Showing posts with label Short Story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Short Story. Show all posts

A free gift for you to kick off the festive season!

Here you go . . . a #Free #Book! Hopeless, a supernatural #Horror story. (U.S. & U.K. links below) - Grab a copy now and please share :) Free 'til Tuesday.

Nothing can kill a child's love for her mother . . .

A young girl must face her biggest fear – her father. As she struggles to protect her mother from the man she once idolized, young Hope must confront her situation and the possibility that they may not get out alive. A fast-paced supernatural horror story with a twist, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From the author of Blood Related and Dreams of Thanatos

*Bonus Features: includes an additional short story and a recent interview with the author.

Warning: contains adult content + themes of psychological horror and domestic abuse.

"William Cook tells a gruesome story with a sense of authenticity that makes you question with considerable unease if it really is fiction, after all."
– Graham Masterton, author of The Manitou and Descendant

“This man is simply scary. There is both a clinical thoroughness and a heartfelt emotional thoroughness to his writing. He manages to shock as well as empathize, to scare as well as acclimatize, yet beneath it all is a well read intelligence that demands to be engaged. I loved Blood Related. Ordinarily I hate serial killer stories, but William Cook won me over. He is a unique and innovative talent.”
– Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dog Days

#horror #shortstory #scarybooks #horrorshort #Supernatural #Ghosts



Hi everyone. Well it's been a while but many things have been underway - hence the MIA status. Recently, I was featured on the talented Jerry McKinney's website as one of his 'Featured Friends' and rated a mention on a recent radio talk-back show with host Jeff Mudgett.

I have a new ebook due out by the end of September titled 'Macabre: A Collection of Short Fiction'. As the name suggests, it is a short-story collection of twelve macabre stories that readers will hopefully enjoy. I will make sure to post a link as soon as it goes live. And, finally, Black Bed Sheet Books are re-releasing 'Blood Related' on Halloween and I have also signed a deal with them for the sequel - tentatively titled 'Blood Trail' and halfway to completion. I would expect this to be finished just before or after Christmas and ready for release sometime before midyear 2013. So, a busy second-half for 2012 - if the calendar ticks over into 2013 I suspect next year will be even busier. Hope everyone is well and healthy out there in NetWorld - take care and keep doing what you love.

Dark World Tirade


It is a hostile & balmy atmosphere everywhere injustice reigns.  There is violence on every street-corner, in every home, in every heart & mind. People split into packs like wild dogs & lions, armed with knives, guns, clubs. Cults recruit vast armies who are searching for the right belief the salvation but all the while, famine, disease, & confusion reign the streets, roaming & slaying like huge black worms of energy, effusing the city in rising tides of blood.
Today has become a sick & diseased perversion of a body that once burned with life instead of death. Scenes from all parts of the world flood the TV screens with death & carnage, sickness, cruelty; sinful flesh eating orgies of hate & greed . . .  & so we were warned with our eyes, many years ago. The city begins to crumble & suck us into its vortex in a divine lesson of justice & revenge.
We have joined hands with death & sin, never now to let go, while beyond the burning rubble & decay, the black clouds part for an instant & a blinding light emanates in throbbing rings of energy. A beautiful woman cloaked in sun smiles softly & wipes a crystal tear from her fair cheek, turning back into the shimmering phosphorescence. There is an impression of great purity, yet great evil beyond comprehension. Emancipation somehow seems so far from this place & time, yet I have seen a tree on a mountaintop that is so large & green, that I can think or see of nothing else.


