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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Busy as a Zombeaver.

Forgive me interwebs, for I have sinned. It has been months since my last confession and lucky you, the three of you who read get to hear my crimes.

No crimes really--sorry to disappoint. It seems life has just gotten ahead of me for the last while and I've neglected writing much of anything. There will be floggings for this, I assure you. I've decided to try combining my writing with some other half-honed skills of mine and dabble in film.
I have always loved music, film and storytelling, so why not just work with all three? Not that I'm doing everything myself--who can do that? But I know some people who are talented, driven and--and this is key--just as crazy as I am. Some of them are my family, some are not family yet, but after we make some ghostly or gory stories for your viewing pleasure, I hope to have some remaining friendships.

In other news, my day job (insert boos and hisses here) has taken its toll on me and therefore my writing and creativity have been stifled-choked off by the hand of the man. I don't like that one bit and it makes me cranky. So expect my inner monster to be back with a vengeance once the shit I call an occupation calms down. At least there's a good paycheck in it.

So back to film. The first thing I've ever filmed with any sincerity is about 80% complete. I thought it was done, but when I watched it, it didn't creep me out...and it didn't tell the story I was trying to convey--to be expected, it's the first attempt. But I think I know how to fix things, and with another day or so of shooting and a re-edit, my 5 minute debut will be.

It's called "Home for Dinner" and is a simple tale of two sisters who are home after school waiting for Mom to come home and feed them. There's a demon haunting their little home, and its just a matter of time before it strikes. A quick tale, with a few surprises.

When that is finished, I'll move on to one of 5 or 6 dozen stories I've stockpiled for this very if that wasn't enough ideas, my partners in crime have ideas of their own. Should be plenty of practice to keep us busy with the cameras. Keep your eyes peeled. And go read a book. Doesn't have to be one of mine ;)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Teeth, Boogeymen and the Underground Railroad.

If I hadn't yet mentioned it, The Toothless Dead is available for purchase.
You can get it on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble...pretty much anywhere e-books are sold. Paperback is available as well.

This story came about from a conversation I had with my brother-in-law over dinner. He mentioned an urban legend from when he was a kid about a sort of boogeyman who would get the kids in his neighborhood if they didn't deliver their baby teeth to a specific manhole cover in town.

Creepiest thing you ever heard, right? Maybe not, but I'd bet it's up there. Something wholly unsettling about screwing around with someone's teeth. Fear of dentists, fear of things in your mouth that you don't want in there... So my mind set to wandering around in the dark and while I was in there, I met Zack and Amy, their brother Brad, Robbie--the new kid in town--and an old caretaker that the kids all call Mumbles.
The crew sets out on an adventure when one of their own disappears and the only possible suspect is the dreaded Tootheater.

I hope you'll give this book a read. I hope you'll like it. But most of all, I hope you leave your baby teeth on the manhole cover, because it would just be a shame if any of you ever disappeared.

Monday, January 20, 2014

NAMELESS by Mercedes M. Yardley

Introducing the first book in The Bone Angel Trilogy and the latest from Mercedes M. Yardley. I was privileged to share some real estate with her in The Best of the Horror Society Anthology last year. Expect good things, folks. Go get you a copy.

Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.  
 Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’   
After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together...even until the end.

Award-winning author Mercedes M. Yardley introduces her debut novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes, Book One of THE BONE ANGEL TRILOGY. 

Readers have said:
“The plot is full of twist and turns that will spin you straight into the hearts of all of the people filling these pages. It's an endearing, sometimes heart-wrenching, tale of love and good versus evil that will keep you feasting on words and longing for more with the final sentence.” Janyece S, Macedonia,

“One of the reasons why I like this book is that it manages to be both whimsical/funny and dramatic (and also macabre) at the same time.” Seregil, Finland

“You can already tell from the cover that this is a dark story. But what the cover doesn't tell you is how playfully the author and the protagonist Luna will deal with the darkness. From pretentious cereal to starfish hands, Mercedes M. Yardley puts a smile on your face - and then, a paragraph later, has you in tears with the horrors Luna must confront.” Gwen T, US.

You can pick up your copy of Nameless: The Darkness Comes on Amazon.

Enter the Goodreads contest to win your own paperback copy of Nameless. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not Safe For Work

Sometimes weird things pop into my head and sit there taunting me. The only way to get rid of them is to write them down. 

Not Safe For Work
by Dan Dillard

Carla knew she couldn’t get pregnant from giving head, but it was a dream, so rules went out the window. She didn’t even know the guy but he was hung, and it was waving in front of her like a flagpole in a stiff breeze, so she pounced on it and gave it a good polishing. Up and down, cupping the luggage, mealing on it like she was starving, on her period and it was made of pure chocolate. Then, he came. An explosion that filled her head and for a moment, she felt like one of those old hand-held water games and like maybe, if he squeezed her boobs, the rings would float up in the water and land on the pegs.
She leaned back on her elbows while he toweled off and smiled, swallowing every drop. In the dream, it tasted like lime jello. She never even saw his face, forget knowing his last name or what kind of car he drove. It was something she would never do in real life. Never. And still, the thought that she was pregnant loomed in her head. And something else loomed there as well. Pain.
Carla’s head throbbed and in between the throbs, there were sharp stabbing pains. Then more pounding. She tried to reach the phone, but found it difficult to walk, the pain made her weak. It was that all-too-common dream sequence of walking through quicksand or muck while something chased her, but nothing was chasing. There was only the pain. She reached the phone and even dialed, but when the person on the other end of the line answered—no one in particular, mind you—and she opened her mouth, no sound came out. What came out were fingers. Small, chubby, baby fingers followed by the hand, wrist and arm they were attached to.
“Can I help you?” the voice asked. “Hello? Is anyone there?”
Carla struggled, gagging on the arm just like she had gagged on the dick and the only noises that came out were bubbly hacking sounds. The line went dead. Her eyes bulged, almost popping from her skull—wait, one of them actually did pop from her skull, and dangled by the vein, artery and optic nerve as it bounced against her cheek. The baby’s hand reached over and grabbed it, pulling it loose and adding to her agony.
Pressure on the side of her head built to a climax and exploded, along with her ear, bits of brain, skull and plenty of blood. A leg filled the hole from the inside and its foot stood on her shoulder. Carla fell down in an overstuffed chair and with her one good eye she watched herself in the full length mirror on her closet door. Two arms and a leg, baby-sized, stuck out from her head like a surreal set of horns.
The rest of the baby appeared in a burst of chunky red liquid that splattered on the walls and the mirror and that was when Carla sprang upright from her deep sleep.

“Whoa, baby. Are you all right? Nightmare?”
“I’ll say,” she said, whispering to her husband, Ted.
Ted was sitting up in bed with his reading glasses and a hardback book on his middle-aged belly. He leaned over and kissed her on the shoulder.
“Are you okay now?” he asked.
Fuck no, I’m not okay! I just sucked…and then my head…and a baby…
She looked around, still panting, and finally got a hold of herself.
“Yeah. I think so. Of course I am. That was just so…”
He looked at her over his reading glasses.
“I’m fine,” she said.
How much wine did I drink at the party?
“Good. Hey, let me thank you again for the birthday present. I can’t remember every being serviced like that. I think my little dude is sore.”
He had a grin on his face and his eyes were distant. Then he looked at her, squeezed her left breast and gave a wink.
“I need some water,” she said.
She had a headache, felt nauseated and there was a strange taste in her mouth. When she turned on the light in the bathroom, her cheeks were flushed—one might say she glowed—and there was no denying the magical twinkle in her eye, or the tiny finger that poked from her ear as Carla screamed.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Not a Creature Was Stirring has now had over 36,000 visits. I appreciate that. Thanks for a great year!

If you missed it at, here is a holiday treat for the kid in all of our sick, shriveled hearts. *disclaimer--don't read this to your real kids, just your inner kid.

by Dan Dillard 2013

Tiny footsteps and giggles filled the hallways of the small suburban house. Dad was snoring somewhere in a back bedroom.

“Shh,” one voice said. The other snickered and more footsteps were heard as the pair moved into the kitchen and through the wooden door that led to the basement.

“Where are they?” Emily asked.

Her blond pigtails hung in long, thick ringlets against the bright pink footie-pajamas.

“I don’t know. Look over there, dork,” said David. “I think they’re in daddy’s toolbox.”

She stuck out her tongue and carefully opened the lid to the Craftsman case. She saw screwdrivers and wrenches and various other things inside the tool chest. Then, her eyes grew round and her lips parted, spreading into a wide grin.

“Found ‘em,” she said to her brother, holding up her prize.

“Good. Now help me find the big one.”

She pulled out her list and checked it twice.

“The big one?” she asked as if to say, are you sure?


David, eight years old, pushed a lock of chestnut brown hair out of his eyes and grabbed a coil of rope from a hook on the pegboard wall while Ironman looked on from the front of his t-shirt. The coil of rope slipped over his shoulder as the pair hunted the big one.

She spotted it first.

“There it is, David.”

David looked where she pointed and leaning against the wall next to the water heater, was a bundle of long handled tools. He grabbed the ten pound sledge hammer and hiked it up onto his shoulder before starting back up the stairs. Emily was looking at a pair of large garden shears, almost as tall as she was.

“Emmy, come on. We don’t need those.”

“You sure? They look sharp and pointy.”

“I’m sure. Everything’s set up already.”

She shrugged, tucked the nails she’d grabbed from the toolbox under her arm and bounded up the steps behind her brother.

“Daddy’s going to be so surprised!” she said in an excited whisper.

“Shh,” David said.

They snuck into the living room and placed the items in the middle of the floor with some earlier gatherings. David grabbed a chair from the dining room and carried it into the living room. He placed it under the exposed beam that ran the length of the ceiling. Emily turned on the Christmas tree lights and hummed Jingle Bells.

David removed a cluster of mistletoe from the beam revealing a metal bracket and with some struggle, connected the handle of the sledge to it with a single bolt. Giving it a nudge, he was happy to see the hammer swing freely side to side. He slid the chair a couple feet to his left and climbed back up, pulling the sledge by its head and connecting it to a loop of twine that was already prepared. The other end of the slipknot dangled over the back of their father’s recliner.

“Like this?” Emily asked.

David turned and looked. Emily had propped up a two-foot-square piece of plywood that was full of holes he had drilled that afternoon and she was busy pushing nails through them. He nodded.

“Just like that.”

When she was finished, it made a triangular pattern much like a Christmas tree. She put duct tape on the back, holding the spikes in place until she could lay it on the plastic sheeting they had placed the floor. There were a few more holes in the board that David had drilled so he could screw it into the
subflooring through the thin carpeting. He picked up a battery powered screwdriver.

“Go check on Dad,” he said.

She padded down the hallway and peeked into her father’s room. He snored peacefully and she pulled the door shut behind her with a minimal snick of the latch. Back in the living room, she gave her brother a quick smile and a thumbs up.

“Still asleep. Visions of sugar plums,” she said.


He quickly screwed down the bed of nails and put the screw-gun away. Emily helped him stretch out the coil of rope and David secured one end of it to the fireplace with a double knot. Once that was finished, they stood back and looked at their work. Emily jumped up.

“Almost forgot,” she said and rushed into the kitchen.

She returned with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk they had staged in the refrigerator and placed them on the end table next to the recliner.

“I think that does it,” Emily said.

David nodded in agreement.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Now we get in position and don’t move until it’s time.”

They fist bumped and then she ducked behind her dad’s recliner and grabbed the length of twine that hung down from the ceiling. David gripped the end of the rope and sat in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen. The Christmas tree lights gave off an eerie glow and not a creature stirred otherwise. Their father’s snoring broke the silence every few seconds.

Those seconds turned into minutes and the children exercised expert patience, but when the clock on the fireplace mantle struck midnight, their wait was rewarded. In a twinkling, they heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of many a hoof. Emily smiled as she peeked around the chair. David gave her a nod and ducked back behind the wall, holding his rope in both hands.

There were more scuffling sounds, then a snore from daddy’s bedroom, then more scuffling, and then with a bound, St. Nicholas came down the chimney. The jolly old elf stepped, leaning over, out from the fireplace and dusted the soot from his furry red suit, then he cranked his pipe from one corner of his mouth to the other. He glanced at the tree, then at the cookies and when he laughed, his little round belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. Over his shoulder was a sack, and as he stepped further into the room, he swung it around and set it on the floor. David peeked around the corner. It was time.

“Now!” he shouted.

Before Saint Nick could place a finger aside of his nose, Emily jerked the twine with all of her might. The slipknot came undone and the sledge fell from its perch, smashing Santa in the side of the head. David pulled his rope tight and as Santa pirouetted in place, dizzy from the blow, he tripped over the rope and fell face-first onto the bed of nails, embedding his rosy cheeks, cherry nose and droll little mouth onto each three-inch spike.

“We got the bastard,” Emily said as she stood up.

“We sure did,” David agreed.

As the Claus twitched and shuddered, his magic blood seeping out onto the plastic in front of their tree, David and Emily retrieved his bag. It felt empty as they held it up, but when Emily reached inside, wishing, something appeared. A pink tablet computer with her name etched on the back. David pulled out one of his favorite video games, then another. Then they pulled out a wad of cash as thick as the Manhattan Yellow Pages.

“Merry freakin’ Christmas,” Emily said.

Her brother gave her a hug. “Daddy’s going to be so excited.”

“What do we do with that?”

They pair looked at Santa’s corpse and David laughed in spite of himself.

“I have an idea.”

They wrapped the plastic sheeting around Claus’s body and David lifted the old man’s shoulders while Emily pulled the bag over his head. They struggled to get it around the rest of his body, but the bag stretched as necessary and once inside, he disappeared. David unscrewed the board and tossed it and the screws into the magic sack and lucky for them, none of the blood had gotten onto the carpet. He then climbed back onto the chair and replaced the sledge hammer with the mistletoe. Once it was all cleaned up, they sat down and split the milk and cookies.

“What you want to wish for next?” Emily said.

“Dunno. You?”

She shrugged.

A massive thud on the roof startled them. Emily’s tiny hands went to her heart. Another thud followed, then another, and one by one, the reindeer slid off the snow covered roof into the back yard.
Down Dasher, then Dancer, then Prancer and Vixen, followed by Comet, then Cupid, then Donder and finally, Blitzen.

“I almost forgot about the poison carrots,” she said. “How are we gonna hide all that?”

David blushed.

“We’ll think of something,” he said. “We always do.”