horrorbytheslice.com… Home of Author Sunni Ellis… Keening moans from a blind man’s dreams…smudge of moon on churchyard lace…the hollow baying of the hounds. Why be alone in your madness? Come see us for a story…stick around for the FREE Cat … Read More
All Stories Horror stories by author Sunni Ellis designed to scare the hell out of you! Read the teasers and purchase the full story direct from the writer.
Texas Rangers…the line between good and evil, live and die by a creed of honor…No man in the wrong can stand against a man in the right that just keeps on comin’… Highway 90 is a long, lonely stretch of flat hugging the Texas – Mexico border and the rusting tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Sun-scorched, a wide open treeless sweep of scrub terrain with not much to relieve the tedium except for the occasional prickly pear cactus. Folks say that when the dust blows up in Mexico, they sneeze in Texas, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a man inclined to argue. Teardrop Texas…thirty miles to water..twenty miles to timber… two hundred sixty miles to Austin..and ten miles to Hell…boasted three churches, sixty bibles, two brothels, seven bars…and Samson Goodnight…Texas Ranger. The only sure thing in Samson’s life was Jackpot, a surly behemoth of an Appaloosa, sixteen hands high and weighing in at twelve hundred pounds His partner, confessor and best friend for over fifteen years. The air sang with the ringing of his hooves as they burned into the ground, heartbeat and hoofbeat in perfect rhythm. When Gabriel called the fire down from Heaven, Samson and Jackpot would be leading the charge.
……………Cheerful laughter died in her throat, muted by a distant blood-curdling howl that made her hair stand on on end. Adrenaline kicked in and she moved quickly to pull the doors shut. There was no lock. Jackpot whinnied and paced nervously, shaking his head. Crow crept closer to Delilah until he was sitting on her feet, then lowered his head and snarled. “Maybe it was just a coyote,” she whispered. Underneath the constant drone of the wind there was another sound, vague at first, but as it drew closer to the barn it intensified. An indistinct scratching, like claws across a blackboard, hundreds of claws. The blood drained from her face as she waited for it to fade. but it didn’t. Soon, there came a chorus a gnashing growls and the air was choked with the reeking stench of sulfur. Fear spread through her body like an infection when a light knocking at the barn doors echoed off the walls, and they began to swing slowly open. Her legs felt like rubber, she scooped Crow up into the crook of her left arm, curled the sweaty fist of her right into Jackpot’s thick mane and vaulted onto his bare back………………. Samson pushed back from the table drawing his revolver in a single fluid motion as the tranquil Texas night combusted into pandemonium. He hit the porch in time to see Jackpot and Delilah tearing up the landscape with a onslaught of beasts at their heels. “Colton..head for the pickup..now!,” he snapped, then silently raised his revolver and scanned the distance. Sheriff Colton inched forward to stand beside him, shouldering his shotgun. Chupacabras, a solid wall of them slithered from the shadows, closing in from all directions and cutting off any chance of escape. Minutes passed before Colton broke the silence.”Why are they waiting?” he croaked. Samson leveled the 44 Mag and shook his head, “I guess because they can.” The mournful waver of a soul crushing wail signaled attack and they dropped to all fours, bounding straight for their prey in a malignant surge of unchecked rage……
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She had made this walk countless nights before and it would take more than a few jacked up juveniles to harsh her mellow. Okay, she paused mid-stride, senses on alert, maybe something like the ear-splitting mega-blast of Bose speakers pulsating from that ’69’ Barracuda, Blizzard Blue and waxed to cruise, screeching around the corner a few blocks up on Maple Avenue. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs on steroids, “Hey there little red riding hood..you sure are lookin’ good…”, rattling darkened storefront windows and her newly-found sense of composure. Tires smoked as the ‘Cuda ground to a crawl, straddling the empty street. Glaring light from the full October moon ricocheted off polished chrome, briefly blinding her. The passenger door swung open and a deep voice rumbled from the driver’s side, “Get in, Red “. It was the kind of voice that made panties drop and grown men pay attention. Still, she was a bit surprised to find that she was actually considering doing just that. Should she wait for her ship to come in, or swim? Oh come on, who’s zoomin’ who? She’d still be swimming after they drained the pool. A small voice piped up in the back of her mind, “Unless, of course, the Earth is flat and you go over the edge.” Jess strolled slowly toward the car at an easy, even pace, rested a hand on the car door and leaned forward for a better look inside. “Holy jumping Moses!”, Jess gasped,slightly embarrassed by a sharp intake of breath . She was point blank staring at the face of an angel. Indecently mesmerizing, hair falling across his gold-flecked eyes like a gin house gigolo after a long night of dancing. X-toe boots, ripped jeans, garage tee rolled at the shoulders with a pack of Marlboro Reds tucked into the fold. He was quite possibly the most beautiful creature she had ever seen…….Around mile marker 166, somewhere between the cornfields and the crows, he veered off and followed an isolated dirt road for about a half mile before he pulled over and stopped. Pulling a Marlboro from the pack, he fired it up then stepped out of the car without so much as a glance in her direction. He stretched, then hopped up on the hood and leaned lazily back against the windshield, staring up at the brilliant canopy of stars.
Ah..Love..weightless and invisible…transcending time, distance…even mortality. No collection of stories would be complete without it. Still..a word of advice..should you happen to bump into our lovers on some dark, deserted street -Wolves and the moon…you always know where you stand…
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Beasley’s Ridge Cemetery welcomed most new occupants via Burns Funeral Home and Crematory while Reverend Malcolm Spragg, spiritual pillar of the Fortune Falls Church of Christ, did the best he could to assure a good send-off for each and every one. A man just can’t witness that many black suits and waxy, tear-puffed faces without stepping into the shoes of the bereaved. As Reverend Spragg suffered from Taphophobia, or fear of being buried alive, he devised a method to watch over his flock to the very end. In addition to the Good Book, a pine box and a pre-dug hole, each had a thin chain tied to the index finger of the deceased that extended from the coffin to a silver grave bell staked behind the headstone… On a gentle slope near the bluff overlooking Fortune Falls, the sickly, sweet smell of funeral flowers made him sneeze. Stanley edged closer, running a gnarled hand along the headstone, then knelt down for a better look. The epitaph was fresh, BRANDON WILCOX…BORN ON A MONDAY – DIED ON A THURSDAY…DON’T TOUCH MY STUFF. Could it be more perfect?! Heart racing, nostrils flaring, he spun the combination on his briefcase like a roulette wheel and popped the locks, gingerly removing the aerosol canister incubating inside. He staggered to his feet, swiped a thin line of sweat from his upper lip with the sleeve of his lab coat and hoisted the lethal container over his head like the Sword of Damocles. “Welcome to Hell, let’s see if you can cheat Death!” he bellowed venomously, before releasing the entire payload of ZED666 into the freshly dug soil. Freed from icy exile, the sinister pathogen flourished, greedily racing from grave to grave in an evil incantation of impending doom. Reflections of an ancient moon throbbed in Stanley’s widening eyes, what had he done? He flinched and heaved the vile canister as far as he could, raw nerves screaming at the edge of his skin, then jerked backward snagging his heel in a funeral wreath and tumbling to the ground in a cowering heap. Images began to creep into the margins of his mind, dark, spidery things with scraping claws. A sibilant tea-kettle hiss of chains keened in the silence, followed by an eerie, almost beautiful, vibrancy of bells, clear tones rising above the wind like Celtic runes. Dust choked the air, mingling with the putrid stench of decaying flesh. Graves bulged and collapsed like dominoes, unleashing a menacing toll of rusty throats, mewling and moaning, building slowly in a grapevine of feverish clamor. Grasping arms breached the contaminated ground, desiccated flesh peeling from bones… they bridged the gap between death and the living in a unified wave of diabolic choreography, all heads pivoted toward Stanley. Hobbling on shaky legs, they shambled forward, moldy blackened tongues lolling and twisting between snapping yellow teeth. They were hungry…really hungry, in fact…they were ravenous……….
WAKE UP all you zombies and zealots out there! You’re tuned in to KKIL all-request radio in Nashville…98.6 FM on your radio dial…late-night cat fight mojo to keep the wheels rollin’! This is Dr. Scarlett Harp…live and unapologetic… pulling down the moon with a little radical empathy for the souls and soul-less. I’ll be smashing portraits over the airwaves just to hear the hearts break from midnight until the cock crows. So tell me…who’s on your heart tonight? Is there a special someone? Charge up that iPhone and call 615-555-5666…Send them a message in the language of the angels..let the music do your talkin’! Our first request this evening goes out to Charley Spackle and the gang, hunkered down in the basement of the Church Of Christ in North Atlanta. Here to say…KNOCK KNOCK..is Oingo Boingo! “I was struck by lightning, walkin down the street…I was hit by something last night in my sleep.. It’s a dead man’s party, who could ask for more..Everybody’s comin’, leave your body and soul at the door…..”
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Diffused moonlight skimmed the imposing gray silhouette of the chapel, rising like an impenetrable fortress against a bleak October sky. History and beauty saturated massive, ivy-sheltered stones washed in the tears and prayers of the faithful. What could possibly go wrong? It was an innocent church carnival and this was Saint John The Evangelist…….
Moonlight illuminated the faded carnival signs and the Butcher studied each with an unwavering gaze as he trudged through the crowd, pressing his boot-heels into the gravel with slow, deliberate steps. Celebrants, suddenly chilled as if all the heat had just seeped into the ground, instinctively cleared a path around him, minimizing the friction between him and the target. Abruptly, she stiffened, her skin crawled as warning needles gathered at the back of her skull. She didn’t bother looking back over her shoulder, without hearing a sound, she knew that he was coming. There, in the dim recesses behind the blinding glare of multi-colored lights, she thought she caught a silhouette moving resolutely toward her. She blinked to make sure it was real, raising a lump in her throat that made it impossible to swallow……. The Butcher grinned broadly, the head-start never failed to spice things up, always thinking they could get away from him. Of course, they never did. He followed close at a steady pace in the darkness, engulfed in his own shadow, past the wrought iron gates and well-tended gardens. A thin piping of wind echoed off alabaster statues lining the walkway like the fragile songs of martyred saints. Pausing at the heavy iron-bound chapel doors, he gazed up into the high arched windows of the bell tower and shook his fists,……
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Monster slayer, avatar of salt and dust, drifting through Hades in a hand-basket. Gravel popped like collapsing stars as Elvis skidded the Indian to a bone-shaking stop. Spirals of dust muddled the air, partially obscuring a looming thirty foot entry arch crowned with baroque lettering, ZOLTARS COSMIC CARNIVAL & MEDICINE SHOW. It’s garish neon veneer of glamour sparked and twinkled with millions of tiny lights in candy shop colors. A ticket booth centered in the middle was ornately carved with cherubs and blossoming scrolls, then lacquered in vivid yellow, magenta and royal blue enamels. Directly below the tinted glass window in front, a tall fluorescent blue cross flashed on and off. The booth was empty so he let the Indian idle for a bit, ears tuned for the crack of doom, or maybe the songs of angels. No way to figure how long he’d been riding this time, his lips were cracked and bleeding and his tongue had swollen to the roof of his mouth. He was hard jonesing for a shot of bourbon, okay maybe two, but seeing as he was just one bender short of oblivion, he lit a smoke…
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“Take your seats folks,” Grandma beamed, “Happy Thanksgiving!” When everyone had been seated, forks in hand, they were startled from their festive frenzy as the front door flew wide open and crashed loudly against the wall. There in the door frame stood Bessie, all two hundred and fifty pounds of her. No one said a peep as she lumbered into the dining room and took a chair between cousin Peg and her date, that scarecrow skinny clerk from down at the Auto Zone. “Surely someone knew why the bear was here,” they all thought silently. Nobody was gonna be the first to ask. Plates festooned from hand to hand, like a subplot in a Thanksgiving play. A few took turns at attempting small talk, but the bear don’t make the weather… just pass the mashed potatoes. Anxiety pooled at the far end of the table and they began to eat faster in self defense, as portions dwindled. Dust settled on gratuitous gossip, who had blundered into debt or gained a few pounds, who had gotten divorced. Eventually, all talk ceased entirely, except for a series of whistles and grunts to keep the bear happy. And Bessie did seem very happy to be there, sharing food and goodwill, all the things that bind life together.
Heads turned in unison to the back driveway as they heard a truck pull in and stop, tailpipes rumbling. “Oh, good lord,” they thought, “What now?” When they all spun around in their chairs to see how the bear would react to this new development, Bessie was gone…… …….Folks sank back into well-worn couches and lazy boys and turned attention to their respective electronics, football games, boyfriends, stock reports, while the smaller children sat cross-legged on the floor to watch the Wizard Of Oz on Grandma’s new sixty-five inch Sony that they had all chipped in on last Christmas. Grandma sat in a straight-backed chair against the wall, filled with love and gratitude. Somewhere between Munchkinland and the flying monkeys, the roofies kicked in……..
There are moments, when the stars line up just right and what goes down doesn’t always stay down. Dynamics may change…bears probably won’t. They make friends for life…make their own laws…and punish those who break them….
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