BONES III

Perfect. Just in time for Halloween! 🙂 the Kindle version of Bones III is now available on Amazon!! I have a story in this collection entitled “Hitchhiker.”
Do you remember that micro-fiction piece, “Hitchhiker” that I wrote for FF? Well, I decided to expand the story and you can now read the longer version in this anthology. 🙂

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There are bones of the dead everywhere, and they’re sharp. Under your feet as you walk across your yard, in the cement of buildings, under the foundation of your home, in the coffee you drink, in the food you eat. Science estimates 100 billion human beings have lived and died. There are bones everywhere. There are skeletons everywhere, from universities to unnamed places we really don’t want to know about. We love skeletons as we are walking skeletons. There’s an old phrase about skeletons in the closet. What if the skeleton in your closet is real? When we look at strangers, friends and family we fail to see the skull behind the face. And the eyes of skulls are dark and deep. These works of art, poetry and short stories cut deep. To the bone.

Featuring the works of

James S. Dorr
Mary Genevieve Fortier
Robert Edward Petras
C. Rowe
Brian Barnett
Mathias Jansson
Judith Roney
DJ Tyrer
Patricia Anabel
Jerry Langdon
Lemmy Rushmore
Richard King Perkins II
Judith Skillman
Jane Blanchard
Alex S. Johnson
David Slater
David S. Pointer
Lemmy Rushmore
DJ Tyrer
Michael Tugendhat

Tonya L. De Marco
Rachel Anding
R.T.Sirk
Matthew Wilson
Essel Pratt
Alessandro Manzetti
Magenta Nero
Russ Bickerstaff

Scáth Beorh
T Maxim Simmler
Steve Foreman
Phil Sloman
John Ledger
Alexander Sawyer-Irish
Dona Fox
David Schütz II
K.Z. Morano
Sheldon Woodbury
Kerry E.B. Black
Michael Kellar
Josh Pritchett
John W. Dennehy
Barry Rosenberg
Roger Cowin
Lesa Pascavis Smith
Doug Rinaldi
Michael Faun
Mike Jansen

edited by James Ward Kirk

cover art and illustrations by Jerry Langdon

Throwback Tales: Wooden Lips

Wooden Lips
By K.Z. Morano

The cellar door is a wound, a break on the earth’s skin. It is a gash in the ground where malignant thoughts trickle like blood into the cesspit of my filthy brain. The cellar door is a mouth… the wooden lips of a whore whispering obscenities into my ear, sticking her spectral tongue into my acoustic tunnels and to the roof of my skull to caress murderous designs into being.

She tells me what she wants me to do.

She tells me what I want to do.

She speaks to me even with her lips tightly shut, bolted with heavy metal.

The cellar door is hungry. And her cries follow me even to my sleep, soft fragmented sobs that swell into angry screams as midnight approaches and the moon’s fat face pales from the anticipated terror.

I try to fight her, I swear, every single time.

But then there’s the scratch… the sound of sharp fingernails raking against the door, creating deep cuts into the sensitive sheath of my sanity.

Feed me, she says.

I can hear the seismic growling of her empty belly, persistently reminding me of my duty. I walk towards the door… that other door. I turn the knob cautiously as if the monster were on the other side. The rusty joints creak to reveal the sacrificial lambs, their eyes floating towards me, terror blanching their faces.

I have learned to ignore their fright. It is merely a job that must be done. I pick one, a little boy, this time. As I free him from his shackles, a tiny whimper of protest issues forth from dry cracked lips. But he comes with me, nevertheless, the beautiful bleatless baby sheep, with his skin smooth and tight over his fragile skeleton.

I take him to the kitchen where I carve off that skin. I do it with a blank face, with studied precision. Then I stare into my work—that amorphous figure of glistening pink flesh. Peeled of all pretensions, he is nothing but meat—a sexless, lifeless substance, her evening meal. I take his flayed body outside where stars always over-sprinkle the sky… falsely festive, my co-conspirators, for they have witnessed me doing this for years and years.

