Damned Words 51

Pen of the Damned

When the Dust Settled
Angela Yuriko Smith

We saw it drifting… just a dust cloud at sunset and we looked away. We were busy playing games… dodgeball and tag, racing with nightfall and impending parental calls for dinner, baths and bedtime. We had no time for dust clouds. But when night time fell and our parents never called we paid attention. The cloud was already on us—a twisting fog tainted green, illuminated and glowing from somewhere within. We stopped our games to listen and heard our parents screaming. A writhing tempest obscuring twilight breezes with hot, acrid stench filled our familiar suburban streets. There was no running. We were already home with nowhere to go on a school night. Helpless, stunned and overwhelmed, we joined our parents without protest.

Vile Nights
Lee Andrew Forman

As the light of day begins to hide below the horizon, its final glow casts fleeting…

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The Castrato’s Parade

Pen of the Damned

The eunuchs parade for rights, today. Legions of dour men marching in clipped unison on a cold November afternoon with neither bands nor majorettes, nor clowns in little wagons. Their leader is out in front astride a white ox.

You turn to me, a question in your eyes, but I put a finger on your lips. Silently, we watch them proceed down Broadway until they diminish from view. Onlookers unify in a mighty sigh and return to go about their business.

Later we discuss this in bed, my arms embracing your shoulders, your legs twined in mine.

“Was it to make a statement, to gain recognition, acceptance?”

“I suppose it was,” I reply. “We started all this, didn’t we, Flora, decades ago? Why do you frown?”

“I guess they expect equal rights, too. It won’t happen in our lifetime, love!” I say, pulling your hands to encircle my breasts. We…

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The Change

My latest piece of flash fiction, ‘The Change’ is now up on Pen of the Damned!

Pen of the Damned

One arm lay in a pool of blood. My blood. The other grasps for it, reaches with needing fingers. They want to keep what is part of them. Part of me.

I know I’m in shock. The ping in my ears and lack of pain brings a strange clarity. Time slows. I see the carnage around me and watch, not in awe or disgust, but indifference. With calm I walk to the first person I see and beat him to death with my own severed arm. I whip his bruising face with the bloodied stump. I shove my radial bone down his throat and break his ribs with my boots.

I know I’ll bleed out if I don’t do something. That knowledge sits at the forefront of my mind, but emotion refuses to connect, urgency has been halted by whatever has changed inside. I know things weren’t always this way…

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A Rash of Karens

Pen of the Damned

“You should have your nametag in clear view where we can see it. “

Captain Rick untucked his nametag knowingly. He understood that this type of passenger liked to collect names for complaints. The fan on the airboat was not quite loud enough to cover the women’s conversation, which was an obnoxious combination of denigration of the local culture and denigration of him.

To drown them out—and the idea of drowning them was appealing—Captain Rick began his speech. As he discussed his native Florida, the women continued to speak to each other, acting as if his words did not matter. As if he did not matter.

These two were absolutely perfect.

As he knew his speech by rote, he was able to observe the invasive species in front of him. Both women were wearing dresses and shoes that were impractical and incompatible with an airboat ride. Their arms were…

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RELEASE: As Fast as She Can, by E.F. Schraeder | #Horror #DarkFiction #Book #BookRelease @Sirens_Call

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce its latest release…

As Fast as She Can 

by E.F. Schraeder

NEW_PROMO_E.F.Schraeder_AsFastAsSheCan_Final_FrontCover

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like the other girls.

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?

With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers, Ginger has nowhere to turn.

As Fast as She Can is currently available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR — The author of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021) and other works, E.F. Schraeder usually writes about not quite real worlds.  Schraeder is also an avid gardener and hot pepper enthusiast who believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs. Say hello online at efschraeder.com.

EFSchraeder_AsFastAsSheCan_Headshot_HatOnly

Funny Creepy Ginger, by E.F. Schraeder – author of As Fast as She Can | #Horror #DarkFiction #Book #Creepy @Sirens_Call

The Sirens Song

Funny Creepy Ginger

by E.F. Schraeder

Like any book that ends up in the hands of readers (thank you!), As Fast as She Can went through many iterations and is the loving product of many people’s unique contributions. From late night conversations about the characters and storyline, cover design work, to hours of edits and revisions, a lot of wonderful folks influence the eventual final product. But while working on Fast, one of the characters themselves played a role in the outcome, too.

