#CoffinHop – Day 2 | The Abandoned & The Disappeared.Tell me what happened to these Ghost Towns…

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064

Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Tell me what happened to these Ghost Towns…

Twist a tale of terror,

Send shivers of horror down my spine with a story,

Flay the flesh from my skin as you open my veins and bleed me out with our poetry…

Rules

Submit your daily entry (1 per person per day) in the comments.

Submit either a Flash Fiction Piece/Prose

or

Short Story

or

Poetry

Prizes

There can be only 1 ultimate winner for this contest.

You will win

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

1 * Ebook – Death by Drivein (CoffinHop Anthology)

1 * Mystery Trick or Treat

Contest runs 24th – 31st October 2013

Winner to be announced – 5th November 2013

xxxxx

The Ghost Island

Gunkanjima, Japan (translated “Battleship” Island)

Images courtesy of weburbanist.com
Images courtesy of weburbanist.com

Once one of the most populated places in the world, at 1.4 people per square metre, it is now completely deserted. Entry is forbidden. This island’s secrets have been trapped in the crumbling walls of eery buildings. Lying off the Western coast of Japan, this island is truly sealed off from the world as it lies behind forbidding, impenetrable concrete sea walls.

In 1810 coal was discovered on the island leading to mines being built and a bustling densely populated metropolis rose from the waves.

In the 70s as the world became more reliant on petroleum to fuel it, there was no need for coal mines. In 1974 with the mines shut and thousands left jobless, the people were forced to leave. Within days the Battleship Island was completely deserted and Gunkanjima became known as Ghost Island.

The eery feature about this abandonment is that the Island’s inhabitants literally left everything they had. They took nothing. Everything remains frozen in this Island of Ghosts & Forbidden secrets. Everything has been left waiting for their owners to return and reclaim them.

From 1974 until 2009, everyone was forbidden entry to this place. Now only carefully supervised tours are allowed onto some parts of the island. But areas known as the “Stairway to Hell” and “Block 65” are still forbidden from any access.

An island that was bustling with energy. Now a forbidden fortress hidden behind giant concrete sea walls. Trapped in time. Trapped in a concrete wall of secrets. Forbidden. Condemned. Waiting…

Tell me what happened to this ghost island…

x

CoffinHop2013skelly1200x1800poster

Dig up those coffin-hopping boots,

dance down to the graveyard for more

bone-chilling CoffinHop tricks & treats.

42.

x

#CoffinHop – Day 1| The Abandoned & The Disappeared…Tell me what happened to these ghost towns.

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064

Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Tell me what happened to these Ghost Towns…

Twist a tale of terror,

Send shivers of horror down my spine with a story,

Flay the flesh from my skin as you open my veins and bleed me out with your poetry…

Rules

Submit your daily entry (1 per person per day) in the comments.

Submit either a Flash Fiction Piece/Prose

or

Short Story

or

Poetry

Prizes

There can be only 1 ultimate winner for this contest.

You will win

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

1 * Ebook – Death by Drivein (CoffinHop Anthology)

1 * Mystery Trick or Treat

Contest runs 24th – 31st October 2013

Winner to be announced – 5th November 2013

xxxxx

Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe, Namibia, Africa

Image Courtesy of  Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa
Image Courtesy of Damien du Toit from Cape Town, South Africa

Where: Namib Desert, Namibia, Africa

Facts: Founded by a transport driver called Johnny Coleman. Trapped by a sand storm, he abandoned his ox wagon in the desert which became the settlement of Kolmanskop / Kolmanskuppe.

In 1908 a diamond was found here by an employee of the German railway inspector. Germany declared the area a Sperrgebiet (translated – Prohibited Area) and started exploiting the desert as a diamond field.

Driven by the wealth of diamonds and adventure, a town was formed that included modern amenities like a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, bowling alley, theatre, casino, ice factory as well as the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere and the first tram in Africa.

World War 1 put the town into a sharp decline.

In 1954 the once diamond-rich town was suddenly abandoned and became a ghost town.

Tell me what happened to this ghost town…

x

CoffinHop2013skelly1200x1800poster

Dig up those coffin-hopping boots,

dance down to the graveyard for more

bone-chilling CoffinHop tricks & treats.

53.

#Coffinhop – The Graveyard is Open, Come in if you dare…

InsideHauntedHouseCoffinHop13

Dust Devils dance a macabre dervish

Tumbleweed twists in torment

Ghosts of the Disappeared stalk the streets of Death

Screams of silence fill the graveyard of the Abandoned

Gates creak open with unearthly screams

Come down to the Graveyard

Coffins spill their bone chilling secrets

~ The Abandoned and the Disappeared ~

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013

x

This year I am hosting

a CoffinHop Contest of

Terror, Tricks & Treats

in the Ghost Towns

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

My task ~ Each day I will be posting images and known histories

of infamous ghost towns

Your task ~ Tell me a terrible tale of what happened to

turn these ghost towns into empty and deserted graveyards

of

The Abandoned & The Disappeared

Your entry can be in the form of a tale told, flash fiction or a poem.

Enter your submission into the comments of the daily CoffinHop “The Abandoned & The Disappeared” posts here on this site for your entry to be counted.

The Contest is from 24th – 31st October.

Contest Winners will be judged by me on creativity & horror.

You are playing for

The Prizes

The One Ultimate Winner will receive

1 * Copy of Death by Drive-In (The CoffinHop Anthology)

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo

+

1 x Mystery “Terror Trick or Treat” Prize

Return later today for the first Ghost Town…

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064
Take the 13th floor to Coffin Hop 2013

Get those coffinhoppin’ boots on,

Dance a dervish in the boneyard…

Grab yourself a copy of Death by Drive-In

CoffinHop13AnthologyPromo
COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN is a collection of some of the best and brightest of the Coffin Hop crew, with 21 amazing B-movie inspired stories from some of the best Indie authors around

AVAILABLE NOW

KINDLE

SMASHWORDS

PAPERBACK

CoffinHop Store is open – Grab your coffinhop swag

100% of All Proceeds of the Anthology sales + CoffinHop Swag go to LitWorld.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

Help COFFINHOP support Child Literacy and BUY a Copy and Grab some Swag.

Unhinge the coffins to reveal terrors, tricks & treats

CoffinHop 2013 begins today

24th – 31st October

These are the coffinhoppers…

Open their coffins by clicking on each link below

for more terror, horror and

coffinhopping contests and prizes galore.

53.

#CoffinHop 2013 Count Down

CoffinHop13thFloorFaceYourFears_Full714x1064

CoffinHop 2013

CountDown begins this month.

There are only 3 weeks left until the annual Horror BlogHop that is CoffinHop launches.

Clock
Clock (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

This is my favourite blogging time of the year because not only is it dripping in chills, terror and horror but it is the time of year when I get to hang out in the blogosphere with my favourite people: the Bone-Chilling CoffinHop Crew. The best thing is because it is a hop – You my readers get to hang out with these Masters and Mistresses of the Horror genre too.

So people, mark your calendars and kill off the next 21 days as we wait with baited breath and chills running up and down our spine for the Annual CoffinHop.

24th – 31st October
7 days of bone-paralysing terror
7 days of spine-tingling fear
7 days of blood-chilling horror
+100 Masters and Mistresses of Horror

Tick, tock, tick, tock…the time is almost near. Don’t close your eyes. You don’t know who is waiting around the dark corners…

CoffinHop 2013

#CoffinHop…The Winners are…

kim-coffin12
Well as you know I participated in a crazy little thing known as the #CoffinHop – a Hop for lovers, writers and readers of Horror, Dark Fiction and all the tales that send chills up and down your spine. I also ran a FLASH TRICK for a TREAT Contest.

Hold your breath, hold your screams in…

I have the WINNERS + their chilling Flash Fiction.

*Warning: VL + Horror*

First Prize = Andrew Drage (The Brewin)

THE LAST HANGOVER © Andrew Drage

~ By Brewin ~

It hurt.

Bruce wasn’t sure what it was, but it hurt like fuck.

Bruce opened his eyes and saw that he was on the couch in the lounge room at Aaron’s place. Closed curtains cast shadows across a room strewn with takeaway food packaging, beer bottles and dirty plates.

His head throbbed and his tongue felt like it was wrapped in plastic. Struggling to swallow and dampen his mouth, he noticed drool over his face and pillow…

It was a dark colour and sticky.

He touched the sides of his face and recoiled with pain. Deep gashes from his own fingernails ran from his eye sockets down his jaw line.

It had been a big night. Bruce, Aaron and Jason were drinking at Aaron’s place until sometime after the sun came up this morning, but he didn’t remember this happening. Yesterday seemed like a dream.

Oh fuck. Frank and his dad Barney died yesterday. That wasn’t a dream.

And the idiots they were, they’d decided to go down to the police scene whilst drunk to see what happened. Vincent the driver, didn’t even have a full licence. Now he’d lost it for six months and had a huge fine to pay as well. They didn’t even find out what happened at the farm. The exact events that occurred were indistinct this side of the drinking binge, but he did remember Vincent going off at them for the idea and leaving in a huff. Bruce, Aaron and Jason went back to Aaron’s place after that, numb by the day’s events… And kept drinking.

And now he’d woken on his mate’s couch to find half his face clawed off and blood all over himself. Fuck!

Bruce scanned the darkened room and spotted a light switch next to the doorway opposite.

Fuck he needed a glass of water.

Beyond the doorway lay a short carpeted hall to the rest of the house.

With some effort he sat up and yawned.

Then he heard a squelching sound from down the hallway. It ended as suddenly as it began.

Bruce felt the hair on his neck bristle from the chill of fear. He felt simultaneous needs to piss and vomit.

The squelching sound came again, this time longer, ending with a slopping thump. It seemed to be coming from Aaron’s room.

What the fuck is that?

Nature’s demands took control of Bruce’s senses and he rushed into the hallway seeking the toilet. Trying to ignore the sound coming from down the hallway, he opened the first door on his right. He closed the door behind him and sighed with relief as he disgorged his bladder. He pondered sticking fingers down his throat to get rid of the alcohol still in his stomach, but decided he didn’t feel as bad as that.

He then went through the sliding side door into the bathroom. Finding a light switch first, he grabbed a glass from the bathroom bench and filled it under the tap. He saw how bloody his hands were and looked up at the mirror.

A pale face presented itself, streaked with blood from his scratches, his eyes swimming in blood-tinged sockets.

What he was going to say to Aaron?

As he turned the tap off, he again heard rhythmic squelching, this time accompanied by a louder slapping.

I don’t remember Aaron picking up last night! Wow that’s a first!

Bruce sculled his glass of water and poured himself another.

Now the sound was accompanied by strange deep grunts that did not sound human.

Bruce shivered and spilt his water.

Then the phone rang in the lounge room and Bruce jumped, spilling more water.

The phone echoed through the house, causing the sounds from Aaron’s room to cease.

I’m fucked if I’m going to answer that.

The phone kept ringing, as the noises down the hallway resumed.

Oh shit, I better go see what the hell that is.

Bruce stepped back into the hallway and noticed a potent stench that didn’t seem to be of alcohol or cigarettes. It smelt like something rotten. The squelching and slapping continued, as did the animalistic groans.

Shit maybe I should just leave.

The phone stopped ringing as the sound of crashing objects came from the lounge room behind him. Mercifully, most of the lounge room was out of view.

Fuck! Now what do I do? The front door’s that way!

Bruce hesitated in the hallway. The sounds in the lounge room stopped but not the wet sounds from Aaron’s room.

Just stop thinking about it and go see what it is you bloody pussy!

As Bruce crept to Aaron’s door, he saw it was slightly ajar. His trembling hand pushed it open on squeaky hinges…

The door pushed aside the lurking shadows to reveal a scene of sickening slaughter. Aaron’s eviscerated corpse lay strewn over the bed and surrounding floor, dripping entrails hung out like decorations. Splashes of blood and the stench of decay saturated the room. Before closed and blood-splattered curtains stooped a hairy beast in a pose of the basest horror. In colossal claws it held Aaron’s decapitated head, rhythmically thrusting its erect member into a bloody socket. The horrifying sound it made was now dampened by the sound of its demonic bestial laughter.

It paused to meet Bruce’s dumbstruck gaze with malice. It laughed again and licked its slavering lips before resuming its necrophilic task.

The hallway creaked behind Bruce. He turned to face the huge chest of another of the demons. Its bulk towered over him as its arms swiftly enveloped him.

The last thing he remembered was a crushing grip around his throat…

___________________

Second Prize = Eric Tolles

MALICE’S ABSENCE IN WONDERLAND © Eric Tolles

Down here we all float.

Even through the mud I can hear those words; recalling some story I read as a child long before the fall. Before I ended up in the dark trying desperately to find my way back into the light. I can hear a thousand other voices, memories, talking to me as the muck impacted inside my ears hardens and scrapes against the edges of a thousand others just like them.

Down here we all float.

A lie.

It’s not even close to the truth.

I can hear footsteps occasionally, their percussions traveling through the seemingly endless feet of dirt between here and there. Like the strange muted voices of people gathered around the edge of the swimming pool that you have sunk to the bottom of, holding your breath and ticking off the seconds inside your head. Trying to break your personal record as you look up at their distorted reflections as the ripples in the water make a mess of their faces. I’m not counting anymore; I stopped a long time ago. In fact I don’t really have any use for oxygen. I stopped breathing a long time ago, too. I have no idea how long I have been down here, trying to swim back to the surface through this rock and soil. The hands of the clock bloodied and bruised and ripped, the ribbons of the flesh they used to be are back there somewhere amongst the scrabble that ruined them. A strip or two may still be in the back of my throat curled around my vocal chords like a bow; I think I can feel a tattered end tickling me, though it may just be me laughing at myself out of sheer frustration.

They jumped me, of course.

It felt like I had just woken up. My head was still full of fog from the dream I had been having; a walking dead version of Alice showing up at my door one afternoon. A small pile of bruises in a torn dress and bedraggled sweater, but her eyes gave it away-her intentions, I mean. Always ablaze with coppered fire, those two. Forever one of my favorite science lessons: that if you heat copper up enough to burn, it burns with a green flame. I let her in, cleaned her up and she repaid me with teeth somewhere in the dark. I woke up, cursing the slippery edges of subconsciousness, only to find myself wandering down the middle of a street somewhere between dusk and dawn. I froze, fairly sure that I was awake, that this wasn’t a continuation of the dream, when my stomach began to growl. And I mean that literally. Loud twistings of my guts churning against each other with a hunger I thought could only exist in my head.

And then the noise.

It came from behind me, an explosion that stretched my shadow halfway up the block. Whisper thin and slightly darker than the pavement beneath my feet, I followed it back to them to discover I was missing a shoe. But it was not completely naked, that foot, as when I reached down to touch it my fingers came back wet. Sticky. I rubbed my fingers together and brought them to my nose, thinking perhaps I might understand what it was that my foot had gotten into, and found that it smelled acrid. Metallic. My stomach growled again as I turned towards the light behind me in hopes of revealing more of the mess gathering in my palm and my jaw dropped.

The skyline was on fire.

It looked like half the city was ablaze. There were plumes of smoke rising into the sky and casting themselves against the moon like clouds. A number of the taller buildings appeared as candles burning in the darkness, their tops all wreathed in orange as the moon’s face hung above them staring down as though it was her birthday and she was gathering breath to blow them out.

Maybe that is what is all over my foot; frosting.

I’ve been running around over the top of a birthday cake.

Louder now, the noises that woke me up. I can hear breaking glass, terrified screams amidst the pattern of percussions that are shaking the ground at my feet. And gunshots. And I wondered as I stood frozen in the middle of the street, was I somehow responsible? Perhaps this group of men running towards me might be able to tell me what is going on. As I watched their rapid approach I realized that something was wrong. The pattern of their gait was off. The way they were carrying themselves was far from normal. They were zigzagging, lumbering up the street in my direction, but not towards me. Past me, it seemed, with the intention their broken frames suggested. One of them was dragging its leg. Another passed me by with both of its arms hanging limp and slapping against its sides as it ran. I tried to get the attention of a man who was missing his pants, but he didn’t seem able to respond as a large wad of hair that ended in a chunk of scalp was hanging out of his mouth.

Then shouts. More gunshots ringing out against the cacophony of voices. Someone runs up behind me, her attention turned towards the group that had lumbered past, and I reach out and grab her. Not out of thought, but of something instinctual. I yank her head towards mine and I tear her ear off with my teeth. My stomach unwinds just a little as her blood spills over my tongue and I find myself relishing the coppery sting as she shouts, “You bit me in my ear!” I quickly find the gaping wound on the side of her head and plunge my teeth back into her torn flesh, making quick work of it before the crunching of her skull against my jaws fills my ears.

It’s like music.

I take her down to the ground with me, my hands pulling skin from bone to the sound of her screams creating the score for this act. Finding purchase with my teeth at the edges of her ear canal and widening it with each bite until impatience and lust causes me to grab her head with both hands and slam it against the pavement. Again and again and again until it cracks open like a coconut and spills it’s sweet milk all around my knees. And I lap it up like a rabid dog. I pull handfuls of her brains out of the broken cereal bowl of her skull and devour every single thought she ever had.

And that is when it hit me.

Not realization.

A baseball bat.

It caught my shoulder and spun me around. The second strike landed against my ribs and I clearly heard something snap, but I didn’t feel anything. The third hit home at the back of my head. Fireworks went off inside my skull and I looked up at the moon, seeing Alice’s face reflected back at me through a gray haze just before my lights were turned off. I thought of her; her throat and the warm release of her blood. The world went black around me as I imagined eating my way through her bones.

Strike 3.

And now I am here.

For how long I have no idea, and until when I cannot say. I cannot fathom the fathoms. I feel like I have been digging my entire life. I was born amongst the deepest of roots and nursed on the blood meal of worms. Taught arithmetic with the clicking of beetle wings. Told bedtime stories by tongues of crickets. Daylight is just the dream of maggots, down here. Their slick white bodies are the contrast to the underbelly of roaches. Like angels squirming through the loam above my head. Always above my head. Always just beyond my fingertips. But I am coming, Alice.

I am coming, Alice.

And I am going to eat you alive.

I whisper that mantra into the dirt with split lips.

I scream that incantation into the rock with a ragged tongue.

It’s her name coupled with this insatiable thirst me that keeps me moving through the dark down here somewhere underground. No map lines to follow nor any light to read them by, just some instinctual narrative that escaped me in that other life, telling me when to bear slightly right or turn sharply to the left to correct my path. Save for the darkness I imagine it’s her heart I’m navigating, that’s all this is. Practice. Eyes closed tight against the brightness that reveals the interiors of those chambers.

The first, a roost for crows. A room full of murder waiting for my foretold arrival and the squawking that heralds it. They sing in unison, Who is that tapping, insistently rapping, rapping at our chamber door? And so coyly so, considering the carnage their claws are craving to create. My feet fall upon a floor of feathers as I enter, the target of 99 cocked heads regarding me with eyes of onyx. I am blinded by a rainbow of light streaming from beneath wings as they slip from their perches and their talons finding purchase in my skin. That rush of air that delivers the penance to be paid from the flapping as they struggle to maintain flight while engaged in the evisceration of flesh. The behavior once rendered now repaid in the rending of beaks. The pound of flesh, flayed and flung into the furthest of the four corners my limbs are pointing towards as I lay flattened upon that floor.

The second is full of rocking chairs. They move seemingly of their own volition until my eyes focus-still stinging from the blinding colors found in the first chamber-to see that each of those seats is occupied by a terrifying grin sitting on the face of a black feline. Each of them smiling between the stroke of their tongue across the surface of their paws while they lock their gaze upon my own. They take their time, torturous taunts delivered by the twitching of tails ending in a snap in my direction. I stand frozen, unable to see the other side as the joints of those chairs fill the room with creaking music that threatens to drive me crazy. All at once, just before I feel that sanity is about to give me the slip, the rocking stops abruptly and in perfect synchronization they all disembark from their stations and as silent as milk they pad into a congregation gathering around my ankles. They expertly zigzag between my legs avoiding the drops of blood dripping from my chest and hitting the floor beneath my feet in a pattern of soft splashes. Safe as houses, I think as I lift a foot to step forward only discover that I am quite mistaken. Several tails wrap themselves around my ankles and but with a slight tug countering my movement brings the whole mess crashing down. My face slaps against the floor and I am reminded of a similar incident as a toddler that led to that first loss of blood. I look up and those furry smirking faces have all turned into leering, yawning chasms of teeth string down at me. I await a chewing that never comes. I discover that they have opted for an endeavor far more indicative of their nature as the sound of claws clicking into place fills the air and they set upon my back. Ribbons of my flesh begin to fall in front of my eyes like the fluttering remnants of Christmas presents. They each take their turn dragging their nails across my back like an amorous lover, along with a farewell scrape of sandpapered tongue as a post script.

Room number three finds me walking barefoot through the entrance of a hedge maze whose walls stand so tall that they blot out the sun and seemingly wag their finger in God’s face. I anxiously stick a toe through the archway before following with the rest of my bloodied and bruised body. Vaguely familiar, this, as I come to a “T” intersection of a green barrier stretching out for what appears to be miles. I turn left as I hear a caterpillar in my head speaking with an English lilt, “If she’d ‘ave kept on goin’ down that way she’d ‘ave gone straight to that castle!” Well, who takes directions from a caterpillar, anyway?, I wondered. I walk for days. I walk for nights. I chase the moon into the sea and run the sun right over the cliff, looking for a sign in the twisted emerald writing that criss-crosses the walls I’ve become prisoner to. Counting my footsteps quicken the passage of time that never seems to end inside this labyrinth; but I am not lost. Dawn creeps over the horizon and I see just up ahead a pair of trees situated in the wall much like the hundreds I have walked past, but I stopped to look and then laugh about how they seemed to be like a pair of legs stretching into the sky, attached to some giant who had dropped his pants. The ivy had formed amongst the roots of these two trees like a pair of folded jeans, complete with even a belt and a buckle made of leaves. And that is when I saw it. A darker squelch of viridian that formed a symbol in the center of the belt buckle:

¥

So how’s that working out for you, I thought as I looked up and grinned towards the sharks swimming around in the sky above my head. I reached down to touch it, and my finger fell short. I thought perhaps it was my depth perception failing me, but I attempted to grab it this time and I fell forward as my balance was foiled. The symbol was on a leaf lay well past the trees, and I found myself inside a hidden opening in the wall. I stood up and brushed the dirt from my knees and this time, I turned right. I was quickly led into a neatly manicured clearing, save for a hole located directly in its center. I made my way to the edge of that opening and got down on my hands and knees and peered inside. I could see nothing. At first. Then a few distant lights began to flicker the longer I looked. Then a shadow moved against the darkness, and I bent down even further to try to see when a white paw reached out of the hole and firmly grabbed ahold of my nose. I could see the silhouette of twin ears against the dim light of the stars on the other side and then two eyes staring up at me. “Well, what are you waiting for,” its voice asked from the depths.

And then it pulled me into hole.

The fourth room made me dizzy. My stomach flip-flopped over itself and I was turned upside down then immediately right side-up in the blink of an eye. My shoulders wedged tightly inside the opening of the portal and my hands slapped themselves helplessly against my sides on the other side. My legs kicked against nothing but the air underneath them as I attempted to find some footing. I looked around but the rabbit was nowhere to be found, just a short stretch of earth around me that was surrounded on every side by an ocean. Then I saw her. My Alice, making her way out of the waves, her skin glowing. Luminescent. Wet and wild white locks plastered to her forehead just above those eyes that threatened to burn themselves right out of your skull. She bent down over me like the moon itself had come down out of the sky and whispered into my ear, “Darling, do you remember this part?”

Then the rabbit reappeared and chimed in his part, “Off with his head!”

Then mine, “I do.”

Then the blade, raised high above her head, catches the reflection of her throat and the hollow I never want to escape just before it falls upon mine and my head rolls down the shore and is carried out to sea. It eventually sinks to the depths to become home to some mutant-limbed crab, my tongue lolling out of my mouth like a welcoming mat for his crustacean compatriots.

I wake from this daydream to find my fingers wrapped tightly around a tree root and I realize that her heart is only but a few minutes and handfuls of dirt away from me.

Do you hear me, Alice?

I have been down here for years digging my way home, dying to get my hands on her heart. To see to fruition the seeming eons of honing my finger’s skill to tear a hole into her chest and unmake the puzzle of bones keeping it safe.

Are you listening Alice?

Her heart belongs to me. Her brains belong to me. Her body is mine. There is nothing standing between her and I and this beautiful oblivion other than these pages. They are but kindling to the fire burning beneath this oven. Nothing but a thin sheet of glass in its door is obscuring my vision now. But for just a little application of pressure to its surface and I will be free from these constraints.

Free to bind her in some of my own and consume her in kind.

As I climb out of the grave much worse for wear than when I entered it I muse upon the idea of rebirth, Is this what it feels like to be born?

Did I feel this clarity back then, a wet mewling thing inside my mother’s womb? Was I nothing more than a blank slate, a thoughtless beast scratching at the walls of her guts to get out? Or was I full of bloodlust then as I am now? Digging my way out of the darkness with teeth and fingers if only to use them again to get back inside? It is the only motivation I have; a raging desire to claw my way back inside her chest. I am the dead dying to make a feast of her flesh and a bed from her bones. I can only think of her blood and the warm bath my face is waiting for. The thought maddens my tongue as it pushes up and out of this thin layer of soil my mouth has wrapped itself around. My fingertips breaching the ground far above the grave I have left, timeless behind me in the depths of the dirt.

And like she did so many years ago, she once again rolls her hips and spits me out.

A wriggling mess of flesh, damp and heaving as I emerge from the darkness into the light above.

I use the roots of this tree to pull myself free of that space, the miles of hell between then and now, and towards the short distance that lay between me and her neck. I attempt to pull myself up, but my legs seem to be uncooperative; or perhaps their buckling is some kind of joke that they are making me the butt of as I seem to keep landing directly upon it. After a dozen or so attempts I finally manage to pull myself up and I lean against the face of that tree, my own pressing itself against and into the ridges and valleys of the bark that covers its trunk. I feel the wind scratching across the surface of the small areas of skin that aren’t covered by mud and for a moment the rage inside my head is soothed by the sensation. It rustles past my ears and I am reminded of the whispers that once fell from her lips and filled my head with a heat that still burns with a temperature that my lust for blood could only hope to attain.

And then my legs buckled again as my stomach, apparently awoken by the thought of a meal, churned and empties itself of the unknown amounts of mouthfuls of dirt I swallowed during my graven exodus. A river of mud and bile and bugs comes pouring out of my mouth and splashes across my hands.

And worms, still wriggling.

I pull myself back up again to embrace the tree when I hear shouting coming from behind me.

“Holy shit, man, did you see that? I didn’t know that zombies tossed cookies!”

“That fucker just pulled himself out of the ground. I thought that only happened in the movies!”

I turned to see the source of that ungodly noise and spotted 2 men on top of a white building across the street from where I had unearthed myself. I was trying to ascertain the situation, gauge the danger when something bit into between my left shoulder and my chest. I looked down to find an arrow sticking out of that space. It had yellow feathers on it. An arrow. A fucking arrow? Really? And it seemed that it had gone all the way through my body and pinned me to the tree that only moments before had been my salvation.

And then another one hit me in the stomach.

And then another through my right arm. And then another through my hip.

“Yeah! Got ‘em! Look at him, trying to get free! You see that shit Johnny? I pinned that dead motherfucker right to that tree. And you said that taking archery classes was for pussies!”

“Yeah, yeah. You got him. Now grab your machete so we can go kill that bastard.”

“But it’s already dead-shouldn’t we say something different?”

“Oh, not this shit again. Look, it’s not fucking dead if it is up and walking around. Dead is dead. Dead is not breathing, not standing, not mobile and certainly not fucking eating to sustain itself. Ok? That thing is only half dead, if you have to get technical about it. It doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t have a heartbeat. Sure, it still has use of its limbs and it certainly seems to feel the need to consume, and it has the ability to do so. That is not dead. It is some kind of disease, you know? A disease that turns it into a mindless eating machine.”

“Yeah, but the TV said…”

Fuck the fucking TV, Johnny. That’s your problem; well one of them, anyway, mindlessly believing everything you saw and heard from it. When it still worked, that is. Let’s just get down there and kill it before the sun goes down, ok? ”

“Fine.”

I watch them lowering a fire escape ladder to the level of the street. They disembark the ladder and make their way across the street towards me. They walk over to me. The shorter one pulls a knife from a sheath on his belt and starts poking me in the chest with it. It doesn’t hurt. I don’t cry out. But I do begin to feel that rage creeping back up from behind my eyes and it quickly spreads through my body. That space doesn’t belong to them. None of it does. That knife shouldn’t be wielded upon my skin by anyone other than her.

“See, man? It ain’t alive. It don’t cry out or nothing when you poke at it.”

They turn their attention away from me for a moment, arguing.

“Are you serious? It’s doesn’t bleed either, but the fact that it is standing there, that it just minutes ago pulled itself out of the fucking ground should be a rather large clue that it isn’t fucking dead!”

I think about pointing out to them that I actually am bleeding. That when I began to anger about them piercing my flesh with that blade and how that act is only meant for her; and that this thought made something stir within my chest. Something warm. Something with a life of its own. That thought motivated my legs, and I kick the one closest to me. My foot landing firmly in the center of his chest and knocking him off his feet. He rolls a few times before landing on the pavement, looking up at me in shock as his own blood began to seep from a long scrape that the pavement left on the side of his face. His buddy was quicker, and seemingly at the same time his blade caught sunlight and momentarily blinded me, the edge of his machete had cleanly sliced through all but one toe from my foot before my leg had dropped back to my side after kicking the stupid one off of both of his. I looked down at my foot in amazement, only my pinky toe remained.

And I laughed, looking back and forth from it to the finger I have been missing since I was 2.

Then I realized that I had laughed.

That I had somehow had taken in and expelled oxygen. Maybe you don’t know shit about being a zombie either, I wondered, just as the machete cleaved the air again. I ducked just in time for him to bury it in the tree behind my head, along with a portion of my left ear.

I laughed again.

Justice, perhaps?

The fatal flaw in their plan was thinking that I had a single concern for a few pieces of flesh from my body, or the couple of holes that their arrows had made. My only concern was for the body that I hoped to find behind that door up the street, not my own. That saving my own was a worthless endeavor if it could not be delivered through that threshold. I don’t even need limbs, not really, as long as I had the teeth in my head firmly held between jaws that are up to the challenge of dragging my skull across that porch and into that house. With that thought I used my one good foot to shove myself free of those restraints. Those four arrows ripping through my flesh; like a laboratory frog pulling itself free from a dissection board. The feathers tickled my skin as Mr. Machete struggled to loosen his weapon from the tree behind me. I notice a gun holstered at his side, and I pull it from his belt just as he managed to pull his machete loose from the tree. I smiled as he looked down and notices his mistake and I pressed the barrel of his gun to his chest and put the other hand around his neck.

I pulled the trigger, and his body buckled.

His arms beat against my back like bird wings and I lower him to the ground, my teeth finding purchase in his neck as I tore out his throat. I fed greedily on the sinew of tendons that had tightened as he gulped in his last remaining breaths. Too busy, too hungry, too famished to notice his buddy creeping up on this gruesome scene. Too loudly smacking my lips around the ragged flesh of his neck, tearing strips of flesh from him like ripping a piece of paper into halves to hear the approaching footsteps, or the cock of his gun.

The bullet ripped through the top of my back and exited my stomach. I looked down to see the hole it created, and I find myself wondering how deeply into the ground it went. Did it travel the same path as I did, but in reverse? Did it bury itself into one of the shoes I left behind?

I hear him cursing his miss.

Announcing his sin at the top of his lungs as he ejects the spent cartridge from his gun and fumbles with a full one. I pick up the machete lying beside his dead friend and with one deft movement I separate the lower half of his left leg from the upper half, and he drops like a bag of wet potatoes. I get up from my meal and I stand over him; my shadow falling across his face like a sun dial. ‘Time to die’, reads the clock. I slice open his throat with the edge of that blade and watch the intermittent jet of blood arcing through the air. I stand and observe until it dies off, slowly losing the angle until it turns to seep. I pick up his head by the hair and flip him over onto his back. With a firm grip on his scalp, I plant my good foot firmly against his buttocks and pull. Hard. A satisfying, wet ripping fills my ears like a new favorite song as his skull fully separates itself from his neck and is followed by his spinal column tearing free of connective tissue. I let go of his hair and pick up the end of his backbone and I turn and walk away, enjoying the rhythmic thud of his cranium bouncing against the sidewalk as I set eyes upon the walkway to her front door just down the street.

This is a dead man’s town.

My town.

Perhaps I am just lucky. Perhaps I conjured some kind of spell down there, whispering her name into the ears of insects. Maybe their legs repeated my mantra over and over, rubbing them together like man making that first fire, creating magic out of desire. Or maybe it’s the thought of our friction that keeps me safe, relatively speaking.

I make it to her porch without incident.

But only that far.

I hear screaming over my shoulder. “Zombie!,” they yell. I pay it no mind. I swing that spinal column through the air and it’s skull slams against her door with a pleasant percussion, announcing my arrival. A bullet screams its way through my right calf as I knock again with the bones of a dead man. Then another whizzes past my face and splinters the frame of her doorway to the left of my head. I knock again, and another bullet lands in my right shoulder as I hear footsteps rapidly approaching from behind me.

And finally she opens the door.

Standing but a few feet in front of me, and my legs threaten to give out under the weight of her gaze. Those eyes that lit my way through the ground, through the hours and days and weeks and months that I was in the dark. Those lithe porcelain hands and fingers that I dreamt of, plucking muscle from my bones like tearing stems from cherries. Those appendages that are now leveling a gun at my head. I toss the spinal column and skull at her feet. An offering. An appeasement. But I know that to die right at this moment with nothing more than this momentary glance would be fine. A gift, really. I close my eyes waiting for the penance of my brains being forced out of the back of my head like so much oatmeal splattering across a kitchen floor from a dropped cereal bowl, but all that comes is the deafening noise of two gunshots that missed their mark.

And I open my eyes to find out that she didn’t.

Two bodies just behind me, one on the right and one of the left now lay dead on her front porch. Each bearing pistols of their own as well as matching entry wounds in the center of their foreheads. No sin here, I notice; none at all. I turn back to face her as she stands staring at me. At the mess staring right back. Does she know of the fever that is now building in my fingers and toes? Well, what’s left of them. Does she know the danger she is in or the danger that she just dispelled being pale in comparison? Does she know that my tongue is but a whip driving my teeth into a frenzy?

She reaches out and takes my hand, and I realize with the look in her eyes that I am in no less danger than those that are decorating her front porch like it is Halloween.

And with her it always has been.

She leads me into the bathroom while informing me that “you look a mess, sir.”

I follow, letting the hunger build even as dessert sits on top of the oven, the smell of it thick in the air as I watch her leading me down the hallway, the small of her back leading down to the swell of her buttocks, the muscles pushing against each other as she moves. The sway of her hips, and something else stirs. She instructs me to sit on the edge of the bathtub, and she takes a moment to assess the situation, her hands on either side of my face as she studies it, and I see a shadow pass in front of her eyes. Her hands drop. She cocks her head a little to the left and her mouth curls down just a little as she lands a strike across my face. Hard. And another. And another. Then just one more. My lip splits apart from the slaps, and I let it trickle down and over my chin.

She smiles, and leans down and lick it from my face.

“An appetizer,” she whispers.

Then with steady hands she removes all of my clothes. I stand in the shower coated from head to toe with hardened mud, leaves, grass, dead bugs and dried blood. She undresses and climbs in behind me and turns on the water, forcefully positioning me under the showerhead. The water runs over my head and follows the maps of worm trails crisscrossing the dirt I am coated in. Slowly and deliberately she begins peeling me free of the muck and carnage I am dressed in. We spend an hour in there, together, with the mud swirling around our feet.

After, we embrace, wrapped up like Eskimos in towels, letting the heat between us evaporate the water.

Naked, we take positions in the center of her sofa. From behind her back she produces a survival knife. A Rambo blade. She giggles, that smirk that I could never deny crossing her face as it elicits the same from my lungs. She offers it to me, and I take it. I study it, and it is just as I remember them being as a teenager. Heavy, black handled and serrated on one edge. A compass is screwed into the handle, and I unscrew it, revealing the small compartment housed within the handle. Inside is a small package containing matches, fishing line and hooks. I look up at her, watching me. I toss aside the compass. No need for it, I’ve only ever moved in her direction. I toss aside the matches, because this fire has been burning out of control for years. As well I dispose of the fishing line and hooks over my shoulder; she caught me the first time she ascended those stairs so many years ago.

And I hand the knife back to her.

She presses it against my chest, and smiles as the tip penetrates my chest. A little trickle of blood slips down my abdomen. I feel the fingers of her other hand pressing into the back of my neck, her nails digging deeply into my nape and she pulls me forward and uses her full weight to shove that blade through my skin. I feel it separating muscle from bone just before the crunch of it breaking through my sternum. She twists it. Then I hear the serrations cracking apart bone as she saws through ribs to create a hole large enough for her fist to enter. Her mouth is open, hanging slightly askew as she loses herself in the endeavor, and I cannot keep my eyes off of her lips, quivering ever so slightly, and not even curiosity of the mess she is making of my chest can drag away that attention. Her hand finds purchase behind the swell of my heart, and in one deft movement I feel her pulling it free. I watch her bring it up to her mouth, and the slow stroke of her tongue pulling itself from the bottom to the top of that still beating muscle nearly drives me right out of my skin. I watch her teeth tearing into it with frenzy, and I look up for about to see the fire in her eyes moving to the knife she discarded in my lap.

And they widen.

Impatient and suggesting.

I pick up the knife and I repay the favor. Her head leaning back to offer her throat and I acquiesce with pleasure. I do what I have always wanted and what several illustrations have implied, that her neck is a Pez dispenser delivering love letters into my hands. And into my mouth. I drink from that wound like a starving man. And I am. I can feel her jaws working against mine, tilted and slurping from her throat. My teeth take over as I make that hole large enough to shove my hand into and down. Down through her body until I find that angel, that demon beating within her chest, and I tear it loose and into the air. She tilts her head back down as I lean back to examine it. To smell it before I devour it in kind. And she watches, much as I watched her, smiling. Dying. Her hands working themselves into a fury in both our laps as I finish, as we share in a literal Lupercalia. I take my free hand to replace hers between her legs. I lick the last drop of blood off my lips and she smacks me one more time, a raspy, “mine, fucker,” before pulling me in to get a taste. She pushes my hand away and she slips over and down upon a favored station, and there in the dark we create shadows of a four-limbed beast devouring itself around mouthfuls of wanton whispers until even our teeth grind each other into the dust.

And with but a bated breath, we breathe ourselves back into being.

Always one more round to take this treasure to the other side and taste this forever.

What great entries! Which one was your favourite?

#CoffinHop…Dead Ends in Undead Poetry

Click on the “EYE” to take you to my COFFIN HOP TRICK for a TREAT Prize Page…Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared….Contest ends at the Witching Hour (3am) 31st October 2012…(Contest has ended)

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It is the Dead End of the Annual #CoffinHop. 2nd Year running and still my favourite Blog event of the year. It is a time of year when fears are bled out onto the page, where the horror that can grip us in daily life can be released. This is the last day, the DEAD END of the #CoffinHop. So hop around through the bone yard visiting all the other CoffinHoppers – *Click on the skull above to get to each coffin.* #CoffinHop is that time of the year when we can face our fears, admit them and then master them. It’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to feel fear…

Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. – John Berridge

Battleground

The soldiers are unseen

Camouflaged in skin

Their weapons are lethal

They are elements of torture

They have captured me

Stretched out on a rack

Every muscle screams in protest

Every muscle held in a vice-like grip of agony

My jaw is locked shut

My eyes are blinded as the blades enter

My mouth is slack with pain

My fists tied down, tightly clenched

The torture has only just begun

My body fights to find an inner strength

The needles pierce the back of my neck

I am held in place, too weak to struggle

I try to call out for mercy

I am ready to confess anything

The needles enter my skull

There are hundreds of them

The prison is too bright for me to see

Shadowy figures surround my body

Slowly I feel the needles draining my veins

I try to release the bindings on my limbs

They use my body as a pincushion

I have no more strength to fight

I can feel the weakness take over

My mind tries to fight, to shout

I open my eyes 

I stare into blinding white light

The needles in my skull blind me

Bile rises up from my empty insides

I search for the unseen enemy

These faceless soldiers dealing in torment

I open my eyes and see a figure before me

It looks familiar, a faint echo of disbelief

The reflection is myself

My very flesh the rack of agony

I lose hope, I lose the battle against my skin and bone

 My body is my battleground, my flesh the enemy torturing me

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

Tell me do You CoffinHop?
x marks the spot where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Don’t forget to enter my TRICK Haunted Flash Fiction for TREATS ENTER BY 3am 01/11/12
Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared…

Thank you for taking part in the #CoffinHop 2012…

#CoffinHop … Haunted by the dark

Click on the “EYE” to take you to my COFFIN HOP TRICK for a TREAT Prize Page…Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared….Contest ends at the Witching Hour (3am) 31st October 2012…(Contest closed)

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So we are a day away from the end of Coffin Hop 2012. Just like last year it has been a BLAST. However it is not over until it is over so don’t feel glum. If you have not had a chance to hit up all the incredibly talented authors on this blog tour, you still have 2 days left to catch up & still 2 days left to enter my contest *Click on the EYE above*. Just click on that skull at the bottom of this post and it will take you to the Coffin Hop Boneyard where you can find all the other incredible authors.

Now, I know some may scratch their heads wondering what sort of person writes horror or reads horror. Well I can’t speak for all horror authors but I can speak for myself and I can speak of most of the other coffinhoppers since I am privileged to call a lot of them friends. I think Horror has got a bad rap over the years and Horror Authors along with it. So much so that the publishing industry uses every other euphemism to market a Horror Author and their Horror Fiction other than the term: Horror.

In May I wrote a post on: What is Horror? It was a question posed and answered by a group of horror author bloggers. You can find the full post here: Shivers down my Spine

But here are some passages that I would like to highlight for you…

horror |ˈhôrər, ˈhär-|noun1 an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust: children screamed in horror.• a thing causing such a feeling: photographs showed the horror of the tragedy | the horrors of civil war.• a literary or film genre concerned with arousing such feelings: [ as modifier ] : a horror movie.• intense dismay: to her horror she found that a thief had stolen the machine.• [ as exclamation ] (horrors) chiefly humorous used to express dismay: horrors, two buttons were missing!• [ in sing. ] intense dislike: many have a horror of consulting a dictionary.• (the horrors) an attack of extreme nervousness or anxiety: the mere thought of it gives me the horrors.2 informal a bad or mischievous person, esp. a child: that little horror Zach was around.ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French from Latin horror, from horrere ‘tremble, shudder’ (see horrid) .

I think the very origin of the word answers the question: What is Horror? Horror is an involuntary trembling and shuddering from sheer terror. For me however, true horror is those scenes that play with your mind. Psychological fear is far more intense and horrific than mere physical fear. The mind is a scary place. It’s capacity for imagining the worst and the darkest is scary. Think of your favourite horror movie, the imagined monster behind the shadow at the foot of the door that is ajar is far scarier than the monster that is seen and can be fought. What is unknown is far scarier than the known? For me, that is true HORROR.

Horror is the difference between the UNKNOWN vs the KNOWN and theUNTHINKABLE vs the IMAGINED. Horror is those shivers down my spine, that prickling on my skull and the bone-deep chill that makes my heart want to stop.

This is how Stephen King defines Horror:

“The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there…”

So what is so different about Horror Authors? I will tell you this. I think Horror Authors are the SkyJumpers of the publishing world. To be a Horror Author you need to plumb the depths of the human heart and all its terrible secrets. You have to face the darkness and then shine a light on it, exposing it. Not only are we SkyJumpers but we are SkyJumping into a dark night sky. That takes guts! It requires a strong spine and a streak of recklessness. On top of that we are the red headed step child that the Publishing world does not want to acknowledge.

But when you – as a reader – read a piece of horror fiction, you have no other choice but to dig deep yourself into your own emotions and FEEL. Horror Fiction strips away all your defences and lays you bare as an emotional being with equal amounts of joys and fears. Horror Fiction strips away all polite etiquette and gets you to connect with your most primal and your most HUMAN instincts and emotions. You may be scared stiff but you won’t stop turning the pages to find out what happens. Horror fiction is a guaranteed Page-Turner. Horror Fiction has a way of getting under your skin and being unforgettable. For a time, while reading that Horror story, you forget your own horrors.

“Blessed are the weird people – poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters and troubadours – for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” – Jacob Nordby

Horror Authors > Are we crazy? Are we dark? Some may be. But then great minds are always called Crazy by someone, somewhere.

But is it crazy or dark to have the courage to acknowledge both the light and the dark, the day and the night, the joy and the fear? Call me crazy then and call me dark. But it is through writing down the dark stories that I can get to the light. It is through writing down the dark stories that darkness does not overwhelm me. Humanity can be a horrific thing and sometimes we need to acknowledge the truth of that horror to let the wild and precious beauty shine in through the cracks in the dark. You cannot appreciate the Dawn unless you have experienced the coldest, loneliest, darkest hour of the Night. If I didn’t write the stories and poems that I do…then I would truly be haunted by the dark…

“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Remember to visit all the other coffin hopping macabre and haunted places buried in the

COFFIN HOP BONEYARD

for frightful contests, spookilicious giveaways and horrific halloween inspired swag.

You can also click through to the linky list included on this blog here or click on the creeptastic skull beneath…

Tell me do You CoffinHop?
x marks the spot where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Don’t forget to enter my TRICK Haunted Flash Fiction for TREATS
Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared…

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#CoffinHop The Haunted Feuds and Bloodthirsty Hauntings

Click on the “EYE” to take you to my COFFIN HOP TRICK for a TREAT Prize Page…Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared….Contest ends at the Witching Hour (3am) 31st October 2012…(Contest closed)

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Often the most haunted places are places where violence and bloodshed have occurred. Revolutions overthrow governments, old ways must die for new ways to take control and often this takes on a decidedly bloody tone. Today’s city is one with a violent history, tsars and revolutionaries, priests, prophets and magic. This is above all a place where people fight passionately for what they believe in even if means to the death.

Moscow, Russia
Copyright: Texmon (Wikipedia)

For a state founded by fierce bloodthirsty warriors in the 9th century, it is not hard to believe that Russia is a place of Warriors, Battles, Wars, Bloodshed and above all Passion. It was the East Slavs who settled here in this strange forbidding land first in the 3rd century but it was the Swedish Vikings who named and founded this land as Rus or The Land of Rus. For many centuries Rus was ruled by feudal laws: The strongest took power by force and the weakest either died or moved on. The first major revolution came in 1237-40 at the hands of the Mongol Invasion. Half of Rus’s population were slaughtered and the vast expanse that was Rus was parceled off and controlled by various nations. Moscow fought back viciously and valiantly and in 1380 defeated the Mongols. Moscow was now the centre of Rus once again and this city showed its strength and might. Deciding that feudalism would not keep them strong, they looked at the early example set by Rome and decided that Rus needed to be a Tsardom. They crowned their first Tsar (Russian for Caesar) Grand Duke Ivan IV (Ivan the Awesome who later was known as Ivan the Terrible) ruling Tsar in 1547. Ivan the Terrible established Moscow as his ruling base and through fierce wars and battles and much bloodshed he added land to the new mighty city; the new Rome as he saw it. Once again Rus underwent death and destruction as The Time of the Troubles began with a severe famine that killed 1/3 of the population (about 2 million). It was a time when brigands roamed the countryside killing, destroying and taking anything in their way. Russia was a country without a leader once again until the first Romanov, Michael Romanov, finally took back control after a number of false tsars had tried to take control. His rule did not come without bloodshed, he ordered the current false tsar’s 3-year-old son to be hanged and for the wife to be strangled to death. The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1612 until their violent death and destruction in the Russian Revolution of 1917. The famous slaughtering of the ruling Romanov family was seen as a victory by the peasants and militant revolutionaries. Tsar Nicholas II known as Bloody Nicholas was forced to abdicate the ruling throne on 2 March 1917. A few months later in July, the Tsar, his wife, his son, his four daughters, the family’s medical doctor, the footman, maidservant and cook were all killed by the revolutionaries. The world watched in vain as the horrific executions were done and the Iron curtain slowly fell over Russia. Once again Moscow was the centre of most of this bloodshed.

Moscow is without a doubt one of the cities in the world with the most violent history. Moscow is recognised as one of the strangest and most haunted cities in the world. The facts and history alone of bloody violence and constant revolutions are enough to send a chill down anyone’s spine. It is a land of militants and mystics, poets and politicians, tsars and peasants, a land of contrasts. Russian literature and poems are full of fantastic creatures, legends and bloodcurdling myths…

The Bronze Bird

In the Bronze Bird (Anatoly Rybakov) there is a tale told of the Golyginskaya Gat (a log road across a swamp): “If they wander on to the Golyginskaya Gat, they might get lost there forever,”. This is the place where an old Count and his son were beheaded in the 17th century. He was one of the false Tsars who attempted to overthrow the Romanovs and instead was defeated and executed by beheading. Then they were buried in the swamp land which was unconsecrated by the Russian Orthodox Church with the hope that their souls would be doomed to eternal suffering. The legend of their haunting goes like this: Cursed by a burial in unconsecrated ground, the restless, maltreated souls of father and son rise from the swamps at night and ask passers-by to bury their remains as befits Christians, insisting they were just innocent victims of malignant libel. If an unlucky man so approached cannot utter an intelligible response, the princes grow even more pressing, coming closer and removing their own heads, to be polite!

Kuznetsky Most Street, Moscow

In the 19th century, Kuznetsky Most Street was a thriving centre of fashion and nightlife with many boutiques and gambling houses. Gamblers often played all night long, losing all their cash. As the legend goes, those hit particularly hard might even be considering suicide when they suddenly saw a grey coach with wonderful horses stopping in front of them. The coachman, hiding his face, was ready to take them “wherever your soul wishes” for very little money. Few were able to grasp the covert sense of the phrase, indeed, they had just considered taking their own lives. Those who got into the mysterious coach were never seen again.

Gospitalny Val Street, Moscow

There is an old cemetery here dating from the 18th century. The city suffered an outbreak of the Plague. So many people died in this outbreak that the city had to start burying its dead on the banks of the river outside of the cemetery. These days, people say melancholy flute music is sometimes heard from the dark cemetery park on spring nights and, when it rains, an invisible musician plays his sad music until dawn, accompanied by the rattling of iron shackles heard from the tomb of Dr. Fedor Gaaz. Locals call this cemetery “Infidels’ crypts.”

The Bauman District, Moscow

The macabre history of this district is that this impure place was a place where witches were burned or took their own lives by suicide. Since 1558, a hunchback old woman with a crook has haunted these lands, appearing to residents of Ostankino village shortly before their deaths. As the legend goes, she even predicted to Emperor Paul I that he would not live until spring. Her prophecy came true: the tsar was murdered by officers of his guard in the early hours of March 12, 1801. The same old woman told Alexander II that he would die at the hands of an atheist – and this prediction also came true when he was assassinated by a terrorist on March 1, 1881. It is rumoured that the old prophetess also appeared to local residents before the Ostankino TV Tower fire in 2000.

Many of these haunted places are so dangerous and so cursed even to this day that the Haunted tours that run in Moscow will not take you there for fear of death themselves. Moscow is indeed worthy of being called one of the 10 most haunted cities in the world. So before you take a walk through these desolate hauntings it might be wise to have some liquid courage. So I have included a few Vodka Martini recipes (below) in honour of this ancient city that is sure to bolster and shore up your courage to face the shadowed spirits who walk the veil between worlds in Moscow, that Mighty, Mysterious city.

Decadent Vodka Cocktails with a Terrifying Twist

Click on any of the DECADENT COCKTAILS

– this will take you to my Pinterest page,

One more click will take you to the delicious concoction’s RECIPE…

What is the use of posting cocktails unless you try them for yourself?

Come back and tell me which was your favourite flavour!

Wild Cat Martini
Black Cat Martini
Mad-Eye Martini
Bloody-tini
Halloween Hypnotist
Toffee Apple
Join me here tomorrow for the next X spots that mark the places where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…

Remember to visit all the other coffin hopping macabre and haunted places buried in the

COFFIN HOP BONEYARD

for frightful contests, spookilicious giveaways and horrific halloween inspired swag.

You can also click through to the linky list included on this blog here or click on the creeptastic skull beneath…

Tell me do You CoffinHop?
x marks the spot where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Don’t forget to enter my TRICK Haunted Flash Fiction for TREATS
Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared…

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#Coffin Hop…The Haunted Voodoo & The Haunting Magic Cocktails

Click on the “EYE” to take you to my COFFIN HOP TRICK for a TREAT Prize Page…Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared….Contest ends at the Witching Hour (3am) 31st October 2012…(contest closed)

kim-coffin12

Day 2 of The Haunted & The Hauntings takes us to a place of Voodoo and Magic. This city is famous in the Horror and Paranormal Circles. It has inspired legends, myths, tales that terrify and movies that horrify. It has also been a favourite obsession of mine and has inspired my new WIP – The Tattooist Trilogy.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

File:StChasJan07HouseB2.jpg by en:User:Infrogmation
File:LoyolaStreetcarMch08.jpg by en:User:Infrogmation
File:New_Orleans_Skyline_from_Uptown.jpg by en:User:VerruckteDan
File:Jackson_Square.jpg by en:User:Dschwen
File:New-orleans10.jpg by de:User:Falkue

This city has been called the Most Haunted City in the USA. It has also been called “The Crescent City”, “The Big Easy” and “The City that Care Forgot” I first became familiar with this city through, what else but my favourite medium, books: specifically The Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice. I could not get enough of this series and could not get enough of this strange haunting city. This city is one of the main settings in my NEXT BIG WIP – The Tattooist Trilogy. I am also planning on a 2013 trip – it falls under research – to this city of Hauntings, Voodoo & Vamps. In my thirst for knowledge + WIP research I explored the earliest times of this notorious city.

Perhaps the earliest legend that has fueled the Hauntings in this city is that the vast swamp that was New Orleans was once a sacred Indian burial ground. In 1718 King Louis XV founded the city of New Orleans, named after the city of Orleans lying on the banks of the Loire River in France, in the hope and belief that it would be a profitable trading station for the French because of its appealing location on the Mississippi River. Once people started trickling in to live here though;  murderers, thieves, rapists, common criminals and laborers were the first inhabitants. I assumed they came here and set up camp to escape their various crimes and the punishment they were sure to face on apprehension. In these early days of New Orleans, it was only the desperate and the damned who would choose to make their home here: They called it The French Quarter in 1721. It was a topography that perfectly mirrored the depraved, the desperate and the damned who settled here with natural harsh elements like quick sand, alligators, venomous snakes, mosquitoes and rampant disease. For the next hundred years the murder rate in this new city was high and along with numerous major fires, hurricanes, wars and the dreaded yellow fever epidemic this city became  a place of death, decay and destruction.

Description: Tomb of Marie Laveau (The 1830s notorious Voodoo Queen)
Source: New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
Date: 8/10/08
Author: Charles M. Gandolfo
Permission: Jerry Gandolfo

During this first 100 year period of New Orleans, the Haitian slave revolt (1791 – 1804) happened in Haiti. To escape the massacre the refugee plantation owners, bringing with them their slaves, escaped Haiti to make their way across the ocean to a new home and refuge in New Orleans. For the first time New Orleans heard the sacrificial drums of Voodoo. Voodoo had come to New Orleans. Voodoo is a strange mix of various African – originating in Benin and Nigeria – magic, belief and rites mixed with Catholic elements. Voodoo brought with it snake magic, seers, ritual animal sacrifice, fortune-telling, black magic, bonfires and orgies and notorious Voodoo Queens: the most famous Voodoo Queen would have to be Marie Laveau. Both a practicing Catholic and a Voodoo Queen; she acted as an Oracle, conducted private rituals, performed exorcisms and offered sacrifices to spirits. To this day people still come to her tomb to offer up favors and offerings. Her grave is the one of the most visited graves in the world. There are still sightings of this Voodoo Queen in modern-day New Orleans.

It is no wonder that this city with its notorious history, its birthplace founded on a purported sacred Indian burial ground and its mix of the depraved, the damned and the illicit combined with the black magic of Voodoo Queens has spurred the title of the Most Haunted city in the USA. It is a place layered in history, in magic and ancient sacred rites. It is a place where the veils between ritualistic beliefs, fears are thin. It is indeed a place where spirits watch you from veiled shadows.

Another thing that this city is famous for is Cocktails, decadence and illicit deliciousness…It is not known as “The Big Easy” and the home of “The Mardi Gras” for nothing. So for a treat today I have included some New Orleans cocktails and some Halloween inspired cocktails for your enjoyment.

New Orleans Classic Cocktails

Click on any of the DECADENT COCKTAILS

– this will take you to my Pinterest page,

One more click will take you to the delicious concoction’s RECIPE…

What is the use of posting cocktails unless you try them for yourself?

Come back and tell me which was your favourite flavour!

The Hurricane

Source: seriouseats.com via Kim on Pinterest

The Sazerac

Source: seriouseats.com via Kim on Pinterest

The Bywater Cocktail

Source: seriouseats.com via Kim on Pinterest

Some Halloween Decadence…
Ashes to Ashes
Paranormal Activity or Licorice Trick
Smoking “Colour-changing” Martini
Vampire Kiss Martini
What’s your favourite decadent cocktail?
What’s your favourite New Orleans Haunted Legend?
Join me here tomorrow for the next X spots that mark the places where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…

Remember to visit all the other coffin hopping macabre and haunted places buried in the

COFFIN HOP BONEYARD

for frightful contests, spookilicious giveaways and horrific halloween inspired swag.

You can also click through to the linky list included on this blog here or click on the creeptastic skull beneath…

Tell me do You CoffinHop?
x marks the spot where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Don’t forget to enter my TRICK Haunted Flash Fiction for TREATS
Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared…

#CoffinHop…a coffin full of Haunted Hot Spots

Click on the “EYE” to take you to my COFFIN HOP TRICK for a TREAT Prize Page…Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared….Contest ends at the Witching Hour (3am) 31st October 2012…(contest closed)

kim-coffin12

The Haunted & the Hauntings are the things that truly send chills up and down my spine. Perhaps you would wonder why someone able to see ghosts and been in my share of haunted places is chilled to the bone. But this is just the reason why The Haunted & The Hauntings do chill me…because I know they are real. It is those nightmares that walk and connect with us that truly petrify us. Not the bogeyman but the shadowed spirit at my door…this is what I know to be all too true.

But just like there are people who are able to see these veiled creatures of the between world, there are places on this earth that seem to be filled with the walking dead, the seeking spirits, the hungry haunts. So today I thought I would welcome you to Day Two of the COFFIN HOP by sharing a short haunted travel guide of two of this world’s most Haunted places…

  • Paris, France
Original uploader was Vlastula at en.wikipedia
>Bones from the former Magdeleine cemetery (La Ville Leveque Street numbers 1 and 2). Deposited in 1844 in the western ossuary (bone repository) and transferred to the catacombs in September 1859.

The Parisians have an interesting history with the dead and departed. It started in the Roman times when Parisians buried their dead on the outskirts of the city but with the rise of Christianity they soon took to burying their dead in consecrated ground which meant under and around their churches. By the 12th century however these consecrated burial grounds became overcrowded and the only way around this was to have mass burial sites for those who were short on cash. By the 17th century these mass inhumations though caused the sanitary conditions of Paris to become unbearable though as Paris depended on their waters from their many underground wells which was now being contaminated by these mass inhumations. It was then that, with the government looking for a way to clean up the city, they decided to use long abandoned stone quarries under the mines as new burial grounds for the dead of Paris. It took two years from 1786 to 1788 to exhume all the mass buried bodies and transfer them to the underground sepulchre which soon became known as the Catacombs of Paris. Soon the very tunnels that led to these stone quarries were walled in a macabre “brick work” of bones and skulls. It brought a new meaning to “walking with the dead”. So although the government of the day managed to clean up the city’s water supply they also turned the city into a city that walks on the bones of its dead. These catacombs are now listed as one of the most haunted places in the world with guided tours there. Visitors here claim to have been touched by unseen hands, have the sensation of being watched or followed, experienced temperature changes, hysterical breakdowns, and the feeling of being strangled.

Paris may be the City of Light but perhaps it is only called that because it lies on the City of Death…

  • London, England
Sheri from Ft. Myers, FL, USA
> The cobblestone courtyard recently built over Tower Hill, where many notables of British history (such as Sir Thomas More) lost their heads. This is where many public executions were held for hundreds of years.

Although London is often seen as the epitome of modern day civility, its history is quite the polar opposite. This city has one of the most violent and savage pasts in the world. It is a city that Kings and Queens have fought viciously over and fought passionately and horrifically for the rights to rule. From the horrific tales of imprisoned nobles in The Tower of London to Jack the Ripper, this city has more than its fair share of horror and dead crying out for justice. This city alone has spanned the popular gothic genres with its historic architecture and less than polite past. There are numerous ghost walks and haunted tours that can be found at the tips of your fingers if you google “Haunted London” – 79, 600, 000 results to be exact. One that stood out to me though was: The London Ghost Walk

These great London Ghost Walks are led by ghost book author and paranormal television presenter Richard Jones. The walk lasts approximately 2 hours and takes place regardless of weather conditions.

Twilight creeps through the narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards. It’s gnarled fingers unlock ancient secrets of dark deeds that lie entombed behind crumbling walls. It whispers into the shadowy recesses of a forgotten part of London, disturbing the sleep of the long departed, and the city of the dead stirs once more into ghostly life.

Thus London’s spookiest tour begins, and a spine-chilling night awaits you in the company of masterful story teller Richard Jones, author of the definitive book on the capital’s sinister history Walking Haunted London. For this is the only ghost walk to feature startling recreation of psychic phenomenon and you will witness much that is mysterious and inexplicable.

With its unique combination of expert guidance, dramatic storytelling and strange occurrences, this is THE London ghost walk. Often copied but never equalled, it unfolds against the backdrop of London’s oldest, eeriest and most haunted quarter. Untold horrors skulk in the silent shadows, and spectral voices echo across ancient plague pits. Mists and Miasma’s swirl through abandoned graveyards, as a lone monks keeps his weary vigil amidst crumbling, weatherworn tombstones and the devils breath is felt on a wind swept corner.

So come along, as the darkness falls, and enjoy an entertaining journey through a part of London you would never dream still existed. Encounter streets so sinister, that you will never be sure who, or what, might be waiting around the next corner, or lurking just a few graves along. (taken from the site)

Now I don’t know about you but this is one Haunted tour I would love to take…

Have you visited these haunted cities so praised as architects of civility and style in the modern age but so filled with macabre and bizarre pasts? Which haunted city is on your bucket list to visit?
Join me here tomorrow for the next X spots that mark the places where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…

Remember to visit all the other coffin hopping macabre and haunted places buried in the                                     

COFFIN HOP BONEYARD

for frightful contests, spookilicious giveaways and horrific halloween inspired swag.

You can also click through to the linky list included on this blog here or click on the creeptastic skull beneath…

Tell me do You CoffinHop?
x marks the spot where the spirits watch you from veiled shadows…
Don’t forget to enter my TRICK Haunted Flash Fiction for TREATS
Enter if you dare…Enter or be scared…

The anticipation…the drama…the horror!

Are you Coffin Hopping?
Like being scared?
Like thrills and chills that send shivers down your spine?

Then there is only one place to be in the last week of October and that is on:
The CoffinHop

Follow the main Coffin Hop Hub: Coffin Hop

Follow this hop on twitter under:
#CoffinHop

Follow the full collection of CoffinHoppers taking part in this chilling edition of CoffinHop 2012 here: Do you Coffin Hop? Curious?

Will there be tricks or will there be treats?

Only way to find out is to follow The CoffinHop!
Come CoffinHopping with me!

Marie Loughin's "I WANNA BE . . ."

Ah, October, when leaves fall and trees reach their bony fingers to the sky, when I think of Snoopy and the Red Baron and candy sorted into little piles on my bedroom floor.

How sad to be all grown up, denied the races across darkened lawns. Nevermore to shriek in delighted terror when Freddy or Jason or Frankenstein pops from the neighbor’s bushes.

But wait! There’s still a way for us all-grown-uppers to share in Halloween thrills. It’s Coffin Hopping we will go. Trick-or-treating at digital doors, where writers of horror will open their bags of goodies to share with those who dare to stop by.

And don’t be afraid to stop back for seconds…or thirds…or even sevenths. In our neighborhood, Halloween lasts seven days.

The fun starts tomorrow (October 24) and continues through Halloween. I’ll be posting several times during the next week with Halloween thoughts, reviews, and possibly some new…

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#CoffinHop | The winner is ….

My Contest – Prize Time

My next WIP is a psychological thriller and it involves psychological twists and a cold-blooded killer. This killer curdles my blood. Already the killer haunts my dreams. But the worst thing about this character is that I am struggling to name him. He does have a moniker that he will be known by in the story but he does need a name.

Let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a psychopath. He is exceptionally cruel and sadistic. He is also a perfectionist who never leaves any trace of himself at the crime scene. He is fastidiously clean, almost surgically I would say. He preys on people that he feels are “fallen”. He is incredibly alluring and seductive. He is hard to say “no” to. By the time his victims realise he is the final person they will see, it is too late and they are taken by surprise. This man could be anyone. He might be your friend, your brother, your father, your lover, your husband or your colleague. He stalks you like a silent lioness. Do you know his name?

Well, after 19 entrants with 22 entries, I have managed to nail it down. The task was not easy. There were so many names that would have worked but when this name was mentioned it sparked. However, what I had kept to myself is that my killer does not just have one identity…He changes identities as part of his ritual without giving too much away which means I have 1 ultimate winner who wins the 3 ebooks but I also have 2 runner-ups who will also each be getting an ebook. On top of that all 3 names will be used by the killer in my WIP.

Rolling the drums…

Crashing the Cymbals….

The ultimate winner of the Prize for “Name my Master of Darkness in Murder” is…..

Penelope Crowe with the name of: Michael Dali

Michael (inspired by the Archangel Michael

Dali (inspired by the mad genius of Salvador Dali)…

Congratulations Penelope!

Your synapse must have fused with mine because I had actually been toying with the name of Dali initially. Salvador Dali is also my favourite surrealist artist. I also love the inspiration of naming after Michael the Archangel.

The two runners up are:

Carole Gill with the name of: Christian Delacourt

Ash Krafton with the name of: Grayden Slate

Congratulations Carole and Ash! 

 

All the entrants had such great name suggestions that I have literally been thinking over this all week. In the end I had to choose these 3 as my favourite names.

I will be emailing each of you with details of your prizes. So if you have not received an email from me by Monday, please email me because then something has gone wrong with the email.

Thank you so much to each and every entrant. All of your entries were inspired. The hop was a huge success and a huge amount of FUN. I love the chance to get to meet authors of like mind and be so inspired by a week long of amazing posts. I was lucky enough to win 4 contests myself and the books won in these were the cherry on top of a delicious week of blogging ice-cream dripping in hot chocolate sauce filled with the spice of fear and suspense.

                        Click on the Full Moon above to check out some very talented authors’ blogs…                       you will want to follow these people