Tag Archives: Fiction

Guest post: The Next Day, by Sheila Hall

A short while ago, I wrote what is as yet my only piece of erotic fiction, and I had the good fortune to have that story featured on TheDarkerhalf.com, a marvellous website run by Sheila Hall and Christopher Liccardi. Sheila and Chris showcase fantastic short stories by some amazing writers, and I consider it an honor that they chose to feature my work.

Sheila and myself were talking recently, and I thought it would be great if I could reciprocate and have her write a piece of flash fiction for me. Although Sheila is normally known for her naughty, cheeky side, she writes beautiful poetry too. I originally said jokingly that she should write a piece of horror erotica, to which she replied, “Challenge accepted!”

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you on that score, because the story you’re about to read is anything other than erotic! I guess we’ll all just have to wait a while longer for that little gem!

As this is the first time I have featured a story by another author on my blog, I wanted things to go sweetly, so I donned my Editor’s cap for this big occasion. I read far too many stories by guests on other peoples’ blogs where there are glaring errors in both grammar and spelling, and on the odd occasion I have known there to be words repeated, or even missing! I hope that Sheila approves of my slight oiling and tweaking to her wonderful story.

This tale is a short story of sudden and shocking realization, and it’s one I know you’ll enjoy.

Stream

The Next Day

by Sheila Hall

It still feels like the middle of the night, but I know it isn’t. Instead of the moon hanging low, I see rays of sunlight filtering through the leafy canopy overhead. The forest around me is teeming with life. Songbirds are sharing gossip, and various other animals are engaging in their morning routines. All these signs start to focus my thoughts on the really important questions: where the hell am I, and why am I here instead of in my bed?

The ground is wet and cold under my cheek. It’s natural, and yet it feels so wrong. I raise my head, and the pounding that accompanies that small movement shatters all thoughts of continuing that motion. Squinting, I become more aware of my surroundings, and the lack of modern conveniences that I would normally expect to see upon waking convinces me that wherever it is that I am, this is not my bedroom. I venture a guess that I’m in the woods bordering my home. I always loved the stark contrast between urban dwelling and ancient shelter. That’s why I chose to live here.

The longing for the familiar motivates me to get up to my knees. Stomach heaving, I lurch up and stagger over to the stream a few yards in front of me. The water should be clear and sparkling, but it isn’t. Instead it’s littered with flesh and bone; the remains of some animal another creature had consumed as prey. Rotting chunks not yet fully rendered down by acid float lazily away, carried along with all the other debris sharing the same journey downstream.

The copper taste of old pennies is in my mouth, making me gag, and I gulp greedily at the tainted water to try and rinse it away. It’s then that I notice the unusual discoloration staining my skin. Looking down I see that my clothing is tainted by the red and brown hues of drying blood spatter and mud. Grabbing at myself, I look for the cuts on my skin that would account for the amount of blood I see. Please, let the blood be mine. Yet no matter how hard I look the jagged tears in my flesh I expect to see are nowhere to be found. I have no apparent injuries.

Not again. Dear God, no. Not again.

***

 The little stream flows on, uncaring. Its waters wash over the small, huddled form that is half immersed, dry heaving and tearing at its own skin. Blood, bile, and sanity travel onward towards the sea.

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5-star reviews and a guest blogger invitation!

In the 8 days that my book, Darke Times and Other Stories has been available, I have had the good fortune to sell books (though I have no idea just how many), receive glowing 5-star reviews, and on the back of one of the reviews the reviewer invited me to be a guest blogger on his blog!

M.C. O’Neill, author of The Ancients and the Angels series of YA novels, Celestials and Archons awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and had this to say:

I love anthologies and collections because they introduce me to new authors. “Darke Times” is no exception. When you delve into this collection’s pages, you really get what you pay for: a wonderful variety show of the bizarre. David Eccles can handle any genre thrown at him with hilarious skill. Some of the stories range from horror, fantasy, sci-fi, erotica – you get it all but his dry (and sometimes wet) wit will guarantee laughter.

