J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

A-Z of Horror

J is for Janice

J is for Janice

Janice By Juile

Janice By Juile

From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have what ever she wanted.

As a child she would demand the attention of the other children and to a degree, their parents too. Only a very few adults would see that when Janice acted sweetly, she was actually manipulating the situation for her own needs. When in sight she could be seen as being kind and gentle, but when the backs were turned she would be able to pinch and blame a wasp sting, steal and blame another child for the misdemeanour with frightening clarity and conviction. After a while some of those children learnt not to play with Janice, while others felt no other option but to take the blame.

Janice was never into killing animals, but when she met Nick, a senior boy, she was more then happy to guide him into committing such crimes. the very first time was after wining a gold fish at the funfair. Taking themselves off to a quieter  part of the park, Janice egged Nick on to tip the goldfish out on to the grass and together they watched it flap and gasp and flip and eventually die. After then Janice allowed Nick to go to third base.

Once Nick understood the rewards that could be gained from such actions he gladly explored ways of trapping other animals and bringing their lives to an end, always of course with Janice encouraging him to commit the crime with a promise of a treat straight afterwards.

After a while killing animals lost its appeal fro Janice an din turn for Nick too. Janice found that Nick had become too good at trapping animals or coaching them from peoples gardens and so they needed something more tangible, something closer to home to bait. And so Janice suggested her parents, the ones who had created such a monster with their smothering love and unquestionable believe that their little girl was nothing but perfect.

Now this project needed much more planning if they were to get away with murder, they would need someone to take the fall, while they made there escape. And so it was down to Janice to make friends with a lad who was new to town.

It didn’t take long for Janice to work her charm and within a few hours Janice, Nick and their new best friend, Jason were at Janice’s parents house, drinking from her father’s drinks cabinet, Janice and Nick secretly supping soft drinks while encouraging Jason to knock back another whiskey and coke.

Once Janice had Jason nicely inebriated, she stared to tell Jason how her parents were monsters who from a young age had treated her badly, kept her locked in the cupboard under the stairs, forced her to eat a meal that she had not been able to to stomach from the night before which would be reserved for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As with all of Janice’s victims they fell under her spell and vowed to help her in any way they could.

As Janice’s mother was the main protagonist in Janice’s misery it was decided that she should feel the most pain. Much to Nick and Janice’s delight it was Jason who suggested poisoning her tea. His father had some stringent stuff in his shed that they could slip in to Janice’s mother’s tea and together they could watch her demise. As for the father that was easy too, slashing the brake cables on his car would do the trick, but they were all sad to know that they would only be able to wave him off and hear about his death later.

On both occasions the plan worked, and as an added bonus they were able to lay all the blame at Jason’s door. no matter how much he protested otherwise Janice was able to convince all who talked to her that they had tried to befriend Jason but it quickly became cler to her that he was a bad lot and as revenge he had killed her loving parents. Of course no one believed Jason’s story about Janice’s parents being monsters and so he was locked away fro everyones safety.   

and so began Janice an Jason’s long murderous career. Of course their crimes caught up with them eventually, with perhaps the most notorious being the modern day trunk murder which can be read in many true crime books and even found itself rewritten as fiction in the book, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare.       

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I is for Impossible

I is for impossible.

757ebca39a183a207ddaebe1503b7da0Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair.

As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making ‘ohh’ and ‘ahhh’ noises over her best wishes from the queen, Alice was not so fussed. In all her years nothing had compared to the magic of that one summer when she was just a girl, sitting in the garden, listening to her sister reading.

After her great adventure, falling down the rabbit hole and all the people she had met, she had honestly thought, hand on heart that her adventures would have been greeted with the same passion as she had felt, but alas this was not the case.

When Alice tried to explain that what she was telling her peers was real, this only made everyone around her more concerned for the young girls mental health. When she refused to admit it was all part of her imagination, her peers got angry and said she needed to be shut away for her own good. And so for the next ninety-three years Alice lived her life behind the great wall of Jupiter Hills Institution for the Mentally Insane. Not that that was what the place is called these days; successive management teams had come and gone, each adding their own view on how the inpatients should be cared for but more importantly how the institution was viewed by the outside world. These days the place on top of the hill is simply called, “Jupiter: Where We Care to Care.”

Alice would have liked to protest over such sentiments, but she learnt a long time ago that such acts of defiance only led to electrodes, isolation and beatings.
When she first arrived she longed to find a cake to eat or a drink to drink, to transform and escape this madness.

Her obsession with food and drink led to a frightening disorder which led to being force fed, a particular horrible experience which went on for many years. Now of course everything is liquidised and fed directly in to Alice’s stomach and Alice no longer has the fight to fight back.Forcefeeding

And so, back in her windowless room, where suppression of natural stimulants are all part of Alice’s “care to care” package which for decades had been, as far as the powers that be were concerned, a great success. Although it took a lot of punishment, otherwise know as conversion therapy, eventually Alice’s spirit of th imagination was broken and eventually they have cured Alice of talking about her delusional dreams.

Although Alice stopped speaking wonders from that summer day, she just had to close her eyes, as she did everyday at three and let her imagination bring everyone back into sharp focus.

And so Alice settled down in her chair, the only other furniture in the room was a bed, and waited for the ticking noise to fill her head, only this time the ticking sounded different, louder, outside of her head, filling her room.
Afraid to believe it was true, Alice kept her eyes firmly shut until the ticking became so loud that it was quite impossible for it to be just inside her head.
First Alice opened her left eye, then her right and then shut them tightly shut again as she processed the sight of the white rabbit standing in the middle of her gloomy room. Again Alice was too afraid to open her eyes as she realised the wish that for so long she had held tight had at last come true.
Alice jumped as a slight touch was felt on her knee. This time her eyes sprang open wide and their stood the rabbit, standing by the rabbit hole with his , pocket watch in hand. Although Alice had wizened beyond all recognition of her youth, the rabbit recognised he right away, held out his palm and said, ‘It’s Time. Let’s get out of here, let’s go on an adventure’.

 

 

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G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn.

Glenn

I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, House of Horrors, an all time favourite of my sister and mine.
I liked the skeletons that grew out of the monsters teeth in Jason and the Argonauts and seemed to always find those plastic skeletons either on a key ring or the like while on seaside holidays.

My sister had some great gothic children’s books, one was a collection of the original Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, with great illustrations. My favourite was the Sea Witch from the little mermaid, she was the stuff of nightmares! The other book my sister had was about dwarfs and giants. The one story I liked my sister to read to me was about a group of dwarfs who kidnap a princess. The scene that will never leave my brain is when the princess complains that the carriage seat is too hard, the dwarf jumps out of the carriage, plucks out his eye, throws it in the air and sees a filed of wheat…poor princess!
From their I discovered the Pan Books of Horror. I loved the covers and the blurb on the back as much as I liked the stories themselves.
The very first horror story I wrote was at school and leant the first rule of horror is you need to build the tension, let the feeling of dread creep in. Of course once you have mastered this then you can experiment every which way.th

Over the next few years I wrote bits and pieces for myself, two of my favourites were a take on a Mills and Boom style story called The Quite Storm, the other was a typical slasher horror. I loved those 1980’s horror films that were based on a holiday or date: Halloween, Friday 13th, Happy Birthday to Me, Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, Mother’s Day! So I wrote mine based on nursery rhymes, a sample of which can me found on here under, All Fall Down.th-1

A couple more years passed and I was looking for a project to learn something new when my husband Keir spotted a creative writing class at Brighton City College. My tutors, Ruth and Maria said, for your first project we don’t want you to write we would like you to draw a rough plan of the street you grew up in, followed by us naming who lived in each house. From there grew my collection of short horror stories called Blanche Street.
Blanche Street, where all the neighbours are a nightmare. My friend Andrew Nimmo Helped me upload my e-book onto Amazon, while my friend Linus created a brilliant webpage advertising the type of synopsise of my ten tales in the style of the ones I admire from PBH.
My late mother-in-law, Hazel Bottrill created some brilliant art work for the stories, The Fall of Derrick Houser, Dead Famous, and the book cover. My other talented friends also contributed some brilliant images to go with the Blanche Street Tales, Angus Stewart: Filth, and publicity photo for back cover, Davey Sutherland: Frank, Sarah Prades and Kristan Akerman and three new pieces from Darren Menezes: Sugar Almonds, The Nightmare and Some Mother’s Son.
Finally, I found online a great editor, Jenny Prince, who through fresh eyes and is at present getting the book in shape for its (self publishing) into paperback.
More information to follow.Book cover copy-25

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F is for Fur

http://www.fotosearch.com/clip-art/bank-clerk.html

F is for Fur.

Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up.

Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar journey to the bathroom, only to misguide where the laundry basket was and stubbed his toe. Bright lights filled his head as he let out a yell. From downstairs his wife, Julie called up the stairs and told her husband not to cuss in front of the children.

Blindly, Roger reached out for the bathroom light-switch, pulled the cord, then quickly pulled it again to stop the roar of the extractor fan switching on and cutting through his delicate head. Gripping hold of the side of the sink, Roger slowly lowered his head and rested his forehead against the coolness of sink, but felt little benefit from doing so. With the same amount of effort, Roger slowly lifted his head back up and tried to recall just what he had been up to earlier to be feeling so dreadful now.

Still unwilling to open his eyes, Roger reached for his electric toothbrush, but shuddered at the though of turning it on and putting that noise inside his fragile head and so he just gently went over his teeth manually.

As he brushed, flashes of events earlier came into his head, he was sitting at his desk, with the blinds half way down blocking out blazing sunshine which sent a crack of pain through his head. As he flossed his teeth, his tongue felt furry as another flash came flooding in; this time he was standing by the water cooler hearing Sharon from accounts yabbling on about the latest c-celeb on TV, her on/off relationship with her boyfriend Barry and how’s although she’s starving, she has lost 2 pounds this week on the ‘Carrot diet’. “You can eat as many carrots as you like, juiced, shredded, sliced, boiled, steamed, grilled, but you can’t have them deep fried in batter which a real shame.”

