OCTOBER HOUSE: Some of my Favorite Halloween Reads

 

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There’s nothing us horror writers enjoy more than sharing the horror. We write because we fell in love with reading. We fell in love with stories that moved us, frightened us, aroused us, and made us say, “What the fuck?” Horror has it all. Good horror especially. Heart and soul, ghouls that take hearts and souls, love stories, lust stories, blood and rain (he, he, he) and all the guts, perseverance, and monsters and heroes you could ever want, or want to see bested.

Here’s a few of my favorite October reads ever, and a few other suggested titles, too.

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Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work—in fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.

With this, his second novel, Stephen King established himself as an indisputable master of American horror, able to transform the old conceits of the genre into something fresh and all the more frightening for taking place in a familiar, idyllic locale.

It all has to start somewhere…. My favorite book of all-time, STEPHEN KING’s ‘SALEM’s LOT.  I’ve read this four times (all in October).  You can do no better than this one.

Purchase here: ‘SALEM’S LOT

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The town of Stillwater has a very unwelcome resident. 

The town of Stillwater has been dying – the long and painful death of a town ravaged by floods and haunted by the ghosts of all who had lived there. Yet this most recent flood has brought something with it – a creature that nests among the good folks of Stillwater…and feeds off them. The children who haven’t disappeared whisper the same word – “vampire”. But they’re wrong. What has come to Stillwater is something much more horrific. 

Easily one of my other all-time favorites, Ronald Malfi delivers the perfect October concoction with his novel, THE NARROWS. If you’ve enjoyed his recent hits (BONE WHITE, LITTLE GIRLS, THE NIGHT PARADE), try this one for your next October read.

Purchase here: THE NARROWS

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“Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills.” — Stephen King

Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.

Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townsfolk refer to it as the Hell House.

Okay, definitely one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. HELL HOUSE reads like a highbrow literature version of a Bentley Little book. Twisted, scary, and wonderfully written, Richard Matheson reset the true standard for haunted house tales.

Purchase here: HELL HOUSE

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The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

My wife is currently reading this one for the first time. Jackson set the original standard for haunted house novels with this beauty. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE has a creeping death type of vibe. By which I mean, it crawls under your skin and slowly pulls you down. Jackson succeeds without the gore and gruesome revelations of say, HELL HOUSE or THE SHINING, but hits with just as much impact.

Purchase here: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

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There are all kinds of legends about the forests of Central Pennsylvania, and in this sequel to DARK HOLLOW, the truth about those legends is finally revealed.

Halloween is coming, and a new haunted attraction is open for business in LeHorn’s Hollow. Folks will come from miles around to walk down the spooky trail and get scared witless. But there’s one thing the owners of the ghost walk haven’t counted on. There really is something waiting in the woods-a vast, ancient evil whose hunger threatens to consume all life on Earth. Soon, the unsuspecting customers will pay their money and get in line… to die. And only one man, occult detective Levi Stoltzfus, can save them and stop the evil before it is unleashed.

What’s better than a book set around a Halloween attraction?  Brina Keene’s GHOST WALK is a fun October ride with one of his best characters, Levi Stoltzfus.

Side rant here…. I am probably in the minority, but I prefer his Leisure book covers over the newer Deadite ones.  To me, the LB covers look more professional. The newer ones would actually deter me from picking up the books. A little too nasty for my taste. BUT each and every one of Keene’s novels are worthy of your time. Pick one up today!

Purchase here: GHOST WALK

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During the great depression, a small backwoods community in Iowa face even more difficult times than most, having to endure the slowly fading sanity of their leader, Reverend Joshua Miller. When it’s clear the man has slipped beyond the edge of reason and perhaps signed a deal with the devil, the citizens unite to stop him any way they can, breaking into the church to lash the reverend to his wooden alter cross then boarding up the windows and doors to leave him to fate and God’s judgment. The people of Oak Valley then abandoned their town to the cornfields and woods; ending the madness for what they hoped was forever.

They were wrong!

Seventy-four years later, the corn and trees have taken back the area and not much is left of the once thriving little community but Joshua Miller’s desecrated church still stands, and within its boarded up and sun-baked walls something that used to be a holy man waits for whoever is unfortunate enough to release him from his cross…

THE SCARECROW WILL WALK AT MIDNIGHT

One of my favorite books by Gord Rollo. This one is guaranteed to scratch your Halloween horror itch. Also, if you’re a fan of King’s IT, check out Rollo’s other offering, CRIMSON.

Purchase here: VALLEY OF THE SCARECROW 

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THE PAST NOT ONLY HAUNTS. IT HUNTS.

