Consulting Credit

Happy Halloween. I hope you enjoy this creepy little piece.

Shadows scare people because they don’t know what might be lurking in them. If we paid attention to them, they wouldn’t be so mysterious. The things that lurk there are dark, not invisible.

I’m quite familiar with shadows. I look in them, I hide in them. 

I create them. 

I waited outside the campus library, blending into the shadows in a gray coat and dark jeans. I must have looked like any other college student, idly flipping through Instagram while I waited for a friend so we could walk home together. It’s much safer for women to walk together than alone. 

Soon I saw what I was looking for. The one who caught my eye was probably a senior. His face was buried in his phone, typing one-handed as he adjusted his backpack. Everyone tells girls to watch their surroundings. No father takes their son aside to discuss keeping themselves safe in public. That helps me.

I turned off my phone. Without its glow, I vanished.

The further we got from the library the fewer people were around. I spent this time watching the man. Why had I chosen him? I don’t ever know. There’s just something about some people. A discoloration in their aura, perhaps. A scent they give off. Or maybe it’s just the timing of it all. He came out when it was dark enough to be safe.

Either way, the time was now.  

“Excuse me,” I called.

The man jumped. “Oh, sorry,” he said. “I didn’t see you.”

“Can you help me? My dog got out, and I think she’s in this construction up here.”

“Oh, sure,” he said. Of course. “What does she look like?”

He pocketed his phone and walked ahead of me. Such a gentleman. 

“She’s a terrier mix. White with brown spots. Her name’s Trixi.”

Of course, he called out the name, “Trixi!” 

I did the same. 

There was a scratching sound from a room near the back, where the walls were finished.

Again he took the lead. I waited until I could close the new door behind us. The loop of wire went around his neck most satisfactorily.

The man tried to yell, but it came out strangled, gurgling. I pulled him down. Something moved in the shadows, but I ignored it. There was an ax there, waiting for me.

One good blow to the head was enough to make sure he couldn’t move Then I could use my smaller tools at my leisure. Plyers, fiberglass, matches. It was over too quickly, but most good things are. There was still the cleanup. I had a good little electrical saw to slice up the remains, and a barrel of lye at the ready. 

As I worked, someone moved in the shadow. A woman stepped out.

She’d worn heels and her little business suit. How foolish. But at least she’d remembered to dress in colors for the shadows.

“Great, this is really some great stuff,” Sophie said. She was scratching down notes on her notepad. She nearly glowed in the shadow. 

“Really, I can’t thank you enough.” She held out her hand to shake mine. A smear of blood transferred from my flesh to hers, standing out against her pale skin. 

“We have to get you consulting credits on the show. I couldn’t write it without this experience.”

“That would be great,” I smiled. Maybe I’d even score a visit to Hollywood out of it. People go missing in the shadows there all the time.

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Market, Witches, Warlocks, Demons, and other Evil Doers

Have you signed up yet for the Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas Challenge?  Don’t worry, you’ve got all month to do it.  Here’s a link to sign up.

This market is probably my favorite one this month, because I get to write about a bad guy!  In fact, you have to.  This anthology is all about writing a story from the point of view of an evil, dark character.  Whether your evil protagonist wins or not is up to you.  Mine probably will.

Genre- Horror.

Word Count- 4,000 to 8,000

Submission Date- September 1

Wait Time- Two to three months after deadline

Payout- $25.00

Rights- Not specified

Here is your link to the full submission guidelines.  Let me know if you have any success with this or any other market, and I’ll include you in the monthly brag board, complete with a link to your site if you’ve got one.

Market, Grave Markers

Five more days until the exciting announcement.

This isn’t an anthology or a short story collection. It’s something different, and I think really cool. Have you ever written an in between story, lengthwise? I mean a story that was too long to be short fiction, but not long enough to be a novella? I have, and it’s irritating. I can’t cut it down or I risk losing important parts of the story. I can’t add anything to it without making it feel… puffy.

Well, if you write horror, Grave Markers are the answer to this. Fair warning, the publisher has said they only intend to take up to six a year. But this is totally worth it.

Genre- Horror
Word Count- 10,000 to 20,000
Sub Date- Any time
Wait Time- Standard, about two months
Payout- Not listed

As always, here is a link to full submission guidelines. Let me know if you have luck with this or any other market so that I can include you in the monthly brag board.

Market, Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups

I know, I know, I promised I was going to give the horror sites a rest, but it’s really hard when I keep finding such awesome ones!  And I mean, really, what says summer more than a good campfire story?

Creepy Campfire stories for grownups is all about a good story.  Gore is fine, so long as it’s not gratuitous.

I also have to add, that I heard about this awhile ago, and wrote it off because it had a reading fee.  They took that away, so that’s a big plus.  Remember, I never post markets that are pay to play.

Genre- Horror

Word Count- 1,500 to 6,000

Sub Date- August 1

Wait time- September 20.

Payout- 4 cents a word.

Rights-Exclusive print and epublishing rights of selected work for six months from publication date.

Don’t forget to check out the full submission guidelines, which can be found here. Good luck.

Did you have luck with this, or any other market?  Let us know, and you’ll be listed on the Monthly Brag Board, published on the last day of each month!

Market- Horror Tree

You know I’m a sucker for horror short fiction. Here’s one that really caught my attention, called The Horror Tree. Here’s what they’re looking for, from the site itself; Tacitus Publishing’s 2015 anthology project is – HAUNTED BY THE PAST. We are looking for short fiction that pays tribute to some of the past greats – M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Sheridan Le Fanu. The story should be a ghost story that carries the tone, stylistic language, and/or classic story structure.

Genre- Horror Fiction
Word Count- 1,500 to 5,000
Sub Date- August 31
Wait Time- Sometime after August 31.
Payout- 1 cent a word

Check out the site, because there’s some tricky bits about formatting that you’ll need to observe. And, fair warning, you’ll be up against yours truly, because I just can not pass this one up.

Have any luck with this market, or any other? Let me know for the monthly brag board, posted on the last day of every month.

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