The Living Body

Change is a good thing, or so we’re told. But is all change good? I venture to say this piece by Pen of the Damned member Lee A. Forman may just change your mind…

Pen of the Damned

His abdomen split down the middle and opened wide. But still, he held my eyes without expression. No pain, no surprise, no suffering could be read. I stared back, waiting to see what would happen next.

His sweaty frame shuddered and limbs bent at unnatural angles. I could hear bones snap. Organs began to leave his abdominal cavity of their own volition. They spread around the body, stretching, morphing, becoming more than they were intended by nature. My eyes strained to witness the full detail of the event. Strange to watch a man turn inside-out, even stranger to see him alive and unflinching.

His body stopped seizing and he continued to stare. Something in his eyes I couldn’t explain… I only hoped the restraints would hold against his growing mass.

I began to step back. Tendrils of meaty innards began to emerge from the mess that used to be his…

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Sacrifice to the Gods

Pen of the Damned

In the tomb of the gods, the dark soul stirred, the long-dormant bones staring through shadows with hollowed eyes. Someone called its name, spilled blood from a fresh kill upon the stone. In the inky black it waited, as red fluid slowly dripped through the earth. Soon its skull would stain red and it would rise again.

Above ground, shaking in the moonlight, Doug stared at the woman he killed. He watched her blood pool on the ancient carved stone and flow over the edge into the soil. The name he whispered still echoed in his ears.

How did I know that name?

He dropped the knife that slit her throat and it landed with a thud on the dirt. He fell to his knees, tears in his eyes.

Why did I come here? Bring her here? Why did I do it? Adelaide, I’m so sorry.

The blood twisted a…

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Unto Us a Son Is Given

And you think you’ve read it all… Check out ‘Unto Us a Son is Given’ by Pen of the Damned member, Scarlett R. Algee. The piece is an extremely well crafted retelling of biblical lore horror-author style!

Pen of the Damned

I wish to say I do not remember clearly, because I am an old man and more than thirty years have passed. But it is sin to lie and I cannot forget, so I will say: I remember, though the memory slay me.

When we saw the flare of light we were in the hills above Bethlehem, Micah and Ishmael and I; it was early autumn, the air just becoming crisp, and the ewes we tended were fat and tempting. Micah had killed a wolf with a stone from his sling; I stood watch while he and Ishmael skinned it.

And the sky caught fire.

I can call it nothing else. A great curtain of green light, bright as the sun, licked up from horizon to zenith in an instant; and in the same instant it coalesced to a single point, sickly and flickering, hovering over the mouth of a…

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Damned Words 36

I hope you enjoy another collection of flash fiction pieces inspired by a single image from the members of PenoftheDamned.com.

Pen of the Damned

Gentle Caress
Nina D’Arcangela

Her tears fall in gentle caress; the cacophony within grows. Metal screeches and groans as rivets strain; the contortion as abnormal as the abomination itself. Haunting echoes mimic her pain; the moan of a mother forced to witness a great affront. Torn from her body: distorted, punctured, malformed. Mother’s milk tries to soothe that which can never be unwrought.


Reapers
A.F. Stewart

Rusting steel, exhaust, and the roar of engines. That is the world of ancestors left us. The screams of the hopeless and the lingering smell of blood in our noses. Tonight, I stand sentinel atop this makeshift parapet, above tribal bones bleached by time and weather. Each skeleton nailed to the metal with reverence, a sacrifice to Death and warning to would-be enemies.

I wait for the hunters to ride out. Nomads have camped at the far river, and tonight, their blood runs red…

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4089: Croatoan

A little space bug to cure all… Well, read a bit further and you might find out otherwise. A great tale of hope and deceit by Pen of the Damned author, Lydia Prime.

Pen of the Damned

They thought they’d found it. The miracle ‘cure’. The final solution! I don’t know who’ll get this, but I think it should be sent… Maybe if this makes it further than myself, the next ones – they can be ready.

On March fourteenth the news reported an intergalactic breech. Something, or perhaps even someone, had crash landed somewhere in the vast Atlantic Ocean. They reported that both Americas, Europe, Africa, and even Asia were dispatching search teams. There was so much coverage, everyone was glued to TV’s, phones, watches, holographic sets; whatever could give us updates. Suddenly, on March nineteenth, everything stopped. The teams were no longer mentioned, and all we heard about were celebrity scandals and their bizarre baby naming habits. The world had ignorantly forgotten the events of the days before, just let them go. Conspiracy articles popped up here and there, but nothing concrete. Nothing that seemed…

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When You’re Howling

A gruesome little tale of careful what you ask for by guest author, Charles Gramlich on PenoftheDamned.com

Pen of the Damned

I watched the crazy bastard staggering across the shit-colored wasteland like some post-apocalyptic bindlestiff. He gestured wildly at Heaven and Hell, screaming in some dead language. But a bandana-wrapped poke dangled from the cane over his shoulder. Maybe it held food; I was starving.

A big boulder hid me. The dude walked past. I rose up behind him, cleared my throat. He spun around, and if he’d had a gun he would have shucked it. I had one—a cheap piece of blue-steel crap from before the world went to rot. But I didn’t shoot. The man was ugly as sin. On one side. The left side of his face…squirmed. I didn’t want to look too closely. But the right side was beautiful—uncomfortably beautiful. I looked away.

“I’ll take those goodies,” I told him, gesturing at his poke.

Suddenly calm, he pulled the cane off his shoulder and tapped the bandana-wrapped…

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Milk and Moonshine

A beautifully horrific piece of prose from Mercedes M. Yardly, member of PenoftheDamned.com

Pen of the Damned

She was cursed with a fairness that strangled her. Expectations woven into her dark hair, an openness and roundness to her eyes that filled her with horror. They were too pale, too pure, too winsome to protect her. Terrors poured in while tears poured out. Hate and bile ran through her veins, but when her white skin tore prettily, nothing oozed out but healthy scarlet.

“What is your name?” they asked. Townspeople. Sweet old women. Starry-eyed men, lads whose bones were made of milk and oatmeal.

Pestilence. Famine. Hatred. Murder, she answered, but the words changed inside of her mouth, left her soft, dewy lips like starlight.

“My name is Orva. It means ‘golden one’,” she said aloud, and blushed demurely.

She grew up with a boy name Jorge. His last name meant ‘meadow’, and he was just like a meadow himself, with soft and gentle hands. He caught animals…

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Bloody Valentine Horror

A story by A.F. Stewart celebrating The Bloody Valentine Horror Event – Bad Blood on facebook. See you in there!

Welcome to Avalon

BVHLogo

Today’s the day! My annual anti-Valentine, bad love extravaganza! Come check out all the blood-dripping hearts, poisoned candy and dead flowers over on Facebook!

The Bloody Valentine Horror Event

And be sure to check out the last days of our Bloody Valentine Horror Giveaway as well.

The Bloody Valentine Horror Giveaway

BVHGiveaway

And in honour of the event, here’s a story for you all.

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Stay With Me

I whisper his name at night, while the candle burns, while the rain pitter-patters on the roof of the cottage. I whisper his name while I carve, while I sew the stitches. I whisper his name, the name of the man I love.

The man that left me for another.

Under the moonlight I work, weave my magic and remember.

Oh, how he smiled at me, how he made my heart flutter. We laughed, we danced, we strolled the hillside under the moon. I told…

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Still Dark, a novel by D.W. Gillespie – #Horror #Paranormal #MindControl @dw_gillespie

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Still Dark blog tour with D.W. Gillespie

If you could be any inanimate object from your book, which would it be?

What an odd and interesting question.

I really had to spend some time mulling this one over, but it made me think about the story in ways that I hadn’t before. Considering all the objects around the book, I was able to dig a bit deeper into some of the character’s lives and back stories in ways that I might not have otherwise.

With that said, I would have to pick Walt’s International Scout. My dad had one when I was younger, and if you aren’t familiar, you should Google it. It’s what we would call an SUV nowadays, though I’m not sure that the term existed back then. They have a very distinct look, and some of them had removable tops so you could turn it into a convertible. They’re old and cool and certainly on the verge of extinction, which made it the perfect vehicle for Walt.

Spoilers follow:

There are a few reasons I’d pick the Scout. For one, Walt is just my favorite character in the story, so I’d love to see more of him. He’s an adventurer past his prime, a world traveler who lost a leg to a crocodile in Africa. He’s been around the block a few times, and I can only imagine what sorts of trouble the Scout got into.

The other reason is Walt’s tragic backstory. He found love as a young man, but he tragically lost it when his young bride died of cancer. The two of them ran off and got married together, and though I hadn’t really considered it before, I’d almost guarantee they drove through the mountains in the Scout, the top off, the wind in their hair. It would be a sad thing to see, but lovely all the same.

The Scout didn’t meet a grand end, crushed by a mad bull in the middle of town, but that leads to the last reason to choose Walt’s ride. It would have a front row seat to the craziest damn show of all time.

There might be some other solid choices out there, but I think the Scout wins on variety alone. Give the book a read and let me know what you’d pick.

When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Amazon Digital and Print:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico| Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Other Sources:

Kobo | Barnes & Noble (Digital or Print) | iTunes | Smashwords

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.

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Damned Words 25

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November’s group flash collection from Pen of the Damned!

One photo, nine writers, nine different interpretations of the horror one sees at a glance in something as innocuous as a family photo!

Pen of the Damned




Misapprehension
Lee A. Forman

The past withered, faded, much like the photograph Benny held. Time consumed memory, leaving only a reflection of their faces behind his eyes. He couldn’t see beyond the scowl his wife expressed. Often, he mused it was the sun in her eyes—mere speculation, as the gray expanse that once thrived with the living, now decayed with the dead. The end wiped clean all sins, but all good deeds as well; as if a switch had been flipped, those who survived born anew.

He had to relearn who he was, as did everyone else. But he never accepted the new world. The picture tethered him to what was before. It held part of him in a forgotten place of warmth and hope. But the source of those feelings remained unknown. His head ached, torn between realities, one of which he couldn’t be sure existed. For all he…

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