In a small, rural Arkansas town in the midst of World War II, hotel house detective George “Jojo” Walker wearily maintains the status quo in the wake of personal devastation. That status quo is disrupted when a hygiene picture roadshow rolls into town with a controversial program on display and curious motives in mind. What begins with a gruesome and impossible murder soon spirals into hallucinatory waking nightmares for Jojo—nightmares that converge with his reality and dredge up his painful, secret past. Black magic and a terrifying Luciferian carnival boil up to a surreal finale for the town of Litchfield, when truth itself unfurls and Jojo Walker is forced to face his own identity in ways he could never have expected.

Ed Kurtz delivered in last year’s THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD. Fans of the classic Leisure Books Horror stories will mLOVE this one. If that’s you, make this your next buy.

Purchase here: THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD 

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Another recent scare, DREAM WOODS, from author, Patrick Lacey, offers some great characters set in a Little-esque world. AND it’s just 99 cents!

Terror abounds!  A theme park setting is the perfect horror ride.

Purchase here: DREAM WOODS

 

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And  if you’ve read all these already, check out Sinister Grin Press for more. ALL of their eBook titles are on sale for $2.99 or less!

Check them out here: SINISTER GRIN PRESS 

 

Lastly, check out any of books here: GLENN ROLFE

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Happy reading!!!!\

 

TRICK OR TREAT: HALLOWEEN WORM (Original short story)

Halloween is just around the corner. One of the things I like to do is find creepy little short stories to swallow down between watching horror flicks and catching up on great horror books like John Everson’s THE PUMPKIN MAN or Bryan Smith’s ALL HALLOW’S DEAD

I was looking through my collections by various writers and picked four stories that I wanted to pass along to you. Each one will sneak under your flesh in their own loving, squirming way. From an author who goes somewhere he never should have, to a boy and his parent’s special house guest, to a reporter who finds out the truth about the Dalton Doll Company, and then to some kids who want to lose the weirdo their parents are making them bring trick or treating.

I love these stories so much.

Feel free to comment on these ones or make you own suggestions.

Recommended reading:

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“Best New Horror” by Joe Hill  (From 20th Century Ghosts)

“The Man Upstairs” by Ray Bradbury (From The October Country)

“The Harbinger” by Todd Keisling  (From Ugly Little Things Vol. One)

“The House on Cottage Lane” by Ronald Malfi  (Available for 99 cents from Amazon)

 

I also figured I’d share one of my own Halloween stories with you. A couple years ago, I put out my collection, SLUSH.  “Halloween Worm” is one of the last stories that made its way in. I’m glad it did. This is a fun little number. I hope you like it.

 

“Halloween Worm” was originally published in my short story collection, SLUSH. Copyright © Glenn Rolfe 2014

 

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Art by Tracy Hawkins

“Halloween Worm”

    “Eat shit, Keith!” I picked up my little sister’s Barney pillowcase and scavenged as much candy as I could see in the darkened dirt lot beneath my feet. Franky had insisted on not cutting through the field, but I knew it would get us back to my house in time to catch AMC’s annual showing of Halloween. The field skirted Paul’s Pick-A-Part, a sort of vehicular organ donor center two roads over from mine. Franky had warned me about it being too close to Holt Street and its number one bad boy, Keith Dennis, but I let my love for Michael Myers override the undercurrent of dread that flowed at the dumb ox’s name, and now, here we all are.

Keith Dennis was a bully in the purest sense. Ugly as a dog gone mad from rabies. His face, with its too wide nose, fat lips that clung like leeches to his mouth, and a bad acne scar that flared on his left cheek like some horrible explosion in the cosmos, looked pure mean. The guy had a natural born instinct to single out kids half his size, throw some dumb insults about how their friends are their butt-buddies, and a rotten gift that allowed him to take and break the amazing glow sword that you busted your butt making from pure ingenuity (something guys like Keith Dennis couldn’t spell, let alone appreciate) just because he’s an asshole.

“What’d you say to me you little shit?” Keith said. He held the broken handle of my sword, dropped his own bag of candy, and stepped forward.

My guts turned, my voice of reason whimpered I told you so, but as my eyes landed upon the now non-glowing plastic blade lying in the dirt behind this jerk, the part of my genetic make-up that got me in trouble with guys like Keith Dennis did the unthinkable. Next to one of the bite-sized Snickers bars that had escaped my candy sack, there was a smooth, oval rock the size of my fist. Before I had time to consider the consequences, I snatched the mini-boulder, jumped to my feet, and cracked Keith across the temple with it. He stumbled backward, dropped the handle of my broken sword, and held his head. A thin trickle of dark liquid seeped through his fingers.

I looked over at Franky whose eyes were as big and bright as the full moon over our heads, and said, “Run!”

