld Daddy Darkness will flee far awa'.
Awa' to hide the birdie within its cosy nest,
Awa' to lap the wee flooers on their mither's breast,
Awa' to loosen Gaffer Toil frae his daily ca',
For Auld Daddy Darkness is kindly to a'.
He comes when we're weary to wean's frae oor waes,
He comes when the bairnies are getting aff their claes;
To cover them sae cosy, an' bring bonnie dreams,
So Auld Daddy Darkness is better than he seems.
Steek yer een, my wee tot, ye'll see Daddy then;
He's in below the bed claes, to cuddle ye he's fain;
Noo nestle to his bosie, sleep and dream yer fill,
Till Wee Davie Daylicht comes keekin' owre the hill.