I stand at a filthy shop window, looking through the smeared & murky glass, I see a frame & in that frame I see life trapped, in a dirty glass soul-box. I see liberty coveting oppression, hate, greed, violence, control. I see the whole of humankind linking arms in abandonment & themselves. I see them with bared teeth, lips curled back, eyes burning blood red, face-to-face killing, raping, hating, each other. They cannot talk, nor hear, nor see their own reflections.
Behind me a flash of light & above the noise of the hungry city streets I hear the low belly thunder pushing out the clouds. The rain starts pelting the cars & newspaper shields of citizens, swearing, cursing, heads down some fall in the slippery litter-blocked gutters, cracking their heads on the pavement as they exclaim Jesus!
I watch them fall, like burst balloons they crumple & spread their blood across the dirty asphalt. I look into one mans eyes as he rolls over, his black hair stuck wetly to his chalk forehead, dark blood spread like chocolate across his face, his white teeth glistening, chattering. His eyes fill with rain like pools of crimson tears, glazed like cherries, he jerks & slumps, staring up at the churning sky. 
I begin to walk, the air being sucked from my chest, all around I see trees sprouting from drains, from cracks in the footpath, from balcony windowsills plants, moss, ivy, vines, leaves, grass burst across the street in front of me, scurrying up grey concrete & red brick walls  .  .  .  as the people continue to drop, scratching at bleeding throats, & weeping blisters, broken bones peeking through skin, black-rimmed eyes with no pupils, falling, falling, fallen, like mange-ridden dogs on all fours yelping, barking in pain & contortion. The green blanket of vegetation covers everything for an instant like a shroud, enveloping their writhing forms, constricting, devouring, renewing, living. Oily silver minnows begin to rain from the sky, bouncing off the street like taut pieces of thin chrome the green vines twist through & under their pelting brilliance as if hungry for some feast of fish the clattering of flopping fish & the rustle of procreation is almost deafening I close my eyes, hands over ears . . .  


I keep walking, vaguely bemused; is this a dream? Am I alive? Naked couples copulate in doorway shadows, screaming, snorting, convulsing, singing strange songs of joyful celebration in their unhappy bonds of coitus, tearing flesh as they break their desperate bones against each other. I turn away in time to see a nude man, pale, skinny, dishevelled, climb the steel back of a neon sign buzzing in the rain. He stands on top of the sign; it advertises some product in the shape of a cross. He climbs down on to its face & drops onto the small platform in front of it. It has white lights that pop & switch on & off around its ϯ shape. He unscrews the bulbs, throwing each one in an arc over his left shoulder, bouncing them off the side of the office building & smashing down on the slick street.
A small crowd has gathered below, staring expressionlessly, blankly, up at the naked man. Black, white, brown, blue, pink, mustard, coloured faces melt together as they begin a slow clapping chant:  --- Mary! Mary! quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Mary! Mary! quite contrary .  .  . The pitiful man has now turned to look down on the crowd; his ribs cast shadows in the sickly light of the remaining neon bulbs. He looks to the sky, silhouette framed in light & the signs red background. Looks at the crowd blankly, his toothless, sunken skinny face, smiles. Thumbs up, arms out stretched, he starts singing along with the crowds new hymn Mary! Mary! quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Mary! Mary! quite contrary .  .  .   then he thrusts his bony thumbs into the crackling black sockets of the neon sign . . .
Fire incinerates his jumping form, like a thin tree he crackled, sending sparkling showers of sparks & ash up & out across the crowd, twisting & turning, then burning out in the whirling wind & rain. I looked at their blank faces; they were covered in a sooty mask of what looked like mud or clay. They continued to clap, now humming, quietly.
I climbed down from my vantage point & walked to the next block, stepping across bodies, clambering across car bonnets, over steaming man-hole covers. The sky was growing dark; all the lights dully gleamed like pearls of oil, a long straight street with black doorways spilling filth into the light of city night. Nude women, naked men, fondling, groping, leering, prancing, grinding each other against graffiti covered walls of peeling newsprint & brick, amidst twitching piles of trash & broken glass, dead rats & cats, stumbling blind dogs with three legs urinating everywhere, a man dressed in a silver suit made from broken mirrors, smiles at me his face is greasy with perspiration his mirror hat tilted toward my face so my eyes are sitting above his A girl, a guy, a thing, a thang, an it, a bitch, a child, a frog, a toy, a gun, a hook .  .  . he paused for a second, looking this way & that, his eyeballs swivelling madly in his dripping skull, reaching behind the face on his lapel & pulling out a cross? he asked. I turned on my heel & walked deliberately, slowly, languidly, down the hall of ancient mirrors on deaths dark boulevard plucking a green bottle, from the grimy hands of a broken-down bum propped up against a rotting mule – drinking deep of that refreshing draught that was poison.


