SHE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd

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excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlackCOVER


SHE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL
by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd
Jamie checked his watch against the computer clock, then, with a sick stomach lurch, desperately glanced up at the clock on the wall. “No. No, no.” Shit. He wasn’t going to make it home on time. Jamie grabbed his files and briefcase, then dashed for the elevator, tapping his foot as the numbers slowly lit, begging it to move faster. When the doors finally slid open, he entered and breathed a sigh of relief to find it empty. No one was going to slow him down with small talk or ask how he’d been, how things were at home…
“Wait!” a woman’s voice called from nearby. “Please! Hold the elevator.”
Jamie stuck out his hand to block the automatic doors.
Hannah, a sweet new hire from Accounting, slid into the elevator and flashed him a smile.
Cold sweat prickled over his neck. Jamie could smell her, he realized. She was wearing some flowery perfume that sent him into a panic. His hand shot out to block the doors again. “You know, I think I’ll take the stairs instead. It’s better for me, anyway,” he muttered as he rushed out of the elevator. Jamie was out of earshot before she had a chance to reply, hustling his way down the echoing concrete stairwell.
On the drive home, he sped whenever he could, trying to earn back the minutes, but at that hour, everyone else had the same plan, and he found himself snarled in a traffic jam that sucked away the time. Jamie kept flashing hateful, frightened looks at the dashboard clock, swearing at it for doing its job so goddamn precisely. Sweat broke out across his skin, even though the AC was on full blast, and no matter what radio station he switched to, nothing could take his mind off the clamoring refrain pounding in his head.
I’m gonna be late.
Elena’s gonna be furious. She’s gonna punish me.
But it’s not my fault! I can just tell her-
She’s not gonna listen. She’s gonna make me crawl.
The car behind him honked, and Jamie rolled forward a few feet, before the fear-song began again:
I’m gonna be late.

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


braddShenoa Carroll-Bradd lives in Southern California and loves writing horror and fantasy stories.
Short stories were her first love, but she’s currently working on several novels, screenplays, and a graphic novel series.

Her writing idols are Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, and George R. R. Martin. 

You can find Shenoa on Facebook here.

PIG ROAST by Aaron Gudmunson

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excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlackCOVER


 

PIG ROAST
by Aaron Gudmunson

Chet fancied himself a mustard aficionado. It was more than that though; mustard was his passion. Chet loved red meat, period. He didn’t care that he stood shy of six feet and pushed 300 pounds–food was his life and if that meant forfeiting a few years at the far end, that would suit him fine. Nothing compared to food. Not his ailing mother, who he’d placed in a cut-rate nursing home last May, not his lackluster job as a claims adjuster for a second-tier insurance company, not even his Great Dane Groucho. Food. Was. It.

In his lifetime, he’d scarfed bushels of burgers, mountains of meatloaf, bundles of bratwurst, and cables of kielbasa–all of them enhanced by the glorious spice of mustard.

Arch’s Market was a throwback to the years before big box stores combined gardening with groceries. Arch’s was old school, a squat seven-aisle shop smack in the center of town. It specialized in specialties–it was the only place within a hundred miles where you could buy thirteen varieties of honey and three hundred types of cheese. The in-house bakery pumped out pumpernickel–his all-time favorite bread–in basket after basket of steaming loaves. Arch’s butcher was an artist, fileting and dicing and chopping like a master craftsman, which he was.

And then there was the mustard aisle. Well, half an aisle anyway. The opposing shelving held standard condiments like ketchup and pickles and corn relish and the like, but Chet never even glanced their way. They were all so pedestrian.

His pulse quickened every time he stood before the golden wall of goodness. There were Dijons and deli-styles, honeys and hots, spirited and sweets, whole grain, fruit, beer, and lovely simple yellow. He’d sampled many brands and varieties and had narrowed down his favorites. But there were still so many to try!

Chet loved the 4th of July because the Park District held an annual pig roast and oyster bake. For eight bucks, you got a plate of seared pork with baked beans, cole slaw, a buttered roll and all the oysters you could shuck. Now the rest of the stuff could go to hell, to Chet’s mind, but the pork was utterly to die for. He’d stand soaking in the smoke at the edge of the stone pit while the pig spun over the open flame. He’d savor it. Foster it. Turn it into a deep crave which would start as a black hole in his belly and threaten to devour him whole. By the time the beast finished blackening, Chet’s mouth would fill with saliva so fast he’d have to subtly spit into the grass. By the time he got his plate, he’d pay extra for doubles.

And he always brought his own mustard. He’d carry the jar in a fanny pack, usually a spicy brown. Mustard made everything taste better. Everything.

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


 

aaron g1Aaron Gudmunson lives and writes in the Chicagoland area. He has worked as a contributing writer and columnist for local and regional periodicals. His work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Apex, Dark Moon Digest, and Empirical Magazine. His debut novel, Snow Globe, is available now in Kindle and trade paperback formats, as is Emma Tremendous, his first novel for young adults (written as A.D. Goodman). Visit him on the web at http://www.aarongudmunson.com.

Wrapped In Black – Coming this Fall!

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black witch hatThe submission window is closed and we are about to begin the reading process for

WRAPPED IN BLACK

 Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

#13WitchTales

We received the largest submission response yet to one of our anthologies and hopefully that means we are doing something right! A big THANK YOU to everyone who submitted!

Check back here to keep up with the latest. We will announce the selected authors by the end of July. We will be sharing excerpts, author bios and interviews, and GIVEAWAYS! Bookmark SekhmetPress.com, LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and stalk us on Pinterest and Tumblr.

And don’t forget to check out our previous anthologies

Wrapped In Red

 Thirteen Tales of Vampiric Horror

and

Wrapped in White CoverWrapped In White

Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

 

Open Call * Submissions * Horror Anthology – CLOSED

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As we approach the March 25th release of

WRAPPED IN WHITE

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Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

Sekhmet Press is pleased to announce

our next anthology in the successful WRAPPED series!

wrapped in blackWRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales

of

Witches and the Occult

Here is your chance to be a WRAPPED contributor!
We are very excited about this third anthology and we look forward to filling available slots through open-call submissions. You may submit your story as an attachment to sekhmetpress@gmail.com between May 18, 2014 and June 8, 2014. Contributors will be announced in July. Expected release date for Wrapped in Black is October 2014.
Original stories only please. No reprints.
Any submissions or inquiries sent anywhere other than sekhmetpress@gmail.com  will be deleted. Submissions received before or after open call dates will be deleted.
Stories should range from 2,500 to 5,000 words.
We are not looking for stories reflecting religious dogma.
In your email, make sure to include your full name, the title of the work you are submitting, and a word count.
A short Bio will be requested upon acceptance of story.
Please spend time proofing and editing your submissions before sending them. Submissions with incorrect grammar, misspellings or formatting will be automatically excluded from the review process. Those submissions that are accepted must be open to receiving minor editorial corrections.
If your story is chosen, pay rate is $0.01 per word, within 30 days of acceptance/signed contract and one paperback copy of WRAPPED IN BLACK within 90 days of publication. Publisher will retain first worldwide publication rights for one year from publication date.
Good luck

Submission Guidelines:

TITLE
Author Name
Word count
e-mail address

12pt Garamond or equivalent

Single Spaced

Do not use TAB key. New paragraphs should be formatted with a 0.3 indent.

Do not use symbols such as # or * between sections. A single blank space is sufficient.

Now go write a story!

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