#Creepfest and in creeps a green elf bearing the name of winners … it may be you…

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour...Hurry! There are Prizes!

It’s the 24th…the last night of Creepfest…the night before Christmas…

and in creeps a green elf…

She bears the names of 2 winners …

tales of Creepmas to spin was their task…

Their houses visited by the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

what horrors did he foretell, what terrors did he awaken…

The Ghost of Creepmas Past took you to the dark place of your Nightmares…

Tim C Ward

…this was his trip back in time courtesy of the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

He took me back to a time when my ears stuck out and my mom covered them with my shaggy hair. My brother and I had only one present that year, a long electronic train set. We shouted at the top of our joy when we entered the living room–me in my dino pjs and he in his ninja turtles. I pushed him aside; he hit his head on the corner of the couch and cried. I took a seat at the controls near the train station, flicked the switch, pressed the red button. Nothing happened.
My mom looked at me, hiding most of her face behind the hall. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t work.”
Tears burned as if they were lava trails burning my sorrow into permanent scars down my cheeks. The salty taste creeping over my lips drove nails through my heart. This was the worst Christmas ever.
The blood dripping down my brother’s nose and the shade of purple coloring his squinted face were too much to bear. I went to hug him but fell right through his form.
I looked up at the Ghost of Christmas. “Take me away. I’m going to be sick”

 

Ash Krafton

…this was her trip back in time courtesy of the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

 I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. I’d lie in bed, listening to my baby sister snoring, straining to hear what was going on down the hall.

Every noise would make me sit up. Was that a sleigh bell? Were those hooves tapping on the roof? The wearier I got, the more frequent the noises became.

A creek from the closet. Did Santa come out of the wrong side of the chimney and fall into my closet? Would he find my Barbies and decide I didn’t need any more toys? Would he find where I hid Sissy’s squeaky baby doll? I *hated* that thing and hid it so she wouldn’t annoy me with it. Baby toys were stupid but if Santa found it, he wouldn’t understand. He’d just bump me onto the naughty list.

The night wore on. I heard breathing outside my window. Was that a reindeer? Why did it growl? Did they eat children? Did they only eat the naughty ones?

Dawn came. I jumped out of the bed and ran to my mom’s room. “Merry Christmas!” I shrieked, relieved the ordeal was over.

“Back to bed,” mom mumbled. “Today’s not Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve.”

Congratulations to both Tim and Ash…I loved both flash pieces…

Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 🙂

#Creepfest ‘s Ruth Barrett & The Dark Passenger

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour...Hurry! There are Prizes!

It’s eleven days in…almost the end but not yet…there are still plenty of tales to read, interviews to follow and giveaways to enter…so if you have been one of the naughty ones this blog hop and not entered yet…click on the Christmas tree above and get hopping…There is still time! Hurry!

Today I have the pleasure of Ruth Barrett on the blog…Ruth specializes in ghostly tales…

The fat man blinked hard as he returned to consciousness. His head roared with pain and a heavy, drugged sensation. He tried to lift his arm to rub his bleary eyes, but found himself immobilized.

What the hell…?

With difficulty, he peered down the length of his rotund body. He was naked. His bulging stomach strained against what looked to be yards of Saran Wrap pinning him down onto a table. Confusion turned to terror as his twinkling blue eyes darted about the room. Beneath sheets of plastic meticulously taped in place, he recognized his own North Pole stables. His breathing quickened in visible white puffs in the chill air as he went over the last moments he recalled: slipping down a chimney in Miami, bending over his gift sack… then a sharp prickle in the side of his neck.

The fat man’s gaze landed on a display of photographs: dozens of reindeer who had served him well, only to be served as venison when they grew too old.

A man’s voice spoke low in his ear:

“Greetings, Santa. I am your Ghost of Christmas Past.”

Santa gasped as a blade deftly sliced a thin cut on his cheek…

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Ruth’s Flash Fiction is the eighth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the seventh offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below (or rate it at the top with stars), how you rate this eighth entry, in the challenge, by the imaginative Ruth Barrett out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

Ruth Barrett

Ruth Barrett is the author of Base Spirits: In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries. 

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core. 

Only one player can survive.
Ruth, you had me at “Dark Passenger”…Loved this festive spin on “The Dark Passenger”… Great story. Looking forward to tucking into your book, Base Spirits over the festive season. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas Ruth! 🙂

Don’t forget to enter my #Creepfest Reader Challenge….This is the last day to enter…Tomorrow I post the results and the winners…Hurry you could still be a WINNER!

