Monday, December 26, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--Denu and the Wolves

   Neron and Onera made their abode on Onerae and repopulated it with creatures. They gave the island a spring that produced a cleansing water, to purify the memory of the horrors that had befallen the island. They called the spring Nyr for it was restorative.
   “Now let us make one like us,” said Onera. “Like me.”
   “Like you?” said Neron.
   “Yes, but new. I will sculpt his features and design for him a unique countenance and he shall be named Denu,” said Onera.
   So Neron created a man upon his wheel and Onera designed that he should be handsome and unique from all other creatures, though he bore the form of Neron and Onera and Nomra. Onera bade Ariaj give Denu eyes of Light, so Ariaj brought down stars from the sky and set them in the new man’s skull. Onera wished for Denu to have the voice of the birds, so Neron formed vocal chords like those of the birds but stronger and more magnificent and put them into the new man’s throat.
   “Now bid him rise,” said Onera.
   So Denu rose and his eyes were powerful and his voice was beautiful and Onera loved him. But Neron was not pleased. He did not like that Onera spent most of her time with the creature who bore their likeness.
   One day Nemrus came to Neron with the bloody corpse of a hart.
   “Something has come from the dark and slays my creatures,” said Nemrus. “A strange creature unlike the others you have formed.”
   “How can this be?” said Neron. “None of my creatures would kill another.”
   He knew not that Nomra had at last learned to form shadow creatures in the depths of the Darkness of earth. She had found forms there in the gloom, some she could awake with the fire of Phiron, who often accompanied her in the deep places she created. Others, she formed herself from the darkness of dreams, but they could not be awakened by any light brought into the shadows.
“I will make a new light,” said Nomra. “One for the dark.” She formed crystals into a globe and put into it fallen stars and brightness captured from the Light that shone by day. With this light she brought life to her dreams. Some of these dreams escaped through the cleft and came to the forests of Nemrus, where they destroyed his creatures.
   Neron sent Denu to find the killer, hoping to keep him away from Onera. But Onera followed Denu and together they searched for the killer. Onera knew only one other who had killed before and she was afraid of what this new creature meant.
   “Fear not,” said Denu, “no dark thing can harm you whilst I am with you.”
   “Nomra did not use dark things to kill me,” Onera replied.
   At last they found the killers, for there were many, and they feasted on one of Nemrus’s elk. Denu called to the killers in his magnificent voice and the killers were startled. They turned to run, but stopped, for the voice of Denu was enticing. They tried to answer him; they tried to repeat his strange and elegant call.
   “Feast no more upon the innocent,” Denu told the killers.
   The leader of the killers, the first-formed, replied, “It is our nature, our intrinsic purpose. We are Dark and must kill the Light.”
   “Light and Dark are both in all,” Denu said. “Light makes the Dark come to life.” And he settled his eyes upon them. These were eyes of Light, the power of creation, and the shadow killers became flesh and blood. The killers could now be killed. And Denu called them wolves. The wolves, fearing death, fled back to Nomra in her underworld. Eventually, they slunk back out at night to continue hunting. And Nemrus hunted them in the forest with the first bow and arrow.

   Denu secretly admired the wolves and sang to them at night and they answered. Neron heard these songs in the night and mistrusted Denu the more for it. He strictly forbade Onera from keeping company with him but she met him secretly in the deserts where abided the strange life Onera had designed. Denu sang her the first songs and with his voice and eyes of Light he could shape new sounds and realities.
   But Ariaj saw them there and told Neron.
Neron was wroth and went to find them in the desert, but Denu heard him coming and transformed himself and Onera into wolves. Neron could not find them, though he searched the whole of Oramon. Onera and Denu explored the desert and swamps in their new forms and settled awhile in the cold regions of mountains and lived like the wolves, even feasting upon the animals.
At last, Neron discovered what had been done to trick him, and with the aid of Nemrus, hunted them down from the mountains and across the plains toward the sea. Heavy with child, Onera was not fleet enough. They reached the shore of the sea with Neron and Nemrus close upon their trail.
   “Go on without me,” Onera told Denu. “My father will not harm me or the child, but I know not what his wrath may have kindled against you. It is almost time and I cannot swim thus.”
   So Denu dived into the sea, transforming into a dolphin, and vanished. Neron and Nemrus found Onera upon the sand, wracked with the pain of birth. As she brought forth seven children, she changed back into her old form.
   The seven children of Denu were like unto him, with starry eyes, but also bore the mark of the wolves, with fangs and claws and silky hair. They also bore resemblance to Onera, if only to her darker nature: the darkness of her shadow.
   Neron was horrified, but Onera loved them and named them Ner, Deru, Nom, Ee, Nerus, Nu, and Dena. She took them to Amalteron and raised them in the orchard of Nomra. Neron returned to Onera and Nemrus continued to hunt for Denu, but Denu hid in the sea with Triona, who liked to keep secrets.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--The Lost Shadow

   Where Nomra’s tears fell upon the earth, there rose the Seroi, the spirits of grief. They were quiet and settled heavily upon the shoulders of the mourners. At last, the mourners drifted away as night fell, each leaving a tear. The tears glistened around the bier of Onera, sparkling in the night. Only Neron would not leave the funeral, he could not bear to leave Onera there in the dark. The Seroi clustered around him and at last he fell asleep beside the body of his daughter.
   Ariaj carried Nomra to Onerae and they alighted silently near the bier. Nomra came and rested her hand upon the forehead of her daughter.
   “I am sorry,” she said. There was no light save the tears in the night. “Rise.”
   Onera opened her eyes.
   Nomra looked into the eyes of her daughter. There was no light within them. Neron woke as the sun rose and saw his daughter standing before him. She had no shadow and her eyes were lifeless.
   “What is this?” Neron asked. “What have you done?”
   “I have tried!” Nomra replied. “And I have failed. There is more to a being than the body and I do not know whence that part has departed. But I swear I will find it, Neron.”
   “You cannot make me love you again,” Neron said.
   “So be it,” said Nomra. “But I will undo what I have done.”
   Ariaj transformed into a giant raven and carried Nomra away. Neron fled from Onerae and the soulless body of Onera and hid himself in a secret ash grove. The body of Onera stayed on the island and no creature dared go near it.
   “We will search the air for her missing spirit,” Nomra said to Ariaj. She sent Triona to search the seas. She sent Phiron to enquire of the Lights in the heavens. They could find nothing.
At last Nomra asked Nemrus, “Have you seen the spirit of your sister?”
   “I watch all the earth and the animals thereof,” said Nemrus. “Onera’s shade passed by me in the night, in the dark it slipped past, she is gone now.”
   “Whence did she depart?” Nomra begged.
   “To a place where Light can never shine,” Nemrus said. “Her shadow has gone down into the earth. She is within Oramon. Beneath the soil and stone in the heart of Darkness. From Darkness she was formed and to Darkness she has returned.”
   “But her body lives!” said Nomra. “I will find her shadow and reunite it with her body. Where did she enter the earth?”
   “I will show you, but you will have to go into the Dark alone, I will not accompany you.”
Nemrus took her to a cleft in the stone far to the north where the mountains glistened always with ice. The cleft was Dark and into the Dark, Nomra stepped. It was a familiar embrace, the embrace of untold time and unknown place. She had slept in the Dark before Time, before Place, before Light.
   “This is a place of shadow,” said Nomra. “How will I find a shadow amongst shadow?”
   “With Fire,” said Phiron. He had followed her and Nemrus to the cleft and come after Nomra into the Dark. His radiance bloomed bright in the shapelessness and Nomra used his luminance to form them a glittering path into the belly of the world.
   Down they went, and on, but no sign of Onera’s shade could they spy.
   “Onera!” Nomra called. “Forgive me for my jealousy. I have wronged you and your father. Come to me that I may make it right.”
   “Mother,” came a voice from the Dark. “I forgive you, but I cannot come back with you.”
   “Why not?” Nomra asked.
   “Because this is the place where future people will come when they die and it is terrible.”
   “Then come with me, leave this place, leave the Dark!”
   “I must stay and make it a pleasant place. A new place of wonder, like the world above, the one that you made.”
   “Come back to the surface,” Nomra begged. “No one need ever die and come to this place. Come back, your father is heartbroken.”
   “Neron…” Onera said. “And Nemrus, Triona, Ariaj and Phiron.”
   “I am here,” Phiron said.
Onera’s shade emerged from the Dark, into Phiron’s light. Tears were on her face. “I’ve missed you so much,” said Onera, trying to embrace Nomra and Phiron, but she could not touch them, for she was only a shade.
   “Let us return to the Light,” Nomra said. “Your body is there.”
   Nemrus was waiting at the mouth of Darkness.
   “Something is wrong,” Nemrus said. “The deer tell me of distress in the forests afar. We must haste to Onerae. But when they came to Onerae, the body of Onera was gone and all of the animals upon the island were dead.
   “The body without spirit does terrible things,” Nomra said. “For so I was when I slew Onera.”
The sea monster had carried Onera’s body to the mainland and now she laid waste a path of death into the forests. Nemrus, Nomra and Onera’s shade followed the trail of lifeless animals and found the body at the base of an ash tree, where it was about to drink the life from Neron.

   “I am empty and seek to fill myself but nothing satisfies,” said the body.
   “We have brought your soul back to you,” Nomra said. “Do not take Neron’s!”
   “I cannot go back in,” Onera cried, “my body has been defiled.”
   “You must,” Nomra said. “Or Neron will be destroyed.”
   So Onera clave unto her body again and let Neron go.
Onera took on a sadness that had not been before. Neron did his best to bring light back to her eyes, and created more beings and creatures for her.

   Nomra no longer favored Amalteron. She spent much of her time in the cleft, upon the crystal path she had made to find Onera, exploring the dark places within Oramon, forming silver caves and rooms of glowing stone. Here she could be alone in a cold place, in the Dark, away from the world and her loved ones. 
   She saw them occasionally when they met upon Amalteron and they would tell her of the new things they had made. But Nomra was silent about her own creations and the things she found sleeping in the Dark. Neron and Onera had forgiven her, but she had not forgiven herself.

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Chirstmas Letter Gone Wrong

   Beware this Christmas season, that you don't let loose the Scrooge in you. We all have a little bit of him within us somewhere (right?). I love Christmas. I love the lights, the caorling, the warmth, the snow, and above all, the egg nog! However, when I sat down to write a Christmas letter...well, it came out...sort of, well, wrong.
   My letters do tend to come out rather sardonic. For some reason when I write a letter, my style dips into a kind of Lemony Snicket knock off drawl of sarcastic misfortune. And this attempt came out worse than usual...see below.

   Merry Christmas, you old goat.
   Sorry, I’m talking to myself. I’m the Grinch.
   I guess this is that annual letter where I brag about all of the amazing things I did and far off places I visited. Let’s put them in list form.
1.      I didn’t die.
2.      I didn’t kill anyone on accident.
3.      I didn’t kill anyone on purpose.
4.      I am still alive.
5.      I am not in prison.
6.      The world is still turning.
7.      I didn’t die or kill anyone.
   There. Does that cover it? I don’t really feel like sharing personal information with you just because it’s Christmas and you are distantly related to me. If you really must know, I had two books published this year. Yes, two, and if you didn’t know that already, and didn’t immediately purchase three copies of each, you don’t really deserve to get this letter, do you? It’s a gift.
   I visited the filthy streets of tourist-border-town-Mexico back in March. No, it’s not the Mediterranean. If I had the money to go there, I’d still be there and you wouldn’t be hearing from me.
My job ended due to my boss’s restlessness and desire to get out of here. An aspiration with which I have no sympathy. So I may find another job, or I may go into business myself next year, which is sure to be a financial disaster in which I die, kill people, and stop the world from turning, so you can hope diligently for that so as to escape next year’s letter. In the meantime, I will work on writing more books and so you had best start clearing your shelf space.
   This year, Christmas is bound to be delightful, what with the sister coming over and bringing her boyfriend and his children and brothers and assorted familial relations. How delightful to grin at people you share a blood bond with. How much more delightful to grin at people that you share nothing but the awkward silence with?
   Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas and I love my odious relatives. And my odious non-relatives are surprisingly non-odious. So life is good. And that election we just had?
   I just brought that up to start fights.
   I’m the Grinch.
   So have yourself a miserable little Christmas and a piss-drunk New Year.
   Much love and hatred wrapped up in one misanthropic bundle of nihilistically diabolical joy,
   McCallum

P.S. I hope Krampus gets you
This is just a random Grinch I found. I'll probably do some of my own Grinch and Krampus art soon!
   Soooooo....got that out of my system, right? I hope. Writing is a good way to detox the soul. Or nurture that which grows there. But don't worry, I'm on my way to find some French carols to learn!
Merry Christmas in advance and I'll be in touch before then hopefully. The next installment of Oramon should be ready by this weekend, it was supposed to be up already, but I hadn't finished it and I don;t have an illustration yet!





