Bedtime Tales of Horror
Written by Bradley Poage
Oooooh, this is a spooky one. And just in time for Halloween. How delightful!!!
We start with Luke and Steven. They are two Park Rangers who have been asked to put up a “TRAIL CLOSED” sign at the start of what is an incredibly popular local trail. People love this trail for its beautiful nature appeal, its quiet relaxing peace, not to mention it’s a fond trail for local joggers and hikers. While they are installing this sign, they are discussing the reason for its recent placement. They are discussing that the trail is now dangerous and they hope the sign will keep people off the trail, for their own safety. There has been a growing concern with the current prairie dog population in the area. In fact, some recent attacks have been both out of character and very threatening.
Now, Luke and Steven are petrified of the trail, but Amanda, an avid runner on the trail, is not. As she sees the sign approaching the trail, she shrugs it off and heads off on her run. Ignoring any warning of danger.
But Amanda goes missing. Terrified Luke and Steven are asked to look for her because they are the Park Rangers. Her mother had called to report her missing after she didn’t return home from her run. Luke and Steven don’t want to go search the trail. But when a worried mother begs, what are you to do? What they find during their search will never be forgotten. They had to force themselves to go look for Amanda. Will you do the same?
This is an excellent story that takes something we are accustomed to considering sweet and cute and fun. This story turns a seemingly fairly harmless thing and takes it to a whole a new level. What could it be about these adorable little furballs that could scare two grown men so much that they wouldn’t even want to walk a simple trail?
Bits of foreshadowing lead you down a road of suspense and tension. This story gives a whole new meaning to “wild prairie dogs” with descriptive mastery creating horrific images sure to make anyone think twice the next time the look at a prairie dog, plus every time thereafter. Graphic and emotional, it’s as if you are right there in the mix with the characters themselves, pulling you down into the depths of the intense and tragic plot.
This is an incredible short story and a delicious horror must read!!
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Bedtime Tales of Horror
Written by Bradley Poage
In this wicked and worrisome tale, we are rapidly reminded that no good deed goes unpunished. A lesson that has been taught time and time again over the years and through the many generations. We get warned by our elders, “No good deed goes unpunished.” As children that sentence makes no sense and we roll our eyes, often thinking that the adults are just talking out of their asses and they don’t even really speak our language. Yet as we age and we offer a helping hand here and there, we find that the old adage is true. Somehow, no matter how hard you try to be on the side of righteousness and the divine there seems to always be something that thwarts your efforts, not to mention somehow punishing you for being the do-gooder at the same time. It’s like you see someone in need, you do your good deed in helping and then the universe takes your generosity and not only slaps you in the face with it, but also throws you a solid gut punch and perhaps a good kidney shot or uppercut to the jaw. Either way, you tried to help and there you are down for the count.
And such is the story for our two lovely ladies in this tale Hatchlings. Meet Amber and Sarah. We open with Sarah walking by a van, hearing Amber crying for help from the inside. Sarah, like many of us would, does everything she can to get Amber out of the van she is being held captive in. Amber is terrified and Sarah knows time is short from Amber’s intense fear and anxiety. They get free. But the nightmare has only just begun.
Can you imagine? One minute you’re just trying to help someone out of a dangerous situation and the next thing you know, nothing is what it should be but everything is as it seems. Amber and Sarah become captive victims of unknown people for reasons unknown to them. There is no one to help them. No one to explain what is happening. And no one knows where they are.
With graphic stomach-turning images created for our devilish pleasure, this tale of terror is certain to make anyone cringe and shudder in the most glorious of horror genre ways. And following in true divine fashion and the thought of being the do-gooder, Poage has written this is a way that makes the reader form somewhat of an attachment to the characters Amber and Sarah. You start to feel with them and for them as they wage war against their fate, urging them on through their terrifying obstacles.