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max) in the comments section.

…then complete the following tasks set by the Creepfest Grinch to be eligible for the prize

follow this blog

  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by#GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize….
  • I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 
  • The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher
  • The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)


Christmas Spirits

 

Christmas Spirits

Twas the night before Christmas and as I lay down in bed I sent out a Christmas prayer.
“Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon.
My Christmas wish tonight is not for gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill my mouth.
My Christmas wish tonight is not for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies.
No, my Christmas wish is a touch, a kiss, a warm embrace, the whisper of my name on breath long disappeared.
My Christmas wish is for the living and the spirits to meet once more, even for a few hours.
My Christmas wish is to tell those that left me how I loved them and how I missed their presence in my life.
My Christmas wish is to hear the sweet tinkling bells of their laughter and to feel the warmth of their smiles.
My Christmas wish is to tell them that though their spirits now walk this realm and the next, their love remains alive in my heart.
Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present I plead with you this dark night lit only by the moon.” As the moon disappeared behind veiled clouds of deep grey, I fell asleep with trickling rain dripping down my cheek.
It was not long and I heard a sound and felt a warm caress dry the rain’s tears from my cheek.
A voice bent down to my ear and whispered my name and I heard tinkling laughter coming from all corners of the room.
I slowly opened my eyes and looked to see what marvel had appeared in my room under the clouded sky.
There in a bed, covered up to the chin by a heavy blanket of death-white, lay a girl with a dried tear on her cheek.
Her hair was smooth and dark against the white of the pillow and her lips were bruised as if some kiss had longed to punish them.
I heard the tinkling laughter then and looked to my side and behind me.
There were ethereal specters there all around the bed of this lost girl.
The moon had disappeared but pale light shone through their shadowy forms.
I looked back at the girl wondering where I had seen her before.
One of these specters looked at me then for the first time and smiled a smile that embraced my soul in warmth and light.
The specter’s lips did not move but a low melodious sound came from him like a cello chasing the sound of light in a moonless night:
“We heard your Christmas plea little one. You did not ask for earthly peace nor endless sunshine and cloudless skies.
You did not ask for gold and silver wrapped trinkets or sweet morsels to fill your mouth.
Your Christmas wish was for the living and the spirits to meet once more.
So here we come, at your call and as you wished…all the spirits who loved you once and missed you long.”
But dear one the living must sacrifice life itself to walk with the spirits…Your sacrifice has been a tender gift for us this Christmas Past.”

Then he stretched out his hand and he touched mine.
I trembled in fear at his words and wished to take back my Christmas plea.
I had not wished to sacrifice life, what of all those I love this Christmas Present.
His hand went right through air and though I could feel his strong grasp, there was no hand to cling to in return.
I looked down again at the lost girl lying asleep in eternity and knew that my heart would ache to feel the tears of rain or light of the moon again.
No more endless sunshine nor cloudless skies for me. No earthly peace nor gifts of gold and silver.
No touch, no kiss, nor embrace, sweet laughter, nor whispers of my name.

These specters were only veils of what had been warm breath and soft laughter, shed tears and sweet memories.
The lost girl lay in bed as the clouded sky gave way to the all seeing eye of the morning.
All around I could hear carolers singing and in the house far away I could hear mother and father calling out “Merry Christmas.”
The lost girl did not stir. Christmas Eve had come and passed taking her with it.
I watched the two people I had once known as mom and dad come running in with gifts of gold and silver wrapped trinkets spilling forth from their embrace.
I saw the woman collapse to the floor before he could catch her and the sounds that poured forth from both pulled a veil over the sun, their misery was so great.

I knew then, looking at the ugly grief of the couple where I recognised that lost girl.
She had been this same specter once before when it breathed, laughed, hoped and loved.
I took one last glance at the lost girl and the grieving couple and I bent down and whispered my forgotten name in the woman’s ear.
She shivered at the sound of my whisper and glanced wildly around searching for that missing girl
I touched the man’s arm but he shook my touch off as if a cruel thing had pierced him.

The specter who had spoken so melodiously before beckoned me once more.
The other ethereal forms had drifted off as the moon had been swallowed by the morning.
He looked at me once again and his face showed pain so great and so forlorn:
“Come child, you are no more. Now you walk the realm with those who have gone before.”

