A Friend of a Friend Tole Me that this is one anthology you’ll definitely want to read

Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me

We’ve all come across them. The warnings told by a friend of a friend – don’t go in there, I wouldn’t if I were you, did you hear about…? Or perhaps your mind leaps to the cryptozoological realm – creatures barely glimpsed, and yet to be identified. Other spheres of existence – they can’t be real… certainly not until you’ve experienced one!

Maybe the real horror lies in the minds and hearts of others just like you. People with a slightly bent perspective that feed on the fear in others. Twisted souls that would take advantage of the weak, or vulnerable. Those who believe they are doing good for a higher power, or to gain power simply for themselves. Petty vengeance that breathes a life of its own once unleashed.

Whatever your poison, the ten stories in Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me are sure to intrigue, and perhaps bring back fears long forgotten.

Run, don’t look back… or should you?

Contributing Authors include:
Morgan Bauman, Kimberly A, Bettes, Matthew Borgard, Alex Chase, Austin Fikac, K. Trap Jones, Sean Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Jon Olson, and C.M. Saunders

Purchase Links:

CreateSpace, Smashwords, Amazon US, and Amazon UK

The latest bone-chilling anthology from Siren's Call Publications.

The latest bone-chilling anthology from Siren’s Call Publications.


Fantasy Among Kitchens by Dean J Baker

It is rare that I find myself foraying into poetry (though, as a previous post will show, I’m experimenting with a sequence of sonnets) but this one really captured me.

An excerpt:
“What has been done to one
who blackens alive
the unturned leaves of the mind?”

Fantasy Among Kitchens.

Tuning In

Greetings, to both friends and strangers.

In my own travels, I feel it is best to do what we can for others as often as is reasonable and possible. This philosophy of mine is what led me to a family friend’s house earlier today.

This friend, who needed help recovering her home in Sandy’s wake, had surprisingly little for me to do. The yard work had been done, for the most part, and the women there were handling the interior work. Then she drew my attention to the piano.

Foremost, let me introduce you to this instrument. It wasn’t just some piano, like any old kind you might stumble across. This was an antique, hand-made player piano. Even in its broken, waterlogged condition, it sang about the decades of history it’d been through.

Destroying it was nearly painful, but, this was the task that had been assigned to me. I was to find a way to dispose of it.

Fortunately, I have a pretty keen, analytical mind (I was almost an engineer, but I hate math and have always loved writing, so here I am). I was able to take a quick look at it and, within an hour or so, had gutted it like the catch of the day.

The inside is what truly got to me; the strings, still being in perfect condition (after all, musical notes are made by percussion on a tense wire) were still able to produce music. Here I am, forced to tear apart an instrument that, with time and effort, could have lived again. Alas, none of us had enough of either.

After a while, I hit a dead end and found myself staring at the strings, which were all still attached to the metal plate anchored to the back of the piano itself. On an impulse, I reached up and flicked one.

Then I flicked another.

And another.

Soon I found myself utterly hypnotized by the most archaic way of playing a piano- by manually plucking each string, drawing out a shrill note from strings that were no doubt rejoicing in the chance to play one last song.

There’s something in such base simplicity that allows virtually anyone to play it, as long as one isn’t tone deaf; this got me thinking about writing.

As I drew out a macabre jubilance through discord, I was reminded of something I’ve often said but have not always, tragically, believed: that anyone can be good at something, they simply have to find the way of doing it that is right for them.

But, in the end, we all have our own creative brilliance to explore.

Whomsoever designed the piano that I destroyed has my praise, as it was a mechanical beauty- and doesn’t writing reflect that beauty in steampunk and other derivative tech-punks?

The notes I played may have sounded dark and tragic, but they also sounded somehow beautiful. Don’t we explore such things in romance and horror?

We pass by a cemetary; most see death, but don’t some see inspiration, whether from the stones, which stand against all forces of nature to pay tribute to those passed, or from the people themselves, when the memory of them lives for far longer? Is this determination to defy the natural order not the essence of all writing?

And so I sat, staring at 88 perfect strings, which, once I’d finished with them, ultimately faced destruction, I couldn’t help but be grateful simply for my ability to notice that.

On the ride home, I contemplated the structural beauty of architecture, the precise nature of mathematics, the endless patterns of history that, as they say, repeats itself- and I see millions of people, each expressing the same thought.

“I am, and this is mine; this is what I wish to do, and I will do so, for no other reason than that I believe it is what I am supposed to do. For it, I will achieve immortality or annihilation, and I accept this.”

Now, I return to my computer, to my humble little portion of reality that, day by day, I whittle towards something I might consider perfect.

Words by Christian Mihai

This is a really insightful post on the nature of inspiration. If you aren’t familiar with this blogger, I strongly recommend seeing what else he’s got to offer.

“If you saw the Matrix trilogy, it was like that. Like Neo, who sees the Matrix as a continuous flow of code or whatever, that’s how I was building this girl…”


Diseased by Daemonwulf

Another great short story- it only takes a few minutes to read, but it’ll stay with you for far longer.

Are diseases only things of the body and mind, or do they, perhaps, extend to a far deeper aspect of the human condition? Step into the world that Daemonwulf has crafted and see what it really means to infected.

“Chewed up by an army of secrets, I’ve felt a thousand sets of viral teeth feasting on me over the years. I shouldn’t have let it happen, but there really wasn’t much I could do.”


Carnage: After the End Has Been Unleashed!

Hello, travelers. I’ve found that life has many moments where there is naught but silence; allow me to suggest a little something to fill those long hours.

Both volumes of Carnage: After the End are filled from cover to cover with tales of apocalyptic mayhem, written by some of the most wonderfully twisted writers in the world of Indie publishing. Whether you love horror or are just in the mood for a book to curl up with as winter rolls in, these are sure to keep you riveted.

There is no doubt that, at some point, we will all face challenges of monstrous proportion- but there’s nothing like reading about someone else’s trip through the end of days to make you appreciate the days you have left.

Carnage: After the End Has Been Unleashed!.

On Time

Time is the one force of nature that no one can fully understand. The Modern Mind can place much within its domain of comprehension: Gravity and vacuums, atomic and planetary movement, light and sound, all of these can be measured, grasped, understood, but not time. No, there is no scientific way to measure time- we only have ways to examine our interpretation of time.

We could insinuate that time cannot be understood because it does not exist- existence being defined as having a state of objective reality. There are those who’d say that it is a mere convention; a tool used by men solely for the sake of regulating business. But that’s not strictly so, it it?

Consider plant life; the majority of global flora go through daily cycles, regulating by whether or not the sun is shining. They must spend certain periods within each state, for if one is neglected, the other is overwhelmed, and the creature dies.

Consider, also, a bat within a cave. It hunts at specific portions of the day, despite not seeing the sun.

There is also, of course, the rate of decay- the inexorable desecration of the physical that releases spent energy to the universe. The body decomposes within a certain period, barring extenuating factors, meaning that this process, too, is subjected to a natural temporal regulation.

But what of unnatural regulation? Is it ‘time’ to say that an author must complete a work within a specific ‘time’ period? Or that any other person must accomplish a task within allotted ‘time’? Of course- though we arbitrarily determine how much time is given in modern society, all tasks, throughout history, were devoted to survival, and will continue to be.

The hunter-gatherer is so named because it was all he did, but he needed to do so within a specific time in order to continue his own life cycle. Those who failed in tribal duties could often be subjected to punishment that, inevitably, caused his or her life to end its course that much faster. Similarly, in the modern age, the inability to operate according to the standards that are required of you to profit will result in the near-certainty of homelessness and starvation.

Despite human advancements, the Earth spins at precisely the same rate, day in and day out, and will continue to do so until it is ultimately subjected to the dark regality of cosmic oblivion. Our delightful little sphere orbits around the sun; our solar system revolves and orbits as well; the other galaxies shift, spin and move in relation to one another; these all happen cyclically, as if these celestial bodies are one giant LP with a skipping needle, forced to play on loop until their end comes.

Human behavior, like the actions of the planets, is also regulated by such cycles, though often beyond our conscious awareness. Should one overeat at a midday meal, one will still look for food at the time one would usually eat next, even if one is not hungry. If a person stays up late, that person may, without consulting the clock, yawn to his or her self and say, “Time for bed.”

So, is time irrelevant, then, if that person did not concern themselves with what the time actually was? Numerically, yes; literally, no, because that person’s physiology dictated that, its normal cycle having been broken, the mind was to shut down and relinquish consciousness to the temporary death we all have come to love so much.

To those who say that time does not exist, I propose that you are wrong. To those who say that time does exist, I say the same, for this reason:
Time as we know it is merely a convention used to analyze and understanding the notion of how our entire physical universe operates in cycles. These cycles are the ‘true’ time; hours, days and years are ‘human’ time.

Time is in a constant state of partial existence- we can conclusively say that all things cycle, operate under the ebb and flow of atomic energy, and absorb and release that energy at specific times- but we cannot objectively state what it really is or in what ways it can be understood.

All things, separately and simultaneously, are subjected to their own inescapable eventuality. Whether the fruit fly, which lives for a mere day, or a star, which could live for hundreds of thousands of years before detonating and wiping out all life around it, these things will continue to repeat upon themselves until they cease to exist.

As will we all.