Who doesn’t love a good urban legend told around the campfire?
Sirens Call Publications has recently released Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me and as a special treat for each of you, we’ve asked the authors to provide us with a few words on the inspirations to their tales. Today we have Lisamarie Lamb who contributed her story The Bridesmaid to the anthology of ten fantastically chilling stories.
I love to write horror, but I dabble in various genres, including mystery and children’s stories. I have written and published a horror novel (Mother’s Helper) and a collection of short stories (Some Body’s At The Door). I have recently completed my second novel (At Peace With All Things), and Dark Hall Press has just published a collection of my short stories (Over The Bridge) in a single author collection.
My work can be found online at www.themoonlitdoor.blogspot.com, and within many anthologies including books from Angelic Knight Press, Cruentus Libri Press, and Sirens Call Publications.
I have edited a collection of short stories (A Roof Over Their Heads) set on and around the Isle of Sheppey, Kent (UK) where I live.
And now for Lisamarie’s inspiration…
The Inspiration for The Bridesmaid
Weddings have been on my mind for some time now – ever since my sister’s fiancé finally popped the question. I was asked to be Matron of Honour, and it’s been a sudden rush of cars, flowers, table plans, invitations, and, of course, dresses. My sister and I sifted through forests of bridal magazines, attended wedding fairs, and searched online for her perfect dress. She had a picture in her head that had been there for years, and we eventually found a dress that matched her dream in a local independent bridal shop. It was during our first visit there, for the initial fitting, that we fell into a discussion of lost dresses. Apparently there are a lot of them floating around, according to the sales girl. People move house, move away, forget that there was a dress tucked safely at the bottom of a wardrobe, or in the corner of the loft.
I wondered aloud whether anyone would ever try to use such a dress – a found dress – for their own wedding, and whether that might be considered bad luck. We agreed it would… So the idea for a story was beginning to build in my mind. My sister then told me of the urban legend about the poisoned wedding dress, the one that the bride had been embalmed in, the one that the undertaker had sold once the family had viewed the body, the one that killed the next bride to wear it – accidentally, of course. I changed my dress from a bride’s to a bridesmaid’s, and decided that if someone was going to use a found dress, there would most definitely be some dire consequences… And they wouldn’t be accidental.
Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me
We’ve all come across them. The warnings told by a friend of a friend – don’t go in there, I wouldn’t if I were you, did you hear about…? Or perhaps your mind leaps to the cryptozoological realm – creatures barely glimpsed, and yet to be identified. Other spheres of existence – they can’t be real… certainly not until you’ve experienced one!
Maybe the real horror lies in the minds and hearts of others just like you. People with a slightly bent perspective that feed on the fear in others. Twisted souls that would take advantage of the weak, or vulnerable. Those who believe they are doing good for a higher power, or to gain power simply for themselves. Petty vengeance that breathes a life of its own once unleashed.
Whatever your poison, the ten stories in Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me are sure to intrigue, and perhaps bring back fears long forgotten.
Run, don’t look back… or should you?
Contributing Authors include:
Morgan Bauman, Kimberly A, Bettes, Matthew Borgard, Alex Chase, Austin Fikac, K. Trap Jones, Sean Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Jon Olson, C.M. Saunders
Interested in Purchasing a copy?
And now for a quick excerpt from Lisamarie’s story The Bridesmaid in Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me…
It lay – crumpled, stained, forgotten – at the bottom of a wardrobe in a long abandoned bedroom in a house that had once known love and laughter and now only knew the tramp, tramp, tramp of potential buyers’ feet.
This was not the first time it had been left alone, but it was the longest time. It had been years. It could feel those hours and days and months adding up, creasing it, smudging it, leaving its lace yellowed and its sash frayed. It could feel time eating away at it. It could feel itself fading in and out of fashion and becoming nothing more than rags.
A dress. A bridesmaid dress, to be precise. Mint green and white, yellow flowers dotting its skirt where they hadn’t fallen off or become a meal for moths. Once a prized possession, handmade to the bride’s specific instructions, it now languished, discarded, in a flurry of spider webs and dust. It used to have matching gloves, a boater hat, earrings that had taken weeks and weeks to find, but these had all been lost years ago and now it was completely alone.
When the front door of the house opened, it sensed it. A breeze rustled its ruffles and it almost rose up, almost, it tried, but its bodice with the beads sewn ever so carefully on, one by one, was too heavy and it sunk back down. But it had been close. It didn’t matter – there was movement downstairs. A viewing. There were footsteps, voices; there was the sound of excitement, a squealing child, all of twelve years old. A girl. And a younger one, perhaps eight, maybe nine. Sisters.
The dress wanted them.
The dress knew it could have them.
The dress understood that it would need to be patient for just a little while longer.
The bridesmaid dress was old now, but once it hadn’t even existed. It had come into being in the mind of a bride to be, beautiful and rich and terrified that society would discover that her fiancé – an actor, a playboy, but a man she had told everyone who would listen that she could tame – was being unfaithful. It was a scandal just waiting to show itself, just waiting to make itself known, cruelly and with vicious intent. Ripe and ready for the papers to grab hold of, caress, construct as their own and then make public.
The bride would be the most talked about (and laughed at) woman in the country. In the world. She would be scorned and pitied. She simply could not allow it.
But the bride had an idea.
A wedding was, in the end, all about the dress. Wasn’t it?
Don’t forget to come back next time when we discuss inspiration with K. Trap Jones!