Monday, September 13, 2021

About This WebsiteA


Enter into the frightful world of the macabre, where things are not always as they first seem. Open the gates to those obscure regions of your soul where fear and hidden desires wreak havoc with the imagination. I bid you welcome to Tales of Dark Romance and Horror, the official home for the fiction of A.D. Vick. 








  I'd like to give special thanks to the following: 


To Lady-Moriendistock for allowing me to use her beautiful and most romantic photo at the top of this page. Visit her gallery here.

I offer my gratitude to Miramariann and Morten Marius Hansen for gracing the cover of my book with their wonderfully romantic photo. You can check out Mira's many fabulous photographs by visiting her Facebook page

A special round of thanks goes to Marina Bocharova for the wonderful artwork she produced to accompany some of my literary offerings. Her website can be found by following this link. 

My gratitude is extended to Conrad Sawyer for his editing of the material in The Darkness Beyond the Misty Vail; More Tales of the Macabre. Also, I wish to thank my good friend K. Kiera for both her editing expertise and the illustrations that appear in my newest book, A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales. 

My gratitude also goes to Jeff Blevens for allowing me to use his magnificent photo to grace the cover of The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to offer words of appreciation to the Insomniac, who not only offered me sound advice on various technological problems I encountered, but especially for helping to make things fit here. Follow this link to The Insomniac's Attic,
    
Come back soon for a visit. I'm sure you'll have a horror-able time!

You can access all three publications for purchase by following this link to Lulu Dot Com.

or you can find them at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other similar venues. They are also available in Kindle and other ebook formats.  A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales is temporarily only available in ebook format at Lulu. 



Creepy Samples Offering: The Amazing Dragos

 Hello there, dear readers, and welcome back to another Creepy Samples Offering. Today, I'll be presenting you with an excerpt from a story called The Amazing Dragos, which, of course, appears in my latest publication entitled A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales. 

Ordinarily, I give a bit of background before going directly into the meat of the story. Today, however, that won't be necessary as I'm going to start right at the beginning. So then, with0out further ado...

Vasile and Mihaela gazed at the mysterious woman intently. With only five minutes to go before show time, she had walked into the tent unexpectedly, making them an incredible offer.

The Amazing Dragoș, as they liked to call themselves, had been traveling the country with McKenzie & Sons, a carnival that for years had played to various county and state fairs. They were an aerial act, trapeze performers, who had never advanced to the circus; a life-long dream.

As luck would have it, the two had crossed paths at a local bar with a troupe of workers for a well-known circus, which had been setting up outside a nearby city.

“Management doesn’t know what to do,” one of the circus personnel had told them. “Our trapeze act is down with the flu or something. Perhaps you could help them out.”

This was the chance of a lifetime for the couple. Finally, their dream of performing for the circus might become a reality. They had met with management the following morning, and were given an opportunity to fill in for the sick performers. The Amazing Dragos had been scheduled to perform that very night.

In spite of their good fortune, Vasile and Mihaela had concerns; serious concerns. Both were approaching 40 years of age, and the ravages of time were beginning to take a toll upon their bodies. They desperately wanted to hit the big time, to travel with a nationally known circus, to perform as a couple on the top of their game. Yet, age was slowing them down. They were past their prime and they knew it.

The two had been attempting to soothe one another’s nerves when the strange woman approached them.

“I can make your every dream come true,” she told them. “I can give you the youthful vigor you need to succeed beyond your wildest expectations.”

“And how can you do that?” Vasile asked with skepticism.

“The details are unimportant,” the stranger responded. “You’re running out of time. Accept my offer and you’ll have a stellar night. After that, you must accompany me to my private theater and perform for my associates. Those are my terms.”

“May we speak about this privately for a moment?” Mihaela asked.

“Of course,” came the response, “but I wouldn't delay for long, if I were you. The act you're following is about to finish.”

The two stepped outside momentarily. Mihaela covered her mouth to hide her giggling as she began to speak. “Where did this woman come from?” she asked. “She can't really be serious.”

“She has got to be crazy,” her husband responded. “But let's humor her and accept her terms. It will make for a most interesting evening. Are we agreed?”

“Yes, let's do it.”

The strange woman greeted them impatiently when they returned inside. “What is your answer?” she demanded.

“We agree to your terms,” Vasile informed her.

“Yes,” Mihaela added, “we would like the stellar night you speak of.”

“Then you shall have it,” the stranger said with a knowing smile on her face. “Look into my eyes, both of you, and enjoy the sensation as the vigor of youth once again flows through your veins.”

As they gazed into her dark eyes a strange esthesis overtook them. An energetic flow of invigoration began spreading from the centers of their bodies outward—outward toward their limbs, energizing their every muscle—their every cell. Yet, there was something else as, during the passing seconds, they continued gazing into the woman's eyes. Her dark orbs seemed to them as bottomless pits, black holes leading into some unfathomable place. Her eyes seemed to hold a power over them; they could not avert their gaze. She held them fast.

After a minute or two, the stranger turned away from them. The dark spell seemed broken. In place of the temporary discomfort the two had experienced, there was only the feeling of youth. They could barely contain their energy. Their earlier feelings of doubt had been replaced by self-confidence and a sense of certitude. Tonight would be their best performance ever. They could feel it in their bones.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time under the big top, we present to you The Amazing Dragos!”

The announcement had been made. The audience cheered and applauded as they climbed the ladders leading to their respective trapezes. The spectators laughed as clowns commenced with funny antics while the couple made their way to the tiny platforms near the top of the tent. Each of the Amazing Dragos took hold of their trapeze, and the crowd hushed. The performance was about to begin.

 

Well, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed it, and we'll see you again in a few weeks. Until then, keep it spooky. 

 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Creepy Samples Offering: The Resurrection of Wanette

 

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to another Creepy Samples Offering! 
 
Today's sample comes from a story entitled "The Resurrection of Wanette." It tells the tale of a young woman named Renee who has been invited to the home of an established goth couple that she met the night before at an event. We pick up the story after Renwick and Autumn, her hosts, have been impressing her with all of their spooky furnishings. After a nice visit, Renee announces that she should probably be leaving, but the couple have one more marvel to show her.
 
