A great review now up at Shock Totem for CELLAR DOOR, edited by Shawna L Bernard and including a bunch of wonderful poems, stories and artwork from a talented array of authors and artists. I’m proud that my story “Pressed Flower Memories” and poem “Beneath Yellow Roses” are part of this amazing anthology.
Released today by Stupefying Stories Presents, and including my story BLOOD AND WATER.
Edited by Bruce Bethke, with stories by -
Holly A Cave
L Joseph Shosty
Now available in Kindle format! Here’s the link:
In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a bit of Samhain flash fiction… Trick or Treat!
The Best Costume Ever
by Rose Blackthorn
I watch them as they cross the street, caroling, gamboling, some almost cart-wheeling in their excitement. They are a joy to behold in all their many costumes. There are witches and ninjas, cowboys and furry blue monsters. There are princesses and hobos, a lady bug, a clown. There are babies in strollers disguised as a pea in a pod, or there, a bumblebee.
The decorations on the houses are an invitation, letting these little masqueraders know which to approach. Tissue paper ghosts hang from trees, plastic jack-o-lanterns glow, and molded zombies push their way up from beneath piles of dead leaves.
“Come on, hurry!” Daisy says beside me, hidden beneath the bushes. “All the good candy will be gone!”
I won’t be rushed. I’ve been looking forward to this night all year, and I’m going to have the very best costume ever.
There, rushing past my hiding place, is a group of children. They are all of an age, perhaps ten years old. One is a pirate, black greasepaint on his cheeks to pretend beard stubble, and a black patch perched over one eye. Another wears a red and blue body suit, a large black spider on the chest – he is a superhero. I’ve seen them before, but I’m not impressed. Here’s a girl in a sparkly dress and shoes, a wand held in one hand, spangled wings strapped to her back.
“Billy, we’re running out of time!” Daisy hisses, poking me in the side with one bony finger.
“Shut up,” I whisper back, watching the last of the group approach the nearest house. He’s smaller than the other boys, dressed in a satin vest over a dazzling white shirt. Real leather shoes, shined by someone who knows how, peek out from beneath freshly ironed slacks. He wears a black cape, thrown back with pizzazz to show the scarlet lining. His black top hat is a little too big, but still dapper. A tiny fake mustache has been glued to his upper lip, and he carries a stuffed white rabbit under one arm. A magician, yes he is. Seeing him is like magic.
“Billy!” Daisy whispers, poking me again, but I ignore her.
“Trick or treat!” the children yell, holding out bags and baskets when a woman answers the door. She oohs and aahs over their costumes, handing out her dole of candy. The first three children quickly head to the next house on the block, but the magician is saying thank you for the candy.
“Shut up,” I say to Daisy, wiggling out from under the bush. When the magician leaves the house, cutting across the lawn to catch up to his friends, I’m right behind him. In the shadows of the nearly leafless trees, I reach out to touch his hand, snatching at his sleeve like a stray breeze.
We make it home just as the big clock in town chimes midnight. Mother oohs and aahs over our costumes, and Father laughs when he sees mine.
“Magic, huh?” he says, scratching a cracked yellowed nail along his bony chin. “Where did you find it?”
“Over on Sycamore,” I say, turning so he can see the whole outfit. The black and scarlet cape swirls, the shined leather shoes gleam, and the boy’s pale skin glimmers in the moonlight. He was a small boy, and it’s a tight fit, but I’m proud of this year’s costume.
“Alright, children,” Mother chimes, “Time to put your costumes away.”
“But Mom!” Daisy complains, letting Mother help her out of her costume with a pout. “Halloween only comes once a year!”
“Yes, I know dear,” Mother says, laying the blond girl’s skin, dressed in a ballerina’s leotard and tutu, across the nearest headstone. “But it will be Halloween again before you know it.” She’s smiling, though it’s hard to tell; her lips rotted away long years ago.
Just released and available today – The Best of the Horror Society 2013, including my story “Black Bird”
Also available from Amazon:
Two 5-star reviews have been received on Amazon so far, but this one really made my day…
5 out of 5 stars Entertaining, imaginative collection Sept 28, 2013By V. TileyFormat:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
The beautiful cover art draws us in. Once inside we find an anthology based on a simple concept that can inspire both wonder and fear. What I love about this collection is the diversity of imagination. As a reader it took me back to discovering the limitless possibilities of dark fantasy when I stumbled upon the early tales of Ray Bradbury. There’s truly something in these pages for everyone. My personal favorite is Rose Blackthorn’s Pressed Flower Memories. Exquisitely creepy with fascinating secrets. But there are other gems as well among the poetry, art, flash fiction and short story offerings. Editor Shawna L. Bernard has done a superb job creating a sense of unity that compliments the freedom to create. The deeper I ventured the more I could imagine each author whispering their story to me. Looking forward to Volume 2.
CELLAR DOOR is free on Amazon in Kindle format for the rest of today (Sat, 9/28/13) so if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go do it now.
Coming in October from The Horror Society.
I am thrilled and honored to be included in such a stellar list of authors!
Table of Contents as follows:
FORWORD – Scott M. Goriscak
INTRODUCTION – Carson Buckingham
CEREMONY – William F. Nolan
TENDRILS NEVER LIE – Kevin A. Ranson
THE MASK – Lisamarie Lamb
LEMMINAID – Carson Buckingham
THE CENTRAL COAST – Jason V. Brock
WHITE HELL, WISCONSIN – Weldon Burge
VICTIMIZED – Richard Thomas
NORMAL IS RELATIVE – Dan Dillard
THE PROCEDURE – Doug Lamoreux
THE LITTLE CHURCH OF SAFE CROSSING – Joe McKinney
MADELEINE – Julianne Snow
IT HAS TEETH – Christian A. Larsen
MASQUERADE – Dave Jeffery
BLACK BIRD – Rose Blackthorn
ADJOINING ROOMS – Scott M. Goriscak
THE INSPIRATION & HORROR OF GEORGE & HUGH – Nicholas Grabowsky
THE CLOWN – Henry Snider
MOVING DAY – Mark Onspaugh
ELLEN – Lee Pletzers
DADDY – Aaron Warwick Dries
SOFT LIKE HER – Charles Colyott
VENUS – L.L. Soares
THE LUMINOUS VEIL – Ian Rogers
BEER AND WORMS – T.E. Grau
BLACK MARY – Mercedes M. Yardley
THE BOY IN THE ELEVATOR – Robert S. Wilson
WEIRD – Dean M. Drinkel
HOTTIES – Mort Castle
Information regarding purchase (links) will be provided when the anthology is released.
Now available from JWK Fiction,
CELLAR DOOR including my story “Riddles and Pressed-Flower Memories”, poem “Beneath Yellow Roses” and two photographs titled “Winter Wheel-line” and “Doorway”.
Currently in paperback from Amazon (soon to be available in Kindle):
Now available in Kindle format as well! Here’s the link: