My first guest post is by my friend and fellow author Andrew Lennon. Andrew is one of the nicest guys in the business and his new short story collection, A Taste of Fear is well worth checking out. I’ll hand over to him now and let him tell you more!
When Michael Bray asked if I wanted to do a guest blog on his site I was a little bit nervous. I’ve never done a blog before, let alone a guest post so I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to say or how this is going to go. Just bear with me and hopefully I don’t sound like too much of an idiot.
Michael suggested that it would be a good idea to use this post to promote my new book “A Taste of Fear” which is due for release on 29th July. So here we go….
I had some short stories that I wanted to put into a collection, some had been previously published in various anthologies. Some were completely new, however once I’d finished putting the collection together, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. It just didn’t feel right to release this collection when it felt incomplete.
I was toying with various thoughts and ideas about what to add, but nothing really seemed to fit. Then Stuart Keane contacted me with edit notes for my daughter, Georgia. She has a couple of stories lined up for release with Dark Chapter Press within their anthologies “A-Z” and “Kids – Vol 2”. And that’s when it hit me. That is what would finish this collection off perfectly. If I could get a couple of stories from Georgia, then that would make the finished touch and it would also introduce people to her writing ahead of these anthology releases.
I personally think that Georgia is a fantastic writer, but being her Dad. I’m bound to say that aren’t I? It was when she submitted stories to anthologies that were accepted, and she had editors who were saying she has a gift there, and, she has a bright future in writing. I was sure that this was the right decision.
When I asked Georgia if she wanted to write a couple of stories to go in my anthology she immediately said yes and was quite excited to do so. A few weeks later she came back to me with her first story. “Dolls With Human Hair”. To say that I was jaw dropped is an understatement. I have genuinely never read anything like this before. She is really pushing the boundaries with this story. Truth be told, perhaps some readers will not like her for it, but the readers that do like it, will love it! It is, in my opinion, the best story in this collection.
A few weeks after that she came back to me with another story and a poem. Again these were both great. The emotion and description within these stories really sets a creepy vibe throughout. I really enjoyed them and I hope you do.
So anyway. That’s how this collection was completed. The description for the book will follow in a moment, if you scroll further down you will be able to read the first story in the collection in full. A flash fiction story named “Bite”.
On tonight’s menu, brought to you by Andrew Lennon.
We have a collection of short stories, each tailored to give you A Taste of Fear.
Something small to whet your appetite.
For starters we have:
Bite – A lone survivor in a zombie apocalypse
Killing Christmas – A man who loses his mind over the festive season.
Apartment 2B – A taxidermist who decides that it may be time to make his wife, his art.
On the main course we have:
Hunger – A cellar dweller who is looking for something, or someone to feed on.
Silent Scream – A group of campers who are soon to be hunted.
Meet Victor – A children’s horror tale about a haunted house.
Twins – Two sisters who invent a game, and they want people to play with.
Lake – Two lovers who are trying to escape, but can they?
Bad Day – The tale of a man who’s had too much. Eventually he will snap.
For desserts we have:
Bonus stories from Georgia Lennon.
Dolls With Human Hair.
I am the monster in the dark.
We hope you enjoy your meal and leave here with A Taste of Fear.
Please, come back soon.
Shovelling a spoonful of beans into his mouth, Aaron kept his eyes focused on the black and white CCTV screens. What had started as a bit of fun had quickly became a major obsession. Luckily, for Aaron, it was an obsession he had taken very seriously.
It was just over a year ago that the first news report hit the TV stations. Experts had no other word for them: Zombies. The cause was uncertain. If there was anybody who actually knew how the outbreak began, or knew of the person responsible, they were either dead or keeping quiet for their own safety.
Nobody could have imagined just how quickly the outbreak would spread. Local authorities were powerless to fight these creatures, and the armed forces didn’t last more than a couple of days. They were able to take down a lot of them with effective headshots, but a killer that is both fearless and mindless does not back down, or slow down. Before any real damage was made from the gunfire, the soldiers were swarmed. Just a scratch from one these things was enough to infect you. The movies had lied; it wasn’t just a bite that you had to fear. If they could reach you, you were a goner.
Aaron had been preparing for this for years. He had been laughed at, and alienated from his family and friends. He was just the crazy person preparing for the zombie apocalypse. He didn’t even open the door for his own mother when he saw her trying to escape from the madness outside.
News reports stopped within days. Any reporters that had braved the outside world in a vain attempt of the glory report were ripped apart on camera for the viewers at home. For a while, Aaron was able to keep an eye on things through online videos. People would film the carnage from their bedroom windows and then upload them to YouTube, but they hadn’t prepared the way Aaron had. They didn’t have a year’s worth of food, or steel reinforced doors. After a couple of weeks, people stopped uploading the online videos. The only thing Aaron had left to check were his own CCTV cameras.
At first, he had been scared at the sight of his neighbours being ripped apart outside his home, but then he remembered how all of these people had treated him. Now he was safe inside and they were the stupid ones. He laughed, it didn’t matter that nobody was there to hear him. The pleasure he took in finding out that he was right after all this time gave him a great sense of joy.
Now, his eyes still watched the cameras, waiting for some sign of movement. The cameras had never been so quiet. Victims had stopped appearing on the cameras within a couple of months, but until last week, there had always been several zombies prowling the streets, sometimes even sniffing around the door, as if they knew he was inside. Now, the outside world looked empty, still. Could it be that these things had died off? There were several lifeless figures lying on the ground, but Aaron wasn’t willing to risk checking just yet. If the zombies really had died, then that meant there were no more people for them to feed on.
Could it be possible that he was one of the only remaining survivors left on the planet? He licked his lips at this thought. He had resisted this temptation for over a year, but now if the evidence looked to be true, then Aaron would be responsible for repopulation.
He threw the empty tin on the floor, wiped the spilt beans from his chest, and then walked to the spare bedroom. That’s where he’d left her, still chained to the wall, a young girl. Splitting his rations with her for all this time was now going to pay off. All that waiting would be worthwhile. The wait would make it so much more pleasurable.
Perspiration began to form around his upper lip. The young girl must have sensed the look in Aaron’s eyes because she screamed and cowered back into the corner. There was a sense of fear and self-preservation that he thought she had given up on a long time ago. He was hoping that the fight would be completely gone out of her, and that this would be an easy task.
“Now, dear,” he said through his heavy breathing. “There’s no use making a fuss, this is for the good of humanity. We have to do this to save the world.”
The girl didn’t say anything, she just screamed in response, frantically trying to free herself from the shackles.
“Calm down.” He licked his lips and edged towards her. “It’s all going to be alri … OW!”
He smacked the side of his neck where he had felt a tiny pinprick. He looked at his palm to see a tiny squashed insect. A mosquito.
Aaron’s eyes turned blood red.
You can pre order “A Taste of Fear by going to:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taste-Fear-Collection-Horror-Stories-ebook/dp/B01F3O6ZWO/
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2abC3CM
Thanks to Andrew for submitting his post and being my first ever blog guest! If you want to check out more of his work you can find his website at: http://www.andrewlennon.co.uk/
if you a writer and are interested in posting a guest post of your own, let me know!