my eyes linger on the other side,
was it any better over there?
glancing behind me, the pain is still there
it’s hunting for me, not able to sink it’s debilitating teeth into my psyche…
for the moment at least
I want to cross over, to go, to live in another space
a space of light, laughter, love
all I needed to do was run to the other side
cross over the wooden rails marking the trail of redemption
but would my feet carry me, would they fail like everything else?
not knowing the answer, I lunge forward,
taking the first step toward freedom
toward a life of less pain, less misery
the path was clear, open
but the teeth sink in, the pain has me
can I ever break free?
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2020 Julianne Snow
The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution
Shared from Days with the Undead…
The perfect killer. Small, invasive, self-replicating; it needs you, it loves you…
“Mommy, I don’t feel very well…” Angie whined as she rubbed a grubby hand across her nose.
Laurie placed the back of her hand on the little girl’s forehead, judging the severity of her illness by temperature. “Is it your tummy honey?”
“What hurts sweetie?” Laurie looked at the pallid complexion of her daughter, beginning to worry at seeing the dark-rimmed eyes and runny nose.
“I just don’t feel we—” Angie barely got the words out before going limp in her mother’s lap.
Laurie shook her daughter, gently at first growing more concerned at her inability to rouse her. Placing her fingers on her neck, she felt for a pulse, growing alarmed at how cool her daughter now felt. “Angie? Angie! ANGIE!!”
Panicked, she laid her daughter on the couch as she grabbed for the phone. Dialing 9-1-1 quickly, she cradled the phone in the crook of her shoulder as she waited for the line to connect. Still she searched for a pulse…
“Police, Fire or Ambulance?”
Laurie waited a few more seconds as the general dispatcher connected her to the correct department, growing agitated at the delay. She stroked her daughter’s face with one hand as she pushed deeper into her daughter’s neck with the other. Why couldn’t she find a pulse?
“Ambulance. What’s your emergency?”
“It’s my daughter. She just fainted and I’m having trouble finding her pulse, can you send an ambulance please?!?”
“Is your daughter breathing?”
“Do you know CPR?”
“No!! Oh my God, she’s going to die isn’t she??”
“Ma’am, calm down and do as I say. Can you put the phone on speaker and put it down beside your daughter?”
“Yes, hang on a second…” Noise can be heard in the background of the call as Laurie fumbles with the phone. She comes back a moment later sounding a little farther away. “Okay what do I do?”
“I need to take your finger and scoop out anything that may be in her mouth first.”
“Okay, gimme a second.” More noise can be heard in the background, then a piercing scream echoes over the line.
“Fucking hell! She bit my finger!”
“Angie! Oh thank God you’re awake! I was so worried!”
“Let me get a towel for my finger.” Laurie’s voice seems farther away as she addressed the phone again, “Operator if you’re still there can send help for me? It seems my daughter’s bite reflex was a little stronger than I expected.”
“Your daughter bit you? Is she conscious now?”
“Yes, she seems to be alert, though she’s still very pale and seems confused. Sweetie, stay on the couch I’ll be right back.”
All Rights Reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow
Alan M. Clark’s Jack the Ripper Victims Series is comprised of five novels, one for each of the canonical victims of the murderer. These stories are not only meant to appeal to those interested in the horror that was the Autumn of Terror, but also those interested in the struggles of women in the 19th century. They are well-researched, fictional dramatic stories meant to help readers walk in the shoes of the victims and give a sense of the world as each of the women may have experienced it. The timelines for the stories run mostly concurrently, so it doesn’t matter in what order the books in the series are read. They are simultaneously drama, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, and horror. They are novels concerning horror that happened.
A Brutal Chill in August
The First Victim of Jack the Ripper
We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?
Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.
With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.
Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man
The Second Victim of Jack the Ripper
Annie Chapman led a hard, lower class life in filthy 19th century London. Late in life, circumstances and and her choices led her to earn her crust by solicitation. After a bruising brawl with another woman over money and a man, she lost her lodgings and found herself sleeping rough. That dangerous turn of events delivered her into the hands of London’s most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
Contrasting her last week alive with the experiences of her earlier life, the author helps readers understand how she might have made the decisions that put her in the wrong place at the wrong time
Say Anything But Your Prayers
The Third Victim of Jack the Ripper
An imaginative reconstruction of the life of Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper. The beast of poverty and disease had stalked Elizabeth all her life, waiting for the right moment to take her down. To survive, she listened to the two extremes within herself–Bess, the innocent child of hope, and Liza, the cynical, hardbitten opportunist. While Bess paints rosy pictures of what lies ahead and Liza warns of dangers everywhere, the beast, in the guise of a man offering something better, circles ever closer.
Of Thimble and Threat
The Fourth Victim of Jack the Ripper
In Victorian London, the greatest city of the richest country in the world, the industrial revolution has created a world of decadence and prosperity, but also one of unimaginable squalor and suffering. Filth, decay, danger, sorrow, and death are ever-present in the streets. Catherine Eddowes is found murdered gruesomely in the city’s East End. When the police make their report, the only indicators of her life are the possessions carried on her person, likely everything she owned in the world. In Of Thimble and Threat, Alan M. Clark tells the heartbreaking story of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper, explaining the origin and acquisition of the items found with her at the time of her death, chronicling her life from childhood to adulthood, motherhood, her descent into alcoholism, and finally her death. Of Thimble and Threat is a story of the intense love between a mother and a child, a story of poverty and loss, fierce independence, and unconquerable will. It is the devastating portrayal of a self-perpetuated descent into Hell, a lucid view into the darkest parts of the human heart.
The Prostitute’s Price
The Fifth Victim of Jack the Ripper
A novel that beats back our assumptions about the time of Jack the Ripper. Not the grim story of an unfortunate drunken prostitute killed before her time, but one of a young woman alive with all the emotional complexity of women today. Running from a man wanting her to pay for her crimes against his brother, Mary Jane Kelly must recover a valuable hidden necklace and sell it to gain the funds to leave London and start over elsewhere. Driven by powerful, if at times conflicting emotion, she runs the dystopian labyrinth of the East End, and tries to sneak past the deadly menace that bars her exit.
Although THE PROSTITUTE’S PRICE is a standalone tale, and part of the Jack the Ripper Victims Series, it is also a companion story to the novel, THE ASSASSIN’S COIN, by John Linwood Grant. The gain a broader experience of each novel, read both.
About the Author: Author and illustrator, Alan M. Clark grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. His awards include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. He is the author of seventeen books, including twelve novels, a couple of novellas, four collections of fiction, some of them lavishly illustrated, and a nonfiction full-color book of his artwork. Mr. Clark’s company, IFD Publishing, has released 42 titles of various editions, including traditional books, both paperback and hardcover, audio books, and ebooks by such authors as F. Paul Wilson, Elizabeth Engstrom, and Jeremy Robert Johnson. Alan M. Clark and his wife, Melody, live in Oregon. www.alanmclark.com Visit his blog: https://ifdpublishing.com/blog
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My choice was easy. I hated choosing dare because they were always so stupid. Who wanted to run around outside in the snow naked or kiss the first stranger they came upon? Not me. Truth was the only game I was ever willing to play but I admit I did love to watch my friends act like complete idiots during their turns.
Their eyes darted to mine, their voices hushed against each others faces. They wanted to ask me something specific; something revealing.
Would they find the courage?
And then the question came…
“Have you ever killed anyone, Marie?”
Copyright © 2020 Julianne Snow. All Rights Reserved