Next Roger fills the sink with water and lathers up the bar of soap and vigorously washes his face. As he splashes cold water over his face another memory hits hard; the same droll day continues with his sitting in the staff canteen, looking at a piss weak cup of tea and a flaccid white roll filled with egg mayo. Across the table, Barry is moaning that he doesn’t quite know how to dump Sharon as he and his mates have a holiday booked in Magaluf and what they really want to do is get so drunk they throw up, get a tattoo (a devil in a diaper being the favourite) and then finding as many ‘birds’ as possible to shag.

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The blandness of his day drags in more memories, his boss droning on about the next five year forecast being the most depressing thing that refuses to stop rattling around his head.

With a heavy sigh, Roger stumbles back into the bedroom, with anticipation of bright sunlight, pulls back the curtains and sees the full moon staring back. Holding his puny hands up to his face he watches as fur sweeps up hands and arms, torso, back and round and round his legs and feet.

The horror of his life as a clerk are put in check as he combs his fur across his cheeks, licks his teeth and joins his family for a night of hunting….he really hopes to bumps into his his boss, Barry and Sharon.

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C is for clown

Take a lette rof teh alpherbet and write flash horror fiction within half an hour

www.evilclowns.org

C is for clown

C is for clown.
Her name was Fiz, well her name was actually Caroline, but everyone called her Fiz on the account that she was so god damn physically fit! Not that you would recognise Fiz these days, she’s changed. No scratch that, she has transformed into something completely different, not through her own choosing mind.
No one has any idea who was behind the nightmare, but there must have been a world wide group involved because the pandemic spread within days. I think Fiz was the first victim. As much as I miss her, I’m glad it was her who answered the door and saw the package, I know, I know, selfish comment, but she is no longer aware of who she was. To be honest, I’m not sure I would be able to tell her in a line up, not that I would want to put myself through that.
I’m running away with myself now, I need to tell you about the package. I guess Fiz thought it was a gift to her, admirers were forever leaving things on the front step, flowers, chocolates, one guy even left her a teapot, I think it was his way of being romantic, “Let’s meet over tea” something like that. It was a lovely teapot, makes a great brew and the spout never drips.
Sorry, I’m transgressing again aren’t I, where was I? Oh yes the package, it was plain brown paper and string, Fiz might have thought that was quaint, you know plain flicker.comand simple, I don’t think Fiz ever had anything plain or simple in her life, ever. She loved to accessories, I know, I’m digressing, but it will help you get a better idea of who Fizz was. Do you know those, Sobranie cocktail cigarettes? Fiz would coordinate her clothes to match the coloured cocktail cigarettes. She would make me laugh, her funny ways. The ironic thing about the whole situation is that she was never particularly funny, never cracked a joke. Don’t get me wrong, she liked to laugh, more of a titter when she’s had a little bit to drink of fizz but never, never loud, not like that time.
I’m running ahead aren’t I. So, it was a Wednesday morning, I was still in bed, so were our flatmates, Posh-Sarah and King Albert, both have excellent breeding but absolutely hopeless in a crises. I heard Fiz shuffling about downstairs, making herself a cup of tea, no doubt she had a pink Sobranie on the go as she always wore pink pyjamas. I then heard her go to the front door and then there was a long silence, I think she was drinking her tea, bit of toast, cigarette. Then I heard this terrible scream. All three of us came running down to see Fiz sitting at the kitchen table, parcel opened in front of her with Fiz herself holding the side of her face; we all thought she had been slapped.
Fiz was more angry then upset, it took a lot to pull tears from her face. She then pointed a finger at the sprung snake and tin on the floor. It was King Albert who picked the tin up. It transpired to be a joke, one of those fake tins that when you shake it you think there’s something inside, Fiz thought it was jewellery or something, but when she opened it out sprung a fake snake, hitting Fiz on the side of the cheek.
None of us thought much more of it, I think privately we all chuckled to ourselves but that was it. It wasn’t until later in the day that I noticed a white streak across Fiz’s face. At first Fiz wouldn’t believe me, she refused to get out her hand mirror to look, (which belive me was a shock in itself!) It was only when I picked up a magazine,Majesty or Posh I think and pretended to read it that I noticed from the corner of my eye Fiz sneaking her mirror out and having a look. She didn’t say anything, she just got up and went to her room. She was in their for an age, I mean it felt like forever. Eventually I tapped on her door and asked if she was okay. Fiz mumbled something then opened the door a fraction. I was shocked at her red eyes, she had been crying. I don’t think she knew what to do, so she just opened the door a little more and showed me the side of her face. The small white mark had spread rapidly, completely covering the side of her face.
I think Fiz was hoping that I wasn’t seeing what she was seeing, but when she quickly realised I did she yelled, pulled me into her bedroom and slammed the door behind me.
I’d never been in Fiz’s bedroom before, It was a lot messier then I imagined, knickers on the floor, a plate with some unfinshed dinner by the foot of the bed and an ashtray filled with multi-coloured tips. Okay, okay, I’ll get on with the story at hand. Together we went through every lotion and potion Fiz had but nothing would remove the white. It was only while she was trying her Joan Malone face wipes that I noticed her lips getting redder. At first I thought it was because she had been rubbing her face so much or that she was having some kind of allergic reaction to all the stuff she had spread across her face.
Fiz must have seen my face because she started to panic, she ran over to her dressing table and tried to scream, but her face just kind of froze. I was watching her transformation from across the room, reflected in the mirror, it was all so surreal, like I was watching something on the television. The red smear grew into a wide grin, while the white covered her whole face, blue stars sprang up and bled across each eye and her perfect nose blew up big and bulbous. I went to take a step closer to Fiz, only for this chilling chuckle gurgled from her open mouth made me slowly creep out of her room, close the door and run.

