Supernatural Noir is OUT NOW!

Supernatural Noir

Werewolves, vampires and other creatures of the night prowl the neon and blood soaked streets in this sharp short story collection that places the supernatural in a hardboiled noir world.

“If you like noir then you’ll love this. If you like supernatural fiction you’ll love this. If you like great descriptive prose you’ll love this.”

— Darren Sant, author of Tales From The Longcroft Estate

You can grab Supernatural Noir from Amazon.com, Amazon UK and loads of other joints.

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Short, Sharp Interview: David Owain Hughes

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PDB: What’s going on?

So much! This new release has me chasing my tail, what with having to contact copious amounts of editors for local magazines and newspapers, bloggers, reviewers and anyone else with a dark, dingy corner on the internet willing to advertise it on their website. I’m also knee-deep in interviews. Combined, it’s taking up my days, and it’s forced me to put the writing on hold for the time being, which isn’t a bad thing as I’m getting plenty of reading done. Something I’ve neglecting of late.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work? 

It depends if I’m in the zone or not. If I’m going great guns, I’ll tend to stick some music on. If I’m struggling, I prefer silence, so I can concentrate. More often than not, I have music playing. But never, ever when I’m reading – that would drive me bonkers.

 

PDB: What makes you laugh?

King of Queens, Laurel and Hardy, Only Fools and Horses, Bottom, TheInbetweeners, One Foot in the Grave, Carry On and anything dark, crude or lewd. It’s how I roll, man. King of Queens is definitely my ‘go to’ show. If I’m down, in need of cheering or stuck for something to watch, any series of that show is the first thing I reach for. It calms me.      

 

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover? 

Surplus amounts of tea and a full English breakfast. Is there a better cure?! If there is, I’ve not heard about it. Also, I’ll have a cheeky ‘hair of the dog’, too. Shh!

 

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Anywhere near a beach, fairground and amusement arcade.   

 

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

 I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, getting my arse to the States before I die would be at the top with a bullet! I have daydreams of tearing down Route 66 in an American muscle car. Who doesn’t, I suppose. I’d also like to see the Great Wall of China and visit a strip club. I think the latter’s fairly doable, what do you think?

 

PDB: What’s on the cards? 

A sequel to South by Southwest Walesthat’s for sure. I plan to start writing Any Which Way but South Wales in the coming weeks. For now, it’s the only project I have planned, bar a few short stories I may write for anthology calls, etc.  

 

received_10213192081906758PDB: Anything else?

 Not off the top of my head. Thanks for the awesome interview.

Bio: David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly instil in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had multiple short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine, and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novels “Walled In” (2014), “Wind-Up Toy” (2016), “Man-Eating Fucks” (2016), and “The Rack & Cue” (2017), “South By Southwest Wales, along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and “Choice Cuts” (2015). He’s also written three novellas – “Granville” (2016), “Wind-Up Toy: Broken Plaything & Chaos Rising” (2016).

His Amazon author page is here.

His website is here.

He’s on Twitter here.

 

#FRIDAY FLASH: THE ZODIAC CLUB

The Zodiac Club, at 666 Casanova Street, loomed ominously over Silver City like a great black spider waiting to ensnare its prey. Once a full moon clung to the sky, a sickly stew of screams and howls clung to the wind and drifted down to the city, coaxing Victor Brown from an already fitful sleep.

Retired Police Detective Victor Brown was a discarded and crumpled tissue of a man who spent night after night on his soaking bed as dark dreams and worse memories lapped at the shore of his sleep. Until he awoke, drowning in sweat.

Each night, violent thoughts brewed and bubbled to boiling point until, at last, one cold winter night, thought congealed into action.

*

Just after midnight, Victor stumbled out of his clammy bed and into the migraine bright bathroom. He splashed his face with water and looked in the cracked mirror at his battle-scarred face with its furrowed brow and drinker’s nose.

