February is Women in Horror Recognition Month, a movement that was founded to support and assist female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure and networking. In honour of the event, Sirens Call Publications devotes its February issue of The Sirens Call to supporting the cause and featuring the excellent talent displayed by ladies writing horror.
First up today is Shawn Arnston’s short ‘The Doctor’s Appointment’ beginning on page 107…
““Hello! I’m home!”
I put the heavy paper grocery sacks on the kitchen counter. Paper, never plastic. I know plastic is really bad for the animals. Someday I’ll get those nice cloth sacks to use, but for right now, paper will have to do. At least paper comes apart in the rain so it’s not too bad as far as grocery sacks go.
My black cat, Isis, came sauntering into the kitchen and wound herself around my feet.
“Hi, baby,” I crooned as I stooped to pick her up. “How was your morning?”
She purred and pushed towards the grocery bags hoping I’d brought her a treat.
“Let me get this stuff put away, and I’ll give you a surprise,” I said putting her down and turning my attention to the groceries.
“While I do this, I can tell you about MY morning. It was not at all pleasant.” I pulled out a half-gallon of milk and put it in the refrigerator along with eight quarts of cream…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Shawn Arntson has been writing since the age of eleven when she used to entertain her friends with fabulous middle-school stories. She loves words and expressions and primarily writes stories with a supernatural bent. She is fascinated with all things paranormal but most especially magic and ghosts. In addition to writing, Shawn works as a freelance editor while also working on her master’s degree and raising two children.
Next up is ‘The Promise’ by Rose Blackthorn which starts in page 110…
“The breeze off the ocean was cool, but the sun was brightly shining. She couldn’t stand to stay cooped up in the house anymore; so she put on a sweater over her t-shirt, and slipped her feet into blue rubber flip-flops with sailboats on them. She didn’t bother to lock the French door on the patio; she was pretty sure no one would bother anything. Then she crossed the long backyard, sparsely covered in struggling grass, and climbed down the steep decline to the sand. She found a beached tree trunk a hundred yards along the strand, and sat down to watch the surf. The wind blew her dark blond hair into a swirl of tangles around her head, but she didn’t care. The sun felt glorious.
She and Cole had come here last year for vacation. They’d both spent their entire lives in the Midwest, and the thought of seeing the ocean together for the first time had been romantic. Their two weeks here had been something like a honeymoon, and they had talked seriously about packing up and moving out here. It hadn’t happened…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Rose Blackthorn lives in the high mountain desert with her boyfriend and two dogs. She spends her time writing, reading, being crafty, and photographing the surrounding wilderness. She is a member of the HWA and has published numerous short stories and poems in both online venues and print or e-book anthologies.
And rounding out this grouping is Georgina Morales’ flash titled ‘Mr. Squeak’ appearing on page 114…
“Jimmy’s sleeping next to me. I didn’t mean to make him angry at dinner today, but I don’t want to keep eating Mr. Squeak, either. What if Santa gets mad? He won’t help Mom find us! But Jimmy says I have to eat or it won’t matter if Mom ever finds us, because I’ll be dead. He says it’s been seven days since he crashed the car. I don’t know; I sleep a lot. Sometimes when I wake up it’s day, sometimes it’s night
After the crash, we tried to find his friend’s cabin, but we couldn’t see with the snow blowing in our faces. That’s why Jimmy built the fort. It’s small, but we snuggle together and it keeps us from the wind. We spent a couple of days without food. Then, when the storm passed, Jimmy went hunting. I stayed, tying pieces of Jimmy’s red shirt to every other tree. He came back a few hours later with a dead squirrel. We ate it raw. Jimmy hid behind a tree so I wouldn’t see how he cut into it with his pocketknife. He let me eat more, said he’d catch another one later. But he didn’t…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Georgina Morales writes horror, mystery, and everything else that might give you nightmares. 2011 saw the debut of her first novel “Perpetual Night”. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest, Lucky 13, and Gothic Blue Book. She lives in New England along with her husband, two daughters, their beagle, and their old, grumpy cat.
If you like what you’ve read so far, why not download the issue for FREE? There are other wonderful pieces of fiction and poetry waiting for you!