“Do you mean to tell me that there are still more marvels to behold?” Renee inquired with a chuckle. 
 
“Oh yes,” Renwick responded, “the greatest marvel of them all. We wanted to save the best for last.” 
 
“It's downstairs,” Autumn informed her. “Follow me.”
 
Renee couldn't believe her eyes upon reaching the basement. She gazed in amazement at a lavish coffin occupying the far side of the room. It was beautifully polished and lined with white silk. 
 
Renee stared at the coffin in amazement. “H....how'd you get it? It's amazing.” 
 
“It just kind of came to us,” Renwick responded. “We found it on the property one evening.”
 
“We consider it magical,” Autumn added, “because of the way that it just seemed to appear with nobody claiming it. Special goth points if you'd like to sleep in it.” 
 
“Wh....what? Really? I can sleep in it?” 
 
“If you'd like. It's not every goth that gets to sleep in an actual coffin,” Renwick reminded her. “And the experience will sure garner the respect of everyone in the culture.”
 
Autumn went to a nearby closet and returned with a sheer, black nightgown. “You can wear this for the night, then you'll really look authentic.” 
 
“What can I say?” Renee responded. “I'd love to do it.”
 
“Then it's settled,” Autumn said with a smile. “You're going to have a very unique experience.” 
 
“And I feel very honored that you're inviting me to do this.” 
 
Her hosts simply smiled without saying another word.
***
Renee emerged from the dressing room a few minutes later. She looked stunning, and was absolutely giddy from the attention her friends had lavished upon her. 
 
“You look lovely,” Autumn informed her. “I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have sleeping in our coffin. Now, there's just one more thing we need to do before you climb in and sleep for the night.” 
 
“Oh? What's that?” 
 
“Anyone who sleeps in a coffin needs to have a goth name given to them. This is a rite of passage after all,” Renwick informed her. “So, may we name you?”
 
“Of course,” the flattered young lady responded. 
 
Autumn spoke next. “Then, from this moment on, you will be known by our community as Wanette.”
 
“It means the pale one,” Renwick added. 
 
“Do you accept this name?” Autumn inquired. 
 
“Oh yes! Yes, I accept it, and I'm truly honored. Thank you!”
 
“Then we'll leave you to your experience,” Autumn concluded. Good night!” 
 
“Yes, good night—and thank you both!” 
 
The two retreated up the stairway leaving Wanette to her own devices. She turned out the light and climbed into a coffin for the very first time.
***
Wanette had no sooner gotten comfortable inside the casket than sleep overtook her—a deep sleep—a sleep that was more death-like than ordinary slumber. She didn't move or even breath. She had, in fact, become quite lifeless. 
 
Well, there you have it. That will just about do it for now. And keep in mind that the conclusion to this story can be found in my latest book, A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales. Until next time then, keep it spooky!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Creepy Samples Offering: A Day of Reckoning

 


 

Hello everyone!  It has been two or three weeks since I posted the first in a series of Creepy Samples Offerings for my new book, "A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales." What I have for you today is a segment from the story for which the publication is named. Because this offering commences at the very beginning of the tale, there is no need for me to describe what has been going on previous to where the story picks up. So, then, let's just start at the beginning.



Jessica arose with a start, and looked around the dark room. At first glance everything seemed normal, but she couldn't shake the feeling of unease that had overtaken her. Something was wrong; yet, she couldn't determine what it might be. As the young woman turned toward the bed, she gasped in horror. Stretched out across the covers was the lifeless body of a young woman. A closer inspection revealed that it was her own body. A trail of blood trickled down from two puncture wounds on her neck.

"Oh my God," she screamed. "My God! It can't be! No! Please no!"

The horrific memory of all that had just occurred flooded her mind. She remembered turning off the
lamp on the end table, and only moments later, feeling the breath of the cold night air caressing her skin.

"I don't remember opening the window," she had mumbled to herself while arising to shut it.

Jessica recalled the electrifying fear she'd felt when she saw a darkly dressed stranger standing by the gently swaying curtains. She remembered retreating toward the door when he hissed at her threateningly before opening his mouth wide, revealing two obtrusive fangs. She recalled struggling valiantly against the stranger's attack, and vividly recollected the sharp pain in her neck as the man's incisors penetrated her soft skin. She sobbed uncontrollably as she gazed upon the body that was once hers; now lifeless and drained of its essence.

Time stood still as the young woman, filled with grief over her own passing, continued to stare at that
which had once been her earthly vehicle--a body that once experienced pain and pleasure as well as the feel of the cool wind blowing through her hair. She thought about the young man she loved waiting for her back home, and how he had no way no way of yet knowing that she would not be returning to him.

She recoiled with the thought that her best friend, with whom she was staying, would react in the morning upon discovering her dead body. Her thoughts then turned to her friends and family back home, and the good times they'd all had together. Jessica grieved for the fleeting life she once had.
Seemingly frozen in time, she struggled to make peace with that which had happened.


When Jessica could no longer bear the sight before her, she stooped over in an effort to touch her former earthly vehicle. Then, she turned and walked out the door, without even attempting to open it.

Upon her arrival in New Orleans, she'd heard stories about resident blood drinkers, but had dismissedthem as superstitious fantasy and failed to pay them any mind. Now she believed; and, as she strode out into the darkness of the night, she promised herself that she would make the creature pay for what he'd done. 

"Vampire or not," she told herself, "he'll pay a high price for what he's done to me."

Well, there you have it. We now have a ghost seeking vengeance upon the physical being responsible for her untimely death. Does she accomplish her mission, and if so, how? To find the answer you'll have to follow the links here either to Romance and Horror Dot Com, to the Lulu Bookstore, or you can find this particular story available independently on Kindle. 
 
Until next time then, keep it spooky and thanks for being here!
 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Creepy Samples Offering: Angel of Death


 
Hello, readers and followers. Welcome to the first Creepy Samples Offering for my new publication, A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales. This is the first of several offerings you will find here; each one, containing an excerpt from one of the stories contained inside the book. 
 