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B is for Bonsai

Take a letter of the alphabet, write flash fiction within half an hour.
B is for Bonsai.

photo by afterorangecountry.comThe art of Bonsai has always been a passion of mine, the art of keeping something so delicate in a miniature state takes a real skill, not to mention patience and dedication. Gradual manipulation of limbs, breaking and resetting the natural will. It was these skills that came into their own fifty years ago.
My daughter is as delicate as a lotus flower, as was her mother, but alas her mother was too delicate too survive. It filled my heart with such sadness to know that my beautiful daughter would never know her mother’s love.
It was the shock that I could lose somthing so precious, so easily that made me realise I had to do all I could to protect my daughter.
Have you got children? Yes! Then you will surely understand why I had to do everything in my power to keep her safe.
Please take that look of your face, you are seeing things from the point of view of a world constricted with rules and regulations, but it is these very things precisely that have enabled me to keep my daughter safe. In all the years she has never had an accident and I in turn have never had need to worry.
I home study her, everything she needs to know about the world she has learnt through me.

I believe, deep down she has no understanding of her diffrences, as far as we are concerned her world is normal. Her world is defended against all the horrors that ravarge and steal.
It is my job as a father to protect her. In the beginning I just bound her feet. Yes, there was much pain for both of us, but I knew I was doing the right thing for my daughter. Despite her bound feet, she still managed to crawl around at great speed. There were times when I needed to leave her for lengths of time, further binding was the only answer. As with her feet, I broke and bound her hands, arms across her chest. I made the decision that my hands would be her hands, I would feed her, wash her, stoke the side of her face when she cried.
As time passed, she began to grow at an alarming rate, something that I knew would only bring misery to us both and so I bound her whole body.
It took a lot of patience for the final part of the process, but as with the Bonsai, dedication brought out the true beauty.
Each day I would help stretch her legs backwards, folding, until eventually they lay flush with her back.
Eventually she came to understand that she had no need to worry about anything, all she needed was me.

www.ancient-orgins.net

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It’s Christmas time, so let’s get afraid…with a good christmas horror film!!!

I enjoy Christmas, putting the tinsel up and popping a fairy on top of an over decorated tree are all part of the festive cheer, but there can be a bit too much saccharine this time of year. Should you find yourself reaching for the insulin when Sugar plum fairy shoves bucket loads of sweets down your throat while watching The Nutcracker, then it really is time to seek out an anti-Christmas alternatives and what better way then to order in some classic Christmas horror (and one ghost) films.

For me, there is nothing worse then settling down with some popcorn, chocolate and a glass of eggnog, only to find that the film you have your warm woollen mitts on is just so lame that you end up fast forwarding it knowing full well who or why ‘did it’ and instantly forget (or care) by the end of the credits. So, with this in mind, here are my ‘Top Five Classic Christmas Horror (and one ghost) Films’.
5) Black Christmas 1974 (1974).

Black Christmas

This is one of my sister Dawn’s favourite 70’s horror films and one I remember her telling me all about the creative deaths! Way before the likes of lone stalker horror films like, Halloween and Friday the 13th came along, Black Christmas was setting up many of the tropes that would be exploited in the nod and wink, Scream series. The now familiar premise sees a group of ‘sorority girls’ getting ready to celebrate Christmas. The girls have been receiving anonymous phone calls from someone they call, The Moaner as he just breaths heavy down the phone.
After calling The Moaners bluff, he replies with the chilling threat that he will kill them all.
As with this slasher film and all the ones that would follow, it is the inventive way the killer bumps of his victims that stays with the audience. (Spoiler alert) The first death is particularly gruesome and will have you will be cling-filming that left over turkey in a very different way. For me, the most memorable murder comes when the killer (is it The Moaner?) bumps off the Housemother, Mrs Mac (a comical ‘fishwife’ character) who makes the classic Slasher film victim mistake by going up into the attic (The other ‘No, No,’ is to go down into the cellar or call out, “who’s there?” when going to investigate a noise outside). Anyway, back to Black Christmas, Mrs. Mac having no idea of the horror film rules pops up into the attic and sees the killers handy work of his cling-film victim. Mrs Mac is swiftly dispatched by a swinging hook and zipped up into the attic.
Black Christmas is a slow burner allowing plenty of time for the audience to get to like the characters and then in turn have an emotional connection with them, making the experience all the more terrifying. Their was a remake of Black Christmas (2006) which added more gore due to the success of gore-porn fest of films like Hostel. But where the likes Hostel and the original had a strong storyline, Black Christmas (2006) relied too much on splattering the screen with blood, so my advice, stick to watching the original. (Spoiler alert) What makes Black Christmas so good is it ambiguous ending; Although we think the killer is dead the phone starts to ring…

4) Gremlins: The worse Christmas ever…. (1984).

