“Elevator”, New Horror from Stefanie N Snider

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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.

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.”

Excerpt: “Annabelle”, a Horror Story

I never really loved that child.

I mean, she was an easy birth. And when she got a little older, and I could start putting little bows and ribbons and things on her, she was cute enough.

But I knew right from the start she was evil.

It wasn’t one of those things you could see easily. Hell, I had a hard enough time seeing it myself.

When we’d go out to the market, she’d be sweet as pie. All the old women would come over and tug on those blonde ringlets. They’d caw like ravens and pinch at her cheeks. She’s got these dimples, see, that make the little grannies just about weep with adoration.

I used to tell those biddies they could take her home with them, if they loved her so much. They always giggled from behind their dentures and shook their smiling heads. I wish, just once, that one of them had realized I wasn’t kidding.

I caught the first hints of the demon in her when she’d cry out in the night. Most children, see, they wail. Their little chests suck in all the air they can hold and force it back out, loud as a foghorn through the darkness. Annabelle was different. She hissed. It sounded like a basketful of snakes let loose in her room.

I started turning down the baby monitor. Then I shut it off. Before long, I was closing her door and sleeping with a pillow over my head.

Of course I took her to the doctor; what kind of mother do you think I am? He checked her front and back and upside down and said there wasn’t a damned thing wrong with her. I wanted her to startle at his touch, to cry out so he could hear what I’d heard. She sat there instead, half a hand shoved in her mouth, and the doctor didn’t suspect a thing.

So I bundled her up against the Fall wind and wheeled her back home in her stroller. The strangers we passed all cooed at her. I think that was part of her witchcraft, being able to fool them all like that. They didn’t feel what I felt…

There’s something different about Annabelle. Something unsettling. Something…demonic.
Mommy’s little monster is here.

Annabelle, short horror from Stefanie N Snider

Available now at Amazon

“Feed”, a Horror Excerpt

He’s got that look in his eyes again, the one that only brings trouble. “Buddy,” I warn him, “cool it.”

I know he can hear me, at least on some level, but the part of him I can see is all glassy eyes and stiff body. He’s just like a hound, when he gets like this, and I get that feeling in my gut again. I know something’s going down, and soon.

My brother bobs his head absently to the music from the juke. It’s some of that C&W bullshit he’s always playing on the truck radio. I can’t stand it, myself, all heartbreak and such. Life has enough problems, believe you me, without adding more.

I know all about that.

Buddy’s leaning forward on his stool a little. His massive gut pushes up against the high table but he don’t seem to notice. The bar’s crowded tonight, men drinking off the week. Some came with their own woman. Some came with another man’s.

I get that feeling, and I know he’s seen her.

Her: he doesn’t know her name yet. Might not ever find it out. Don’t matter. She’ll be pretty and brunette. She’ll be drinkin’ like a fish. She’ll be alone, and that’s the part that matters. Buddy knows enough to know that if he’s gonna do what I think he’s gonna do, he’s got to be selective.

He had a close call that one time; closer than I like to remember. I saved his ass when maybe I shouldn’t have but at least the big dummy learned from it.

Then I see her through the crowd. She’s got long brown ringlets, and she’s dressed all in Cowboy, like this is some kinda costume party. Big ol’ mug of beer in one hand, too-high boots on her feet. She’s wobbling, bumping into people, looking at them like they’re the ones not watching their step.

My stomach turns liquid and I worry I might crap myself, right here on this stool in the middle of Corey’s.

“That’s her,” Buddy says, his voice raspy and low.

“No, man. Don’t.”

“She’s the one,” he says, and he’s gone, the stool rocking on half its legs behind him.

“Shit,” I say. I toss the rest of my beer down my throat. I have time for that, at least.

By the time I get to him, he’s already talking in her ear. He’s careful not to touch her, and to someone watching, that might look strange, but I know he can’t help it. He feels safer like that, even though I told him it don’t make a difference. She’s got her eyes half closed, and she’s nodding these big sloppy nods.

She’s the one alright.

Blood is thicker than water, and it’s my job to protect my little brother.
No matter what monstrous things he does.

Grab a copy of FEED for your Kindle, then turn the lights down and get ready. The pigs are hungry…

Find Out “What’s Inside”: a Horror Preview

Just in time for Halloween, I thought I’d share an excerpt of my short horror story, “What’s Inside”. Graphic, disturbing, and unsettling, this one’s my favourite!

“She’s only a little dead. I can feel the warm. The bits inside, for sure, are hot.

There was a lot more blood than I expected; more than when I done either the mouse or the chipmunk.
Maybe it’s because of the babies. I learned in school that a lady has more blood when she’s pregnant. “It’s because the baby needs more food,” Mrs Chappel told us. I don’t know what that had to do with anything; I just wanted to hear about the blood. But when she talked she rubbed her hand around and around on her belly, and the sound drove me bananas until I couldn’t hear her words anymore. She was always touching her belly and smiling; I don’t understand why she was so happy to be getting fat.