He stumbled back into the bedroom and collapsed on the bed. Wheezing, he poured himself a large Jack Daniels. His eyes filled up with tears as he looked at the dusty framed photo of his wife and child, on holiday outside Silver City. He picked it up and kissed it.

It had been ten years since their car had broken down and they had made the fatal mistake of going to The Zodiac Club for help.

Victor blamed himself, of course. He’d been on a stakeout and hadn’t answered the phone when his wife had called. He knew what went on behind the walls of the Zodiac Club once the moon was full and gibbous. The whole Police Department knew but what could they do? Nick Casanova owned the club and owned the whole stinking city.

He switched on the lone light bulb, which buzzed and flickered, revealing a room cluttered with wooden barrels and crates. And a large, battered, black suitcase.

Victor opened it wide. Inside were a Glock, three grenades,six silver bullets and a gleaming silver dagger. He said a silent prayer and guzzled from a bottle of bourbon before fastening a crucifix around his neck.

*

The moonlight oozed across Silver City’s shattered sidewalks like quicksilver; creeping between the cracks, crawling into the gutters. Victor slowly walked up the hill, his breath appearing in front of him like a spectre.

As he got closer to the Zodiac Club’s blinking neon sign, Victor could hear music and laughter. The screech of a woman suddenly sliced the air. Victor shivered, pulling the long black overcoat close to his flesh. He pulled out the pistol and carefully pushed open the large metal door. He paused and then stepped into the hallway.

Checking his pistol, Victor walked toward the sounds. He paused in front of a pair of wooden doors and kicked them open.

The room was suffocating in red velvet and leather. Half eaten corpses littered the marble floor and around them, feasting, were some sort of creatures – half man, half wolf.

Instinctively, Victor threw a grenade.

The next few moments were a flash of fireworks and explosions.

As the smoke subsided, the creatures crawled towards him.

There were about five of them. A couple of them ran toward Victor but he sprayed them with silver bullets. He threw another grenade and kept on firing as the wolf creatures pounced.

Then there was silence except for his heartbeat. And a snarling sound. Victor turned and saw the wolf behind him ready to attack. As he went for his revolver the wolf was on him, knocking him to the ground.

With a series of slashes from his silver Bowie knife, it was over and Victor was soaked with blood. Panting he struggled to move the werewolf’s corpse and blinked as a hand grenade rolled onto the ground. And then he looked into wolf’s bloody jaws. A grenade’s pin was attached to one of its incisors.

Victor gasped and started to say a prayer.

And then it all turned black.

(This yarn first appeared at A Twist Of Noir)

Recommended Read: The Coming Thing by Anne Billson

the coming thingNancy is an unsuccessful London actress whose life goes decidedly pear-shaped when she gets pregnant – with the Antichrist.

Anne Billson’s The Coming Thing is a hell of a romp.

It’s like an inventive, witty and fast-moving cocktail of Ealing Comedy, the Final Destination films, The Plank, ’80s satire, and more.

The Coming Thing is a bundle of joy and is highly recommended.

 

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

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(Image via IndieWire)

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

Hellboy is returning to the silver screen next year with Stranger Things actor David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman as the titular character. The film is looking to strike a new tone with the film’s screenwriter Andrew Cosby stating that the reboot will be a “darker, more gruesome” version than the previous releases.

The new film, titled: Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, will lean much closer to the tone of the Hellboy comics. Cosby confirmed that the film’s director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) wants the movie to “walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie.” As the upcoming film will be closer to the comic book version of the character, we look at the Hellboy graphic novel Into the Silent Sea released earlier this year.

Into the Silent Sea is a Hellboy original comic co-written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignolia, co-written and illustrated by Gary Gianni, and coloured by Dave Steward. The graphic novel is a direct sequel to Mike Mignolia’s 2005 two issue mini series Hellboy: The Island. Into the Silent Sea follows Hellboy after he has set sail from the deserted island. After escaping the island Hellboy runs into a ghost ship, and is taken prisoner by a mysterious phantom crew.

