As happens, unfortunately even with the most beautiful of women, a man had stood her up, leaving her coral face to speak of embarrassment. Dominic felt the only gentlemanly thing to do was to ask her to be seated at his table.
The glowing candle soon grew dim, and the violins had stopped playing for the night.
"I had no idea it was this late," he said, finding himself gently grabbing at her lace sleeve. "I mean, do you come to Beatro's often? Will I have the pleasure of your presence again?"
The back cover of this anthology states, “In Why? A Collection of Mysterious Tales, we hope to answer two questions: Who Did It? and Why? With fifteen short stories by twelve emerging writers, our sleuths uncover a plethora of reasons for murder with suspicious characters throughout.”
In “Prince of Blood – 1603,” Dominic Fresco plans to don the scarlet wool cassock trimmed in matching silk, marking him a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, but life takes a dramatic curve when he meets Valenzia, a woman with long, black hair and piercing brown eyes, at the Beatro’s Cellar.
“You must love it here as much as my family and I do, Father.”His face hardened, his eyes narrowed, and a deep crease crossed over his brows. “It’s not that, Clair. I can’t leave.”No words passed between them, only silence, like that of a church sanctuary at midnight.Then he said, “Have you visited the cemetery out back of the church?”
Holidays have always been a time for families and friendly gatherings, a time to enjoy the sun and surf and the delights that accompany them . . .. . . But all that is about to change . . .These thirteen tales of terror from thirteen superb masters of horror will challenge everything you thought you knew about having fun in the sun . . .
In my short story “John 20:29,” the rumor pervades about a flock of seagulls who back in the 50s swarmed down from the sky, pecking, maiming, and eventually killing the residents of Devil’s Bay. Now William and Clair and other young couples have begun to purchase fix-it-upper cottages on the Bay in hopes of raising their children in the peaceful environment. If only Clair had believed Father Oliver when he came out to bless their new home. . . .
Trevor D. Richardson, founder of the Subtopian Press, commented, ” With little to go on and almost no prompt, twenty-five authors teamed up anonymously to offer their concepts of future history and how society fell. As themes began to show through, a story took shape entirely on its own and it became this book. This is not an anthology or a collection, it is a novel with more than two dozen authors, a cohesive narrative about the people, places, and strife that led to the fall of the world as we know it.”
“The Takeover -2071” is a chapter excerpt from the first book in my trilogy AFTER SHOCKS. The oppressive government, the National Association of Patrolling Officers, on the island of Domicile enacts a new ruling called the Anti-Conception Law in an effort to curtail population growth. Adhara takes her blind, thirteen-year-old daughter to the hospital to have the procedure only to learn some shocking news!
Muriel hushed her son to silence. She pointed her index finger toward the black charred hole as she let her cellphone and laptop fall from her side, clanking and banging into similar items smothering in the dancing flames.
Alex Davis, Editor of After the Fall has this to say about my short story, “Then and Now” offers. . . [an] upbeat message on what life might be like in a future without all of our gadgets and devices.” “Then and Now” is a story that explores what happens when a group of men officially employed by the United States Government, called the Technology Exterminators, issue an edict that on the 31st day of December 2016, citizens of all ages who possess any technological device and/or equipment must meet at a fire pit assigned to their respective neighborhoods wherein all such items must be tossed.
"Suddenly the room went deathly still like a church sanctuary at midnight. White Spirit Dove
felt a cold vapor on her bare arms. 'What's this?' she asked, her skin covered in a milk-like
dew. The head turned slightly to the right as it made its way into the world."
Hannah’s mother offers Hannah and her husband Carson a type of second honeymoon at the Timber Lodge. When they arrive, the young couple are given strict orders by the concierge to refrain from going outdoors after six p.m. When Hannah asks, “Why?” the concierge says, “At this altitude and in this wilderness, there are the usual bears and mountain lions but, in addition, are the packs of coyotes. Don’t mean to frighten you, but in the past several years, the animals seem to have gotten more aggressive.”
Someday there will be those who will pay good money to have a child of their own, and when they do, the government and the children will be ready," the Napo said. "You see, it really is a win-win situation."
I could not believe what I was hearing. Not only was the government demanding that children be taken from their parents and frozen until who knew when, but the Napos would, in the long run, actually be making money in the transaction. I could not help but ask myself what life had come to, when children were viewed as nothing more than a commodity and, worse yet, as a means to an unthinkable end.
“Tomorrow’s Children” is a chapter excerpt from the novel After Shocks that looks at a future dystopian society in the year 2091 when, as a means of population control, parents are forced to take their children to the Cryopreservation Center to be frozen until future notice.
The rocking chair in the corner slowly began to move back-and-forth, squeaking softly on the pink carpet. The teddy bear rustled its shoulders as if to get more comfortable on the little chair that almost seemed too small for his size. . .moving the rocking chair faster and faster. Out of the bear’s stitched mouth, a gravelly, deep voice came. “Deus absum! Adveho me, Bethezba, tergum ut abyssus.”
“Wanted: Babies” is a classic horror tale of a young couple who have waited twelve years to have a child, and when RayAnn finally delivers a beautiful baby girl, little does she know that someone else wants her baby just as badly.
A guy by the name of Victor Vasquez, about my height and weight, one of the front desk clerks, was going through the revolving doors with me. Keep in mind that the caste system at the Bartley don’t allow the white-collar folk to brush sleeves with the blue, so you can imagine how surprised I was when Vasquez got to talking with me. “You know, this is Mardi Gras week. The hotel will be booked solid. Why if there were one thing you could wish for, what might it be?”
“The Mardi Gras Masquerade” is about Jewel Marshall who works in Systems & Repairs at the Bartley by the Bay Hotel in downtown New Orleans who when given the opportunity to make a wish, wishes for something that will change his life forever.
I stared at Doctor McFadden for several moments—she staring back at me. The silence escalated until a tone of restlessness pervaded. Slowly, I dipped my fingers into my black briefcase and removed my purple pen. Meticulously, I rose and placed the university study under the doctor’s nose while she craned her neck over it. Then, I took my purple pen and began to puncture the woman’s neck over-and-over again. . .the point placed precisely over Doctor McFadden’s carotid artery.
“Purple Pen Prevention” is about a college English instructor who suffers from OCD of a rare variety and finds herself taking it out on the student papers she grades and, ultimately, on the psychiatrist who treats her.
His frayed and brittle wings had been scorched by the flames from which he came. Nevertheless, he was still able to fly and had perched himself in the rafters, only feet from the choir loft. His eyes, small beads, like those of a wealthy woman’s fur stole, peered.
Published by A Flame in the Dark and Diminished Media Group
“Holy Angels” is a Christian horror about a creature who returns to a small island parish, Holy Angels, to perform a duty, to carry out a service against those parishioners he sees as modern-day Pharisees.
When I arrived at Eloise, I found Damien in his usual place, staring out the same window he had been the last time I visited. I tried to position my chair, so that I could look face-on with him as opposed to sitting at an angle from him, but he released the brake on his wheelchair and rolled slightly ahead of me. I would just have to make do; I, certainly didn’t want to upset the man. “Damien,” I said, “could you tell me how you ended up at Eloise?”
Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum Anthology
Published by Sirens Call Publication
“Interview with a Patient – #0494772” is about a third-year Neuro-Psych student conducting an interview with a psychotic schizophrenic patient, accused of murdering one of the nurses at the Eloise Mental Hospital, where he is institutionalized.
“What the hell is this?” Cocoa pawed at Raymond’s hands. The dog began to bark. Raymond pushed him aside. “Back, boy, back.” Taking out his pocket knife, Raymond cut prickly thistles and scratchy branches covered in shriveled purple berries. He closed the blade, stuck it back in his rear pocket, and yanked off the flashlight clipped to his belt. He flicked on the light, rested on his forearms, and peered into the dark hole. Feverishly, he ripped at a sheet of dew-covered cloth, the fabric saturated with blood. “My, God. It can’t be!”
A child’s body is found in a marshy bog on Cape Peril, an island off the coast of Maine, in 1952. Private investigator Dana Greer, running from a cold case and a failed marriage, is intent on finding the murderer. A series of long kept secrets complicate the case: an illicit love affair, a self-inflicted abortion, and the possibility of Church involvement in a baby-marketing scheme.
Unholy Secrets provides a dark, twist that will boggle even the more experienced sleuths. Unholy Secrets looks at good versus evil: no one is exempt from falling off a pedestal of grace into sin’s darkness.
A self-inflicted abortion. . .an illicit love affair. . .a baby racketeering scheme. . .murder
Unholy Secrets is a noir mystery which is similar in style to Irish writer Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls along with the noir tone of Tess Gerritsen’s The Sinner.
A missing child’s body is found in a marshy bog on Cape Peril, Maine in 1952. Private investigator Dana Greer, who is running from a failed marriage as well as a cold case in Bangor, is intent on finding the murderer. One of a few female detectives in the country, she is up against a male-dominated profession, where she is continually forced to prove her competency. A series of long-kept secrets, ranging from a mayor’s daughter who has aborted her child, a love affair between a newly professed nun and a married man, and an illicit baby marketing scheme run by a prominent Catholic family, serve to complicate the case.