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There are so many brilliant parts to Gremlins, from the dad getting a cute Mogwai creature for his son, Billy, Christmas present, to said Mogwai spitting fur balls that transform into the title of the film. However, for me, the favourite part of the film comes when Billy’s girlfriend tell’s Billy why she doesn’t like Christmas by retelling the classic Urban Legend (Although it has since gone on to happen in real life more then once!) of how her dad had dressed up as Santa with the intention of slipping down the chimney to surprise his family with gifts. Unbeknown to his wife and daughter they think he has gone missing and wait four or five days….it’s cold so his daughter lights a fire “It is then I recognised the smell” Fire men come, and find her dad has broken his neck and got stuck halfway done the chimney! eke!

3) Tales from the Crypt. Killer santa on the loose!

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This is another favourite of my sister and I’s, starring the Brilliant Joan Collins. Collins, Like Steve McQueen, started their careers in B-movies. While McQueen was seeing off The Blob, Collins was fighting Giant ants (Empire of the Ants). But it is Collins turn as a murderess wife in Tales from the Crypt that get’s her onto this list.
Based on the 1950’s comics of the same name, Collins bumps of her wealthy husband and then makes it look (quite unconvincingly if you ask me) like an accident along with the worse fake blood imaginable; all of which makes this chapter from Tales form the Crypt worth a look, but there is so much more! Borrowing once again from the Bumper Book of Urban Legends, the story unfolds with the radio announcing that a psychopath has escaped from the local asylum and is dressed as in a Santa outfit (as you do). The next ten minutes sees Collins world collapse as the Psycho Santa tries to break into her house. Unable to call the police (dead husband) Collin’s whizzers around the house locking all the windows, checking all the locks. But poor old Joan hadn’t banked on her excited young daughter spying Santa (who, it has to be said, looks pretty ropy) outside so she lets him in. Seriously though, If that scene was remade now both mother and daughter would quickly get weaponed up and kick that psycho Santa’s boney arse! Alas, poor Joan get’s her comeuppance as is the rule with this type of Horror.

4) Silent Night, Deadly Night. Trailer

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Dawn, I think you’d like this film, not because it is one of the all time classic Christmas films of all time, but because it is so bad and because of that it is so good.
Okay, here’s the plot, Billy and his baby brother Ricky, along with their parents are off to see their granddad on Christmas Eve. Good old Grandad, who has not spoken in years, waits to get Billy on his own and speaks! but instead of sharing christmas cheer, he tells young Billy that Santa know’s he has been bad and will punish him! Eke, eke eke!!
On the way home a robber (dressed as Santa) kills Billy’s parents forcing Billy and Ricky into an Orphanage, run by stick nuns, twisting poor Billy even further.
Fast forward ten years, Billy is working in a toy shop and on Christmas Eve is forced to be father Christmas. Doh!
Poor Billy’s mind snaps, he goes on a killing spree and…well that would spoil the fun! The film was highly criticised upon its release by people who never saw the film by parents who didn’t think Santa should be depicted as a homicidal maniac. The publicity made the film a cult, which in turn spun four more sequels and a remake!
For me personally, the original is the best, although Micky Rooney in part 4 as a demonic toy makes that particular sequel well worth a look as it will surly banish all cutesy memories of him in any of the five films with Judy Garland a distant memory.
But back to SNDN1; it’s clear that the main part of the budget was spent on Billy’s Santa suit, It’s rich, it’s plush, it even has bells on! The special effects are a bit rubbish….really bad in fact, but that’s all part of it, it’s like watching a modern day Ed wood directed movie, what more of a recommendation do you need!

5) The Innocents. Trailer

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Based on one of my all time favourite ghost stories, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, which has been adapted into films, an opera and even a ballet is a truly unnerving experience. The premises is pretty simple; a young woman, Miss Giddens (the brilliant Deborah Kerr) with limited experience of the world becomes a governess to two perfect children, Flora and Miles who’s parents are both dead, leaving their uncle (Michael Redgrave) who has no desire to look after either of them except financially, by keeping Miles at a private school and for the new governess to home school Flora at his country estate in the middle of nowhere. Isolation is always a great setting for a horror film, but it isn’t just the setting that creates the isolation for the young governess, but the fact that the only other (living) adult is the cook, played by Megs Grose (people of a certain age will know her better as Mrs Bridges from Up Stairs Down stairs) who can not read or write, an important plot devise to create further uncertainty about Miss Giddens take on reality. Mrs Grose informs the governess about the previous Governess, Miss Jessel who had been influenced by the Uncle’s Valet the rough and ready, Quint; both of whom are now dead. As the story unfolds, the governess sees both Miss Giddens and Quint on numerous occasions and becomes convinced the evil pair have come back from the grave to takeover the bodies of the governesses young charges. What makes this film particularly creepy (and been particularly popular with New Criticism) is that as a viewer you are never too sure if there is really a unworldly presence, or if it is the governess who is seeing things. The innocents of the children and the lack of education from the cook only help to compound the feeling of what is going on. However, it is the ending that is truly shocking and makes this film a real must for a chilling Christmas treat.