I unlock the cellar door, cautiously, reverently. Now that her lips are parted, I can hear her voice more clearly, murmurous sounds of pleasure sliding back and forth in her muddy throat. Her malodorous breath reaches my nose—the smell of the earth’s intestines, the stench of digested matter, of pulped flesh, of decaying bodies.

The meat sticks to my flesh, clings to me as if seeking protection. I drop it into the cellar door, into that gaping mouth and into that throat… that tunnel stretching into eternity. It may take a while to satisfy her. Yes, it may take a very long time. And I have devoted my entire life simply for that purpose. I replace the locks on her lips… those wooden cellar lips, knowing that she’ll be quiet, pacified for now.

Often, I wonder what would come of this, sure that someday, they—all the children that I have fed her—will return, resplendent in their new skin. Will they come for me then? Will they be grateful? Or will they exact their vengeance? Only time will tell.

How long, I wonder, will the locks be able to hold the door?

How long before they come crawling out of her pestilential hole?

My sleep becomes plagued with all these thoughts, my pillows always bloody like butchered sheep. I wash my hands often, over and over, until they are raw. Right now, there is only one thing I know. I serve that voice in my head… the voice of whatever unutterable monstrosity that dwells beneath the cellar door.

Copyright: © 2013 K.Z. Morano

Note: First appeared in Cellar Door Volume II: Words of Beauty, Tales of Terror, JWK Fiction, December 2013 and
Reprinted in Best of Horror 2013, JWK Fiction, August 2014

Sooo… 10 days until Halloween and it just occurred to me that I don’t have any scary stories coming out this month! 😦 However, some of my stories will be appearing in various anthologies in November, December, and of course, early 2015. I’ve been receiving some invitations to write for various anthos and the themes are just so sooo awesome that I find it hard to resist! 🙂 In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of my previously published pieces. The rights have reverted back to me so I can now post them here on my blog for everyone to read. Thanks for reading the story! 😉 xoxo

Pittsburgh Writer Best Horror Fiction

THE PITTSBURGH WRITER RECOMMENDS 100 NIGHTMARES

read the best fiction

http://pittsburghwriter.net/horror.htm

Don’t forget to view the other recommended indie books on their page. All recommendations are evaluated on the merits of originality, writing achievement, and entertainment value. Thank you. 🙂

K.Z. ❤

a shout-out to Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author Charles Day

It means a lot to have a blurb written by an author that you truly respect and admire.

Inside my upcoming book, 100 Nightmares, are a few words from Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author Charles Day.

Charles Day A.K.A, the evil Jester, is the Mentor Program Committee Chair for the Horror Writers Association and co-chair for their NY/Long Island chapter, member of the HWA library committee and a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. He is the Co-Owner/Operator at Grant-Day Media, Co-Founder/CEO at Evil Jester Comics and Co-Founder/CEO at Evil Jester Press.

More than that, Charles Day is a truly great guy. He is undoubtedly one of the coolest writers that I know. Despite his talent and success, he has always managed to remain humble.

Charles is also an artist and an illustrator—a man of many talents and passions. He’s a very hardworking person and I am so thankful, truly honored that he took time out of his busy schedule to read an advanced copy of my book.

You’ll be pleased to know that Charles Day has plenty of projects lined up for 2014, including his first co-authored novel with Mark Taylor, REDEMPTION (April, 2014) a comic book series based on the ADVENTURES OF KYLE McGERRT trilogy, and THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF comics series (Yes! I’m really looking forward to this one! I had so much fun reading the book and absolutely fell in love with the characters. Remember, this was the novel that changed my mind about YA horror). 🙂 🙂
Watch out too for his first middle-grade series, THE UNDERDWELLERS, and his third YA novel, IMMORTAL FAMILY.

If you like well-written atmospheric mystery and horror with interesting and believable characters, be sure to check out some of Charles Day’s page-turners! xo

Bram Stoker Award®-nominated novel The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief

and

Deep Within
— a story of an ancient terror reborn