Speaking to Dark Horse before the graphic novel’s release, Gary Gianni described Into the Silent Sea as “Hellboy’s greatest adventure”. Gianni has illustrated work for George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Chabon. He also created the Monstermen series, which was a back-up feature in Hellboy. He calls Into the Silent Sea “the biggest comic event of the year”.

Mike Mignolia debuted Hellboy in 1993 and the character has become a cult favourite due to its Lovecraftian horror and ironic humour. In an interview with Nerdist this year, Mignolia explained that part of Hellboy’s success was due to releasing the stories as a mini-series or graphic novel, rather than the tradition monthly comic book model. “One of the things I really think I did differently to other things out there was to tell short stories. Almost half of the Hellboy stuff – some of the better Hellboy stuff – are these eight or 12 page stories.”

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The format has clearly worked, as Hellboy is one of the most successful comic book characters outside DC and Marvel. In preparation for the movie remake, Dark Horse formed a partnership with DC Comics in order for Hellboy to be included in the highly-acclaimed video game, Injustice 2, which includes some of the most popular superheroes of the DC Universe. Hellboy’s parent company also signed a deal with online entertainment firm Slingo to release the Hellboy slot game on its platform that uses the Hellboy from the comics rather than the screen. Hellboy is a casual game that uses themes and characters based on the iconic Dark Horse character. The two partnerships with entertainment companies is a clear sign of how popular both the comic book and screen version of the character is with audiences.

The Hellboy remake will star David Harbour as Hellboy, and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as the film’s antagonist, The Blood Queen. The film is expected to be released at the end of 2018. Fans who are waiting for the film should make sure they keep up with the latest adventure of the character in Into the Silent Sea.

Halloween Flash: The Stamp Of A Vamp

Alison Day was a mousy woman who had barely been scuffed by the wear and tear of life until the day she met Lulu, the effect of which was like lightning hitting a plane. The Autumn night draped itself over the city, and the moon bit into the sky as Alison rushed home from her usual Wednesday evening yoga class. She felt edgy and fumbled for her keys as she heard the click, click, click of high heels on the wet pavement. She turned. On the corner of the street, beneath a blinking street lamp, a woman was smoking a cigarette. Her silhouette seemed to appear and disappear like warm breath on a cold window pane.

The woman was tall and, like Alison, in her early thirties with wan looking skin, a slash of red lipstick across her full lips and her black hair cut into a Louise Brooks bob. She was wearing a red PVC raincoat and shiny black stiletto heels and Alison suddenly felt very dowdy with her green cagoule, Gap jeans and mousy, unkempt hair.

The woman slowly sauntered towards Alison-and in a muddy foreign accent, said:

‘Keep looking at people like that and you’ll be in for a good tongue lashing.’

And then she collapsed in heap at Alison’s’ feet.

* * *

‘Would you like a cup of tea?” said Alison, “I have …’
‘Something stronger, maybe?’ purred the woman as she sat up from the sofa.
Alison rummaged in a cupboard and found an unopened bottle of absinthe.
‘How about this?’ she said.
The woman smiled and lit a Gauloises cigarette.
‘My name is Lulu,’ she said, filling two shot glasses with absinthe. ‘Drink with me, eh?’
As the night hurtled on, Alison got drunk and in the process told Lulu her life story, such as it was. Lulu seemed fascinated by Alison’s idyllic, picture postcard childhood in Yorkshire and her job at Bermondsey Library. Lulu revealed little about herself, however, except that she had come from Bucharest shortly before the revolution and that she was married to a nightclub owner called Nicholas.

‘You know,’ said Alison ‘I hardly ever drink. My friends say that I can get drunk on the sniff of a barmaid’s apron.’ She giggled. ‘This is the first time I’ve drunk absinthe.’

‘They say it makes the heart grow fonder,’ said Lulu, licking the rim of the glass and holding Alison’s gaze.

