Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Charred remains are all that is left once they’re gone. The fields are still verdant, the stalks rustling in the wind as smoke carries the scent of burned flesh outward. It was a horrific and swift end to a chance at something better—something good. But they would never have allowed that—only death, destruction, and absolute ruin will reign supreme when they’re done with their mission.
When the Scourers come, there’s no hiding and no escape.
© 2017 Julianne Snow
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
The surface was like glass above my face—unbroken and serene as I sunk slowly into the depths. A moment before it was riotous with ripples, my hands breaking the surface as my lungs fought the ice forming within. I know it was water, but the glacial chill of it heightened my nerves like fire only in the exact opposite way.
Once my mind was consumed with that singular thought—what does one call an icy coldness that burns with the ferocity of fire—it was over. My limbs cramped, crystals forming along the strands of my muscles. My lungs stopped taking in the bitterly frozen liquid; the lack of precious air stiffening my body further.
But my brain still worked on, its last puzzle the only thing keeping the exploratory fingers of frigidity from taking me completely. Through my eyes I could see the hoarfrost forming on my lashes, the ends of my long hair swirling about me, each strand struggling to maintain fluidity in the sub-zero depths.
In a moment, I stopped moving completely, both in space and time. My brain ceased to think of my question in an instant, the answer coming to me quickly and assuredly, as certainly as my body lay suspended in the freezing combination of liquid and ice. My body so cold, it was on fire…
© 2017 Julianne Snow
The Ultimate Destruction
He must make a decision even though it is hard. To kill his darlings, the ones he nurtured and brought to their pinnacle, is a task no Creator wants. But sometimes it’s a must.
It seems unnatural these beloveds would be so cruel, but it’s nature of the willful to think themselves invincible. Oh, the havoc they wreak—all of it in wayward ignorance but no less dangerous and damaging to the One who gave them the choice.
Each time He tries to get them right, but every time they fail. Like an ouroborus of creation, the circle remains unbroken. The Ultimate Destruction endures only to destroy through renewal, it’s carnage a regeneration of chance.
© 2018 Julianne Snow
The Eyes Say It All
They bore into the back of your head.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Her eyes never stop tracking you as you work. While it’s disconcerting, you continue; you have tasks to complete before the next full moon. She is integral to the ceremony, without her, he won’t come. And he must because the world demands his supreme presence.
You feel her hatred, her pain, her defiance—the heat of those emotions stings your flesh, but you work on, knowing her sacrifice will bring about much needed change.
In the space of a moment, my senses feel a difference in the air. I no longer feel her eyes on me with the same intensity. My head snaps around to look, my fear taking root.
© 2018 Julianne Snow
Dragons of Faith is a round robin novel from 7DS books. My contribution was Bernard and the first five lines follow…
Ever been hit by an airplane and lived to tell the tale? Bernard had. It was 1907 and Bernard, a guardian dragon from the celestial heavens, was travelling back to his mountaintop home in China from one of his favourite places in the world – Italy. His mind was on the Aria he had just heard, replaying the melody in his head over and over again and he didn’t see the painted wooden body with wings slicing through the clouds until it was too late.
The impact sent him spiralling down to earth, able to slow his descent only marginally with his outstretched wings…
Here’s a little more information about the book:
Christianity | Hinduism | Judaism | Atheist | Satanism | Confucianism | Buddhism.
A keeper for them all. Seven Dragons must join together in order to open the ring of Heavens and stop mankind from continuing its own demise.
With contributions from Michelle Anderson Picarella, Sean Hayden, Julianne Snow, Frantiska Oliver, Marc Quaranta, Richard Graham, and Daniel Picarella, and narrated by Valarie Savage Kinney, Dragons of Faith is a fantasy journey through faith and humanity. Click on the cover if you’re interested in learning more!!
Here are the first five lines of The Ghosts of Morse which was recently released in Charon Coin Press’ State of Horror: Illinois. The tale itself is my take on the urban legend phenomena with a twist… The book can be found on Amazon as well as all other major retailers.
