Cora didn’t see them until it was almost too late – the two little boys on their bikes; she had not even a breath to pick between them and the embankment (she’d been going too fast on the pass, angry about Bingo). She did not scream when she hit the guard rail and, as she sailed off over the edge, she held her arms wide out like she was flying. There was a certain giddiness in asserting your free will, in letting go of life by the numbers, and trusting karma at last.
Seamus Padham was a great red brick of a man and hairy as a lion. When he presented himself for the Olympic swim team tryouts, there was some wonderment about his sobriety. Then he announced he was from the Isle of Pertwee (in the Hebrides) and the others gave him a wide berth. Legendary for its isolation and human/selkie bloodlines, they held their breath as he broke the water without so much as a ripple and became a blur before he crested onto the 20ft diving platform. “I am no less a patriot because of my curse,” he said softly.
I am not a fan of the slasher film for several reasons – the main issue being that they’re insanely bad movies with ridiculous plots and the worst dialogue around. I had to admit that a slasher in the hands of Joss Whedon was too tempting to miss, however, so I caught “Cabin in the Woods” in the theater. At home, I had “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” and “Evil Dead” was available through Netflix for playing instantly. We done had us a slasher marathon! “Cabin” is clever and horrible and funny – and the cabin in question looks exactly like the setting for “Evil Dead”; “Tucker and Dale” is also clever and horrible and funny – and the cabin in question looks exactly like the setting for “Evil Dead”; “Evil Dead” … well, there’s a reason it’s a classic … and it has that cabin. Nice to sit through three films that redeem a very unfortunate genre (even though they failed to convert me). Best of the bunch is “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”, which was a surprise. The total package gets a Reaper Rating of 3 (“Timely Departure”) for an uncanny ability to blend humor and mass murder.
As well as being the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it’s also where my book, “Small Towns, Dark Places”, is being ranked in iBooks fiction/horror fiction! iBooks metrics report that I am #42 in the U.S. market and #117 in the Canadian market (where I would not expect to rank at all, because of the “American small town” theme of the stories). Not sure how many horror entries are currently in the mix for measuring, but even hitting the Top 50 somewhere is epic to me. Thank you, iBooks People, for buying and for liking!
Nettie peered at her parents’ guests through the tiny magnifying glass. Her gran had called it a Devil Glass, for you could see a demon in its true shape through the lens. Everyone looked normal enough, except for Mr Pierce, whose yellow eyes and bright red skin caused her to gasp. “Mean old devils can’t stand no sweetness at all,” Gran would say, “so you jus’ pile on the sweet and they’ll skidaddle!” Nettie walked into the dining room and headed straight for Mr Pierce; she had the extra napkin he’d asked for and a mouthful of sugar from the bowl.
George was initially impressed that everyone in Sleeping Giant seemed united in propagating the town’s marketing scheme: “don’t be loud, don’t wake him”. It was quirky, then incredibly irritating. “Are you kidding me?” he asked the proprietor of the only hotel, when he discovered there was no television or wi-fi in the room. In a huff, he canceled his reservation and drove away, turning the radio in his car up to full volume in protest. Less than a mile outside of town, the hills revealed themselves to be knees.
With the others gone, the Wicked Witches of North and South formed an opium drug cartel and hired munchkin thugs from the Lollipop Guild to patrol the poppy fields and keep interlopers out. The mayor of the land was already on the payroll and Oz was out of the picture at long last, but Glinda was a problem. Glinda was always the damn problem.
“You need meds or something, Faye,” Bill said, annoyed. She fell silent then. Maybe he was right about her “vision” (how could the sky crack and sharks fly around devouring people?). They didn’t talk before he left to pick up Jeremy and take him out for the day. Later on, after the earthquake struck, she learned he’d been in the Great White aquarium tunnel at SeaWorld when the panels had started slipping. Faye thought it would be in poor taste to give an interview, so she just didn’t answer her phone.
At long last, Dracula’s curiosity got the better of him and he sent for the young man. He asked what had caused such an unusual amount of fuss. His guest strolled to the nearest sunlit window and bared his chest to the light, gleaming like crushed diamonds. The Dracul raised one eyebrow, put his fingertips together and laughed dryly. Rising from his chair, he spoke quietly. “Let me show you how legends are made in Transylvania.” The village heard screaming until dawn.
“I LOVE reunions!” He followed her gaze over to the man and woman, who were caressing each other’s faces shyly. “Let’s go introduce ourselves!” They floated over to where the woman’s spirit had risen from her 2pm internment into the arms of her waiting husband. “Welcome, you two!” she sang out, smiling. At the grave, he reached over and squeezed her hand. “May their forever be as wonderful as ours has been,” he whispered. She turned and kissed his cheek. (For Ken and Kari)