This is without a doubt a story you won’t want to miss. This one will leave you pulling your feet up off the ground and wondering what lurks in the darkness around you. Maybe that really IS a monster under your bed…
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Bedtime Tales of Horror
NOTHING BUT SILENCE
Written by Bradley Poage
Here is another little tasty morsel of the macabre hot off the digital presses from Mr. Bradley Poage himself. I tell ya, this guy has some of the best horror ideas crammed into his head. I talk to him often and I just can’t believe he can keep coming up with such original plots time and time again.
In this story we get a little taste of the vengeful side of his horror mind.
The synopsis of the story is as follows:
Abby has released a killer record. Only problem is, it was stolen. Now, the original owner has come to collect from her a terrible price for her success.
See. Short and sweet and definitely gives you a chilling desire to read more.
With a fantastic introduction that leads you into the meat of the story, written in smooth transitions through shorter chapters, a new style for Poage, guiding you seamlessly from start to finish. The new format of the shorter and more frequent chapters is an excellent structure and really makes the story quite easy and speedy to read through. Plus, if you have to stop reading, because real life stops for no man or woman, the frequent shorter chapters give you the option of frequent stopping points without having to stop in the middle of a chapter and trying to remember what was going on in the midst of the story, find your train of thought or concentration again, etc. You just pick up at the next chapter. Super convenient.
Furthermore, there’s no choppiness or stuttering in the plot or makeup of the text, no weird timeline or plot jumps that make you sit and wonder “Wait, is this current? Is this a flashback? Is this a flash sideways? What the hell is happening here?”
This tiny tale of revenge is not only completely satisfying, but also shocking and disturbingly simple and creative. In fact, it reminds me of the kind of thing one might find in one of the SAW movies as a Jigsaw trap or similar to something from Stephen King from his Cat’s Eye years.
This is also one of those stories that even though you know you are supposed to feel for the “victim”, you can’t help but root for the “bad guy” as you relate to him and his predicament.
This tragic tale is very well written and is the perfect length for the current material included. It’s chilling and blood-curdling and will get blood pumping and hearts racing. This is surely to be a classic revenge tale to be enjoyed by all horror fans.
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Written by Bradley Poage
Meet Jason. A somewhat unassuming young man with some issues, some that make regular life a little difficult at times, but who doesn’t that happen to?
Jason is a poor young soul tragically afflicted with an at times overwhelming case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He’s awkward and shy. He likes order and pays significant attention to even the most minute details. The problem is, when he finds something that is “not right” in his mind, it sets his whole world awry.
Jason is the kind of guy that goes to the grocery store knowing exactly how much his bill will be once he gets through the cash register. He knows down to the exact penny. And it’s not because he’s lucky or he picks the right random items. No. He works painstakingly hard at figuring out precisely what items to select, calculates the tax and gets only those items and nothing more or less. Like I said, OCD.
Like most of us Jason shops at the same local market. He’s kinda sweet on a gal that works there. Her name is Amanda. She is polite and sociable, caring and always bubbly and smiling. Jason goes to the market only on the days she works and only through her checkout line.
And also, like most of us, Jason has a few pet peeves. Well, maybe more than a few. Let’s just say a long list of pet peeves and little displeasing annoyances. Yet, unlike most of us, Jason has a very unique way of handling such grievances when they arise.
This is a fun little tantalizing tale about an unsettling character, reminiscent of the kind of person we have all come across. The kind where you feel you just KNOW something is off, you just can’t pinpoint it. That’s Jason. And poor guy is oblivious to it. We get a look inside the twisted mind of his and we follow his logic as he solves any and all affronts to his sensibilities. Full of creepy and eerie undertones, the story is highlighted with a number of OMG and WTF shock moments that will make your jaw drop. Topping it all off with a ton of horror, blood and gore, building some truly delightfully disgusting images in the mind that will make you cringe and smile at the same time. This is certainly a short story to please any horror fan.
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This is another short story from Bradley Poage, a favorite author of mine.
In this unsettling tale we are a fly on the wall in the home of Melissa, a young woman who is going through a break up with her boyfriend Jason. Yet, the break up isn’t for the typical reasons you would think of such as infidelity or money or even boredom.
Jason, in fact, cares for Melissa and is breaking up with her because he doesn’t know what else to do. A common reaction people have when they are in a relationship with such an emotional person as Melissa is. But Jason cares enough to want to help her. He wants to do good things for her, what is best for her, what’s right for her.
The question is, is what’s best for Melissa best for Jason?
Only time will tell.
Woven into this enthralling web of emotion and tension is an excellent creep factor that starts with the first page and doesn’t stop until the last word of the last paragraph. Full of suspense with a smooth and velvety buildup bolstered with the strong eeriness of a foreboding foreshadowing that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
The plot for the story is fantastically twisted and macabre. The perfect length for the material, not overloaded with useless details or information but definitely filled with enough to give you chills. Each page briskly grabs the attention and curiosity of the reader and keeps a stronghold as we rip though the tense, eerie and suspenseful manuscript within our fingertips. A fabulous ending rounds out the fascinating story and gives a perfect finish to the tantalizing terror tale. Above everything you definitely get that chill factor with the blankness and emptiness that is an underlying tone to the whole scene created in the reader’s mind.
This was another fun novel sent to me by the fantastic folks at Blackthorn Book Tours. I have to say, while this novel is clearly for a younger audience, I can’t help but admit that even as a forty-year-old woman I found it to be quite enthralling. I almost found myself wondering, “Is this truly for young adults?” I have a baby cousin (she is like my niece because her mama is like my little sister) that is ten years old and I imagined her reading this. I know she would love it and probably want to become a version of Ninja Girl herself, especially since her brother already takes martial arts lessons, but I also found myself worrying if she would try to pull off some of the wild and outrageous ideas this little ninja tries herself.
Imagine a twelve-year-old girl, older sister to a younger brother that she feels an intense need to protect and daughter to a single mother that works her butt off on the night shift just to make ends meet and provide for her kids. This is a typical and quite common set up for single parent families nowadays. The parent has to work, often less than convenient shifts, leaving the kids to grow up on kind of an honor system. I know a number of people that grew up this way. My parents both worked. And their shifts were all over the place. Luckily, we were a two-parent home so their shifts were often opposite each other. But this is not possible for single parent homes.
In this story, this twelve-year-old girl is witness to a murder right before her young eyes in her own neighborhood. This left an indelible mark on her psyche, but not in the way you might think. She is so tired and fed up with the crime and the lowlifes that create it in her happy little bubble of the world that she has appointed herself the neighborhood watch and clean-up crew, ridding the area of the scum that violate the people that live there and their quality of life. She turns herself into a nighttime superhero and enlists the help of a neighborhood homeless man as her sidekick and together, they fight the lowest of the lowest slime that plagues their streets.
And there you have it. The story in a nutshell. But there is SO much more in this manuscript.
One of the best things in my opinion that really makes this main character a true personality is her attitude. This young lady, I can’t say kid because she’s really beyond that mentally albeit not as far as adult by any means, has an incredible tenacity. She’s such a strong pre-teen. She’s smart too. She’s got the ability to think ahead which is fascinating to me because psychologically speaking a twelve-year-old child doesn’t possess the mental faculties to predict consequences and “see around corners”.
Now, while Gaby (Ninja Girl) does possess some ability to predict consequences, she is not as adept at it as a grown adult would be. But her attitude can be displayed in the way she talks to people, her take no crap and self-assuredness. One of the funnier parts of her personality is her unique way of identifying people. She gives people nicknames. Now, these nicknames really only make sense to her, but she uses them as if they are the real names of the people she is talking about. We have Bouncyleg, Wallman and some other creative titles that, when put in context of the events of the novel, can only make you laugh.
This story is well written with an interesting, captivating and original plot. It’s filled with action, humor, fun, and realistic struggles that face today’s youth everyday all over the world. Characters with depth and true personalities bring the story to live and give it heavy emotional weight as you go from the highs of heroism to the lows of life as a latchkey kid in the projects riddled with crime and violence.
This is a wonderful work of fiction that is not only inspiring and entertaining, but eye-opening as well because it addresses the problems of life in low income areas, focusing specifically on the point of view of that life from a child’s perspective. Yet, it is fun and entertaining and uplifting as it deals with real life issues woven in with a fantastic world of fantasy.
Driven mad by poverty, the death of her father, and the ruthless streets of North Seattle’s Lake City, twelve-year-old Gabriela Urieta puts on her ski-mask at night and becomes Ninja Girl. In her own mind, she’s a superhero—the only hope for cleaning up her neighborhood. In reality, she’s a sixth-grader who drugs her little brother to sleep so she can sneak out at night and rob criminals.Using money taken from her victims, Gaby hires a transient as her sidekick, naming him “Wallman.” Together they get lost in her comic-book fantasy. But before long, Ninja Girl and her family find themselves in all sorts of danger.
About Cait Moore
Cait Moore, studied commerce and law in Australia and pursued her career in the capital markets in London. Since she was knee high to a kangaroo, she’s harboured a deep love for the written word. Her fervent belief in the “one” has led her to explore in her fiction, what binds two hearts and souls. Hers belongs to her husband, author, Michael J Moore.
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I finally got a chance to read through this book, even though it was sent to me months ago. (Believe me, my reading list is as long as a career criminals rap sheet, so it takes time to get through everything.) However long the wait was, and it felt like an eternity because I wanted to read this as soon as I got it except other reading material was on the list ahead of it, it was worth it.
I have spent the better part of the last twenty-five years focused on and enthralled in true crime and crime dramas. Mostly true crime because I have found in my experience that the truth is far stranger than fiction. Here is a book, a true crime anthology, dedicated to the research of the vile misdeeds of numerous serial killers.
The thing that amazed me the most was that I had never heard of any of these killers before. It’s not that some of them were from other countries because I have read and seen plenty about killers abroad. But to find an entire book full of serial killers and their crimes and I have never heard of not one of these guys? That’s a gold star right there!
So many times, when we hear about serial killers we think of the same people over and over, as if they are the only horrific killers that ever existed. If I were to ask an average person to name three serial killers, I’d probably hear Dahmer, Manson (not really a serial killer but for some reason always put in that class), Bundy, BTK Dennis Rader, Gary Ridgeway The Green River Killer, The Night Stalker Richard Ramirez. Perhaps John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein if you’re a little further in the know, The Golden State Killer was recently apprehended after being hunted for almost fifty years.
But the killers in this book are truly some of the most vile criminals I’ve read about. There is one in particular, a child murderer, that is just absurdly and eerily captivating and equally repulsive at the same time. All of the killers discussed in this book are interesting to read about, some seemingly to qualify more as true serial killers than others, but it was a joy to learn so much new information all in one book. A lot of times, you have to read multiple books to learn about multiple killers. This book gives you a detailed overview of a number of serial killers and that allows you to get through a lot of information in a short amount of time AND you can pick and choose specific killers if you want to know more about them. It’s like this book is the jumping off point to further research if you’d like or it can simply be the research in itself, there’s plenty of details and specifics to keep the mind busy.
If you get the chance and you are looking for some new and fresh material to satisfy your serial killer curiosity, this is definitely a book for you!
I was really looking forward to reading this when I first got the tour information on this novel from the folks at Blackthorn Book Tours. However, by the time I finished reading Part I, I have to admit I was beyond irritated.
Now, please understand that I am NOT a huge feminist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I fully support women’s rights, it’s just the overt feminist thing is not my personality, although there is certainly a lot of it there. “Anything a man can do, I can do…and do it better.” That’s what the women in my family were taught. However, the majority of us tend to live more traditional lifestyles. I live a very, very traditional lifestyle. As close to 1950s Donna Reed/June Cleaver, as we can realistically get in this day and age.
Also, I worked in the beauty industry for over ten years as a practitioner, sales consultant, educator, distributor, every facet of the industry. When I wasn’t working in the industry, I was living with someone who was in the field my entire life. That being the case, I’ve worked with and been around all kinds of people from all walks of life, from all around the world. I’ve worked with women, men, straights and gays, transgenders, drag queens, transsexuals, old, young, middle aged, wealthy, poor, middle income, all races you can think of, all religions you can imagine.