 
Today's tale is called "Angel of Death." It concerns a man named Tom Flanagan, who, due to his interest in the paranormal, is allowed to spend an entire night alone in the Boytsville Library, which exists within an old plantation-like house formerly built and owned by a family seemingly cursed with a history of tragic deaths. We pick up the story with Flanagan, having just read the final words of Scarlet Thatcher, the last of the original family members to live in the house, coming to a frightful realization. 
 
An unusually strong gust of wind whistled around the corners of the old building. Tree branches pounded against the windows as if attempting to gain access to the building itself. Emotionally shaken and now fearful, Tom turned his attention once again to the diary's very last page. The author's last words invoked in him a sense of profound sadness as well as personal terror. 
 
"Tonight, I myself witnessed the appearance of the dark being that has plagued my family for so long. The others are gone, and I know now that I will soon fall victim to its inescapable grip of death. I wish for only one thing. May my chronicles survive the passage of time and serve as a warning to anyone who may one day discover them. Beware this harvester of souls, this Angel of Death! 
 
February, 24, 1904”
 
Tom closed the book and placed it on the shelf. His blood flowed like ice through his veins as he pondered all that had transpired this night. Tonight, I saw the same angel that Scarlet had seen. I'm sure of it. It was not just my imagination, or an optical illusion. I'm sure of it now. 
 
The frightened man could quell neither his thoughts nor his fear. He had seen a ghostly figure—a woman; probably Scarlet. And the books falling to the floor with her diaries opened? Could she have been trying to warn him? 
 
The sound of a woman's mournful cry interrupted his thoughts. The sorrowful voice, although not loud, reverberated throughout the library. A profound understanding took hold even as pure, unbridled terror gripped him to the core of his being. She's crying for me! Scarlet's mourning over me! 
 
Then, he saw it; a dark-robed, hooded figure gazing at him from the other side of the building. Its icy stare boring into his very soul. The figure began moving toward him—slowly, methodically—drawing ever closer with each step; its eyes never breaking contact. Tom lost all composure as the being approached.
 
“No! No! Get away from me. Please, go away!”
 
Well, there you have it! For information on where you can find this and my other publications, just go to the the introduction at the top of this front page. 
 
Thanks for reading. Keep it spooky, y'all!
 
Illustration by K. Kiera. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales

 

I am pleased to announce the publication of my next book, which is entitled A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales. 

Here lies the tale of a young woman, her life taken away by a cruel blood drinker while vacationing in New Orleans, who seeks to destroy the one that sent her to the ghostly realms. On these pages you will find the story of a young man who, obsessed with a firm starlet long ago deceased, strives to bring her across the veil from the realms of the dead, to the world of the living. Perhaps he should be careful what he asks for.


All is not well around the small Ozark town of Fox Grove, as the ghastly killing of a young boy and the intuition of the young witch, Rosalie, forces her and her family to not only confront a former enemy, now resurrected from the depths of Hell, but the Vampire Narkissa Laveau herself. All of this and much more is contained within the pages of this book,

 A Day of Reckoning and Other Frightful Tales is available on Lulu, where you can find both the print and ebook versions in the Lulu Bookstore. The new publication is also available at Amazon, on Kindle, and other places where books are sold. 

During the days and weeks ahead, I will be bringing back several of my Creepy Samples Offerings, which will provide excepts from several of the stories contained within the pages of this book. 

Thank you for being here!

       A.D. Vick

 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Theda

An overly shy college student, who is enamored with the long-deceased actress, Theda Bara, is transported one night across the veil that separates the realm of the living from that of the dead. It is here that, to his astonishment, the beautiful silent-film star appears, and seductively convinces him that, if he can only invoke her presence properly, she could join him on his side of the veil. As the young man returns to the earthly realm and begins working toward that goal, he is completely unaware of what his actions will lead to.
This is the theme of my latest piece of short fiction entitled "Theda." It is now available exclusively on Kindle.

Just click on the link below to be taken to the Kindle Store where you can find more information. 

To purchase or for more information go here.



 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Day of Reckoning

A young woman awakes suddenly during the night. She arises and looks around the dark room. Something doesn't seem right, but she can't place the source of her discomfort. She glances behind her; and, much to her horror, discovers the source of her discomfort. Lying on the bed is her own dead body. Two puncture wounds on her neck reveal the horrible truth. She had fallen victim to a blood drinker, and now her earthly life was over.

"Vampire or not," she tells herself, "he's going to pay for what he's done to me." She sets out to do just that.

So begins my latest novelette entitled, "A Day of Reckoning." It is now available exclusively on Kindle, and you can find it here.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: Highway 365

Hello there, Dear Readers, and welcome back for the final installment of the Creepy Samples Offerings. I hope you have enjoyed reading the story excerpts presented here,and if you would like to read them to their conclusion you can click on the link to my website, which is found under "About" on the right hand column. Everything you need to know is provided there. 

I am working on new material, which at some point in the not too distant future, will coalesce into another publication. At that time, I hope to return here with more Creepy Samples Offerings. 

Today's tale is called "Highway 365." This piece is found in my book entitled "The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre." The story concerns a man with an interest in the paranormal who travels to an area south of Little Rock, Arkansas in order to drive Highway 365, a road long reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman; particularly, on stormy nights.

We pick up the story after the protagonist turns onto the highway during a heavy thunderstorm:
The rain began to slow by the time I reached the Woodson's outskirts. Still, I maintained a slow speed, hoping against hope that I would see something significant. My eyes danced back and forth as I searched for an apparition or anything that signaled the presence of the supernatural. Although the worst part of the storm had passed, rain continued coming down at a steady pace. The flashes of lightning, though retreating toward the south east, continued to illuminate the landscape, offering me short but enhanced views of my surroundings.

I approached what appeared to be a small bridge when the sudden glare of headlights from behind caught my attention. I gazed into the rear-view mirror to take quick measure of the situation. When my eyes returned to the road I gasped in horror. The figure of a human being stood almost directly ahead of me only a few yards away. I hit the breaks as hard as I could while swerving into the oncoming lane.

For a few seconds I sat there stunned—overcome by the sudden flash of adrenaline pulsing through my veins. The figure hurried over to the passenger side of my vehicle, I could see that it was a young woman.

