Harkening back to the glory days of gothic romance that had us up reading all night, HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents:
Haunts & Hellions edited by Emerian Rich
13 stories of horror, romance, and that perfect moment when the two worlds collide. Vengeful spirits attacking the living, undead lovers revealing their true nature, and supernatural monsters seeking love, await you. Pull the blinds closed, light your candle, and cuddle up in your reading nook for some chilling—and romantic—tales.
With stories by: Emily Blue, Lucy Blue, Kevin Ground, Rowan Hill, Naching T. Kassa, Emmy Z. Madrigal, R.L. Merrill, N.C. Northcott, Emerian Rich, Daniel R. Robichaud, Daphne Strasert, Tara Vanflower, and B.F. Vega.
An excerpt from Haunts & Hellions
Blood and Dust
The tents were empty, dust blowing through them, canvas flapping violently. Rosalyn huddled inside her wagon, daring not to move. Not yet. It was too quiet. All the voices had died down and the animals were silent. An elephant’s trumpeting sounded off in the distance.
Run, Eleanor. Be free.
She could picture Eleanor, her elephant friend, roaming across the vast duned plains looking for her lost sisters from another continent. Elephants never forget and so many times Rosalyn had been haunted by the pained look of sadness in the elephant’s teary eyes. How confused she must have been, taken from her home, only to be locked by chains and forced to perform for dolts who laughed at her dancing, not knowing, or caring, how she suffered.
Eleanor would survive better than any of the humans could. She had taken out quite a few of the bandits with her stomping feet and massive waving trunk. If only she’d had her tusks. That would have been a show.
Rosalyn’s wagon rocked with a burst of wind. The sound of the pelting sand outside grew deafening. When would it pass?
A moment of quiet was just enough to look out. Just enough to see if anyone had survived the attack.
It had been stupid to bring the carnival to Oklahoma. No one had any money there, but they were making their way toward California, the land of milk and honey. Rosalyn would never get there now, everyone was dead. Everyone. If it hadn’t been for her abilities and the cabinet in her wagon in which she hid, she might be dead, too.
She closed her eyes. Her heart ached. They had taken her in as family when her father sold her to the traveling band. She had been one of them. Now, they were all dead. And for what? A few measly coins? Some horses? Some wagons? Food? People were savages when they were hungry. She wondered if the bandits had even left the bodies behind. Perhaps they made a meal of them, too. At least some of them had also been killed.
Good job, Elenor. She looked down at her hands and squeezed them tightly.
“Mama, Mama!” she cried out, her voice shrill in her ears, strangled by tears. “Mama! Wake up, Mama!”
“You took off the gloves! We told you to never take off the gloves!” Her father wept. “It’s all your fault, Rosy. We told you to never take off the gloves!”
“But Mama was sick. I was trying to help her,” she cried.
“She was sick because of you and now she’s dead!”
Rosalyn awoke with a start, her heart pounding like horse hooves in her chest. She sucked in a deep breath and held it, opening her eyes to peer out at blackness. It was nighttime, the winds had died down. She was still alive, still safe inside her cabinet. Dare she creep out? Dare she view the aftermath?
No. Not yet. Still too soon. They could be lingering nearby. She wasn’t ready to see the aftermath.
Sleep. She pulled her gloves up, tightening the leather against her fingers, and tucked her folded hands beneath her hot cheek. She closed her eyes. When the sun rose, she would try. She couldn’t stay inside this cabinet forever. No more dreams.
To read more, read Haunts and Hellions at: Amazon.com