Story Time

Just realised it’s been nearly 2 weeks since our last blog. We’d apologise but we suspect you’ve been glad of the peace. We’ve just sent off 3 short stories – Rest in Peace for Writing Magazine’s ghost story competition (we won last year & are desperate to retain our crown), The Creeping Darkness for Writers’ News retirement competition (ours features Van Helsing) & Battle for Annwn to Wyvern publications for their Young Adult competition. Battle for Annwn takes the twin characters from our novel, Daughters of Annwn and puts them in a 1600 word story. We’d originally written it for Writing Magazine’s adult fairy story so figured we’d just cut 100 words from it, polish it & submit it elsewhere. We do that with most of our stories. One, because it seems a waste not to keep recycling them until they find a home & two, because we’re too lazy/time restricted to think up new stories for every competition.

We’ve been itching to get back to working on Scott the Zombie. There’s a novel competition in May we want to send it to, so it has to have at least 1 redraft, maybe 2 by then. We’ll be using James McCreet’s tips that he gave us in March’s issue of Writing Magazine, so can’t wait to get started. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet finished redrafting Soul Asylum, our novel set in a haunted asylum. We’ve been sidetracked by short story deadlines, getting a PS3 for our birthday & hanging out with our mate, Ryan. How do other people manage their time? Since we met Ryan, our productivity’s gone right down 🙂 But our fun rate has gone up, so we’re not complaining. It just means we have to work harder, because our productivity is what put us ahead of the game *checking publishing stats* ok, it didn’t. As long as we’re meeting our submission target, we’re ok. Just have to finish Soul Asylum before Scott gets really impatient & carries out his threat to eat our brains. Really don’t like the way he’s holding baking trays with our names on.

Bullet for our Valentine

Ok, as promised on Twitter, here is our web exclusive of our anti Valentine’s story, The Black Kiss. It’s a bit crap because we only wrote it on Friday and what with watching the 6 Nations and hanging out with our mate Ryan in St Fagans, we haven’t had a lot of time to work on it. In fact we only redrafted it today. Any complaints, send them to C L Raven, C/O the Depths of Hell.

The Black Kiss


            His heart thrashes against my hand. It’s so fragile. His breathing quickens, sweat erupting over his body as I’m straddling him. He strains against the shackles keeping him a prisoner of my bed.

           “Please,” he begs.

            I smile and kiss his heart. It hammers on his rib cage, desperate to be released. The tip of my blade traces a heart over it, leaving a trail of crimson kisses in its wake.

            He hisses in pain so I silence him with a kiss as I coax the blade through the wound. He pushes against me and bites my lip, almost screaming. I pull away, feeling my blood wash over my tongue, tasting it at the back of my throat. I carve out my artwork and put it beside him on the bed. I watch his heart beating through his ribs.

            I push the gag into his mouth.

            “It’ll only hurt for a second,” I stroke his face and kiss him again, the blood from my lips staining his.

            Taking my bone cutters, I cut through his ribs and finally, hold his heart in my hand. Its power pulsates through my skin. I reach into my black calf length boot and pull out the love spoon he gave me this morning. I slot it under the heart then use my blade to sever the heart’s mortal coil. It fights for a few seconds before lying still. As I watch the life fade from it, I feel closer to him than I’ve ever felt to anyone.

            His naked chest is decorated with scarlet splatters, like he’s covered in rose petals, though this image will never feature on Valentine’s cards. Blood slips through my fingers and drips onto his stomach like confetti from the wedding of the damned.

            I climb off him and remove a box from my bag. I ease the heart into it and nestle it amongst the ice. It’s more unique than pink champagne. I shower then spend an hour cleaning up. I remove his gag and shackles then take his heart shaped flesh downstairs and place it in the middle of the dining table. I sprinkle heart shaped sequins over the table then return to the bedroom. Deep down, I’m a hopeless romantic.

            “Like I promised, gone before your girlfriend comes round for your romantic meal. Happy Valentine’s Day.” I give him a gentle kiss then slip out the door.

            And like he promised, his heart belongs to me.

            I watch him browsing the Valentine’s cards, wondering whether they sell one saying ‘roses are red, violets are blue, I’m shagging someone else, whilst saying I love you.’ It would make Valentine’s more interesting. Who wants cute teddy bears and empty sentiments? I sneak up behind him and pinch his backside. He whirls around, his eyes widening.

            “D! What are you doing here?”

            “Stalking you,” I kiss him.

            “Samantha’s outside.”

            “How romantic, sitting in the car while you buy her commercialised emotions and wilting flowers. Or are the flowers symbolic of your love? Once in bloom but like everything else, now dying?”

            “So cynical,” he kisses me, one hand caressing my arse, the other playing with one of my plaited bunches. “I promised I’d take her out for a romantic meal tonight.”

            “Wow. You’re so original. Let me guess – you’re buying her heart shaped chocolates and red roses from the petrol station.”

            “It’s what she wants.”

            “What I want isn’t on any menu.”

            He grins and pretends to rip out his heart. “You already have my heart.”

            I smile and imitate pocketing it. “I’ll keep it on ice.”

            His exhausted body trembles beneath mine. His fingers trace the tattoo in the centre of my back – two hearts entwined around a dagger and sealed with a black kiss.

            “Did Samantha enjoy her Valentine’s cliché?” I ask, sweeping my hair back, my plaits tickling my bare shoulders.

            “She loved it so let me out for a drink with the boys.”

            I glance at the clock. Not yet midnight. “I’m not one of the boys,” I smile teasingly, tracing my fingers around his heart. It responds eagerly, pounding my name, desperate to belong to me. “Where’s my present?”

            “You hate Valentine’s.”

            “You promised me your heart.”

            “Would you like it gift wrapped?”

            “No, just beating.”

            I plunge the dagger into his chest. He gasps and writhes, but this time, not with pleasure. Betrayal darkens his eyes. He can’t understand how I can make him come alive then lead him into death while the sweat cools on our bodies.

            I carve the heart shaped wound while he implores me to stop. Moments ago he’d begged me for more. I tear the flesh away, laughing as my prize thrashes like a caged beast. His dying breath tantalises my ears, the sweetest whisper from a lover’s lips. I stroke the love spoon, this one carved with a key, a small heart in the key’s eye, before using it to free his heart from the black hole in his chest. I cut it free then kiss him before laying the heart gently aside. I dress in a black satin robe and take the heart downstairs.

            The table is set for a romantic meal for one. The flickering flame bathes my skin in a fiery glow. The heart is slippery, exquisite. I can taste his life, his love with each delicious bite. Already I feel myself becoming regenerated. I’m more alive in this moment than I have been my entire life. A ruby teardrop snakes down my lips, warm and metallic, the aftertaste lingering on my tongue awakening beautiful, forbidden memories.

            I study the picture opposite me. The woman’s long plaits brush her shoulders. Blood trickles from the corner of her mouth, streaking her chin. I wipe my blood away and slowly it disappears from the picture. I smile at her. St Dwynwen. She devoted herself to protecting lovers. Now my lovers protect me. In their deaths they bring me to life.

            Everyone loves a heart on Valentine’s Day.

Hollywood is Dead

Hey decadant brains, Scott here. Did everyone see the critique James McCreet wrote about the first 300 words of my novel? I’d like to point out all the mistakes were entirely of my Necromancers’ doing. I’m just a puppet in their malevolent hands. I know it wasn’t mentioned in the article, (probably due to word count) but I’m sure that Mr. McCreet meant to say I’m the most exceptional character since…well, ever. Though I’m a little disappointed that the magazine only wanted a photo of my Necromancers. It’s my book – the photo should’ve been of me. And when my Necromancers were signing copies for their FB friends in America, they conveniently ‘forgot’ to ask me to sign them. Between you and me, I think they’re trying to oust me out of my own franchise. I won’t stand for it! Heads will roll! Theirs, obviously.

I’m a little concerned George A Romero hasn’t contacted me yet about starring in my own film – Scott the Zombie. It will be a hit! Surely he doesn’t want to miss out on the biggest star of 2011? An FB fan of mine thinks me having a death certificate makes it hard to put me on the payroll but De’Ath’s supermarket manage to employ me. Ok, so I use a fake name – Scott le Zombie (I told my boss, Prince Smarming that it’s Polish) but still. The dead have rights too y’know. Speaking of which, why aren’t we allowed to vote? Maybe I need to write to my MP. Ooh, hang on, I smell something delicious. O. M. G. A sculptor just walked past my window. Her brain is singing to me and dancing with sparklers. Man I’m starving. Gotta go. A brain burger and chips awaits! I can make a sculpture of myself and put it in Gorsedd Gardens in town!

Scott xx

Acceptance Speech

OMG! We’ve just had a short story accepted by Dark Fire! Almost fainted with shock when we read the email. There we were expecting another rejection we almost couldn’t believe what we were reading. Our story, Til Death us do Part will feature in issue 50. It’s about a guy who kills his lovers when they leave him then uses his skills as a reconstruction artist to reconstruct their skulls onto mannequins so he always has a lover on Valentine’s Day. That’s one reason to stay single 😀 Our success spells must be working.

Also Writing Magazine is out today with our critique of Scott the Zombie. We’ve sent 7 copies to our FB friends in America. Pretty sure our tears at the cost of postage could be heard across the pond. We’re thrilled with the critique and will use James McCreet’s advice to make the book even better. Scott celebrated with Cajun Brain with white wine sauce – the brain of a writer. At least that narrows down the competition.

When will I be famous? I can answer that

Good morning scrumptious brains! Scott here. I am SO EXCITED! The first 300 words of my novel have appeared in Writing Magazine and my Necromancers have done me proud. I was worried I’d have to eat them in revenge for screwing up my world debut but I guess they can live to publish my novel. Guess I should tidy away these recipe books. Shame. I was looking forwards to a nice twin souffle. James McCreet said the opening was a great first line. He said it’s quirky and amusing with great dialogue, there’s a few minor points but no serious flaws. He told them well done and keep writing. Well they have to keep writing or I’ll stop existing and think what a terrible world that will be. A dark and lonely place where people can go about their business without fear of being eaten by a handsome, witty zombie. I won’t stand for it! The magazine hits the shops tomorrow and all my American fans have put in orders for their copies. My Necromancers usually sign the stuff they send to America but I think I should sign this one. After all, it’s about me and everyone would much rather my beautiful name gracing their copies. I’ll have to practise my autograph, seeing as I’m now a celebrity. I need my own dressing room. No, a trailer. With cans of Zombie stocked and all the brains I could eat. Ooh and I need a car. Like the Red Bull mini but either with a can of Zombie on the back or a giant brain that lights up. I’ll put in the request to my Necromancers now. What do you mean it’s not viable? I want my brain car. Don’t make me make my souffle. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Later tender brains!

Scott xx