Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pondering - Dark Music

Dark Pondering Image

I suppose you know you're a horror writer when you are able to relax and fall asleep to music that sounds like listening to a horror film with your eyes closed.

I can't remember how I found that kind of music, but I think I was flicking around on and I came across the dark ambient genre and just loved it. (I have used links to purely because it was the way I found the bands originally, and seemed the easiest route for this piece. You can easily listen to samples of the tracks of each band if you scroll down the page to "Top Tracks")

I think my absolute fave is Atrium Carceri, the music is so bleak but I find it still strangely restful. He uses a lot of captured atmospheric sounds, like footsteps on gravel, chains clinking and various others that I can't always identify. He also uses speech in other languages, like you are overhearing a conversation but because you can't understand what they are saying, it just adds to the overall experience. I have dozed off on more than a few occasions, and upon waking thought "Wow, I must be warped!"

Another good listen is Lustmord, which again I feel is very dark, but he uses low frequency sound like deep rumblings and other effects to create a real feeling of foreboding and tension.
A couple of others that I regularly listen to are Vestigial and Terra Sancta, which again, are dark and brooding but just have their own take on the genre.

There doesn't seem to be any way to get dark ambient music on the high street in my experience, so if you do listen and find that you'd like to hear more, you will have to use an online music store to purchase them. Don't bother searching the shelves of a mainstream store, although you might strike it lucky.

Happy listening.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Pondering - The Unwatched World

Dark Pondering Image

I think that allot of the best horror writing tends to make good use of the “unwatched world” idea. Certainly, the type of writing that I enjoy reading does, and it branches out into other media like films and video games, anything that is story driven. The unwatched world is basically the stuff that happens when nobody is looking or even present. It’s the writing equivalent of spinning around and around, trying to see the back of your own head. The tricky part is that when someone holds up a mirror so that you can see, it’s no longer unseen or a mystery. Its a delicate balance to maintain.

It’s probably best illustrated by an example. When I was a lot younger, I had a friend who's mother had told him that when he closed his eyes at night, his stuffed toys/teddy bears came alive and moved around the room, protecting him from anything scary or creepy. As a side note, with a bit of reversal, making the cuddly toys evil and giving them sharp teeth and claws, could make quite a nice horror story. At the time, I remember wondering if my own menagerie of teddies came alive too. Then I got to thinking, how would you tell? Even if you set up a camera to record your room at night, the room/teddies are still being watched so nothing would happen.
I realised that allot of the stories that grip me are the ones that use this aspect of “how can you tell” type thinking, even if aimed at the most ridiculous sounding of things. One of my favourite films of recent years is Troll Hunter (a group of students follow a suspected poacher, and are shocked to find out that he is hunting trolls.) The film made good use of the idea that trolls cause a lot of damage that is often put down to natural causes, but if you look close enough and know what to look for, you can see that a troll did it. A couple of examples from the film are knocked over trees on windless nights, and a bridge spanning a river far below, having a large chunk knocked out halfway across as an enormous wading troll bumped his head. I like this kind of thing, where you can see a film and then when you are out and about, see something like a fallen tree and playfully think that a troll might have done it. For a few nights after seeing the film, whenever I closed my curtains at night, I had images of trolls crossing the valley behind my house, making their migration somewhere else when no-one was looking. While not strictly horror, it bases something fantastic inside the “real” world so that it’s a tiny bit harder to separate the two once you’ve finished watching.
I think there are two types of unseen world events, the kind like my curtain pulling example above, where things are happening but they aren’t particularly close or threatening. Then there is the other kind, which happen in your immediate vicinity and you might not realise. I know a lot of classic style horror films use the “it’s behind you” pantomime type scene, letting the audience in on the secret while the poor victim on screen has to find out the long and painful way.

If you are watching this type of film, or reading this kind of book, or playing this kind of video game, maybe just pause and wonder, “what's lurking behind me while my attention is elsewhere?”