I enjoy how his short stories are punctuated with flash-fiction treasures that operate almost like a commercial, but one that you would actually want to watch. “Teeth” sticks out in my mind. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.

Although I’m a yank, Eccles’ language is decisively British, and think Terry Pratchett more so than Neil Gaiman, but a Pratchett that goes to places he would normally not dare. LOVE IT!

It looks great on the Kindle with sharp formatting and beautiful cover design and you get everything the package advertises plus more.

I can’t wait to see what kind of full-length novels are going to come out of this guy’s brain in the future. I’m guessing horror or even Bizarro – and these stories are ALL bizarre – but whatever they may be, I am now a fan.

John F.D. Taff, the horror author and a man responsible for over 65 short stories and 7 novels was the very first person to review my book, and if I know John, he was probably the first to buy it too! He too awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and said:

David Eccles’ first published book of short stories, Darke Times and Other Stories, is a wide-ranging look at this new author’s range of work. From flash fiction pieces like “The Teeth Police”–a short, funny and horrifying little jab of a story–to “Jack & Jill (and Steve!)”–a funny little riff on Jack the Ripper and time travel–to the titular “Darke Times”–a tale of a Rastafarian pixie who really, really wants to get to the football match–Eccles imbues his stories with a rakish wit and a firm hand. Even when they’re quite clearly horror, there’s an edge of comedy to them which makes the tales stand out. Grab it now and give it a try, because Eccles’s name is one you’ll be hearing.

To have two fantastic authors, each respected in their own genres heap praise on me like that was just the most amazing feeling, and still the 5-star reviews keep on coming! But wait! It gets better!

As I mentioned earlier, one of my reviewers invited me to do a guest blog on their website. That reviewer was none other than John F.D. Taff. John wanted to know more about  me, and about how and why I write and, of course, he gave me the opportunity to mention Darke Times and Other Stories. What a wonderful way to show his appreciation of my book and my writing talents! How could I refuse such a generous gesture! It’s guys like John and James Roy Daley and James Ward Kirk who have seen something in me and in the way that I write and have given me the chance to show what I can do, and I am eternally grateful to them and anyone who is gracious enough to show their support.

Show John your support and visit johnfdtaff.com

To see the blog that I wrote for John on July 18th, click here.

Another submission accepted!

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

On the back of my short story Doing it for JRD (Justice, Revenge and Deliverance) being accepted for publication in Sex, Drugs & Horror, an anthology edited by the wonderful James Ward Kirk, I am pleased to announce that another of my short stories has been accepted for publication in another of James Ward Kirk’s anthologies; this time I am to be published in his third Serial Killers anthology, Serial Killers Tres Tria, available later this year. Check out the killer cover by William Cook! Isn’t it just awesome!

If you click on the cover image above, you’ll be taken to the submissions page for this particular anthology, and because submissions are still open, I suggest you all get writing and give it a go.

Better still, get on over to JWKfiction.com and see what other submissions are open, and while you’re at it, treat yourself to some wonderful books!

And before I forget — A huge thank you once more to the wonderful James Ward Kirk, and to all of you wonderful people who take the time to read my stories, especially the author and a good friend of mine, M.C. O’Neill, who does a great job beta-reading for me and pokes me with a huge barbed stick and tells me to submit my stuff. Thank you, Mark!

A huge thank you to Troy Blackford!

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

I try to be very loyal to the authors I read, and with Troy Blackford, I have all of his available books and I try to read all the short stories that he has had the fortune to have published online.

He was one of the main people to inspire me to take up writing, and for that I thank him. Reading his books led me to make the decision to finally do it and not just sit there reading other peoples’ books and thinking i wish i could do that. He, along with another truly inspirational author, Ksenia Anske spurred me into action.

I was scrolling through my writers and authors list on Twitter not long ago when suddenly up pops a mention from @TBlackford3, Troy Blackford informing me that I had been fortunate enough to be a runner-up in a prize draw that he had held, though the prize I had won remained a mystery to me at that time. I duly gave him my address via a Twitter DM, and lo and behold, a few weeks later I receive a package in the mail from the USA. Carefully opening it, I found it contained a lovely printed copy of Troy’s latest short story collection, For Those With Eyes To See, complete with a great inscription to myself.

