Category Archives: Horror

Horror’s Not Dead

horror dead

 

…is it?

I like to read horror novels (shocker, I know). They’re my favourite night reads, nestled under the covers and with a hot cup of tea on the nightstand. And though I don’t read horror exclusively, it’s fair to say that as one honing my writing craft, I tend to focus on my own genre.

So I went to Chapters the other day, looking for a few fresh reads to see me through my week off from DayJob. I beelined to the horror section, which has recently been relegated to the far back corner.

There used to be a whole horror aisle: shelves on both sides piled high with scares.

Then horror was squeezed to one side of the aisle, with a shelf or two of overflow on the other.

But now it’s dwindled even more. The horror section is now being encroached upon by true crime, and sports some unsettling bare spots to boot.

What happened? In my personal life alone, I know a handful of horror fans. I know more online (and I’m lucky enough to interact with a number of them, here and through Facebook). I know we’ll never be as big a market as, say, romance, but come on. It was 75 percent Stephen King and the rest was mostly stuff I’ve already read, by a very few authors.

Is it the paper book itself that is suffering, accounting for that tiny sliver of (physical) shelf space? Is it the genre? There are new horror movies out all the time; it can’t be the scares themselves. So what gives?

You’re here, and that almost certainly means you’re on Team Spooky. So where the hell is everyone else?! Should I feel excited at the apparent lack of “competition”, or should I entertain this soul-crushing doubt that tells me the good ol’ days are over?

If you’re out there, speak up! Come say hi! Tell me you exist! Us weirdos need to stick together.


The Shibing

tumblr_mxmri2IAqx1spl983o1_1280

(via tumblr.)


Will “The Conjuring”s Annabelle Have Her Own Movie?

the-conjuring-annabelle-doll-610x343

She might, according to IGN.com.

I’m not easily spooked; growing up Horror does that to a kid. But when I saw this movie this summer, and that fucking doll came on the screen… There’s just something about dolls, y’know? They’re everywhere, tiny lifeless versions of ourselves.

Lifeless, that is, until Hollywood gets ahold of them, and the next thing you know you’d better watch your back.

It happened with Chucky. It happened in Puppetmaster. And there’s something about Annabelle that’s just… off.

Look at that smug grin. She knows too much.

And hopefully, she’ll be coming to terrorize us again.

(Read IGN’s article for more info, and check out my own personal creepy Annabelle story here!)


Tattoos Last Forever… and Ever… and Ever…

500x402xREDRUM.jpg.pagespeed.ic.SCB_3lXjlz

From (the sadly defunct?) KnuckleTattoos.com:

“Much to the disappointment and horror of my Mother, I had these done last week.. inspired by one of my favourite films, The Shining. I wanted a tattoo based on the Shining, and I saw SO many ‘Heeere’s Johnny’ tattoos that I thought I wanted something a bit different. So this is what I came up with.
They have had mixed reviews, people who have seen the film absoloutely love them, people who have not seen the film just think I’m gross.
I am a tattooist so my boss at work did them for me, she had neve seen the film so didn’t quite get why I wanted it, until I checked the stencil in the mirror and she saw it said ‘Murder’.
The image on top is how people would see it, saying Red Rum.. However because i only ever see it in mirrors, to me it says Murder.”


“Elevator”, New Horror from Stefanie N Snider

elevatorv2

It’s late at night, and one by one the after-hours crew is sneaking out of the office.

Which would be fine, except now Sammi’s working alone.

And something is waiting in the dark…

Available on Amazon and Smashwords.


Happy Friday the 13th!

friday

(via Facebook)


That’s Cold: “The Ring” Wake-Up Prank

Also, where the hell have I been? The good news is I’ve been writing like crazy. The bad news is afterwards I’m a vegetable. Will return, guns blazin’, shortly.


New Horror Story: “All You Can Eat”

BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW HORROR from yours truly!
Excerpt from All You Can Eat below:

“I heard about it through my boss; her daughter’s friend’s boyfriend knows the guy who hung the drywall.”

“I know the painter.”

“I read about it online.”

Jenny and her husband, Nick, heard the murmurs as they walked the endless line that wrapped around the restaurant. It was a standalone building, one that had been a series of failed clubs. It had sat empty for months; it had been forgotten. Then all at once tall wooden walls went up around it, blank walls with no hint of the business to open. People became curious, and the longer it hid the more curious they got. No one knew who’d bought it. No one knew what it would be when the walls came down.

There were rumours, sure; in a small city like theirs, everyone wanted to know everything. Most figured it would be another bar, a bad idea out on the edge of town. It cost too much to get a cab there. There was no subway. It would fail, they figured, like all those other businesses had before it.

Must be someone new to town.
Must be someone who doesn’t know better.
But how could you not? some said, Commercial buildings don’t sell cheap for no reason.
Must be someone just starting out.

But as the noise behind the boards grew louder, people started getting excited. It sounded like they were knocking walls down in there. Maybe they were adding walls, getting bigger, changing the whole structure. Maybe the new owner knew what they were doing, after all. Maybe it had a fighting chance.

The last of the trucks pulled out on a Thursday afternoon.

My sister said it’s ready to open.
My husband’s coworker thinks it’ll be this weekend.

It sat, hidden and waiting, in the cool May night.
It caused three minor accidents as drivers craned their necks for a peek.

Friday morning came, and the fortress of plywood still stood. By this time, usually, there would be childish scrawls of spray paint along the front, complicated illegible signatures laid under the cover of night. But the wood remained untouched.

Sometime on Friday afternoon, the walls came down and a sign went up.
EAT. ONE NIGHT ONLY.
What does that mean?

Some said they wouldn’t be caught dead in a place that couldn’t even manage a proper name.
Some wondered what the hell the “one-night” bit meant, and exactly what kind of idiot was running the joint, anyway.
Some quietly left work early, rushing home to their closets, desperate to be the first at the doors.

By four it had made the drive-time news. By five the lineup had begun. By seven, while Jenny was badgering Nick to take her out, the line had made its first tentative steps around the back of the building. By eight, when they arrived, it had made a full loop and people were stacked two-deep.

“We could go somewhere else.” Jenny grimaced at the hint of whine creeping into Nick’s voice.

“We could, but we’re already here. And I heard on the news that they’re thinking this place might be closed tomorrow.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

Jenny pointed at the sign above the door. “’One night only’. They were saying this place might only be open for one night.”

“That’s stupid.”

“No, that’s avant-garde. It’s the thing, now, in New York and LA: these places open for one night then close forever. I heard weirdo billionaires run them. So if we leave…”

“It won’t be here tomorrow. Got it. Doubt it.” Nick eyed the inner line of people; women in impossibly high heels and men in suits that stopped just short of tuxedo. “The food better be really frickin’ good, if we’re waiting this long.”

“It’s not the food, it’s the experience.” Jenny beamed as she took in the people around her. She’d worn her most expensive dress, a designer piece she’d gotten at an outlet the summer before. Even with the rip it had cost her almost five hundred dollars, though of course she’d never tell Nick. She’d bought it with the leftovers of the grocery money. It was the first time she’d ever lied to him. She hadn’t known then when she’d ever hope to wear it, but here, in the heavy twilight, she felt at home. She’d even caught another woman looking her over approvingly.

“We could have gone to a movie.”

Jenny sighed. Men didn’t understand these things. She’d never get the chance to eat here again.
Ever.
To be glamourous, if only for an evening.

“Yeah, well, we’re staying.”

“My feet hurt.”

She rolled her eyes. The shoes she’d paired with the dress had heels four inches high and they pinched at the toes. She wisely said nothing.

The line moved forward sluggishly, and given their starting point they passed the entrance as it snaked by. Jenny tried to see over the people going in, tried to snatch a glimpse of what awaited them. It looked dark inside. She thought she caught a glimpse of blue uplighting, but that was all. Then the doors drifted closed and she was left looking at the small woman who tended them. The woman looked back at her, coldly, and Jenny was embarrassed at having behaved so gauchely.

She squeezed Nick’s hand.

After a moment, he squeezed back.

Nick looked over his shoulder; there were dozens of people already lined up behind them. All were dressed for the red carpet. He smirked. “This whole thing is ridiculous.”

“Fine. You really can’t stand being here? Let’s go, then.” Jenny pulled on his hand, and for a second Nick really thought she meant to leave. He sighed dramatically.

“No, we can stay. I guess. But you owe me.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. She rolled her eyes.

They’d looped three sides of the building and were almost at the front again. This time they were on the inner track. Good thing, too, Jenny thought: the line was now three deep, long spirals of people speculating about what waited for them inside.

