Kim Krodel: On Childhood Nightmares

Kim Krodel: On Childhood Nightmares.

Check out my guest post over on Sirens Call Press’ blog.  It details my inspiration for my story ‘Baby Teeth’ in Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed.

Read my post!  Read it!  (in the Scotts Turf Builder guy’s voice).

 

“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed” The Ultimate Blog Tour

“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”

What immobilizes a child with such fear that they are unable to utter the merest of sounds, calling out for help to make the terrors of the night go away?  Twelve of today’s most gifted Indie authors wrung from their own psyches a series of stories so disturbed and bone chilling that even you may find yourself checking Under the Bed before it’s time for lights out!

Those whispered tales of monsters hiding under the bed, or of the demons lurking in the shadowy corner where we dare not glance for fear that seeing them will make them all too real. Oh, how the innocent landscape of a child’s imagination lends fertile soil to horrors ready to be sown on the slightest of sounds; the tales and the terror they wreak on our youthful minds never quite leaves us.

We asked the authors in this collection to reach into the forgotten recesses of their twisted minds and share with us the tales of nightmares that can only thrive in the hidden corners of a child’s imaginings; the bogeyman under the bed, the outlandishly fiendish creature lurking in the dark, the slight murmur of sound coming from the hall… did you close the door completely?

Explore the myriad terrors that only a child can twist from nothing into some ‘thing’ in the span of a single rapid breath. Do you dare delve into your own memories? Perhaps you’ll start sleeping with the lights on again…

Tell us, who is Under the Bed?

 

Contributing Authors:  Colin F. Barnes, Nina D’Arcangela, Phil Hickes, Amber Keller,

Kim Krodel, Lisamarie Lamb, John McIlveen, Kate Monroe, Brandon Scott,

Joshua Skye, Julianne Snow, and Jack Wallen

If you’d like a copy of Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, please visit one of these retailers:

Print book:          Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com

eBook:                  Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it

Smashwords.com (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, PDF)

 

Three short samples of the tales found in “Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed

 

‘Baby Teeth’  – Kim Krodel

She adds every tooth she gets to her disgusting smile.  But the screws keep growing out of her gums.  She never runs out of space for more teeth.”

“Why does she want them?”  Brian’s voice was small.  His eyes bugged, as if the skeletons stacked in God’s closet were tumbling out at his feet.

“For biting, Dummy.  She likes to eat little kids.”  Cal grinned as he spoke.  “If she bites you with her screws, your skin gets stuck to ’em, so she likes teeth better; so she doesn’t have to floss so much.”

“No, she doesn’t.  She’s nice—she gives presents!  Mom said!”

“That’s what Mom wants you to think.  Otherwise you’d freak out about it.”

Brian blinked, staring and processing; weighing his brother’s words against those he had gathered from adults.

“See this?”  Cal rolled up a pant leg to reveal a jagged run of lumpy, silver skin.  “She bit me hard the first tooth I lost ‘cause I didn’t know what was coming.  Now I’m big enough to fight her off.”  Calvin posed like a weight-lifter…”

 

‘Telling Tales’ – Phil Hickes

“She’s here for yet another visit with her cat, Demdike. None of which sounds too bad, you say? Lots of young boys have stuffy old grandmothers and aunties that they have to put up with. And cats are cute and fluffy.

But Peter’s Aunt Alice scares him. In fact, she frightens him to death. And her cat is just as bad, with fur as black as its soul.

That’s why he’s reluctant to go upstairs; because soon, Aunt Alice will be up to tell him a bedtime story. It’s become something of a custom. Peter was delighted when she first offered to come and tuck him in. Despite feeling a little nervous in her presence, and a tiny bit afraid of her pinched, lined face, white hair and bony limbs, she was a welcome female presence. For the first few minutes it had been enjoyable too. She wrapped the sheets tightly around him, clicked off the overhead light and turned on the lamp. He felt warm and snug…”

But then she began to tell him the stories…”

 

‘Timothy’ – Joshua Skye

Quivering from fear, her teeth rattling in her little head, hands trembling, she stared into the deep darkness to catch any movement; the twinkling of an eye perhaps. Anything to let her know where he was, out there in the darkness. There was nothing for a long time.

“Where are you?” she muttered in a squeaky voice. Something moved in her peripheral vision. She turned. Fast, but not fast enough. Perhaps it was nothing more than a shadow that had just blended with the dark. “Timothy, you stop it. You stop it right now.” She tried to sound like her mother, to mimic her authoritative tone, but it hadn’t worked. Her voice had cracked and it trembled with her apprehension. “I know it’s you,” she whispered, more to herself than to him.

She started to cry, she couldn’t help it. Her tears streamed down her tiny face and there was a lump forming in her throat. She had to fight to swallow; she had to fight to breathe.

Timothy began to mock her. “Timothy, please. Stop it, Timothy! Go away, Timothy.” The sinister, scratchy voice seemed to come from everywhere, the shadows, the darkness, under the desk, from behind the stuffed animals, under the bed…”

 

Please visit the Sirens Call Publications web site for an extended preview available for download.

 

Realistic Horror Vs. Supernatural Horror

So, recently I wrote a short horror story.  Originally, my plan was to have a supernatural element to it, which, generally speaking; I love the supernatural.  Speculative fiction and fantasy are consistent players in my authorial poker game.

They are also heavy drinkers and fun to be around.

But, in the seventh inning or so I decided that I wanted to change it up.  I remember being a kid, and my father, a hard-core Stephen King fan, getting pissed about the heavy use of the supernatural in King’s later works.  See, my dad preferred the creepy that could actually happen–the evil that resides in the heart of man, and all that.

With that gripe in mind, I changed my story to straight-up horror, with only a couple of dream sequences to add a light brushing of supernatural flavor…but in the end, dreams are a fact of life, whether realistic imaginings or not, so I skated a fine line there, too.

Now, my friend/muse/sounding board/editor was a bit resistant when I laid my plan down on her.  She has yet to read the finished product and let me know if it worked, but she liked the fantasy element of my original outline.

So I asked my husband, who said that he, for-the-most-part, prefers real-life-scary to bogey-man-scary.

Now, we had a draw…hence my blog topic.  I wanted to get some feedback from readers as to their preference when it comes to horror.  Maybe you like both equally?  Maybe, if one or the other is done right, it doesn’t matter?

An anthology of monsters, mayhem, and a country at war

http://www.knightwatchpress.info/blue.html

I also got to thinking about an upcoming story I have in a Civil War horror anthology from Knightwatch Press (called “The Blue, The Grey, and The Scarlet–An Anthology of Monsters, Mayhem, and a Country at War”).  My tale involves zombies, but it also highlights the horrors of the war in general–the complete annihilation of bone by ball bearings resulting in an unprecedented number of amputations of limbs; the archaic medical science of the time that resulted in disease spreading like a brush fire from person to person.

I asked myself, what was the scariest part of that story?  The flesh-eating mutants?  Or the nightmares people lived (and died) through during the war between the states?

Anyway, take a second to vote.  Leave a comment if you have something to add.  I’d love to hear what keeps you awake at night.