“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is Free on Amazon Kindle Today (Reviews Wanted)

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

The new cover for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror as of November 15, 2019.

The last face Jack saw was the executioner’s as he slid the needle into Jack’s arm. 

“I didn’t mean to kill him,” said Jack. 

“The jury decided that you did,” replied the executioner. 

What seemed like several minutes passed while Jack, strapped to the gurney, sweated and waited, head throbbing with tension, watching the buzzing fluorescent lights overhead, until a black fog enveloped him. 

He awoke standing naked holding two buckets overflowing with concentrated sewage. Sweat mixed with grime and soot rolled down his arms. The atmosphere, a mixture of steam, tear gas, sulfur, and the smell of death, burned his throat and stung his eyes, filling them with tears. What little he could see glowed mottled orange and red. Thousands of naked men and women, covered in grime and sweat, cringed whimpering among jagged rocks or ran about in terror while lugging buckets of sewage, blood, or God knew what else.

From the short story “A Tale of Hell” by Phil Slattery

My e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” is free today on Amazon Kindle.   For your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

Get your copy today and check for other free works of mine as well while you are on Amazon.

Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media to leave a review.

Book Review by Ligeia Resurrected: Justine by the Marquis de Sade

the Marquis de Sade

Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade in 1760, age 19.

Today is the birthday of Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade. In remembrance of that (for better or worse) I am posting a review of one of de Sade’s most famous works, Justine. The review is not for the faint of heart and comes with a few disclaimers and warnings. Seriously, the review is excellent, but it touches on some exceptionally cruel and obscene subjects. If you can’t handle the review, you by no means want to read the book. There is a reason sadism was named for the Marquis. If you want to know more about de Sade in addition to where the link above leads, there are some good videos about him on YouTube.

I am posting the video in case any of my followers has a burning curiosity about the Marquis or his works. I was in that situation last week, Now that my curiosity has been sated, I will continue to be interested in de Sade’s life story, but probably not in his works.

Though his works are generally not considered to be of the horror genre, they probably should be. De Sade’s works contain things that would nauseate Stephen King and Clive Barker as well.

Personally, I do not advise reading de Sade’s works. They are…”inhuman” seems to be the most apt term I can conjure up. Cruel and obscene seem inadequate in describing his works. Although you have probably heard the term sadistic many times, you probably will not conceive of its true spirit until you have read a few pages of Justine or of his other infamous work 120 Days of Sodom,

Once, a few years back, I picked up a copy of 120 Days of Sodom in a bookstore somewhere and read the first two to three pages out of curiosity. I read only two to three, because that was all I could stomach. I left it where I found it and will probably not pick up another of his works again. In fact, if I ever find out that someone I know is a fan of de Sade, I will probably not let him or her into my house ever again.

I have not read any of Justine. If you are mildly curious about it, there are a few YouTube videos on the movie (or two) that is based on it. You can actually find the trailer for it on YouTube.

When I was digging into the story of de Sade himself, I did find him to be a fascinating and tragic character. I would love to read a psychological study of him. He apparently had a lot of resentment toward his mother, who abandoned the family when he was quite young. That seems to be the reason the women in his works suffer such terrible fates, particularly if they are a mother. He seems to have been a man controlled by the mother (no pun intended) of all obsessions. Yet, in spite of blatant and cruel dalliances, there were women who loved him dearly though they knew of his numerous sordid affairs. Perhaps, he was their obsession. Perhaps not. I feel certain that anyone who had anything to do with de Sade for more than a few day would probably be an interesting psychological case in his/her own right.

I recommend that you read a biography of de Sade rather than one of his works. Maybe read a few pages of one of his works, so you get a (somewhat sickening) feel for them, but don’t force them upon yourself. Read only as much as you can tolerate, then put the book down, and never pick it up again.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the video.

Au revoir.

“Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston” is Free Today

Today, Diabolical is free.

Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media to leave a review.

Jack Thurston is a retired professor of medieval literature and history. He is also a widower and father and a retired sorcerer who has returned to the black arts to exact revenge for the death of his wife, daughter, and brother. He has an intriguing position in the universe at a focal point of life, the afterlife, logic and reason, anger and hatred, the ancient and the modern worlds, grief and his attempts to escape grief through self-destruction. Though he wants to have the peace he once found with his wife, Agatha, he is pulled in many directions by circumstance and by his powerful negative emotions.

Reader Edward Z says about these three tales:

“Three of the stories feature a sorcerer named Jack Thurston, who is a really well done evil sort of character and the best of the bunch in my opinion. The author methodically goes through his rather complicated and gross preparations for the spells and it adds a bit more weight to them then usually found in these kinds of stories.”

Reader Tabs says about this collection of three tales:

“I very much enjoyed this short read. It was interesting and allowed for me to develop great imagery. Will recommend to friends.”

This collection of three short tales is perfect for those who have only a few short breaks to escape into the hidden world of horror, black magic, sorcery, and anger-fueled revenge.

I am a fan of the old school horror practiced by such authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Edward Lucas White, and Arthur Machen.  I endeavor to make a story as terrifying and suspenseful for the reader as possible without resorting to gratuitous blood and gore for a simple shock or quick feeling of disgust.

You can find this and other works at my Amazon author’s page:  www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

Currently, Jack has a Twitter account (@jthurston666), where he has attracted a small following.

Information on more social media accounts and other characters (as they are developed) can be found at: philslattery.wordpress.com.

Show your appreciation for these stories by leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

If you enjoy horror, check out my collection of horror short stories A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of wizards, werewolves, serial killers, alien worlds, and the damned, which includes these stories.