***
At some point during the night Alison woke up in bed, in a cold sweat, with no recollection of getting there. Lulu, naked, was smoking and gazing out of the bedroom window. The tip of her cigarette glowed bright red and then faded to black.

***

In the morning, as slivers of sun sliced through the blinds, Alison awoke and saw that Lulu was gone. Memories of the night before fizzed like champagne bubbles as, on the bed, she saw a business card for Vamps Gentleman’s Club in Shoreditch. Written in red lipstick, was a phone number.

***

Vamps was suffocating in black leather and red velvet. It was cluttered with noisy groups of brash City Boys and semi-naked young women who wandered around with beer glasses full of money. The DJ played ‘Goldfinger’ as a statuesque blond, wearing only a pair of angels’ wings, crawled up and down a glistening pole.

Alison sat on a large black sofa next to Lulu, who was dressed in a red leather nun’s habit with a gold pentagram dangling from a chain around her neck. Tearing the label from her beer bottle she moved in close to hear Lulu speak.

‘I suppose marriage to Nicholas was a marriage of convenience.’ Lulu said. ‘I wanted to stay legally in England and he wanted…well, a pet. He promised me a job in a West End nightclub and I ended up here. But the worse thing is, he makes me have sex with other dancers. His business partners.’

She downed her drink in one.

‘Can’t you leave him?’ said Alison, red faced.

‘If I leave him, I’ll be deported and that will be that’, she said. Alison blanched.

As Autumn trudged on into Winter, Alison and Lulu’s meetings became more frequent and murderous thoughts hovered over them like a hawk ready to strike its prey until one night Lulu eventually said, ‘Okay. Let’s kill him.’

***

‘You see, ninety nine percent of the human race are just here to make up the numbers,’ said Nicholas, in a voice stained with nicotine and brimmed with brandy. He was an elegant, handsome man in his sixties. He indifferently smoked a large cigar, the smoke rings floating above his head like a halo or a crown of thorns.

‘They’re just cannon fodder. Don’t you agree?’

Alison couldn’t agree or disagree. She couldn’t say a thing and she couldn’t move.
The plan had been simple enough. She was to go to Vamps on New Years Eve and ask about work as dancer. When the place closed she’d accept Nicholas’s inevitable invitation to go to his office for a night cap with him and Lulu. They were to poison him and dump his body in the Thames along with the drunks who tottered into the river’s dank and dirty water at this time of year.

But after the first couple of drinks she realised that she was paralysed. In the oak and leather armchair she was like an insect trapped in amber. The clock struck twelve and the room was lit up by exploding fireworks. Lulu and Nicholas’ eyes glowed bright red and then faded to black.

‘Happy New Year, my sweet,’ said Lulu. ‘I hope you like your present.’

‘I’m sure I will, darling,’ said Nicholas, ‘I know how difficult it is to find fresh meat in these decadent times’. He chuckled and seemed to float from his chair.

As Nicholas sank his fangs deep into her neck, Alison felt pain greater than she had ever felt before. She wanted to cry, to scream, to tear herself apart but she could do nothing except listen to the sound of fireworks and Lulu’s cruel, cruel laughter.

(c) Paul D. Brazill

#FRIDAY FLASH: THE BRAIN SALAD MURDERS

The search was invariably fruitless.

            The path was cluttered with the debris of the past.

            The parade of childhood humiliations always led him down blind alleys.

            Religion and psychoanalysis failed.

            Rationalism was but a damp squib.

            Travel to foreign lands yielded nothing but more sores to scratch.

            Satiation, indulgence, rather than healing his scars, only lacerated him more.

            And then a chance encounter in a snow-smothered car park, as the night creaked into morning, brought a flash of anger.

            The slash of a knife.

            And release.

            For a time.

            Until the scars slowly returned.

            And he killed again.

            And again.

            ***

Another long hot summer had cast dark, elongated shadows that smothered The City’s pitch black secrets. As the sweltering, hazy days stretched out to snapping point, those secrets were jolted into the glare of light.