“Hey, wanna know what’s weird?” The tone of Jenny’s voice startled him.

“Mmm?”

“Where is everyone? I mean, we’ve been here an hour, and they keep letting people in but no one’s come out. Are they sitting on each other’s laps in there?”

Nick’s forehead creased. She was right: they’d been around the whole building and not once had they seen anyone leave the restaurant. A few people had been loitering in the parking lot out back, but that was it. He shrugged. “Maybe it’s bigger than it looks. They’ve gotta be fitting everyone in somehow.”

A cool, damp breeze blew past them, bringing with it the cold smell of damp earth. Jenny shivered a little and Nick put an arm around her.

At last they neared the doors. Only a handful of patrons stood ahead of them. Jenny tried to peer through the windows but the glass was blackened. The diminutive woman manning the doors scowled at her. Jenny smiled back nervously.

“At least she can’t spit in your food from out here,” Nick whispered into Jenny’s hair.

The last couple gained entry. Minutes passed, Nick and Jenny both desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the rabid little woman. She nodded infrequently, occasionally muttering so quietly into her headset that Jenny couldn’t make out the words. Finally she jerked her chin at them.

“Welcome to Eat, enjoy your meal,” she said mechanically, and pulled on the heavy brass handle.

Jenny froze, suddenly hesitant. She looked up at Nick. “I’m not hungry anymore.”

He grinned. “Come on, you simply mustn’t miss such an ‘avant-garde’ experience.” He stuck out his tongue and she followed him inside.

eat FINAL edit 2 fb
From All You Can Eat, new horror from Stefanie N Snider. Available now from Amazon and Smashwords.


Free Short Story: “If It’s An If”

This story originally appeared in Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2, published in March 2012 by Wicked East Press. Let me know what you think! -Stefanie

If It’s An If

“What if I can’t give you a baby?”

His hand stilled on the taut skin of her belly. “Of course you will, my love. Don’t trouble yourself about it.” It resumed its lazy path around her navel, seeking lower.

She pushed it away and pulled the blanket up.

“And if I can’t? What then? Did you know Sylvia down the street is expecting her third? Her third, John. She’s younger than me, too, by a year.”

She felt his chest rise against her cheek as he inhaled deeply, then lower again as he sighed. He said nothing.

“I worry sometimes, is all.”

He leaned his head against the top of hers. “Hmm? About what?”

“Oh, about any number of things. That we’ll never fall pregnant. Or that we will, but I’ll be too old by then and it’ll have something wrong with it. Even more, I worry…” She looked down at her fingers twisting the hem of the coverlet. She whispered, “I worry that you’ll leave me.”

He kissed the crown of her head. “Darling, don’t think of it. You know the doctor says worry won’t help. Remember?”

She nodded. “I just want to make you happy.”

“When it happens, you’ll make me the happiest man alive.”

“When, when, when. You never say ‘if’. What if it’s an if?”

“Well.” He thought for a moment. “If it’s an if, we’ll just take Sylvia’s.”

She was sure she’d misheard. She turned her face up to meet his. He returned her gaze with a placid one of his own.

“Take…?”

“Oh, yes. There’s still a few months left before she brings home the new baby. We’ll keep trying for our own in the meantime.”

Her brow furrowed. Surely he didn’t mean it. Couldn’t possibly.

“Listen, we’ll only do it if we haven’t managed on our own by then.”

She began to feel dizzy.

“We’ll use the spare key. It’s under the rock by their door; I’ve seen Henry use it once or twice. He’s gone all day, and she always putters around in the garden while the kids nap. So: she’ll go out the back door, and we’ll come in the front. Simple.”

His face had relaxed into the same wistful expression it wore when he talked about the lottery. But now there was a certain sharpness in his eyes that made her breath catch.

“We’ll take him — I so hope it’s a boy, don’t you? — and drive up to the lake house for a while. There shouldn’t be many people around this time of year. We’ll have to find someplace new to live, after, of course. And we’ll need new names. Mine will be…Richard, I think. You can pick his.” He sighed again, contentedly this time. “A whole new life. We’ll be so happy, the three of us.”

He reached over and snapped off the light.

“Now get some rest, dear. Good night.”


The Office Shining

Monday is coming…be afraid.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,094 other followers

%d bloggers like this: