Spooktober 2022, Day Seventeen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #17 — Monkey’s Paw

TITLE:  Poppies Will Make Us Sleep

PREMISE:  This genre is supposed to be scenarios where something desirable comes with a horrible twist.  I don’t think I did a great job of that, but at least I did it fast.

Youths at the gothiest private school in NYC aren’t feeling the future and are tempted by escape.  They are found with a flower in hand and flowers growing all around their bodies, whether found on soil, concrete, or a basketball court.  They’re asleep and they won’t wake up.  Seemingly unrelated incident – a new band starts up and they take new student Isaid as the vocalist.  “Les Amis de Dorothée” hypnotize the crowds and take the city by storm, despite their youth.  Will Isaid’s parents allow this extracurricular activity?  What will be the price of this fame?

HORROR ELEMENT:  Oblivion’s cold allure.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Poppies Will Make Us Sleep"



Spooktober 2022, Day Sixteen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #16 — Dark Fantasy

TITLE:  Blades of Blasphemia

PREMISE:  The Ascetic Order of the Scourge Dragon wants everybody to wear concealing clothes and toil unto death for the reptilian savior.  Ximura starts a revolution against them, assuming the name of Blasphemia.

Incidentally, this image was generated by the same prompt as the “Josefina’s Descent” cover, this one shading more Frazetta than the other.  Also, anyone who knows about AI knows I photoshopped that hand in, haha.  First row of google results for “hand gripping knife.”

HORROR ELEMENT:  The AOSD priests are low-key cenobites but less fun.  How can she hope to win against the only government anyone has ever known?

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake cover for "Blades of Blasphemia"


Hey whatcha think, sisters?  Maybe I should write something about these two, if it’s not too ‘sploitive.

fake cover for "Blades of Blasphemia"fake book cover for "Josefina's Descent"



Spooktober 2022, Day Fifteen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #15 — Found Footage or Epistolary

TITLE:  The Oriental

PREMISE:  A mysterious woman joins a circle of upper class Parisian layabouts.  She claims to be from Turkey but eventually it’s revealed by the knowledgeable that her accent is all wrong.  Scheherezade-style, she’s full of stories.  It takes a while but people realize the stories are cursed mirrors of their own lives, leading them into doom.  Told with a mix of the woman’s stories and the letters and journals of victims.

HORROR ELEMENT:  You know, the exotical Orient is full of scary barbarians that mean to destroy christendom and stuff, right?  Foreigners so scary.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "The Oriental"

Spooktober 2022, Day Fourteen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #14 — Subterranean

TITLE:  Josefina’s Descent

PREMISE:  For the image I used prompts involving a celebrity latina I find lovely and chose the result that looked the least like her, and the unusual figure is a result of using the style of Bougereau.  I thought the results were pleasing, though her skimpy clothing were much more bizarre before I photoshopped them.  Anyway…

Josefina was at the club and ate a funny pill.  Suddenly nothing in the world made sense.  When she tried to get away by going outside, getting some air, it was even worse.  Pawing at the walls, waving off interested demons as they offer help, she discovers things make more sense the farther she goes down – first into the basement, then the sub-basement, then the labyrinth.  The demons that tagged along start to look like her friends, the walls start to look less like a roiling maelstrom of rubber halloween masks and exotic desserts, but where exactly has she led them?

HORROR ELEMENT:  First up, freaky hallucinations, stranger danger in tha cloughb.  Second, what does it mean to be nowhere?  Are you dead?  Can you ever come back?

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "Josefina's Descent"

Spooktober 2022, Day Thirteen

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #13 — Folk Horror

TITLE:  See to Thy Soul

PREMISE:  Colette is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and her wealthy family is only good for one thing – giving her enough money to run away from time to time.  She’s wondering if she’s missed something in spurning christianity and reads a travel story about an isolated English village that has adopted radical christian beliefs.  They talk about caring for the soul as if it was a distinct creature within you, that can be coaxed out, talked with, groomed for heaven.  She gives it a go.

At first she is shocked by the visions, the ability to see a soul as if it’s physically present in their rituals.  When she doesn’t feel any closer to god over the experiences, she begins to wonder what the ghostly manifestations are.  They look like the person they are attached to, but somewhat liquid, not at all transparent or glowing.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The village sits over a deposit of oil-like mineral containing many alien entities.  They can extrude the oil like ectoplasm to take a human-like form, as long as they remain near the human.  The aliens want different things – have personal agendas – but are generally allied to each other, realizing they’re alone in the world.  Through enough of the cultist rites, they can ultimately enter the bodies of said cultists or tourists, and spread beyond the oil pit as a slimy conspiracy.  Will Colette survive?

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

cover for fake book "See to Thy Soul"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twelve

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #12 — Haunted House

TITLE:  The Little Lady

PREMISE:  Young Fasel and Hasna are heirs to an estate on colonized territory.  One hundred years before them, the royal family retained people with various forms of dwarfism as servants to the children, so the children would not have to fear a tall stranger.  When they begin to see a lady of their own height, making friendly gestures, they assume it’s the ghost of one of those servants, reliving her role as a servant to children.  But it’s actually the ghost of a typical sized princess seeking revenge for the invasion, contorting her ectoplasm into child size as a lure for the foreign babes.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The funhouse effect, distorted bodies, children in peril.  Maybe the ghost can do that change-the-distance-in-a-hall gimmick for good measure.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "The Little Lady"

Spooktober 2022, Day Eleven

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.


TITLE:  It’s the Orb for You, Ladies!

PREMISE:  Zinnia and Bernadette were in legal trouble for anarcho-socialist activity at the university, and began to glimpse men in suits spying on them.  To escape the heat, they accept a serendipitous invite to a lady retreat at the luxurious Marbled Heron Lodge in rural Ontario.  Little did they suspect, a cult had seen their activism and assumed it meant they were down with destroying civilization – targets for recruitment.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Stuck in a cabin for a week with cultists seeking your heart by carrot and stick.  Watch what you say or you’ll get the orb too.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "It's the Orb for You, Ladies!"

The Midnight Collection, Volume Two!

Already?  Yeah, we meant for these to be kinda quarterly and it’s been less than three months.  But if you’re doing dark fiction, you gotta have a Halloween issue.  And xmas is in the works as we speak, haha.  So.  What the hell am I talking about?  My man Joseph Kelly has published the second volume of The Midnight Collection, a compilation of dark fiction I’ve previously mentioned.  You have a few options on how to read it – and one is completely gratis. I’ll explain that later.

This second installment is themed “Dark Harvest.”  This is basically done without profit at this point.  I’m just pimping it because I’m a contributor, and I’d love to hear what you think of my writing.  Although I am really curious what reviewers, casual or serious, will think of all the stories.

This is a truly unusual collection. Despite the uniting theme, it’s as diverse as the members of our secret cabal of writers. There’s poetry, comedy, gay representation, and dark fiction ranging from traditional ’80s style horror to fantasy to sci-fi.  Overall this volume leans toward standard horror, as befits the season.  Some of the writers are more conventional, some rather unusual.  A little tour of the table of contents:

THE LITTLE LAMB – Kate Bledsoe
A new author for this collection, with big heart.  Also, a grisly monster.  So grisly.  The editor chose the order for the stories and there’s a reason this one leads off.  A good energy for getting into the horror zone.

As I said, this volume leans more to standard style horror fiction, and this is a stalwart entry.  Film is a very powerful medium for horror, but there are at least a few advantages to the written word.  The subject is much like a horror TV show, but you can feel the experience here in a different way.  Another new author for us.

The treacherous vegetable from Belgium has its day.  The author is a personal friend of mine.

A fellow they/them goes off with three poems in the Dark Harvest.  A bumper crop, if you will.

So far every author in the book is new to the Collection, and mostly new to publishing.  The brisk pace of the stories slows to illustrate a deep and bitter feeling.  Emotional, dark, and amusingly blasé about its core horror conceit.

My lovin’ man has a more low key story here than previously.  This world has a lived-in feeling.  No detail is unrealized.  But what story does this prose serve?  Might not be what you expect going in.  That’s all in Rootbound; Harvest Time shows up much later in the book with a jovial contemporary tone.  Or is it retro?  Depends on how old you are.  It’s a good time.

NOST’S SONG – Damian Golfinopoulos
Mr. Golfinopoulos is back with another troubled heroine facing rugged elements and rugged humanity.  But this story has a different sort of depth from his last one.  And a different element.  Ezekiel Drift was cold as hell, this one has intense wet heat.

LA ISLA DE LAS MUÑECAS, MAIZE – Saoirse Aimhirghin
Another new author for us, with two entries that couldn’t be more different – much like how I did in the first volume.  La Isla is nonfiction about an interesting place in Ciudad de México, and Maize has a hazy dream devolve into splatterpunk doom.  With cornpone corn puns.

Didn’t like Diana’s job interview in Supply Chain Banditos?  Neither did the employer, so she’s back for another interview.  I think I did a better job this time, but we’ll see.

SHEEPDOG – B.M. Kerchner
This starts in a similar territory to The Little Lamb, but quickly lets you know this is an even crueler universe.  Remember what death smells like.

POTATOES O’BRIEN – Brett Elijah Shelton
My brother is back to fuck shit up.  Remember to chew your food, bitches.

BE STILL, MY HEART – Lydia Moody
Lydia Moody returns with splatterpunk, this one much less cozy than the last.  But if you ever wanted to read a story with the spirit of Peter Jackson’s Braindead (Dead Alive to us yanks), this is your dog.

SAMHAIN WALTZ – Dominique Palma
We had an Alaskan with an Irish handle writing about Mexico City, now an author from the place itself.  Palma’s subject matter is, I think, inspired by the horror writing of Southern Europe, and the story is set in Spain.  I’m really glad we had her in the mix, bringing a different perspective.  The story is fun, too.

The last proper entry of the book brings back the big heart.  Set in a fictionalized and magical Japan, this one struck me more than once with its spirit.  Hard to say what I mean without spoiling it, so I won’t.

EASY GO – Caesar Train Magenta
You might recognize this author’s name from here.  This volume, like the first, is brought to a close in Rod Serling style monologue.

“Garden of Youth” (detail) – Charles Dana Gibson, 1897


The way that results in the most direct support for future volumes is through Ko-fi.  For a minimum three dollar donation, you can download the e-book in formats that work with most e-readers.  The best way to view the interior illustrations, and have a nice artifact for your bookshelf, is by purchasing the paperback through Lulu.  You might be able to purchase it through other sites soon, but I’m a little unclear on how or if that’s going to happen.  And lastly, as promised, you can just read it for free at the Collection’s website.

There are a few original works of art by the authors (nice!) but most of the illustrations are lovingly curated from public domain resources, like the picture to the right here.  Some version of some of the illustrations are available on the website, more in the e-book, but yes, the best way to appreciate them is a hard copy.

I’d love to see reviews, either of the whole package or individual stories.  For lowest effort you can drop some general thoughts in the comments below this article.  You can also leave comments on the individual stories at the Midnight Collection’s site.  And of course, you can review it wherever it is available for purchase.  Thanks!

Note:  I’m given to understand some non-USA people can’t use a card to purchase it through ko-fi, but if somebody specifically requests to make it available through Amazon, we’ll look into it.

PS:  I mentioned before I’m going to release my first novel soon.  Plans fell through, as they will, but if you follow this blog, you’ll be the first to know when my own long form stuff goes live.

Spooktober 2022, Day Ten

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

At about this time last year, 2021, in my boyfriend’s Spooktober entries..


Premise:  The MC is a little girl, born blind in a desolate, futuristic city.  There are great advances in medical technology, but very few can afford it.  People are regularly murdered for their medical implants, and scavengers pick over bodies to steal precious metals to sell.  The little girl’s father is a talented inventor, and spends years developing a cybernetic implant that can cure her blindness.  He creates a prototype, giving her sight in one eye for the first time in her life.  Before he can release the plans for the implant into the world, the father is assassinated by a powerful medical mega-corp who want to patent the device for themselves.  The plans were lost, so now they need the prototype in the little girl’s skull…

Horror Element:  The little girl is hounded by cyberpunk hitmen and creeps.


SPOOKTOBER 2022 DAY #10 — Cyber’d Punke

TITLE:  The Green Eye 2: Cyber Snatcher

PREMISE:  A filmmaking acolyte of Luc Besson loved the sexy young lady who played one of the half-blind girl’s oppressors and immediately got her a deal to reprise the role.  In Cyber Snatcher, Zeroine is inexplicably reframed as a hero.  She only snatches implants non-lethally, figuring the marks can always scrounge up for a new one or go without.  But when BioSynth Medicorp comes for her gf’s liver, it’s time to switch to live ammo in her shotgun.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Zeroine’s day job before her goody turn is body horrors-ish.  Also the ostensibly empowered lady character is filmed luridly in a way that makes lady audience members feel uncomfortably self-aware.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

cover for fake movie "Cyber Snatcher"




Spooktober 2022, Day Nine

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #5 — Lovecraft, Ian

TITLE:  Brute Fetish

PREMISE:  A trans fella is attempting to reconcile his religious feelings with his lived reality, in the hardest way possible.  He’s becoming a priest, at a vaguely liberal church that’s not quite 100% on him.  His girlfriend is cool with it because Jesus got her off the heroins.  His mom is instead reconciling her own religious feelings, with the help of a stone fetish of an obscure aeon, a fang-grinned undead face over a mass of tentacles.  If a community of Christ can’t bring her daughter into accord with nature, than an older god will suffice.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Transphobias, lovecraft nonsense, you know the drill.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

cover for fake book "Brute Fetish"