She was dressed in a long white gown that was drenched through and through. The garment, which most certainly had been attractive and alluring earlier in the evening was stained with blood and mud. Opening the passenger-side door, I could see a deep, bloody gash across her forehead. There was another just below her cheekbone. I suspected that she had suffered other injuries as well. 

“I'm....I'm so sorry,” I told her apologetically as she got in. “Where did you come from? I didn't see you.”

The vehicle from behind was approaching, so I quickly got out of the way by crossing over to the southbound lane and pulling onto the shoulder. I reached into the back seat and retrieved an extra jacket I'd left there. I wrapped it around her shoulders in an attempt to warm her. She was cold—very cold to the touch. 

“You're hurt. You need a doctor,” I told her as I gently used a wad of leftover napkins to tend to her wounds. “Is there a hospital nearby? You need stitches.”

At first she stared straight ahead in silence without saying a word. I needed answers if I was going to help her, but as I contemplated her condition, I considered the possibility that she might have been in shock. I decided to handle the situation with the utmost gentility. Calming my demeanor, I posed another question to her. 

“Do you live nearby?”

She turned toward me imploringly and slowly lifted her left hand, pointing straight ahead. “Redfield,” she said in little more than a whisper. “Take me to Redfield.” 

At that moment my heart melted as I took in her beauty—her exquisitely chiseled face, her resplendent breasts, only partially covered by her dress; this, in spite of her disheveled condition. Within a minuscule flash of time-- a split second perhaps, a vision came to me. 

She and I were at a dance—a prom perhaps. I'd been considering my good fortune in accompanying her to the event. We were a couple; and, as I took in the sight of her golden-blonde hair cascading over the soft skin of her shoulders, I knew I was in love. 

She removed her gaze and I snapped back to reality. The realization that my passenger needed medical attention took precedence, and I turned back onto the highway and headed in the direction of Redfield, 

There you have it! Many thanks to you all for being here over these past 11 or so months, and remember, keep it spooky !

Photo, A Place to Hide by Sandra H. appears courtesy of Gothic Pictures Gallery.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: A Fall From Grace: The First Hunt

Greetings to you all, Dear Readers. It's May 15 and that means it's time for another Creepy Samples Offering. This one is a bit special as it's the next to last sample offering for awhile. It's hard to believe, but I've been doing these twice per month since around the beginning of July of last year. So yes, we're getting near the end--for now!
In any event, in today's offering we return to the adventures of the Vampire Lady Andrea and Jessie Tucker. "A Fall From Grace: The First Hunt" is found in my second publication entitled, "The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre.
We pick up the story in the darkness of Louisiana's Kisatchie Bayou, where Lady Andrea has been unnerving, pursuing, and then mesmerizing Eddie Canton, Jessie's assailant, with seductive images.

“Ugh!” He shouted, confused by the sudden cut off from the titillating experience. “Wh....what happened? Why don't ya do what ya want to and get it over with?”
“Because I got what I wanted,” she responded. “You just damned your god and everything you've ever stood for. I have now prepared you to enter the place that lies beyond the gates of Hell.”
Canton realized the truthfulness of what she spoke. He had indeed done as she'd said.
“You tricked me with all that sexy stuff,” he informed her. “You tricked me!”
Lady Andrea laughed heartily before responding. “Do you really believe that I'd want to provide you with pleasure after you smashed my Jessie's head with a rock, killing him? No, there is another who will have the pleasure of draining you of your life's essence, and I will lead you to him.”
She began walking in his direction; the self-confidant smile and hungry expression never disappearing from her face. The frightened man dropped his fishing tackle and moved quickly in the direction of the bayou, screaming as he ran. “Help! Somebody help me!”
Eddie Canton's gait outpaced his limited field of vision. More than once he blindly stumbled over the underbrush, only to quickly right himself and continue on toward the bayou.
Moving through the darkness, Eddie could hear voices calling to him from the direction of the camp. “Over here,” he shouted with a shortness of breath. “Over here!”
The thick woods abruptly opened up before him, revealing the same location where he had spent the last couple of hours fishing. As Eddie rushed toward the water's edge, a dark figure, as if from out of nowhere, took position directly in front of him, blocking his path. The dim light of the lantern shone upon the figure's pale features, and the panic-stricken man gasped in sheer horror.
“Je....Jessie? Is that you?”
The strange figure inched closer to him as he spoke. It's Jess of the House of the Crescent Moon now, Eddie. Are you surprised to see me?”
Canton attempted moving backward, but his escape was blocked by the woman.
“How can this be?” Eddie asked. “You're ….”
“Dead?” Jess responded. “Indeed I am; and yet, I'm standing before you. Pray to your god,” Jess continued, “for you too are about to join the ranks of the deceased.”

There you have it! We'll see you around the beginning of next month for the final offering. Until then, keep it spooky!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: The Reaper's Hand

Hello, Dear Readers, and welcome back once again to another Creepy Samples Offering. 

It's a cloudy, gloomy day here in in the Ozark Mountains with the threat of stormy weather on the horizon. What better time could there be to feel a little....well, spooky?

Today, I'd like to talk about the Case of Travis Wilson. Mr. Wilson is an aging man who, obsessed with staying young, has taken it upon himself to live a healthier lifestyle. Part of his obsession is due to the fact that, in his younger days, he had never experienced any type of meaningful, romantic relationship. Part of his staying young strategy revolved around running, an activity he took part in quite often. On one particular evening however, his run through a local park takes on a new meaning. So, let's take a few paragraphs from the story entitled "The Reaper's Hand," and see just what has made Travis' run so urgent. The story incidentally, is found in my book, "The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre. 

This evening was different however. Travis ran along the darkening trail with the terrifying realization that his deepest fear followed in close pursuit. He had first seen the hooded and black-robed angel standing in the early-morning shadows of his bedroom that morning. He spotted it a second time in the afternoon and once more this evening, while relaxing in his easy chair reading the newspaper. He knew what it all meant; the final reckoning was at hand. The third sighting was too much for him and the thought of his impending death filled him with a sense of terror unlike anything he’d ever experienced.

The dark angel of death had come calling, but Travis wasn’t ready to leave his earthly life behind.
In a panic, the old man screamed at the unwanted visitor.“No, no, you can’t take me. I want to live!”

