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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Time change for my reading at the Palo Alto Local Authors Event!

At the Friends of the Palo Alto Library Local Authors Event, I will be reading one of my audio stories (like at my open mics) at 4pm; I lean toward “The Intellecta-Rhapsody!” I will also sell my book and give away my little 8-page book (The Little Green Man!). The event is tomorrow, April 21, from 1-5pm at the Mitchell Park Community Center on 3700 Middlefield Road.

My audio stories are on SoundCloud

I uploaded my audio stories for people who buy my Kindle or CreateSpace book. Hear me PERFORM them with some cool royalty-free background music!

I started a free SoundCloud account. Free means that you can listen to my audio stories, but you cannot download them. For now.

Play them on my WordPress audio stories page where I embedded the stories. You can download a couple of PDFs to read with them.

Or go to my SoundCloud and play them there.

 

Bay Area Authors will perform on April 21.

On April 21 from 1-5pm, at the Palo Alto library on 3700 Middlefield Road, Friends of the Palo Alto Library has a local authors event. We “award winning” local authors will be selling our books. And performing them! Thank you, Tina Gibson, for organizing this and inviting me. (And for helping me design The Karate Queen in my book.) I know a few of these authors, and they are worth your time. Maybe even a little of your money.

Here’s the schedule for the author readings. As an audio prize winner, I shall PERFORM at 3:40. And check out Tina at 1:10 for (I believe) some epic poetry.

  • 1:00-1:10: Intro by FOPAL President, Nigel Jones
  • 1:10-1:30: Tina Gibson
  • 1:30-1:50: Doug Sovern
  • 1:50-2:10: Suga-T
  • 2:10-2:30: Emmy Z. Madrigal
  • 2:30-2:50: Minu Dave
  • 2:50-3:10: Patty Somlo
  • 3:10-3:40: Intermission: Q&A, Meet & greet, Networking, Book sales,
    Spotlight on kids – Young Adult Library contest winner to read
  • 3:40-4:00: Dave M. Strom
  • 4:00-4:20: Lisa Meltzer Penn
  • 4:20-4:40: Kalamu Chache
  • 4:40-5:00: Venus Jones
  • 5:00: Closing questions and wrap-up

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.

Still time for Batton Lash’s Kickstarter!

Batton Lash, story writer and Ditko-esque artist, drew the cover of my book Super Bad Hair Day. He gave me great advice (red cape and up-arrow chest logo for Holly). He created Alanna Wolff, a great female lead and a great lawyer. Super Holly would hire Alanna in a nanosecond.

March 26 is the last day for Batton’s Kickstarter for his latest graphic novel, Grandfathered in. He reached his first goal of $11,000, but has another for $13,000 where he can offer another prize. From the Kickstarter page:

In this full-color original graphic novel, Wolff and Byrd take on a case in which a ghost is literally “grandfathered in” to a home inheritance. Grandpa has died but his ghost won’t leave the house—much to the chagrin of his son and daughter-in-law! Meanwhile at the law offices, the landlord wants Wolff & Byrd to leave because their clients are disturbing the other tenants. Plus: Someone from Alanna’s past comes back to haunt her, Jeff is having family troubles, and intrepid secretary Mavis has her own challenges! Readers can expect lots of plot twists and turns and a surprising revelation. This is the first all-new Supernatural Law graphic novel in 5 years!

If you want a strong, smart, tough female lead and a great courtroom story with the drama of Law & Order (sound effects: BOM BOM!) and the laughs of Seinfeld, read Batton Lash’s Supernatural Law graphic novels. If you contribute to the Grandfathered In Kickstarter, you can get goodies such as the new graphic novel ($25 and up).

Kittygirl and I are quarter-finalists!

My unpublished short story, Kittygirl Vs. the Fiendish Brain Freezer, made the quarter-finals in ScreenCraft’s Cinematic Short Story 2017 Contest. They wanted a short story, not a script, with special cinematic potential. I guess Kittygirl has that. Yay!

Out of 1400 contestants, I am in the top 350 or so. I submitted my story in December. In February, they will pick the five finalists. The top prize is about $1000 and introductions to agents, publishers, and genies who can grant three wishes.

Will I be one of the finalists? 5 out of 350? I wish. But I got a prize already: by paying a little extra upon submission, I got professional feedback. I love that. Makes me feel like an author.