Posted on July 15, 2015 by Billzilla
The Hungry Dead
Selected & Edited by Lester Smith
In a tribute to the speed at which the publishing industry is changing these days, The Hungry Dead is the first collection – that I’m aware of, at least – that purports to have been solicited, edited, collected and at the printer within one month. The fact that the solicitation process took place at least partly online may account for some of that speed.
The Hungry Dead is a collection of poetry and short stories that mostly hovers around the title’s stated theme. The excellent and evocative cover image shows a slightly decayed – yet no less well turned-out – young woman, a plate of brains in front of her, gold-plated knife and fork in hand.
Posted on October 31, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli
I am pleased to present you with a free flash fiction piece as my Halloween treat to you. This story is entitled “A Different Kind of Treat.” For more about my games, stories and books, visit www.mlwrites.com.
A Different Kind of Treat
Blood-red shafts of sunlight filter through a dirty cabin window, kissing a row of colorful glass bottles. One by one the bottles shine with anticipation as they reveal their grisly contents. Three eyes spin in a green flask; a pair of wings beats urgently in another.
“What’s that, Momma?” A child’s finger points to a jar of wrinkled entrails sitting high on a kitchen shelf. The boy, who stands about three feet tall, is covered in dust and flour. His skin is marred with muddy blisters.
“Oh nothing special, Alwin,” Belinda replies airily as she pulls a frilly apron over her head. “Just something I cook with now and again. You hungry?”
“Want candy.” Alwin rubs his bloated stomach. “Chocolate, ‘specially.”
She flashes him a crooked grin and picks a small book off the burnished wood counter. Has it really been a year since she last used her recipe book?
Posted on October 31, 2009 by Flames
Posted on October 2, 2009 by Flames
Hello, horror fans. As the ghost of Halloween past, I feel it is my duty to remind you that the past is sometimes more enticing than the present.
This time last year, FlamesRising.com offered you a series of treats that came in a variety of flavors.
Throughout October, several horror authors and game designers lent a hand (and even a finger or two) to record their tales describing a broad range of monsters — including ghosts not unlike myself.
Posted on January 6, 2009 by Matt-M-McElroy
Jeff Preston has been working in the RPG industry as a freelance illustrator and concept artist for several years. His art has been featured in products released by Chaosium, Atlas Games, Catalyst Game Labs and many others.
Recently Jeff was one of the featured artists in the Halloween Horror series here at Flames Rising. Jeff has also been busy working on some of the Shroud products with the folks at One Bad Egg.
I recently had the chance to ask Jeff a few questions about his work…
Posted on October 31, 2008 by JessHartley
Today’s monster is brought to us by author and game designer Jess Hartley (Hunter: the Vigil, Reliquary) and artist Brad McDevitt (Blood!).
Vampires have always been a favorite monster here at Flames Rising.
Created by Jess Hartley
With art by Brad McDevitt
No one knew the “real” him.
Everyone says that – that people just can’t see the “real” them – but they had no clue what it was really like. No idea what “different” really meant. The leather soles of his shoes sounded out a slow, steady heartbeat on the sidewalk as he approached the club. It was early, only a few hours after sundown, but a crowd had already gathered. Corralled behind red-velvet ropes, the has-beens and wanna-bes milled restlessly, preening and posing as they waited for an opportunity to make a break into the club itself under the bouncer’s watchful eye. He didn’t bother queuing up, but instead directly approached the mountain of a man who guarded entrance to the club.
Posted on October 30, 2008 by Flames
We have another addition to the Halloween Horror series today. This time author and game designer Will Hindmarch (Damnation City, Things We Think About Games) shows us a twisted little creature with a taste for words…and other horrible bits.
The Deep-Seated Bogey
Created by Will Hindmarch
Not everyone catches the attention of a deep-seated bogey, and if you’re lucky you never will. Once you have a deep-seated bogey, it has you, too. Supposedly the only way to get rid of a deep-seated bogey is to starve it out… but no one’s ever pulled it off.
Deep-seated bogeys are attracted to clutter and junk. They get into attics and closets, where they nest in boxes of worn-out action figures and forgotten stuffed animals. They page through old yearbooks and read the letters you keep. If it’s written in, it’s fair game.
Posted on October 29, 2008 by Flames
We’ve got a new monster by Jason L Blair (Little Fears, Emergence) for the Halloween Horror collection. Be sure to check out his other monster in the series, The Werewolf of Bedburg if you haven’t already.
Created by Jason L Blair
The Meh-Teh (or Man-Bear) is a cryptid commonly overlooked by enthusiasts of cryptozoology and paranatural studies. Often assumed to be the same as a Yeti, the Meh-Teh differs from its peak-dwelling cousin in a few ways.
The first way is the most obvious one and that is its hair color. While the Yeti tends to range from white to golden-blond, the Meh-Teh’s hair tends toward black or dark brown.
Posted on October 28, 2008 by mforbeck
Today’s new monster in the Halloween Horror series is brought to us by author and game designer Matt Forbeck (Mutant Chronicles, Ghost Stories). Matt knows a thing or two about little “trick-or-treaters” and adds a twist to a common Halloween night activity. Artist Aaron Acevedo adds a bit of gruesome horror to this entry in his own style.
Just what kind of horror is under the cute little costume?
The Hollow Wee ’Un
Created By Matt Forbeck
“Trick or treat!”
“Oh! Don’t you just look incredible! What a wonderful costume!”
“Trick or treat!”
“Hold a moment, honey. I don’t see your parents. Aren’t you a little young to be wandering around out here on your own?”
“Trick or treat!”
Posted on October 27, 2008 by Flames
Today’s addition to the Halloween Horror series comes from writer, reviewer and musician Jason Thorson.
Taking a bit of inspiration from his passion for music, Jason brings us a new monster.
The Fogcrawler’s Thrall
Created by Jason Thorson
When he was interviewed for the book, “Hunting Ghosts: A Skeptic’s Account of the Paranormal,” Randall Bailleaux spoke about the legend of the Fogcrawler with the same matter-of-fact drawl that he used daily to promote his swamp tour.
“Those fellas from the “Ghost Trackers” TV program might be full a’ crap, but they ain’t stupid, that’s for sure. I told ‘em they had free reign, but they wouldn’t budge. They would not come down here.”
Randall took one last drag from his smoldering cigarette, dropped it onto the dock and smashed it beneath his boot.
Posted on October 26, 2008 by Billzilla
Freelance writer and reviewer Bill Bodden has taken a classic Halloween entity and given a new twisted presence in our Halloween Horror series. Artist Jeff Preston helped bring this creature to life with some of his darkest art.
Scarecrows are a staple image of Halloween, but when was the last time you found a scarecrow even slightly scary?
Created by Bill Bodden
Scarecrows are merely discarded clothing stuffed with straw and stuck on a pole to simulate a human presence in farm fields to keep larger pests, like deer and crows, away from food crops. Ancient ritual demands that the scarecrows be ceremonially burned just after the harvest — around the time of Samhain, or Halloween – and added to celebratory bonfires as an offering to traditions we no longer remember. If the scarecrows aren’t burned, wandering spirits might decide to move into one, animating it and causing all sorts of mischief. Some spirits just like to play pranks, while others have a less well-developed sense of humor….
Posted on October 25, 2008 by Flames
The latest addition to the Halloween Horror collection is brought to us by game designer Malcolm Craig (a|state, Hot War).
This creature has no known name, but it is feared by those who remember the old stories.
A Letter From The Archives
Created by Malcolm Craig
Fragmentary letter recovered from former Soviet archives.
My Dear Alexei Ivanovich,
You will doubtless be aware of our recent expedition into that most desolate part of the Urals. We entrained in Sevrdlovsk, bound for Ivdel where we would begin our trek. Under the orders of the Minister, our group was composed of [letter becomes water-stained and unclear at this point].
Academician Kotlov was, by this point, exhibiting increasing signs of stress and he began to make anti-revolutionary statements which Comrade Captain Takaishvili was obvious in noting. The avalanche of the previous day and the loss of Alekseev and Kramskoi had, understandably, placed him in a difficult position regarding his responsibility.
Posted on October 24, 2008 by davidahilljr
Freelance author David Hill and artist James Lannan bring us a new monster for the Halloween Horror collection today. These little creatures may seem harmless, but they can certainly become vicious from time-to-time.
Just be careful next time you go exploring in the junkyard…
Created by David Hill
With Art By James Lannan
Skulkers-in-the-Piles, sometimes called “The Refuse,” are vaguely humanoid marsupials that live in and around human trash. They occupy areas where trash accumulates, particularly when finding solid waste in bulk. In recent years, experts suspect that Skulker populations have dwindled, but that is a difficult assertion, as the creatures are remarkably good at hiding in their junk pile empires.
Skulkers have fascinated humans for many years. They have appeared in the folklore and art of urban people, often mistaken for large reptiles or rodents. Children tell stories and draw these pictures, as the creatures have a mysterious way of veiling themselves from the minds and memories of adults.
Posted on October 23, 2008 by Flames
Another bit of fright from game designer Chuck Wendig (Hunter: the Vigil) is here for the Halloween Horror collection. This monster just might be one of us.
Created by Chuck Wendig
I am reformed.
It’s been the same every ten years or so. Grave dirt in my mouth. Pillbugs nestled in my nose and eyes. My parts come back together. The skin reaches for skin; tendons tangle and braid and knit. I’m drawn back to myself and I struggle to the light and then I march out into the world.
I always find them. Don’t know how, I just do. It’s like I can smell their blood, like rich sap from a broken family tree. Teenagers, usually. Laughing and dancing and drinking and fucking. Ignorant to what’s coming. Ignorant to what’s come before.
Posted on October 22, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
My own contribution (with a little help from Brad McDevitt) to the Halloween Horror series is available today. I decided to take the “ghost story” and give it a little bit of an edge. There is more to this tale if folks are interested. You’ll have to let me know…
What are ghosts afraid of?
Created by Matt M McElroy
With art by Brad McDevitt
“This one here, the blue folder…” the boss had said while pointing to the files on his desk.
I remember picking it up from the stack and flipping through it while the boss rambled on about how things used to be in the city, something about respect and a hard days’ work, I honestly don’t remember at this point.
What else do you remember from that day?
Well, um, I think there were a couple of witness statements and some scans of old newspaper articles. Nothing conclusive. I do remember looking up when the boss turned away from the window to tell me something else.
Posted on October 21, 2008 by Flames
Today’s addition to the Halloween Horror series is not really a monster, but it is something of a nightmare and more than fitting for our collection. Brought to us by game designer and author, John Wick (Thirty, Necromonpoly), is a place of horror you don’t want to visit, Halloween or not.
How do you get in? How do you get out?
Created by John Wick
The Room remembers you. It keeps a little piece of you. Keeps it close to its heart.
The Room keeps little pieces of those who dream there. Steals it from you. Just a little piece. And in the Room, the pieces it keeps try to escape. They stow away in your coat. Hiding in your hat. Ditch between the cracks in your shaving mirror.
They try to escape, but the Room keeps them close. Very close. In the Room, you can smell her hair and taste his cigar. Feel the cut of the broken bottle as it ripped her skin. Everyone who ever dreamed here left a little something of themselves behind. Memories and dreams caught in its teeth.
Posted on October 20, 2008 by Flames
Freelance writer John D. Kennedy (Shadow Nations) and artist Jeff Preston have a new monster for the Halloween Horror series today.
When fighting the undead, be extra careful around the zombies making buzzing noises…
Created by John D. Kennedy
With art by Jeff Preston
“I seen a bug that’ll sting a man. Seen plenty that’ll eat one…first time I ever seen one live in a man though.” – Jerry Bowell, exterminator.
Resembling a cross between a centipede and a beetle, the Corpse Bug is a creature often found living at the edge of towns and cities. A dark brown color, the bug is between two to three inches in length and possesses two pincers on it’s body, one at the mouth with the other at the end of the thorax. These pincers aid in chewing through muscles and skin, while it’s eight legs end in small hooks to aid in climbing and gathering materials.
Posted on October 19, 2008 by Flames
The latest addition to the Halloween Horror series is from game designer and author, Monte Cook (Worlds of Their Own, Ptolus). Monte took a short break from researching his latest project for this bit of horror.
There are things in the deep best left alone, things that are very hungry…
The Kragethogil and the Reapers
Created by Monte Cook
Sometimes, the most terrible thing is that which you never see. The kragethogil dwells deep underwater, a monstrously vast, ghastly abomination of spiny tendrils and sightless eyes. No one knows precisely what it looks like, because the creature never comes to the surface, and never confronts its prey.
That’s for the reapers to do.
Through a horrific psychic intrusion, the kragethogil spawns tiny extensions of itself within the minds of swimmers and fishermen straying into waters they should have avoided. After a brief and bloody gestation, the telepathically implanted larva takes control of the host and transforms it from within, assimilating its flesh into its own. The result is a reaper.
Posted on October 18, 2008 by Filamena
Next up in the Halloween Horror series is a little something from freelancer writer Filamena Young and artist J.R. Blackwell. Together they give us a new look at a bit of myth and legend.
Created by Filamena Young
With Photographic Art by J.R. Blackwell
Eloise Renee Canton does not like the term ‘red cap’ and in fact if you mention it when speaking to her she will grow very cross. If you push her on that name, it’s implication or about her ancestry, she is very likely to grow violent and cause great bodily harm to any and all around.
She’s capable of it as well, though her mostly human face would say otherwise, her jaw can unhinge at the joint and her lips split in several places to allow her the rare ability to bite onto just about anything. Her preference is bone, but she does not widely advertise this fact.
Posted on October 17, 2008 by Flames
A new twist on a classic horror favorite is today’s entry in the Halloween Horror series. Game designer Jared A. Sorensen (InSpectres, Requiem Chronicler’s Guide) brings us a story about the dead, although not in the way you might be expecting.
A new “working class” with only a few minor drawbacks…
Created by Jared A. Sorensen
There’s a stain on the floor and he’s scrubbing it like it’s blood and the police are on their way, lights flashing, tires squealing. Not fast but vigorous, relentless. We’re watching him. We’ve been watching him through the window for going on ten minutes and he hasn’t let up, hasn’t slowed down a beat. Constant, like a timepiece ticking away the seconds, minutes. Soon to be hours. Jim breaks the spell.
The scrubbing stops. The man crouched over the coffee stain on the carpet stops and looks up. His face is old and gaunt, skin stretched tight over razor cheekbones. That vacant stare. Dead eyes.