Monster

            When I was ten years old, I had watched, helpless, as the monster killed my mother. Now, ten years later, I almost pitied him in his weakened state. But I had no time for pity, forgiveness. I don’t know why the vile, smelly creature let me live that day ten years ago. But I had promised him that one day, I would be the one to kill him and I was here to make good on that promise.

            The room I found him lying in reeked of beer and cigarettes. I guess that’s what his kind subsisted on between their bloodthirsty hunts. He was lying on a small mattress in the corner of the room…mouth open and in mid snore. It was one of those nasty sounding, phlegm producing types of snores belonging to a creature who is succumbing to some illness, or very old age. But the monster wasn’t that old for his kind, so maybe he did suffer from some affliction.

            He opened his eyes, but in his delirium thought I was someone else.

            “Bring me some water,” he croaked and closed his eyes again.

            I didn’t move. I stood there watching him and listening, but no one else was in the crappy, little, run down house. He resumed his death rattle snore. I decided I needed a little fresh air. I left the room and exited the house through the front door. I stood on the front porch of the old house and spread out before me was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. A mixture of different shades of pinks, oranges and reds streamed across the western sky above the grove of Cedar and Fir trees that blocked the view of the house from the long, winding, country road. The house was secluded, which made sense since his kind preferred to remain isolated from society.

            As I watched the sunset, the old John Denver song came back to the forefront of my mind…sung so many years ago in elementary school. Country road, take me home…to the place, I belong… I didn’t belong here, but I guess he did…his kind.

            I turned back toward the house. It was small, and the wood was grayed out from years of exposure to the elements because there wasn’t a drop of paint to protect it. There were a couple of Texas live oaks on either side of it and the skeletons of dead bushes in front, under the windows on either side of the porch. This had been someone’s family home long ago, but now the monster desecrated its memory.

            The light was fading fast, so I walked back into the house to finally exact my revenge and feel the closure I desired so much…after all these years.

            I walked back into the dank, musty, bedroom. He was sitting up…a gun in one hand and a beer in the other.

            “Who are you?” he asked.

            “You don’t recognize me?”

            “Um, no. Should I?” he asked as he took a swig of the stale beer and pointed his gun at me.

            “So, you’re going to murder me too? And you’re using a gun? You were a little more hands on with my mother, but I guess you’re weaker now,” I said, taking a step toward him.

            “I don’t murder…” he began as he was overcome with a violent coughing fit and dropped the gun, while managing to hold onto the beer.

            I stepped closer and snatched the gun from the floor. The monster laughed and downed the rest of the beer before smashing the bottle against the wall beside the mattress and then pointing the broken, jagged, end that remained toward me.

            “I won’t go down without a fight,” he said.

            “No, your kind never does,” I answered.

            “My kind? I’m no monster. I save lives.”

            “Not a monster?!” I shouted, “You save lives?! You murdered my mother! She was innocent!”

            “I don’t kill innocents. Only evil scum. Those that deserve to die. I’ve always been careful not to kill those that do no harm.”

            “My mother never hurt anyone!”

            “Look boy, if I did kill your mother, she deserved it. You just weren’t aware of your mother’s crimes.”

            I wanted to kill him right then, the self-righteous bastard. But I needed him to remember. I wanted him to know who I was.

            “Think back old man, to ten years ago. Do you remember murdering a young woman in her own home in front of her ten-year-old son?”

            The monster just looked at me with dead eyes.

            “You can’t remember a ten-year-old boy who made a promise to you?”

            It finally sinks in. I see it in his eyes. But there is no fear in them, just realization.

            “Well go ahead and kill me. It’s better than the Big C anyway, as Stephen King likes to call it.”

            I just stare at him, while he stares back. This is not how I envisioned it. I raise the gun and point it at his face. He just sits there. I shoot him and it’s over in an instant. I look at his lifeless body slumped over on the aging mattress and I feel nothing. Ten years of hating and hunting, but I feel numb. Closure is not a thing.

            I walk up to his lifeless body, letting the gun drop from my hand and summon the six-inch claws to extend from my fingertips. I then drive them into his chest and pull out his heart. It’s still beating as I rip into it with my fangs and devour it.

Graveyard Smash-Multiple Authors

My very own copy of this awesome anthology!

This is the second horror anthology I’ve read from Kandisha Press and I’m about to start the third. This publisher with Jill Girardi at the helm are experts in finding the best horror stories I’ve ever laid eyes on and they are all written by women! Jill Girardi noticed that most stories in horror anthologies are written by men, so she found her niche in publishing, supporting and promoting women horror writers. I just love a good horror story and I don’t care who writes it, so I have been thrilled with the talent that is compiled in these anthologies put forth by Kandisha Press!

The reader is immediately sucked in by the first story, Holes, by R.A. Busby. It’s a page turner and draws you helplessly into the entire anthology. The stories that follow provide tales of ghosts, djinn (one of my favorite mythical creatures), zombies, a mummy, ancient gods, etc… supplying something for all horror tastes! There’s even one with monster hunters, and I can’t list the title because it gives away the big twist in the story. I was particularly drawn to that one because, yes, that’s right, (say it together, my small bevy of blog followers) I love Supernatural! (Or I guess you guys would say, she loves Supernatural!)

I give 5 stars to this anthology and to every author! As with the first Kandisha Press anthology, Under Her Black Wings, I almost lost my day job because it was so difficult to stop reading the exciting, suspenseful and entertaining stories between its covers and get a little shut eye! Not to mention the lingering, haunted feeling one feels when reading great horror!

Here’s the link for Graveyard Smash:

And for Under Her Black Wings:

And for the new anthology, The One That Got Away, that came out just in time for Women in Horror Month: