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Casualties of Pretty Things -- Chapter Two

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A psychotic father kidnaps teenage girls and uses them as sex dolls in place of the daughter he raped, while her guardian will stop at nothing to find her.
As a writer you draw from personal experiences. I have no idea what it’s like to be a psychotic killer, nor a teenage girl on the run from her father who happens to be that psychotic killer, but I do know what it’s like to be homeless. There are numerous organizations you can support to help teens experiencing homelessness. Reasons for teen homelessness are wide-ranging and you may feel there isn’t much you can do to help. That’s not true.
Chapter Two
Amongst a few regulars waiting on the arrival of the city bus was the mirror-image of Penny, Carl’s teen-aged daughter Cybil. She stared down at her cell phone with earbuds plugged in, listening to her music. She carried a backpack loosely over her shoulder, its contents minimal.   The bus arrived and its doors opened. The regulars piled in,  showing student IDs and passes, disregarding t…

The Strange Case of DOCTOR JEKYLL and MANDATORY MIDNIGHT

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I think it’s important to note that, as this blog’s readership increases, my writing of Mandatory Midnight is not a collection of my own personal favorite horror novels. There have already been entries which are among my favorites, yes, but this list is more about informing those who value horror literature as to why certain novels (or novella in this "case") are considered “mandatory reading”. 
There are criteria, to be sure. A good example is longevity. That is, how far-reaching a book is or shall become. Classics are Frankenstein and Dracula, and we all know why. There is no debate. Modern-classics are a bit more tricky. We just finished the Ray Bradbury Saga concerning his forever classic Something Wicked This Way Comes. There may be some who would argue it does not belong on the list of mandatory reading, but I don’t know those people. An easier argument could be made about Rosemary’s Baby, and, if I’m being honest, they could present an opposing dissertation and possibl…

Casualties of Pretty Things -- Chapter 1 -- WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT

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A psychotic father kidnaps teenage girls and uses them as sex dolls in place of the daughter he raped, while her guardian will stop at nothing to find her. When sixteen-year-old Cybil believes her mother was killed by the father who raped her she runs away from Deloris, a woman who loves her like her own daughter and who operates the House of Rahab, a halfway home for young women with backgrounds in prostitution. On the streets Cybil finds the friendship she needs, only to lose it when her father finds her. Now Deloris must overcome an ingenious captor and bring Cybil home.
Chapter One
The hazy form of a surgeon was lit by crude lighting from above. He had done the work himself; converted these rooms to suit his needs. If not for the need for privacy he might take some pride in showing it off. He swayed back and forth in his patient’s field of vision. The teen girl mumbled, currently naked and wrapped in a clear body bag. Sectioned off on one side, and standing in stark contrast, was a l…

How ROSEMARY'S BABY Wrote the SATANIC BIBLE -- and got away with it!

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Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 horror novel by Ira Levin, and it sold over 4 million copies, making it the best-selling horror novel of the 1960s. Horror fiction would achieve enormous commercial success due, in part, to its contribution. The Satanic Bible is a collection of essays, observations, and rituals published by Anton LaVey in 1969. It is the central religious book of LaVeyan Satanism. There have been thirty printings of The Satanic Bible, through which it has sold over a million copies. How, then, are these two books related? 
Ira Levin was born on August 27, 1929, in Manhattan. His father, Charles, was a toy importer. Levin was educated at the private Horace Mann School in New York. He attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa from 1946 to 1948 and then New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. He graduated in 1950. He served in the Army Signal Corps from 1953 to 1955.
After college, Levin wrote training films and scripts for radio and television. The…

LORD OF THE FLIES is a Lord of Death

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Before you ask, yes; William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is horror. And true horror, at that. There are moments of sheer terror, but this terror does not come from the supernatural. There are no murderous clowns, poltergeists or vampires. The fear in his book comes from the darkness in our hearts. As Stephen King wrote, while reading the book he ‘was in terror’. The resonances of Lord of the Flies can be found in many of King’s own books, including It, which does feature a terrifying clown, and in his short story ‘Children of the Corn’, about a group of murderous children. Indeed, evil children, either acting alone or in savage groups are a common trope in horror culture, and it is often clear to see the influence that Golding’s first novel has had on these examples. 

In my own writing it is an influence I have not been able to escape. I do not write horror based on popular trends, or creatures retooled to fit modern sensibilities. For me, a monster is not a man (or woman) transforming…