Travis scuttled toward the nearby forest trail without even bothering to lock the doors. He would continue to cheat death the only way he knew; by running.

The frightened old man kept a steady pace as he careened through autumn’s deepening twilight. He occasionally cast a quick glance behind, only to see death’s angel walking in his direction under the half-naked trees. The Reaper neither gained on him nor fell behind, but continued to keep pace. Travis knew he couldn’t run indefinitely. He would tire soon and he desperately needed some other way by which he could escape the relentless being pursuing him. The opportunity came when he confronted a young couple jogging in his direction. 

“Please, please!” He implored them. “I’m being pursued. Can you take me to your vehicle? I’ve got to get away from here. Someone’s after me.”

“I don’t see anyone,” the younger man replied after a quick look around.

Travis pointed directly at the frightening figure, which continued moving in his direction.
“He’s right there, heading this way. How can you not see him?”

“You’re crazy, old man. There’s nobody there.”

Travis grabbed the woman’s shoulders, shaking her in desperation.

“I know you can see him,” he insisted. “Please get me away from here!”

The woman’s companion moved swiftly, pushing Travis away from his companion, forcing him backward.

“Keep your hands off her you crazy geezer!”

Well, that's it for this time around. Until next time then, keep it spooky. 

Photo courtesy of Gothic Pictures Gallery.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: Horror in the Tunnel

Hello there, Dear readers! We've reached the middle of April and that means that it's time once again, for another Creepy Samples Offering.

Today's excerpt, from the story entitled, "Horror in the Tunnel," takes place in and under an abandoned railway tunnel on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island; the same neighborhood in which horror writer H.P. Lovecraft both lived and located some of his stories in.

In this particular tale, the protagonist is drawn back to the tunnel years after the city had sealed it off. His desire is to investigate a possible connection between the pagan rituals that had precipitated the tunnel's closing, and possible supernatural or otherworldly influences that may exist there.

As we pick up the story, the investigator is in a subterranean chamber below the tunnel after hearing the sounds of a woman's screams as well as that of a slow, persistent drumming.


After about ten minutes traversing this odd walkway, the incessant rhythm of the drum and the strange voices of the participants reach a volume so intense that I pause and turn off my light. In its absence I can see a flickering orange glow reflecting on the walls ahead of me. For a few moments I allow my eyes to grow accustomed to the dim light before proceeding. As I inch forward, my heart is pounding so wildly that I wonder if it can be heard over the ruckus that is taking place so close to me.

A few more steps brings me to the point where the end of the passageway comes into view. It opens into a moderately sized cavernous chamber. At its center is a stone slab roughly the size of a queen-sized bed. Behind it a beautiful but stately woman sits upon an elevated throne. She's wearing an elegant black dress as she watches the activity taking place around her. Burning torches encircle the center of the cavern, leaving an open space directly before the stone slab.

There are at least a couple of dozen participants drumming, dancing or otherwise moving around the cavern. All appear to be wearing masks and long, ragged robes. Still, the masks are the most realistic that I've ever seen—ghastly even!
Wait a minute! Their facial expressions change as they communicate. They're not masks at all. Their faces are inhuman--shriveled, distorted and skeletal with bulging, jaundiced eyes. The creatures' hands are almost claw-like, with long fingers and rotting nails on the ends. Their thick skin appears stained with blood.

My mind reels as I stare at the spectacle before me. My God! I have stumbled upon the secret of the tunnel and it's more horrifying than I could ever have imagined. I should leave while I can but...

My thoughts are interrupted by s spine-curdling scream. It's a woman's voice; possibly the source of the screams I heard earlier. I stand almost spellbound as I watch two of the ghoulish creatures leading a hysterical, naked woman to the central slab. Without hesitation, they force the struggling woman onto the central stone face up and set about chaining her limbs tightly to the stone's extremities.

I stare in amazement, wondering if I have stumbled upon some secret BDSM ritual. Yet, how could that be, as these repulsive creatures before me appear as real as anything I've ever seen. And the victim is clearly frightened, struggling.

Suddenly, the stately woman arises from her throne and for a moment, the drumming stops and an eerie silence falls over the cavern—a silence that is only broken by the captive's pleadings. “Please let me go. Please!”

As the woman in black takes her first steps toward the terrified female, the beating of the drums begins anew. This time, the rhythm is agonizingly slow as hands and sticks strike the instruments in unison once every three seconds or so. The sound echos throughout the chamber like some sort of death march as the obvious leader of the assembly walks toward the terrified person lying before her.

The drumming ceases when she reaches the panic-stricken prisoner. The woman looks down at the young lady affectionately as she gently brushes back her hair and strokes her face. The girl is whimpering amid hysterical cries. “Please, please!”

I realize that something sinister is happening here as I contemplate the possibilities. Clearly, this is no consensual ritual; at least, not as far as the woman on the rock is concerned. Yet, I feel a certain excitement when the lady in black bends over and whispers something in the girl's ear. I watch in amazement as she begins moving her lips slowly and sensually along the captive's neck. Before long, she ceases her movement and lets her lips linger, kissing her victim passionately. The affectionate attentions of the woman in black seem to calm the young woman down as she begins moaning ecstatically, offering her neck to her captor's passionate caresses. I find the scene before me both unnerving and yet, exciting, as my mind fills with conflicting feelings of guilt and arousal.

The sinister woman's ministrations continue for several minutes until finally she backs away from the now still form lying below her. A crimson liquid covers part of her face and runs in streams from her mouth until she wipes it away with a hand, which she in turn, licks hungrily.

Oh my God! She bit her. She tore open the flesh of that poor girl and drank her blood! What the hell's going on here?
Without warning, the slow drumbeat commences once again as the first of the ghoulish creatures, which had led the young victim to the stone, steps before her limp body. The second hands him a colorful but folded and elongated piece of cloth. He at first, holds it above his head for all to see. Then, he carefully places the fabric on the stone next to the young woman's body, where he begins unfolding it. Within moments the content of the package is revealed as he lifts a fearsome looking dagger above his head. The assembly roars in approval, but the sounds emanating forth form a chorus of ghastly, ungodly moans--sounds capable of making the bravest man's blood run cold.