Saturday, November 26, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--The First Murder

   Neron no longer lingered on Amalteron where Nomra made her abode. All of his days were spent with Onera in the forests. In jealousy, Nomra reached out and cursed the shadows of the forest and thorns grew. Brambles and thistles, stinging nettles and poisonous plants of various natures were thus created.
   “What is this new plant?” Onera asked, reaching into the briar to touch the strange growth. The thorns ensnared her hand and lacerated her skin. Drops of her blood fell among the thorns roots. With care, Neron extracted Onera’s hand using a sharp rock and took her to Nemrus who knew where the balm grew. Nemrus treated her wounds and Neron led him back to the briar to curse it, but when they returned to the briar they saw that it was too beautiful to destroy. For Onera’s blood had made the briar bloom with lush roses. Thus bedecked, they could not bear to curse it and so it grew wild and thick throughout the forest near to Amalteron.
   Nomra’s jealousy grew. She rarely left her aviary upon the mountain, Triona, Phiron, and Ariaj were afraid of her and did not visit. Neron and Onera seemed to have forgotten her. Only Nemrus would come, and rarely, to ask the secrets of the plants.
   At last, Neron formed a brilliantly colored bird and sent it with a message to Nomra.
   “Sweet One, Creator and Mistress of Earth, join us today upon the shore. Your daughter would see you.”
   “She is not my daughter,” said Nomra. “Neron has made her on his own. She is his creation and he loves her more than me.”
   Nevertheless she went to the shore, for she still loved Neron and could not help but be charmed by the sweetness of Onera. It was no wonder that Neron should prefer her company to the brooding of Nomra and her birds.
   Nomra saw only that Onera was better than her, she saw not that Neron still loved Nomra above all. She returned to Amalteron bitter. She knew Onera could not resist any new thing.
   The mountain next to Amalteron was called Aleris and it was second only unto Amalteron in height and glory. Nomra planted an orchard upon the peak of Aleris, an orchard unlike any before it. The fruit of the trees was translucent and sparkled in the light, varying in hue from blue to purple. The trees grew long and twisted boughs of great delicacy. Their leaves were bright and sweet of scent, but the trees’ roots were weak.
   Nomra called to Ariaj and told her, “Go unto Neron and my daughter. Tell them I wish them to join me for a banquet here on Amalteron.” Ariaj sped away and Nomra smiled. Neron and Onera would pass over Aleris on their ascent. And if they did not, they would no doubt see the orchard as they left her banquet. As she prepared cakes for the meal, her being shivered at her hidden intentions and her shadow broke from her and fled down the mountain.
   Neron and Onera were delighted by the invitation and turned immediately towards Amalteron. They went up beside Aleris and when Onera spied the orchard she wished to go and see it.
   “It will not take long,” Onera said. “I have not seen these trees before. Mother must have planted them but recently.” So Neron and Onera came to the brow of Aleris.
   “What fruit is this?” Neron asked in awe, plucking a ripe blue orb. He tasted it. “Tis good!”
   “We should gather some to bring to Nomra’s banquet,” Onera said, taking a violet orb from a beautiful tree. Neron agreed, and began to gather the sweetest he could find. Onera wandered off through the orchard. The trees and fruit grew fairer the further she went and she took the loveliest fruits and cradled them in her skirts. At last she came to the edge of Aleris, where a cliff plunged down to the sea. She dropped her collected fruit, gasping in wonder, for here was the fairest of all the trees, with the most splendid fruit in all creation. It grew from the cliff and curved out in a fantastic swoop over the cliff, sparkling in the open air, its bark iridescent, its fruit marvelous reflective orbs of silver.

   Meanwhile, Nomra’s shadow hastened to the orchard, wailing in the tones of Darkness. It found Neron picking fruit in the midst of the orchard and startled him with its strange affectation.
   “What art thou?” he asked, hiding behind a tree. “I have never seen anything like you. A shadow alone.”
   “I am Nomra’s shadow,” said the shadow. “She has wicked designs in her heart. We must find Onera and leave this orchard at once!”
   “Why?” said Neron. “Nomra?”
   “She would harm your daughter!”
   “Harm?” Neron said, scarce able to understand.
   “Hurry!” begged the shadow, tugging on his arm. At last, Neron followed it through the orchard, confused and afraid.
   Onera walked out on the strong trunk of the tree, like a sturdy path, and reached for the silver fruit. She picked one and threw it back to the earth and stepped further out. She came to where the tree curved up and caught a low branch to pull herself up into the lush canopy.
   Onera found clusters of budding fruit and touched them. They ripened and grew for her, gleaming brighter than all the others. But the roots were weak.
   Neron and the shadow burst out of the trees, which seemed to cling to them and try to hold the back from the edge.
   “Onera!” cried Neron. “Come down!”
   “These fruit are sublime!” replied Onera.
   The tree shuddered and dipped. Onera screamed and Neron cried out. Roots snapped and tore from the cliff.
   “Onera! Come back!” Neron wailed as the tree dipped lower. Onera tried to climb down, but the tree shuddered harder and she slipped.
   “Ahhh!” she screamed as she fell. She caught a passing branch and jerked to a stop, dangling over the void. But the jerk dislodged the last roots.
The tree fell away.
   “Noooooo!” screamed Neron, throwing himself at the edge. The shadow caught him and he screamed over the precipice, calling for his falling daughter. “Ariaj!” he cried. But she had returned to Amalteron to tell Nomra that Neron and Onera were on their way and Nomra had detained her with a sleepy drink. “Triona!” he cried. Triona hurried to Aleris but too late.
   There were rocks at the base of Aleris. Onera struck the rocks and the tree struck her and Triona’s cushioning wave was too late. It washed over the rocks and cleansed them of the blood. It swept away the fatal tree and the cursed fruit. It lifted Onera’s body and gently bore it away on a bier of foam.
   Neron turned on the shadow and cursed it. “You vile spirit! This is your doing.” And he ran to Amalteron, to the arms of Nomra.
   But he found her arms cold and when he looked, he saw that she had no shadow.
   “Your warmth and your love have fled,” he said. “You have done this dire thing and our daughter is dead. You have killed her and with her, our love.”
   At that moment, her shadow clave unto her again and she was wrapped in remorse. But Neron left her and went to Onerae, where Triona had borne the body. Nomra realized the horror of her deed wept. Amalteron rumbled and erupted with grief and all living things avoided that place. All save for Ariaj, who though she had been used and tricked into aiding the horrid deception, still had pity upon Nomra and tried to comfort her.
   All of creation gathered at Onerae to mourn the death of Onera. Triona and the fishes of the sea, Phiron, and the reptiles, Nemrus and the furry creatures, Ariaj and the birds of the air.

Their wails ascended to Amalteron and Nomra vowed to right her wrong.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


The holidays can be a little…stressful, shall we say. There’s all the shopping for that big dinner, all that cooking, and (heaven help us) dishes after that, and then (if we can convince ourselves to go out in the crowds) more shopping. Sometimes we need a little relief from the push, the press, and just reality in general. Maybe snow is starting to come down. Maybe the fire is crackling merrily. Maybe we finished our shopping and to-do list for the day (and maybe we didn’t, but what the heck). What we need now is a cup of cocoa and a book.
We need an escape. Even if we aren’t readers, maybe now is a good time to try…maybe it’s the escape we’ve been looking for.
There are new worlds waiting in the pages of books.
Enter a world of mystery, myth, and a touch of steampunk. Travel across Europe on an expedition into the furthest reaches of frozen Siberia in search of a lost city, a city said to be inhabited by mermaids.
It is a journey of discovery for Parsifal as he delves into an unimaginable world and flees from his mundane life and a murder he did not mean to commit. Guided by a magical device that is sought by dark forces, he will discover that his companions are not who or what he thought. From the gleaming ballrooms of Germany to the ice covered sea, evil has a new name.
Find out what lurks in A Hole in the Ice, Kindle Book Awards 2016 Finalist, on sale this holiday season for 99 cents!
A Hole in The Ice: Book One
Amazon US
Amazon UK

And go through the hole to explore a completely new world in the sequel, book two of the Weather Casters’ Saga.
Enter the Sea, an ocean of myth, where mermaids, pirates, and sea monsters await. Parsifal can trust no one but his loyal friend Balder as they seek to escape the designs of Dioktes, a power hungry old mariner. A floating city, a madwoman, cannibalistic monsters, little men and a child crime lord all have their place in this mad dance, orchestrated by Lady Vasille, who will stop at nothing for love and revenge.
A Hole in the Sea, also on sale this holiday season!
A Hole In The Sea (The Weathercasters Saga Book 2)
Amazon US
Amazon UK

This time of year, we remember to be thankful for all the good in our lives. But we might forget to be thankful about a certain blessing: there are no zombies currently trying to eat our brains! It can be hard to keep things in perspective, so here’s a book that will help us keep sight of what’s important and how lucky we really truly are. All while taking us away from hustle and bustle. It’s like killing two birds with one stone! Or two zombies with one—well, we’ll have to read the book to see how to kill zombies, now won’t we?
Welcome to Monezuela, a nation blissfully forgotten by history. Rife with corruption and scheming, Bamberg is in for a good cleansing. Alice is expected to accept a marriage proposal in which she has no interest. Lyra has plans to destroy parliament. Add a bit of Paracelsus, a dash of electricity, a spy, some dry poetry, a sadistic artist, and lots of breakfast eggs and you have a recipe for disaster.
The dead will rise, the Lords will fall, and high society will never be the same again. Things are about to get creamy in Ambulatory Cadavers. 99 cents this holiday season. Grab this zombie adventure before it grabs you!
Ambulatory Cadavers: A Regency Zombie Novel
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Also, this seems like a good opportunity to make a request. If you read any of my books and like them…please, please, please pop over to amazon or goodreads or both and leave a little review. Reviews, especially on amazon, boost a books’ visibility. But most importantly: If you loved my book, please send me fan art. I cannot deny that I have greatly desired this. I am dying for fan art. All I want for Christmas is fan art. I don’t care if you ‘can’t draw,’ if you loved my book, please post it and tag me! (@mccallumjmorgan for Instagram. @McCallumJMorgan for twitter) Or email it to me at mccallumjmorgan@hotmail.com and put ‘fanart for (book title)’ in the subject line. I will love you so much

Enjoy the holidays everyone! Happy Thanksgiving and good luck with Black Friday ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--Birth of Nemrus

   “Shall we not make someone to appreciate the wonders you have made, father?” Onera asked Neron.
   “I have made you,” Neron said.
   “And I am alone,” said Onera. “Who shall play in the fields and swim in the sea with me?”
   “I will,” said Neron.
   Nomra watched.
   Nomra watched from the peak of Amalteron and Onera was always with Neron and Nomra was alone with the birds. Onera still desired Neron to make another being.
   “Make one for each of the elements,” she begged him. “Make one for earth, for fire, for sea, and for air that wherever I go there will be a companion for me.”
   This idea pleased Neron and at last he bowed to her wishes. First he made of water, Triona, half woman, half fish. Second he made of fire, Phiron, the salamander. Third he made of air, Ariaj, the swift, who was a shapeshifter and very beautiful. But he could not give life to the earth, which was Nomra’s.
   Neron approached her on her throne surrounded by birds. “Nomra, together we shall make this, our second child,” he said.
   “These beings are strange and terrifying,” Nomra said. “I do not wish to make another.”
   “Love you not Onera, your very likeness?” Neron asked.
   “Yes,” Nomra said. “She is sublime and sufficient. Triona is fickle, Phiron is brash, Ariaj is uncanny. Why create more?”
   Neron could not prevail upon her to help create a being from the earth. When he told Onera that he was unable to complete her request she was insistent. The four beings must be accomplished.
   “But I cannot give life to earth without Nomra, and she refuses to aid me,” Neron said.
   “I will speak to her,” Onera said. But Nomra hid from Onera and would not let her daughter see her.
   “She will prevail upon me,” Nomra said to herself. “For I cannot resist her.”
   “We will trick her then,” said Onera. “Form the creature as one of your animals that she loves.”
So Neron formed a hart of earth and brought it to Nomra.
   “This noble hart is dying,” Neron said, showing her the lifeless form. “Quicken him.”
Nomra was filled with pity for the beautiful creature, one of the first that Neron had formed for her from the Dark. “My power is in the earth and the growing things,’ she said. “You are the one to quicken this dying creature. Yours is the power of the living, moving things.”
   “It will not respond to me alone, perhaps together we can save it,” Neron said. They lay their hands upon the hart and it sprang up, its false hart-skin falling away to reveal the man shape with the hart’s head.

   “What is this?” Nomra demanded. But she knew what had happened and that she had been tricked. Amalteron rumbled and cracked with her anger. Onera whisked the new creature away to the Island Onerae and waited while Amalteron erupted. Onera named the earth creature, her brother, Nemrus, the first son.
   Thus was Nomra’s ire kindled against her daughter.

   Nemrus was not like his three sibling elementals. They were wild, tempestuous. Nemrus was quiet, solid, and temperate. But when his wrath was stirred, his anger burned and convulsed with all the power of his mother, and all the strength of the earth. He made his abode in the mountains and watched over the animals, a king and a judge.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--Onera, the First Daughter

   Neron created creatures for Nomra’s ocean and four-legged beasts for her forest, but none of his gifts satisfied him. Not even the birds which Nomra loved. She had created an entire world for him. He would make a gift to match.
   Neron stole away to a cave while Nomra sang with the birds on the cliff overlooking the ocean. In the cave Neron built a wheel and on the wheel he formed Onera, in the likeness of Nomra.
Onera was perfect, and more beautiful than Nomra. Her voice was sweeter and her movements more fluid. Neron brought Onera to Amalteron and hid her in a syringa bush.
   “O Nomra, Queen of Dark and Light, Day and Night,” Neron spoke, taking her hand.
   “My love?” said she.
   “I have created the gift of gifts,” Neron said, “the emblem of my love for you, my adoration and my worship. Our daughter, Onera.”
   The syringa parted and Onera stepped onto the peak of Amalteron, bowing before Nomra. Nomra was struck speechless. This was the greatest gift of all. The first tears of joy were shed and from them sprouted the spirits of happiness, the Seloi.
   Onera was a thinker. She gazed at the sea and said to her parents, “Is it enough to gaze upon this beauty? Let us taste it.” And she called a great sea monster up from the deep for them to ride across the waves. The voyage was breathtaking, for the Light sparkled on the waves and the escort of dolphins spewed foam into the air. The colors were many and rippled in dazzling hues.
   “You know what would make this all the more wondrous?” Onera said. “An island. Will you make me an island, Mother, Father?”

   The first island was called Onerae and it was the most beautiful place in all the world, even above Amalteron. The three beings tarried upon the island for many days, enjoying the paradise of its gentle falls and glistening beaches. At last, Onera asked, “What lies beyond the ocean?”
   “The whole of Oramon, in all its sphere,” Nomra replied.
   “I want to see it,” Onera said. Neron summoned their sea beast to depart but Nomra was reluctant.
   “It would be more pleasurable to remain here,” she said. “I created the earth and I know its expanse.”
   “You do not wish to ride around your sphere once more?” Neron asked.
   “I find contentment here,” Nomra replied.
   But wanderlust had seized Onera. Neron was pleased to please her and so they mounted the sea beast to depart. Nomra joined them reluctantly and they sailed across the ocean to the barren lands upon the distant shore. Nomra had formed the place but had not visited it again in her many circuits with Neron and it had never been given living things, plant nor animal.
   “There is a strange beauty here,” said Onera. “Strange beauty must have strange life.”
Nomra grew the flowering cacti and the sagebrush. Neron made the lizards and burrowing creatures and Onera blessed them with painted skies.
   Thus they circled the whole of Oramon and flavored each hemisphere uniquely. Upon their return, Nomra grew an oak upon the brow of Amalteron to signify completion.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A New Mythology--Oramon--The Creation

   In the beginning, there was a flickering light in the dark. The light awakened whom it revealed sleeping in the darkness. Nomra opened her eyes to a shapelessness. All was dark but the Light.  
   Nomra reached out and touched the light and droplets fell from her fingers, smaller lights were born. The small lights followed her as she roamed the dark. The Light revealed the shapeless matter of the Dark and Nomra delighted in trailing her hands through it, forming the darkness as the Light solidified it into concrete matter. She made mountains and valleys and many strange formations. But she grew bored with taking small lights from the Light and with forming the darkness into landscapes.

   At last the Light fell upon Neron, asleep, but the Light could not wake him. Nomra gazed upon him and was lonely. She spoke the first word and he awakened at her voice. Nomra and Neron were complete; they walked through the dawning and Nomra formed wonders for her love and he delighted in them.
   Her first gift was an ocean, which Neron called Nomra-A-Neh, because it was beautiful like Nomra. She created a mountain that made light in its belly and he called it Neronimahnon because he loved it so. She gave him trees and flowers, streams and lakes.
   Together, Nomra and Neron walked through the darkness, and the Light followed them, illuminating their joy. Their feet turned the void beneath them and their path led them in a circle and the Light circled the newly formed land.
   Nomra and Neron took the small lights and explored the darkness that lay above and below the path of Light. Nomra rounded the two ends of the land and Neron was charmed by the ball of matter and called in Oramon, for it was his favorite gift of all. And around Oramon all was dark but the Light that circled it.
   Neron took from the Dark above and with the smaller lights formed his first gift for Nomra. She called it horse and it was fleet and with it she could circle Oramon and see all she had created. Neron made more living creatures, for his skill and love were great.
   Nomra loved his creations, especially the winged creatures that made beautiful music for her.
   Nomra made a high mountain cliff that over looked her sparkling ocean and there she would sit, watching the birds wheel over the waves, waiting for them to land on her outstretched arms and sing their praises of her creation. She named the mountain cliff Amalteron for it was a place of glory.

To Be Continued!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ambulatory Cadavers Unleashed!!!


Halloween Night 2016
It was a rainy night.
Dark.
But inside Bonners Books, it was warm and dry.
The copies of my new book didn't arrive in time for their own birthday party and traffic was dismally slow. Slow as in a total of two groups of people came in (not including my sister and her boyfriend, and my brother who was acting as my assistant). Now, I enjoyed my evening. I got to sign a couple books and even read to the second group of people who came in. They were a great group, enthusiastic and interested in me and my work. I'm very grateful to them for making my event worth it. There was a lot I could have been very depressed with, if not for the great people who did come and the amazing hosting of Bonners Books.
I was left with piles of candy, which I had meant to distribute to the masses of people who came toodling through. I had giveaway bags that were meant to be door prizes with a drawing. I had even shaved off my beard to match the time period of my costume (and make my makeup application easier). I bought an add in the paper (those stupid things are super expensive) and ordered special posters.
But it really is always worth it.
Even if NO ONE had come in. These things must be done.
I guess I want to use my somewhat disappointing event (yes, not a total fail, I enjoyed it, it just wasn't what I had hoped for) as encouragement to new and struggling authors.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE THESE EVENTS OR NO ONE WILL COME TO THEM EVER! 
They have to happen for people to come!
Don't let one slow one, or two, or three get you down. Keep having signings, keep going to open mics, fairs, conventions, because you have to be visible for anyone to see you. It's a lot of work, it's exhausting, and sometimes it seems so futile. You might think, this isn't why I write anyway, why am I wasting my time?
Just one positive interaction with a reader is worth all of the trouble.
That's why I write, anyway. I write because I have a story to tell, because when my story delights a reader, that delights me. I have to write anyway. Writing is a compulsion. I can't not write. But I'll take whatever reward I can, and the gleam in a reader's eye is a reward I can truly say is the best reward.
So, even if you only get one gleaming eye (or two, as that is generally the way people's anatomy is arranged) then you've done your job. You've won a fan. Each fan matters. And I actually love that part of being a small time indie author that no one's heard of: I have time to connect personally with those who have heard of me. I know what it feels like to have someone you're a fan of reply to your comment on social media, and if I can do that for someone, then I'm happy.
So, just in case you do become best seller famous someday, enjoy the small time while you can. Enjoy those intimate signings where only a few people come in, because really, they're the best.
Writing isn't about making money anyway.
Plus, any excuse to dress up is fine by me.
A few creepy candles to add atmosphere

Me with some creepy candles
Ready to sign your books!

Ready to eat your brains!

My book babies

My most successful Regency era coat to date

Where is Edith Cushing? She's my soulmate. And I have a candelabra to match
My latest book baby, now available on amazon!

Get my books here.
And watch me read chapter nine below:


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Zombies!

   According to Merriam Webster, the word 'zombie' was first used in 1871, being a Haitian Creole word. The Oxford English Dictionary says the word's first appearance in English was in 1819. The word is believed to come from the African countries of West Africa. Africans slaves brought their various religious traditions to Haiti where they were fused with Catholicism, creating the hybrid religion, Voodoo (or Vaudou).
   It is believed that the word 'zombie' or 'zonbi' comes from the African words 'zumbi' and/or 'nzambi.' Zumbi means 'fetish' and nzambi is Kikongo for 'god.' Nzambi was apparently a very important god because when European missionaries introduced Christian ideas to the African people they chose the word to represent God. That's what wikipedia says, anyway...although their source sounds very reliable: Thornton, John K. "The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491-1750," Journal of African History 25 (1984). However, according to anthropology.msu.edu 'nzambi' is Kongo for 'spirit of a dead person.'
   In Haiti and Martinique the word 'zombie' was a term for 'spirit' or 'ghost.' When, exactly, this word began to mean a soulless body raised and controlled by a bokor (witch doctor or priest of voodoo), I was unable to ascertain.

   The Haitians believed that there were two parts of a human soul, the 'gro bonanj' (big guardian angel) was the consiousness and personality. The 'ti bonanj' (little guardian angel) was the conscience and will. The Bokor made a special poison that induced a death-like state and the victim was buried alive. The Bokor then dug up the body and stole the ti bonanj. So the zombie wasn't technically dead, but had half of their soul stolen, the part that gave them a conscience and free will.(www.deathreference.com)
   I read in a book on superstition once (sadly, I can remember neither the title nor the author of the work) that this was an actual practice. The witch doctor drugged people, they were assumed dead and buried alive. Then the witch doctor dug them up and sold them into slavery as undead zombies. After cutting out their tongues, of course, so they couldn't set the record straight.
   Also, the Bokors could apparently separate either or possibly both of a persons souls from their bodies, usually in bottles and use them for his own magical purposes or sell them. These were called 'zombie astrals.'
   Wikipedia says that Haitians believed that Baron Samedi, their voodoo god would raise them from their graves to an afterlife in a heavenly version of Africa. But those who had displeased Baron Samedi (Samedi is French for Saturday) would become zombies after death, eternal slaves.
   Supposedly, the creation of zombies was even illegal in Haiti, written into the law in 1864.
an ink drawing of ambulating cadavers by me

 
 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Regency Tailor's Tale

   Okay, so I cannot lay claim to the title ‘tailor’ and you will soon see why.
   This is the story of how I made my Regency outfit for my zombie costume for my book release party. This is not a how-to. More of a how-not-to.
   I was driven to sewing by desperation.
   Ever since I was little, I liked capes and cloaks and things.
   I wanted costumes, but my Mom wasn’t much of a seamstress, not to say she couldn’t, just wouldn’t. My next stop was the thrift stores around Halloween time. Although we have lovely thrift stores in our area, their costume selections always left much to be desired (and I think they’ve gotten worse since I stopped looking). I had to start making them myself.
   I still used the thrift stores for my fabric purchasing. I didn’t use patterns and I sewed by hand. This was arduous.
   Eventually, I got a hold of a sewing machine (my Grandma brought hers up for my sister. My sister had no interest in sewing and so I took the thing over). My first attempts were shaky. I still didn’t use patterns. Totally cooked it up from my head and while chopping up fabric. When I attempted my first pair of trousers, I finally cut up an old pair of pants and used that for a pattern.
   Then I began making coats. I took an old suit coat and chopped it up for a pattern. The first was a simple copy. 
The first pair of trousers, originally for a Sweeney Todd costume, paired with the first coat for a Mad Hatter. My brother made the hat.

   The second diverged greatly, becoming somewhat reminiscent of  a Regency era coat for last year’s Halloween, inspired by Tanz der Vampire, the German musical with the incredible costumes. Needless to say, I totally winged it with the collar and it’s barely satisfactory. Also, the thrift store is no longer my fabric store. I found gorgeous fabric at a local shop called the Alley Fabric Nook. The drawback to this, is the astronomical prices of fabric. Slide your card and whack bang you spent fifty dollars on cloth!
Tanz Der Vampire costume. I made the waistcoat, coat, cape, and trousers. And ascot, if you can really say that a half sewed together strip of silk is an  ascot.

   Now I’m working on coat number three.
   I started with the waistcoat. This outfit was inspired by Lord Chornby’s unholy getup in Ambulatory Cadavers, and was going to include a paisley waistcoat. I went fabric shopping, this time on amazon, and found some birds I couldn’t pass up. So I made the waistcoat first. And the shirt. This time I decided to actually sew the shirt, too. The shirt turned out rather wild and untamed, but it will be mostly hidden, so I think it will do.
This photo was before I added the ruffles on the shirt cuffs

   I still don’t know how one is supposed to do the tall collars on this style of waistcoat, so this one has issues. I suppose it needs to be sewn in between the outer layer and the lining or something crazy like that, I just sew it straight on and frown when it doesn’t lay how I want. I think this one turned out a little crooked as well, and it’s too tall, so unless the coat collar can keep it in check I’ll have to shorten it or fold it and call it good.
   I almost got a little too ambitious with the coat. I pulled out my copy of The Mode in Costume by R. Turner Wilcox and flipped to the section ‘The French Restoration’ encompassing Louis XVIII, 1815-1824 and Charles X, 1824-1830. I examined the claw and hammer coat tails on those glorious frock coats and couldn’t refrain. 
Frock coat from 'The Mode in Costume'

   Instead of copying the two back panels of my cut up suit coat pattern, I made the back of the coat in four pieces. I didn’t quite succeed in the layering of the claw and hammer, but I got a deluxe-looking back.
Advanced sewing, no? For me, yes. Took some dexterous manipulation.


   It took me three tries to get the collar right. Those Regency era coat collars are so weird looking (in a good way!). How do you make those? I still don’t know. This is just as close as I got.

The pictures make it look better than reality!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The #OctoberFrights Giveaways!