Without further ado…
The hallway bustled with hundreds of teenagers all changing classes at once. The tide moved in both directions as backpacks and shoulders jostled for position.
Daniel Butler turned toward the voice, stopping his progress through the door to his history class. Seeing his best friend, he smiled, “Hey Nate! What’s up?”
Today I’m going to be giving you a little more than 5 lines since this piece is exactly 300 words long. It appears in The Sirens Call Issue #13 – Women in Horror and is my flash contribution to our feature cleverly titled Comparative Flash Fiction.
What Nina and I do is select a photograph and each write 300 words using it as inspiration. This was our photo for this issue…
The first stone pinged off the side of the vehicle with animosity, thrown by a protestor from the crowd. Her angry face shone brightly before being lost among the sea of acrimony the bus travelled through. The passengers could only sit and stare, unsure of what was really going on and what would become of them. Herded up like animals, they’d been forced onto buses, their meagre possessions stripped from them by masked guards. Silently they sat, in a state of collective shock, their powers of comprehension failing them in the face of such secrecy and overwhelming authority.
The children cried and cuddled into their parents, not wanting to witness their fate, not understanding what was going on. All along their route, the people outside hurled their insults along with rocks, the outer casing of the bus only managing to keep out the rocks. As the windows weakened, so did the resolve of the worried inside. The masked and armed guards could see the collective composure slipping away with each barb, their poison spreading and infecting even the most determined. And then the screams of hatred and words of abuse exploded inward as the web expanded across the surface of the glass. The angry roar of the gathered filled the interior of the bus until there was no space for anything else. The air reeked of smoke, stale sweat and fear.
Slowing to a stop, great wrought-iron gates loomed in the front windscreen; they had arrived. But no one knew where they had been brought to. The gates opened and the bus rolled forward. Fences and makeshift buildings had been erected inside the walls—the space designed to keep those who inhabited it inside, while the others were kept out. But which side of the wall was clear of infection?
If you’d like to pick a copy of the eZine and see how Nina used the photo as her inspiration, you can download it for FREE on our website!
Sirens Call Publications recently released the 13th issue of The Sirens Call featuring Women in Horror. It’s our second annual edition and my story ‘The Game’ graces the interior…
“Fuck!” All heads turned in her direction, but Betty didn’t care. She’d been trying to win a silly purple stuffed monkey since earlier in the day. Handing over another wad of cash, she collected her balls from the gap-toothed carney who ran the game.
“Look lady, if you want to keep wasting your money, I’ll keep taking it from you.”
Betty continued to toss the balls at the stack, each time missing the mark. Her exasperation began to show in the way she tossed her hair over her shoulder and the huffing breaths she took every time she missed.
“I’ve got a game you can’t lose at. Do you wanna try that one instead?” The voice was accompanied by a dingy white gloved hand on her shoulder.
If you liked what you read, you can read the rest of it and the other stories in the eZine after downloading it for free!! Just click on the cover!
So I recently wrote and submitted this story to an anthology and I’m still waiting to hear back, but I thought I’d share five lines from it for you.
Under the umbrella of the dilapidated Big Top, the freaks were held in awe, and the lighting of the exhibits helped to conceal the fear and disgust that warped a few of the patron’s faces. They were a tightly knit family, willing to do whatever it took to protect their own. But sometimes protection wasn’t the only thing they offered. Sometimes they dealt in retribution and it was in those moments that The Castaval Travelling Circus truly thrived.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted if it gets picked up!
In this edition of Five Line Friday I’m going to share a little story I wrote called ‘It’s Never Over Easy’. I have subbed it to a very specific market and I’m hoping it makes the cut.
A loud noise from behind the counter drew Mark out of the conversation he was having in his head between the two older men a few tables in front of him. He looked toward the noise and saw Manuel backed up against the front counter. Thinking it might have been a fire, Mark looked past the cook, expecting to see flames radiating off the grill.
Manuel looked out toward the restaurant, his face contorted in fear. He screamed, “Esta vivo!! Sálvese quien pueda!”
If you’d like to read more of this, let me know. I’ll be sure to tell you where to find it when it can be found!
All Rights Reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow