Lonely Are the Dead Excerpt!

What follows is the first chapter of my upcoming novel “Lonely Are the Dead”. This is as different from anything else I’ve written as you could possibly get. The violence is mild, the vocabualry clean-well mostly clean-and far more a quiet form of horror. Keep in mind, this is from a second draft, and may change a little or lot when finally released later this year, but it will give you a good idea of the tone of the new work. I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any comments please feel free to leave them.  As per usual, this work is copyrighted by myself, and no excerpts are allowed without my concent. 

 

10169047_10202679157873197_933014438_n

 

My name is Eryle Harrigan, poet, madman, and a traveler of worlds. On October 31st  1899 I vanished from my cell at Bellevue Hospital in New York for the first of a multitude of times. This disappearance was as much a mystery to me at the time, as it was the rest of the world. When I reappeared that first time, I was in a small, weed ridden graveyard some miles away. I have no memory of how I got there, but I was without my clothing, shivering and confused. The caretaker, whose name I do not remember, spotted me huddled in the archway of a crumbling mausoleum. I can still hear the faint echo of his rough hewn voice, chipped away with too many cigarettes and gallons of cheap alcohol. In the darkness I could see the lantern heading closer to me, the flame whipping and threatening extinction with each hurried step he took.

I didn’t move, more from modesty than anything else. I waited until he was close enough for me to shield my eyes from the small but powerful glow of the metal contained light. He held it up in his left hand, a pistol pointed towards me in his right. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”  I tried to answer but couldn’t find my voice. More accurately it was as if I had forgotten how to speak. I certainly couldn’t remember my name, of that I am certain. “I asked you a question!”

I gave a small shrug and looked up, still unable to say anything. Though I had no feeling of sadness, I could sense a trail of tears running down my cheeks, pocketing little specks of the salty water in the corners of my closed mouth. “I’ll not ask you again.” The caretaker’s voice was low, threaded with menace.

Without knowing I was about to do so, I said, “Your accent…from Ireland?” This seemed to take him by surprise, and I couldn’t think to blame him. The last thing one would expect to hear when confronting an unclothed man crouching in a cemetery was a discussion of accents.  I could see his features relax a bit. The gun wielding hand lowered just a bit, and he nodded. “My Mother’s from Dublin. We emigrated ten years hence to New Foundland, then when my Father passed we moved here.”

I had no idea if what I had said was true, at least not then, but it took the caretaker further aback. “From Cork myself, just been here the past year and a few months give or take.” With that, he put the pistol in his pocket, and moved a bit closer. “Been drinking?”

I shook my head, and could feel shoulder length hair dance on the skin on my face. It felt brittle as the working end of a straw broom and smelled about the same. “Are you hurt?” he asked.

Once more I shook my head and added a “No, I’m not,” as well. The man sighed and scratched his temple, moving his cap up enough to show that whatever hair he may have had had taken upon itself to leave. “Well what the hell are you doing here, and without your damn clothes?”

“I don’t know.”

“Where’d you come from?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s your name?”

“I don’t know”

“What are you, mad?”

“I may well be.”

“Well you can’t stay here and freeze to death.” He set the lamp down, took his coat off, handed it to me and turned around. “Put that on and follow me, I’ve no interest in taking a gander at your manhood.”

That made me smile; I stood, put on the heavy coat lined with lamb’s wool , and walked briskly behind him across the length of the graveyard until we reached a wooden shack that seemed no bigger than an outhouse. He pulled a key from around his neck and used it to release a padlock on the door. I was ushered inside and was able to make out a table and two chairs. There was a book, some papers, as well as a plate with a half eaten chicken leg on the desk. A mug, half empty of a pungent mead scented liquid was to the left of the plate. “Sit,” he said.

I obeyed and sat on one of the rickety chairs which rocked a bit due to a weak leg. The custodian sat in the other chair, in front of the meal I obviously interrupted, reached down and brought up a bottle. He turned and grabbed another mug that had been sitting on a shelf, poured some liquor into the pewter mug and handed it to me. “This will help you warm up.”

I took a sip, grimaced, and coughed at the bitterness. “How did you know I was there?” I asked.

“I didn’t. I saw a flash of light and heard a loud noise. Went to see what it was and found you.”  He stared at me, even going so far as to lean in close enough I could smell his fetid breath. “You’re not the Devil are you?”

“If I were, I’d have dressed warmer,” I answered.  Against my better judgment I took another sip, managed not to cough, but still grimaced, and set the mug down on the table.