I studied psychology and criminology in college. My father was also a cop for twelve years. I grew up around Law Enforcement and the legal system. I am friends with retired Law Enforcement, private investigators, lawyers and judges. I am friends with people who have been in jail or prison, or both. I know people that are in social work and rehabilitation work. My exposure to various types of individuals and various personalities has not been limited by any means.
I offer that explanation because I don’t want what I am about to write to come off as an uneducated and erratic woman being wickedly oversensitive to someone taking creative liberties. I have no problem with people taking creative liberties. I encourage and applaud such passion for their craft and the willingness to take those risks. That’s how masterpieces are made.
But as I was reading this book, I found a number of things that had they occurred once or twice, they wouldn’t have been a big deal. But they happened over and over and the way they just kept getting hammered into the manuscript with no apparent ties to the plot, it was just displeasing, I guess.
First, I noticed that the main character is written like a man in a woman’s body. She doesn’t seem to think like much like the average woman. She is very cocky and full of herself. Most women aren’t like that. Even in law enforcement. While women in law enforcement are stern or assertive, maybe even aggressive at times, to prove their equality, they rarely come off as rude and condescending as the author makes Hardwicke out to be.
Next, I’ve never in all my years met a woman who talks about herself in the erotic and provocative way as the author has Hardwicke speaking about herself. It’s like she talks about herself the same way men would if they were whispering about her in the office by the water cooler or the coffee bar. Most women find this kind of attention to be somewhat cheapening and disrespectful. It actually almost seems like Hardwicke sees women as objects and doesn’t really respect them at all. In fact, it almost feels like she doesn’t respect anyone.
For instance, the passage “My white T-shirt clings to my body, taut against the fabric.”. First of all, women don’t talk this way about themselves. A woman might say “my clothes were wet and clingy” or “my wet clothes were clinging to my body making them uncomfortable”. But adding the fact that it’s a white shirt in the rain and trying to create an image of a wet t-shirt contest, isn’t really drawing a respectful picture. Not to mention that the sentence doesn’t really flow right. The way it’s written it seems to imply that the shirt is taut against itself, which isn’t possible.
Plus, the constant random sexual references that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot. All the comments about a girl’s butt or her figure or how she’s making googly eyes at someone. All of the sexual stuff that is insinuated, it really needs to be pointed out in the blurb. This book almost reads like soft core porn with some detective stuff thrown in.
Now, if you have ever been to my website, it’s ALL horror and true crime. So, it takes a lot to offend me or ruffle my feathers. Bottom line is I just don’t think this author has a handle on writing for a female lead. If the main character was a male, I think the story would play a lot better. But as a female, she just comes off wrong in all the worst ways. And, in the end, it just got too frustrating to continue to read as all these little things started to pile up. By the time I got a few chapters into Part II, I just decided I couldn’t read any more.
I really do wish that the main character had been more appealing for what I felt was supposed to be a powerful and empowering role. Instead, the personality portrayed puts the whole manuscript on a somewhat acidic note that continues to sour and ferment as we continue through what would otherwise be an incredibly fascinating story full of suspense, tension and adventure.
Here we have a literary creation definitely deserving of the term “novel”. Sent to me by my fellow book fanatics at Blackthorn Book Tours, I found this novel to be particularly unique. I have yet to read a similar story but it was the format in which this novel was written I found to be quite interesting.
How many hearts can a song touch? How many ears can it reach? How many people can it kill? When popular boy band Whoa-Town releases their latest album, no one thinks anything of it. They certainly don’t think that the world will be changed forever. After an apocalyptic disease sweeps the world, it becomes clear that the music of this seemingly innocuous boy band had something to do with it, but how? Katherine Maddox, her life irrevocably changed by a disease dubbed The Drop, sets out to find out how and why, to prevent something like The Drop from ever happening again.
The basic line of the story is about a new boyband (which I personally can’t stand boybands, No I didn’t have New Kids on the Block gear and No, I didn’t care about N’Sync or the Backstreet Boys, in fact, I had to look up that last one on Google because I couldn’t remember their name). But it’s not just about the band and the goofy kids that teenyboppers drool over. It’s about their music and what kind of impact a particular album of theirs has on the world.
As this new boyband, named “Whoa-Town” (their manager should be shot for that name, the abbreviation is WT, ya know, like white trash, bad marketing move in my opinion, but moving on…) hits legendary status as it sweeps across first the nation, then the planet, a number of weird things that cannot be explained begin to happen.
Teens everywhere are starting to become obsessed with listening to this music. Not just normal “oh my god, it’s Elvis” kind of obsessed and these kids passed Beatlemania in a matter of days. What they progress to is a kind of zombie-like addiction to the Whoa-Town music. One in which if their music or music apparatus is taken from them, loses battery or power, these teens go absolutely freaking postal. They spaz out, screaming, yelling, throwing things (even themselves) onto the floor, into walls, out windows. It’s an odd reaction to loving a band. I mean, I love Pink Floyd with an unmeasurable passion but I wouldn’t chuck something at someone for wanting to stop the music to talk to me or heave myself off of a cliff because someone took my mp3 player. Talk about needing therapy…or a straight-jacket.
As things get stranger and more dangerous, the members of Whoa-Town disappear, nobody knows where they are and there is no way to get in contact with them. Their manager, a greasy sleazeball named Rick Reaves, is sometimes available for comment, others not so much. N He is especially interested in this story. And honestly, nothing but this story. He’s a real piece of work. He knowingly sends one of his journalists out on assignment to get the skinny on what is really going on. There is something about this Whoa-Town epidemic that is making people sick, even killing them…or cause them to kill someone else.
This leads to Katherine Maddoxx. She’s on one dangerous and volatile assignment. There are threats being made, attacks on her, burglaries, witness intimidation. Katherine knows she’s onto something major. She also knows she needs protection and demands her manager get her a bodyguard of some sort. That is when we meet Freddie.
Together they travel the nation, questioning person after person, collecting information, trying to put the puzzle together and trying not to get killed in the process. With Rick invested in the fortune and glory of the story, Katherine and Freddie have more personal reasons to uncover the truth.
The unique format in which this story was written was a little confusing and took a little getting used to, but it did add a different type of frame for the pictures being painted by the author. Though the back and forth between the style of a standard novel and the style of what I would call press releases and articles can be somewhat unclear at first, it becomes an entertaining and interesting way of delivering necessary information to the reader about the facts of the story.
The timeline of the novel is also a little crazy, as it goes back and forth as well. At times this can be very vexing because there are so many flashbacks and flashforwards, but this tale would be virtually impossible to tell without them. It all adds a certain realism to a story that, in today’s technological world, doesn’t seem so far out of the realm of true reality. Another irritating thing about the text was the number of typos and grammatical errors all throughout the novel. This is particularly upsetting because it disrupts the flow for the reader and it’s something that can easily be remedied by using spell and grammar check. It’s something like this that not only takes away from the excellent material itself but also sends a message that the author was in a hurry, didn’t care or unfortunately too lazy to use a simple click of a mouse.
The great thing about this book is that there really aren’t any dull spots. Plus, you learn what the characters learn as they learn it. Just as you would if you were an investigator on a case in real life. Again, bolstering the feel of realism and truth. Also, this is the kind of horror that can really get to me because, to me, this is something that someone could actually pull off to a certain degree. The horror that could happen in real life, that’s the stuff that really creeps me out.
There are little portals into the world of politics, political views and controversies, but it seems that the author was just trying to paint an accurate picture of life and society today, which I think was actually done successfully. The author has spliced in a precise and meticulous representation of society today with the struggles of civil and political unrest.
There are certainly some parts of this book that are NOT for the faint of heart. Intricate details and imaginative vocabulary bring to light astounding images in the mind of the reader that one is usually only used to seeing on television.
