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 Eli Constant’s ‘Dissection’ beginning on page 116…
“Of course the house was creepy. Doesn’t every good horror story have at least one fear-inducing edifice with creaking stairs and squeaking hinges? My story’s no different, but it isn’t the house that terrifies me. It’s never been the house. In another life, I might have come to find the home’s quirks endearing; I might have come to think of it as a family home, a place to run back to when life got hard. But this wasn’t a different life; it was my life.
I hated my life- enough sometimes to wander out back to the miniature river and trail my toes in the cool water, let my imagination move toward the moderately sized boulder near the creek side… imagine myself holding that heavy stone against my body as I laid back into the moving wetness.
I shook my head; I shook it brutally, jarring my brain back from oblivion…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Eli Constant is a genre-jumping detail junkie, obsessed with the nature of humanity. She believes that there’s beauty at the core of most everything, but that truly unredeemable characters create the best stories. Eli is the author of Dead Trees, “Mastic,” “DRAG.N” and is a contributor to the upcoming charity anthology: “Let’s Scare Cancer to Death,” benefitting the V Foundation.
Next up we have ‘Shadows in the Rain’ by Gerri Leen gracing the pages starting on 119…
“The rain falls in sheets, as if the heavens are trying to drown the city. Sarah runs to the corner, searches the oncoming traffic for a cab. Two race by her, their roof lights darkened, fares warm and dry within.
Sarah turns, backing into the crosswalk and slipping, a car honks as she tries to correct. She falls, cold wetness soaking into her pants from the rain-drenched pavement. The car goes around her, the window opening just long enough for the driver to call her a crazy bitch.
Crazy is letting the thing that stands staring catch her.
She scrambles to her feet and runs. She covers two blocks, as fast as she’s ever run, and then she bends over, hands on her thighs, breathing hard…”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Gerri Leen lives in Northern Virginia and originally hails from Seattle. She has a collection of short stories, Life Without Crows, out from Hadley Rille Books, and stories and poems published in such places as: Sword and Sorceress XXIII, Spinetinglers, Entrances and Exits, She Nailed a Stake Through His Head, Dia de los Muertos, Return to Luna, Triangulation: Dark Glass, Sails & Sorcery, and Paper Crow.
And rounding out this selection is Angeline Trevena’s ‘Oakwood’ beginning on page 122…
“I watched the girls at the bus stop; giggling, spinning around to make their short, pleated skirts extend out from their hips like tutus. I looked away as I caught sight of white underwear, my face beginning to burn.
“Hurry up gay boy!” yelled Stevie from up ahead.
Pulling my rucksack higher onto my shoulders, I set off at a run to catch up with the distant silhouettes of my friends.
“Hey, look at this,” Ben called excitedly as I approached. The four of them were gathered in a circle, looking down at something on the ground. Stevie had found himself a long stick and began prodding whatever it was.
I squeezed between Chris and Joey, and looked down to see a dead cat baking on the hot road. It was already a crawling mass of flies, its ginger fur matted to its head with dark blood.
“Look at those teeth,” said Chris. “It looks like it’s laughing.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Angeline Trevena was born and bred in a rural corner of South West England where she still lives above a milkshake shop. She is a fantasy and horror writer, poet and journalist. Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She’s still not given up looking for it.
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!