I looked at the passing forms & they too were lost in consumption, swigging from dark bottles of jolly-roger juice, smiling at the city with lust in their eyes & happiness in their wayward hearts. The night took over, I smashed my bottle against the gutter, its foul liquid evaporating in a steaming pool of nothing, all lights went out & I found myself on the other side of morning. On the side of the highway, the red sun bleeding through the cobalt dawn, the brown aura of loss concealed the dying breed of flesh-eaters & saints.
Cars droned past while I sat & looked back on whence I had come. Faces pressed against the glass of their windows, naked, staring straight ahead gunning their engines across the swaying steel bridge that leaves this place. Grasping clubs, machetes, rocks   smeared with blood, war paint their exodus determined by the liquid fuel of self-determination. Dragging broken, scraped, grated, bodies on lengths of steel rope & chains behind their wagons. The dismembered bodies of castrated males wearing rosary beads some strangled with them leaving a bloody trail like engine oil behind their sputtering, speeding, steeds.
The people were revolting against polarities of power that kept the barking dogs of apocalypse at bay in fear. A great evil had burnt itself into the minds of those with the means to end it all. Empires crumbled under the weight of a new morality of survival & insanity. Dichotomous choice became ingrained in the perception of the masses: things were black or white, give or take, live or die, hell or heaven. A juxtaposition of sanity, a great meddling of the senses bred tiny monsters that gnawed at the soul & the very essence of humanitys last ounce of self-control. A moral was a badge you wore, a uniform of dissent, a rifle or pipe bomb in your clenched fist a thumping in the chest. 

The Masters of Horror Anthology is now available

The Masters of Horror Anthology which contains my story "Devil Inside," as well as many other great stories, is now available. The print version doesn't come out till the end of April. but the digital version of the book is available now from Smashwords for $1.99. It's available in several formats including PDF, Kindle, LRM (sony), E-Pub, PDB (Palm) as well as others. Check it out if you are so inclined. You can get it here.

Babylon fading

This seat is hard, my shins are cold, my socks are low & black with grime, my shoes are stiff, my knees ache with the weight of my worn corduroys — the night is warm & noisy, so dark it is, that abstract & absolute light which is darkness — it is so dark tonight . . . Wait! There is light, a shimmering speck, by Jehovah! & Then cans twang bottles clang & smash, paper blows its rustled way wrapping around my lower leg like a flaky piece of skin or the slap of a bird’s flapping wing & then it’s taken by another breeze in the black city night — that light small speck I saw is extinguished now by the black hulk of a looming tower block — frail barks flounder in darkness, speech silent for a still savage moment . . .

My neck is sore I crane it skyward searching the churning ether for that noisy light . . .



A shock of burning white light — the infinite brightness violently broke through into vision — the corneas ripped from their lethargic slumber — the howling light turns blue, bouncing off the geometric multiplicity of the chainlink fence I clutch at, frantically gasping at the light on the other side — arcing shadows dance beneath the light’s accusing glare . . . lingering — I am shaking I am fear I am death I am insane I am paralysed I can’t move I can’t see I am dead I am about to be killed. . .







PLEASE!!! Please . . .?

I’m still on the bench seat in the trash-blown park, my legs nailed to my seat to the concrete thru right to burning hell . . . — STAY WHERE YOU ARE — DO NOT MOVE — IF YOU DO SO YOUR LIFE WILL BE TERMINATED — I REPEAT DO NOT MOVE —footsteps shuffling then a broken run, boots slapping asphalt louder, quite, yes there they are a stampede, ground rumbles thunderclaps hammer on steel, bombs drop resound — No, nononononono . . .

The light goes off. I am released. The sound breaks like a truck passing — a distant rumble then the noise of the dead man’s bones return to their creaking — halfalive halfalive halfalive — my breath is smoke, my eyes throb, my brain burns, my heart tries to saw its way out through my crumbling ribcage — I release a sigh, exhale, to end all sighs.