I’ve got my favourite sharp stick here and I squidge it around inside. There’s some lumpy stuff, and a thing that looks like a kidney bean. I tried poking at it but it got stuck on my stick and I had to shake it off. It went splat when it hit the dirt and had little stringy bits like a spider’s web all over it.

I kicked some dust on it. It’s not what I want.

I get up close again, and don’t get any grass on my knees. My Mom just bought me these jeans and she’ll be mad at me if I wreck ’em.

The knife I took out of Daddy’s drawer is right here with me. It’s all rusty and I couldn’t get it open at first but I worked real hard and it opened right up. It just took some wiggling.
“My clever boy,” Mom says inside my head, and it makes me smile. I love my Mom.

It’s starting to get a little dark out. Goosey bumps are all over my arms, even though I have my coat all did up.

What happened was I stayed in the cloakroom after the last bell. I was trying to think. It was warm and dark in there, and even though it smelled like wet boots it made me feel safe.

Mrs Chappel came to the doorway of the cloakroom and pulled me out of the pile of other kids’ clothes. There’s babies inside her, two of them. I wanted to know if they could see me from in there.

“Do your babies have eyelids?”

“Well, that’s a good question. Yes, I think they do.” She was rubbing at her belly again and her hand went scratch scratch scratch against her shirt.

“It’s too loud! I don’t like when you do that.”

Her hand stopped. “Okay, Cody, time to get you home. Put on your coat.”

I let her help me, even though I’m big enough to do it myself. And then I had a lightbulb.

“Mrs Chappel, my mom can’t come get me today. Can you take me home?”

“Hmm. Why don’t we call her? We’ll go to the office and I’ll let you use the phone.”

“No! She can’t come. She had a appointment. And my dad can’t come either. He works.”

Mrs Chappel’s eyebrows went all up.

“It’s close to here.” It’s not, really, but I tell good lies.

She got down on her knees and zipped up my coat. Her eyes were big and brown, with little bits of green.

“I can’t take you home to an empty house, Cody.”

“I could…I could go to my neighbour’s. She’s old, so we can’t call her. She doesn’t hear. But she watches me, sometimes.”

Mrs Chappel tried to stand back up, but it wasn’t easy for her. I put my arm out and let her push on it, but I knew she wasn’t really putting weight on me. Grownups never think you can do stuff.

I do lots of things that grownups don’t know about.”

From What’s Inside, a horror short by Stefanie N Snider.
Throw a buck at Amazon or Smashwords and find out why some kids are better left alone.

“Scary Baby Costume” (Not What You’d Think)

“Animated Scary Baby Girl in Harness Prop, three Different Audio Tracks. Mouth Moves. Great Costume Accessory. Eyes Light Up. Spins a hundred and eighty Degrees.”

This is fucking fantastic. I wonder if I can claim it as a business expense to promote Annabelle

(source)

(That Random Capitalization pained me To copy-Paste, by the Way.)

Excerpt: “Annabelle”, a Horror Story

I never really loved that child.

I mean, she was an easy birth. And when she got a little older, and I could start putting little bows and ribbons and things on her, she was cute enough.

But I knew right from the start she was evil.

It wasn’t one of those things you could see easily. Hell, I had a hard enough time seeing it myself.

When we’d go out to the market, she’d be sweet as pie. All the old women would come over and tug on those blonde ringlets. They’d caw like ravens and pinch at her cheeks. She’s got these dimples, see, that make the little grannies just about weep with adoration.

I used to tell those biddies they could take her home with them, if they loved her so much. They always giggled from behind their dentures and shook their smiling heads. I wish, just once, that one of them had realized I wasn’t kidding.

I caught the first hints of the demon in her when she’d cry out in the night. Most children, see, they wail. Their little chests suck in all the air they can hold and force it back out, loud as a foghorn through the darkness. Annabelle was different. She hissed. It sounded like a basketful of snakes let loose in her room.

I started turning down the baby monitor. Then I shut it off. Before long, I was closing her door and sleeping with a pillow over my head.

Of course I took her to the doctor; what kind of mother do you think I am? He checked her front and back and upside down and said there wasn’t a damned thing wrong with her. I wanted her to startle at his touch, to cry out so he could hear what I’d heard. She sat there instead, half a hand shoved in her mouth, and the doctor didn’t suspect a thing.

So I bundled her up against the Fall wind and wheeled her back home in her stroller. The strangers we passed all cooed at her. I think that was part of her witchcraft, being able to fool them all like that. They didn’t feel what I felt…

There’s something different about Annabelle. Something unsettling. Something…demonic.
Mommy’s little monster is here.

 

Annabelle, the newest short horror from Stefanie N Snider

Available now at Amazon