Better make sure you've entered these ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, there is a giveaway here, where all you have to do to enter is comment!

The Last Day


   So...we arrive at the end. Every end is a new beginning, no?
   I want to thank everyone who stopped by my posts, read them, commented, entered giveaways, shared, etc! Merci beaucoup.
   I've really enjoyed this blog hop but the horrifying, dribbling, and chilling terror of October is only half over! On Halloween my horror-comedy will be unleashed and I will be signing books and handing out candy in my local bookshop. I will be sure to blog about that, and hopefully I'll get some more sneak peeks and bonus content posts in before then! So stay tuned. In the meantime, you can pre-order the ebook of Ambulatory Cadavers.

    And be sure to check out the blog list at the bottom of this post and follow, follow, follow! There are some great blogs and scary-good authors.

   Today I just have a little film review and giveaway. I love old horror movies (70s or 60s and on back to the genesis of film). I got started on them because of Christopher Lee and his portrayal of Dracula, and then I got hooked on Hammer and so on...then I found Metropolis and fell in love with silent films.

   WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)
   Directed by: Victor Halperin
   Starring: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorne
 
   This film is the original zombie movie, the introduction of the Haitian tradition to America. Now, the first zombie movie of the modern style, with the whole apocalypse thing is Romero's Night of the Living Dead. White Zombie is much more stylish. It was filmed over the course of eleven days on a tiny budget on leftover sets from Dracula and Frankenstein. I think Bela's performance as Murder Legendre is almost better than his Dracula.
   The zombies are slow and silent, undead slaves. I think they're great.
   The story begins with a young couple arriving in Haiti to get married at the home of their benefactor, M. Beaumont. The first scene is a burial in the middle of the road, 'where people pass all the time,' to discourage grave robbers.
   M. Beaumont wants Madeline for himself and hires Murder Legendre to use his powers to steal her. Murder gives him a mysterious powder. You can guess where it will go from there.
   The plot is fairly simple, but gorgeous photographed, with a few wild but clumsy fade effects and great acting by Bela and the adorable Madge Bellamy. The sets are gorgeous, with a spectacular castle that is obviously a painting (I LOVE painted backdrops), but somehow incorporates moving surf crashing on the shore. The music is a little average, except in two spots, the chanting at the beginning and a weird hummed number that gives an amazing mood to the scene where the drugged Madeline goes to the gothic balcony and heatstroke-suffering Neil senses er form the camp on the beach.
   All in all it captured my imagination and I give it 5 of 5 stars!


   Now the GIVEAWAY! Just comment with your favorite horror movie or old movie recommendation and you'll be entered to win a blu-ray copy of White Zombie!
 

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Lovecraftian Tale, The Tablet of Teh Ri'teth

For the penultimate day of October Frights, I have a short story (1895 words). I penned it in a matter of hours without any idea where it was going, other than death. I did a little revising: changing the end to a Hammer Horror style twist and adjusting the beginning accordingly. It's inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's style, including the made up ancient civilization and the first person narrator telling the tale directly to the reader. So here it is.

THE TABLET OF TEH RI'TETH

I didn’t kill him. You know I could never have done such a thing. Yes, I was at his house the day he vanished, and I can remember it all clearly.
It was on a day much like today: there was a chill in the air, tainted with the pleasing aroma of wood smoke and the sparkle of frost. All of the aspen trees along Byre Street were saturated with yellow. Their yellow stained the street with great drifts and spatters of death. I hate yellow.
I didn’t then. It put me in a cheery mood as I walked between the looming aspens past the rows of old brick townhouses. Yellow everywhere. Bright as the sunshine. My breath spewed out before me in a crystalline cloud, glowing in the late afternoon.
At the end of Byre Street is where Wentham’s house used to be. Wentham and I had struck up a friendship earlier that month at the Bryndle Club in Bamberg. We were both intrigued with the occult, you see. Yes, I was. Terribly intrigued. Those funny runes and tablets had just been discovered in the Paerth Hills. Do you remember the fuss the papers made, if briefly? They were dismissed as fraud, an archeological prank. The things have since disappeared. Wentham was convinced they were artifacts of a forgotten religion and had tantalized me with his theories.
Naturally, I accepted his invitation to come and see the tablet he had acquired for his private collection of historical and occult objects.
Wentham’s house was unassuming, charming, even. It was slightly larger than the rest of the Byre Street domiciles and had a circular tower. It was all brick, with a yellow door.
Wentham himself answered when I rang, wearing a burgundy dressing gown.
“Lowell!” he said jovially. “Do come in. Bloody cold out there.” I don’t know if you ever met Wentham, but he was the kind of man who filled a room with his presence. His baritone carried well and he often used it to dominate conversation. Yet he was always considerate, making sure to include everyone and let them have a turn, however brief. His dark green eyes sparkled from the shadows of his heavy black brow with a burning intelligence and passion.
I followed him through a regal but dusty hall to a messy sitting room where he poured me a hot cider. I sipped it as I glanced around at the clutter: dirty dishes piled up between the disarranged sofa pillows and books.
“Sorry about the mess,” Wentham said, “the maid vanished last month and I haven’t found a replacement.” He chuckled. I thought there was something like nervousness beneath it, but he had moved on before I could think about it. “But you came to see the tablet of Teh Ri’teth, not chat.”
I shivered involuntarily. “Tablet of what?” I asked.
“Teh Ri’teth,” Wentham said, licking his lips. I shivered again, despite the warmth and the hot cider in my hand.
“How do you—where—” I began.
“It says right on it,” Wentham said. “I’ll show you.” He strode across the sitting room towards a mahogany door.
“But no one’s been able to match the runes to any known alphabet!” I protested, following more slowly to avoid spilling my cider.
“I cracked it,” Wentham said, pulling out a key and unlocking the door.
“How?” I asked.
Wentham pushed open the door and disappeared inside. I followed, any further questions dying on my lips. Wentham had a veritable museum. Glass cases lined the room, filled with glittering, numinous items. They were a bit dusty and draped in cobwebs, but that only intensified their mystery. The last rays of the setting sun illumed the gossamer threads and twinkled on the aerial dust motes. A strange, indescribable odor assailed my nostrils, something ancient and dark.
Wentham was already at the far end of the room, before a broken case. He kicked a white rag that lay before it into the corner and turned to look at me, chest puffing proudly as I gazed about in awe.
The case closest to me held a mummified head, draped in turquoise beads. The next one displayed an ancient bronze bowl, marked with druidic symbols. Further down I could see a set of Egyptian instruments that I knew were used in the Opening of the Mouth.
“This is fabulous,” I whispered, excited despite the irrational sense of dread that was beginning to lurk around the shadowy edges of the room.
“Come see it,” Wentham said, a little impatiently. I was suddenly reluctant to approach him, but my curiosity won me over and I joined him in front of the broken case. The object inside it was covered with a black velvet cloth. The strange odor was stronger now. I eyed the broken glass with unease.
“What happened?”
“Clumsiness,” Wentham said, reaching out slowly for the black velvet. I saw that his hand, lit up by the last sunbeam, was shaking. A whispery rasp slithered through my ears and I looked around the shadowy corners.
“What’s that? Do you have a gas leak?” I asked.
“Look!” Wentham snapped, whipping off the black velvet. I gasped.
I had seen pictures of the tablets, of course, but it was entirely different to see it in person. An aesthete would call it ugly. All yellowy, slimy-looking stone, marred with hideous scratch-like runes of a shivery nature. In person it seemed to ooze before my very eyes, the runes shimmering and coiling. And that strange odor. It filled my nostrils and spun my head in sickening circuits. I blinked and tried to get a fix on the horrible tablet. Surely my eyes were playing tricks on me? Perhaps it was too warm in this arcane museum.
When I later spoke to a museum curator who had briefly had one of the tablets in his care, he described the same sensations in its presence.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Wentham breathed reverently. I clutched my cider mug tighter as a shiver passed through me and the whispery rasp hissed through the room. “Teh Ri’teth.” I jumped, looking about the room in terror before I realized that it was only Wentham who had spoken the legerdemain words. Cider dripped down my mug and through my fingers. It was growing dark in the room as twilight fell softly outside.
“He ruled the skies in old days when blood ran free in the hills of Paerth,” Wentham whispered softly. The rasping and odor mounted, humming in an ominous undercurrent. “Each night he poured his colour into the earth and each day he slept in glory. Each month a sacrifice was made to his lordship. A life was given to appease.”
“How do you know this?” I asked, shuddering. My cider rippled.
“It reads thus,” he said, pointing at the tablet’s squirming runes. “It tells of his glory, his victories, his power.”
“But how can you read it?” I asked.
The rasping in my ears coughed a little, like a chuckle. The writhing runes on the breathing tablet seemed to jump.
“I heard it,” Wentham said, turning to look at me.
“Heard it?” I asked, tearing my eyes away from the hideous stone. The green eyes of Wentham were a relief, anchoring me again in reality. The whispers and odors of the strange room seemed to fade.
“I didn’t leave this room for days,” Wentham said. “I was intent on understanding the alphabet. I fell asleep at last and in my dreams…I heard him.”
I frowned, dizzying again as the odor returned to assault my nose and sicken my stomach.
“He requires a sacrifice each month,” Wentham said, licking his lips nervously. “It’s been a month.” His eyes flickered to the corner where he’d kicked the white rag. I turned my head to peer into the darkness and had just made out the rumpled form of a maid’s mobcap when Wentham grabbed my wrist.
I tried to jerk away, but his grip was iron. The cider in my other hand splashed down my arm and I yelped, dropping the mug. Warm apple singed the air. The mug crashed to the floor, shattering among the shadows. Wentham pulled me towards the case. He’d been expecting resistance, but I was too startled from the spilled cider. Wentham stumbled back and threw out a hand to steady himself.
His palm landed on a shard of glass on the broken case’s pedestal. I nearly slammed into him, but his inhuman scream seemed to repel me and I staggered away, staring as he held up his bleeding hand. A crimson drop fell on the repulsive tablet. It soaked into the runes and vanished.
Wentham turned and looked at me, his eyes wide and pale. His once dark green eyes, now pale.
A scream stuck in my throat.
“This is how it began,” Wentham said softly, childish fear in his voice. “Margaret, the maid. She was cleaning in here. Clumsy. Her blood. Poor Margaret. Then it started to talk to me.” Yellow tears were dripping from his pale eyes.
I took a step back as Wentham trembled and the rasping increased in volume, throbbing through the room like a viscous chant. The odor burned in my head and the shadows seemed to leap about like dervishes. The tablet grew brighter and brighter, chasing the shadows away.
“At night he poured his colour into the earth,” Wentham rasped in an alien voice, coarse and horrifying. His eyes were yellow and he was shaking violently, his hand dripping blood down his burgundy dressing gown.
The violent rasping pulsed into my ears, growing to a roar, and this time, I could hear the words. “Teh Ri’teth!” the stone shuddered in the broken case, yellow and laughing. Wentham screamed, yellow and bleeding.
I fled. The odor singed my nose and the rasping seared my ears and the yellow lapped at my heels. I ran out onto the street but I couldn’t escape the yellow. His colour was in the earth. I ran.
I ran until I could run no more. I collapsed on the safe stones of a bridge. I awoke there in the morning, with a constable looking down at me. I took him at once to Byre Street, although he was skeptical as I didn’t tell him what he would find. I waited outside, refusing to enter when he urged me to lead the way.
I shivered in the yellow as he vanished into the house, wondering if I’d sent him to his doom.
He returned, proclaiming the house empty. I asked him about the broken case. It was empty, a burgundy dressing gown lying on the floor before it.
They looked everywhere for Wentham. Nothing could be found, but there was blood on his dressing gown and on the broken glass. They investigated me, as you know, and eventually concluded that I had murdered the poor fellow. Fortunately, I was able to appeal my case and avoid the gallows.
I’m ever so grateful for your visits, you know. Please don’t say that I’m crazy. That’s what they all say, that’s why I’m here instead of dead. But I know what I saw.
If you go to the place where Wentham’s house used to be—they tore it down, you know—you’ll smell that ancient dark odor. You’ll see the barren earth, yellow with his colour.


If you liked the story, but prefer lighter fare, you might look into preordering
Ambulatory Cadavers: A Regency Zombie Novel on Amazon. You can also find my steampunk mythology books through my website, where you can also download a free song that goes along with book two of the Weather Casters Saga.

And/or explore the rest of the hop below!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Infested Palace (Make Your Own Adventure Game)!

  Day Four of October Frights!
  I consider this a fairly ambitious project. Though it actually wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. It jusy took a LONG time to link everything together. I was inspired by a story by Garth Nix: Down to the Scum Quarter from his collection Across the Wall. It was a parody of rpg create your own adventures. I wanted to make an interactive post, and this was all I could come up with. I created all of the accompanying drawings in 1 1/2 days, so forgive their sloppiness.
I eliminated any need for dice, but you'll have to remember what two weapons you choose. Have fun and message/comment if you hit a glitch. Also, there's a giveaway at the end ;)
Are you ready to try and escape the 'Infested Palace' alive, and with your brains intact?
Begin the adventure!

Or preorder the book that this game is loosely based around, Ambulatory Cadavers

And check out the other blogs on this hop