“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is Free on Amazon Kindle Today (Reviews Wanted)

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

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In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to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.

Comments on previously published stories 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.

Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media to leave a review.

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is Free on Amazon Kindle Today (Reviews Wanted)

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

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.

Comments on previously published stories 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.

Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media to leave a review.

2020 PEN Pinter Prize Winner — At the BookShelf

The links below are to articles reporting on the winner of the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize – Linton Kwesi Johnson. For more visit:https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2020/07/08/153226/johnson-wins-2020-pen-pinter-prize/– https://publishingperspectives.com/2020/07/english-pen-pinter-prize-goes-to-poet-and-reggae-artist-linton-kwesi-johnson-uk/– https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jul/07/living-legend-linton-kwesi-johnson-wins-pen-pinter-prize

via 2020 PEN Pinter Prize Winner — At the BookShelf

“Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night…” is Available on Amazon Kindle

The new cover for Nocturne as of November 15, 2019.

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of my poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90s, a turbulent, fluid time in my life in many ways, but especially romantically. I have taken many of the poems written during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of a narrator who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelopes him psychologically, emotionally, and physically.  It is about 110 print pages in length and lavishly illustrated with photos I found in the public domain (no, those are not photos of me or of my former paramours).

You can read samples of it and my other works at my Amazon author’s page:  Amazon.com/author/philslattery.

I have tried to make this a wonderful experience for the reader, exploring the bliss of love to the depths of despair and then to resignation to one’s fate in an existential crisis.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or other social media!

While there, you might want to check out my other work on relationships: The Scent and Other Stories.  In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

Two reviews have warm praise for Nocturne…:

J. Muckley calls it “Beautiful, Sad, Authentic and Vulnerable Look at Love and Loss” and gives it five stars, saying:

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover by Phil Slattery is a deep and raw “picture” of experiencing love and lovers of varying type, capturing the moments of ecstasy and pain in a most beautiful way.

Slattery speaks with one voice as his words and pictures depict the full range of human love and loss that both tempts the soul to engage and urges the heart to resist. His opening quote by Augustine of Hippo captures this work perfectly: “I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving.”  –Augustine of Hippo

The poems are mostly untitled and written in free verse form. The reader meanders through the past relationships as they ebb and flow through varying stages. The introduction poem tells of the types of poem you will soon encounter:
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle

The poem closes:
Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world

All in all, Nocturne, is a beautiful but sad read that speaks to the reality of love and holds nothing back. It engages the mind and the heart longing for lasting, meaningful love that always seems just outside of its reach.

P.S. Winn calls it “Great Poems with Pictures”, gives it four stars, and says:

I like this author’s poems which have a great feel to them. The book is about love but a lot more is included inside the pages. I like the photos the author included to enhance the poetry. A few of the poems held descriptive words about nature and I enjoyed the way the picture author paints in the readers mind is also displayed in the photographs that correspond with the words.

Check back frequently for updates.

 

A public service reminder from Phil Slattery

Help prevent the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Phil Slattery’s Novelette “Click” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle

The new cover for Click as of November 15, 2019.

The new cover for Click as of November 15, 2019.

My novelette, Click, is available free today on Amazon Kindle.

For it or the paperback version, go to my Amazon author’s page:  Amazon.com/author/philslattery. If you like Click, you will probably enjoy my other works available on Amazon as well.

Frank Martinez, a policeman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, has unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed man when called to intercede in a domestic violence case. To recover from the guilt while the incident is under investigation by the CCPD, Frank’s fiancée arranges for him to stay on a secluded island owned by her father’s former law partner. While dozing one night on a lounge chair in the yard, he awakes to find two hitmen slipping onto the island and breaking into the cabin. Are they after him? Are they after the cabin’s owner? Most importantly, how is he going to reach his pistol in his luggage in the bedroom?

Reader Charles Stacey gave “Click” five stars on Amazon and commented:

“Author has a wonderful ability to develop the characters using few words. Great foreshadowing to build suspense. And then a really outstanding twist at the end that left me smiling.”

Joe Leonardi gave Click five stars on Amazon commenting: “An interesting story with a double twist ending that left this reader wanting more….” while he also reviewed Click on his website, ShortStoryScribe.com, saying:

Author Phil Slattery takes us on an interesting ride. He gives a twist ending to the story, that once revealed, you realize he peppered the story with clues. The second twist ending hits out of left field, and left this reader wanting for more.

The motivation is as old as storytelling, but that doesn’t make it bad.  Slattery’s words make us care for the main character and seeing his view of his marriage leave us, in the end, feeling sad for him in his moment of triumph.

Edward Z gave Click five stars on Amazon and commented:

A policeman on leave on a secluded island after shooting an unarmed man with a toy gun finds himself under siege by two criminals looking to use the place themselves…

A lot of detail goes into both the psychological aspects of the story as well as the action. This one is packed with every character’s motives, inner dialogue, and very well thought out. When it gets to the action it keeps this up as well as adding a lot of excitement.

Smart, fast-paced, and full of action. The characters are well done and don’t suffer from the usual boring tropes too much, and the two criminals are interesting as the author knows how to do ‘bad guys’ rather well.

An Amazon customer gave Click five stars and commented:

“This novelette is a quick and very entertaining read. It opened with a grabber (“Tell me again whey we have to kill this guy…”) and kept pulling me in from there. Frank Martinez is a cop trying to recover from a shooting incident in solitude on an island off the Texas gulf coast. T.J. and Benny are the bad guys. Their hunt and chase on the small island kept me in suspense. It ends with a surprise twist. Slattery proves here he is a good storyteller.”

While on my author’s page, check out my other works.

