This week is set aside for the darker edge of life. Why not combine the two disciplines of art and writing to see what gets dug up!!!
What is horror for writers and artists? Darkness is in the air, it suspends one against its will, it hides in the shadows, but it doesn’t stay there. Darkness awakens the sleeper casting him into a delusional dream or awakens the dreamer into a place he tries to claw away from.
Why write it? why paint it? I ask this question often. There are too many answers and none the same (and some darker than others.)
Is horror just about Monsters?
― Clive Barker
“Tired. So tired… Confusion and disorientation numbed his mind like cotton wrapped hands. Thoughts felt like a jumble of dusty moths bumped plaintively against a dim light bulb. He couldn’t grasp where he was – what he was doing. His limbs felt stiff and unused.
The stony grip of anxiety seized his mind and burned in his lungs. A deep breath was impossible. Thin air pulled slowly through his nose, bringing with it the smell of fresh clothing and an acrid smell that reminded him of a dissected frog. His anxiety doubled when he realized his mouth wouldn’t open. A hand finally responded to his slow mind. It moved sluggishly, fumbled around haphazardly until it found his lips. Glue. Somebody had glued his lips shut while he slept. Anger and the inability to get a full breath drove his fingers to tear at his lips with a horrible frenzy.”
Zack Kullis is a published author and writes regularly for Pen of the Damned.
The excerpt above is from the short story “The Manipulator.” The story can be read here.
” He did not leave, that night on New Year’s Eve, because there was nowhere else for him to go. There is nowhere else when he hears every ragged wheeze, wherever he is; the shuddering breaths of a world on the brink of expiration. As best he can remember he has always heard these sounds. He did not always know what they were, or what it meant to hear the death-rattle of the stones and the trees and the earth, but he felt them all the same, and stood slightly apart from everyone else because of this, while the others ran laughing after one another, or played hopscotch, or made daisy-chains in the grass, oblivious…
… “On paper, darkness shines. Words convey savagery with the finesse of bright bouquets. Language illuminates the broken back of the world, its atrophied limbs, its eyeless face: a rotten leviathan floating in space, quivering with parasites while it sings its last whale-song through an ocean of distant stars, almost inscrutable except by those who dare to pause in their furious lives and, for a moment, listen.”
Thomas Brown is a published author and regular writer for Pen of the Damned. Hope you enjoyed the except from the short story “All These Voices.” It can be read in its entirety here.
This wonderfully depictive work of art is by contemporary artist( from Bucharest) Oana Cambrea
It became my ghost, that lullaby—its virulent strain infecting not only the cloaked woods that surrounded us, but also the ears upon which it fell. It haunted us all, wormed its way into our brains and cored our frightened eyes to hollowed orbs. Unlike the other girls, who mewled in dread as those tinny chords crackled out from the absolute darkness, I sought to discover its origin…
…The creature sniffed my body. I gagged upon its putrid breath. Its moist snout moved slowly along my neck as a sharp talon grazed the top of my shoulder. Feeling. Touching. Pinpricks of white twinkled in one eye—the starlight reflected back from within its inky, remorseless orb. It peered upward, measuring my response. Urine trickled along my legs and I dropped the knife to the ground.
All those same people who scold you,
what they’d give just for the right to hold you
Joseph Pinto is the Co-founder and writes regularly for Pen of the Damned. The short story “Lullaby”(excerpt above) can be read here.
Purple Hope (Pancreatic Awareness website)
Zack Kullis on Amazon
Thomas Brown’s Lynnwood on Amazon
Joseph Pinto Dusk Summer on Amazon