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Writing everyday in October: Run!

 

IMG_3720“Run!”

Her horror snares me. I’m on my feet running, fast, but from what?

Crowds scurry, infectious fear.

A chorus of terror urges us, to run, run faster.

Hysteria rules, out of their homes they pour: stampeding, screaming, caterwauling.

The horror! Faces underfoot, no time to stop, just keep running.

But running, running from what?

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Writing Every day in October. Filthy Weather, Part 2

Writing everyday in October.
Filthy Weather, Part 2

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The next day despite it being even hotter then the day before, Barry lay feverishly in bed, with the blankets pulled up around him. Genie walked in to the bedroom with a glass of water which only made Barry wretch. He then calmed himself enough to say that he literally could not stomach anything.
To make matters worse, Barry was a hopeless patient; by midday Gina had enough of Barry’s moaning, made all the worse as she was unable to do anything to alleviate his symptoms beyond damping his brow with a damp cloth and wiping a way the gunk that kept building up in the corners of his eyes.
When Barry started to dry heave again, Gina apologised as she rushed out of the bedroom saying she needed to get some air. Gina was pleased to find none of the other neighbours were out on the patch of grass at the back of the flats. As Gina settled into the deckchair she notice the neighbours on the ground floor had the windows shut and curtains pulled tight which suited her just fine. The last thing she wanted was small talk with the strange mother and son combo who lived there.

Sitting back, Gina felt her body relax. High above from one of the flat windows, Gina heard a radio DJ, giving the usual cheesy chat.
“Well, I hope whatever you’re doing you’re making the most of the weather as we have reports that rain is soon on its way, next up is a tune for all you lad-ies. Here are those, Weather Girls and It’s Raining Men.”
Genie had her eyes closed as she sang along to the music, it was then she suddenly became aware of the unaccustomed sound of seagulls. Just as she looked up she saw the sky turn grey as hundreds of seagulls flew high up over the roofs. As the birds passed it looked like they were pulling behind them a glimmering golden carpet. It was in fact an unusual cloud formation; it looked to Genie as if it was chasing the birds out of the sky. As the massive cloud eclipsed the blue heaven, sun rays pierced the cloud causing it to sparkle.

“What is it?”

Genie turned to one of her other neighbours and her two children who had popped out on hearing the increasing row the seagulls were making overhead.
Gina stood open mouthed, unable to give any answer that would have made sense as the sight in the sky was beyond any comprehension she could think off. It was then Genie heard Barry’s dry cough rattling out of the window from above. Normally her instincts would have been to go to his aid, but she found herself transfixed by the gold sheet that was now covering most of the sky above.

“It’s beautiful” shouted the little girl standing next to her mother. Genie could only stand and nod in agreement; the intolerable hot weather had all been worth it.
Genie suddenly became aware that all the neighbours, except Barry had come outside, standing in their small back yards as they marvelled at nature’s gift to them. The birds had all but been chased away and the skies had turned truly heavenly.
Not a sound could be heard as people got out of their cars and marvelled at the magnificent sky that continued to sparkle a deeper hue of gold.
From down the street someone started to clap, which was followed by someone else then an another and then another until it seemed that everyone standing in their backyards where applauding the magical gift in the sky.
What happened took everybody by complete surprise, it was as if the sound of the had reached high up and touched the gold cloud which in turn broke up and showered everyone below with its gold. At first everyone threw their arms and faces up, welcoming the refreshing downpour, relived to be soaked after the amazing heat wave. However, the pleasure soon turned to horror, the rain slid down the skin leaving an oily film; but worse, so much worse was its unexpected reaction. Within seconds of making contact with its worshippers, what was gold upon the touch quickly dissolved into a brown acid burning sludge. Where only moments ago a sense of joy had filled the street was replaced with the sounds of agonising screams.
Genie ran into the bathroom, stripped off her clothes and jumped in the shower frantically scrubbing herself. At first the relief of having the clean water rush over her gave Genie much relief but she suddenly became aware that the waters consistence had changed and the same gold/brown globs of liquid where now chugging out of the shower head. Distraught, Genie jumped out of the shower, ran into the kitchen and emptied what water was left in the kettle and water jug in the fridge over her. Hearing the commotion, Barry had pulled himself out of bed and started at Genie as she grabbed at the tae-towels, pulling the mess from her skin. Although exhausted himself, Barry grabbed another tea-towel and helped Genie get clean while the filthy weather continued to hammer against the side of the flat.

*

After a fitful night sleep, Barry turned to the alarm clock, the time said seven a.m. and yet it was still dark outside as the rain continued to pour down.
“Genie, you awake?” Croaked Barry. Genie groaned an unconvincing “yes” before turning her back and pulling the covers with her. Barry got out of bed and cupped his hands against the windowpane but could not see beyond the greasy sheen on the other side. Although Barry had swallowed the sea water, he had managed to get rid of most of it over the last twenty-four hours and felt a little better, but Genie had been really effected by the downpour, although she had managed to get the slime of her skin pretty quickly, Barry knew she was still feeling the phycological effects that were much harder to wash off.
Without thinking, Barry said, “Genie do you want a drink of wate…?”