“Do you remember anything?”

I closed my eyes. I furrowed my brow with deep thought but for the life of me remembered nothing. It was a blank slate. Nothing but emptiness…no, not emptiness, but an absence of anything. Emptiness would have entailed that my mind was full at some point.  “No. No, I don’t.” Another slight trickle of tears.

“Here now, not to worry, we’ll get this all sorted. Perhaps you were hit on the head in a robbery and your clothes taken.” He said this with such conviction and surety I almost believed him.

I knew better though. I wasn’t sure why, simply that I knew he was wrong. It was something much darker and malevolent.

There was a period of silence, and I could see the wheels turning in the keeper’s head. He wanted to do something. To help, I surmised, but neither of us knew what form that would take. “I need to take a walk around the grounds. You should probably stay here, will you be okay?”

“I believe so.”

“I’d say t’hell with it, but with it being Halloween and kids what they are…” his voice trailed off. The apologetic inflection of his words unmistakable. I also think he really wanted to be away from me as well. My appearance, lack of memory and inability to provide him any information had started to fill him with a slowly dawning dread. I could see the sweat beading on his upper lip. The slight shake to his hand as he lit a spare lantern to leave with me. The way he carefully avoided touching even by accident was as subtle as thunderstorm.  “Shouldn’t be more than half of an hour,” he said, before opening the door to the outside world. Once I was shut in I heard the snap of the padlock, letting me know I wasn’t going anywhere even if I wanted to.

I turned the screw on the lantern to enlarge the flame a bit and looked at the book on the table. I reached out and pulled it across the table closer to me and looked at the cover. The dark green cloth felt warm to the touch. The gold colored imprinting on it was too faded to read, but I didn’t need to.

I knew the book was mine. I don’t mean to imply I owned the book, I mean to say, I had written the book. I traced my finger along the spine, and the lettering lit with a deep magma color. I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes. There was a smell of smoke, but not from the lantern. This was something deeper, and far earthier than an oil soaked wick could ever hope to produce.  I place my hand palm down on the cover, and even with my eyes closed could sense the room lighting up. I pressed my hand down, feeling a surge of something electrical start to course through my body. I felt aroused, though not in a carnal nature.

I felt alive in a way I’ve never felt before or since. Opening my eyes, I looked down, the book’s cover flying open, throwing my hand off it violently, the way an unwilling wild horse will buck a rider off. The pages began to flip as if a massive wind were ripping through them. Back and forth they went, an unseen hand desperately trying to find something contained within. I placed both a hand on each side of the book, feeling a magnetic pull drawing me to the pages. I tried to resist and the more I did, the stronger it got. My head moved closer, visions of things I couldn’t begin to comprehend, swam in my consciousness. I could smell the nearby graves. Worse, I could smell the inhabitants of those graves. Some nothing but bones and rags, others recently departed and smelling of rotting flesh. A scream tried to escape my throat, but was denied. The tip of my nose was now in the crease of the book, pages on each side slapping me on each cheek, leaving superficial cuts. As blood from the wounds trickled down and dripped onto the tome, the pull became impossible to resist. The room around me disappeared, as did the book. There was nothing but the sensation of free falling and the horror of knowing I would never land.

 

A Bittersweet Moment

Today was a day of bittersweet moments.  The official cover for Fossil Lake, which includes my story, “The Day Lloyd Campbell’s Mama Came to Town”, was released. Take a gander below for a look:

1528719_436454379816199_518697673_n

 

I also found out that the publisher of Fossil Lake, Janrae Frank passed away.

It’s hard to believe she’s gone to the land of the eternal, and no doubt, scribbling away at her next novel.  Not even death can slow her pen dipped in equal parts acid and love.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have known Janrae for six years or so. When I started writing again, she was one of the first people I met online, and she struck a very imposing figure. Those who know me well, know that my first published piece was a poem entitled, “Forgotten Son”, from the now out of print poetry anthology,  “Death In Common”.  And though that tomes final resting place was with another publisher, I learned a lot from her and the experience. Some good, and some…not so good. We had a falling out which instigated a couple of years of silence between us. However, I always read her comments on other blogs and forums, and never really lost my respect for her as a person and as a writer. Anything positive I was able to do with Bandersnatch Books was due to her and a couple of others. Its failings were all my own, and my unwillingness to heed her advice.

