Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Night Conjurings: Tales of Terror by Harvey Click
release date: October 13, 2016
Ghosts, vampires, demons, serial killers, and other deadly denizens of the dark haunt this collection of chilling short stories by horror master Harvey Click.
· An unhappy and unloved boy summons a substitute mother—with sharp teeth.
· Two teenage boys learn it’s better to leave a spooky abandoned house alone.
· Can ghosts kill? Denise is about to find out the hard way.
· When her creative writing instructor offers to teach Kathy how to write a horror story, she finds herself trapped inside one.
· A man discovers he may be a killer, though he can’t remember the murders.
· A man with a terrible past, a wizard from the dark side of the moon, and a pitchfork perform a dark drama of murder and madness.
· A time traveler attempts to bring his dead fiancée back to life.
· Many people wish to be ageless, but what happens when an immortal woman begins to lose her mind?
· An artist literally draws a dead woman out of her grave.
· An elderly woman seeks to recover her forgotten past, but some things are better left forgotten.
· A petty swindler tries to buy good luck but ends up with the sort of luck nobody would want.
· And finally, a brief fable about a box of very sharp silence.
Night Conjurings is 99c until November
The pit was no deeper than a bathtub. A large number of snakes were writhing inside it, and beneath them was something that looked like a child’s body. Kneeling at the edge, Butch reached down, grasped one of the snakes, and threw it out of the pit to the other side.
It looked to Brad like a copperhead. “Damn, those things are gonna bite you!” he said.
“Hush! I know what I’m doing, I do this every day. Snakes like her—she draws them like a magnet.”
He threw out another one and another, seemingly oblivious to the fangs as his hand darted down again and again to grasp yet another. Brad saw a growing carpet of snakes writhing angrily on the other side of the pit, and he was afraid they’d slither through the shadows over to the side where he stood. He was so intent on watching the floor near his feet that he scarcely glanced at the body lying at the bottom of the pit.
Butch threw out the last snake, stood and took the lantern from Brad. He held it up high and gazed down at the horrid figure. At first Brad thought it was the body of a naked girl, because it was female and no more than four feet tall, but the breasts were womanly.
It appeared to have been dead for a while because the skin was slate-gray and looked slimy, as if it was seeping some sort of putrescence. The face was sunken, its skin stretched tight over the cheekbones and the shut eyes sunk deep in their sockets. The skull was hairless and oddly shaped, the cranium large and the chin small and delicate. The lips were black or maybe dark purple, the nose was small and childlike, and the ears were large and pointed at the top. The small hands were crossed above the belly like hands in a casket, their nails long and black like talons.
Aside from the sunken features and the gray, slimy skin, the body didn’t seem to have decomposed, and the odor around the pit wasn’t like a rotting body but more like some sickeningly sweet flower. Brad held his bandana against his nose.
Child or woman, it didn’t look altogether human, and Brad suddenly realized it was probably a plastic dummy that had been used in a carnival sideshow. He wondered how Butch had gotten his hands on it.
“What is it?” he whispered.
“She ain’t an it, she’s a she,” Butch said quietly. “Her name is Kadava.”
“How do you know that?”
“She told me.”
“You’re nuts. That thing’s not alive.”
Butch held the cage trap above the pit and unlatched the door. The figure’s eyes snapped open as the terrified rabbit fell, and the small hands shot up and snatched it out of the air. The rabbit shrieked, but the sound was cut short when one of the talon-like fingernails sliced its neck open.
The little gray woman held the rabbit’s gaping throat to her mouth, slurping and swallowing noisily as the blood poured into her mouth.
Harvey Click, author of Demon Frenzy, Demon Mania, The Bad Box and The House of Worms, earned an M.A. in English from Ohio State University, writing a novel for his master’s thesis. He has written five other novels, four of them in the horror genre, and numerous short stories. He has taught English and creative writing for Ohio University, Ohio State University, the James Thurber House, and OSU’s Creative Arts Program.