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Horror Fiction - A New Leaf

Dark Fiction Image

A New Leaf

By Casey Douglass

Simon slowly ambled along the country lane, carelessly kicking a stone ahead of him, visions of the Wembley crowd cheering and applauding echoing in his mind. How did the ref send him off at school? He had played the ball! He gave the stone another kick and watched it skitter away. Bloody Collin Smith, the little shit! He’d hit the ground like Simon had shot him, writhing around and, to Simon’s begrudging envy, squeezing out a few tears.
He caught up with the stone again and gave it a harder kick, the impact sending the stone onto the muddy verge and back onto the road again. Of course, within thirty seconds, Collin had been back on his feet again, and obviously felt well enough to score the winning goal. Simon had to spend the rest of the game in the changing room, the harsh words of his coach still prickling in his ears. It was a crap team anyway, Simon decided, why should he waste his time. He’d be in high school soon, where things would be better he was sure.
He reached the stone again, and decided that he was ready to release it back into the wild once more. He stared around, finding himself in the partly wooded section of the familiar road home. His eye fell on the black tree.
He hated that tree. In his quieter times, he wondered what about it made him feel that way, but could only think that it was just some kind of psychic reek that made him feel like the world would be a better place if that tree wasn’t there. He had thought about burning it down once, and even got as far as stealing a box of matches from his parents. Thankfully, he had realised that the wood floor was almost permanently covered in crispy, flammable leaves, and any fire would have taken out the whole area. He could well imagine the kind of shit storm that would have fallen on him then!
He angled himself just so, and took a few steps back. There was no wind, but the tree was a good thirty yards away. Could he do it? He rushed forward and swung his leg in the hardest kick he could manage. The impact triggered a fiery pain in his right toe but the pain faded into the background as he watched the stone arcing through the air, a slight touch of swerve steering it towards it's target. There was a heavy wooden thunk that echoed around the other trees, scaring a couple of perching pigeons into flight. His mouth split into a massive grin as his mind congratulated him on such a world class free kick. Then the world faded before his eyes, colour leeching out of the scene before him, a dark mist rushing up around him. He managed a small shriek just before it all went dark.

An inky blackness covered his eyes, and he felt stiff, his every joint aching. He tried to cough but couldn’t, his mouth full of something. His brain scanned his body, trying to locate his limbs and their relative position to each other. It gave him the impression of being on some kind of torture rack, his arms held straight up above his head, his back arched and his legs pinned tightly together. Pain roamed his body, the nerves seemingly confused themselves about whether to fire or not. He tried to blink but felt no movement from his eyelids.
‘Well now,’ a boyish voice said from far away. ‘Aren’t you in a pretty pickle! Can’t you see? Can’t you speak? I don’t suppose you can hear either. I don’t suppose you’ve got a-’
A silence fell again, pregnant with Simon’s foreboding thoughts.
‘Ah-ha! Things aren’t so different now as I thought. I suppose I better help you, seeing as you had one.’
The voice came from near his feet and sounded tinny, but strangely familiar . He felt hands grasping his shins as someone laid on top of him, slowly making his way along Simon’s body. Simon tried to speak again but couldn’t feel his voice box responding. He felt a hand on his face, and a small finger poked him in the ear.
‘Yes, I think this is it. I thought you wouldn’t be able to hear as well but sometimes things just work out. Right work.’
Simon’s mind took on the mantle of the mouth for lack of any better option. It screamed as he felt a sharp object being shoved into his right eye. A serrated edge see-sawed in and out, wrenching and tearing and spraying moist fluid down his cheek.
‘That’s one done. Catch your breath, that must have hurt.’
Simon swam on the edge of unconsciousness, his thoughts moving slowly, his body numbing itself to the thought of the damage that had been done. With a start, he realised that the darkness had gone. He could see! With a larger start, he realised he was very high up, looking down on the little wood covered road that he had been walking on a moment ago.
‘Time for number two!’
The world went dark again as Simon screwed his eye shut, the pain coming in a rush that threatened to tip him over into insanity. He felt every pull and tear of the cutting tool, feeling it pressing deep into his head.
‘I’m getting good at this, that one was quicker!’
Simon tried to cry, to shout for help, but nothing came. He felt detached from himself now. Still feeling the pain unfortunately, but like he was viewing himself from a far. As the waves of pain receded into a numb tingling, he opened what he found to be both eyes now. Yes, he was still looking down on the road and the woods around him. How the hell did he get up here?
A small round face appeared in front of him. His mind wobbled like a spinning top that’s nearing the limit of its turning force, about to topple onto its side and skitter around the floor. This time, he did pass out. Well anyone would have, if they had opened their eyes and seen themselves staring back.