Another very interesting addition to the writing format is the inclusion of Maddoxx’s journal entries. These give the reader a real emotional insight into the plague and horror that these people are currently living in and with. Although incredibly open and honest, even vulnerable at times, the entries seem a little long at certain points and more a bit like the ramblings of a stressed-out woman, which I get is the point, but still, for inclusion in a novel some are a bit lengthy in my opinion.
Overall, this book had a great story, fantastic detail and imagery and incredible suspense that takes the reader through a wild emotional rollercoaster as they flip through the pages, following Katherine and Freddie on their long and dangerous journey to the truth.
About the Author
Jacy Morris is a Native American author born in 1979 in Virginia. He is a registered member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. At the age of ten he was transplanted to Portland, Oregon, where he developed a love for punk rock and horror movies, both of which tend to find their way into his writing. Under the pseudonym The Vocabulariast, he was the writer/owner/CEO of the website MovieCynics.com from 2007-2014. He graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Education. He has been an English and social studies teacher in Portland, Oregon since 2005.
His first film, All Hell Breaks Loose has a cult following. His second film, entitled The Cemetery People is now in post-production.
He has written several books, including the "This Rotten World" series, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Killing the Cult, and "The Enemies of Our Ancestors" series. The Abbey was his first book under his real name. In between drinking beer and watching horror movies and hockey, he is currently working on the following books: An Unorthodox Cure, and the fourth chapter of This Rotten World.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Drop-Jacy-Morris/dp/1674417225
Amazon star rating: 4.5
Bedtime Tales of Horror: The Curse of Miley
By Bradley Poage
Here, my good friends, is what I would deem a shining example of what a short horror story should be. A wonderful little piece of entertainment that is well-rounded, complete and leaves the reader with a feeling of satisfaction AND anticipation. Gripping and suspenseful, this tale will snatch your attention and have you enthralled, from the first paragraph to the very last.
One of the challenges with a horror short is deciding how much detail to include, what to give to the reader and what to remove from the story to fit a desired length, all while somehow manufacturing a cohesive story that is not only interesting but also one that the reader can visualize in their own imagination. Trying to communicate what is in your head to someone else AND have them understand it AND GET IT…well, that’s not always easy. Even harder when trying to create a masterful tale of terror that only takes up a few pages. And Poage has done it with this production of a well written and well-balanced piece of horror.
Although consistent with what I have come to expect of Poage and his writing, this tragic tale of woe goes above and beyond the chilling joys of many of the previous works of his that I have read. As soon as I began to read this tasty little devilish snack, I was so engrossed I could not put it down until I was done reading. And the great thing about Poage’s short stories…they are actually genuine short stories. So, it was only a few pages, a few minutes and a small break from the horror of my reality to the hell of someone else’s.
There is just enough explained that you know what is happening and can follow the plot. However, there isn’t so much extra detail that we get bogged down in seemingly innocuous details or taken for a ride on the author’s drug induced tangent of some sort that makes no sense and has nothing to do with anything at all.
In this apprehensive anecdote everything centers around a beloved childhood toy. A ventriloquist dummy named Miley Smiles. (I mean, geez, just the name of the damn doll is creepy as hell, right?!) A simple toy for a simple person in a simple tale that will send chills down your spine and make hairs on your arm stand up.
All of that finished off with an ending that is, in my humble opinion, rather genius. It leaves the door wide open for the reader’s imagination, pushing you to go in, pulling your mind in all directions of thought. Yet the ending is totally and utterly complete. In theory, it’s like one of those really good horror films that has that one ending where it concludes the movie and the film could be a stand-alone if they left it that way OR they could totally make a sequel with the way they left it open. I like these kinds of endings because, as the reader, you get to participate in writing the story a bit for yourself. You decide what happens after a certain point OR you decide to leave it as the author left it. It’s perfect to play with and a lot of fun.
I have to say that any of my fellow horror lovers would dig this and dare I say, even some readers that like short stories in general. As well as this one flows, it’s hard to imagine someone not liking it.
To read for yourself you can get your own copy at the Amazon link below: