The last face Jack saw was the executioner’s as he slid the needle into Jack’s arm.
“I didn’t mean to kill him,” said Jack.
“The jury decided that you did,” replied the executioner.
What seemed like several minutes passed while Jack, strapped to the gurney, sweated and waited, head throbbing with tension, watching the buzzing fluorescent lights overhead, until a black fog enveloped him.
He awoke standing naked holding two buckets overflowing with concentrated sewage. Sweat mixed with grime and soot rolled down his arms. The atmosphere, a mixture of steam, tear gas, sulfur, and the smell of death, burned his throat and stung his eyes, filling them with tears. What little he could see glowed mottled orange and red. Thousands of naked men and women, covered in grime and sweat, cringed whimpering among jagged rocks or ran about in terror while lugging buckets of sewage, blood, or God knew what else.
From the short story “A Tale of Hell” by Phil Slattery
My e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is free today on Amazon Kindle. For your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.
In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.
Edward Z gave the collection five stars on Amazon and commented:
August 16, 2019
There is a lot of sorcery and dark magic in this collection and the main characters are mostly evil or morally bad in some way. Plenty about Hell, demons, and psychopaths too. This led to some dark and violent stories. But there was a great variety of plots that kept it going along nicely and made it enjoyable to read.
Two werewolf stories are in here, and they are both done in clever and original ways, one being done partly from a wolf’s point of view. It had sort of a dark comedy thing going on and was rather amusing. Three of the stories feature a sorcerer named Jack Thurston, who is a really well done evil sort of character and the best of the bunch in my opinion. The author methodically goes through his rather complicated and gross preparations for the spells and it adds a bit more weight to them then usually found in these kinds of stories.
The short stories section ends with a great Sci-Fi story that is a complete change of pace compared to the rest. The insect alien was given a lot of personality and the entire backstory created for the spacefaring humans and the alien planet was well done and detailed considering it’s a short story.
The Flash fiction and Microfiction sections then take it back to the dark characters and/or wizardry and are quick, fun reads to end the collection.
October 28, 2018
Comments on previously published stories in the collection include:
Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:
“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”
“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”
” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:
“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”
“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”
“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”
“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”
Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:
“Chilling and brilliantly economical”
“Very well-paced and intriguing”
“Fabulous story! Five stars!”
Get your copy today and check for other free works of mine as well while you are on Amazon.