A witch's thirst for revenge releases terror on a small village. A farmhouse infest of the walking dead hides sinister motives. A lost wager gives a man new sight that leads to murderous deeds. A cranial growth only apparent in a congressman's shadow becomes the focus of an uncanny nightmare. G.R.V. Stone unleashes his first works of horror in this exclusive collection of violent acts committed in the face of madness.
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This is a collection of short stories that pulls no punches and delivers the bloodiest and most violent carnage that I could muster from my feable, little brain. Four tales of madness for $0.99, just in time for Halloween.
By the time the witch came down the hill and out into the cluster of apple trees, it was too late. She sighed hopelessly as the smell of burning skin invaded her nostrils. Thoralisa had been caught by the humans and the foul beings had burned her. She had to be sure.
Moving down and behind the small cabins that made up the village’s housing area, Agatha peered around the corner of one of the broken down old shacks. There, in the town’s center, was her sister’s funeral pyre. Agatha instantly recognized the burning form in the midst of the blaze even through the charred and blackened skin. It was the nose that gave her away. Long and bulbous, it resembled a dill pickle more than a nose. It was her own nose. The same nose that all women in their family had. In those raging flames she could see her future.
She decided then and there that she wouldn’t let it come to that. These humans, with their holy ways and their unwillingness to except those that seemed different than them, would pay for their actions. They would pay dearly.
Humans were an endangered species in Terra Ferna, and the law passed last year by the king made a harmful act against a human illegal and punishable by death. Though Agatha wasn’t afraid of death, she had no intentions of getting her own hands dirty. No, this was not a deed for a woman her age, witch or not.
The morning sun shone down on her ancient skin as she weaved in between the swaying cornstalks. The harvest was nearly upon the village and soon the field would be reaped for the ears of corn that grew with delicious plumpness. The witch had come about a hundred yards or so into the crop before she reached the straw man that was hung there. Crucified for the sake of unmolested vegetables.
“Hello, my friend,” Agatha said in scheming tone. The scarecrow didn’t answer. Instead, he continued to hang there, head down, unfeeling, unthinking.
Opening the satchel that was strapped across her chest, she pulled out the rabbit from inside, holding it by the nape of the neck. With her free hand she produced a knife from a sheath that was strapped to her calf. With a flick of the wrist, the knife made a slit down the rabbit’s abdomen and the creatures warm innards fell out and onto the ground at the base of the scarecrow’s post. A strike of a flint and a spoken incantation, the guts burst into flames and the fire spread around the ragman’s feet. The smoke was thick and came up from the ground, lacing around the straw body like a swirling snake.
The witch backed away from the scarecrow and let the smoke do its work. She raised her hands and used her vast knowledge of the craft to guide the mist to the straw man’s face. “Come, my friend. Don’t be afraid.”
Slowly, with a creak of leather straps and old, waterlogged wood, the scarecrow raised his head. Eyes that weren’t there before stared down at the witch. Eyes that were human, gleaming with life, and had no business staring out of the potato sack head of a man made of straw. Agatha reached beneath her robe and produced a rusty, crescent shaped sickle. She cut the straps that held the scarecrow to his cross and the body fell to his knees.
“You are here to do my bidding, scarecrow,” Agatha said. After several minutes, the straw man reached up with shaking hands and carefully straightened his large brimmed hat. Then, standing on legs that had never been stood on before, he walked to-ward the old woman like a fawn taking his first steps. “Take the blade, my friend. You will be the tool for my vengeance. The extension of my anger.”
The scarecrow took the blade in one gloved hand and stared at it with fascination in his all too human eyes. It was an old, rust covered thing yet it still kept its sharp edge.
“Go,” the witch commanded. “The village lies just beyond this cornfield to the west. Leave no one alive.”