Temporary Skeletons Guests

Welcome my dear playfellows. Enter passed the cobwebs and pull up a tombstone-We have a horror filled treat awaiting your presence. Nighty has some visitors who’ve stumbled within the darkened realm and the Electronic Coffin; those which have delved within the darkside and dabbled a bit with the dark art of Horror. Wanna’ play, my dear guests? I do believe they’re ready!
            All my guests author a story in a new anthology that Nighty loves to read with the lights way down low-although you my playfellows, may want to sleep with the lights on, long after perusing this haunting tome. “Temporary Skeletons” by Chupa Cabra House- houses the dark and demonic minds of those who’ve paid us a visit, this loveliest of gloomy evenings...  
            The first to step upon the freshest earth is Jeremy Mays-
            His offering to this book of souls entitled “I Walk”-takes walking for therapy to a whole new level! Oh dear playfellows, this kind of therapy is a real killer!
            Jeremy (Mays), tell your frightful fans what leads your pen to create such darkness-that which gives readers the ooh… chills?
            “First off, I would like to send out a ghoulish thank you. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here. What drives my darkness you ask? That is something that my own mother has been asking my entire life. In reality, I think she is the one to blame. I was corrupted in utero. My mother, while pregnant with my twin sister and me, attended a theater showing of “The Exorcist.” I honestly feel this warped me, creating the person I am today.”
            “The Exorcist” you say-Ooh Nighty sees how possessed by the wicked world of writing has taken over such a devilish soul. (Nighty reaches a long and sharpened claw to caress his cheek-such a delicacy-ah hem-delicate cheek)… Please continue my dear guest-
            “I credit my 4th grade English teacher, Mrs. Helen Hearn and her Treasure Chest Story Starters. She had me pick and write a story for extra credit. I picked something involving a human fly and created a creature that maimed numerous victims. My teacher and fellow students loved it! I fell in love with the concept of writing and the power behind it. A lover of all horror, collector of horror merchandise; and my wife and I have our own paranormal investigating group. I guess you could say a combination of all these things, drive my distribution of darkness into the world.”
            The thought of maiming at such a young age-you are a devious delight Mr. Mays! Ah, you seek out the dead to play, I see. Feel free to investigate my realm. I’m certain, you will be utterly taken by what resides within. (Nighty turns her head to stifle a giggle.)
            Therapy, the main topic of your horrifying tale; Psychological Horror, such a demonic delight! Is this a subject you like to tease your victims… eh… readers with?
            “I have various versions of torture I like to dish out. “I Walk,” is one that primarily deals with the psychological aspect. Although, I do have many other weapons hidden away in the closet. Monsters, supernatural forces, and just the evil human nature are other aspects that pop up from time to time in my work. My victims… uh I mean readers… sorry… never know exactly what direction they are going to be hit from or specifically by what.”
            Do you hear that my dear playfellows? This scary scribe enjoys torture! Torture of various means! He summons his victims…ooh yes; you dear readers to feast your eyes upon his pages! Dare you deny such a fate!
            So, tell Nighty, have you always been drawn to the “darkside” or have you strayed the path to scribe another genre other than Horror?
            “Though the darkness flows in me through and through, I have dabbled in other genres. I keep two blogs that do not relate to horror; my macabre nature. The first, this centers on my family and the adventures we have. My wife and eleven children are sort of a modern day version of “The Brady Bunch.” The other, unrelated to my love of things that go bump in the night, is kept up by my best friend and myself. We write about topics from music, to movie reviews, to religion and politics. We have been working on a novel based on our own lives, much more comedic in tone than my typical works. My wife and I have been working on a children’s book, far from the horror worlds that I have created, eh? Not so. I wish I could explain myself further, but we don’t want anyone to steal our ideas.”
            Quite the busy writer! So many children to scare… care for! Ooh intrigued am I… a possible horror story for the kiddies, eh? Ooh Nighty won’t tell! (Wicked laughter echoes the realm)
            If there is one thing you’d like your fiendish fans to know about you, what would it be?
            “I am currently working on trying to get a first novel published. I can be found on Facebook. I encourage anyone to seek me out.”
             Nighty watches giddily as Jeremy wanders toward the darkened corridor to investigate the eerie humming only he can hear. Thank you for joining Nighty this evening, Jeremy! (A shrieking ensues the fare thee well)
            If you think Jeremy Mays gave you the creepy crawlies-oh my playfellows, wait until you meet my next guest in the realm, Mr. Rick Powell.
            Rick Powell, is definitely no novice to the realm of horror! Nighty can feel the eerie vibration of… oh, maybe that was lunch!
            Anyway, Rick is not only a writer of the macabre, but a poet and an artist! Nighty, is quite familiar with this dark and creative soul. What is it that has drawn you to the darkest forms of art?
“Just the ‘Big Mystery’ that all forms of horror encompass. As Robert Bloch once said, ‘The darkest place in the whole world is right inside the human skull.’ There is no limit to what the imagination holds for the horror genre. In whatever medium of art; in paintings, sculpture and even music, horror can instill both terror and awe. Look at the paintings of Giger or Bosch. The sculptures of Clark Ashton Smith. The music of Krzysztof Penderecki. Every one of these artists can instill a feeling of unease and wonder that you cannot find anywhere else.”
There is no doubt this man has a most phenomenal, philosophic yet creepily, creative mind. The horror comes from somewhere deep in the cryptically, creative genius of the paranormal psyche.
Which do you feel embraces the true nature of this deeply hidden part of your evil... ahem... obscure self?
            “I used to sculpt years ago. Working with clay, is kind of like molding a part of you, right into the medium. It is like you are not molding something with your hands; more like the clay is using your hands to make its true shape come to life. It goes the same with writing in a way. The keys as you type are doing the talking for you. I think a certain, “Nighty Nightmare” might know what I mean. (Mwua-ha-ha-ha). There comes a part where you embrace the darkness in such a way, that you realize you are not embracing it as much as it has become part of you. A sort of psychically conjoined twin. Neither can live without the other.”
You are one, spooky dude Mr. Powell! You have Nighty pinned! Definitely, the darkness becomes one with its creator. As you so netherworldly put-“Neither can live without the other.” Do you, my ally lover of all things dark, have a favorite medium? A chisel? Something extremely sharp perhaps..? (Wickedly laughs).
“I was wondering where that chisel went. You are not using it again on your nightly haunts, are you? You still haven't returned my custom-made European scalpels. (Grrr). To answer your question, there is no more perfect medium than the human mind. Do you think cavemen used specific tools to make their artwork? Ed Gein to make his lampshades?”
The chisel? Oh ah… yes… Well and the scalpels mmm… need a bit of… Well let’s just say a thick red substance has somehow dried and needs ah… removing. I’ll return them sharp as new *cough* good as new after the ritual *choke* this weekend, such beautiful scalpels indeed… (Stifles a wicked giggle) The human mind-yes-such a complex and yet delicate organ. Ooh-those lampshades! How cleverly Evil was Gein!
What inspires the darkness in the deepest, most sinister recess of your horrifyingly creative mind?            
“As far as writing goes, personal experiences and loss. There is no worse haunting than the choices you have regretted in life; the promises you have broken, the people you have hurt. Horror, for me, has been my own personal form of therapy. Horror, and fiction in general, has carried me through some dark times. That, and the artists that inspire me. Machen, Chambers, Ligotti, Lovecraft, Poe, Aickman, etc.”
That which inspires you, my devilish friend, however deep it resides, has a wonderfully wicked and eerie eloquence, once it has surfaced. Just as those who came before-you are a gruesomely, gifted artist.
            The cemetery is oh, so comforting to Nighty! As a mere mortal, tell my minions, why did you choose such a subject?
“Cemetery Entrance” was inspired from a poem I wrote. As I read through the
poem, I had the idea to make it into a story. It may be the only time I convert one of my poems into a story. It was so nerve racking and frustrating, what I put my editor through! So many changes and errors. I think she is still hitting the bottle from what I put her through. (yikes!). As with most of my writing, I had the ending in my head and just started the story from there. I am always fascinated with cemeteries. I would rather walk through a cemetery than anywhere else.”
Fascinating, how you chose to begin with an ending and work your story forward. Many wicked writers use that method to create the creepiest contes. “Cemetery Entrance” as a poem, was lovely-in the horror sense. You have taken the bare bones (A pun most definitely intended) and masterfully manipulated a most moving tale of the macabre! Despite the blood-eh sweat that went into its making, the response you have received makes your love of cemeteries (As is Nighty’s) all worth your while. Nighty agrees that cemeteries are filled with many a story to tell and those long gone will be more than hellishly happy to help. (Screams in delight-hands clapping)
 If there were one thing you'd like your fiendish fans to know about you, what would it be?        
“I live with a mannequin named Lilith. She has been a constant companion of mine for almost 30 years. Even she thinks I am strange.”
Lilith-the beauty she is, I’m sure thrives on your love of the shockingly strange and terrifyingly twisted. Strange? My daunting dear, it is those of us deemed “strange” that awaken and transcribe the great horror stories of all time! Nighty knows where evil dwells. Come a bit closer into the mist-and make room for our last victim…oh, excuse Nighty, visitor Lynda Marie Vanderhoff.
Rick Powell moves closer to Nighty as the mist silently swallows his mortal form.
            A very creepily clever storyline, you’ve created Ms. Lynda. Coffee and a long, hellish drive. Ahh, a road trip Nighty Style! (Cackles maniacally) Is this an inspired piece or is there a bit of terrifying truth to your madness?
“It was one of those write to a prompt sort of things. The prompt was coffee. My husband and I had driven on a road trip. Since we both like third shift, we drove during the dead of night. Those two things came together in my mind; an endless road, a need for something to keep you awake, and a beverage that is more than you bargained for. We actually stopped at a small convenience store. I wrote that stop for the character. However, the character was much more creepy.”
Reality feeds your hunger for horror! Ooh how tasty! Nighty loves how you chose “the dead of night.” Dead and night, two of Nighty’s favorite things! As a “Woman of Horror,” what do you believe is the key to what really scares?
“I think what truly scares is atmosphere. I think the selection of words and the feeling of dread you build is where the horror comes from. Honestly, though, I just like writing things that are weird. I take some “what-ifs,” spin them together in a blender, and then just ride the train. I don’t think monsters are necessarily scary, nor evil. I think humans, being human is sometimes scary enough.”
A blender-the things you could… (Evil grin) Oh yes, the story… so sorry-Nighty was caught in a menacing moment. I agree. Most humans are quite scary. In fact, many are the true monsters in the world- except in Nighty’s realm…I’ll be happy to give you a tour. (Shyly gives what most assimilate as a smile)
What does your Chamber of Horrors resemble? Do you have an evil… ah, hem… instrument that aids your terrifying travels into the Darkside?
“Well, I do have the hounds of Hell that are never far from my side; one large golden retriever who thinks he’s a lapdog and one Chihuahua mix that thinks she’s a Doberman. I do write in a chamber of sorts; my basement, legs curled up, perched on a futon. I do have Tomes of Terror. Well actually, that’s my “to be read” pile of horror anthologies. Usually, the only terror it instills;Will I ever get through them? To help me write, I have a cadre of dark and mysterious minions. Actually, it’s my writer’s critique group. We meet at Tim Hortons. So yeah, scary!”
Hounds of Hell! Yes! Nighty has her own familiar, Countess Tinkula. Her fangs are deliciously devious! A basement you say? Cold, damp, dark, spiders in every corner? Ooh, yes! Minions? (Nighty grins) Ah but you do jest! I shall have to pay this Tim Horton a visit, Nighty Style.
 If there were one thing you’d like your fiendish fans to know about you, what would it be, my dear Miss Lynda?
“I want fans to know that it’s important to support up and coming writers. I am always trolling Amazon, looking for anthologies from small presses. It is places like Chupa Cabra, where writers like me get a chance. I want them to know that finding great writing may mean digging a bit, but we are out there, pounding the keys, having a ball, and trying to get your attention.”
Yes, dear readers, take heed! Lest you be visited by those of the Netherworld! Seek out the lesser known writers. They are the “Kings” of the future! Thank you Lynda! Now, for that tour Nighty promised. Please follow my minions into the darkness…(Cackling maniacally)
Ah, my dear playfellows, our guests have moved further into Nighty’s realm… They shall return, however so-to write more horrifying tales to keep your blood turning cold! In the meantime, pick up a copy of “Temporary Skeletons,” where these and other authors offer stories to seriously scare; testing your sanity. Yes! For Nighty wants us all to Stay Scared… Oh so very Scared... (Screams emanate the realm and Nighty mocks them in delight)
More from these authors!
Jeremy Mays: https://www.facebook.com/jeremy.mays.520
Rick Powell: https://www.facebook.com/tenebraerick
(Radical Dislocations, Wah Lum’s Library, Satan’s Holiday, Welcome to Your Nightmare, Blessings From the Darkness, Nightmare Engine, Dark Eclipse Magazine, Shadows & Light Magazine, Issues 1 & 2, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Cthulhu Haiku II, and Temporary Skeletons)
Lynda Marie Vanderhoff: http://www.lyndamarievanderhoff.com/
(Cadaver’s Anthology)