“No, I told you. You only pay once,” the dark-skinned, white-haired, pointy-eared creature said. “You pay once upfront, and you get access to magic. Simple as that.” She snapped his fingers to drive the point.
George scratched his chin. “Yeah, but two litres of blood? That’s like all of it.”
The pointy-eared creature sighed. “You have more than that in you and you’ll replenish it in a couple of hours or so.” The creature flashed a row of white teeth and put a slender arm around George’s shoulders. “Besides, it’s not like it’s going to kill you or anything. I wouldn’t allow that, would I? We’re partners.”
“I don’t know…”
“OK, listen. Do you want to learn to use magic yes or no?”
It’s been a week since my latest horror story, At Horizon’s End, went live and it has already garnered a couple of five-star reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, as well as on reviewers’ blogs. You can read these blog reviews here, here, and here. If you’re looking for a quick read, and you’re into horror with a twist of sadness, At Horizon’s End may be a good fit for you.
Some people asked how I came up with the idea and the title of the story.
To explain the idea, I’d have to introduce you to my way of developing stories. Originally, the idea was to have Death in a conversation and a mortal, contemplating Death’s job. For some reason, to this day, I picture them talking over a chess board. I don’t know why, but the image is stuck to my head. Anyway, that idea branched off into having the mortal being the next one Death would take. Which seemed interesting, only I’ve already published
something similar earlier in my career. So, I decided that the mortal should be a child, because of the antithesis it would create (children represent life and future, whereas death, well, the end of life and future).
At that moment, the idea of having something as massive and hard-to-process as death, contrasted with a child’s innocence simply appeared out of nowhere and it made sense. So I revised the story accordingly. But then I had to do something to answer the question, why would Death be talking or playing chess or interacting in any way with a child? That was the final blow to my chessboard picture. Bye bye chessboard.
Instead, I came up with the idea of having Stella’s mother’s passing (Stella is the child in the story). Which, in turn, led to the idea of having Death second guessing himself when he took the child’s mother. Given my Greek heritage where Charon (a name we still attribute to Death here in Greece) ferried the dead in a one-way trip, my story’s Death was also unable to return someone from the afterlife to the lands of the living. Which finally gave rise to the question, how would Death handle such a problem? To answer that question you’ll have to read At Horizon’s End.
How I came up with the title is a different issue. In the story, there is mention through Stella’s memories of the way her mother used to refer to the afterlife. Now, at the time I was listening to a song from Paradise Lost (a band I like a lot), called As Horizons End. Though the song has absolutely nothing to do with the story, it was one of those moments where epiphany knocked on my door. In my mind there was no better way for a parent to explain to their four-year-old child the concept of death. How can anyone explain to a child that they will never see each other again and at the same time attempt to relieve the pain of loss? How else better to soften such a blow, if not by telling them that they will meet again at some point? So when I heard the song, it just clicked.
Lastly, you may want to take a look at the Interviews section. Viking Reviews was kind enough to interview me a couple of weeks ago. If you want to know a little more about me, but never dared ask, this is a your chance 😉
At Horizon’s End, my latest horror story, is now live on Amazon. You can find it here.
The Man Who Fed On Tears always knows whose time it is to pluck from the world of the living. His existence is one of a symbiosis between his need for the tears and woe he causes to those closest to the deceased, and the natural order of life and death to which he is bound. He never questions himself or his actions and has never made a mistake. Until now.
Stella is a four-year-old girl who misses her mommy and wants to see her again. She doesn’t yet understand the concept of loss, so when she sees close family members crying, she tries to stay cheerful and optimistic. After all, Mommy said they’d see each other again when the time comes At Horizon’s End. So if they’ll meet again, why is everyone crying?
The story is free, if you’re on Kindle Select, but $0.99 otherwise.
If you want a review before you buy, Viking Reviews has once again provided a review from an ARC I sent him earlier this month. You can read his review here.
Also, for those of you who don’t follow me on social media, as a way to celebrate the release of my new short story, The Man Behind The Bar is free until July 31. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. You can get your copy here (1 hour delay) or, if you want your copy delivered immediately, you download it from here. Feel free to spread the word, if you know anyone who might enjoy any of my stories.
Here we are again for another short story. Are you ready? It’s time for the world to see its cover. The story’s title is At Horizon’s End.
Publication date: 30 July 2017
For the next three months, At Horizon’s End will be available exclusively from Amazon. Like The Man Behind The Bar, my new story will be available worldwide.
I have already contacted three reviewers to comment on it, both on their sites and on Amazon, so unlike The Man Behind The Bar, this one will have reviews waiting for it when it goes live.
Also, did you notice the new pop up for my newsletter? You can sign up for it and be informed of new releases and future giveaways.
Finally, I was interviewed this past week. I will post a link here on the web page either next week or the week after that. I will most likely include a short excerpt in my newsletter, so if you’d be interested in knowing a little more about me and my work, consider subscribing to it 😉