“The Consequences of Sin” Is Here!

That post title sounded better before we were on the verge of Armageddon (again). But recall back in June I announced that I had a new short story that was going to appear in a forthcoming anthology. Well, it’s here.

The book is The Dancing Plague: A Collection of Utter Speculation, which you can get here (paperback) or here (Kindle eBook). My story is “The Consequences of Sin,” takes one of the traditional explanations for these kinds of phenomena (not really a spoiler – it’s demons) and twists it a bit, inspired by the Fritz Lang classic M. You can read more here about the background of the story (and other stuff) in this interview I did. The other authors did similar interviews, which you can find here.

Regular readers will know that lost of years I’ve done a story for Halloween here on the blog. Since this story is coming out in October and is sufficiently creepy (I hope), it will fill that role for this year. You can find links to all my Halloween stories here.

That’s it – let’s dance!

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Happy Halloween! Have Some Free Stories!

For several of the past few years I’ve written some spooky short fiction for Halloween (originally at the urging of fellow West Virginia author Eric Douglas). I was planning to do the same this year, but preparing Widows of the Empire for release on November 10 has really kept me from getting it started. So, here in once place, are links to the stories I’ve written before. Grab a drink, turn off the lights and set a candle ablaze and (in the words of Count Floyd) prepare to have the pants scared right off of your legs . . . or wherever you wear them!

“Shift Change” (2020)

Last year, the year of the plague, was hard on everybody, demons included. Picture something like the opening of an episode of Hill Street Blues, but not quite, and you’ll have the right idea. Everybody’s got a job to do.

“The Invited Guest” (2017)

Devil summoning is a an old trope, but I thought I’d have some fun with it. This arose, if I’m remembering it right, from a factoid I learned about raising the devil by tossing a heel of bread over your shoulder into a fire. Probably won’t work (playing a tri-tone while you do won’t help). The title is a riff on a Marillion song, naturally.

“All the Wishes” (2016)

This is the second of two stories that Eric mandated be precisely 100 words long – not up to 100, exactly 100. It’s a fun, if frustrating, exercise. This story is about wishing well (or not).

“Quotas” (2015)

The first of the 100-word stories, it shares some thematic connection with “Shift Change.” Apparently I’m interested in how demons make a living.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Have some Rush in your plastic jack-o-lantern for the walk home.