IT DRIVES ME MAD

Hello!  I hope you’ve all been well since last we met.

The dog days of summer are upon us, so what better way to cool off than by actually getting hotter: courtesy of horror fiction, that is.  I offer for your reading pleasure my latest tale to appear on Pen of the Damned titled It Drives Me Mad.

If you love short horror fiction, remember to stop by the Pen of the Damned blog each Tuesday as a different member of our writer’s group proffers their talent for your reading pleasure.  There aren’t many things that are free in this world, but we, the Damned, offer our conjurings free of charge – if you don’t count the small bit of soul we siphon in exchange!😉

Kick back, relax and allow my latest yarn to drive you mad…

 

IT DRIVES ME MAD

It drives me mad.

That wet smack.

It is all I ever hear.

I watch them in my shower. Wispy bodies through beaded glass.

He is a strong man. Muscle fibers twitch, bounce within his thighs. The fog does not hide everything; not yet.

I see his face, his head thrown back, eyes clenched as if he is in pain. But I know he is not in pain.

Not yet.

That wet smack drives me mad.

It used to be me in the shower. My wife clings to him now. Legs wrapped around his hips, her perfect feet locked together. Locking her; locking them. He holds her, supports her effortlessly the way I once did; the way I want to.

That wet smack intensifies. His urgent groans fill the stall; my wife remains silent. Fog steals them from me. I am allowed the occasional glimpse of her breast pressed against his chest, the way she used to press against mine.

I am not jealous. I cannot be. This is our lifestyle. We share then come back to one another. But I can no longer come back. I cannot have my wife anymore. Not that way, no longer.

I watch them. Wispy bodies within the billowy fog; within the concealing vapor.

That wet smack.

That wet smack.

Then a thud.

The shower stall erupts in a geyser of red. The glass trickles red; all is red. Now that wet smack turns into a moist suckling.

Moist suckling.

I turn away.

***

The doorbell rings.

I am prepared; I am always prepared.

I greet him, make eye contact as always. It excites them. The eye contact. Knowing you offer your wife so willingly; knowing you offer your wife with such confidence. I lead him upstairs. I lead him to the shower. I watch him undress; he knows the rules. They all know the rules. I watch—I must always watch.

She waits for him in the shower. Perfect body glistening, hair dripping along her back; expectant Goddess. How I once loved to pull that hair; how I once loved to ball it within my fist.

She cracks the stall door open for him, beckoning. Her knowing smile arouses him; her knowing smile cuts me at the knees. He steps inside. The fog claims him; claims them. Water splattering the door as I watch. Beaded bodies through beaded glass. That smack.

That wet smack.

The man is anxious, too anxious. My wife is not pleased.

She ends him.

***

Months.

It has been months since my wife has been mine.

I have lost much sleep wondering how; I have lost much sleep wondering why.

I hear her, the same way I hear her every night; night after night. Her voice echoing down the hall; her voice echoing down my spine. Sweet as ever; suggestive as ever. She does not come out of the shower anymore.

Not anymore.

Tonight as she turns the water on, I imagine her perfect body moving through it. I imagine the water sluicing over her skin. She likes the water hot; she always did. Hot water; hot flesh. It disguises the cold, clammy death she has become.

I hear her calling.

Calling.

But she is not my wife. Not anymore.

I pull the covers over my head; she croons to me.

please

pleeeeeease

I no longer trust who she is; I no longer trust what she has become. I know that if I enter the shower, I am lost.

I will get through this night, somehow. I will get through.

When the doorbell rings tomorrow, I will feed her again.

Even as that wet smack drives me mad.
~ Joseph A. Pinto

© Copyright 2015 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

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WHITE

Hi everyone!

I’m prone to quiet spells when it comes to social media and posting; I don’t like bludgeoning people with my work.  Sometimes it’s a necessary evil, I know.  Still, it’s not my style.  My silence doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting, however.  I’m currently putting together my first poetry collection, as well working on a new horror novel.