The chamber becomes quiet once again as the creature lowers the knife toward the young woman's body. Although my body is almost stiff with fear, I cannot stand by watching this spectacle any longer and I react without thinking of the consequences.
“No, no! Get away from her you bastards!”

My hand reaches into my coat pocket and within a matter of nanoseconds, my weapon is out and I aim it at the creature with the dagger. Two shots ring out in rapid succession. The ghoulish thing drops the dagger and reaches for what must have been a wound in its left arm while the rest of the assembly seems caught off guard. All heads turn in my direction as I struggle to take control of the situation by shouting at the gruesome beings once again.
“Get away from her!”


There you have it! I hope you enjoyed that. If so, please check back here again around the beginning of May, and we'll do it all again. Today's story comes from the book entitled, "The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre." So until next time, keep it spooky!

Photo source: Waymarking dot com. Photographer unknown.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: A Fall From Grace: Metamorphoses

Welcome back, dear readers, to the April 1 installment of my Creepy Samples Offering. Since today is Easter Sunday, this is the one day of the year that above all others, reminds us that spring has arrived. Here in the Arkansas Ozarks however, the day dawned cool and gloomy. A light drizzle fills the air as a thick cloud cover blocks out the sunshine. So, while some might be holding Easter egg hunts and thinking of cute little bunnies, my thoughts have turned to vampires. 


Last month, in an offering from the story, "A Fall From Grace," I introduced you to Jessie Tucker, a divinity student whose obsession with a darkly dressed woman got him into a bit of trouble. As it turns out, the object of his desires was a vampire woman named Lady Andrea. We left off last month with her drinking his blood after she finds him snooping around an abandoned farmhouse. 

In today's offering, which comes from "A Fall From Grace: Metamorphoses," we learn that Jessie has been kidnapped by members of his former school's youth league, at the behest of the Reverend Fred Roy, the college's leading figure. His captors have taken him to a nearby river in which Roy intends to wash Jessie of his sinful nature and bring him back into the spiritual fold, so to speak. Let's pick up the story at the river then, after Jessie's failed attempt at an escape from the over-zealous group: 

Eddie Canton pulled Jessie’s damaged body to the river’s edge, leaving a trail of blood along the grass and soil. Meanwhile, his companions scurried about in the dark, searching for the appropriate stones and bindings necessary to hold their victim’s body to the river bottom. One by one they brought their findings to Eddie as he stood watch over the body. Once all the necessary materials had been gathered, he turned to them.

“Alright, let’s get this done. Everybody grab a limb and tie the rock securely. The sooner we get ‘im on the river bottom the sooner we can get out of here.”

The four worked feverishly until the sound of a howling pack of wolves interrupted them.

“What’s that?” Cotton asked nervously. 

The wolves howled once again from somewhere in the darkness, stirring within them a deep sense of fearfulness. The snapping of a fallen branch next caught their attention. One of the others shined a flashlight in the direction of the sound only to rest its beam upon a beautiful, cloaked woman walking in their direction.

“Oh Jeez,” Cotton exclaimed in a voice he believed only audible to his nearby companions.

“Y’all just keep your mouths shut and let me do the talkin’,” Canton countered. 

The woman approached; and bending on one knee, began examining the body lying before her. She put her head to his chest, detecting a faint heartbeat. When she began unraveling the bindings they’d placed around his limbs, Eddie grabbed her by the arm, attempting to pull her away from his victim.
“Get away from ‘im,” he shouted.

She arose with what seemed like lightning speed and effortlessly threw her assailant into the trunk of a tree about twenty feet away, rendering him unconscious.

“Oh Lord!” One of the others cried out. “Did you see that? God have mercy!”

Cotton took hold of a nearby tree limb, attempting to attack her from behind. Swirling around before he was within striking distance, the powerful woman first wrestled the weapon out of his hands and then placed a firm grip on his shoulder before bending and twisting his right arm. He screamed in pain.

“Why have you done this?” She asked without releasing her grip. “Tell me or I’ll tear this arm right off his body.”
 

Cotton screamed uncontrollably as she continued to increase the pressure.

Eddie Canton, having regained consciousness, rose to his feet and addressed her while one of the others kept the flashlight’s beam focused on her eyes.

“You might be strong,” he told her, “but you can’t take all four of us. Come on,” he instructed his other companions, “let’s rush her.”

At that moment the strange woman hissed menacingly, revealing razor-sharp fangs that extended in length far beyond her other teeth. Her would-be attackers froze in abject fear. Her eyes beamed and held them fast as she spoke with determination.

“One more step in my direction and I’ll sever his head from the rest of his body. Then I’ll turn on you and will drain every ounce of blood from each of your pathetic bodies.” Smiling she continued. “I love the scent of your fear. Draining you would be quite a pleasant experience. Don’t try to escape either, because I will find you.”

One from the group began reciting the Lord’s Prayer as she turned her attention back to David Cotton, again increasing pressure upon his already damaged arm. His screams echoed across the dark landscape.

“Who put you up to this? Tell me now,” she demanded.

“It was Reverend Roy,” Cotton answered obediently. “He didn’t mean to hurt him. He only wanted to bring him back to the Lord.”

“But you did hurt him,” she continued. “Tell me, where can I find this Reverend Roy right now?”

For just a moment Cotton hesitated and she again increased the pressure on his arm. He could hear the snapping of bones. 

“In his office. He’s in his office at the Baptist University on the south side of town,” he cried out hysterically.

She released him, throwing him into the river shallows.

She turned to the others.“The car keys, give them to me,” she demanded. 

Canton approached nervously, tossing her the keys.

“Now get out of here—all of you, before I change my mind and decide to drain you dry anyway.”

She gestured toward Eddie Cotton, who still remained in the icy shallows delirious with pain, before continuing. “And take that piece of shit with you.”

While the others collected their fallen comrade and began departing the scene, Lady Andrea returned to Jessie, once again listening for the traces of a heartbeat, hoping almost against all hope that he might still be alive. His pulse was still there but had grown even fainter. 

That's where we'll leave off for today. If you want to know what happens next, the answer can be found in my book, "Tales of Dark Romance and Horror."

Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet up with you all once again around mid-April. Until then, keep it creepy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: A Fall From Grace

Well, dear readers, we've reached the middle of March. The weather is beginning to warm, and this is all making me realize that it's time once again for the next Creepy Samples Offering.

Today's excerpt comes from a story entitled "A Fall from Grace," which is found in my book called "Tales of Dark Romance and Horror." This particular story is the first in a series of three, with possibly more to follow, which tell the tale of a divinity student named Jessie Tucker, who just happens to find himself obsessed over a darkly dressed woman who passes by his window every night. 

Unable to overcome his lust for her, Jessie surrenders to his sinful nature and begins to search for clues as to her residence, hangouts, or places she might frequent. One night, he explores an abandoned country homestead that lies beyond the perimeter of his city. We pick up the story as he explores the inside of the old residence: 
***
 
Suddenly, the front door slammed shut behind him. “What the hell do you think you’re doing in here?”

Startled, Jessie dropped the book as he spun around abruptly to face his interrogator. His mind reeled as he gazed at the person standing before him. OH NO! GOD NO! A potent mix of fear and embarrassment overtook him once he came to the realization that IT’S HER!

She stared at him intently with cat-green eyes; her demeanor radiating both power and self-confidence. He saw the predator in her and succinctly felt his own weakness and vulnerability.

He was the prey; yet, he could feel an excitement rising up from within—dark desires fueled by the realization that the woman over which he’d had so many fantasies—the creature that had sparked the formation of unspeakable but growing needs within him, now stood only a few feet away. He felt as though he were suddenly living in a dream from which there may be no escape.
Part of him wanted the dream, but his other side wanted to flee.


“I asked you a question, Pervert!”

Hearing her accusatory tone was too much for him. Panicking, he lunged for the door. The woman moved swiftly; and before he had completed two full steps she was upon him, pushing
him roughly into the wall.


Do you really think I don’t know what you’ve been up to all these weeks, Pervert? Do you think that I don’t know about you hiding behind your window—staring at me—having nasty thoughts about the things you’d like me to do with you?” 

Her voice was soft; even sexy. It enchanted him. He felt her cool breath upon him. She drew closer to him, her hair gently brushing up against his face.

Jessie shook his head and tried to speak but the hand over his mouth remained firmly in place.

She smiled coyly and continued. “Well, your dreams are about to come true; only in a way that you would never have imagined.” 

She moved back slightly; and removing her hand from his
mouth, reached for his shirt, tearing it open, exposing his neck. He gasped at her boldness.


An expression of wanton lust overtook her. She stroked his face sensually before beginning to slowly pace in front of him, only inches away. “I can sense the uncertainty in you,” she continued. “You fear me; yet, I sense your desire to surrender. I can smell it in your blood-- and I love it!”

Unable to speak, his own level of desire growing by the second, Jessie could only moan in response.

She abruptly stopped in front of him and smiled seductively. Then, bringing her face to his chest,began kissing and biting him passionately, working her way upward, ever upward, sending the man into his own private Heaven. When she reached the base of his neck she could no longer contain herself. Within seconds, she opened her mouth wide; biting him, penetrating his skin with two sharp fangs.

The predator moaned ecstatically as she greedily drank his life essence. In spite of her many kills over the years, no human’s blood had ever offered sweetness such as this. She could taste his innocence as well as the darkness he could never face. She reveled in the flavor of his fear as it meshed with an abject surrender to his fate. 
***
There you have it. I hope you all enjoyed this week's offering. An excerpt from the first sequel, "A Fall From Grace: Metamorphoses," will follow in the April 1 sample. Until that date then, keep it spooky!

Photo and artwork: Marina Bocharova
 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: Rosalie

Hello, Dear Readers, and welcome to the March 1 Creepy Samples Offering! I hope you got to check in on last month's Vampire's Day Soiree. If you didn't, you still have the opportunity. Just scroll down to the previous post and you should still be able to see what the fun was all about. Time continues to roll along however, and so must I. 

Today's story, Rosalie, is taken from my first book entitled Tales of Dark Romance and Horror. Rosalie is a novella that takes us to an America that has changed. Extremist politicians have gained control of the federal government and imposed a religious theocracy upon the citizenry. Robert, an artist and craftsman, decides to temporarily leave his home in town to hide out with survivalist friends who live close to the Fox Grove community on a hill called Haunted Mountain. The friend's daughter, Rosalie, is a young, seductive, but powerful witch who is in love with Robert. He in turn, is forced to resist her charms.


We pick up the story where Rosalie ventures into the forest to summon her deceased Great Grandma Boudreaux. Little does she know that she is being watched by two parishioners belonging to the church led by the Reverend Ronnie, Crawford; a zealot intent upon ridding the area of those he considers sinful. 



Within an hour the twilight had descended upon the Ozark 

landscape; and as the heated buzz of the cicadas yielded to the ever-

growing nighttime chorus of the katydids, Rosalie, with a sturdy 

tote bag thrown over her shoulder, stepped back onto the pathway 

which led to the spot she had earlier prepared. Walking through the 

deepening darkness, she could see the rising lunar orb as it flashed 

momentarily through the spaces between the trees.
 

Upon reaching her destination, the young woman quickly set about 

the task of lighting a fire. When the new campfire grew to ahealthy

blaze, she opened her bag and took out its contents; her Book of 

Shadows, a wand wrapped in black cloth, and a half gallon jar of 

water with which to later extinguish the fire’s remnants. After 

carefully removing the wand from its protective covering, Rosalie 

gazed at the magical tool she had only recently fashioned. It was 

about ten inches long and constructed from a fallen branch 

belonging to the very oak that stood in the center of the clearing. A 

double-terminated quartz crystal was lashed in place on one end by 

a series of red threads. Attached to the handle was a wooden cat’s 

head with each eye made of garnet. Both the cat’s head and the 

wand itself had been stained an ebony hue.
 


With wand in hand, Rosalie moved next to the tree, facing toward 

the rising moon in the east. For a few moments she stood with eyes 

closed—motionless—clearing her mind of any thought—grounding

herself to the Earth below her feet and to the forest. Then, gazing 

skyward she spoke: 
 

“Oh dark Goddess of the forest, mistress of the night,

I create and bless this circle in your name.


I invite you to this sacred space,


And ask that you open the portal between the worlds,


And allow the passage of my grandma—my “Mémére to this 

world.”



Moving toward the outer reaches of the oak’s lower branches, she pointed the wand, now in her right hand, toward the ground just beyond her reach as she began walking around the tree in a clockwise motion.


“Be thou cast, circle,


As I walk along your edge.

Keep me away from harm,


And protect me as I now walk between the worlds.”



She walked around the tree three times; with each revolution repeating her words. After returning to the circle’s easternmost point for the final time she stopped; and facing the rising moon said, “The circle is cast. So mote it be.” Then, she quietly took a place on the log by the fire pit and gazed out into the darkness.

“Are you seein’ the same thing that I’m seein’ Danny? The preacher’s right about witches…”
  
“Shh!” The other man quickly responded. Then, in a whisper, he continued empathically. “Keep your voice down! She’ll hear us!”
The two men, having spotted Rosalie making her preparations earlier in the evening, had decided to move in closer in order keep watch on the small opening in the forest and any activities that might occur there. Now, hiding behind some bushes only 100 feet or so from the clearing, they could easily see everything the young woman was doing.


“Mémére,” Rosalie called out. “Can you hear me Mémére? Please come! I need your advice. Please come and speak with me.”

After making her appeal, the young supplicant returned to the fire and sat down upon the log. For a few moments she sat in silence—waiting—anticipating--hoping that the Goddess to whom she had dedicated her circle would grant her request by opening the portal to the world beyond. For a few moments there was only the sound of the katydids and the occasional hooting of a nearby owl. Finally, the silence was broken by the sound of a woman’s voice. “I am here child. What is it that bears such a burden upon your soul tonight?”


As Rosalie gazed toward the voice, she saw the dark figure of her long deceased ancestor emerge from the shadows. The attractive fortyish-looking woman was dressed in a dark robe; her salt and pepper hair mostly covered by a hood. Although her Great Grandma Boudreaux had been in her eighties when she finally passed from this world, her younger appearance no longer seemed strange to her granddaughter. “Why should I take on the form of an old woman,” she once asked, when I can appear to you as I once looked; mature but still sensually vibrant?”


Not far away, the two onlookers stared at one another incredulously. “Where did that woman come from?” Danny whispered to his friend.


“Sure beats the heck out of me!” Bobby responded; a hint of unease in his whisper. “I don’t b’lieve I’ve ever seen her before. It’s like she came from out of nowhere. She ain’t dressed normal either. Look at her!”


“Danny McLain’s voice dropped down to an unintelligible whisper as he folded his hands together. “Lord Jesus, watch over your servants tonight. Protect us from whatever evil has befallen us here.”


The older woman did not approach the fire but instead, remained close to the shadows, the flicker of the fire reflecting in her eyes.


“I want to cast a love spell Mémére, one that is so powerful that it will bind my love to me forever.”


“Is that what ails you, child?” Her grandmother asked. “You’ve fallen in love for the first time?”


“I’ve never felt anything like this before Mémére, I don’t want to live without him, not for a minute!”


“Oh yes, how I remember young love! It’s a powerful thing. Rosalie, and sooner or later it vexes just about every young lady such as yourself. But you must be careful, for love is often blind.”


“I’d like to learn how to cast the best love spell that I possibly can Mémére, I really want to be with this man, and then keep him.”


The woman laughed sympathetically; there was kindness in her voice when she spoke. “Spells such as those you seek are designed to attract love; not to force anyone against his will.”


“But he does love me; I know it! I can feel it!”


“Then no spell is needed child. You have already attracted love.”


“But he’s afraid to give himself to me. He won’t let go.”


“The questions you ask are the same as those asked by every young woman in your situation, but you have an advantage.”


“An advantage?”

“Of course, Dear! You’re a very attractive young lady Rosalie, and the power flows within you vigorously; even if you are somewhat inexperienced. You already hold the answers to your questions. They lie within you. Listen to your intuition. Listen to your inner-most feelings. They will tell you what to do. Every woman must work at keeping a man just as he must work at keeping her. Every relationship takes work. But your powers are strong Granddaughter, learn how to use them.”


The robed figure threw Rosalie a kiss and then walked slowly into the tree’s impenetrable shadow. The teen cried out, “I love you Mémére!” Then, her Grandma was gone.


Rosalie continued sitting by the fire for several more minutes as she pondered her grandma’s words—reflecting upon the events that had just taken place. Finally, she arose and once again took position in the middle of the circle—facing east, yet skyward—the forest silhouetted in the pale light of the moon.
 

“Dark Goddess, mistress of the night,


I thank you for joining me in my circle,


and for your blessing on this night.


As we depart upon my opening of this circle,

may we go forth in peace.”

Once again moving to the eastern edge of the circle, she extended her wand downward, and began retracing her earlier steps; this time, moving counter-clockwise around the tree. Finally, she stopped; again facing eastward, and concluded her ceremony. “The circle is open but unbroken. Blessed be.”


By the time Rosalie had concluded her business, the fire’s flickering light had faded; its flames replaced with the orange glow of its dying embers. After repacking her supplies into the tote bag and dousing the coals with water, she made her way home through the shadowy forest with flashlight in hand.


The two intruders remained in position for several minutes, making sure that the girl had gone home and would remain unaware of their presence. Then, emerging from their hiding place, they walked silently toward the clearing. The sudden hooting of an owl halted their progression just short of the now open circle’s perimeter.


“Jeez! The damn thing nearly scared the heck outa me!”


“Relax, Bobby! It’s just an owl.”

“It ain’t no ordinary owl. It’s tellin’ us to stay away. I know it.”


“You’re lettin’ your imagination run away with ya,” Danny retorted dismissively. Still, as he took another step the owl hooted again loudly.


“What did I tell ya? There’s evil all around us here. Let’s get back to the truck before somethin’ happens to us.”


Danny acquiesced. “I s’pose the best thing we can do now is go and talk to the preacher ‘bout all this.”


“Sounds like a good idea to me. He’ll know what to do.”

Well, that's it for this time around. My apologies for any problems with the formatting. Computers can be so hard to please sometimes! 

Until next time then, remember to keep it spooky!

Artist unknown