“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it” – Nicholas Sparks Love is one of the most beautiful emotions we experience as humans. Though we can invite it into our lives, we do not have the control over the how, when and where love starts to express itself. The […]
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In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to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.
Pliny, Natural History, 26 3 “This plague didn’t exist among our ancestors. It first invaded Italy during the principate of Tiberius Claudius when some Roman knight from Perusia, secretary to a quaestor, brought the infection with him after he had been serving in Asia Minor. Women, enslaved people, and those of the low or humble […]
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.
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.
If you enjoy this collection, you will enjoy my short story collection The Scent and Other Stories: The Dark Side of Love, which is also available on Kindle.
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
The poem closes:
Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
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.
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.
To order yours and to view my other works as well, visit my Amazon author’s page at: www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.
Praise for Stories Contained in “The Scent and Other Stories”:
“This story has a lovely dreamy quality whilst being unsettling too. It lingers on half processed emotional experiences and leaves the reader asking ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – feelings that are familiar for so many people.”
“You wrote about something we can all relate to – how, out of the blue, the scent of something evokes a memory of something long past; and the emotions we felt at the time! A clever story …”
“This descriptive piece about remembrance, the thought of what might have been, is a common sad thread that will resonate with those have experienced the pain of that one love lost. Slattery’s use of scent was exquisite as we feel Quinn’s pain and hope that he finds his peace, at last.”
“Fantastic writing – I held my breath for most of the story. The descriptions of the countryside and the people were beautiful and the tension compelling. This could possibly be the start of a novel or a suite of stories. Thank you very much and good luck with your writing in the future”
“Suspenseful and engaging. The dialogue and descriptions kept pace with the action. Well done.”
A Good Man
“Lots of detail examining an old question of how do you judge a person’s life. It left me wondering.”
“Great job capturing the social climate of the sixties. Good choice for how to present the story – deathbed “confession” by the mother. I enjoyed it.”
The Slightest of Indiscretions
“Excellent writing brings this poignant story to life and makes the reader work to understand more of what might be. Very many thanks for a satisfying, emotionally intelligent read…”
If you enjoy poems about love, check out my poetry collection Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.
I am seeking people to review my works and who post their reviews to markets in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. I offer my Kindle e-books for free periodically according to Amazon policy. You can find my works on my Amazon author’s page. Let me know which you would like to review and I will let you know when it available for free or set up a date that you can have it for fee. I am most interested in having reviewed either my short horror (A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror), my collected poetry (Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover), my short fiction on relationships (The Scent and Other Stories), or my action-adventure novelette (Click). The other two works are contained in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.