When his consciousness resurfaced, he coughed and sobbed, shouting for help, for anyone who could help him, please!
‘Ah, I see you are back with us. I took the liberty of finishing off while you were out of it, I’m not that cruel you see.’
Simon opened his eyes and was again faced with himself, staring less than ten inches away from his nose.
‘You won’t be the best smiler in the world, but at least you can talk!’ The clone held up Simon’s swiss-army knife. It was gloopy with amber coloured slime.
‘What’s happening?’ Simon managed to say.
‘But don’t you see?’ the imposter replied.
The figure of Simon tittered with glee, the high pitched laugh blending in with the birdsong overhead. Simon felt a sharp pang in his stomach, a feeling of wrongness that made him feel claustrophobic. The figure in front of him certainly looked like him, but, was wearing the body differently. The expressions and mannerisms weren’t his, they were this others, and that filled him with a dread that threatened to wash him back into unconsciousness again. Seemingly sensing this, the other rammed the knife into Simon again, the pain bringing his focus back to one searing point of focus.
‘No you don’t! Stay with me, I’m not done. I wanted thank you.’
‘For what?’ Simon sputtered.
‘I’ve been trapped for almost a hundred years, did the same thing you did if I’m honest. Happened almost the same way, except I used a home made bow and arrow. Next thing I knew, I was where you are, but whoever it was who switched with me, didn’t have the decency to do what I’ve done for you. You know what it's like spending that amount of time deaf, blind and mute? It’s no joke! Anyway, must be going, got a whole life to catch up on!’ He giggled.
'But it's my life!'
The “other” let go of Simon, vanishing from sight below his face. A moment later, a leafy thud sounded far below, followed by much stomping and laughing. Simon strained his eyes downwards and caught sight of the other “him” making his way to the road. A lone leaf gently floated past his eyes. Reflexively, he tried to bat it away but became aware once more that his body felt like it was stretched unnaturally above and below. The figure shouted something to him that he could barely make out.
The figure shouted again, the words carried awkwardly in the still air.
‘I said...catch you later Mr. Tree!’
Simon felt his mouth hang open as he saw the figure run off at full speed, delighting in it's new found body. He shouted after him to come back, please! Come back! But all around him remained silent as the dusk began to close in, the wind picking up, rustling the leaves at his fingertips and causing his whole body to shake in arthritic swaying, his every sinew feeling near snapping point. An owl began to shriek somewhere nearby as the other sounds of the wood began to fall silent. Simon started to sob.

The End

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Horror Fiction - Penance

Dark Fiction Image


By Casey Douglass

Edgar trudged through the mire of mud and cart tracks that criss-crossed the dirt high street like fat worm trails, the imprints of hundreds of horseshoes creating deep pools of tea coloured water. He wrapped his cloak more tightly around himself with gnarled hands as the rain plummeted with a renewed ferocity. The road was deserted, the main throng of people still in the main square enjoying the festivities. A distant scream stabbed through the thatched roof tops before reaching the low hanging clouds.
Edgar shook his head at the raucous cheer that followed, the half baked whining of a flautist mingling with the thuds of dozens of makeshift drums. He glanced nervously around but found himself to be alone as night deepened in the ramshackle village. He veered off the main road and down a narrow byway, the old cottages leaning so closely towards each other that he became nauseous at the feeling of mass teetering above him.
Warm yellow light shone from the grimy windows, its reflection casting a lattice pattern on the ground. Edgar took one more turn and squeezed down the side of a dilapidated old house which bore a small sign informing the world that it had rooms to let. Reaching an almost invisible side door, he fumbled with a large iron key and let himself in. The door thudded shut in the tiny alleyway, dislodging lingering rain drops from the exposed joists above, the subsequent cascade pattering into the already saturated ground. As the last drop fell, a shadow slowly detached itself from the deeper gloom at the alley mouth and carefully moved towards the door.