I close my eyes & feel & smell the dirty hot warm air of hell caressing my face, my hair, creeping up my trouser leg, crawling across my heaving gut & across my bruised bare chest — a massive hole now gaping blackly just above the left nipple, the icon of Mary grinning in the growing light — I lay back on the hard bench — the smog flavored morning bleeds light across the bay, a tugboat blares its horn through the fog, the trash barge shunts its bulk through the mist across the harbor to refuse island, car lights cut across the motorway invading the sleeping city, a silver-snake of train thunders past on the stilt-tracks, police sirens blare in the distance & a cold wind wipes my face.

A gull floating in on the light & breeze, eyes me suspiciously, dips its wings & turns circles above me looking down with malice & a perceptible hunger as it stretches its sharp red beak screaming at me — CAWCAWCAWCAWCAW . . . all black & white — Babylon fading . . .



Lucille sat smoking on the step in the sun. She took a drag and continued to dream through the fresh blue smoke. The sun burning brightly in the summer sky. The blue back porch peeling in the heat – the timber creaking under her young dreams and aspirations. Flipping the cap on her steel lighter, tapping her feet on the top step to a silent beat. The sun good and warm on her young thin skin – white t-shirt loose flapping languidly in the warm afternoon breeze – bare feet breathing, feeling the worn grain of the wooden step – blue jeans beat and holy with worn wounds torn in knees and backside. The flame, as if from her fingers, dancing in the whispering air – white spots pop around the flame.

Lucille tired of her imagination, yawned and tugged her sneakers on. The sun now dying in the distance, floundering behind the dusky silhouette of the suburban horizon. Her black parka and red baseball cap – protection against the coming night. Dogs began to bark in hungry expectation – their master’s cars creeping home up the street. A bus half-lit against the twilight – faces forward, vacant eyes – floating along like leaves on a breeze until home, then caged again. Lucille’s old man wouldn’t be home again – lost somewhere in the desert between then & now. A gecko slithered across the porch and into the black shadows under the chair. Her mother might be home tonight, if she didn’t score – her mother that is. At least she didn’t bring them back anymore – she figured the old bitch had probably realised it was easier to let them do her in the alley behind the bar – less of a walk to get the next drink from a trick.

Lucille lit another smoke, the light from the flame orange white glowing in her stony gaze. She spat in prophesy into the dead flowers beside the porch – the screen door snapping at her young heels as she went inside, switching on the yellow hall light. The house stank of meat and grease – flies broke away from the walls and dirty dishes in the sink as she entered the small kitchenette. She opened the fridge – last beer left. A white spark then dark, the bulb blew – she fumbled in the empty rank fridge for the beer and left the house, slamming the chain-link gate behind her. She sucked on her beer and headed on into the musky night.

A greasy burger on Main Street, moths beating themselves to death on the popping fluorescent light under the street cover. The burger tasted good, her thin stomach moaning with gratitude, licking fingers. Another smoke. Walking again. Damn, she needed some cash. She’d just spent her last loose change. A plane rumbled overhead – ominous, its undercarriage low and visible, wings blinking red and green, then gone. She lit another smoke with the butt of the last – sixteen years old and full of dreams and the warm city night waiting to swallow her up.

She kept walking, images flashing faster in her brain – her mother, her crabbed face white and wrinkled blood-red lips charcoal dead eyes bleached blond dry hair – soulless posture. A photo of her father, remembered, black and white – long beard shaved head jailhouse tattoos straddled on a clapped out chrome horse. Fire, always fire licking the edges of everything – the houses the moon cars windows trees fences people . . .

People moved inside the white house. A family scene – steaming dinner on the table. All smiles and throwback head laughter. Man cuts the meat. Mother hairbuns blue apron, dishing out the sliced pink roast. Plump blond children squeal, banging table with fisted knives and forks . . .

Lucille stood hypnotized, rooted to the spot. Her face dissected in the reflection of the quarter windowpane. She didn’t know how long she stood there, watching, trembling – mind blank. Hairbuns blue apron appeared in the window, a laugh on her red lips, head turned over shoulder as she drew the curtains across her pert apron encased cashmere breasts. Lucille snapped out of her trance. It was like she woke up, but was outside of herself. Everything – like one of those old black and white James Cagney movies her Ma used to watch on the TV late at night. She watched herself walk around the corner of the west wall and stand before the half open bedroom window, the linen curtain slowly flapping in the breeze against the white window sill. She closed her eyes and dreamed a dream.

Lucille kicked open the gate and walked up the old wooden steps to the dark porch. She wasn’t home. She sat on the top step and looked out across the suburban landscape silhouettes lit with faint ghostly lights. Haunted figures across the way, shambling in and out of sight like voodoo zombies framed in the windows. A cat moaned for sex next door. A car slid its hissing way up the empty street. In the distance, a siren started to peel itself out of the black night. Lucille lit a smoke and took a drag, holding the cigarette up and watching the red ember glow as it took to the thin cigarette paper – her other hand absently brushing up against the growing urge in her torn jeans.

An orange glow had broken out in the distance, about a kilometre south, above the black silhouettes of the houses on the horizon. White smoke flowered from the horizontal half moon of the fire, tapering up, drifting slowly into the black still night. Lucille’s eyes glazed as she flicked the smouldering cigarette butt into the dead flowers next to the porch. Her breath quickening as her hand worked against herself – the siren now multiplied, screaming. Tumbling red lights dancing flippantly towards the fire, now blazing cinders spread like small red stars high into the warm night sky. The smoke now yellow, billowing into the blackness hanging heavy over the suburbs. The scene like a consummated painting framed between the porch banisters. All Lucille heard was her heart beating, blood pumping like a drum in her head. The worn wood grain of the porch, cool through her t-shirt against the bones of her young back. The night now closing in.

Anomalous Perigee

He turned on his black polished heel, raised his well dressed right arm – the light dancing off his polished cuff link – repositioned his curved left arm a little higher on the delicate back of his true love, then slowly waltzed from the centre of the light into the shadows.
Over her shoulder he watched the light, drunk with love & wine, he could not contain the rogue tears that tumbled from his tired eyes. The smell of her perfume engulfed his senses.
The silk touch of her soft skin on his cheek.
The feel & smell of her fine hair against the tip of his nose, as they spun slowly in between the light & the dark.
The empty chairs & tables in the hall resounded with applause; confetti fell like snow upon their twisting slow sonata . . .
The adagio waned – began to fade – the click of a door echoed through the music & the lingering mumble of departing guests – the light flickered, swelled, then was full & bright again as it should be.
The confetti was gone, the guests too – the table & chairs nowhere to be seen – the hall walls had shrunk, chandeliers disappeared, but still the music continued as he took one last semi-pirouette & stopped – his hand raised, fingers together as if holding the smallest of hands – the other hand spread just away from his mid-section as if to protect the daintiest of waists.
He stood under the dim light, the yellow glow casting shadows on his face, his dapper suit now looking quite threadbare – the cuff links long ago disappeared over the grimy counter of a downtown pawn shop – his polished shoes, the seams along the soles split – the buttoned collar around his neck, loose – the mirror rippled darkly around his form transfixed. His hands went to his head, his shoulders collapsed, as he turned his back on his own pitiful image.
He slowly unbuttoned his jacket & hung it carefully over the back of a chair, unbuttoning his collar & stepping from his old worn shoes. He folded back the covers & pulled the cord, which extinguished the light. As he lay in bed, the adagio still tumbling through his mind, his chest tightened, he looked through the gap in the blind.
The moon was low & full & seemed to smile back at him drunkenly. The cold blue light beamed across the room trying to penetrate the black shadows of his austere bedroom. The mellow luminosity of the light filled his mind with a soft blue hue.
He knew there were angels, alive, somewhere. The heaviness in his heart began to subside. He lay on his side, one hand holding the blind open so he could see the moon. He could almost step onto the moon he thought. It’s so low. So blue. So big. His tired eyes closed, the hand falling gently away from the blind onto the mattress & he was with her once again.

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