For that wonderful prize and a great inscription, my reply to Troy is: No, Troy. You the man, bro’! *smiley face* And thank YOU so much!

Go and support both of these wonderful authors. You can find Troy at http://www.troyblackford.com/ and Ksenia at http://www.kseniaanske.com/.

 

I wrote a story in honour of JRD

woohoo_fireworks

Time for celebration!

A few days ago, I had an idea burst free from my head and onto the virtual page. It was a short story in honour of James Roy Daley, an amazing author and the man behind BOOKSoftheDEADPRESS.

It featured mostly narration by a serial killer looking back on the first time he killed, and the circumstances surrounding it. It was nasty, graphic and featured very explicit sex and sexual swear words. I was very proud of it, and I sent it to JRD, who thought it was great. Incidentally, the story is entitled Doing it for JRD (Justice, Revenge and Deliverance).

Another friend of mine, author M.C. O’Neill read it too, thought it was awesome and suggested that I submit it to James Ward Kirk at http://jwkfiction.com/ to see if it would be accepted for his upcoming Serial Killers Tres Tria anthology. Following his advice, I submitted the story, taking care to read through all of the submission requirements, and then I left it at that, hoping that I might be lucky enough to be accepted, but quite content in the knowledge that even if it didn’t make the cut it wasn’t the end of the world, because there are thousands of places to submit to.

To cut a long story short: tonight I got a reply from James Ward Kirk who said he loved the story and that he wanted to use it in his Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology which is to be published during the first week of July. He actually said that if I preferred for it to feature instead in the Serial Killers Tres Tria anthology, he’d send over a different contract, but thinking about it now, there’s a lot of horror and a lot of sex in the story, and because it’s about a killer’s first kill, it would be more suited towards the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology.

Needless to say, I’ve written a bio and the contract has been signed and returned to JWK by electronic carrier pigeon, so next month will see me as being a published author in at least one anthology, if not two, as i have another story coming out shortly in an anthology that has been written in collaboration with some of my friends and fellow writers from the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse  collective.

Things are looking up for me, folks, and now i’ve got my foot on the first rung of the ladder there will be no stopping me!

I’m guesting on another blog, guys!

Zombie_Warning_Sign

Click on the image to visit Danielle’s site and read The Final Lesson, or click on one of the links below.

The lovely, talented Danielle Tauscher asked me to write a story for her, and so i did, when i managed to find the time to do so.

It’s a 500 word piece of flash fiction written in 2nd person point of view, as per her challenge. It’s called The Final Lesson, and you can find it both on her blog at www.writingupsidedown.com and here on my blog too, but i do urge you to go and visit Danielle’s site, because there’s some great stories on there, and while you’re at it, why not take up some of Danielle’s challenges and write something of your own. I’m sure she’d love to see your efforts and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be selected to guest on her site, as i have.

Thank you, Danielle! It was a pleasure to write for you.

Sumtin’ Ta Keep Ya Sweet!

Rasta

Here’s a story for your delectation. It’s called Darke Times, and it’s a little something that i wrote a few weeks ago and was holding back, but i’ve decided to let the world see Calvin Darke, Rastafarian pixie in all his glory. You’ll love him, i’m sure. All who have had the homour of reading this short story have just loved it, and i hope that you all will too, so get comfortable, roll yourself a huge spliff and laugh your socks off at Calvin, because what he gets up to in this tale you just won’t believe! I loved writing this, so don’t think you’ve seen the last of Calvin Darke!

Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! New Story!

Squiffysquirrel

It’s been a while, i know, what with the madness that was Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, but now that the flying fur has settled, here for your enjoyment is a story that i wrote just for you, my followers. It involves alcohol, and it’s called Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! And if you like it, or even if you dislike it, leave me a comment and let me know. I would appreciate it greatly!

Oh, and while i’m here i may as well tell you that i received my first rejection today, with regard to a short story i submitted. They praised my talent and writing style and said they enjoyed the story, but it was not what they were looking for. I found out later via a good friend and amazing author M. C. O’Neill that they were asking for a specific theme for their fantasy anthology, something i had not spotted, and neither had he, so i’m in good company!

I have another chance at being successfully chosen for this anthology, so i shall put on my thinking cap and this time come up with a story that has relevance to their needs!

And i have been invited back to submit for further anthologies, so that says something for me!

The cup’s half full, guys, not half empty!

A Great Day!

Read a new author! They'll thank you for it!

Read a new author! They’ll thank you for it!

Yesterday, i read a Tweet from the fantastic author, James Roy Daley, founder and owner of BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS, advertising the fact that they were open for submissions of pieces of flash fiction no more than 400 words in length.

Recognising the fact that unpublished writers like myself have only a very small reading audience and few fans, and that we write for nothing, he has taken the decision to showcase unknown writers who are of a decent standard, thereby giving them the benefit of increased readership, as his site has had over 1,000 visitors in the last 2 days alone! What a marvellous guy! It’s great for someone such as myself to find someone who sees how hard it can be to make a name for yourself, and for that person to stand up and say, “Hey. I’ll give you a helping hand.”

A good friend and co-writer of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, Sandra Hould had been successful in her submission, and was featured on BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS yesterday. You can read Sandra’s story, The “V” Syndrome Vaccine here. I edited her work before submission, and as soon as i found out that her piece had been accepted, i decided to write a piece of my own and try my luck.

The tale i wrote began as a conversation between my brother and i yesterday morning, about his having to cancel a dental appointment. Something that he said made me laugh and triggered my “story switch”, so i filed it away in memory to use in a story later that day. I played around with it, altering things here and there, and i could visualize it in my head as if i was watching a movie, and it may have only been 396 words in length, but it took me until this morning, working non-stop during the night to get it “right”. I din’t get to bed until around 5.30am!

I was happy with what i had written. James had asked for our best work, and i delivered just that, and now there was nothing to do but play the waiting game, with everything crossed! Earlier this afternoon, i received an e-mail from James Roy Daley, informing me that my submission had been succesful! Attached to the e-mail was a minimally edited copy of my story. James wanted to know if his edits were acceptable, and i was to let him know whether or not to go ahead and publish. The story is better for the small edits; of that i have no doubt. Any writer who thinks that his or her story will be published without being editing is delusional. I’ve a message for you: you’re not perfect!

Within minutes of my reply, my story was emblazoned on the screen of my laptop. It felt great to have a little recognition, no matter how small. And how James Roy Daley described my writing! He said i reminded him of…

To find out who i reminded him of, you’ll just have to go and read my story, The Teeth Police. Read it on BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS, or on my blog, here. Wherever you choose to read it, please feel free to drop by my blog and leave a comment. After all, it’s the surest way that writers like me know that we are being read and enjoyed!

 

Peter Gives Detailed Information In Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 12

Peter recollects the horror of his imprisonment

Peter recollects the horror of his imprisonment

Peter recounts his torture and imprisonment and gives details of the reason for the war against the humans in Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 12, written by the lovely and very talented Kai Kiriyama. You can read it at www.kseniaanske.com.

Kai Kiriyama

Author, Kai Kiriyama.
Photo by Kai Kiriyama.

Kai, a native of Canada, is the author of Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Knight Surgeon, a mystery and suspense novel featuring Blaze Tuesday – a retired cop turned private eye, available here.

Kai mainly concentrates on writing novels, short stories and screenplays. “I don’t do poetry” she says. She is a monthly contributor to Zombie Training Magazine www.zombietraining.com and she writes about film, TV, and video games.

In her own words, Kai say of herself:

Kai Kiriyama is a time-traveling, demon-hunter most of the time and an over-caffeinated writer the rest of the time. She writes a little bit of everything and swears that there’s not enough hours in the day, even with time-travel! You can usually find her drinking coffee and sneaking comics when she’s supposed to be writing.

Kai has a blog, a Facebook author page, and she is also active on Twitter and Google+. She also has a Youtube channel.

Tomorrow, we feature the author of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 13, JLuis Licea.