Before I fell in love with New Adult, I had a fling with horror. I spent hours crafting vignettes and creepy stories with no happy endings. Then I discovered New Adult, and my horror stories sat in the bottom of my filing cabinet… until now.
In celebration of Halloween, I’ve put together a collection of 7 creepy stories, plus a bonus. This collection is a limited edition, available exclusively on Amazon. Just like Halloween, it won’t be around forever, so hurry!
Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry! Download the free Kindle app for your device here.
Excerpt: “The Corpse in the Tree”
He lay underneath an uprooted tree, curled into a twisted ball of shriveled limbs and paper skin. He had forgotten his name long ago, watching the years ooze by with hollow, sagging eyes that could no longer blink. He spent his nights weaving himself further into the roots of the oak, and his days watching the legs of children walking to school. Sometimes, if he got lucky, a couple would use his oak’s trunk as a thrusting post. On a bad day, a bum used his tree as a toilet. Luckily, his sense of smell had long ago deteriorated. The acid in their urine only burned what remained of his skin. He relished in the last awareness of being alive that belonged to him. Even the laughter hurt, though, flakes of skin soughing off as the corners of his wrinkled and dried mouth moved.
Sometimes, he absorbed more than just kidney waste. The extra proteins and vitamins stored themselves in the tissues of his flesh and gave him a little color. Sometimes, if there was enough, he could blink for a few hours. During those times, he slept, hoping that he would be able to open his eyes when he woke, or that he wouldn’t wake at all.
On a cool autumn night—he only knew this because of the colored leaves that blew into his shelter—he realized he could no longer move. He and the old oak had finally become one. He smiled on the inside. It won’t be long now, he hoped. A glow filtered in through the roots and he welcomed its light.
“I have one last task for you,” a rough voice said, cutting through the fog of his thoughts.
And look, the corpse thought. I’m hallucinating.
“Oh, knock it off,” the visitor said, poking his head through the roots. Hunched over to fit, he only slightly resembled a human. Coarse black hair covered his olive skin, a fur coat for his body. Coal black eyes bore into the corpse. Silver rings on his fingers glinted in the moonlight. Slowly, the corpse remembered who his visitor was. “You’re just as alive as I am.” The devil laughed.
The corpse strained his eyes, staring at the craggy face.
“Yep, it’s me,” the devil said. “Lost your tongue?”
The corpse moaned, a dry creaking echoing through his throat.
The devil rolled his eyes. “You’ve really let yourself go, man.” He snapped his fingers and the roots of the tree loosened, spitting the corpse from their clutches. “I think I’m gonna call you Squishy,” he said, laughing as the corpse bounced onto the soft earth. “Or maybe Pepper, since you look like a dead cat.” He dragged him out from under the tree and leaned him against its trunk. From his coat he produced a flask. “Whiskey,” he said, pressing it to the corpse’s lips. “Drink up.”
The honey colored liquid flowed down Pepper’s throat, warming his vocal cords and reviving his organs. As he finished the last sip, he blinked and looked down at his hands. They were still thin and boney, but bore a more red hue—coloring him like the passersby that sexed and pissed on his tree. He smiled.
“That’s better,” the devil said. He lit a cigarette and held out the packet to the corpse.
The corpse shook his head. “Those’ll kill you,” he said.
The devil tipped back his head and laughed, its echo booming through the forest. “You’re all right, Pepper.” He sat down next to the corpse and smoked for another moment before looking at the dead man. “Go on. Ask me.”
Pepper shook his head. “If you think I can do it, that’s all the answer I need. I want to know how to die, though,” he said.