The fire flared brightly as Edgar pumped the bellows, the unruly smoke fighting with the smell of damp and mould. He turned and removed his cloak, draping it carefully over a drying rack to one side of the hearth. His grey fringe was plastered to his forehead, small rivulets of water running down his nose. He raised an arm and brushed his sleeve against his face. Lifting a taper from a small vase to one side he lit it carefully from the flames before moving across the room, trying to light the oil lamps before the flame reached his finger tips. He puffed gently and blew it out before throwing the thin blackened stick into the fire.
He stood in the middle of the room and surveyed his temporary domain. It was a threadbare room, the only stand out features being the fireplace, a small desk, a bed in the opposite corner and what once might have been a comfortable armchair. A small washbasin was squeezed into a small nook in the other corner but the large rusted hole in the bottom showed that it was certainly for decoration only. He smiled.
‘I do like the glow of a nice fire!’
A gentle knock on the door made him flinch. He clenched his hands into fists as he deliberated what to do. Nobody should have known who he was or what he had been doing, so the chances were that it was someone lost or looking for a previous tenant. He blew out a sigh of air and moved to the door, his face a war of half expressions, trying to settle into something that looked self assured.
He twisted the key and creakily opened the door. A dark form blotted out the light from the house opposite, the earthy smell of the rain wafting into his face.
‘Mr. Edgar Wright?’ The voice was jovial and youthful, a smell like honeysuckle carried on the breath. Edgar’s mind whirled in a maelstrom of fear. Who was this and how did he know my name and where I am staying? Realising a brief hesitation had turned into a far longer pause, already probably confirming to the stranger that it was him, he sighed.
‘Yes...that’s right. Who are you?’
‘Oh thank goodness, I was afraid I had the wrong house. I am Ruvian Fellows, and I have information for your line of work.’
Edgar’s heart thudded in his chest. So...he knows what I do too. He has all the power and I am at his mercy, I may as well let him in and see what he has to say.
‘You’d better come inside.’
Edgar moved aside to let the shape inside, quietly impressed with the sterling job he had made of keeping his voice calm and confident. The figure was already shrugging itself out from a thick hooded cloak as Edgar closed the door on the darkness outside. When he turned back, a blonde young man stood in the centre of the room, smiling at him, the dripping cloak held at arms length.
‘Oh, err that can go over there next to mine if you like,’ Edgar took it from him and hooked it over the drying horse.
‘Please, have a seat,’ he motioned to the rickety chair near the fire. The smartly dressed young man eased back into the chair, the smile still on his face.
‘This is a...let’s just say...rustic room!’ he laughed.
Edgar moved to the small bed and slowly sat on the corner facing the man, his back clicking noisily, his face betraying the merest glimmer of pain.
‘It’s enough, I don’t intend on staying long.’
‘No, I can imagine,’ the smile slid from the face. ‘I’m sure certain people would pay handsomely to find out where you are...sympathizers and what not.’ Ruvian’s eyes went glassy, the muscles on the sides of his jaw line momentarily clenching.
Edgar felt a chill run through him, freezing the acid in his stomach to a dull ache.
‘And are you one of those people?’
The face broke into a broad grin and Ruvian laughed raucously.
‘No no! I’m sorry, I’ve always been a bit of a joker...are you okay? You have gone quite pale!’
‘I’ll be fine, it’s been a trying day.’
Ruvian laughed louder this time.
‘Trying day! That’s a good one!’
Edgar felt his face flush as he watched Ruvian enjoying his unintentional joke. He sniffed.
‘I don’t find it funny, I take no pleasure in what I do, although of course I feel it is my duty.’
Ruvian spluttered and sighed out a deep breath, trying to regain his composure.
‘Of course, I didn’t mean to offend you. Others I’ve met have had a more morbid sense of humour about things that’s all, but the error is mine. I shouldn’t have assumed you all to be the same. May I ask, how long have you been a witch finder?’
‘Fourteen years now.’
‘That’s a very quick answer if you don’t mind me pointing it out.’
Edgar stood from the bed and paced over to the desk. He stared down blankly at the few items scattered across it, his eyes finally settling on the black leather bound book with the golden title.
‘It was a swift answer because my work weighs on me heavily, and I feel each and everyone of those years like a grinding stone hung around my neck.’
He brushed a finger across the rough surface of the leather, his finger tips tracing the well worn cross. The book vibrated to his touch, sending a shock up the length of his arm and into his mind. He stood motionless for a few moments, the noises of the house and his guest mingling with the humming inside his head. He closed his hand into a fist and slammed it down hard on to the desk. He heard the rustling of Ruvian getting to his feet behind him, the glow from the fire at the edge of his vision distorting as Ruvian partially blocked the light. Edgar turned and addressed him with a stiff face.
‘If you don’t mind, I am weary and feeling fractious. If you have something to tell me that is of some use please do, otherwise I must ask you to leave.’
Ruvian gently nodded and sat back down slowly, carefully resting his right ankle on his left knee, his hands pressed together in a mock prayer fashion, the tips gently pushing into the underside of his chin.
‘I have information about a plot to assassinate the three most prominent witch finders in the country.’
Edgar nodded and moved back to the bed, sinking down onto it wearily.
‘There are always plots afoot to do that.’
‘Yes, but this one is an inside job.’
‘Inside from where?’
‘The church.’
Edgar’s mouth fell open in abject horror.
‘Yes, although I am sorry to say it.’
Silence fell between them, the crackling logs in the fire the only sound to stir the heavy atmosphere.
‘How do you know about it?’
‘I was a servant at the meeting. I mean, there were around thirty high rollers there, Lord Maryland, His Reverence the Holy Father, Albacas the I said they were all there!’
Edgar felt hot and chilled at the very same time. It couldn’t be. Why on earth would they turn on the witch finders? Their own servants. Ruvian continued.
‘I’m sorry, I can see this is a shock and I’m not surprised, it’s a lot to take in. I was as shocked as you are and I sneaked away at the first opportunity to warn as many witch finders as I could. You are the second I have been able to track down, you are very elusive people, although that is to your credit.’
‘Who was the first you warned?’
Ruvian shifted in his seat to face the fire more directly, his hands held out against the warm billowing heat.
‘That was young Arthur Moore.’
‘But...he died two weeks ago!’
Ruvian shook his head sadly.
‘Alas, he didn’t take my advice quickly enough and they caught up with him. By they I mean the mercenaries they have hired to fulfil the contract.’
‘Why haven’t they come for me yet?’
‘I think you have been protected by the sheer distance between you and the capital. I mean, look at it out here, it might as well be another world away. It took me thirteen days to get here from Rill, and that’s the nearest town!’
Edgar nodded blankly.
‘What should I do?’
‘Do you know where any other witch finders are? I must warn them too.’
‘Yes of course! Let me think...I know where at least a score or more are, I’ll write it down, it will be easier.’ Edgar stood and hurriedly moved to the desk, shoving things out of the way to gain control of the small writing ledge. Ruvian sat back again in his chair, the merest hint of a smile twitching the corners of his mouth.

Edgar finished his furious scribbling and carried the parchment to Ruvian, who took it carefully and concealed it inside his robe.
‘Thank you Edgar, you are helping me in the best possible way.’
Ruvian’s hand shot out and grabbed Edgar’s wrist in a steely clench that made Edgar’s bones crunch, causing him to squeal in pain.
‘Do you want to know how young Arthur died Edgar?’
‘What are you doing?’ Edgar writhed and struggled but was held effortlessly by Ruvian.
‘I’ll show you! I was there!’ Ruvian stood and chuckled, it had the sound of pebbles rattling around a rusty bucket. He threw Edgar to the floor and stamped down hard on his chest. Edgar choked and gasped, trying to suck in some air to quell the burning feeling in his lungs. He screamed as sharp pains pierced his palms, a loud concussion causing the small room to tremble and quake. Turning his head, he saw a giant iron nail sticking through his left hand and deep into the floorboards. As he turned to look at the other side, he was stopped by Ruvian's face staring intently into his mere inches away.
‘They say witches are the devil’s handmaidens,’ Ruvian began, ‘and this is indeed true. However, you witch finders only seem to kill poor defenceless women, who are about as demonic as a lamb at its mothers teat. Unfortunately, if you kill enough harmless women for being witches, inevitably, you will strike lucky now and then, and be correct in your accusations.’
Edgar panted as he stared into the face in front of him. The fair countenance had slipped and some hellish thing leered down at him. The eyes were black like onyx, the sneering teeth filed to needle point, the skin thin and viscous with veins snaking across white pulsating flesh.
‘Mrs. Pembleton.’
Edgar breathed more deeply now, and began to recite the lords prayer over and over. Ruvian slapped him hard, but it did not stop him.
‘Fine, pray to your god, he can’t help you now. Mrs. Pembleton, the woman you had burnt today...she had powerful friends, as I’m sure you can work out for yourself. The really delicious thing is that thanks to you, I now know where to kill a few more of you meddling types!’
Edgar murmured the prayer more fervently, his head swaying from side to side. Ruvian watched him in quiet contemplation for a moment. He stared over at the desk and his eyes alighted on the bible.
‘I understand you like books of power Edgar. Would you like to see mine?’
Edgar didn’t respond.
‘Of course you would.’
Ruvian reached inside his robe and brought out a large book. Edgar looked away, but the smell caused him to look back in a kind of morbid interest. A rancid stench filled his nostrils, like raw meat left out in the sun for days.
‘Yes take a look.’
The book was thick, thousands of pages probably, and bound in a red cover that glistened and looked partly melted. Strange black writing was etched into the cover, a kind that Edgar had never seen before. Ruvian opened the book and thumbed through a few pages before smiling and looking back.
‘This one should do it.’
He held the open book above Edgar’s face. As the double page spread loomed, Edgar saw that the page was covered in black ink. It wasn’t stationary, it swirled and writhed as Ruvian pushed it nearer, tendrils reaching out from the page towards his face. One much longer than the others brushed Edgar’s cheek. Immediately a barb dug into Edgar’s skin, latching on and jerking his head upwards. He screamed. Ruvian dropped the book onto Edgar’s face, the thick volume muffling the shrieking. There was a wet tearing sound and after a few leg twitches, Edgar’s body became motionless. Ruvian reached down and picked up the book, snapping it shut with a thunder clap. The exposed skull gaped up at him, its empty expression shining in the flickering firelight. He looked down and grimaced.
‘Oh dear, this blood will never wash out of this damned robe!’
He chuckled a little as he returned the book to its cloth hiding place, his hand brushing against the other piece of parchment. He slid it out as he sat once more in the chair, a self satisfied smile on his face.
‘Right then, where to next?’
He read the writing.

The scream of rage reached the main square and halted the festivities. It was the kind of beastly roar that triggered some innate survival mechanism inside the monkey brain of a human. Husbands clutched wives and children ran and hid under skirts. A thunder clap punctuated the outburst and the silence that followed carried such a tension that the air threatened to crush the crowd.
It was sometime later when a brave soul happened upon an open doorway, the wind banging the wretched fragments of door that were left open and closed. It was another brave soul who actually got inside the small room without throwing up. The room was shredded, the furniture and ageing decoration torn and whirled around the small space, large vicious splinters driven into every surface at crazy angles. Alone in the centre, the mutilated body on the floor, a blood soaked piece of parchment rammed into the left eye socket. Gingerly it was picked up, and upon finding someone who could actually read, was found to say:

Do not think that I am fooled by you and your disguise. The stench of hell sticks to you no matter how much perfume you wear or drink. I know I cannot run but if you think that I would give up my brothers, you are very much mistaken. The final victory shall be ours and mine! Tell your master that I have bested you and see what punishment he will prepare for you. I go now to my eternal peace, feeling much better about the things I have done and ordered to be done. Thank you good sir, this wouldn’t have happened had I not met you! - Edgar Wright.

The End

I submitted this story for a competition awhile ago, and while I didn't win, and can see some of the ways the story fails, I am happy enough with it to use as my first posted piece, and tired enough of it to not be inclined to tinker with it anymore.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Did something just move? - Hello

It's time to do that first post, that corrupting moment where a pristine blog or page becomes sullied with the thoughts and ideas of the creator, imposing his will on the limp and dead form that is laid before him. That's a bit Frankenstein-esque but it seems a fitting way to start things.

I have only studied writing seriously for the last few years, but have always had a love of writing my own stories, even to the extent of asking our English teacher at school when we could write another story. Sadly, the answer back then was something along the lines of "That's about it I'm afraid."

I have been struggling with a chronic illness for the last decade or more, and this has led to me leading a very indoors life. When I am not resting and trying to feel slightly less than shit, I am quite limited in my choice of hobbies or activities to pass the time. Since being ill I have done a few correspondence courses, the last of which was a two year diploma in literature and creative writing, done with the good people at the Open University. While finding the course easy enough to understand, the effort required for me to write, with old-school pen and paper or even on a PC, was quite substantial, and left me more often than not feeling worse than ever. I did however rediscover my love of writing, and my course marks and tutors seemed to suggest that it was something that I could do, and do very well. So here I am.

I have an affinity for writing horror stories. I will turn my hand to other styles but I think horror will be my main focus for sometime to come. My biggest influences in the horror field being authors like HP Lovecraft, Brian Lumley and James Herbert. I do like the genres of fantasy and scifi also, so some of my work may feature elements of those. I greatly admire the humour and invention in Terry Pratchett's discworld novels, and also the epic scale of works like JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion books.

As a first post goes, I think that is enough for now. I am currently pondering and sifting through some of my finished short fiction that I feel is worthy of being posted, so hopefully something should be up in the next few days.

Thank you for reading,