At times like these, being a private eye, especially a werewolf private eye, could take its toll. Which is why the womb of Duffy’s Bar was always so comforting.

“ The Professor’ss back,” I said to Duffy, who was clearing up the previous night’s debris.

I sipped a shot of Dark Valentine, rubbed my tired, red eyes. I ached for sleep.

I ached from the previous night’s prowl, too. I’d had a scuffle with Brother Cage, the leader of one of the many crackpot religions that were infecting The City. I’d managed to take out a few of his henchmen before ripping him to shreds, but they’d got in a few good shots themselves.

Duffy stopped mopping the beer and bloodstained floor. Leaned the mop against the bar.

“You sure?” he said. He scratched his acne-scarred face.

I grunted.

“Oh, yes. It’s him. Unless there’s a copycat killer. But according to Ivan, six corpses have been found with the brains scooped out. Presumably eaten by the killer,” I said.

Detective Ivan Walker was my former partner. Back in the days before I’d been afflicted by full moon fever.

“All rich old men between the ages of seventy-five and eighty?” said Duffy.

“Yep. They fit The Professor’s MO, alright. The only difference is that these guys had been ripped to shreds first.”

Duffy slammed a heavy fist against the side of the Wurlitzer jukebox. Stepped back behind the bar. Poured himself a shot of Dark Valentine.

Knocked it back. Poured another. A Julie London song about black coffee oozed through the room.

“How long is it since he went AWOL?” said Duffy, as he looked up at the plasma television screen that he’d recently installed in an attempt to bring in new customers.

An attempt that had pretty much failed.

Apart from me, the only other customer was a thick-set old man in a double-breasted pinstripe suit. He’d been nursing a pint of Guinness for over an hour and didn’t seem in any hurry to finish it. A typical Monday afternoon, then.

The flickering TV showed an old black and white Tarzan film that had been colourised. I growled in disapproval.

“The Prof hasn’t been seen for five years. Same time as The Brain Salad Murders stopped,” I said.

The press had given the murders a typically colourful name, as if they weren’t lurid enough. Murders were ten a penny in The City, of course, but these caused a stir like no other.

The fact that the victims were all powerful, rich, old blokes probably had a lot to do with that. Every one was a big shot. Bankers, judges, media moguls. Even Police Commissioner O’ Neil. Every cop in The City had been told to make it a priority. And let every other one of The City’s crime victims help themselves.

Professor Galimova – a nutjob that had been fired from The City University for “an undisclosed matter” – sent a letter to The City Gazette confessing to the crimes and saying that he was on a mission to harvest The City’s corrupt souls. But, shortly afterwards, the murders suddenly stopped and it was assumed that Galimova had been killed. Until now.

I rubbed my eyes again. Yawned.

***

            The beast roared and shards and slivers of pain sliced through his flesh.

            The slivers became a throb. And the throb faded to silence.

            A stillness consumed him.

            A calming darkness.

            And the sea of sleep enfolded him.

            Until the chill night, when bathed in the milk of the moon, he raged.

            And he roared.

***

“Duffy, can I have the key to the back room? I’ll be canoodling with Morpheus any minute,” I said.

“Sure.” He handed me the big brass key.

Duffy’s spare room was Spartan, to say the least. A simple single bed. A table. A chair. And a bottle of Dark Valentine. I opened the bottle and took a swig, switched off the light and plonked down onto the bed.

I could hear an Al Green tune playing in the bar and was heading into the void when I heard a voice.

“Perhaps you would like a bedtime story, Detective Dalton.”

I wrenched my eyes open. Let them adjust to the dark.

Sat at the table was the old guy from the bar. He poured a shot of DV into a tumbler and sipped.

“My name is Professor Galimova. I believe that you are aware of my reputation?”

“Yeah, and you look kinda familiar,” I said, sitting up.

I held out my hand and he passed me the bottle of booze.

“Well, that’s nice to know. I’m sure you have infected many since your transformation. I assumed we’d all blurred into one.”

“We …?”

I took a swig of DV.

“Oh,” I said, twigging what the Prof was talking about.

“Yes, ‘oh’,” said The Professor, with a smirk.

“When?”

“Six months ago, of course. I was about to harvest your old friend Ton Ton Philippe, in fact, when I was set upon by a wild beast. You.”

“So that’s why you stopped …”

“Harvesting? Yes.”

“And now you’re back?”

“Indeed. I tried to cleanse myself of your disease, but to no avail. So I accepted that the affliction is, in fact, a gift and decided to return to The City to continue my work. But with an added strength when the moon is full, of course.”

He chuckled.

“So, cheers to you, Detective Dalton,” he said. He finished off his drink.

“Na zdrowia,” I said.

I took another mouthful of DV.

The Professor grinned, stood and walked out the door.

So, the worst serial killer in The City’s history was back. Stronger and more powerful than ever. And I was responsible.

I shuffled my stiff body off the bed and prepared to follow Galimova, but then I thought of the particular demographic of The Professor’s victims.

The crème de la crème here in The City. They’d be sitting ducks for a werewolf serial killer, for sure.

And then I lay back down and went to sleep.

***

The City’s neon-drenched, sin-soaked streets and alleyways called to him.

            The silver moon sang a seductive refrain.

            And The Professor was again consumed with a hunger.

            A hunger for the corrupt.

 

THE END

(c) Paul D. Brazill

The Liberator is BACK!

The Liberator. THE LIBERATOR is on sale again.

The skinny:

A priest tracks down his kidnapped sister and finds her trapped in a nest of evil.

Van Helsing meets The Punisher in The Liberator, a hard-boiled noir/ horror short story from Paul D. Brazill creator of Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI.

A dark and atmospheric story of the usual high standard you expect from Paul D.Brazill. Each scene is a perfectly blended mix of noir, horror and highly charged magic. Great characters, world weary cynicism and a great short story all in a few thousand words. Another winner from Brazill.’
You can grab THE LIBERATOR from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon.

Thump! is at What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast.

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Listen HERE!

Here’s the skinny on the episode:

‘HAPPY HALLOWEEN from What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast New episode now available. HALLOWEEN NIGHT.T

T. Fox Dunham, Phil Thomas & PD Cacek bring you this special & extra episode of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast to celebrate Halloween 2016. It was recorded onsite at Uncanny Comics in the King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia during their Malloween event. They handed out true ghost stories & candy then recorded the episode, joined by horror author PD Cacek who will be a regular part of the show.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF PODCAST? New Halloween Special available for download.

The show opens with an encore of Halloween Night by #indiemusic star Monk Turner. They discussed all things Halloween and paranormal, shared a few baking tips and even interviewed a traveling magician, Doug Stafford, who was on his way to a gig in Atlantic City. Katie Montana Jordan, the show’s occult scholar, returned to talk about some of the darker traditions of Halloween, and PD Cacek shared two ghost stories from New Hope PA, narrated by the British folksinger, David Walton.

“I’m a ghost magnet.” Horror Author PD Cacek

Noir author Paul D. Brazill of Europe gave the show a dark tale of murder and captivity below an English pub, narrated by T. Fox Dunham. And Monk Turner closed the show with a song called ‘It’s a Wicked Life’ (The Hades Song.)

“The thing lived in the furnace.” PD Cacek

The hosts wish you a happy Halloween and hope you’ll enjoy the spooky night with their show. They will be on PARA-X RADIO at a special time on Oct 31st at 8PM and then have an episode for you every week, exploring the darkness on Saturdays at 6PM and from all major podcast services. Fox will be in Richmond on Saturday, November 5th for a special night of noir readers then in Philly for a unique and secretive night of metal bands. Phil’s new horror movie is soon to be released.’

Check out the WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? website HERE.

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