Genie’s hand shot up before Barry had a chance to finish saying anything more which in turn made Barry feel just as bad.
As he made his way down the stairs, Barry became aware of a strong smell, as he reached the bottom of the stairs he gingerly opened the door onto the communal hallway then quickly slammed his hand over mouth and gasped. During the night the rain had seeped into the entrance hall, covering the floor with an oily brown shimmer that stank of nothing on this earth, but within the slime was movement. Barry didn’t want to look too closely, but the creatures looked a like large silverfish thrashing around across what had once been the hall carpet.
Barry ran back into the flat, unable to control his tears, to Barry it really felt like it was the end of the world. As he stood outside the bedroom, he managed to compose himself enough to walk back into the bedroom and was surprised to see Genie sitting up in bed. Genie looked terrible, but Barry pulled on his best smile and said, feeling a bit better love, you look a bit better”.
Of course, Genie and barry both knew the lie that hung between them, but to admit the truth was to much to bare and so Genie nodded and said that she did feel a little bit better.

Barry, continued to lie and said, once it stops raining we can all get the neighbours together and give the whole place a clear up.
Again, Genie nodded knowing full well that that was not going to happen. in the last five years of living here the only neighbours they had any contact with was that vile neighbour Ronny on the top floor and a brief conversation with that woman and her kids yesterday in the backyard before the sky had fallen in.
Genie managed to pull herself out of bed and went over to the window and cupped her hands against the pane. In truth, Genie could not see anything, but the cool glass against her head gave her some relief. As she stared into the nothing a bolt of lightning lit up the outside world, making Genie scream.
Turning to Barry, Genie looked ghostly white. Barry tried to askj her if she was okay and ran over to the window to see what had spooked Genie so much, it couldn’t have been just the lightning but when he cupped his hands over the window all he could see was the same brown/gold sludge pulling itself down the window.

Barry continued to stare at the window without turning said, what is it babe? What did you see?”
Barry then turned to see that Genie was no longer in the bedroom. Thinking that she must have gone to the bathroom or kitchen, Barry returned to the window, hoping the lightning would strike again. After a couple of minutes of looking at the same nothingness, Barry went to the bathroom to see if Genie was okay but she wasn’t in the bathroom or the kitchen of the lounge.
It was then that Barry saw the front door was ajar. Barry threw the door open and saw the receding footprints of Genie bare feet disappearing in the hall way sludge.

Glenn Stevens’s photo.

Posted on by admin in Brighton East Sussex, Flash Blogs, Flash fiction, Gothic, Gothic horror, Horror, sci-fi, short, short story, urban gothic, Writing everyday in October Leave a comment

All Fall Down: Homage to 1980’s Slasher/Horror Films. Part Four, Ahh-Tishoo!

Nun-titled by Methuselah

Sister….

 

 

 

 

 

Having finished all the bottles and with Trisha Steers nowhere to be seen, the group left the dining room in search of more booze. Unaware of the horror that was going on around them, Dan, Rose and Cherry found the kitchen and searched the cupboards only to find them all completely bare of any food.
“Old Mother Hubbard.” said Dan absentmindedly.
Rose then called the others to a large dustbin by the backdoor, “Look at this lot.” Cherry and Dan went to see what she was looking at to find the bin full of empty take-away cartons.
“So what?” said Dan
Cherry looked at one of the lids, “Oh, Jamie Heston’s deluxe take away service, we’ve used him before”.
Rose looked at the others and said, “Yes, I know who it is, but don’t you think it strange that there’s no more food in this place?”
Cherry glanced at Dan, then said, “Well maybe Trisha Steers has another delivery in the morning, it’s not like we’ll be going for a jog in the morning is it?”
Rose was about to speak, when all the lights went out, causing all three of the x-classmates to scream, with Dan making the highest pitched noise out of the three.
“Oh my god” quivered Dan, “What’s going on?”
“Nothing!” snapped Rose, “it’s just a power cut, get a grip Dan.”
Rose then turned to Cherry and said, “I don’t suppose you know where the fusebox would be do you?”
Cherry let out a nervous laugh, “I’m guessing it’s in the basement, or maybe on the top floor?”
“Okay Cherry, you and Dan have a look in the basement, i’ll see if there’s anything fuse boxed shaped upstairs.”
Dan looked like he was about to burst into tears, when Rose punched his arm, “Christ sake Dan, you may dress all macho, but you’re nothing but a bloody wimp: man-up!”
As Dan and Cherry made there way down into the cellar, Rose tried the lift but found it out of order so took to the stairs. As she got closer to the top floor she could here someone one singing, “Orange and lemons said the bells of St Clements, you owe me five farthings send the bells of St Martins”
“Hello,” Said Rose, “Bella? May? Is that you?
As she climbed the stairs she heard more clearly what they were singing
“When will you pay me said the bells of Old Bailey, when I grow rich, said the bells of Shoreditch.”
Rose paused on the stair, “Who’s there?”                                                               Ignoring Rose’s request, singing continued, “When will that be said the bells of Stepney.                                                                                                                   Rose became agitated, “Bella, stop being an idiot,” but also a little frightened and wished she had gabbed herself a weapon, if only to freak Bella out. She then turned on to the top stair and on to the landing and saw a glow of a candle at the very end of the hall, but couldn’t quite make out who it was holding it. She was about to call out again when the lights all came back on. 

