short stories

All posts tagged short stories

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror by Mark Matthews

Published July 10, 2017 by Shadow Girl

★★★★★  5 of 5 ★★★★★

* The reality of addiction is darker than any fiction. *
Drinking and drugging provide the height of human experience.
It’s the promise of heaven on earth,
but the hell that follows is a constant hunger, a cold emptiness.”

Before I read even one story in this ‘reality horror’ anthology – Mark Matthews had me crying so hard that I could barely see. He presents an addiction anthology with compassion, casting no aspersions.

I wan’t to meet Mark Matthews, and give him the tightest hug ever.

“Imagine yourself drowning and being told not to swim to the surface for air.
Obsessions should be so mild.”

I’ll have my full review posted soon – I was going over my notes for this review, and I’m ’emotional’ again…

View more of my reviews

Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers: A Horror Anthology

Published August 31, 2016 by Shadow Girl

“Follow only if you be men of valor, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived! 
Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair, so brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further!”
“For death awaits you all with nasty big pointy teeth.”


‘Experience demented rabbits, chocolate obsessed children drowning in their own greed, serial killers, resurrection and more in this collection guaranteed to kill the cravings of your sweet tooth.’


bunny shadowDesert
by Matt Shaw
“If you’re good – you get chocolate! If you’re bad… He hops right on by…”
Matt Shaw kicks off this collection with a dark tale about a boy who is on Easter break from school, but wishing he was anywhere but home at the moment.

There is a strange noise coming from the hallway –  had someone broken in to abduct him, or to hurt his family? Terrified, he grabs a cricket bat and ventures out to see what is lurking in the shadows…


On a more personal note…
DESERT is a heartbreaking short story – ‘Justin’ is such a brave, wise, and generous little boy who is continuously hurt by the man who is supposed to love him unconditionally. Reading this (and please forgive me for saying this…), makes me want to hunt down the “Senior Sperm Donor” and punch him in the face.    So… Happy Fucking Easter – let’s move on.


BastardBunnyBastard Bunny by David Owain Hughes  Don’t make fun of the guy in the bunny suit – you never know when he could just SNAP and lose his shit! Take a lesson from the people who survive office massacres – throw the weirdos a Snickers every once in a while, and keep your comments to yourself.


rabbit priestDuncan Ralston provides us with an entirely different definition of ‘resurrection’ in His Is Risen!

Want to know more about this SS? There is only one way to find out what is behind the door…

*Bonus points for teaching me ‘DRWS MARWOLAETH’.


EEBB Chickens Poultry UprisingThe Chickens and the 3 Gods by Kit Power
The chickens loved C’ra and R’ak. They tried their best to please, and defer to their Hen & Cock Humans – until the day they brought the mini-human, B’rok to the garden. B’rok brought terror and destruction, yet C’ra and R’ak did nothing to save them. The chickens had been forsaken by their Gods, and now a change in power is in order.    


Wicker BasketsWicker Baskets by Kindra Sowder

Little Jesse loves any holiday that brings with it the promise of candy. He goes to bed excited to find out what the Easter Bunny will bring him in the morning. What he finds when he wakes up will make this an Easter that he will never forget.



LastEasterEggMy Last Easter by Jack Rollins  First off, kudos to the author for the name of his main character! Way to show some love, Jack!  Second – the little sister, Charlotte, grated my nerves… what a whine-y, tattle tale little bitch! I’d look forward to my last Easter if I had to be around that every day.


LepusLepus by Stuart Keane
SK puts a modern horror spin onto the mythology, astrology, and lexology of Lepus – and it’s genius.

  • FunFact: I made a Kindle Note @ Location 1358 that reads: “Cue background music HERE” (I always have background music. The CD will be available for purchase at my funeral).


follow me down the rabbit holeLittle Bunny by Glenn Rolfe
The fluffy brown bunny draws Marlow Shuman deep into Brenner’s Woods where the line between her nightmares and reality is blurred.  She comes face to face with the past, and things aren’t what they seemed – but which version of “the truth” is correct, and who can be trusted?


