Posts by Jolene

Night Harvest: Shine On, Harvest Moon by Emily McKeon

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Night Harvest, NightHarvest, Writing | 0 comments

Night Harvest: Shine On, Harvest Moon by Emily McKeon

Welcome to the Night Harvest. For the entire month of October, we’ll be featuring scary stories and illustrations from talented authors and artists around the globe. I hope you stay awhile. After all, the Night Harvest is quite a scream. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #NightHarvest. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!     Shine On, Harvest Moon by Emily McKeon   The moon rose orange behind the farmhouse. A Harvest Moon, bathing the cornfields in an amber glow. Far off in the distance, laughter and music filled the silence as the town gathered for the annual Harvest Festival. In the cooling night, a breeze kicked up. The sudden wind rustled the cornstalks, making them whisper to the darkness and the great pumpkin moon overhead. “Jerry.” The voice was soft. Brittle. The first words spoken by someone who long ago had forgotten how to. “Jerry.” Inside the farmhouse, Jeremiah Dunne sat at his kitchen table. Across his lap lay the shotgun he knew would do no good. On the table, clutched in his fist, was half a tumbler of whiskey. His own brew from last year’s harvest. “Jerry.” He swigged the last of his whiskey and slammed the glass down on the table. He dared not refill it. He foolishly left the bottle on the counter and would have to stand to reach it. Standing led to walking. Walking led to answering the call. Answering the call led to…something he’d rather not think about. God, he could use another drink. “Jerry.” The voice grew stronger. A child’s teasing sing-song. How had he allowed himself to be trapped, alone, on this of all nights? Because he hadn’t counted. He hadn’t checked the calendar. Because he thought he still had a few more days. Because he and Helen had a fight earlier and she stormed off to join their neighbors at the festival, leaving him to brood alone until the voices started. “Jer-ry.” Married near thirty years with less than a dozen cross words between them. Two hours ago, she got bent out of shape over something he had said. He couldn’t even remember the comment now. That’s how important it was. The fight escalated. Thirty years of imagined slights on both sides. Screaming and yelling until the hound dog over at the Turner place joined in, baying at the top of his lungs. “Jerry. Jerry.” Now the fight made sense. Those words weren’t his or Helen’s. Those hateful words belonged to the Moon. But why hadn’t she answered her phone when he called to apologize? He came to his senses shortly after she stormed off, pie in hand, to join the rest of the town. When he called, her phone went right to voice mail. Not even a ring. “Jerry.” The voice matured, deepened. A young girl calling to him, just past childhood. Helen was gone. Deep down, Jeremiah knew he would never see her again. Divide and conquer, that’s what the Moon did. Split them up so he wouldn’t have her to lean on. Nothing stopped It from claiming him now. The Moon was never strong enough to take him and Helen on together, so It tricked them. He should have anticipated the situation progressing to this stage. Should have seen it coming. Only so long a man can deter the Old Ones before they grapple him into submission with something new. But Helen didn’t need to go. She was never part of the deal. “Jerry.”...

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Night Harvest: Wasting Away by Kat Daemon

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Night Harvest, NightHarvest, Writing | 0 comments