Down in the basement, Cherry and Dan let out a cry of delight, but Rose screamed out loud as she saw that the figure was neither Bella or May, but a nun, with a skull for a face, holding up a huge axe.
Terrified, Rose began to walk backwards as the nun continued to stride towards her, finishing off the rest of the rhyme, “Here comes the candle to light you to bed, here comes the chopper to chop off your head.”

***

As they made there way back to the ground floor, Cherry and Dan called out to Rose, but got no reply.
They were about to call out again when they heard a muffled cry coming from inside a cupboard. Cherry pulled the door and were shocked to see Trisha Steers, gagged with her hands tied behind her back come tumbling out.
Dan and Cherry quickly untied Trisha who seemed in a terrible state.
“Who did this to you?” cried Cherry.
As Trisha pulled herself up, she pulled the gag from her mouth and said, “I have no idea, I thought it was you or one of your friends playing a joke on me.”
Dan ran off and came back with a large carving knife. Cherry and Trisha both looked on with alarm and said in unison, “What are you doing?”
Dan, who had a crazed look in his eyes said, I know who exactly did this, Johnny Bloody Flynn.”
All memories of that fateful day came flooding back into Cherry’s head as she called out for Dan to come back, but he had already taken to the stairs, two at a time.
Cherry helped Trisha into the lounge and said, “Do you have any brandy?”
Trisha smiled weakly, “Thank you my dear, but I don’t drink, never have, never will.”
Cherry shook her head, “You may not, but I really need a stiff drink, right now.”
Trisha nodded, searched inside her dress pocket and pulled out a small silver key and nodded to a cabinet in the corner of the room.
Taking the key, Cherry’s hand trembled as she slipped the key in the lock and opened the cabinet door. Inside was a single decanter and a single crystal cut glass.
Cherry sniffed the decanter, “Good, brandy, just what I need”.
She then poured herself a large measure and took three hearty swigs as she tried to get rid of the image of Johnny’s Flynn’s frighted face looking back at her in her minds eye.
As she took a fourth swig her lip tasted a bitterness which she chose to ignore, putting it down to her own anxiety as she drained the glasses contents.

***

Searching every room, floor by floor, Dan found each room empty. By the time he reached the top floor, he’s heart was beating fast with fury. He had hated Johnny Flynn as a child and so much more as an adult. Over the years he had played the moment when he had finally got rid of that snotty nosed kid, the one his parents had complained so much about that he had hoped if he could get rid of Johnny, then maybe his parents would notice him and give him the love he had craved. Of course his parents never changed, which only made Dan all the more convinced that Johnny Flynn had survived. Even though both his parents had since died in a mysterious cars crash, now was Dan’s turn to get rid of Johnny Flynn once and for all.

***

Although Cherry didn’t feel quite right, she put it down to the horror of her memories crashing in over and over her mind with Johnny Flynn’s petrified face looming ever closer and so she took a direct swig from the bottle and enjoyed the burning sensation as the brandy coated her insides.
She then noticed that Trisha seemed to have recovered from her ordeal quite quickly and was changing from her maids outfit into a long black gown. Cherry asked what she was doing, to which Trisha replied, “Just preparing myself for the climax of this very special reunion my dear”.
Cherry was about to ask what Trisha meant, when the brandy bottle slipped from her hand and crashed to the floor, next she felt her legs buckle beneath her as she fell back on a chair behind her.
Trisha turned and continued to fix the nun’s habit in place.

***

With all the rooms on the top floor empty, Dan turned to the small stair case leading to the attic room. “Your mine now Johnny Flynn,” growled Dan as his hand tightly gripped the knife and he slowly made his may to the top of the stairs. Turning the doorknob, Dan threw the door opened and yelled out, “Ha!” only to find the room empty, bar a mattress in the corner and a desk in the middle of the room. As he walked to the centre of the room he lit the candle on the side of the desk and saw a scrap book set out on the middle of the desk. Turning the first page he saw a headline from the Coalville Times: “LOCAL BOY MISSING.” Below that was a picture of Johnny Flynn. Dan turned the next page and saw the next headline: “LOCAL COALVILLE BOY STILL MISSING, FEARED DEAD”. Below this was a later news clipping in smaller letters: Missing Coalville Boy Suspected of Running Away, Search Suspended.
Dan couldn’t help but let out a chuckle, but then he turned to the next page and let out a gasp as the face of Trisha Steers stared back at him, dressed as a nun with the headline: NUN SO LUCKY! Sister Theresa: Jackpot winner!
Dan looked at the picture, then the headline, then back at the picture again, “Oh my God, it’s an anagram! Trisha Steers is Sister Theresa!”

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