books, women

Laughing Boy by M B Blissett

LAUGHING BOY

M B BLISSETT

Love is forever.

TOMMY MARTIN is a single father to PENNY, since the death of his wife Sophie. When he finds happiness again with an enigmatic artist, Tommy finds himself facing supernatural forces intent on harming everyone closest to him. He must face the darkest days of his past in order to save his daughter, even if it means facing death itself.

Coming soon to Amazon in ebook and paperback.

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beauty, book reviews, women

Full Throttle by Joe Hill

I’ve reviewed his work before and at this point, I call myself a fan of his work.

Full Throttle is a collection of short stories, two written in collaboration with his father, Stephen King.

These stories are fantastic. Hills voice has such a scintillating form, with a powerful sense of genre and heart authority which means you get vengeful truckers, killer carousel animals and a brilliant combined story about the business model of franchise coffee shops and British werewolves.

The best horror has an ability to find the balance between cosmic justice and also the gleeful voyeurism of bad things happening to good people. Hill is a master of the form and here is a lot of great stories.

My favourite? Too many to choose from but Wolverton Station is a Jonathan Carroll/Neil Gaiman hybrid without the manners but with the glib, empowering sense of a horrible man getting his life decisions horribly wrong. Also a werewolf in a Manchester United shirt is a brilliant image. Gaiman reads the story for the audio book and it’s pure delight.

Yes, I brought the audio book and paperback, so should you.

My book Until She Sings is out now in paperback and ebook.

Ebook https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XJRDND8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_e9pLDbMJNZQ4E

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1692105566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_4akEDb3FTWNKR

My Mailing List for announcements and news with a free short story as a thank you.

https://tinyletter.com/mbblissett

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books, nature, short fiction, women

Elena, In The Woods

When Mrs Parris walked into my office with her nose upturned, I allowed her a measure of disdain to hide behind. The local police and FBI had failed to find her daughter, so here she was with an envelope of unmarked bills.

She decided to stand, rather than sit down. The money leavened the insults for me.

Elena had been twenty-one years old, graceful in every way with a halo of blonde hair and alabaster skin. Her intensity had been apparent from every photo circulated about her, reflected in her politics, which was how she had ended up in Portland. A perfect rebellion against her patrician, old money family with a good helping of political disgrace dumped on top.

Six months gone. I had friends who had worked the case, dedicated and professional people who all shared a collective disbelief that she had disappeared so thoroughly.

No ransom notes.

No social media clues or posts.

No body.

Before Mrs Parris arrived, I had gone through the case and came much to the same conclusion. What would not hurt was my willingness to go over old ground.

The last possible sighting of her had been with a fledgling ecological pressure group that had been interrogated into dissolution. A single photo of her sat by a fire, singing and smiling, integrated into the group but apart from it. Some of the cash in the envelope had already been spent on camping gear and a local guide which was where I would be spending my weekend.

Deke met me at the last decent diner, and we went over the route over Greek omelettes and gallons of thick, black coffee. He accepted his cash fee with grace and tucked it away without comment.

He finished his coffee and sucked on his moustache.

‘Lot of ground to cover.’ he said.

I nodded and hid my concern that his version of what a lot of ground meant differed radically from mine.

I flexed my toes inside my gore-tex socks and hiking boots, uncomfortable with the urge to see if I could find anything to justify my fee. I finished my food, conscious that we would be subsisting on trail mix and jerky before too long.

‘So, we’re just going to wander around looking?’ Deke said.

I sat back and raised my hands in a despairing gesture.

‘That’s what I’m paying you for, Deke, charming as you are.’

Deke clapped his leathery palms together.

‘It’s your dime, ma’am.’ he said.

It was and I was keen to get started.

2.

I left my car at the diner, took Deke’s truck to the edge of the woods and started from there. We each had framed backpacks and Deke had brought a hunting rifle which was slung from his right shoulder. I had my 9mm pistol in a holster on my right hip with two clips of ammunition. It might have been a lot of precaution to take, but if you’d ever been shot, then you would learn the appeal of a good sidearm if it came down to it.

