Read a Preview of The Seeking

Believe it or not we are only two days away from the release of my YA Horror novel, The Seeking! This is my first full-length horror novel I’ve ever had published and I’m super excited by the early reviews coming in for it.

Read the first two chapters of The Seeking today!

Today you can read the first 2 chapters of The Seeking posted up on the Parliament House website. And even in those first two chapters, things get pretty dark. So make sure you’re in a well lit room before you dive in!

If you like what you read and decide to pre-order your own copy, don’t forget to enter my Pre-Order Giveaway! The deadline is October 26th at 11:59PM EST to email me your submission.

Happy spooky reading!

Grab Some Discounted Books

Due to Amazon Prime Day, you can now catch up on a bunch of books for a discounted price. All of the books in the YA Fantasy Stolen series are now on sale, including pre-order copies of Chosen, due out March 23, 2021.

This also includes pre-orders for my YA Horror novel, The Seeking, which comes out 10/27 this month! I’ve been getting some incredible reviews so far for this book, and I’m just blown away by the feedback readers have given me on it.

Honestly this is a fantastic chance to load up on books, especially spooky books. All Kindle books from my publisher, Parliament House Press, are on sale through 10/14, so if you want to grab a series for way cheaper, now’s the time!

Happy Spooky Season, folks!

Anatomy Class [Day 4]

Today’s prompt: Curious

This one turned a little more gruesome and disturbing than I thought it would, but I’m really happy with it! It’s one of those flash fic pieces that I could see expanding on one day to make a longer story. That said, I’m pleased with it!

This is part of the 31 Days of Art Challenge [#31DaysOfArt2020]. Go check out the tag on Instagram to see all the amazing art being made!

For today I wrote a flash fiction piece titled Anatomy Class. Check it out below!


She poked and prodded, her scalpel moving aside bits of flesh and scuttling beneath bone. Nobody wanted to be lab partners with Nora. She dressed in dark clothes, wore makeup too pale, and was far too quiet for comfort. It used to bother her, but once she became a junior in high school, Nora found it easier to deal with the snide remarks.

Anatomy was her favorite class, and she pushed aside taking AP Biology to fit the class into her schedule. The smell of formaldehyde was exciting. Each day she wondered what part of the body they would examine next. After each class, she wrapped up the desecrated remains of her cat and slid him into his bag and put him in the storage closet.

Nora called the cat Bones. She thought it was funny, but then one of the other students saw the name on her information sheet and the question was inevitable.

“Why did you name him Bones?” Kenny was a tall, scrawny kid with a mess of blonde hair that fell over his pale skin and brown eyes. He had to shake his head to keep his bangs out of his vision. Nora betted that his cat had a few strands of blonde hair in it.

Nora shrugged, “I figured it was appropriate.”

He continued to look confused as she explained.

“By the time I’m done with him, that’s all that’ll be left of him.” She gave him her best creepy smile.

Kenny’s eyes went wide, and he turned green. “You’re sick, you know that?”

It was fun getting under Kenny’s skin—and easy. Truth be told, she had a black and white cat named Bones when she was little who got killed in the road. But the other story made him cringe more.

Nora turned back to her cat. His torso was splayed out in front of her, two halves of his midsection neatly bisected. She needed to pull out the stomach and check its contents.

Turning the scalpel to the side, she worked to remove the tiny stomach of Bones the cat. Only something caught her attention farther back. A shadow moved, seeming to scurry from one side of the cavity to the other. Nora felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Was it an insect? Maybe a mouse? Her mind tried to come up with a million reasons as she slid the scalpel farther back.

It struck something.

It wasn’t solid feeling like the rest of Bones’ carcass. Instead it was soft and pliable.

Nora leaned in closer. She was tempted to grab her phone to shine a light, but she didn’t want to get cat guts on her phone. Angling the scalpel to one side, she spotted two yellow eyes staring back at her from the shadow huddled far back in the cat’s chest cavity.

She gaped, watching as the eyes blinked once, then again. Whatever it was, it was alive.

“Don’t kill me,” a rattling voice hissed out.

Nora felt her heart leap into her throat. “What—?”

The yellow eyes darted right toward the scalpel. It was scared. Nora settled into her chair and put the scalpel aside. The shadow unfurled itself to take up the cavity again. It was larger than she expected.

She glanced to Kenny, the only one close enough to hear or notice, but he was trying to flirt with two girls on an opposite table. It wasn’t working.

“What are you?” She asked the shadow.

“I am a demon.”

She smirked, “Aren’t you a little small for a demon?”

It puffed itself up in outrage. “I am a cat demon. This cat was my host.”

“Okay,” she said, looking around once more. “If you’re a demon, why are you living in a dead animal?”

The shadow jerked occasionally like a nervous cat. It would be kind of cute if it wasn’t in a carcass.

“I got stuck…” It shook itself.

“Let me see.”

The shadow leaned to one side and Nora saw that it was stuck, likely pinned when the cat went in cold storage.

“Hang on,” Nora reached inside with the scalpel, twisted once then again, and a snap heralded the tiny demon’s escape.

He slid out of the carcass, shivering from head to tail. Nora had never seen a cat demon before, but he looked weak. She opened a pocket in her skirt, resigning herself to having to wash it that evening. The demon didn’t say a word but slid in a smoky fluid motion over Bones’ body, across the table, and landing with a cold thump in her pocket.

She smiled, then turned to see Kenny staring at her. His face froze in utter disgust and he looked like he would never recover. He must have seen the cat demon. Hell, he might have heard the conversation.

“What the fuck was that?” he whispered, his entire body rigid.

“My demon friend,” Nora said with an impish smile. “Didn’t you know I commune with demons?”

Kenny backed away, shaking. He ran into the table of the two girls he was flirting with earlier, knocking their dissection tray and partially dissected cat onto the floor. As the metal hit the tile, Kenny jumped almost a foot into the air, screamed, and ran out f the room. Nora laughed. The cat demon in her pocket purred.

END


If you enjoyed this and want to read more, make sure to subscribe to my blog! Just click the Follow button on the side menu (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).

Feel free to share or leave a comment below about what you thought!

I’ve also got a YA Horror novel coming out at the end of this month called The Seeking that’s been called a mixture of A Quiet Place and Hunger Games. I also have a pre-order giveaway going along with it! If you enjoy my horror flash fiction, be sure to check it out too!

The Last Haunt [Day 3]

Today’s prompt: Membrane

I had fun with this one! I guess it’s because I miss going to haunted houses with my friends all the time. I’m always the terrified one at those things. I promise I meant for this one to be short, but it’s one of the longer ones I’ve done yet at 1,434 words. Holy cow, I need to try to keep these shorter!

This is part of the 31 Days of Art Challenge [#31DaysOfArt2020]. Go check out the tag on Instagram to see all the amazing art being made!

For today I wrote a flash fiction piece titled The Last Haunt. Check it out below!


The car jostled on the gravel road and Kayson grabbed hold of the handle on the ceiling above the car door. Headlights illuminated the windy path ahead along with all the spiderwebs the car plowed through.

“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” he asked as the vehicle bounced from a deep hole in the road.

“Just following where Waze takes me,” Bryan said with a smirk.

“But you’ve been here before, right?” Kayson asked with a small laugh to show he wasn’t nervous, even though he was. He had been dating Bryan for two months and he knew the man loved finding haunted houses, or haunts. Together they had visited almost all of them throughout the month of October, all except this one he found mentioned briefly in one of the many horror magazines he collected.

“Nah, I think this one is new. Might be a haunted hayride or something since it’s so far out here, though.”

They took a right down a dirt path and Kayson could see the empty pasture in the distance, partly hidden in mist. A small farmhouse came into view.

Kayson squinted at it. The place looked like it was from a horror movie. “You sure this is the right spot?”

Bryan pulled the car to a stop and pointed to a small yard sign that was maybe a foot wide. “There we go. It says Fear’s Edge, just like in the ad!”

The sign should have been comforting, but the few vehicles near the farmhouse and the tiny sign that looked like it cost maybe ten bucks to make didn’t encourage him.

Bryan reached over and put a hand on his leg. “Hey, if you don’t like it, we can leave. It’s completely up to you. We can go somewhere else.”

Kayson clenched his teeth and wrapped his fingers around Bryan’s hand, giving a squeeze. “As long as you’re with me, I can get through it. I just don’t have the courage that you do.”

“You’ve come with me this far,” Bryan picked up his hand and kissed his fingers. Kayson felt his cheeks flush. “It’s our last haunt of the year. It’ll be fun, okay?”

“Okay,” Kayson gave a tentative smile.

#

An icy wind blew over the pasture as they stepped out of the car and Kayson zipped up his coat. He looked around at the other three cars parked there, two pickup trucks and a two-door that had seen better days.

“Where do you think we check in?” Bryan asked, stepping confidently toward the small farmhouse.

“I don’t know,” Kayson pulled on his gloves and hurried over to slip an arm around Bryan’s. “Do you think it’s open? There’s hardly anybody here.”

“The night is young!” He cracked a smile. “Nah, this is probably just visitor parking and people haven’t found the turn in yet.”

Kayson pulled on him to slow his pace. “Bryan… it’s almost Halloween. Don’t you think they should be flooded with people right now? This is their prime time.”

His gaze grew stern. “That’s a good point, actually…” He looked like he was almost ready to turn around and get back in the car. Kayson would have kissed him right there if he did.

“Good evening, gentlemen!” A teenage girl with a plucky voice called over to them. She had makeup on to look like a friendly scarecrow and wore a pair of overalls over a red plaid shirt. “Are y’all here for Fear’s Edge?”

Bryan visibly relaxed but Kayson couldn’t There was something off about all of this and he couldn’t explain why. He had almost gotten his boyfriend to turn around without having to admit his terror of the place. If the girl hadn’t come out of nowhere and said something, they would be in the car right now. It wasn’t the first time he had gotten cold feet at a haunt, and he always felt silly for it after it was over.

With a reassuring smile, Bryan headed over to the girl and paid her. She was short but had a big smile as she insisted on cash only. That wasn’t unusual, but this whole place still felt off. The few cars that had parked, the empty field, the lack of any other Halloween decor to even show it was a haunted house, it all felt dangerous.

Finally Bryan returned with two tickets in hand as he swept an arm around Kayson’s waist. “You look scared shitless and we haven’t even gotten inside yet. You okay?”

“I’m trying to be,” he admitted, “But this place gives me the creeps.”

He pecked a kiss on his cheek, warm and soft, and Kayson blushed. “It’s their job to make this place spooky, you know that. It means they’re doing a good job.”

They went around the building to the front door. The wood of the building was old and warped in places. It didn’t look safe, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to look safe, just like Bryan said. He caught the faint scent of mildew in the air and frowned. Maybe not everything in the place was fake.

“Okay, here we are,” Bryans said and pulled away.

“Wait, what are you doing?”

He pointed to the door with a smile. “She said it’s one-at-a-time entry. Unless you want to go first.”

Kayson shook his head in mute terror. “No way. I can’t deal with this place alone.”

“Are you going to wuss out on me again? After we already paid? They don’t do refunds.”

Kayson clenched his jaw. For all his talk of being understanding earlier, this was what it came down to when they were at the front door. Suddenly he was a wuss for being frightened. “Yes, I am.”

His smirk turned to a scowl. “For real?”

“Yes, for real!”

“But this is the last haunt of the year!”

“I don’t care. I am not going in without you.” His eyes filled with tears as another chilly wind blew past.

Bryan watched him for a long moment before sighing. “Alright, hold my hand then. I guess if they try to separate us then—”

“Then I’ll just have to hug you closer.” Kayson said with a warm smile.

Bryan blushed and took the lead up to the farmhouse door, holding tight to Kayson’s hand as he lagged behind. Pushing the door open, it creaked on its hinges, and to Kayson the door seemed to pulse in a strange rhythm like someone had the bass on too loud, but there was no music playing.

Inside it was dark, and Bryan stepped in grinning with excitement. “The effects are amazing. It looks so real!”

He stepped further in, pulling Kayson behind him. It wasn’t just the door that was pulsing, but the entire door frame.

“Bryan?” He asked in a terrified whisper. “I don’t know if—”

Something cold and wet touched his hand. He pulled his hand back on reflex, letting go of Bryan.

“What’s wrong now?” Bryan asked in annoyance. “You need to see this place! It looks almost organic.”

“Bryan!” He called, reaching another hand out and colliding with that same cold wetness. He put his hand on the barrier and saw a light shimmer. It was some kind of clear curtain that covered the doorway. “Oh my god…” he whispered, frozen in shock.

Finally Bryan turned around, his confusion turning to worry. “What’s wrong?”

“I can’t go through,” Kayson muttered as he pressed against the barrier, first gingerly, then with a shove, but it was as if he was pushing against a wall of ice.

The door swung to close, but Kayson was still standing in the doorway. It hit him hard. Blood filled his mouth as his teeth slammed into his inner lip.

“Kayson!” Bryan called.

The door pressed him harder against the barrier, which might as well be solid rock. It was difficult to breathe. Inside he could see the organic room that Bryan had described. A dark red wall with pulsing see-through pipes pumping what looked like blood. A structure on the ceiling that could have been a backbone, and a floor that might have felt like carpet but was living tissue sprinkled with what looked like nerve endings.

They weren’t decorations, Kayson realized as his ribs cracked. It was alive. The whole fucking house was alive and Bryan had walked straight into its belly.

He watched helplessly as Bryan pounded on the barrier, trying to get through, but Kayson knew as his spine snapped and blackness seeped into his vision that the house had far worse plans for Bryan.

END


If you enjoyed this and want to read more, make sure to subscribe to my blog! Just click the Follow button on the side menu (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).

Feel free to share or leave a comment below about what you thought!

I’ve also got a YA Horror novel coming out at the end of this month called The Seeking that’s been called a mixture of A Quiet Place and Hunger Games. I also have a pre-order giveaway going along with it! If you enjoy my horror flash fiction, be sure to check it out too!

The Maze [Day 2]

Today’s prompt: Winchester

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get this written today! Life has been crazy lately for a number of reasons, but I really want to keep my momentum going cause the challenge just started. This is part of the 31 Days of Art Challenge [#31DaysOfArt2020]. Go check out the tag on Instagram to see all the cool artsy things getting made!

For today I wrote a flash fiction piece titled The Maze. Check it out below!


Got the correct hashtag this time! Haha

Up the stairs, to the right, through the doorway and down another flight of steps. Mary could never remember her way around the damn place. Each hallway looked new, every door the wrong one, and despite her best efforts she couldn’t seem to find the woman who owned the place.

Mary didn’t recall when she came to this place, only that she was here now and the only way to escape was if she found the one responsible. It was a game she didn’t ask to be part of, but was locked in all the same.

She came to a space with three arched doorways before her, and Mary hesitated. Which path did she take? Which would send her on another wild path? Down one hall with a plush crimson rug she saw a man leaning against the wall, an unlit cigarette clenched in his teeth and a dusty Stetson on his head. She ran over to him, so grateful to see another person in this endless maze.

“Hello there!” she cried, but he only glared at her as he clenched his jaw. “You’re lost too?”

He grunted and avoided looking at her.

“I feel like I’ve been wandering for ages,” she gave her kindest smile, but it didn’t shake him. “Have you had any luck finding her?”

His eyes went wide in outrage and Mary could see dried blood glisten on his temple.

“Do you think I’d still be in this hell if I had?”

She unconsciously took a step back. “No, I suppose not.”

“I figure there is no escape from this. That’s the answer. We’ll roam these hallways until we don’t know our right from our left.”

“That can’t be true. There has to be a way out. I don’t belong here.”

He smiled and showed off his yellowed teeth, “Sure you do. You’re here, aren’t you?”

She shook her head and retreated to the archways and take a different path. The man was outrageous.

“It’s no good,” he called after her. “You’ll never find her. You know that.”

Mary balled her fists as she walked down the hall with the blue rug, putting as much distance between her and that coarse man as she could.

Mary refused to stand still and just fade away. She couldn’t listen to him; she knew there was a way out of this. There had to be.

Time passed, she had no idea how long. She had no way to tell time, and she couldn’t recall where she had been and where she hadn’t. Still Mary walked, determined. She refused to give in to his lunacy.

One day she came to a window that let her see the trees again. The sky was a beautiful clear blue and icicles hung from the tree branches, dragging them to the ground. A thin layer of powdery snow covered the ground. She had never seen snow before. It never snowed where she used to live. She looked at the icicles glisten in the beautiful sunlight. She pressed a hand to the glass and felt nothing. It was false, just like the rest of the wretched place.

Stumbling backward, she sat down on a stool and let her tears finally fall. They slipped down her cheeks and between her fingers. She cried for so long that the tears didn’t come any longer, so she wailed instead.

“Come now,” a woman spoke from beside her and Mary turned in surprise. “There’s no need for all that fuss.”

She was an old woman with wispy white hair and dressed all in black. Her skin was frail and pale, like old parchment. She smiled and Mary knew who she was instantly.

“You’re her,” Mary sniffled. “You’re the one who built this place: Mrs. Winchester.”

She beamed, “I am. Though I’ll let you call me Sarah, dear. And I promise there’s no need to be carrying on so.”

“Please, Sarah, you must release me, let me leave. I don’t belong here.”

Her smile hardened. “And what makes you think I’m keeping you?”

“The others, they told me you control us.”

“Others,” Sarah grew pale at her words. “You can see the others then?”

Mary shook her head, “Why does it matter? Please, I beg of you.” She dropped to her knees on the hardwood floor, toppling the stool behind her.

“There’s no need for this! Don’t beg!” A sternness entered the woman’s voice.

Mary reached out, trying to take her hand, but Mary went right through her. Sarah shivered and stuffed her fingers into fox fur muff in her lap.

“I hate that feeling.”

Another sob was coming, Mary felt it, but she pushed it down, knowing that this could be her only chance at freedom and peace.

“Fine,” Sarah snapped, reaching into one of her many pockets. “If you’re going to be so insistent, then I suppose I have no choice.”

She pulled out a vial, smaller than a finger. Inside, Mary saw a lock of her own red hair and a red ribbon she had worn the day she died.

“I’ve had you for a while anyway,” she said as she uncorked the vial.

Mary felt a lightness filling her, bright and more beautiful than anything she had felt before. “Thank you so much! You truly are a kind soul.”

Sarah shrugged, “Don’t be too hasty, child. I’ll just have to find someone to replace you.”

Mary gasped but couldn’t form words as the brilliant light enveloped her.

END


If you enjoyed this and want to read more, make sure to subscribe to my blog! Just click the Follow button on the side menu (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).

Feel free to share or leave a comment below about what you thought!