EEBB RunRabbitRun Rabbit Run by Michael Bray
Gerald Rose is going to make a statement this year and show people the error of their ways. Easter isn’t about gorging Cadburry eggs & marshmallow Peeps – no sir.  Reverend Rose is going to show people the true meaning of Easter.


BunnySnapsWhen A Bunny Snaps by Jim Goforth
Josiah is celebrating Easter at one of his favorite bars – Fantasy Dress. He’s on the wrong side of sober when he sees Bunny sneak out for a smoke break, and he decides to follow her to have a little ‘chat’.  Beaten, bloody, and bruised in the alley behind the bar – she can take no more. Something in her snaps, and nothing is going to stop her from getting the payback that she deserves.


IshtarRebornHelp Me by Neil Buchanan
Jo wakes up from a wicked bender with very hazy snapshots of the night before starting to come into focus.  There’s also a little voice calling out for help inside his head –  which he is not in the mood for right now.
However, Ishtar is in no mood to be ignored.


EEBB Horace BWEducating Horace by Matt Hickman
Being 14 isn’t a picnic for any kid, but for Horace Davidson it is a nightmare. He has been coddled by his mother his entire life, becoming an overweight, under-educated misfit bullied relentlessly by his peers.  He escapes the torment by losing himself in daydreams & fantasies, but not today.  Today is Easter, and his mom has more than chocolate to put in his wicker basket this year.



Deb Loves Robbie by Mark West

This short made me feel like I was riding through a Romeo and Juliet themed Tunnel of Love, if it were created by David Lynch, and George Romero!

♥ ‘Robbie & Deb ~ Nor Death Do Us Part’ ♥


Tradition.Kyle M. ScottThe Tradition is explained to us by Kyle M. Scott. Local legend says that the true spirit of Easter, embodied by a creature that predates Christianity, demands sacrifice in order to keep the children of Abbington Wood safe year after year.
The first born child of any household, under the age of 18, has to paint themselves onto an egg and offer it up to the creature. If the representation of the soul isn’t offered up willingly, the creature will come to collect the real thing. You don’t want to do things the hard way.

* recently released as book four of the Razorblade Candies series.


EEBB HeyZHey-Zeus by Duncan P. Bradshaw
Easter Eve is one of the biggest bar nights of the year, I’ve missed more than one Easter Sunday breakfast with the fam because I was too hungover to even think about smelling ham & deviled eggs  😡
Ed, Guy, and Harry party like goddamn rock stars on Maundy Thursday. I thought I’ve partied, but I’ve NEVER reenacted The Easter Story with my friends! 3:)


Feldman's RabbitFeldman’s Rabbit by Rich Hawkins
The man that entered the old house was shivering, starving, and half-frozen, but determined to survive. He can sustain with the Easter basket he found – “Feldman’s going to be just fine.”  But, is he?  Is the house driving him mad, the chocolate Easter eggs he consumed,  or was he half-mad to begin with?  It doesn’t matter, because Feldman is happier than he could ever remember being.

On The Third Day by Graeme Reynolds

What have I been telling you all these years?

“If it shambles like a zombie, and groans like a zombie…”

…you know how to finish that sentence.


ostaraEaster Eggs by Chantal Noordeloos
If a newly pregnant Rosemary Woodhouse traveled to Summerisle with her husband for a pagan holiday ritual with the fam – it might turn out something like EASTER EGGS.  Chantal has captured elements of two iconic horror films and weaved them into a darkly original story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished.


EasterHunt.JRParkEaster Hunt by author JR Park
Old Pat was hiding this year’s batch of chocolate eggs for the Church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt when he disappeared into the odd, cream colored mist.  Once Sunday services were over, and the strange mist dissipated,  the town’s children run towards the field to begin their search.  They find a lot more than eggs to put in their baskets this year!


buddychristThe Jesus Loophole by Luke Smitherd

Forget about bunnies & eggs; Easter is about Christ’s torture porn style death as atonement for all the sins of man, allowing us to ask for – and receive – forgiveness. But… what if you feel no remorse for you sins?  Is it possible to “cheat the system”? If you want to find a loophole in God’s law there are two men you can ask… Kevin Smith, and Luke Smitherd.




Matt Shaw Facebook @The_Matt_Shaw
Graeme Reynolds Facebook @graemereynolds
Luke Smitherd Facebook @LukeSmitherd
Jim Goforth Facebook @jim_goforth
Stuart Keane  Facebook @SKeane_Author
Kit Power Facebook @KitGonzo
Jack Rollins Facebook @JackRollins9280
David Owain Hughes Facebook @DOHUGHES32
Rich Hawkins Facebook @RichHawkins4
Duncan Ralston Facebook @userbits
Kyle M. Scott Facebook @drphibes333
Duncan P. Bradshaw Facebook
J R Park Facebook @SinisterHC
Glenn Rolfe Facebook @GRolfeHorror
Chantal Noordeloos Facebook @C_Noordeloos
Kindra Sowder Facebook @KindraKinnaman
Matt Hickman Facebook @Matthewhickma13
Neil Buchanan Facebook @Stormbladepro
Mark West Facebook @MarkEWest
Michael Bray Facebook @Michaelbrayauth

Shadow Girl on Social Media





F*cked-Up Shorts – Matt Shaw’s ‘White Cover’ Collection

Published November 21, 2015 by Shadow Girl

The books in Matt Shaw’s ‘White Cover’ Collection, aka ‘Fucked-Up Shorts’, are intended for the members of Kindle Unlimited who have been requesting short, sick, bedtime stories from the author.  Matt is not one to disappoint his readers!!

Each book in the collection is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, and they are available to download for #FREE!


COVER.sickESTBastards      COVER.Shaw.TED     COVER.WatchingWaiting     COVER.Headaches

COVER.FMe.Fyou      COVER.Snuff     COVER.Nugget      COVER.GloryHole

I didn’t use these for short, sick bedtime stories, though. I started off with good intentions last night… but, then I binge read them all.  Well, almost all. I need to get two more after I return the ones I finished.  (Reviews are coming – later today.)
I also HAVE to get the audio version of TED – the sample of Chris Barnes narration had me dying! (I’ll explain in my review.  I’m going to Hell for TED anyway, might as well book my own suite!)


Titles in the Fucked-Up Shorts Collection include:

SICKest B*stards31 pps, published on March 18, 2015
Ted34 pps,  published on April 2, 2015
Watching, Waiting – 55 pps, published on April 24, 2015
Headaches – 36 pps, published on May 9, 2015
F*ck Me? F*ck You! – 35 pps, published on May 11, 2015
Snuff – 30 pps, published on July 22, 2015
Nugget – 43 pps, published on August 18, 2015
Glory Hole, 60 pps, published on September 15, 2015


For $3.99 you can find most of the White Cover Collection in one place –



* A word from Matt Shaw
* Watching, Waiting
* Headaches
* F*ck Me? F*ck You!
* Ted
* Snuff
* Nugget
* and the previously unreleased title “The Box”





THE ROSE MAN (Single Shot Short Story Series Book 12) by Terry M. West

Published January 18, 2015 by Shadow Girl

It’s the summer of 1987. Dane Morrison, and his wife Helen, have been happily married for twenty years. The single red rose he bought for her was an impulse buy, as much for her as it was for the vagrant he purchased it from. Dane didn’t know, couldn’t possibly know, that this single act of tenderness & goodwill would be the beginning of a horrifying journey.


While at work the following week, Dane was thinking about the rose that he had purchased for his wife, and smiling to himself. His smile was short lived, however, as he watched his co-worker stroll into the office late. Again. He looked like shit, and smelled of alcohol, but what Dane noticed was the six roses that Willie was carrying.
Dane saw The Rose Man again on his way home from work, and was surprised to learn that he had been robbed. Some thief snatched a bunch of red roses from The Rose Man’s hand as he drove by. He didn’t tie the two events together right away. But when his co-worker died a grisly death, it was a connection that could not be ignored.

