Guest Blog: Crescendo of Darkness

I was asked to post a guest blog on May 19 for HorrorAddicts.net. Here it is now (a little late, darn it)! As a writer getting into making audio stories, this is educational! (I will be voicing a nervous teenager for an upcoming anthology by Emerian Rich, one of the editors and story contributors for Crescendo of Darkness.)

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness.

“Loved to Death” by Sam Morgan Phillips

Death explores his dream of being a rock star, but can’t avoid his purpose when a young woman forces him to live up to his destiny.

Death sat in his dressing room, getting ready for the show. He went through his vocal exercises and psyched himself up. He looked at the beer fridge and wished he could have a drink, but he knew it wouldn’t have any effect.

The door was locked for a good reason. He had yet to put on his mask and gloves and pull the black cowl up over his head. He looked at himself in the mirror.

His face of rotting flesh stretched over his skull made him look severe and terrifying. A black robe was both his costume and habitual dress. He pulled it closed over an exposed ribcage. He flexed his skeletal hands and wondered if he was doing the right thing.

He wasn’t ashamed of who he was. He was Death. He didn’t hide behind his costume or his on stage persona. In fact, they represented him perfectly. It was just that he couldn’t be exactly who he was. Not for real. He had to hide it behind art. There was no other way to get his message across. No other way to be understood.

And he so desperately wanted to be understood.

He heaved an otherworldly sigh born of supernatural vigour rather than from lungs. It rasped through his teeth, harsh and metallic.

I can do this. I’m not my father. I have my own my way. I’m Death now.

There was a knock at the door and the muffled sound of words spoken—show time. He put on his mask. It was made of hard black plastic. Painted on the front was a stylised version of his face. It captured the form, but not the essence. He knew how terrifying his true face was.

He pulled on his gloves of black leather. He raised the cowl over his head of thin flesh and exposed bone and went out through the door of his dressing room, clicking the heels of his black army boots on the floor.

As he made his way through the dimly lit backstage area, guided by a roadie, he heard the crowd chanting, calling for him.

“Death, Death, Death!” It lifted his spirits.

His band, The Minions of Death, had already taken the stage and their intro track played. It was the sound of many people screaming. He had recorded and mixed it over the years, overlapping the terrified sounds people made when he came for them. To him it was an elegy, dedicated to the dead, and celebrating the purpose of his life. He felt at home as he walked up the steps at the side of the stage.

The lights flashed red and a smoke machine filled the stage with volumes of bilious gas. The smell of sweat and stale beer filled the long hall, a metal club in the city, jam-packed with people. He stepped up to the microphone and the crowd erupted.

“Put your horns in the air!”

They obeyed, hands raised in the universal metal salute. He raised both of his arms in benediction, cutting a Christ-like pose.

“Tremble before me, mere mortals—for I am Death!”

*********************************

To read the rest of this story and thirteen other horror music shorts, check out: 

Crescendo of Darkness

Direct link: https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson/dp/1987708156

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press 

Let music unlock your fear within.

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First Stumpfinger story is published!

“The Dimensional Dollar,” the first short story I wrote with my Donald-Trumpy money-gulping supervillain Stumpfinger, is now published. Series 1963 A: An Anthology of California Writers is a series of stories from the California South Bay Writers Club about the journey of a single dollar bill, which side-slips into Super Holly’s universe for my story. I helped select and edit a few of these stories. I know these writers. They’re good. Spend $1.29 and have a good time.

P.S. In this first story, I spelled Stumpfinger’s first name as Billutons (goofy and greedy) instead of Billington (real and snooty). I’ll likely change it to Billington later, unless people like Billutons better. Comments and votes are welcome.

An Oscar Animated Shorts shows that bigger is better.

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Go see the 2017 Oscar Animated Shorts, I just did. They were fun, no clunkers. Here is a link to the nominees (this link does not grade them: links that did weren’t to my taste).

I braced myself at the start of the 35 minutes of Pear Cider and Cigarettes. But this documentary of a self-destructive guy, animated Aeon Flux style, held my interest for every one of those minutes.

Also included are three “Highly Commended” shorts. The Head Vanishes (Frank Dion/9 minutes/Canada/France) — Losing one’s head with age. I figured it out early. Asteria (Josh Crute/5 minutes/USA) — Two races (human and goofy) fight over a small planet. A third race has a use for it. Once Upon a Line (Alicja Jasina/8 minutes/Cyprus) — Line animation of a boring life getting interesting.

My 2016 vote

ms-trump-600x856Click here to read how I’ll vote. Especially if you want California proposition advice. But if you have not made up your mind about president yet, regardless of your politics, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? It’s Hillary, Trump, third party, or write-in, you should know by now! This is not advice, but to paraphrase Squidward Tentacles, I would rather tear out my brain stem, drag it to the nearest four-way intersection, and skip rope with it, rather than vote for Donald Trump! I hope my Hillary vote will help make misogynists’ slimy, stinky, squirmy little brains explode the same way racist brains exploded with Obama.

P.S. Unlike Ms. Marvel, Super Holly Hansson would not talk it out. In my short story, The Dimensional Dollar (for an upcoming anthology for the South Bay Writer’s Club), Super Holly punches, wrestles, and head-butts my Trumpy supervillain Money Man in the most vicious fight scene I have ever written.

I will perform “The Sinister Soul Surfer” tomorrow!

fault zone 2015Sunday August 28 at 2pm, at the Belmont Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont, CA, the Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club is celebrating six years of the Fault Zone anthology. The authors in the latest Fault Zone (theme: Transform) will read their short stories and poems.

I will be reading/performing from my story, “The Sinister Soul Surfer!” My Batman-esque movie critic, Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert, must rescue Super Holly Hansson from the evil surfer-dude clutches of Bobby Breaker, who jumps into and possesses Holly’s superheroine body with a cry of, “I’m catching’ those curves!”

Can Cal free Holly without Bobby using Holly’s super-strength to smash him into an Intellecta-pancake? Drop by tomorrow at 2 and find out! Same Intellecta-time, same Intellecta-channel!

It’s my Happy 60th Birthday!

And thanks to my Facebook posters!

20131226-154718.jpgI had promised myself that I’d have the entire first draft of my novel done today. (Keef Knight did this shirt for me.) I did not make that goal, although much is filled in, and every chapter that is not written is outlined and inserted into the current draft. So writing the outlined chapters will be a lot easier, now that I have a bunch of short stories under my belt.

To make up for the above, I have two stories coming out in two local anthologies: The Sinister Soul Surfer in Fault Zone, and The terror of the Twisted Tonguester in Scripting Change. I will post links when they are available.

I will be at the San Jose Short Film Festival this weekend. I hope to meet indie film makers. I’ll bring my Holly cards.

Blast from the past: here is my old WordPress photo with Dev-Em, and yes, I remember reading that comic as a kid.

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I’m honorably published in a paperback!

sanmateofairsigningI’m published again! In a paperback! Remember my Carry The Light post about my honorable mention novel chapter? You can now buy the Carry The Light paperback from Amazon. (Kindle is not out yet, and I could not get the Sandhill review Press link to to work.) Short stories, poems, etc. put out once a year by the San Mateo County Fair. The first pages from Chapter Zero of my novel are in it. My chapter is about 20 pages, so they printed the first four, ending on a great line of laughing dialog from the Two Dudes: “Butt web! Huh huh huh!” I will soon put in a link to the book on my published page. (I wanna read and write a little before bedtime.)

I sat at the signing table and signed my chapter in that book. Don’t I look happy? Okay, it was mostly other writers passing their Carry The Light books, signing each other’s stories. But it was fun! I felt like Holly Hansson! (Chapter Zero has her at a signing table in a comic book and coffee shop.) I took a picture at the signing table. (This is staged. The signing was over, so I had a couple of the writers pose with me.) Missy Kirtley is on one side of me, William Albert Baldwin on the other side, and in front of me is the little placard I made. Missy has a kid superhero story in Carry the Light! KEWL!

This makes three published Super Holly stories. I still have one to finish and submit to Fault Zone by June 30 (deadline was extended), and two others to put out on Kindle.

P.S. I’ve been published on paper before. I used to write the Strom’s Index column for Amazing Heroes magazine. But that was back in the days of Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

P.P.S. I found a typo in my chapter. My fault. Sigh.