The blood gushing from Keith’s head as he pulled his giant mitt away from the wound birthed an outright sense of oh shit-panic, and spurred my need to escape. The fluorescent light I’d carefully placed inside the plastic blade of my sword crunched beneath my sneakers. I grabbed Franky by his ten dollar Dracula cape, and made for the dull lights of Holt Street.

“Dan, Dan, shouldn’t we tell somebody to…I don’t know help him?” Franky’s voice never sounded so whiny.

We hit the pavement, our sneakers slapping as we moved toward the first house, Mrs. Bean’s. “Just shut up, Franky,” I said. “You want me to get in trouble?”

“No, but–”

Headlights cut the darkness as blue lights swirled to life.

    Oh shit, oh shit!

“Is that Dan Trask and Franky Taylor?”

Officer Gilchrist. Grade A hard ass, and all around fuck-hole.

He stepped out of the car, lights still whirling through the night, and walked our way as we stopped and tried to catch our breath.

“Where you boys coming from, tonight?”

    Think, think, think…

“They were with me. I fell back there by the lot, and they were running to get help.”

It was Keith, but he didn’t look…right.

“Ain’t that right, guys?” he said. Keith stepped up to my side, and placed one of his bear like arms around my shoulders.

Franky would have looked pale as the undead even without the make-up.

“Ah, yeah, we thought he was…hurt,” I managed. I felt Keith’s thick fingers press into my arm.

“Wanna tell me what you boys were doing down by Paul Meacham’s scrapyard?”

“Just kid’s stuff. Throwing rocks at the old beaters,” Keith said. “One bounced right back and hit me in the head. I got a little queasy when I saw the blood, but I’m okay.”

“I could bring you boys in tonight for throwin’ rocks down there,” Officer Gilchrist said.

He could, but he wouldn’t.

“I know Officer, but we didn’t break anything. Honest. We just wanna finish trick-or-      treating and get home for some scary movies. Please don’t tell my dad,” I said. I knew I sounded like a little wussy boy, but Keith’s story was better than mine. Besides, there was shame in being driven home in a cop car, but dealing with Keith Dennis, well, that was just a matter of manning up and taking what you got coming.

“All right, but if I catch you boys back down here tonight, you’re all going in.”

“Yes sir,” Keith and I said in unison. I could see a grin, a just you wait grin, dance onto his ugly face.

The big lug kept me muckled to his side as we watched Officer Gilchrist drive away.

“Hey Franky,” Keith said.

Poor Franky looked over with eyes that begged not to be hurt. “Yeah?”

“Get the fuck outta here. Me and your boyfriend got some man-to-man business to deal with.”

Franky’s eyes met mine, and I nodded. He didn’t deserve the beatdown, I did. The empathy in his pleading eyes was good enough for me.

Keith and I stood like best buds, butt-buddies as he would say. I watched Franky skulk down the sidewalk, his small shadow bouncing along after him beneath the streetlamps. The lump in my throat threatened to choke me.

Before I had a chance to try and talk my way out of the maximum pain sentence Keith Dennis loved to dole out to his victims, his McGregor’s swept my feet from under me as he yanked the hood of my sweatshirt backward. I slammed onto the sidewalk, the wind from my lungs released faster than a rocket pass from Peyton Manning.

“I got something special for you, Trask,” he said. He dropped one fat knee atop my chest and fished around in his Halloween sack. He pulled out an orange prescription bottle. He uncapped it and wiggled something into his hand.

My eyes landed on the thing that squirmed between his fingers. A worm.

“This was in my Candy Apple from Mr. Danson’s house. You know that crazy old fuck on Emerson Road? He denies it, but my Uncle Jerry told me that fucker’s a sex offender, a child rapist. I ain’t scared of no pederast, so I knocked on his door last year. He gave me a candy apple. The sick bastard grinned like he wanted to suck my stump right then and there.”

I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, and I never prayed so hard to see Officer Gilchrist in my whole life.

“I took that candy apple, opened it as I was walking down his shitty cat infested porch steps, and ate it on my way to the next house. I never looked back, but I could feel his creepy boy-fucking eyes on the back of my head.”

Keith looked like he was in the middle of a dream. I could see his eyes glisten in the street lights as he looked at the trees behind us.

“You see this fucking hole in my cheek?” he said. A more natural hatred fixed his eyes.

I did see the mark on his face. The one I thought was a bad acne scar.

“My ma took me to the emergency room that night.” He paused, a tear slipped from the corner of his right eye. He sucked in two quick breaths through his wide nose, trying to hide a hitch. “I could feel something tearing at the inside of my mouth all night. I was trying to enjoy Terror Train, but this, this thing, kept chewing at me. I thought it was some kind of bad canker. I tried to lie down and go to sleep, and I dozed right off with the screams coming from the TV. I opened my eyes an hour later, reached for my face and felt the blood…and then the hole. I didn’t bother looking at it. I just ran to my ma’s room and pulled her outta bed. She got us down to the ER where they got me right in.” He stopped, and stared at the thing between his fingers. It wiggled hello.

“This is what the Doc pulled outta my mouth that night, except, it wasn’t moving. He told me it was dead. I asked him if I could have it. I was gonna torture it, dead or not. But after they patched up my face, and I got home, it began to move. I wanted to crush it, spill its guts, but I had a thought. I was gonna get that fucking pervert. I knew it was him.”

Captivated by his story, I couldn’t remember my own fear. His cheek was still discolored, but you couldn’t tell it had ever had a hole in it.

He grabbed me by the front of my sweatshirt with his free hand. My fear returned in spades.

   Oh God, don’t let him make me eat that thing…

“Stop acting like a queer,” he said. He dropped the worm back into the little orange pill bottle and capped it. “That old man’s getting his payback, and you’re gonna help me.”

“What? Why me?”

He let go of my sweatshirt and stood back up. “Cuz I ain’t got anybody else. I got no real friends. And you owe me for hitting me with that goddam rock.”

He had me there.

“So, we doing this now?” I said.

“Fucking right we are.”

We set out. Neither of us said another word until we reached Emerson Road.

Mr. Danson’s house and its cat littered porch, sat in complete darkness. By way of bad omen, the street lamp next to his pervert shack went out.

We both looked up.

“Fuck it,” Keith said. “Come on. He’s getting his little friend back whether he wants it or not.”

I followed. Our candy sacks had been left behind. Keith carried the little prescription bottle with the odd cheek-eating worm in his hand as he led the way around the abandoned house next to Danson’s and into the old man’s backyard.

The night seemed dead: no cars, no children, and no wind. The hairs stiffened on the back of my neck. I wondered if Mr. Danson was waiting for us.

“Hold this,” Keith said. He handed me the bottle with the awful Halloween worm.

I tried to protest, but he grunted and glared at me. I took the little orange bottle with the white label.

“I’m going to walk around front and knock on his door.”

“What?” I said, louder than I meant to.

“Shhh. He’s gonna open up just like last year, and I’m gonna slam his ass to the ground. Once I rough him up a little, I’m gonna let you in the back. Then we’ll give him what’s his.”

It was a shit plan–a damn, shitty plan–but he was up and off before I could say so. I listened, hearing his footsteps around the house, crunching leaves the old man hadn’t cared to rake from under the tree hanging over the corner of his house like some sort of giant spider. After a few seconds, I heard Keith knock.

This is stupid. This is really, really stupid. I should just drop this creepy thing and go home.

“You son of bitch,” I heard Mr. Danson’s high-pitch voice yell.

There was a scuffle. I could hear feet shuffling, a door banging, and various grunts and curse words from both of them. And then, the door slammed shut.

Who won?

 Run. The good voice of reason screamed at me.

Instead, I waited. This silence wasn’t golden, but it was more like pure hell on a stick, dripping red with the blood of innocence gone wrong. Still, I, we waited… just me and the evil Halloween worm. What a pair!

The latch on the back door rattled and intruded on my thoughts. My body hair reached for the radio airwaves above. I held my breath.

The back door swung open.

“C’mon, man,” Keith said. He was breathing heavy.

A small burst of fireworks set off over my elated fears. A small victory.

“I knocked that geriatric pervert out with his own cane,” he said as I slipped into the dark hallway behind him. “He managed to whack me in the same spot you did, but all it did was piss me off. I jumped him, pinned him to the ground, and threw a couple solid punches into his old man face. Once I beat the fight out of him, I took his cane and whacked him good over the head with it.”

  Jesus, I thought. Lucky if he didn’t kill him. I prayed that the guy–pervert or not–was still alive. Sure enough, there he lay sprawled out on a matted, forest green rug. He had a giant red mark on his forehead. Two of his dozen cats–one white, one black–sat mewling by his head as if to stir him to awake.

The living room of his home smelled like cat piss and shit, mixed with cigarettes and hamburger grease. At least six other cats strutted around and licked themselves, indifferent to the two newcomers standing in the room. The little brown couch against the wall opposite the front door was torn to shit. Stuffing spilled out of it like the guts of Braveheart. I looked around and saw a wooden baseball bat leaning against a metal rack between the door and small TV stand. Atop the metal rack was a fish tank. It was filled with dirt instead of water. Ant farm? More likely a worm farm. An evil cheek-eating worm farm.

“Okay, give me the worm,” Keith said.

“Gladly.”

“All right you fucking pederast bastard, time to take your medicine,” he said. Keith popped off the white cap, squeezed the old man’s cheek, and opened his toothless mouth. Mr. Danson looked like a dying fish. Keith jiggled the orange bottle directly over the open 0.

I watched the worm drop in and disappear. Mr. Danson jerked and gagged. Keith clamped his hands over the old man’s maw.

“What are you doing?” I said. Mr. Danson’s eyes shot open. He squirmed and writhed behind Keith’s hand, gagging all the while.

“Shut up, Trask,” Keith barked. He turned back to Mr. Danson. “How do you like it you fucking perv?”

Mr. Danson’s eyes were wild. He brought his right hand up to Keith’s face. I couldn’t do anything but watch as the old man drove his thumb through Keith’s left eye.

Keith’s scream devoured the silence. He flailed at Mr. Danson. Keith’s arms looked like one of those crazy daisy lawn toys that shook every which way.

Mr. Danson’s thumb jabbed over and over into Keith’s ruined eye. The sick man’s gaze sparkled with madness. He was delirious with a wicked joy. I should stop this. I should kick him in the head, or smash him in the face with something…I stumbled backward plopping down on the gut spewing couch, playing witness to this horror. Keith, reaching for his eye, fell off the crazy old man.

Mr. Danson stood. My eyes caught the tenting in the front of his sweatpants. Keith rolled back and forth on the carpet and held both hands over the latest damage inflicted by this strange man.

“You boys should have stayed home tonight,” Mr. Danson said. “Hold still, you cry baby faggot,” he said. He placed his boot on Keith’s ankle and leaned forward. “I said, hold still, faggot!”

“Arrrgggh!” Keith’s pain cut deep into my heart.

Mr. Danson moved up to Keith’s head, stepping on various parts of the bully on the floor along the way. He turned his devil eyes to me. “This the kind of company you keep, boy?”

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe.

He stood over Keith, and looked down upon him with disgust. “I should pull out your dirty little thingy and give it a good tug. Would you like that? Huh?” he said, pushing the toe of his boot down on Keith’s hand-covered eye. There was blood all over Keith’s face and hands. “Yeah, I bet you would.” Mr. Danson’s leer returned to me. “How about you? You a faggot, boy? You want a little sweet tug from an old pro?”

“You sick son of a bitch,” I cried out.

His smile dropped, but my balls on the other hand flew north for the winter, never to be seen again.

“Well,” he said. He took a step back, and looked down at Keith. “Looks like I got another date tonight, boy. Sorry. Say hello to heaven for me.” With that Mr. Danson raised one booted foot and crashed it down like a flash of lightening, striking once, twice, three times before he dropped to his knees, and hunched over Keith’s broken face. Keith wasn’t moving. Mr. Danson bent down to Keith’s lips. I thought he was going to kiss him. Instead, Mr. Danson spat the worm directly into the Keith’s bloody mouth.

His head turned to me, like a wolf spotting fresh prey.

I gasped, and scrambled to my feet. Mr. Danson didn’t bother to get up, he just came crawling on all fours.

Out of pure reflex I stepped forward like this was kickball, and caught him square in the face.

He sat up and cried out.

Instinct screamed at me to keep on him, not to let up.

Before I had time to act, Mr. Danson sprung at me. His fingers climbed into my mouth like a creepy-crawly in the night, and yanked in opposite directions. My lips felt like they could split at any second; his calloused fingers tasted as bad as the bottom of our garbage can smelled. The rank image of squirming maggots and slimy leftovers shuddered through me. I screamed and pushed back against my perverted attacker with all of my strength.

“Oooh, a fighter, heh?”

The bastard stood. I continued to drive us backwards. His fingers slid from my mouth and journeyed down my chest to my waist.

We hit something on the floor and tumbled down together. I heard a loud, thick crack. Mr. Danson groaned and fell silent. I landed atop of him. I could feel the hard stick in his pants go limp beneath my ass. Then the dirt began to fall.

“…ohh…huh?” he moaned.

The dirt–more like a damp soil–piled up on my shoulders, my thighs, and my forearms. The earthly smell was welcomed compared to the rest of the piss-soaked house.

“My…my…babies…”

At first, I wasn’t sure what the hell he was talking about. I figured he’d hit his head too hard and was having some kind of dizzy vision. Then I remembered the cracked glass, the dirt, the ant farm…the worm farm.

I bolted upright and swiped at the dark clumps of soil attached to me. I saw the creatures hidden within the dirt begin to squiggle just before I felt the first bite. I jerked my forearm and barked out a sharp cry. I swatted the filth and its hungry inhabitant from my skin. A flap of flesh where the thing had bitten me drooled blood and a snot-like residue. Another pinch sunk into my thigh, followed by another and another. Behind me, Mr. Danson began yelping. I turned and saw more of the worms dig into his wrinkled flesh. One was burrowing into the side of his neck, while another turned up toward his eye. Even as one sank its strangely-fanged maw into my shoulder, my gaze locked on Mr. Danson’s right eye and one of his “babies” with the evil intentions.

The splultch sound of the worm latching its fangs into his eyeball was followed by Mr. Danson’s high-pitched shriek.

Eye for an eye.

I shot up to my feet and swatted at every inch of my body I could reach. In my mind’s eye, I saw millions of the tiny beasts trying to devour me. I managed to clear the one from my shoulder, and the ones that were still on my arms and thighs. I tap-danced away from the rug at my feet and the thirty to forty gross, pale worms writhing around on the floor. Mr. Danson flailed and flopped like a giant fish pulled from the sea.

Keith was silent. His body still.

“No, Keith.”

Two of the pale worms were trying to bite through Keith’s jeans. I knelt down and whacked them from his pant leg. His chest did not rise or fall.

“Keith?” I took his head in my hands and slapped him hard across the face. “Keith!”

I jumped at the dirty, yellowed fingernails that dug into the side of my neck. I shrugged him off.

“You did this! You did this!” Mr. Danson’s closed and tattered eye leaked the odd mix of blood and slime down his cheek. His clawed hands reached out for me. I stood, and spotted the baseball bat by the door.

“You won’t…you…you…”

I stepped over Keith and gripped the bat.

Mr. Danson gave out one last ear-piercing squawk before I planted the bat down upon the center of his forehead. He dropped to the floor and lay across Keith’s legs. The worms went to work on his exposed flesh.

I stood still, the bat gripped in my hands and held out toward the perverted worm meal like a ninja warrior from one of the games Franky always liked to play on his Xbox. I looked at Keith. I was pretty sure he was dead.

After a moment’s hesitation, I bolted out the door, the murder weapon (I was certain that my strike had killed the old man) in hand, and ran out into the cold, dark night. Halfway home, I tossed the bat into a thicket of woods near the end of my street. My lungs, my gums, my throat, all burned. Still, I ran. I pumped and pumped my legs, and propelled my body onward, away.

I stumbled into my backyard. The site of our back porch and my dad’s trusty grill welcomed me. I dropped to my knees and flopped down on my butt. Keith Dennis may have been a jerk, but he deserved a better end than the one he got. Mr. Danson, however, earned every last nibble that he had coming from his Halloween worms.

I spat down at the yellowed grass between my legs. Try as I might, I could not rid my mouth of the taste left behind from the nasty pervert’s grimy fingers. I brought my knees up, and reached around and locked my fingers together. I stared toward the woods down the street. Would Officer Gilchrist know I had been there, too? When he found Mr. Danson and Keith Dennis, would he know that a third person had been involved? Would he find the bat?

I felt the urge to seek out the weapon and toss it into the Kennebec River. My gaze dropped to the wet wound on my forearm where one of the worms had bit me. How much could one worm eat? How much of Mr. Danson could thirty or forty of them eat? Would there be anything left?

    Would they finish Keith, as well?

My face refused to show it, but inside, I smiled when I thought about the conviction of the school bully. It may have killed him, but like a great warrior, Keith Dennis got his revenge.

THE END

OCTOBER ANNIVERSARY GET BLOOD AND RAIN FOR 99 CENTS!

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  • “Brutal, tension-fueled and captivating…Blood and Rain is the best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” — Horror After Dark
  • Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction.”-Horror Underground
  • “It’s Silver Bullet on speed!…a mix of early Stephen King and Bentley Little…” – Aaron J. French, author of The Dream Beings
  • .Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author  of The Montauk Monster

Need a great werewolf book to read for October?
Check out my novel, BLOOD AND RAIN on sale now through Halloween for just 99 cents! At Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all eBook retailers.

Click below to purchase!

AMAZON US     AMAZON UK    AMAZON CA    

BARNES AND NOBLE     GOOGLE PLAY

were

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend?

One night can—and will—change everything.

 

Boom Town in Audio Book and My Barnes and Noble Signing for Blood and Rain.

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Last week, AudioRealms Publishing released my horror/sci-fi novella, Boom TownTo celebrate horror week, Audio Realms is selling ALL horror titles at half-price! If audio books are your bag, grab a few titles today!

Lesley Ann Fogle handles the audio for Boom Town and she really knocks it out of the park. Listen for yourself! Grab Boom Town for just $3.99

Terror from below!

In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.

Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

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This past Saturday I did my first official solo signing at Barnes and Noble in Augusta, Maine. I was nervous as hell Saturday morning (I tried to relax by watching Monster Squad-great flick!). Armed with my Wolf Man action figure, dressed in black from head-to-toe (like Johnny Cash), I arrived at the store to see my face on either side of the entrance just as you entered the front doors. Pretty cool.   My table was just off to the right and loaded up with copies of Blood and Rain.  A number of friends and family showed up to support me. Thank you all so much! I met a lot of cool folks, talked to an elderly man who asked me the same five questions about six different times . He was obviously ill, but he gave my oldest daughter a dollar for helping me try to sell books! He was very nice and my daughter acted like she’d  won the lottery. It was great.

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I ended up selling out by 1:30.  The event was scheduled until 2! It was so much fun, and I was happy to see some folks I hadn’t spoken with in some time. Great turn out, great results, and I was told by on-duty manager of the store that we will definitely be doing it again when the next book drops.  That would be my novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin (coming March 2016).

Thank you to everyone who made it out! And thank you so very much for spending you Saturday and with me. You made this scribbler feel good.

Also,

The latest reviews and guest posts for the Blood and Rain Publicity Tour can be found: HERE 

“The witching season is upon us. The ghosts and monsters are close and the veil is pretty thin this time of year. Werewolves howl and Glenn Rolfe has written a damn near lycanthropic masterpiece. “– Reaper’s Harvest Horror

Fellow horror writer and Samhain Horror stable mate, Matt Manochio, also interviewed me this week. You can check that Q and A out HERE

big-giveaway

And lastly, my publisher, Samhain Publishing, will be celebrating #HorrorWeek by discounting all books by 30% from October 29th -October 31st. Get all of your favorite Samhain Horror authors (Janz, Shea, Rufty, James and many more) for cheap!

Stay Tuned!

Oh yeah…and there’s new Adele!

 

 

Blood and Rain Publicity Tour Strikes my Home Turf! Radio Appearances and my First Ever Barnes and Noble Book Signing!

2015 has been busy! I rocked the GoodReads and blog worlds promoting the heck out of my two Samhain Publishing novellas (Abram’s Bridge and Boom Town) and had a bit of a breather.

Until now.

With Blood and Rain being my first novel and print book for Samhain, I knew I needed to kick it up a notch. The latest Blog Tour is under way, but this weekend brings that next level mentality: Radio appearances and…A Barnes and Noble Book Signing Event!

Walking into the Barnes and Noble I have frequented since I was in high school and seeing a giant sign with my name, face, and the cover of my book on it was amazing.

BN sign

Follow that up with finding copies of my book on the actual shelf?

My daughter is beaming with pride.
My daughter is beaming with pride.

I’m ready to shut my mouth. Too cool.

Friday morning I stopped into the local pop station here in central Maine, 92 Moose, to do an on-air interview with long time morning man extraordinaire, Jon James.

me and JJ

They also had me on over at the country station, B 98.5  So nice to meet everyone and feel the genuine enthusiasm for my accomplishments. I hope I do you guys proud!

The 92 Moose interview can be seen and heard HERE

Tomorrow is the big day. From Noon until 2PM I will be signing copies of Blood and Rain, making friends,  and hopefully making some sales.

I even invited Stephen King.  🙂   Not sure if he got my message, but what the hell.

I hope to see some of you out there tomorrow.  Come say hi and grab a copy of the book. It really is a great Halloween read. Don’t just take my word for it…..Here’s what the people say:

  • “With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!”–Ronald Malfi, author of December Park and Little Girls
  • “A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!”–Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One
  • “Many authors nowadays get lauded for writing ‘throwback’ horror fiction, but none of them quite goes the distance like Rolfe does in Blood and Rain. Werewolves, silver samurai swords, and small New England towns: it all makes you wish this was twenty years ago so you can take the paperback off a supermarket spinner-rack and huff the yellowed pages.” – Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House and Exponential
  • “Brutal, tension-fueled and captivating…Blood and Rain is the best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” — Horror After Dark
  •   “Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction.”-Horror Underground
  • “(Rolfe) takes his writing cues form Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, with some haunts thrown in via the eerie style of Ronald Malfi.” —Oh, For the Hook of a Book
  • “A howling good read for werewolf fans.” – Scott Nicholson, The Red Church
  • “This is werewolves as they should be.”-Scarlet’s Web
  • “Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon

Aaaarrrroooooooo!

THINGS WE FEAR! WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN and THE HAUNTED HALLS…. Coming from Samhain in 2016!

Last week I revealed the covers for my next two Samhain Horror releases, THINGS WE FEAR and WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN.