The Rose Man is the twelfth book in the Single Shot Short Story Series from Terry M. West.

You can find THE ROSE MAN on Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, and Shelfari.

You can find Terry M. West on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. He also spreads darkness on his official website – A Psycho’s Medley.
Terry is also the managing editor of the Halloween/Horror website Halloween Forevermore.

The Marionnettiste of Versailles and Other Oddities by Adam Millard

Published January 13, 2015 by Shadow Girl

Warning: This book contains – A sadistic mortician, demonic teddies, murderous sparrows, sentient robots, scenes of the apocalypse, feeders, lycanthropes, serial-killers, war, jealous housewives, cannibalism, creepy-ass neighbours, suicide, flesh-eating parasites, zombies, cowboys, mothmen, Nyogtha, Appalachian folklore, cancer, asteroids, invisible crocodiles, and voodoo. A collection of previously published and brand new macabre and weird tales from bestselling British author, Adam Millard.


Putting warning labels on books can be better than recommendations. (rawr!)


This anthology contains a wide variety of horrors told in 25 short stories. Some shorts are new to this collection, with additional shorts having been seen previously in different publications. (They were all new to me this time. Bonus.)
Cuddly & creepy stuffed animals, ancient legends re-imagined, and even some disturbing stories of love. In Can You Read That Asteroid from Here? I learned some important tips to follow if I ever get my interstellar drivers license, (‘lefty brakey, righty speedy.’) When I started reading Hair, I thought that Joy Killar had secretly gotten to Adam and had him write about the horrors of finding my stray hairs EVERYWHERE, and about them secretly plotting her imminent demise. But, it was a story about a serial killer who might have appreciated my shedding. Stories like Bug Boy, and 7:17 From Suicide Station didn’t hold back on the ‘bum me out’ vibes, but there were plenty of giggles to even things out. When Gladys confronted her husband about his mistress, her question was ‘What’s She Got That I Haven’t?’, you can imagine the multiple replies that could have fit. But, in the end, there was only one answer. If you’ve read Adam Millard before, you know to expect some dark humor peppered throughout his work. What surprised, (and delighted), me were the Easter Eggs hidden within. I love when authors slyly reference their other works, or revisit characters from other stories. I’m sure that if I had read more of the Adam’s work prior to reading this – I’d have found more. But, that just makes me look forward to reading this again in the future.

Marionnettiste Promo lit

You can find The Marionnettiste of Versailles and Other Oddities on Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, and Shelfari.

Visit Adam Millard on his websiteAmazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


Published January 12, 2015 by Shadow Girl

‘Blood for the blood God.
Love, yes, we love God.
Take from us this gift of gore.
Keep the devil from our doors.’



This book contains two new twisted short stories for the holidays.

The title story, Season’s Bleedings, is Jacob Rayne’s version of how we came to follow certain traditions at Christmas – brightly decorated pine trees, gifts, and the man in the red suit with his magical sleigh.

In The Curse of Harry Land, a teacher knows that the best way to get kids to do something that you want them to do is to tell them not to do it.  Miss Hopper warns her students to avoid the house of Harry Land this Halloween.

‘It’s Hallowe’en, time for a scare,
If you trickor treat you’d best beware,
Don’t knock on the door of Harry Land,
Or the devil will come and chop off your hand.’

Season’s Bleedings also contains a bonus sample of The Lazarus Contagion.

Find Jacob Rayne on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and his blog Rayne of Terror.

Season’s Bleedings on Amazon.
Season’s Bleedings on Goodreads.

ASYLUM by Matt Drabble

Published May 28, 2014 by Shadow Girl


Blackwater Heights is a building with a long dark history, some of it is well known but more is shrouded in myth and legend. None more so than that of its founding father Horace Whisker.

Martin Parcell is an ex-journalist with shattered dreams of an author’s career. Sidelined through a car crash’s injuries, he finds himself forced through governmental austerity measures having to take a custodians position at a private mental health hospital. A writer with undoubted talent, but an author without a story.

He begins his new job deep in depression and drowning under waves of his lost dreams. On his first night he meets Jimmy, his elderly supervisor who has spent most of his life within the hospital walls. Jimmy is nearing retirement age and desperate to rest his weary bones. Jimmy offers Martin a way out for both of them, access to the background histories and stories of the hospital’s patients.

A collection of 13 tales from the darkly disturbed minds of the residents of Blackwater Heights.

As the long night unwinds, Martin finds himself deeply troubled as the tales unfold before him and threaten to drag him down into their insanity.

I’ve had this book for a long time. I loved the sound of the synopsis, and am always on the lookout for an asylum story to scare the crap outta me.
It somehow got lost in my Kindle, I think it was from the blow up & the replacement, it screwed up my filing system. When I picked it back up and started over – I remembered how great it started, and I’m pissed that I haven’t read it until now. ALTHOUGH… I am getting to enjoy it right now – so it’s all good. I can’t stay mad at me forever.

The first chapter laid everything down beautifully, and gave me a huge ‘ah-ha’ moment when I figured out how I believe things are going to go.
Martin is a writer. Unfortunately, we all know that writing just doesn’t pay the bills. Looking to make ends meet, he picks up a gig at the ‘bin’… custodial arts at the local mental asylum. While working the first half of his shift, the regular janitor, Jimmy, tells him the background story of this hospital, and of the man who built it.
Martin knows that this is a story that is begging to be told. Jimmy knows it, too.
Jimmy also knows that Martin wants to write this story, so he lays his offer down. “I’ll tell you the story, for 50% of the profit.” He sees that Martin is a little reluctant, so – he ups the ante. All the residents of this hospital – they each have a story, and Martin can be the one to write them. The only thing that stands between him & their memories? The keys on Jimmy ‘s key-ring.
According to the title of this book, there are thirteen different tales of terror in our visit to Blackwater Heights Mental Hospital. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Chapter two tells the us Julian’s tale.
Jillian is a man obsessed with numbers. Everything is precisely scheduled, accounts perfectly balanced, and timed. He came to the UK when the U.S. company he worked for, as an accountant, planned to expand and purchased an area to develop. He was to fly to London and tour the new facility. Sadly, nothing has gone as planned. His plane didn’t land in London, it landed 430 miles away from his planned destination. That’s why Julian rented a car, one without on-board SatNav, and tried to drive the distance. What happened on that drive led to a car accident, a burned down cabin in the woods, and four dead bodies.
Eight days later, he ended up in Blackwater Heights.

Chapter four is Duncan Murray’s story.
Thirty eight years old, the overweight & scruffy graphic designer lives a boring, and practically anonymous life. When the voice in his head started talking to him, he blamed everything from being overly tired to a possible brain tumor. He realized that it was neither of those things when he refused to do the things The Voice was goading him into – The Voice retaliated by causing harm to the people that would have only been mildly inconvenienced or annoyed by the initial suggestion. Refuse to kick that little dog? Ok. It’s owner can enjoy this heart-attack. Refuse to pinch that girls ass? See what I can do that’s worse! Duncan learned to live with The Voice by creating some boundaries & ground rules – until The Voice went silent.
When The Voice finally did return – it was only a matter of hours until Duncan arrived at Blackwater Heights.

Chapter five is Martin and Jimmy discussing things in between rooms, and in between residents. I got a little tickle in my gut here. I got an idea of something to watch for in later scenes with these two. (I just wanted to make a note of it).

In chapter six we learn Dr. Samuel Dietz story.
Dr. Samuel is a man who harbors dark fantasies and even darker secrets. Running an institute for the blind should keep him safe from prying eyes, but his debauchery can’t be hidden from the new resident – Sarah Conner.

Chapter eight is Janet Marlowe’s story.
Janet is working as a psychic, Gypsy Rose to her clients. She knows all the cons to lure in the rich, and prey on their losses. The grieving are willing to accept her words as comfort, until she gets a client that takes her words a little too seriously.

Chapter ten is about Detective Inspector Daniel Bowden.
Dan learns an important lesson while investigating a string of mysterious deaths. And in the end, when he doesn’t get the thing he wants the most – he finally understands.

Chapter twelve is the story of Billy Hayes
Billy gets his first summer job, working in a toy store that is getting ready for it’s grand opening in his little town. It’s not like any toy store he’s ever seen – no X-Box here. These are hand made toys, dolls to be specific. Those creepy dolls, whose eyes seem to follow your every move. His boss, the store’s owner & doll maker, puts his heart & soul into these dolls – like they were his… children.

Chapter fourteen is the tale of twenty-three year old Brittany Nichols – STORMY SEAS
Brittany is a writer, suffering writers block after her first novel topped the critic’s lists but didn’t do well with the public. She goes on holiday looking for her muse, renting a secluded cottage for three months. She finds more than her muse when Mother Nature throws an epic hissy fit.
Brittany isn’t the one who ended up at Blackwater Heights, though.

Chapter sixteen Gerald Dayton
This is an awesome story. One of my favorites so far.
Gerald is an actor – one of those dick-head actors who treats everyone like shit & acts all superior. He has an epiphany one night, and realizes that he’s been… well, he’s been a douche bag. He’s going to turn things around – act for the art, for the feelings it used to invoke in him.
He receives a mysterious script shortly after this. No name attached, only signed ‘The Director’. This script is amazing, and Gerald wants this roll.
He throws himself into it, becomes the character – like Heath Ledger did as The Joker, with almost the same result.
Let me know how you feel about this one – I’m dying to talk about it with someone!

Remember that idea I had – well, I’m even more convinced that I’m headed in the right direction about Jimmy. Martin is tottering back & forth with things, too. He’s not so sure that he wants to do this anymore.

Chapter eighteen Donnie Biggs
A group of teens want to be the next great band. The white faces and black make-up, leather clothes fit for The Village People. They can hardly play, but that doesn’t matter. When you’re hungry enough for success, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to become a star – and these boys are hungry.

Chapter twenty Morton Banks
There was a talk show host ages ago, before talk shows are what they are today. Hell, before they were what they were in their height of success. A host who was cool At first, until the novelty wore off & we saw him for the sham he was. Sleazy. More sleazy than the guests on Springer today. He smoked on the set, and told off the guests. I am thinking this has to be loosely based on this guy, or else it’s one hell of a coincidence! Morton Downey Jr. is the guy I’m referring to, and if you know who he is (was), then you’ll see the resemblance when you read this chapter.
Morton Banks is the host of a failing paranormal investigation television show. He needs to be back on top, so he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get there, even if it includes faking a live broadcast from a notorious killers home & killing ground.

Chapter twenty-two
Major Donald Carragher has a YELLOW STREAK a mile long! He went to extreme measures to hide his shame while serving his country. Now, he thinks he’s made it, that no one will ever find out, but a blast from the past begs to differ! In the end – will he finally stand UP and do what’s right, or will this be the time that his secret is exposed for the whole world to see?

Chapter twenty-four
Zachary Carmine is the harshest, and most snarky food critic to ever work for the paper. His readers love to hate him, and the restaurants he reviews for his column, DISH OF THE DAY, are made or broken by the few lines he shoots out – usually before he even tries the food.
He gets a mysterious call that leads him to try the best food he’s ever tasted, and that one taste changes him – forever.

Chapter twenty-six
Sara Wilton is taking a NIGHT CLASS in Criminology. She’s faced with a question I’ll ask you guysow, too…
Do you think you could pick out a serial killer on looks alone? I’m drawn to this phrase again – Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover!!

Twitter: MattDrabble01
Facebook: matt.drabble.3

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