With the release of our seventeenth anthology, we at Sirens Call Publications decided not to break tradition and asked all of the contributing authors in FEAR: Of the Dark to share the inspiration for their stories. Out of the nine authors whose tales lurk between the covers waiting to terrify you, seven took up the challenge of putting their fears into words. Next up we have Lisamarie Lamb, author of Teeth and Claws and Fangs and Horns. But before we delve into what horrors hide in dark of her mind, let’s take a moment for everyone to get acquainted just a little more…
Lisamarie Lamb started writing in her late teens but it was only with the birth of her daughter that she decided to write more seriously, with the aim of publication. Since that decision in 2010, she has had over 30 short stories published in anthologies and magazines.
In November 2012, Dark Hall Press published a collection of her short stories with a twist, entitled Over The Bridge. In November 2013, J. Ellington Ashton Press released a second short story collection entitled Fairy Lights.
She has collaborated on – and edited – a project entitled A Roof Over Their Heads, written by six authors from the Isle of Sheppey about the island where she lives with her husband, daughter, and two cats. You can find Lisa on Twitter at @lisamarie20010 and on her blog.
So without further ado, we turn you over to Lisamarie…
The Inspiration behind Teeth and Claws and Fangs and Horns
The inspiration for Teeth and Claws and Fangs and Horns is simple: shadows are scary! From the first time I saw Disney’s Peter Pan and Peter’s shadow ‘escaped’ and had to be sewn back on by Wendy, I’ve found them creepy. It’s as though they could very well have a life of their own and they are just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. After all, we can’t see them all the time… So shadows that can come alive are scary, but shadows that can come alive with a malevolent streak to them are worse, and I thought I couldn’t be the only person in the world to be somewhat creeped out by them. That’s why the father in the story is so sure he can create some kind of formula that will rid the world of them once and for all. I mean, what use is a shadow really? The problem is, of course, that whereas before they were threatened shadows were fairly content just to look scary. With the promise of destruction hanging over them, they become that little bit more dangerous…
Thank you Lisamarie! Now let’s take a look at FEAR: Of the Dark…
What makes your skin tingle? What makes you look over your shoulder sure that something is lurking there? What ratchets your tension level up so high that nothing matters more than what comes next on the page?
The answers to those questions are the ones we sought when we put together this collection of nine stories. Inside these pages you’ll find fear that engages, fear that provokes, fear that drives you to the brink of… Well, everyone has a different precipice when it comes to fear, but the stories selected for FEAR: Of the Dark certainly held our attention.
If you truly enjoy a well written story that engages the senses and prompts anxiety and paranoia, FEAR: Of the Dark may be the perfect collection of short stories for you. And in case you were wondering, it is waiting for you, out there – somewhere; you just don’t know it yet.
Rose Blackthorn, Juan J. Gutiérrez, Jovan Jones, Lars Kramhøft, Lisamarie Lamb, Jon Olson, Zachary O’Shea, Jon Steinhagen, and Alex Woolf
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And here’s an excerpt from Teeth and Claws and Fangs and Horns…
The screaming started early. Much earlier than usual. Clem looked up from his notebook and sighed at the ceiling light, removing his glasses and pinching the bridge of his nose. It hurt. Everything hurt. And the screaming was still coming. It pierced the very walls and Clem’s brain and he hated it. He hated everything about it, hated that he knew what was happening, and hated more that he could do nothing to stop it. He looked down at his useless notes, scribbles and scrawls of figures, fractions, and thick, black lines, and felt like ripping them to pieces and throwing them out of the window.
They were supposed to be helping. They were not doing anything of the sort.
“Darling?” he called, his eyes scrunched shut against the incessant, pitiful noise coming from the floor above. “Darling? Liz? Are you there? She’s having another turn. She’s scared again. The noise… Could you… Would you go up to her?”
Clem waited for a response for what felt like a decade, and was rewarded with his wife’s head as it poked through the door to his study, her shadow landing neatly on his face and across his littered desk. Clem’s wife wore a faintly dazed expression, her eyes sunken in a soft, black circle of exhausted and bruised flesh. She stared at her husband as though she didn’t know who he was or why he was there, and then caught herself, shook herself, shook her head; “I’m just about to have a bath, Clem. I need a bit of a relax. I always go up to her. You go this time. Go on, she’ll be pleased to see you.”
And then she was gone, bustling from the room in a hurry spurred on by fear of losing her time away from them. She had to get away. She had to lock herself in the bathroom for an hour or so (or forty-five minutes, or half an hour, or anything) and hide from motherhood with a glass of wine and a book full of the sort of sex she’d never have.
Clem, left suddenly alone, felt aggrieved. That wasn’t fair. He was the father, she was the mother. Which meant, as far as he saw it, that it was her duty to comfort a screaming child. Especially when it came down to the reason for the screams.
But not so.
Not tonight, apparently.
The screaming had started early.
Damn Dot and damn the dark.
Clem slammed his journal closed and threw down his pen, making sure that, should anyone be watching, they would be able to see just how annoyed and irritated he was by the whole idea of having to leave his comfortable study to go and attend to the girl upstairs. It made a good show. It made him seem frustrated and tired and fatherly in a brusque and brutish way, which was fine by him. Not that anyone was looking. Not that anyone cared.
No one cared that he was scared. That was the whole of it. That was the reason he wanted to stay rooted to his faded old chair in his brightly lit office. Where it was safe…