Night Harvest: Wasting Away by Kat Daemon

Welcome to the Night Harvest. For the entire month of October, we’ll be featuring scary stories and illustrations from talented authors and artists around the globe. I hope you stay awhile. After all, the Night Harvest is quite a scream. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #NightHarvest. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!     Wasting Away by Kat Daemon     “Dad, are you sure this place exists? We’ve been driving for over an hour.” My daughter, Maggie, was always so impatient. “Yes.” I leaned forward and patted her shoulder. “Just a bit further.” “The supermarket has pumpkins,” Joe groaned, eyes still set on his smart phone. Texting. I think that’s what they called it. I called it sending broken sentences to his girlfriend. Why would you have to type LOL? My daughter had to explain that one to me. I often found when he tapped those three letters down and hit send, he wasn’t even smiling. Back in my day, you courted a girl properly, and any letters you sent you agonized over, searching for the right words. That’s how I had done it with my Bethany. Different times I suppose. “Amuse an old man, Joey. Picking a pumpkin off of the vine is fun.” Joe raised his eyes up from his screen long enough to glare at me. At seventeen he no longer wanted to be called Joey. Old habits are hard to break, especially at my age. “You and I really disagree on fun, Gramps.” Sadie leaned over and changed the radio station. Loud thumping beats and inappropriate language roared out of the speakers. I sighed. We were listening to Billie Holiday, before she had changed the station. That was real music. What she had put on sounded more like an argument. “Make a left here, Maggie.”“The GPS is telling me to go straight, dad.” “And I’m telling you to make a right. C’mon, amuse your old man.” Maggie sighed and turned right. From her willingness to agree, I assumed she was probably telling herself that this was the last time she would have to “amuse” me. The nursing home attendants would be picking me up in the morning. It was bad enough when Bethany passed, and I had to move in with Maggie, but now… well she had two teenagers to take care of, and without a husband, I suppose I was too much work for her. One less mouth to feed and all. “There!” I pointed to the farm that was growing in size as our vehicle approached. “Blue Moon Farms!” I clapped my hands, pleased that I still remembered how to get here. Not bad for an old guy. “Joey, unplug yourself for a minute so you can take in this place.” “Hold on… texting Adrienne.” “Bah!” I shook my head, there was no reaching him. “Sadie, what do you think?” She pulled out her lip gloss and coated her already pink mouth. Looking around, her eyes didn’t even so much as sparkle with the faintest hint of interest. “Uhh. It’s very… hick.” Maggie pulled the car beside a parked tractor. “Dad, are you sure this place is even open? There’s no one here.” “Good, we’ll have the pick of the patch.” I opened the door, eager to stretch my legs. At seventy-seven, they were stiff, but still working. I needed a cane, but enjoyed walking, and was grateful to be out of the car. With my family beside me, cane...

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Night Harvest: Witch by S.P. McConnell

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Night Harvest, NightHarvest | 2 comments

Night Harvest: Witch by S.P. McConnell

Welcome to the Night Harvest. For the entire month of October, we’ll be featuring scary stories and illustrations from talented authors and artists around the globe. I hope you stay awhile. After all, the Night Harvest is quite a scream. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #NightHarvest. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!     Witch by S.P.McConnell     We’ve been so lucky to have Sean participate in many of our showcases. He’s a true example of class, talent, and imagination! In case you want to check out some of his other submissions from previous showcases, check them out here and here.       About the Author S.P. (Sean) McConnell is an author, illustrator, interior designer and custom mural artist. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Dragon Magazine, The Austin American Statesman and Unique Homes. Some of his clients include TSR, Wizards of the Coast, M.A.D.D., The Recording Arts Foundation and The Sacred Works Project. He has been displayed in numerous galleries including Scottsdale, Sedona, Austin and Santa Fe. Sean is also fortunate to be featured in many personal art collections. Sean is the author of S.P.O.O.K. a YA cross-over horror/action series. He also writes and illustrates picture books including a monstrous celebration of Halloween. S.P. is currently working on a secret new horror project depriving him of sleep. He is repped by the fabulous Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC. Sean currently haunts the suburbs of Austin where he lives with his lovely wife, son, two cats, and a leopard gecko. To learn more about S.P., please visit his website or follow him on Twitter @SP_McConnell.                  Giveaway Anyone may enter the giveaway. This includes the artist and writers contributing to the Night Harvest, as well as the readers of the stories. Enjoy! a Rafflecopter...

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Night Harvest: Professions by Ashly Nagrant

Posted by on Oct 25, 2015 in Night Harvest, NightHarvest | 0 comments

Night Harvest: Professions by Ashly Nagrant

Welcome to the Night Harvest. For the entire month of October, we’ll be featuring scary stories and illustrations from talented authors and artists around the globe. I hope you stay awhile. After all, the Night Harvest is quite a scream. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #NightHarvest. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!     Professions by Ashly Nagrant   Kate May Callihan could not believe how bad the parking was year after year. You would think, she told herself silently, that they had been doing this long enough that they’d know how to route traffic and supply ample places for the people attending over the October weekend.  But with limited lots and street parking, plus road closings, coming here on Saturday evening was difficult. But Saturday night was always the best night to be at the annual Harvest Street Fair. Even if she’d been forced to come alone this year.  Her husband had refused to join her and look at “all that crap people drag out and charge you too much for” and with her daughter away she was by herself.  If she’d have known this was going to be an issue, she might have extended an invitation to some of her coworkers to join her.  They worked together in a tightly knit office at the local college, nothing academic, she was always quick to assure people.  Just managing paperwork and taking calls.  The sort of easy work most people could appreciate.  And of course, since her daughter was attending another branch of the same college, it meant her tuition was paid in full.  Really, what more could she ask for? It took her roughly five minutes to walk from her car to the well-lit parklet that served as the center of the festival.  A great white bandstand dominated the area, and a group of young women could already be seen setting up instruments and speakers.  But mostly Kate May was paying attention to the people around her, what they were selling, what they were eating and what they were wearing.  The scent of grease and dough and kettle corn filled the air and drew her around to the little stalls set up and filled with all kinds of handmade goods. She was busy looking over a booth full of quilts with Bible quotes embroidered on them when a familiar, thin voice called out her name.  “Miss Katie May!” Her head jerked up and she saw a short man in jeans and a t-shirt with the slogan “Gun Control Means Holding It With Both Hands” walking her way, accompanied by a taller woman in a purple sweatshirt covered in embroidered butterflies.  Kate May responded with a slightly forced smile.  “Kenny!  Annie!” “Fancy meeting you here!” Annie said, something about her voice always sounding slow and paused.  “Whatcha doing?” “Oh, just looking around, enjoying myself,” Kate May said. “Looking at some arts and crafts?” Kenny asked, the lilt to his voice slightly mocking as always, as if he couldn’t help but make it clear he thought he was speaking down to anyone around him. Kate May looked back to the booth as if she’d forgotten what was there.  “Distracting myself,” she said.  “Trying not to cheat on my diet.” “Oh but you gotta cheat,” Annie encouraged.  “C’mon, they have all kindsa good stuff.  Did you know they deep fry Oreos now?  Who thought of that?  That’s crazy.” Before Kate May could say something, anything else, another voice entered...

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Night Harvest: The Soul Maze by Jamie Corrigan

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Night Harvest, NightHarvest, Writing | 0 comments

Night Harvest: The Soul Maze by Jamie Corrigan

Welcome to the Night Harvest. For the entire month of October, we’ll be featuring scary stories and illustrations from talented authors and artists around the globe. I hope you stay awhile. After all, the Night Harvest is quite a scream. You can see the live list of participants and their posts dates on this link.   Follow the buzz on twitter using the official hashtag #NightHarvest. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!     The Soul Maze by Jamie Corrigan   I must have listened to the voice mail a hundred times already since Saturday. My phone hadn’t rang, but right after the first truck rolled into town I heard the familiar chirp. The one that usually indicates Aisha or my parents have called and I’ve somehow missed it. But the growly voice barking out the invitation wasn’t what I expected—and yet it was. My thumb slides over the replay button. “This is it. No more,” I vow again. After this, I’ll wait until nine and walk through the maze, my girlfriend Aisha beside me for protection just in case people are wrong about the legends. “Pumpkin Festival. Center of the Maze. Nine-thirty PM. Don’t be late.” Boop! This time I stick to it and put my cell away. “Lissa, are you still doing it?” Aisha glares at me from the doorway. Her almond eyes are sunken in from days of no sleep. She’s tried to conceal them under layers of makeup, but it’s useless. Not even the added purple to her raven braids can pull attention away from the panda look she’s been sporting lately. “You okay, Babe?” “Lissa, stop dodging.” My hand slides to the spot beside me, “You look tired.” Aisha picks at her nails, a clear sign I’m pushing it. “Lissa, answer me.” “I don’t know. Maybe.” “Sweetie, it isn’t going to say something else magically the next time you listen to it.” “It might. You don’t know how magic works.” Aisha shakes her head and walks over to me. She gently kisses my lips as she sits down on my bed beside me . “Magic,” she says, pulling out her phone, “isn’t why we got the message.” The moment I’d told her about mine I found out she got the same one. While I’m convinced it’s the real deal, Aisha’s not exactly on board. “This has setup written all over.” She pulls one of her tiny braids through her teeth and nips it. After a few seconds of awkward silence, she releases it, saying, “We talked about this, Lissa. You know I’m right.” I don’t blame her after how our old friends reacted when we started dating. The names and shoving were horrible. School’s not exactly our favorite place anymore, but I still can’t imagine them going this far to prank us. It just doesn’t make sense to me no matter how many times she says it’s true. Finally I grasp onto why it’s bugging me. “They don’t know about what we think about the legends, Aisha.” “Idiots don’t have to know you’re into something to use it against you. Lissa, haven’t you watched the news? People are crazy and think their way is the ONLY way.” “But—” “But nothing. We’re not going to this thing.” Aisha stands, keeping her back to me as she adds, “And if you even think you’re going…” I reach for her hand, hoping I can talk her into it one last time. “Babe, seventy-five years. It’s been forever since someone from our county has been asked to be part of the Skeleton Club.” “Lissa, stop.” “And...

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