The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Lock the Cellar Door by Sonora Taylor
“Hurry Sandi! Get downstairs!”
Sandi rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and in the resulting blur, she saw her mother standing panicked in the doorway. “What is it, Mama?” she asked.
“Get downstairs, honey. It’s a big one this time. I can hear the wind.” Her mother ran into Sandi’s room and pulled at her arm. “Come on, move!”
“I’m coming!” But Sandi had already been yanked from the bed. She ran behind her mother, through the hall and towards the front door. They had to cross the yard to get to the storm cellar – a design that Sandi didn’t quite understand, but one she didn’t question.
“It’s coming,” her mother said as she opened the door. Sandi followed behind, then skidded to a stop behind her mother, who stood and stared at the field…
I’m honored and proud to be the featured author in this month’s issue of Sirens Call Publications’ The Sirens Call, “Summer Nightscares!” In Issue 46, you’ll find an essay from yours truly called “Fear, Sadness, and the Horror of Pain;” along with the first two chapters of Without Condition. I also have two other pieces in the issue: “Petal, Page, Piel,” a flash story; and “I Walked Beneath a Shining Moon,” a poem. Check out the issue for FREE below! Thanks for reading.
Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce the release of the latest issue of
The Sirens Call
The 46th issue of The Sirens Call eZine features one hundred and five pieces of dark fiction and horror prose from seventy two different authors and poets. It also features an interview with, and dark imagery by artist, Jessica F Holt. This month’s featured author, Sonora Taylor, talks to us about ‘Fear, Sadness and the Horror of Pain’ and also offers an excerpt from her novel, Without Condition!
Is it a knock on the door, or a gust of wind? A trick of the light, or someone who’ll see what you’ve done?
Little Paranoias: Stories features twenty tales of the little things that drive our deepest fears. It tells the stories of terror and sorrow, lust at the end of the world and death as an unwanted second chance. It dives into the darkest corners of the minds of men, women, and children. It wanders into the forest and touches every corner of the capital. Everyone has something to fear — but after all, it’s those little paranoias that drive our day-to-day.
Little Paranoias features 20 short stories, flash pieces, and poems. It will be out October 22, just in time for Halloween.
“Salty Air” is a beachside flash piece about a mysterious well and a pervasive, briny scent. It’s read by LOHF podcaster and contributor Toni, and she does a wonderful job with the piece. Give it a listen below!
The episode also features flash pieces by Hailey Piper and Alyson Faye.
The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Hear No Evil by Sonora Taylor
Father Marvin couldn’t get it right. No matter how much he worked the flesh, evil could still slice its way through.
He sighed as he washed the blood off of his hands. When he’d first seen the trio as a boy – see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil – he found a perfect trinity, one even holier than the three he’d hear about in church as he sat next to his mother on Sunday mornings.
Sadly, though, the people around him seemed more than happy to let in one (or more!) evils. Evil soaked their eyes, drenched their ears, and filled their mouths, leaving no room for the blood that Father Marvin offered in communion. He often grew so frustrated that he imagined stuffing the parishioners with wine, holding their mouths and nostrils closed until…
If anyone’s working on their first book and wondering if each subsequent book gets easier to write, I’m here to tell you now that this is not true.
I almost couldn’t stop writing my first book, Please Give. I slowed down on Without Condition. Now, I’m on Book #3 — tentatively called Seeing Things — and I’m typing more slowly than molasses moving uphill on a cold day. Some days are faster. For instance, I wrote over 1200 words the other day (woot!). But other days, I’m lucky to write a paragraph; and I’ll only do it after I’ve exhausted my social media loop of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
But, it’s being written; which is better than the alternative. The words are coming a little faster now that I’m getting closer to the meat of the plot. I’ll be taking a break from it once I get Little Paranoias back from Evelyn with her edits, but when that happens, it’ll be good to have a nice foundation to return to and give my undivided attention.
Speaking of Little Paranoias, it’s out for edits, as I mentioned above. I’ve been working on other parts of the book, namely the back cover description. I write my own descriptions (which Evelyn reviews as well. Cardinal rule of self-publishing: always have someone else review something you’re putting together yourself, even things like the back cover description), and let me tell you, they’re hard! You don’t want to give too much away, but you also don’t want it to be too vague. Short story collections can be especially tough, since you need to pick and choose which elements you want to highlight.
I’ve been working on a few short stories as well, though I’m trying to keep my focus on Seeing Things. I submitted a poem and a short story to two different journals for consideration, and entered my Pi Day tale, “Crust,” in a contest (read it here). I also discovered a call for submission for a Penny Dreadful issue of a horror journal. Each story has to be 19 words exactly. That was a fun challenge to partake in, and I hope at least one of the five stories I submitted is accepted.
I will keep all of you posted on these pieces as they come together (heh). Have a great week!