Remember the hours spent trading stories with your friends? The horror that grew as the tales morphed?
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 stories. Today we have K. Trap Jones who contributed his story The Pit to the anthology of ten fantastically chilling tales.
K. Trap Jones is an award-winning author of literary horror novels and short stories. With a strong inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, his passion for folklore, classic literary fiction and obscure segments within society lead to his creative writing style of “filling in the gaps” and walking the line between reality and fiction. He is also a member of the Horror Writers Association. More information can be found at http://www.ktrapjones.com.
And now for K. Trap’s inspiration…
The Inspiration for The Pit
The Pit was a little piece of my childhood recreated with an added twist of horror. Growing up in northern Florida, I spent the dog days of summer hanging out with my friends within a large wooded area that was on the outskirts of an Air Force Base. Every day we would venture down a dirt road then cut off into the woods, though a hole in the chain linked fence, disregarding the “No Trespassing” Air Force sign. Armed with pocket knives and BB guns, we ventured throughout those woods without a care in the world. That place was our sanctuary; it represented our freedom. Even though our parents forbade us from going in there, we never listened. On the Air Force property, we constructed tree houses, built campfires and climbed up tall pine trees to ride them back down when they swayed. Each adventure was our own personal Stand by Me movie.
As an adult reflecting upon that time, I couldn’t help but think of what could have happened. That state of unknown was absent from my mind during the time as there were no worries even as we walked through the swamps, poking the marsh in search of alligators. The Pit serves as a fictional representation of any one of the crazy things that could have happened. I wanted to have an urban legend of a bottomless pit within the woods that starts with a young character, but continues on through their adult life. The relationship of having no worries when we were young and then everything within the legend comes true as an adult. There’s a fear that is truly intense when an urban legend becomes reality that I wanted to capture within the narrative tone of this story. That particular moment when youth collides with maturity was the basis behind the plot. And like any good urban legend, the legend must continue. I truly hope you enjoy reading The Pit as much as I enjoyed reflecting upon the details of my childhood.
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 K. Trap’s story The Pit in Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me…
During the summer of ’87 was when we first heard the tale. My friends and I rode our bikes to the local gas station to buy some soda and candy like we often did. With pockets full of quarters and a desire to kick start a quality sugar rush, we plowed through the frosted doors of the store and felt the cool air cleanse the northern Florida heat from our skin. We fully believed that our weekly sugar purchases kept the owner employed and our egos showed it as we barreled past the old man and into the candy aisle. The options were always the same, but seemed different each week for some reason. Watermelon was my flavor of choice and it was the thrill of the hunt that always proved to be the most exciting part. Rummaging through the other flavors and pushing aside cherry, orange and grape until I found the sweet essence that were the watermelon candy sticks.
We usually ignored other conversations that were occurring in different aisles, but something caught our attention that day. It must have been the overall boredom of the summer or our quest for a new adventure. Two high school kids were standing in front of the beer section debating the best way pull a fast one on the old man. It wasn’t the beer talk that captured us; it was their next discussion that had all four of us eavesdropping through the boxes of candy bars. They spoke of a pit that was hidden within the woods, far from that one dirt road that leads to the fence. Their words caught our curiosity because we knew that dirt road and we had been to that fence on many occasions. We used to shoot pellet guns at the sign that read Air Force Property: Do Not Trespass. We listened intently as they spoke of a pit so deep that the sounds of hell emitted from the belly of the beast. They argued back and forth as to what exactly lived beneath the threshold of the pit. One said he had heard it was a demonic creature that fed on those who fell within his abode. The other claimed that the pit was actually the chimney stack of an old hag so disgusting looking that she built her home underneath the ground to hide herself from society. Those who fell would be burned alive. At night, the smoke from the charred victims could be seen rising above the trees.
The next day we set out early with our backpacks filled with everything that was necessary to survive an adventure; beef jerky, soda and firecrackers. We crossed the threshold of our neighborhood and walked along the dirt road that led to the woods. We knew the area well and spent many summers trying our best to build tree houses amongst the tall, swaying pine trees. The woods represented our escape from reality. There were no rules to follow, no homework that needed to be done. It was freedom.
The dirt road took a sharp right and that was where we always entered into the trees. We headed straight for the fence where the Air Force sign hung. After finding the perfect walking sticks and sharpening the points with our pocketknives, we discussed what exactly might be at the bottom of the pit…
Don’t forget to come back next time when we discuss inspiration with Kimberly A. Bettes!