Speaking of horror, I’d like to share my latest short story, WHITE, which was recently published on Pen of the Damned.  My partner Nina D’Arcangela and I have changed Pen of the Damned‘s format; all stories must now contain a maximum of 1,500 words, down from 2,500.  You should visit our site if you’re not familiar with us; a new story featuring a different Damned author goes live every Tuesday.  And even if you do know who we are, come on down and visit the Damned!

So without further ado, please enjoy my tale, WHITE.

WHITE

They preferred the angry gnash of the storm over the silence.

Like nervous teeth, the panes chattered. The rafters creaked; dust floated down upon their heads.

The man—the man who had been taken in—spoke in a hoarse whisper. “I’ll go. I’ll do it. If it wasn’t for your family, I’d still be out there. Or worse.”

No one answered. No one argued his point, either. Finally, the father spoke. “The shed is about twenty yards back. It’s unlocked.”

The man massaged his crooked chin. “Door swing in or out?”

The father believed it was a good question to ask; this man was sharp. Pride swelled within him. It had been harrowing, but his family had done good, risking their wellbeing to drag the man in from the outside. But a pit burned the father’s stomach. The man had gotten lucky once. Luck would not prevail a second time. “In.”

“Long as the wind didn’t bang it open, I’m good.”

The father pressed his hand against the pane, its surface cooling his fever within. He could see nothing beyond the glass, however. “The generator is in the back, set on blocks. It should be deep enough into the shed to be protected. When you stand in front of it, look down to your right. The gas can will be there.”

“Only one?”

The father felt his family press behind him. Mother’s face stooped lower than the boughs of the snow-laden trees. What remained of them, anyway. She clutched their children—son and daughter—under breasts that hadn’t been touched in years. “Yes.”

“Mm-hmm.” The man knew what that meant. The generator would power the house for another full day, at most. “I won’t allow your family to grow cold. I’ll fill it. When it runs out, we’ll figure out what’s next. Together.”

The man shrugged into his coat, careful not to worsen the tear along the shoulder seam. He tugged his wool hat until it hung low over his brow. He looked at the children, the souls-sucked-dry children. “Together,” the man repeated, not sure for whose benefit he’d said it, and cradled his rifle in his arm.

He reached for the door, but the father seized his hand. “Keep low. Don’t stop.”

The man grunted and was ready. The father twisted the knob. The wind shoved the door aside, and immediately the shrieking swallowed the man as well the snow, the blinding snow. The father threw his back into the door, snaring the blizzard’s icy tendrils in the jam. The storm howled; the panes rattled like tormented bones. “He’ll make it,” the father said, talking to the walls. “He’ll make it.”

The father watched as the man sunk thigh deep into the drift, watched and lost him to the white. The blizzard erased his footprints in one exhale. Then he waited. The minutes passed. “We needed him,” he said to the mother. “It could’ve been me instead.”

“It should have been you instead.”

He exhaled icy smoke, then chewed the inside of his mouth. He slowly turned around, keeping vigil at the pane. Snowflakes clung, mounting and growing ever deeper, white locusts of a great plague. Minutes. Minutes. Minutes passed.

“Gas can’s emptied by now.” The father visualized the man’s progress, the man’s steps. “Priming it…cranking it over…he knows what he’s doing…he knows…”

The children sniffled on the hardened snot clotting their noses. And their mother hugged them close to a heart that had long grown cold.

The father clutched the knob. Waiting. It vibrated in his hand. “Any minute.”

A gust charged the house, a mighty bull outside the walls. The rafters groaned; dust danced upon their heads; small, ghostly marionettes. “Any time now…”

He heard a distant crack. Another trunk snapping. Another tree succumbing to the storm. He thought of his neighbors, the elderly neighbors, for whom he’d once mowed their lawns. “Any…time…now…”

A spirit beckoned from the nether; the man emerged, white, spectral white, coat and hat and legs white, face and brow crusted in wind-driven snow. The rifle slung like a long ice shard over his shoulder. “I told you,” the father said, voice rising like the wind, “I told you!”

The man, mere feet from the door, polluted the drift with a crimson spray. The father jerked from the window as if struck. But his eyes stuck to the pane.

They swirled round the man, the needle teeth, the razor claws, unnatural piranhas of winter’s blight, tearing and cutting as the gale disguised their intentions. The wind kept the man upright, and the drift kept him mired. And they swirled, swirled till the man was no more.

The crimson spray disappeared, the drift a new blank canvas from which to paint. The man’s entrails clung briefly to the pane before slipping away.

He shuddered, the father did, but he would not cry. He covered his mouth. “We lost a good man.”

Then a loud click in the father’s ear. “We lost a good man,” the mother said, “and now we have none.”

The father felt the cold metal against the back of his head. It pushed forward, forcing him toward the door. “We have power now. When it runs out, we’ll figure out what’s next. Together,” the mother said to her children.

“You won’t survive without me.”

“Maybe not. But I sure as hell won’t die with you.”

The rifle burrowed into the base of his skull. He clutched the knob. He would freeze to death without a coat, without the proper clothes. He prayed that would be the best thing to come.

The father stumbled into the maw of the blizzard. It chewed him alive.

“There, there, my babies,” the mother cooed to her children, watching as their father filled the pane. “There, there.”
~ Joseph A. Pinto

© Copyright 2015 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

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MEMORIAL excerpt

What better way to kick off summer than with a horror tale about a torturous and heartbreaking love?

Of course, I’m talking about MEMORIAL, my short story released specifically for Kindle platforms.

Intrigued?  Well please allow me to entice you a bit more with an excerpt from MEMORIAL:

“I believe it’s pointless to ask, Anthony. Those days have long past. Plainly you can see this.” With mournful eyes, the man sipped his bourbon, while into his chest, as if some wounded animal, burrowed a mercilessly bandaged hand.

Anthony’s hand lingered across the tacky remnants of liquor upon the table; within balled fist, a cold wad of bills. He glared upon the sullen man seated before him. “See? Yes, I can.” Fist inched forward, awkward in its urgency. “And as you can plainly see, a job well done will be rewarded.”

“What I do…what I did…never constituted a job. A job does nothing to stir the soul. Only passion achieves such a state of grace.” The man inhaled deeply—of the bourbon or the proposal, left to dangle in air—Anthony was not sure. But he did not appreciate the smooth impassiveness across the man’s alabaster face. Did not appreciate it in the least.

“Passion?”

“Yes. A job is measured by hours. But passion’s hours are timeless.”

“It seems your passion has nearly left you a cripple, while my job has left me a wealthy, wealthy man,” Anthony sneered.

“You are my brother, Anthony. And had you not been, I’d find your gaffe of words truly insulting.”

“At last, bravado found at the bottom of your glass. Is that the residue of passion, Nicholas, or merely passion’s inspiration?”

A thread’s breadth parted Nicholas’ lips as bourbon drizzled tongue. Eyes danced but to the song of another day, transfixed by noiseless, ghostly chords. “Some people wish to choose their vice. But for others, the vice chooses them.”

“Killing yourself slowly with alcohol now, then.”

“It’s not alcohol of which I speak.” The words hung between them.

Hesitation. Eventually Anthony loomed over the table. “She’s gone, Nicholas,” and instantly the music ceased; a blackened veil draped his features. Hand plummeted to the table, the snifter nearly shattering atop the sticky grain. Bourbon splashed Anthony’s knuckles, but fast his posture remained. He studied his brother with dulled satisfaction. Slowly, by inches, he lowered his considerable frame, pouring his bulk into the opposite seat. Watching intently. Silence, broken only by Nicholas’ strangled mewls.

Nicholas dabbed at the corner of his trembling lips. “When?” his voice a hoarse murmur.

“Six months ago. You’ve changed your haunts. It’s made finding you difficult, but not impossible. I thought you had fallen from the face of the earth, too. Like Catarina.”

Stinging, the words. Nicholas winced, eyes searching. Searching.

“The illness…came on suddenly. The doctors could do nothing. Her body already rampant with disease, but Catarina, she said little. You should know well of my wife’s strength.” Anthony’s back stiffened in anticipation, but his brother, snared within the throes of paralysis, offered nothing. “You should know well of many things concerning my wife.”

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MEMORIAL

Nicholas is a sculptor, renowned throughout the land.

But now he suffers from a ruined hand; worse yet, a fractured soul.

When his brother hires his talents for a final time, however, Nicholas suddenly finds himself at a crossroads: sculpt the only love he has ever known – his own brother’s wife.

Or carve a memorial for her heart…

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related posts: MEMORIAL

MEMORIAL

Memorial_Front_Cover_JosephAPinto

I‘m pleased to announce the Kindle ebook release of my horror short story, MEMORIAL, a tale inspired by the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

Pygmalion was a Greek sculptor from Cyprus whose creations were famous for their life-like appearance; unfortunately for many of the local maidens, Pygmalion lost all interest in women and vowed never to marry.

Until one day, he fell in love with his own creation, a sculpture of a woman he named Galatea.

Galatea, which means ‘she who is milk-white,’ stole Pygmalion’s heart, and he desired his statue as his wife.  The goddess Aphrodite, taking pity upon Pygmalion, granted life to Galatea.  Pygmalion and Galatea eventually wed and gave birth to a son, Paphos, for which the city in Cyprus is named.

I’ve always loved this particular chapter in Greek mythology, so I took special care when crafting my own story.

If you think you have an idea how I sculpted the plot for MEMORIAL, however, you might want to guess again.  After all, I do write horror, and I’m always good for some surprises😉

MEMORIAL

Nicholas is a sculptor, renowned throughout the land.

But now he suffers from a ruined hand; worse yet, a fractured soul.

When his brother hires his talents for a final time, however, Nicholas suddenly finds himself at a crossroads: sculpt the only love he has ever known – his own brother’s wife.

Or carve a memorial for her heart…

Memorial_Front_Cover_JosephAPinto

sale links:

Kindle ebook US

Kindle ebook UK

Kindle ebook AU

Kindle ebook FR

Kindle ebook IT

Kindle ebook JP

Kindle ebook DE

Kindle ebook ES

Kindle ebook NL

Kindle ebook BR

Kindle ebook CA

Kindle ebook MX

Kindle ebook IN

THE VAMPIRE I SEE

Established in April of 2012, Pen of the Damned has become home for some of the finest writers of horror and angst.

A strange entity, known only as the Tale Weaver, introduced its voice then as well.

Not much is known about this mysterious being – it has made its presence known but a handful of times.  It is believed, however, that the Tale Weaver speaks truths most men dare not utter.

I present to you the Tale Weaver‘s first appearance on Pen of the Damned.  I am not responsible for the erosion of your sanity…

THE VAMPIRE I SEE

taleweaver_edit_04

Enter.

Sit before the Tale Weaver.

Heed me now. ‘Tis not a chronicle I do recount, nor a fable spun beyond your wildest imagination. Aye, I impart onto you a warning, and if wise, measure my every word you will. Beware the beast that drinks not of blood but feasts upon the essence of your very being.

‘Tis the psychic vampire I speak.

Once entry is gained into your mind, there is no stopping these fiends. For that is where they dwell…and breed. Spawning their miasmal infection deep, deep into the root of your brain. Imbedded, only the hourglass marks the moment your soul succumbs to their detestable will.

Scoff you do? Hold your tongue, lest I cast you into the feculent depths from which these creatures emanate. More powerful than their undead brethren, they stride unhindered beneath sun and moon. Obscurity they prefer; yet unabashed they roam. Aberrations of ourselves, yet so closely tethered by common threads. You know who they are, yet their guise renders them unknown.

You fidget within your chair. Look not queerly upon me then, for the chill snaking along your spine betrays you. It is them. Even now, they reach with inconspicuous, needy fingers. Groping for you. How the virulent taunt.

Appetites unsatiated, they hunger your vibrance. Listen now and understand their ploy…they wish you not dead, but rather live not alive.

Do you not recognize the abhorrent ghouls now? Then introduce you I shall to these miscreations! Look and forever shall you know – friends and family and strangers their masquerade! And the cruelest of truths have I saved for last. There. There. Your eyes do not deceive you. My mirror doth not lie. Aye, the most wicked of abominations stares you back.

The torturer within.

Until next I summon you, be gone.

So the Tale Weaver speaks.

~ Joseph A. Pinto as the Tale Weaver

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

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OATS

For anyone following my blog, I guess you know by now that I’m a horror author.

Funny thing is, I barely post anything ‘horror’ here. 😛

I’ve shared my poetry.  I’ve shared poignant stories about my daughter. You’ve learned of the release of my moving novella Dusk and Summer, as well my continued efforts raising awareness in the fight against pancreatic cancer. My horror fiction, though?  Not so much.  Go figure!

But it’s good to change things up from time to time, right?  What better way to start than on the heels of my own daughter losing her two front teeth.  Ah, my little Toothless.  Thank you for the inspiration!🙂

So I present to you my story ‘Oats.’  A little background: in 1992, I began keeping a notebook of story ideas and have been faithfully adding to my potpourri of twisted thoughts ever since.  ‘Oats‘ originated as an unnamed, rough story about a child who loses a tooth, and her evil father who won’t allow her to keep it. I’m pleased that my voice has evolved enough to warrant a re-visitation of that entry from all those years ago.

Oats‘ was first published in The Sirens Call eZine Issue #8 – Men in Horror as well on Pen of the Damned.

‘OATS’

Folks ask all the time how I came to be raising my brothers and sisters. I tell them that my Mama and Daddy, they just run off. Guess they tired of having us kids. I tell folks that. It’s much easier than the truth of things.

We was poor back then. We still poor right now, but we was piss poor then. My brothers and sisters, we ate oatmeal from the same bowl. Notice I didn’t say shared cause when it come to five hungry children, well, five hungry children they don’t share. Five hungry children bite and scratch when food comes near. Mama, she gave up getting between us early on, on account that we needed to learn to fend for ourselves. I ain’t raising no babies, Mama would say, even if we was only babies in our own right. My brothers and sisters and me, make no mistake, we all loved the other, but we learned right quick to eat that oatmeal the second Mama ladled it into the bowl.

Now Daddy, he be out working all day long. Sometime I hear him rustling around when the sun still down and then the whoosh of the front door as he left. If he was lucky, he’d come home just in time for dinner, all us still round the table. We ate that oatmeal for dinner, too. That’s the only time we did share, ’cause Mama always ate first. Daddy too, if he was home in time. He’d scoop it right up from that bowl, right up onto his plate with those black hands of his. Daddy scrubbed his hands all the time with that bristle brush atop the slop sink, but Mama said when you work so hard sometime the dirt, it just curl up inside your skin.

Daddy worked real hard, I know that. He was never no lazy man. Sometime when you work construction, the money, well it just ain’t there to be found, I remember Daddy saying. “Ain’t no money to be found,” he’d tell Mama and me and my brothers and sisters as we ate our oatmeal. “Still ain’t no reason for me to ever stop looking.” I was always proud of my Daddy. Proud of him and his black hands.

I eventually learnt that being hungry and poor does funny things to grownups. Us kids, we made do, mostly ’cause we didn’t know any better. Us kids, we forgot we was poor until oatmeal time rolled round, mostly. After awhile Mama and Daddy though, they started grumbling under their breath about it. Time went by, their talking got louder and louder. Sometime us kids was sleeping, but other times, Mama and Daddy kept us up at night bickering about it. All that shouting. Cabinet banging, too.

Mama, she got real quiet round Daddy when we was all together. She got jittery-like. That made me nervous. And Daddy, we noticed the change come down over his face. He started coming home earlier and earlier every day. His hands not so black any more. Heard him whispering to Mama how the construction was nearly dried up. When Mama told him forceful like that he’s got to look harder for the money, he turned around, face all swollen and red like he just got himself stung by a bee.

***

I remember real clear the time Daddy told me he was gonna rob the Tooth Fairy.

I was hanging laundry on the line for Mama. Daddy come around the corner of the house, wringing his hands worse than Mama wringing the washcloths. He called my name. When I see how wild his face looked, I nearly spilled my clothespin bucket. “How long that front tooth of yours been loose, girl?” Daddy asked me, voice all strangled like.

“Week or two,” I say.

“Should fall out soon then. Real soon. Don’t you think?”

“Yes, sir. I reckon it should.”

He nodded, but it wasn’t a nod like a man agreeing to something. Daddy nodded like he was sentenced to death. I ain’t never been so scared in all my life. “Good,” he said, but he ain’t talking to me no more, he’s talking to himself. “Good, cause that tooth meant to fall any day now. Maybe any minute. I’ll be ready. Sure as shit, I’ll be ready.” My Daddy, he realized he never used cuss words in front of us kids, and it snapped him back to the here and now. “Listen, honeysuckle,” he said, ’cause that’s what he called me, honeysuckle. “Daddy found a way to make money. I ain’t proud ’bout it, but it’s a way. Now you keep this secret from your Mama, and brothers and sisters too, you hear? I’m gonna take the money from the Tooth Fairy when it come for your tooth, you understand? Don’t look scared now, girl. You know Daddy ain’t never find no reason to stop looking for the money. Well, I been looking, and I been thinking, and I found us something real good.”

“Stealing ain’t never good. You taught us that, Daddy,” I said, close to tears.

Daddy brings his face real close to mine, and my tummy hurt when I realize I don’t know this man no more. “That’s right, honeysuckle. But I know that Tooth Fairy gonna have more than enough of what we need.”

***

I slept with my hands stuffed in my mouth, terrified about that tooth falling out of my head, pressing just as strong as I could press to keep it up inside my gums. I remember waking that morning, waking with my arms down along my sides. I scraped my tongue all around inside my mouth ’till I felt that horrible hole where that tooth should have been.

Daddy stood, just waiting there in the doorway, body all slumped like the air’d been sucked from his chest. His eyes was wilder than any animal I’d ever seen. He brung a hand to his lips and shushed me real gentle like. Leaving me trying to decide what terrified me more…the fact that the black was gone from his hands, or that he was rolling my tooth between his fingers.

“Don’t go waking your brothers and sisters now,” he says to me, ’cause we all crammed into the same room, our mattresses squeezed up one against the other. “I’m gonna lay this tooth ‘neath your pillow tonight, honeysuckle, and come the morn I wager we’ll be set just a little bit better.” And with that, he just slipped away like a ghost in the stories me and my brothers and sisters scare each other with at night.

I did as Daddy said; I didn’t say nothing to nobody. Didn’t feel much like eating oatmeal that day either. I guess it was ’cause of keeping that hole in my mouth a secret.

Mama tucked us all in that night, and Daddy came in after. He kissed me last. I wrapped my arms round him like he was the teddy bear I wished he and Mama could buy me. His lips were tender on my cheek. Then I felt him fumbling under my pillow. He pulled away, and I wish I could of said Daddy don’t do it, Daddy there’s got to be better way! But he swore me to a secret, and I ain’t never disobeyed my Daddy. It was late by the time I fell asleep, that tooth beneath my pillow giving me dreams something wicked.

I’m still not sure what time it was when that window started sliding upward. Mama kept it locked come autumn, but the draft still found its way in and the nip, it always got right down to your bones. But somehow that night, that window come unlocked and sliding upward. Sure enough, the wind start moaning through the room. I squeezed my eyes real tight and did my best to make-believe I was sleeping. The window, it just keep creaking open. I started praying to the baby Jesus that the wind howling through our room was the worst thing I’d hear. But it wasn’t.

I heard it. It was a whole lot raspier than my brothers’ and sisters’ breathing. Real harsh, like nails dragged across shingles. I straight near piddled my panties when something meaty dragged itself over the windowsill. I sensed something hovering over me, its shadow darker than the dark of my closed eyes. It snorted, its stinky breath wetting my cheek. Next thing I know, my pillow done lifted straight from the bed, then settled down again. Coins start rattling in my ear.

Our bedroom door suddenly banged open, and I heard a big tussle. Groans and grunts and screaming… god-awful screaming. Then a shotgun blast. Something splattered all over my face. When I opened my eyes, Mama was sliding down the wall, but she ain’t got a head no more. And my Daddy, he be choking on a knife stuck straight through his throat. I grabbed my brothers and sisters and dragged them half-asleep from the room quick as I could. We ain’t never slept back in there again.

Since then, I ain’t never had the chance to stop looking for the money. My hands are black now, just like Daddy’s used to be. And those folks, they ask all the time how I came to be raising my brothers and sisters. No one’s gonna believe the truth. The truth of how my Mama and Daddy really done killed each other. The truth of how I saw the Tooth Fairy leaving through the window. Crooked finger at its yellowy lips, shushing me real gentle into yet another secret. I don’t tell no secrets, never have, never will.

We still eat that oatmeal. Got to—especially since I used Daddy’s old pliers to pull out every last one of our teeth.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.Wolf_rule_pinto_bg

Hunter Shea and the Hell Hole Tour

Hello all! My good friend and fellow Pen of the Damned mate Hunter Shea takes over my blog today!  So without further ado, take it away Hunter!

‘From the Desk of Squatchmo’

My gracious host, Joe Pinto, and lots of other people often call me Squatch Man, Squatchmo, Mr. Bigfoot and a host of other cryptid-tinged monikers. I wear those names with pride, man. When I saw the Patterson-Gimlin film of Bigfoot on In Search Of in the mid-70s, I was hooked. I’ve been a Bigfoot loving beast ever since.

Going from passive Sasquatch enthusiast to weaver of the legend’s tales has been one of the high water marks of my career, if not life. Sure, I don’t write about true tales and investigations into BF. I leave that for folks like Loren Coleman and Nick Redfern. They own that corner, if you know what I mean.

For me, the thrill has been trying to explore new avenues of the Bigfoot mythos, to boldly go where no squatch has gone before. I got my first crack at it with my book, Swamp Monster Massacre. There, I turned to the lesser known Skunk Apes of the Everglades and let the horrific times roll! The book was my best selling (until The Montauk Monster came along this summer) and started me down the cryptid fiction path – a path I’m thrilled to tread.

So, when I started my weird west novel for Samhain, Hell Hole, I figured I’d done my bit with Bigfoot for a while and sent my heroes, Nat and Teta, to a haunted abandoned mining town in Wyoming. At the start, I planned it to be a straight up ghost story.

But, somewhere along the way, I added wild men into the mix. The book is set in 1905, before the name Bigfoot was made popular. At that time, they were known as wild men (among many other nicknames given by various Indian tribes over the centuries). Well, before I knew it, I had packs of wild men descending on Nat and Teta, howling and tearing things up before fading into the night.

This unexpected turn changed the entire story, making it, I feel, far better and scarier. And who needs 1 Bigfoot when you can have hundreds? The key here, and part of my quest to change things up, is that they may not be exactly as they seem. No matter what their origin, they are terrifying.

So my fascination with BF continues. If you want to see what two old cowpokes do when faced with the hairy fellas, check out Hell Hole. Just remember to oil your six-shooter and bring a change of pants.

hell hole

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine…as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Hole-Hunter-Shea-ebook/dp/B00K1WUBJ2

Samhain Horror:
https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5076/hell-hole

GoodReads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22548186-hell-hole

Raves for Hunter Shea:

Forest of Shadows
“A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” –Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity
“This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don’t get much better than this.” –Literal Remains
“. . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal
“Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare.” –Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre
“If you’re craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Hunter Shea, Biography:

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. HellHole came out in August 2014 and is his first western horror. His next Samhain novel, Island of the Forbidden, publishes January 2015.

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. He’s working on a second novel to come through them.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at http://www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

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