I usually begin stories with at least two things: a general plot outline and main character bios. Those basic sketches aren’t rules, but they give me a baseline to work with while I start writing. Sometimes when you’re working on a project you get lucky and write a character who develop quirks and a mind of their own— that kind of character voice can inform the…

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As Fast as She Can, by E.F. Schraeder | #DarkFiction #Horror #Book @Sirens_Call

Spreading the Writer's Word

As fast as She Can

by E.F. Schraeder

NEW_PROMO_E.F.Schraeder_AsFastAsSheCan_Final_FrontCover

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like the other girls.

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?

With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers, Ginger has nowhere to turn.

As Fast as She Can is currently available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

line_separator

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — The author of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021) and other works, E.F. Schraeder usually writes about not quite real worlds.  Schraeder is also an avid gardener and hot pepper enthusiast who believes in ghosts…

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‘Fairy Tales with Teeth’ by E.F. Schraeder, #author of As Fast as She Can | #horror #DarkFiction #Book @Sirens_Call

Glor's World

Fairy Tales with Teeth

by E.F. Schraeder

Strange parents that a child doesn’t quite trust. A peaceful but isolated setting. A neat-as-a-pin little cottage tucked into the trees where things aren’t quite what they appear to be. A hidden truth that someone must face, even as it slices through their most basic assumptions. As a coming of age tale of transformation, there’s a familiar, fairy tale feeling about some of those starting points, but to me Ginger’s story isn’t exactly a fairy tale.

The backdrop of Ginger’s story begins with a blunt edge of violence in the aftermath of a rampage— the rampage of a girl who felt betrayed by those she thought she could trust. Not all stories hint at optimistic, happy ever afters, but the main sleeping giant in AsFast as She Can is the fury that gets unlocked when Ginger realizes how powerful she really…

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A Girl in the Woods, by E.F. Schraeder – author of As Fast as She Can | #Horror #DarkFiction #Book @Sirens_Call

The Sirens Song

A Girl in the Woods

by E.F. Schraeder

Occult activities. Abductions. Random acts of violence. Serial murderers. Coven meetings. The occasional werewolf rampage. A lot of terrifying stuff seems to happen to the folks populating horror stories when they head into the wilderness.

But I have a real fondness for forests. Getting to be outside, deep in the woods and surrounded by nature? That doesn’t scare me. Heck, one of my favorite destinations has always been the middle of nowhere. So put on some comfortable sneakers, because I’d like to invite you to take a walk through the places that inspired the setting for As Fast As She Can.

I was lucky enough as a kid to live along the edge of a nice sized patch of woods, and I spent a lot of my childhood wandering through a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. Ever since, the soft…

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RELEASE: As Fast as She Can by E.F. Shraeder | #DarkFiction #Horror

Sirens Call Publications just released a new novella!

As Fast as She Can

E.F. Schraeder

Rotten Parents

by E.F. Schraeder

Readers meet Ginger, the main character in my latest book As Fast as She Can in the middle of a big, bloody mess. A family mess. There is trouble all around her, and when she takes off it’s hard to blame her because readers will learn early on that she hasn’t had the best of luck in her short life. And that luck doesn’t seem to be getting better, even though she thought things were getting better after finally being adopted by a couple who seemed nice enough on the surface…

In Fast, Ginger, realizes those doting, too-sweet parents aren’t anything like what they seem to be on the outside. In fact, she worries her parents are quite possibly the worst thing that ever happened to her. They are not only way too picky and nosy about her personal life, who-knows-how-old, and sometimes kind of gross, they are potentially dangerous, deadly, and terrifying.

Turns out Ginger’s happy ever-after-ending has not been happy at all. While Ginger’s situation creates a lot of paperwork for a certain social worker, it also means Ginger has a lot of work to do on her own. Like anyone, Ginger has deep-seated wounds from some of those experiences, but they aren’t on center stage when readers meet up with her. Ginger is preoccupied with figuring out who she wants to be, with or without her adoptive parents’ help. Ginger doesn’t trust the people around her who promised to care for her. Once you find out what they’ve been up to, maybe there’s only one question to ask: who would?

Runaway. Rebel. Monster. 

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like
the other girls. 

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?


With a violent, growing hunger, and more questions than answers, Ginger finds herself running out of options with nowhere to turn.

About the Author

The author of Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021)
and other works, E.F. Schraeder usually writes about not quite real
worlds.  Schraeder is also an avid gardener and hot pepper enthusiast
who believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs. Say hello online at
efschraeder.com

Get it on Amazon!

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands