Half-way through Week 3 of our little party, and in the hotseat today is E.A. BLACK, here to give us a peek at a few of her horror stories.
SHR: What makes these particular books your favorite?
EAB: Both are favorites because they’re my first published horror stories. Now, I’m working on a horror novel. I hope to have it finished within a year. I’ve been writing erotic romance for several years but my true love is horror. I wanted to make a go of it as a horror writer, and I think I’m off to a fine start. I especially like “Mirages” because I’m in such good company – Joe Lansdale, Tom Piccirilli, Trent Zelazny, Joe Pulver, and many others.
SHR: Who published them? When?
EAB: “The Oily” was published by Stupefying Stories, the November, 2011 issue.Rampant Loon Press publishes Stupefying Stories.
“Shattering The Meat Tunnel” was published in the anthology “Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre”. Black Curtain Press published the book.
SHR: Tell us a little about what you went through to get them published.
EAB: “The Oily” is a result of a lifetime of a love of haunted house and ghost stories. It was easy for me to write since I already created the house, the family, and the island on which the story takes place in an unpublished (for now) thriller novel. That one is being edited at this very moment. “Shattering The Meat Tunnel” came from a very strange phone call I had late at night. A woman called my house at 11 pm and I answered the phone. She sounded very angry and demanded to speak to Ralph. I said I didn’t know anyone named Ralph, and I thought she had a wrong number. She laughed with relief and said she was sorry she freaked me out so late at night. I told her I thought she was probably more freaked out than I was. LOL I also told her I hoped she found Ralph. And thus a short, weird story was born.
SHR: On writing in general: What’s the hardest part for you? Why?
EAB: Keeping up confidence is hard when times are slow or when I don’t get much feedback. A slew of rejections in a row can get me down, too.
SHR: Unrelated: What’s your favorite color?
EAB: Caution Orange? Gangreen? Black vomit? (It’s an ebola thing. Look it up. LOL) Metalflake red and metalflake yellow – those are the colors I want on my the VW Baja bug I’m going to buy someday. My favorite color to wear is black, since I used to work as a stagehand. I wore stage blacks everywhere and the habit just stuck.
ABOUT STUPEFYING STORIES & MIRAGES:
Horror Short Stories
Stupefying Stories: The second volume in award-winning writer Bruce Bethke’s new e-book only original anthology series gets bigger and better, with nine all-new tales of the fantastic, frightening, and funny by Aaron Bradford Starr, Clare L. Deming, Anatoly Belilovsky, Sarah Frost, Rebecca Roland, Henry Vogel, and many more.
Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre: Something illusory, without substance or reality. The sticky threads that communicate the meaningless in a thousand different ways. Collected here are 17 tales of darkness and dread, teetering on the edge of reality and unreality, nightmares and dreams, brought to you by some of the best voices in dark fiction. Tom Piccirilli, Jeffrey Thomas, Barb Lien-Cooper & Park Cooper Lee Allen Howard, Tina Swain, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Gerald Hausman, Billie Sue Mosiman, Scott Bradley & Peter Giglio, Kealan Patrick Burke, Lori R. Lopez, Jason S. Ridler, Leigh M. Lane, Joe R. Lansdale, Curt Jarrell, E. A. Black, Edward Morris.
She leaned against the windowsill and stared out into the dank afternoon, watching Strangeman’s Swamp as if demons lurked in the bramble far below.
No demons lived in Strangeman’s Swamp. No ghosts, either. Only creatures born of rock and wood, sticker bushes, vines choking the life out of trees, mud, water and wild flowering shrubs. Nothing human lived in Strangeman’s Swamp or The Oily. Whatever lurked there felt nothing for humanity and only wanted to end mankind’s encroachment in its territory.
Lights flashed in the distance. What were cars doing on the road so close to the swamp? Especially during a thunderstorm?
Then she remembered no road ran along the swamp’s edge.
Lights blinked on and off like fireflies, but there were no fireflies on Caleb’s Woe. She watched the glowing pinpricks and wondered what they were. Will o’ the wisp? Saint Elmo’s fire? Swamp gas? Phosphorescence?
They migrated from the edges of the swamp to meet in the center, circling each other like cats around a carcass. They danced and twirled, some only inches above the muddy waters and others high in the trees. They met in the center of the swamp. Once they reached The Oily they stopped moving.
Then they crept towards the house.
Lara stood riveted to the window, unable to move. Dread coiled at the base of her spine, whispering to her in a voice harsh with terror. She could only watch the spectacle taking place below, worrying what intelligence moved those lights in en mass like a swarm of angry bees.
The lights floated on the breeze until they disappeared beneath the covered porch. Lara waited until the glow from below crept up the screen. Heart thumping and mouth dry with fear, she froze to her spot, unable to lower the window despite her desperate urge to slam it down. Knowing something horrid was about to happen, eyes wide and unblinking, she stared out the window at the growing glow, waiting. Fetid air hung around her smelling of low tide and dead fish. The stink clung to her skin, absorbing into her pores. In disgust, she scratched her arms to scrape it off but its grip only tightened.
SHATTERING THE MEAT TUNNEL
I can’t sleep at night. My mind races so much I doze off for only an hour at a time, and when I wake up my heart is racing so hard I can’t breathe. It’s scary. I don’t know what’s wrong. I felt so great yesterday! Can you have panic attacks when you’re asleep? I’ve tried everything – warm milk (and I hate warm milk), a hot bath, choking myself with a belt, reading, soft music, pot, masturbating, cutting my arms and thighs, sleeping pills, booze. Nothing works.
And I itch.
I’ve scratched my hands and fingers so hard I’ve scraped my skin off, and my arms sting. It’s like something is squirming beneath my skin, and I can’t get to it, but it’s not bugs. I’m not crazy. I wish my husband were here. He used to stay up all night with me when I felt like this. Then the baby came and everything changed. I know he still loves me because he wanted me in the hospital instead of a jail. And I got better. I just have to prove it to him. Once I do he’ll take me back. I know he will.
Something’s scraped the dirt by my back sliding door, trying to get into my apartment. The puppy dug up some of the herbs I planted next to my living room window. Little bastard keeps interfering with my cable reception. I don’t know how it’s doing it. Every time it runs by the TV blinks out. I had to reboot the cable box three times before I could get the signal to work properly. I try watching TV to calm myself but it doesn’t work. Some woman in full bondage leather regalia was spanking a fat white dude wearing a diaper on Springer when the phone rang.
Nothing except for that familiar breathing.
“I found her.”
I’m glad he called. I needed to hear a familiar voice, that way I wouldn’t feel so nervous. I wanted to keep him on the phone long enough to help me calm down.
“Ah, you used Scope_Me.” I swear that search engine can find information on anyone, even people who are dead and moved on. My husband moved four times trying to hide from me, and I used Scope_Me to find him. That same web site introduced me to his new wife. I wasn’t going to let that woman replace me. He belonged with me.
His laugh was deep and jarring, like fingernails on a blackboard. “Yes, I found her.”
“She’s living in Beverly, Massachusetts. I even know where she goes to church. Where’d you find that web site? It’s amazing. It even found me, and I went out of my way to make myself anonymous on the Internet.”
I smiled and said nothing. After we rang off the last time I ran a reverse lookup on him and found out where he lived. He hadn’t told me his name but it was displayed on my phone the first time he called. He was easy to find. I had already mailed him a special package with instructions to follow when he received it. His first phone call was no accident. He called at exactly 12:34 a. m. 1. 2. 3. 4. That had to mean something.
WHERE TO GET THEM:
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