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 a story titled ‘Stuck’ by Tabatha Stirling on page 89…
“It’s New Year’s Eve, I’m 23 years old and soon I’m going to eat somebody.
When the outbreak started, I mean, really first started and tiny rumours like petulant scorpions ran haphazardly through the unit – most of us just shrugged and carried on. You aren’t born in Queens just to go down that last dark road whimpering. You go down shouting, gouging, biting, spitting. Ironically, this was to prove much truer than anybody had thought.
But the gossip wove and sang and whispered its way into people’s ears and then their hearts and the fear took hold. Withered barflies exchanged nervous glances as they tossed back an extra shot for luck and life. Facial tics became more pronounced and dogs began to refuse to leave their houses, growling low and profound, their hackles rising in a fast concluding premonition…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Tabatha Stirling lives in Singapore and Scotland with her Warrior Poet husband, eccentric 6 year old son and a beagle called ‘The Beagle’. A self-confessed tomboy, Tabatha has a huge collection of gangster films, loves to play Minecraft & Skyrim and is totally digging Joe Abercrombie and Dawn Finch as writers of the moment. Flash Fiction is a new and exciting love affair for Tabatha’.
‘Lady in Red’ by Megan Stewart graces the pages starting on page 91…
“The winter’s chill caresses my exposed skin as I take the half-day’s trek through the cascading forest east of Castle Cachtice. The quaint towns surrounding the base of the hill are still unaware of what transpires beyond the sheltering walls of birch and oak. The adrenaline pumps through my iced veins, heating my blood.
“You, my girl. You alone know what keeps me happy.”
Even though the words were only uttered in passing, my heartbeat races. Having the slightest of words said by Countess Bathory sends a shiver racing down my spine. Her thick, sensuous voice calls to my mind the blood she bathes in, the blood I bring to her as a symbol of my devotion.
The snow crunching underneath my feet calls me back to the present. I wrap my weather-beaten cotton shawl further around my shoulders in attempt to fight off my unease of the path before me. The moon dips over the fiery horizon and the echo of howling voices carries on the early evening breeze…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Megan Stewart resides in Southern California with her Shiloh Shepherd. She recently graduated with her Master’s degree and works full-time as an automotive journalist at Automotive.com. When not working, she loves to write short stories, novellas, and poems that focus on the darker side of the human condition. She is currently working on a collection of short stories to publish at a later date.
Jenn Monty’s story ‘Waterlogged’ begins on page 95…
“Rachel turned on the water in her new claw foot tub. The air began to steam up in the small bathroom as she stepped out of her clothes and into the warm bathwater. After two days of moving furniture and unpacking boxes, her muscles ached. A little soak in the tub, a glass of wine, and then a good night’s sleep before starting a new job in the morning; everything was moving forward according to plan.
She found this little house on the outskirts of D.C. through the Internet and had snapped it up for a song. The realtor said the house just wouldn’t sell, that buyers felt uneasy after a viewing. Moving across the country meant her time in D.C. up to this point was spent landing her dream job instead of house hunting so when the realtor offered a walk-through using a webcam, Rachel had agreed. The house was charming even pixelated. After all the inspections came back clean, Rachel signed the papers without ever stepping foot inside the home. Now as she leaned back into the soothing lavender scented water, she was thrilled to have taken such a huge gamble…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Fueled by caffeine and music, Jenn Monty spends her days crunching data and her nights writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her love of horror and fantasy often lends a dark note to her prose but she also enjoys writing science-fiction, dieselpunk, and even a smidgen of romance from time to time. Her desire to try new places and things has opened up her creative outlets to include travel and food journaling as well as photography.
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!