Don’t forget to leave your own review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

 

Literatur in 300 Wörtern (60): Hiromi Kawakami – Strange Weather in Tokyo — Sommerdiebe

Inhalt von “Strange Weather in Tokyo” in 3 Sätzen: In “Strange Weather in Tokyo” begegnen sich eines Nachts Tsukiko und ihr ehemaliger Japanisch-Lehrer Sensei in einer kleinen Bar in Tokyo. Sie sind sofort auf einer Wellenlänge und treffen sich nun regelmäßig zum Essen und gemeinsamen Sake-Trinken. Trotz ihres großen Altersunterschieds fühlen sie sich, auch wenn…

via Literatur in 300 Wörtern (60): Hiromi Kawakami – Strange Weather in Tokyo — Sommerdiebe

Fiction: “The Modern Medusa” by Tom Garback

Photo of Medusa on wall

Photo by Tama66

I do not have a name because I no longer need one. Names are not for oneself. They’re for everyone else. And as I do not have anyone besides myself, I do not need a name.

I’ve been cursed since birth with a unique ability. It is not an ability I possess, but one that has been done to me. It is what barricades me from everyone else. On the day of my birth, my dear mother must have pushed herself out the hospital window, because it sure as hell couldn’t have been me. Like I said, the ability is not mine.

Other people stay away. They don’t “tend” to stay away, or “usuallystay away. They’re gone all the time, one hundred percent, without failure. Mostly. They must have a sixth sense. I could say that I don’t mind, but where would that get me? None of this is my choice.

The problem is that I have been manifested into a foe on the outskirts of the human definition. Because my close proximity to the human form, all humans instantly know where I stand. They blame it on my eyes.

It’s more of what lies behind them, I suspect. There’s no chance of expulsion. I’m not trying to make everything out to “woe is me” or anything. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. But you want to know what’s going on, right? Okay.

When people look at my eyes, and if I’m looking right back, something hits them and changes them. They go bad. Batshit. However you want to put it. I could tell you stories. But I’ve got my own to tell first.

Everything could be fine and dandy. I wouldn’t need to even be telling you this. I had it handled. But something went wrong recently.

You see, I usually wear sunglasses. This stops people from being able to look me directly in the eyes. No corruption in such cases. But one day I wasn’t wearing them. I’ll tell you why.

It was Saturday morning on campus, when I was going to the showers at the gym. There was no one around. I’d expected there wouldn’t be. I put the water on the hottest setting and let the steam fill up the room. Fog up all the mirrors. This is one of my ways of protecting myself. From myself.

I thought I had my sunglasses in my bag. There weren’t there. I don’t know why. I know I told you I would tell you why. My guess is that they were stolen. I can tell you the why to that.

So I got out from under the water. I brushed my hair and all this and that. The mirrors in the showers weren’t the problem. I left. I walked to the park feeling fine. When I got back to my dorm, someone had wrecked the whole place. Believe it or not, this has happened before. People stay away, but they still hate me.

As you’ve probably realized, this time was different. I didn’t have my glasses. And there was something else amiss. Little mirrors. Pocket-sized, cheap and sturdy. Everywhere. Different shapes and sizes. Even on my desk. Even on the floor. I did not know who could have done this. Not the usual crowd.

I closed my eyes right away. I flailed around. I tripped, of course. I shattered glass everywhere. I was bleeding everywhere. I felt like I could pass out. I wailed around my arms. I looked up.

Mirrors on the ceiling. My eyes caught themselves. Everything went black.

When I wake up, if I ever do, I might be different. I might be corrupted. I have to be, right? You know how it works by now. Maybe I’ll never get back to my body. Perhaps that thing, that evil inhabitant

of the bodies I turn, is walking around with the bones and skin right now. It would be bad as hell, a thing like that inside a body with my eyes. Bad as the person who set up those mirrors. I’ve always been afraid of the people I turned. That they might come back for me.

If I’ve been turned, I don’t want to wake up. But then I’m back. I’m in the Wellness Center. A man is above me. He’s wearing a stethoscope. Now he’s meeting my glare. Now he’s convulsing on the ground. So it goes.

I can’t move my arms. Or my legs. Or anything. They’re moving without me. I step over the doctor and out the door, down the hall and onto the greenway, straight into crowds of students getting out of class.

###

If you would like to submit fiction to Slattery’s Magazine, please see the guidelines. I will endeavor to publish new material at 10:00 a.m. Central time on Fridays. However, I may choose another time if I feel it is more appropriate. I will try to maximize exposure for writers.

Photoshopped painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a medical face mask to prevent spreading COVID-19/Coronavirus

Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

“The Modern Medusa” by Tom Garback to be Published Here, Friday, July 24.

Photo of Medusa on wall

Photo by Tama66

I will be publishing Tom Garback’s flash fiction work “The Modern Medusa” here at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 24. It is eerie, a little unnerving, and well done for such as short piece. Tom’s voice gives the piece an unsettling atmosphere. Please drop by to read it.

reality: what helps keep us grounded and at peace — Poetry Joy

These are deeply unsettling times we are living in, aren’t they? They make us yearn for a sense of solidity and thirst for a firm grounding beneath our feet. Perhaps it exists as a present reality, closer at hand than we might think. Creation breathes out its beauty and begs us to receive it as […]

via reality: what helps keep us grounded and at peace — Poetry Joy

feeling optimistic? — The Poetry Department . . . aka The Boynton Blog

We mentioned the National Parks Arts Foundation back in February, but so much water has passed under the bridge that you might have forgotten it by now. In fact, NPAF is currently accepting applications for residencies at six different National Parks and a variety of dates in 2021. Many of the applications have submission deadlines […]

via feeling optimistic? — The Poetry Department . . . aka The Boynton Blog