Now I walk this realm and the next longing for a warm touch, a sweet kiss and shared laughter.
I visit all the homes of my loved ones each Christmas, silently coming in with the moonlight and leaving with the sun.
I am moonlight and stardust, wind and water but ancient spirit I remain.

Heed the wishes you make on Christmas night for twas a wish such as this that took my breath…
Heed the living and love the present for the realm of spirits leaves much to be attained…

Heed the Christmas wish that regrets the past, forgetting your gift of Now but love life lest you sacrifice it.

Christmas Spirits, both ancient and present keep your silence, the living seek you out…

© All Rights Reserved Kim Koning

My December Solstice on this #Creepfest I bleed ink and walk with Christmas Spirits

Today I am honoured to be hosted by two #Creepfest Authors in honour of December Solstice…

Find out why I bleed ink … all over Jessica McHugh’s “No Vacation from Speculation”

Find my Ode to December Solstice and the Ghosts of Christmas’s Past … with Ruth Barrett’s “Spirited Words”

I thought I would share a little insight on December Solstice or Night of the Midnight Sun in honour of both the event and #Creepfest…

December Solstice usually occurs between 20/12 and 23/12 every year. This year it falls on the 22nd. This solstice celebrates the return of light and the continuing circle of seasons and life. Here are some ways that cultures around the world have celebrated the Solstice…

  • Yule is also known as Alban Arthan and was one of the “Lesser Sabbats” of the Wiccan year in a time when ancient believers celebrated the rebirth of the Sun God and days with more light. This took place annually around the time of the December solstice and lasted for 12 days.
  • Yule: The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log.
  • In England, Germany, France and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained. The ashes were then collected and either strewn on the fields as fertilizer every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and or as medicine.
  • In Ancient Rome the winter (December) solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held to honor Saturn, the father of the gods and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten while businesses, courts and schools were closed. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Masquerades often occurred during this time. It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations). A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime – giving rise to the modern use of the tern saturnalia, meaning a period of unrestrained license and revelry. 
  • In Poland the ancient December solstice observance prior to Christianity involved people showing forgiveness and sharing food. It was a tradition that can still be seen in what is known as Gody.
  • In the northwestern corner of Pakistan, a festival called Chaomos, takes place among the Kalasha or Kalash Kafir people. It lasts for at least seven days, including the day of the December solstice. It involves ritual baths as part of a purification process, as well as singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires and festive eating.
  • Many Christians celebrate St Thomas’ Day in honor of St Thomas the Apostle on December 21.
  • In Guatemala on this day, Mayan Indians honor the sun god they worshipped long before they became Christians with a dangerous ritual known as the polo voladore, or “flying pole dance”. Three men climb on top of a 50-foot pole. As one of them beats a drum and plays a flute, the other two men wind a rope attached to the pole around one foot and jump. If they land on their feet, it is believed that the sun god will be pleased and that the days will start getting longer.
  • The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honor the sun god at the time of the December solstice. In the 16th century ceremonies were banned by the Roman Catholics in their bid to convert the Inca people to Christianity. A local group of Quecia Indians in Cusco, Peru, revived the festival in the 1950s. It is now a major festival that begins in Cusco and proceeds to an ancient amphitheater a few miles away.
  • Aside – One of my favourite books deals with the legends of the Solstice as well as other ancient stories that permeate early European cultures…          
  •   Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth

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Related articles on the Solstice

#Creepfest ‘s Annetta Ribken “Naughty, Naughty… Santa”

Four days in and things are crashing against the door…

kim-creepfestlogo

Today I have the lovely Annetta Ribken … an author, editor and blogger who lives to weave webs of words together…

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#Creepfest’s Guest Author Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.

Max words: 200

“What’s this?” asked Santa as he pulled out a stuffed doll from his magic bag. “I don’t remember this being on the list.” He placed the doll under the tree. “As a matter of fact, I though little Miss Maisy was on the naughty list this year.”

Thomas scratched his pointy ear and consulted his notes. “She is. This is a special request from Mrs. Claus.” He squinted. “Say, that doll looks a lot like…”

Santa took a closer look.

“Nah, can’t be. We broke off the affair a year ago.” His hand trembled as he reached for the doll to examine it further.

Thomas didn’t bother shouting a warning as he saw sharp, needle-like teeth erupt from the doll’s mouth and sink into Santa’s hand and chew up his arm. Thomas also didn’t bother to call 9-1-1 or mop up the blood; he simply made a check mark on his list and hurried back to the sleigh, grateful these days everything was automated.

Hey, an elf had to earn his Christmas bonus, right? And Mrs. Claus was very generous. Thomas was looking forward to assuming the big seat next year, although dolls with teeth were definitely off the list.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Netta’s Flash Fiction is the third entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the second offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below, how you rate this third story, in the challenge, by the wickedly, talented Annetta Ribken out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you

got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

Naughty and nice are a matter of perspective, don’t you think? That being said, I’m gonna opt for nice.

  1. I took in a shelter kitty this year.
  2. I gave blood.
  3. I didn’t kill any one of the 4,398 phucktards who crossed my path this year.

3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

Rumplestiltskin. I think he gets a bad rap. He’s just a guy trying to make a living. He presents choices to people, and then is blamed when things don’t go exactly the way they’re expected. I think that’s unfair. Although Rumple is muy creepy and gives me nightmares. And I always wonder what the hell he has in mind for all these babies he seems to want. What is up with that??

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

I’d probably be the Ghost of Christmas Past. I have a baby face, and I think it’d be really cool to have light emanating from your head.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

I AM the Christmas Grinch. Heh. I’d leave beautifully wrapped boxes which are totally empty to remind people it’s not the THINGS that matter, but the spirit of giving and sharing. Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Author bio: Annetta has been writing since words were carved on stone tablets with chisels. Not only does she write her own words, Annetta is also an accomplished editor. She lives just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.

Twitter me @netta50

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Annetta.Ribken

Blog: http://wordwebbing.com/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3414795.Annetta_Ribken

My blog: Creepfest Blog Hop – Day 2 – Rollin’ in the Deep

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Thank you Netta… Your flash fiction was a very original spin on Santa’s visit. No scorn like Mrs Claus it seems…I must say I love Rumpelstiltskin too. Happy Creepfest and thanks for creeping by on my blog. 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by #GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.~~~~~~

    So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

    Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

    ~~~~~~


    I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher

The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…kim-talesforcanterbury(large)

What’s that you say? Christmas? No it’s #Creepfest time!

Who’s there?

Knock Knock…Creak…Bump…Crash…

Careful…before you open that door…

I don’t think it’s Santa Claus nor Rudolf…

~It’s the Grinch, ghosts, gargoyles,vampires,zombies ….

and a whole creepy clutch of #Creepfest writers!~

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to the blog tour.

Today is Day One of the Blog tour...

So what’s going to be happening here on Wrestling the Muse…

I am going to post a creepy Christmas nightmare,

but only a little will be unveiled every day of the Creepfest…

There will also be some guest bloggers joining in with

their own creepy deliciousness of Creepfest…

It is a Christmas Creepfest which means that there will be Christmas gifts…

But

The Grinch is running this competition along with

the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future, which means…

You will need to complete a few simple exercises

to be in the running to win these three prizes…


The guest bloggers participating on my blog have

each been given a challenge of a Creepmas flash fiction.

The best flash fiction will be chosen by YOU, yes that’s right YOU, reading this right now.

There will also be a challenge for you lovely readers to complete for the length of the tour.

But I will tell you a little more about your challenge tomorrow…

So there will be 3 winners:

A #Creepfest Author/Blogger

and

2 Readers

There will be prizes…

Winning Reader Prize 

E-book copy of Tales for Canterbury

+

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

Runner up Reader Prize

$10 Amazon Gift Voucher

_______________

Winning #Creepfest Author/Blogger Prize

Print Copy of Tales for Canterbury

a surprise gift

For more info on Tales for Canterbury, click here…

This is an anthology of short stories you do not want to miss out on.

It has tales by Neil Gaiman, Jay Lake and 32 other incredible authors…

It also includes my debut short story, The Ring of Fire, a YA dystopian tale…

There are tales of zombies, other worlds but above all

all the stories are about survival in the face of danger or disaster.

__________________

Do you have what it takes?

Are you ready for the challenge?

Do you enjoy dark fiction, paranormal and stories

about things that go bump in the night?

Can you take 12 days of #Creepfest?

So make sure you stop by the blog tour home (by clicking on the Creepmas tree)

and make sure you get yourself to this blog and all the other #Creepfest Blogs

to win yourself a Creepmas Bounty of #Creepfest prizes…

Ooh It’s going to be a Creepy 12 days!

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like #Creepfest!”