We started strong, making good time but soon we were trudging through the dense undergrowth, slapping at insects a little too late. We had run out of conversation, which suited us both, preferring to take in the absolute silence of the forest as our guide.

Nature is a mirror, a vast reflection of the inner self. For Deke, it must have been like a shortcut home, but for me, each sound held an unnerving quality, distorted by the silence and the scale of the place. People wandered out here and were absorbed into it.

I wondered if the same had happened to Elena.

Each breath I took was damp, bearing the green taste of the pine needles and the moss. My clothing teemed with moisture, but I stayed dry beneath them which was a relief.

Deke found the spot where the photograph was taken, kneeling down and rubbing the blackened soil between his fingers before nodding. We found two other similar sites, but kept moving through the woods.

His taciturn lack of conversation continued as we made camp. There was only the sounds of our eating and the crackle of the fire he had built. My ears were becoming attuned to the silence of the forest but even so, sleep was a long time in coming.

We were moving before dawn. My body ached for a soft bed, but Deke’s manner made me stash my complaints away for someone who would empathise.

He stopped and pointed out some unusual arrangements of twigs, lashed together with twine and dumped through the woods.

‘People say that squatches leave them.’

I smiled and asked him if he believed that. He smirked and shrugged his shoulders.

‘If they pay me enough, I’ll believe anything they want.’

The second day proved to be as fruitless as the first, but as we made camp, Deke was a little more talkative, which meant one syllable responses rather than silence and we had been sat there for an hour when a breeze arose and stoked the small fire into a state of rude health. Deke furrowed his forehead and I crossed my legs at the ankles, pretending that this was a normal state of affairs for me.

A second breeze followed and we both looked at one another as we heard the crack of a branch being broken underfoot. Deke got up and retrieved his rifle, checked the bolt and started to walk to the edge of our camp. He stopped and lifted his nose, took a deep breath and sighed.

‘Smells kinda odd.’ he said.

He walked into the trees. I tried to follow him but the shadows swallowed him up no more than a few feet ahead of me. I called his name, but he did not answer.

A fresh breeze arose and I tasted pollen and sap on my tongue. A crude surge of energy bubbled up within me and I spat on the ground as I looked around, willing Deke to appear before me.

Something moved in my peripheral vision and came towards me.

Not from the forest, but of it.

It loomed over me, some eight feet tall, a distorted funhouse mirror version of a human being.

Elena.

She had flowering vines falling around her distended skull. Her skin was formed from petals of peach and pink, translucent in places with the shadows of a skeleton formed from wood underneath it. Her limbs were elongated, ending in bundles of horned roots that uncurled in twitching, rapid motions.

In her empty sockets, cornflowers bloomed and when she opened her cavernous maw, I saw chips of bark inserted into gums of packed dirt.

I stood there, taking in each terrible detail that was not filtered by the shadows. There were shadows of unknown anatomies formed from earth and plant matter, pulsing beneath a skeleton made from hard wood. She moved in jagged bursts of activity, whipping her upper body back and forth as she tried to force words through vocal chords composed of vines.

‘Help me. Hurts.’

‘Elena?’ I said.

She managed a nod and gestured behind her. Deke stood there, weeping in awe with the rifle loose in his hands. He did not acknowledge me but followed the pair of us without speaking. She strode like a colossus, pushing aside branches with an inhuman strength. We walked for a while until we came to a dense crop of undergrowth and she tore it aside with a horned hand.

Her corpse, identifiable only by the matted length of white blonde hair, teeming with insects now laid there, sightless eyes staring up at me and accusing everyone for their failure to find her. I saw her expression, knotted in a perpetual mask of agony.

‘Do you know who did this to you?’ I said.

She raised and lowered her chin as petals fell from her cheeks, showing the sculptured sweep of a cheekbone formed from a knot of oak. She reached out a hand and breathed into my face. I sneezed twice before a vision began to form before me.

His handsome but insistent features. His refusal to accept her polite refusal and then growing violent with it. I knew his hands at my throat, crushing and squeezing as my breath left me. His black hair flopped in front of his eyes as he worked at me.

His face was familiar. One of the group who had been eliminated early.

‘Johnny.’ I said.

She nodded and a wrenching screech echoed as she stood upright and touched my face. It drew blood, but I did not feel it until the coppery heat trickled down my face.

She gazed into my eyes before she strode away. Deke fell to his knees, weeping with sorrow and adoration. He kept saying how beautiful she was, and I agreed with him. Perhaps she exuded something that worked with men, but I appreciated what an effect such a thing could have on someone.

Without speaking, we packed up and walked back to his truck. We were both utterly disturbed by what we had seen and we slept in the front seat before we drove back to civilisation. Deke called the tip in from a pay phone and I wrote a report that said nothing of what had happened other than that we had been able to find a body.

I stood amongst the mourners a month later, appreciating the sweet, spring afternoon and staring at the branches as they played in the breeze. Her family grieved with enough force to bring tears to my eyes and I fought the urge to tell them what I had seen.

The scent of her rose in my nostrils, a warning to keep my own counsel and I heeded it.

Another reason for my silence had been when they found Johnny Raymond’s body. He had been torn into sections, his intestines snaking down the stairs and his head rolled down the hallway in a puddle of his own blood.

The presence of thorns and petals confused the investigating officers, but they figured on an open window.

I took the bonus, paid Deke extra from it and kept my silence. I thought about her, wandering there, amongst nature and free to roam the thousands of miles that remained untouched by man.

I wished her well wherever she was.

Whatever she was.

 

 

My book Until She Sings is out now.

Ebook:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XJRDND8If

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1692105566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_4akEDb3FTWNKR

My Mailing List for announcements and news with a free short story as a thank you.

https://tinyletter.com/mbblissett

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beauty, books, short fiction, women

Audio Cassette Found At Kenner’s Wood

‘Is this on?’

‘For the sixth time, Danvers, its recording.

Forgive my husband, he’s been unbearably skittish about this for weeks.’

‘We’re all skittish, Pen.’

It’s an ugly bloody thing, isn’t it?’

‘Ugliness isn’t something to fear, Eddie.’

*Sigh* Let’s hope that ugliness is the worst we have to contend with tonight, eh?’

‘I’m still not convinced about the setting. It’s a little too rustic. We should be doing these over highballs and with good music playing, instead of all this bloody silence.’

‘There’s power here. We need that. Are you ready Pen?’

‘The birds seem to be a bit assertive around here.’

‘That actually proves Danvers’ point. Right, let’s get started.’

‘Okay, tape is running in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.’

‘I call upon the twisted

Nameless children of Abaddon

To return their mother to this

Earthly plane.’

‘I bear witness as Abaddon’s whore

Who will anoint me?’

‘I will anoint you.

With these marks

You shall..ah..become

Terrible and..uh..ugh.’

‘Beautiful.’

‘I accept you

Soil and scar me

Until I am a vessel

For the mother

Of the twisted

Nameless gods.’

‘God, I don’t know where to look.’

‘Shut up, Ed. We’re trying to bloody focus.’

‘Sorry, just you think you’ve seen your friends do most things, but -‘

‘Boys, it’s just flesh. And some other fluids. Now concentrate. I’m really close.’

Watch it, darling, it tickles.

‘Prostrate yourself

Show me the terrors of

The cold void

TMO NIR LU VINIS YOPA FU HA

TMO NIR LU VINIS YOPA FU HA

TMO NIR LU VINIS YOPA FU HA’

‘Dear god, man, slow down, you’ll put your back out.’

‘unh. He knows how I want it.’

‘I do?’

‘Not you, Abaddon. Now put some gusto into it, darling, I need to get there before we start the second configuration.’

‘It’s freezing in here.’

‘Are you..ah..serious?

‘Pen?’

‘Penny?’

Get off her man, she’s having a seizure.’

