There are two things I have to tell you:
1. You look very nice today. Is that a new sweater?
2. In a desperate bid for relevancy in this cold and empty void, I'm putting out an anthology of horror, weird tale, creepy romance stories, and other odd things.
I Felt Their Teeth in My Bones is coming to your Kindle later this month. At 43k words, this collection features nineteen stories written between 2009 and 2015, and is everything of mine worth collecting. Everything that I felt was worth collecting, anyway. You may not agree, and that’s quite alright. Most of what you see has been previously published, be it online or in print, in various original horror and weird tale anthologies. Some stories have never been published.
What kinds of stories do you have to look forward to? Glad you asked. I tried to make sure there was a little something for everyone.
Are you a romantic? Try At the Heart of Mina Jones or Molly’s Entropy. Looking for something a little more uplifting? The Dollhouse or In Case of Armageddon might suit you. People in search of the strange may get a kick out of The Aquarium, Harold’s Girl, or A Fresh, Clean Soul. And, of course, we begin with The Drain, a story about an octopus. Because octopuses are rad as hell, and that’s all you need to know about that.
Interested? I hope so. If not, have an excerpt for The Aquarium, a queer horror romance story about sea monsters:
It would be three days before Lily saw the shadows again, curling from behind the bedroom door in broad black arms. She paid them no mind at first. Blamed it on an overactive imagination or bad late-night television and willed herself to sleep, face buried in her pillowcase with a determined sigh. Instead of finding sleep behind closed eyes, Lily's mind conjured visions of black water and firework starbursts. The creak of the bedroom door – old hinges, she assured herself – gave her goose-flesh and she sucked in a breath between her teeth. She blamed that on the television, too. Perhaps she should be more like her mother and only watch the news. Her mother would like that.
Tendrils crept around her bedroom walls. With the slow, sticky sound of wet flesh the octopus’s arms wound down her bedposts in languid stop-motion to drop, drip, winding out across the floor beneath her bed-frame and slipping beneath her sheets. They curled to touch her toes, greedy suction cups biting into the bottoms of her feet, curling around her ankles as they slithered up her calves, wet and cold and alive. Each arm had its own mind, slow, determined, like the touch of the lover she did not have. Lily gasped.
Not your speed? Try Speak, the most recent story in the anthology, and one of the more disturbing entries:
You wake up in a cell. You don’t know how long you’ve been here. All you know is that you’re here now.
The space is small, damp, and gray. Every inch of your body hurts when you try to move, sitting up from your sprawl on the cold concrete. There is a bed against the farthest wall; the metal frame is warped and the mattress is flimsy. You were dropped on the floor instead. There are no windows here, only a fluorescent ceiling fixture with a dingy plastic dome and a switch you can’t reach. The insects that slipped between the ceiling and the plastic lip flutter, their beating wings like raindrops. It takes a while to notice this when your brain feels like it’s wrapped in cotton.
There is a door. It’s heavy, made of steel. You crawl to it, on all fours like an animal with the way your body aches. You pound on it. It doesn’t budge.
Eventually, you notice the person on the floor across from you. The person looks like a man, looks like an adult, and looks like he’s dead. He’s face down on the concrete just as you were when you awoke. His legs are limp and his fingers are curled in. His eyes are open and clouded. You flinch away from him at first, the light above making you blind before your vision settles. Once your pulse slows, you creep toward him to shake his shoulder. He never moves, something swimming behind his washed-out eyes.
You flinch for a second time. There’s a speaker in the corner above the bed. It’s old and rattles in its battered metal casement when the voice grinds out again, “Speak.”
You ask them what they want.
“Tell us your secrets.”
So, there you have it. Expect to see I Felt Their Teeth in My Bones coming soon to a Kindle near you.