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and

WhereNightmaresBegin

THINGS WE FEAR is an all new novella coming in March in all eBook formats.

WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN is a collection of all three of my Samhain novellas in one print edition. That’s Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear all in precious paper! This one also comes out in March.

In November of 2016, Samhain Horror will also be re-issuing my first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS. I’m extremely happy to have all of my babies under one umbrella. Thanks to my editor, Don D’Auria,  for making this all happen.

I have another finished novella sitting with another publisher (no official word yet on that one) and another currently in-progress. My next two novels, BECOMING and WINDOW, are both coming along, as well.

For more on my latest novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, check out these cool reviews and links.

Guest Post with HUNTER SHEA

Interview with THE EXAMINER

Review from CONFESSIONS OF A REVIEWER

Interview at DUANE’S WORLD

Check out a new flash fiction story and enter to win a free copy of Blood and Rain—-  FLIES

BLOOD AND RAIN is HERE! AAAARRRROOOOOOOO! Get Your Werewolf Fix Today.


The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend?

One night can—and will—change everything.

PRAISE FOR BLOOD AND RAIN

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!”
–Ronald Malfi, author of December Park

Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.”– Horror Underground

“Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…for those of you that are fans of the classic monster stories of old, this is one to read. Glenn has brought the werewolf into the modern day!”– Horror Novel Reviews

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!”–Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

“Many authors nowadays get lauded for writing ‘throwback’ horror fiction, but none of them quite goes the distance like Rolfe does in Blood and Rain. Werewolves, silver samurai swords, and small New England towns: it all makes you wish this was twenty years ago so you can take the paperback off a supermarket spinner-rack and huff the yellowed pages.” – Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House and Exponential

” Brutal, tension-fueled and captivating…Blood and Rain is the best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” — Horror After Dark

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”– Hunter Shea, author The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon

” Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…I’m now a fan.”–Into the Macabre

“(Drawing) on the work of Stephen King…Rolfe hits the mark.” – Publishers Weekly

Blood and Rain is definitely a contender to be the best horror novel of the year.”–The Examiner.com

FACEBOOK RELEASES PARTY! TONIGHT 8-11 PM HERE

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Gearing up for the Blood and Rain Train…Get your Claws out!

Yes, I am pumped for the release of my first print novel with Samhain Publishing. After two novellas, I’m ready to get a physical book into your hands!  And what a book….Blood and Rain is my favorite thing that I’ve written so far. I’ve loved werewolves for so long (thanks to my bro). The release date is October 6th. I will be doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Augusta, Maine the weekend before Halloween. I will also be hitting the internet highways and embarking on a massive Blog Tour!  Hair and devil horns in the air, volume cranked to 11, and ready to party!

Anyways…. Some early reviews are coming in. I’d like to share a couple of those with you now:

“A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre.”

– Ronald Malfi, Author of December Park and Little Girls

“This is werewolves as they should be.”–Scarlet’s Web

The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark

So, yeah….I’m excited to see that some people like this one as much as I do.  🙂

Pre-orders are open for the eBook through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com 

Pre-orders for the print book will be open in September.

I will also have print copies available at HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis, IN  Sept 11-13.

AAARRROOOOOO!

Stay tuned.

“…proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre.”–Ronald Malfi

It blows my mind that one of my favorite writers in the horror fiction scene over the last 10 or so years has endorsed my latest piece, Blood and Rain (Samhain Publishing, October 2015). I’ve admired the hell out of this guy’s talent and the way he has handled himself for a long time.

From when I first read Snow to when I finished Floating Staircase, Ronald Malfi’s style and storytelling ability has simultaneously influenced and intimidated me. He makes me want to write because his words are like magic. Yet, he also makes me say, “Shit, I can’t fucking do that.”

Well, Ronald Malfi is one of only a handful of people to have read my forthcoming novel, Blood and Rain. And this is what he had to say:

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!”–Ronald Malfi, author of December Park

Malfi headshot

My jaw dropped.

It’s like Tim Armstrong (lead singer in Rancid) hearing one of my punk rock songs and saying, ‘that’s wicked.’

timmm

Soon, you’ll all have the chance to dig into my ‘wicked’ new werewolf novel. I’m excited for my baby beast to make its way out into the world.  You can pre-order the Kindle edition right now on Amazon.com, and soon at all of your other favorite eBook joints. The print edition hits the streets October 6th (and maybe on audio shortly thereafter). If you make it out to Horror Hound Weekend Indianapolis in September, I will have pre-release copies for sale!

To pre-order the Kindle Edition now, click the cover below!

Aaaarrrrooo!!!

Also, if you didn’t know…Ronald Malfi has a new book out! Check out Little Girls. Click HERE

Little Girls small