‘SHE WILL FALL

BRIDE AT THE TERRIBLE
WEDDING’

‘Penny, that’s not fucking funny.’

‘ECHNI VI NAR ROOP A NYARLATHOTEP.’

Echi ci nar Abaddon.

YUUL VAR VISI PEPRATAR

‘Is this in the book?’

‘Ed, is it in the fucking book?’

‘No.’

‘She’s supposed to have a cracker of an orgasm, speak in tongues then we get to talk to Abaddon.’

‘You’ve realised that it’s exactly what’s just happened? Just the passing out bit wasn’t expected.’

‘Oh Jesus that hurts.’

‘Danvers?’

‘No, there’s something inside my….ah ah AH AH AH…oh Jesus it’s moving.’

‘I WILL GIVE YOU WHAT YOU SEEK.’

‘Penny. Please stop it.’

‘uh..Eddie..please. It’s moving inside me.’

‘LET IT HAPPEN. I AM INSIDE YOU NOW.’

‘Fuck, it’s in my….*choking sounds*

‘Oh Jesus. I know where the…what fucking page is it on? Jesus Christ, man, fucking think.’

‘HE IS NOT COMING TO SAVE YOU. HE GAVE YOU TO ME.’

‘Ah, there you bloody are.’

‘IT IS TOO LATE TO REFUSE.’

‘Stay with me, Dan.’

‘WHY DO YOU HIDE FROM YOUR DESTINY?’

‘It’s in my head, Eddie.’

‘THOSE WORDS WILL NOT SAVE YOU’

‘I say to you that this…will not be.’

‘Eddie, I can see things. It’s showing me things. Such things.’

‘HE WILL KEEP MY CHILDREN WARM.’

‘Lo, shall you

Be cast back

Twisted

Nameless’

‘Agh, Eddie, it’s…moving.’

‘YOU WILL BE A FINE WOMB. SAVE YOUR WORDS.’

‘Lo, shall you. Penny, if you come any closer, I will hurt you.’

‘EDDIE, YOU CAN TOUCH THIS BODY. ALL I ASK IS YOUR DEVOTION.’

‘No, Penny, please. I love you.’

*Wet slurping sounds.*

*The sharp crack of bone.*

*Wooden slats shattering. The teeming hum of birds, so loud that it sounds like static*

‘SOON, MY CHILDREN.’

‘SOON.’

 

My book Until She Sings is out now.

Ebook:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XJRDND8If

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1692105566/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_4akEDb3FTWNKR

My Mailing List for announcements and news with a free short story as a thank you.

https://tinyletter.com/mbblissett

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books, film, television

Press F – Horror and Technology

Press F To Pay Respects – Horror and Technology – https://t.co/9Ca50F7B8A

My first article for Haunt Jaunts.

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blogging, creative writing, short fiction

Announcement

https://www.hauntjaunts.net/welcoming-two-new-recruits-to-the-skeleton-crew-matt-blissett-and-d-norfolk/

My first article will be up soon. I will be talking about horror, crime and the paranormal and I hope you will pay the site a visit. They’re a great and passionate crew of people, and I’m looking forward to posting there often.

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poetry, politics

Zombie Movies

I’m watching zombie 

Movies and the phone

Pinging with

Fits of neuroses

Squeezed into strait jackets

Not even a silver of moon

And everyone goes feral

Happy, bland faces

Gnawing at people’s futures

To feed a belly adapted for

some notion of justice

it is a hunger

Bland and cold

Relentless and puritan

The mob, clawing

And I turn the movie off

But it doesn’t end anymore

Does it?

I finger the faded bite scars

Remember how I too

Shambled and bit on

Hearsay

But I’m human now

Forgiving and puzzled

By how mindless hunger

Is mistaken for hilarity

And the disinfecting

Sunlight

when (read another book)

It’s all too close to beautiful

To see

The headshot rebuilt 

My brain

And I shut the door

Hear their nails clawing at the door

Wonder when they’ll come 

For

Me

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