I am glad to say that over the past few months we were able to mend fences, and became friends again. I’m not always easy to get along with, yet Janrae, to her credit, never let me get in the way of friendship. I could go on, but would rather direct you to a post written by her daughter and daughter in-law, which says far more eloquently, everything you could want to know about this larger than life woman. http://www.daverana.com/blog/2014-01-13/janrae-frank

You’ll be missed ole Cuss, but you’ll never be forgotten.

 

“Fossil Lake” will be released on 1/15/2014

How To Be A Professional The Pacione Way!

ZomboDroid12082013030716

In a response to something I posted on his blog, La Femme Nikita responded with this:

I am not a liar or a fraud. I just don’t publish the faggot nor will I read works from the faggot. I strongly make this suggestion, please refrain from trying to stop people from submitting to my anthologies. It is not professional.

The first thing to notice is his use of faggot twice. Nothing screams professional more than slurs about someone’s sexual orientation.  What else makes someone a professional according to Nickolaus Ablert Pacione? Let’s take a look at just a few things.

First, let’s establish that he’s been a “professional” for a very long time. I’ll go back to a blog entry I wrote on 12/3/08. That’s right, six years ago. That was when he talked about taking a shit on the grave of late writer Joe McGee, a man who in death still has more talent than Nikita ever will.  His response to myself and others in the comments, calling him on it reeks of…well, something.

Melany — I hope you have a miserable social life, well as a matter of fact you can’t hang onto a boyfriend longer than six months after you left me. And yes I am getting published in more places, just I haven’t finished writing new material to send off but should be finishing off I.O.W.A. That anti-abortion yarn that someone pirated the shit out of on AutoLame.org.
You really need to shut your mouth more often because you’re revealing too much of someone’s personal life. You’re just a coat-tail rider as much as this Scott faggot is. Your mother dying is the best day in my life. I wanted to throw a dance on her grave party. As you assholes attempted to do with my publishing company but you sadly failed to see that happen. I already been published a few times within the year but the print appearance is long overdue. Getting published on (link deleted) helped me a little bit.

And a little bit down he adds:

Nah I just got done pissing in your dead boyfriends urn.

Being a professional also entails being banned from several, websites and forums, not just once but over and over again (Goodreads three times and the yuku forums twice); having more blogs closed due to hate speech than I can count; consistently referring to women as bitches and cunts, threatening people with violence (in spite of running away like a little girl when confronted); challenging writers to fist fights-the list goes on ad infinitum.

And the last thing I’ll touch on is his new submission call. A true professional will put it up on Tumblr (because everywhere else doesn’t want his crap there), single space it in the tiniest font possible, and then not even put an email address to send a submission.

If all of that is professional, but warning people away from that behavior in a so-called publisher is unprofessional, I’ll be proud to be wear the mantlle of unprofessional any day.

5 Movies That Inspired Me

One of the great things about being a creative type is the ability to take inspiration from pretty much everything. From music to paintings to movies, all of it can be an inspiration. In the first of an ongoing series, here are my five horror movies that have inspired me. Just as a sidenote, these aren’t necessarily my favorite movies, but had the most impact.

1. Horrors of the Black Museum

1013264_10200227120268454_2062324564_n

One of the first movies I remember seeing, what sticks out (no pun intended) was an early scene in which this poor woman picks up a pair of binoculars only to have her eyes pierced by spikes hidden within.  While tame by today’s standards, this 1959 release was shocking and visceral to me. I was very young when I saw this (less than 10) and more than 35 years later it still remains one of the most horrifying scenes in my memory. The problem is, it was so well done, I don’t remember anything else about the movie!

2. Jaws

jaws_HD_01

I was 10 years old the summer this came out and at my one and only times at Camp (Camp LaSalle – a military academy in Oakdale NY, though there was little of the military aspect, just your basic camp activities). I remember everyone talking about having seen it, and how scary it was. I don’t remember when I actually saw it for the first time (probably on cable) but it wasn’t that summer.  What I do remember is in the opening scenes the head of a corpse that seems to pop out of nowhere.  I think it was the eyes of the corpse, white and blind and loose in their sockets that got me. There are of course many other memorable scenes in Jaws, but that one image also has stuck with me-and started my lifelong hatred for jump scares.

3. Carrie 

carrie2

The above picture says it all. Nearly 40 (40! holy shit!) years later, this still scares me silly, and I’ve seen it more times than I can count. While it may not have aged well, it still packs a punch, and Sissy Spacek gave one of horror’s best performances ever recorded.  The killing of the pigs, the buckets of blood, the carnage and mayhem. Horror at its finest.

4.Hellraiser

Frank-from-Hellraiser-by-MRF-horror-movies-30891616-852-464

Hellraiser happens to be one of the crossovers of inspiring me and being one of my all time favorite movies (horror and others). The way Clive Barker was able to weave a tale of love, sex, obsession, death and rebirth is still nothing short of amazing. I remember seeing this with a friend who had no interest in horror at all (but being a good friend he still went with me) and the still above was the scene that made him walk out. I of course stayed, and made him wait until it was over and I still don’t think he’s ever forgiven me for that.

5. John Carpenter’s The Thing

the-thing_2

There’s not much I can say with this one. Perhaps the pinnacle of ’80s horror, The Thing was so intense and edge of your seat, pants shitting scary, I spilled all my popcorn and soda. Even 31 years later, the make up effects and puppets haven’t been surpassed. The scene where the petri dishes with blood samples are being tested is still so terrifying, I’m amazed I haven’t had a heart attack yet. Fantastic performances, monsters, and a great ambiguous ending makes The Thing stand the test of time.

If there’s one thing all these movies have in common is the idea that anything can happen at anytime and no one is safe.

No one.

Fandom Weirdness Part the Third

After nursing a beer for hours, Karen is trapped in a decades old car on the way to somewhere. Seriously, that’s where we’re at (and only took about 3K words to get there).

        “Jesus I think I heard of this.  The author who nearly published Kane dropped him because he criticized gay horror.

That must be it, and not say, due to being a writer as bad as Nikita.

She was staring into the darkness at this point, and in her mind were bugbears that were dark, surreal and wandered within her emotions.

So which is it her mind or emotions where the bugbears were running amok. No wonder she was staring into the darkness.

 They became infamous for the bullying they would do to self released authors

What have they got against authors who self release? It’s a part of being human! For Nick, it’s the only sex life he has. What? Self publishing? Ohhhhhh, never mind.

The diner was named for a publisher of razorwire fiction named Misty Bobe,

What diner isn’t named after a publisher? None? I thought so.Some definite Oedipublisher issues.

.  It had a lot of stone gargoyles and the atmosphere was that of a Horace Wapole novel

More name dropping instead of description! Drink!

.   Misty Bobe opened the diner to finance her magazine.

So she named it after herself? Could have said that in the first place. Oh, I forget that would actually make sense.

        “We’re here. This is where I get my inspirations for Real Weird

I guess pulling in, parking, getting out of the car and going in wasn’t hint enough they were there.

         “It looks like it was decorated by R.L. Stine,” she added.

Here we go again. For fucks sake man, is it Horace Wapole or R.L. Stine? Pick one, would ya?

from writers who like to scare people in the vein of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare,” Michael laughed as they entered the diner.

You’re not even trying now. Lazy is as lazy does.

        “I will give you a booth. Will that be smoking or non-smoking?” the waitress greeted them.

Is this a door prize? I’d prefer a non smoking booth, it lessens the chance of my ass catching fire.

She kept thinking she was stepping into the works of A.J. Poe and Nicholas Kane of they were co-writing a story together

Nope, just the deluded mind of a short, fat, closeted troll.

where ghosts of abortions torment a doctor after he finds God.

Because ghosts keep up on things like that.

“This place, it reminds me of the imaginations of the bloody pulps,” she inquires to the waitress.

Yes we know, you’ve mentioned it enough in half a page. Get on with the story.

 Karen was whistling the theme from R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps because she was getting the creeps from the atmosphere of the diner.

Lazy, unimaginative fucker.

        “So you know the nightmares that are within different fandoms then,” Karen relates as she looks at the copy of the fanzine.

Where’d he pull the fanzine from? His butt, like the rest of this drek?

        “They would harass Evangelical Christian writers.  They created pages about them and accuse them of monstrous things.  Then would try to fuck them out of publications,” he added.

Literally fuck them out of publications? Were they fornicating on a stack of Playboy?

One blogger called him a retard and he challenged this blogger to a fist fight,” Michael added as he was explaining the things he considered for the fanzine.

Retard was being kind. Very, very kind.

        “I think I heard about that, some editor who rejected one of his short stories calling it a work of fan fiction when it was Lovecraftian Horror,”

He probably meant it was crap. Again, being kind.

The author sent some angry e-mails to him and suggested he died of AIDS,” Karen responded.

Pretty sure the death certificate would list cause of death. And why would you send a dead man an email telling him what he may have died from? What? typo? There are those top notch editing skills.

        “The industry has its horror stories then,” Karen replied.

Of which Pacione is only one, sadly.

 “I noticed you have a weird fiction fanzine.  Mind of I take a look at it?” the waitress asked as she offered the check.

The dialog is breathtaking. Please take my breath away so I don’t have to read any more.

 “He smashed an editor’s car with a sledgehammer charging $10 per hit,”

Can we just smash him for free? It would certainly improve the value of the neighborhood.

“He did even more notorious things.  He took a massive shit on a rival editor’s photograph and uploaded the aftermath.  S.E. Cox

leaked one of his rejected stories

I know I feel like I’m reading massive shit.

Though we leave the fair Karen in a diner, fear not her fate will be determined in tomorrow’s exciting (doubtful) conclusion!

Some Changes

Some of you may notice that I have some headers now. I decided to import all of the posts from my other blogs and roll them into this one.  Some are good, some aren’t and may get cut. With the reemergence of a certain troll, I wanted all of it in one place. Plus there are some cool pieces about things I have an interest in. While much is old news, I like to have it archived and will slowly go through it all and redo the tags. I hope some of it may be of interest to you.

Also, I received another 5 star review on Amazon, so check it out!  http://www.amazon.com/review/R1BDZWP60TZMFE/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00BBMGXMK&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text

Fandom Weirdness Critique Part Deux (deux deux more like it)

When last we left our noble heroine Karen Hintz,  she was being propositioned by a sexually confused Mary Sue. Let’s peek in and see what happens next! I’m sure it will be uber darkity dark!

        “I don’t mind having a beer.”

That’s pretty much a necessity for everyone. Drink up! I’ll wait.

 “Have you ever experienced Déjà vu?” Michael asked as he cracked the top of the beer bottle.

Every time I read Peaches work I do. And aren’t there better ways of opening a bottle than cracking it? Seems a bit…dangerous.

It was a few hours later when Michael finished his beer and smoked his last cigarette.

A few hours for one beer?!? Lightweight.

“I am going to a diner to get something to eat. You are welcomed to join me.”

First beer, now dinner. The phrase wine me, dine me, 69 me comes to mind. I wish it hadn’t.

   In her mind it was a dark surreal imagination of what she would do with an actor she worshipped thinking what kind of nightmare she could dream up – it was a surreal place that is fandom and the writers like A.J. Poe who would get pissed when he sees his characters into situations that are truly bastardized

I’ve read directions on how to assemble IKEA furniture that made more sense. I mean seriously, what does this mean? I wonder if he had a stroke (not THAT kind you naughty minded people) while writing this?

 They walked over to Michael’s 1980 Cutlass Supreme and drove somewhere to grab a bite.

I’ve been to somewhere, they make a great apple pie. Also, a damn fine cup of coffee.

Michael spoke that the world of fandom is a weird, dark place where stalkers would lift the concepts and plots of original horror writers and do unauthorized stories based on the storylines of the original tale.

Exactly what the closeted Pacione does, though he writes it so incoherently you would never guess everything he’s done has ripped off the best writers around.

“They actually put a curse on the original author because they caught them stealing his concepts and title for a story similar and making the character he created into something they are not,”

I would think having to read this is curse enough. Or enough to make you curse, one or the other.

“Jesus, I think I heard of this blogger.  He is part of the circle that would lift the author’s characters to pick on his work,” she responded

Even worse, part of that circle that repeats the same thoughts and phrases to pad a word count.

        “The horror community wanted to draw and quarter him because he wrote that one.  It caused shit storm among the horror circles, the mass market counterparts would edit his comments to make him look like a homosexual fan fiction writer of sit-com fandoms,” he continued as he drove.

Mary Sue has a far higher opinion of herself than anyone else does, including family.

        “They wanted to draw and quarter him with semi-trucks

Yeah, I saw The Hitcher too. Great movie. I should watch that instead.

        “The horror stories of the small press wander around all the time

Much like the Island of Lost Toys, these lonely, abandoned stories wandering around. At least they’re safe from Pacione’s greasy mitts there.

 “He was a writer who voiced a hard line view in the industry.  A writer of all male romance take on horror

Also Nick’s favorite subject, fancy that.

People on a site called Somethingawful.com would lift him and write fan fiction passing him off as a flaming homosexual,”

I think he does a pretty good job of that himself.

 

And now we leave our heroine stuck in a 33 year old car with a stroke victim who can’t close the deal as his homosexuality emerges. Maybe something exciting will happen in Part III. Something, anything. Please.