The Final Arrow

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

From Pen of the Damned, here’s a Valentine’s Day short horror story by Veronica Magento Nero:

 

Park benches are the domain of lovers. They sit cuddled together, giggling as they etch their names in the wood, their pride palpable as if no one else has ever vandalised public property before. I…

Source: The Final Arrow

Place of Beauty

Posted: February 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

With the short story “Place of Beauty” Joseph Pinto shows us that horror fiction can be beautiful as well as creepy. Read it for free on Pen of the Damned:

 

In shards the morning broke, shattering high, high above the gunshot reports, the torches, the thick plumes of smoke. She watched them fall like black drops of rain in the distance. First came a cr…

Source: Place of Beauty

Beast of Winter

Posted: January 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Manitou Forest, Manitoba, Canada A damn good day of hunting, Angus Kujak mused as his bloodied hands steered the truck between snow-covered pines. The antlers of his most recent kill rattled agains…

Source: Beast of Winter

My newest release and 6th published book is Darkness Rising, a supernatural horror story about love, revenge, poetry, and what happens when bullies mess with the wrong person. As I was writing my main character, Marty Weaver, an often picked on college-age kid, I asked myself what if Marty, who is a good person with big dreams, gets bullied by the nastiest people on earth and what they don’t know is Marty’s childhood upbringing caused him to have a dark side that’s worse than the three serial killers tormenting him? What if they pushed Marty to the brink and unleashed that dark side?
Here’s the synopsis:
It’s all fun and games until…
Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.
————–
“Moreland has assembled a masterpiece … The thin line between horror and beauty in this story is one that must be read … one of my favorite horror releases of the year.”
—Horror Underground
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“Bone-chilling … Marty Weaver is an avenger with Love as his underlying motive – very like The Crow’s Eric Draven. Besides the aforementioned Crow, we see shades of the movies 8mm, Friday the Thirteenth, Hellraiser, and romantic tragedy in the very scope of the best of Shakespeare himself. These influences are stirred in a cauldron until boiling over to the extreme!”
—The Crow Grrl
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“If you are a fan of Moreland or the genre, you owe it to yourself to add this to
your collection.”
—Horror After Dark
Darkness Rising is available as an eBook through:

My latest book, DARKNESS RISING, is a blood-tingling revenge story with a supernatural twist. The novella releases as an eBook on Amazon and other online bookstores September 1st. Below is a description of the book along with a sneak peek of how the book begins.

It’s all fun and games until…


Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.
 ———————–

“From the first page I was hooked and couldn’t read fast enough. Moreland takes a wicked revenge tale and supes it up, and then when you think things are resolved and you wonder where he’s going with it, he delivers the goods. Filled with brutal violence, great prose, nasty characters and ones you root for, Darkness Rising is a must read!!!!

      –David Bernstein, author of Goblins and Witch Island

———————–
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Prologue
Deep in the Oregon woods, the lake watched in silence as the woman crawled across the muddy banks, dragging her wounded legs. A switchblade jutted from the back of one thigh. Moonlight glinted off the exposed bone of her hip. Hair, caked with blood and dirt, clung to the woman’s face as she clawed her way into the shallow water. She found her husband, or what was left of him, floating facedown near the shore. Hugging his butchered torso, she wailed, an animal cry that echoed across the valley. A flock of ducks took flight. Behind the mutilated couple stood the killer with the white rabbit mask, head cocked, a bloody machete resting on one shoulder. Then two more joined the rabbit, a toad and weasel, both taller, their clothes covered in dark stains. The three masked killers admired their blood work. The frantic woman released her husband’s body and attempted to swim away, flailing her arms, but Toad and Weasel waded in after her and brought her screaming back to shore. Then Weasel picked up the video camera and began filming again. White Rabbit continued torturing the woman. Then Toad had his fun. At dawn, the woman’s screams finally ended. The lake watched in silence as the three animals danced around her corpse, then slipped into the forest.
———————–

 

The world had always been a cruel place for Marty Weaver. His scars were many and deep. Growing up, his teachers and various foster parents had labeled him autistic, a problem child, emotionally disturbed, while the kids at the foster homes and at school called him names—nerd, wimp, dweeb, freak and worse. He seemed to walk through life with a sign that read “bully me”, even though what he wanted most was a circle of friends and family to love and love him back.

     His best friends were dead poets―Yates, Hawthorne, Keats, Byron, Frost and Poe, to name a few. They taught Marty how to pour the burdens of his soul into poetry. With each poem he wrote and read to the lake, he peeled back a layer of scar tissue and felt a sense of hope that he might one day become a man others could love, maybe even a man who could learn to love himself.

     Tonight was a special night. Every full moon, in a tradition he had started as a teenager, Marty did two things. First, he visited the cemetery and put fresh flowers on his mother’s grave. Then he drove along the wooded back roads that carved between the Blue Mountains to read his latest poems to the lake. Writing poetry helped him deal with all his pent-up emotions. It had helped him through his roughest times―the loss of his parents when he was nine, all the hell he had gone through bouncing between foster homes, and the rocky period that followed when he turned eighteen and ventured out on his own.
     He parked in the lot overlooking the water, eager to share more about this radiant angel who had entered his life. As he climbed out of his car, he noticed a van parked in the shadows of a tree with looming branches. It looked like one of those custom vans with flames painted down the sides.
     This gravel lot, on the farthest side of the lake, was always empty. Most people didn’t know this place existed because it wasn’t on the campground maps and it took several dirt roads to get here. He came to this spot because it was the special place his parents used to bring him to when he was a boy. The lot and beach were completely hidden by dense woods. Across the water was the most majestic view of pines and mountains. Occasionally a boat passed by, but mostly this inlet was quiet and still. His mother had called their secret spot “the Magic Cove”. She loved to swim here, sunbathe, and take him exploring in the forest.
     His father liked this cove because the fishing was good. He taught Marty how to work a rod and reel, gut a fish with a knife, skin it and flay it. Mornings were always spent with the two of them fishing for whatever the lake offered that day, while Marty’s mother read her books or did yoga. Then they’d have a picnic and cook their fish over a campfire. Those were the best days of Marty’s childhood, before The Bad Thing happened. 
     That someone had discovered his private cove made Marty feel invaded. He watched the van for a moment, but it looked dark and empty. Maybe someone had abandoned it there. Or some hikers had gone on a long trek around the lake. He didn’t see anyone, so he didn’t concern himself too much about the van.
     He walked down the hill to the water’s edge with his journal. The moon’s glow cast his shadow across the lake’s glassy surface.
     “Hello, old friend. It’s been a few weeks. I’ve got some new poems for you.” 
     He opened his journal, feeling the worn leather cover against his palms. The oversized book, filled with hundreds of pages of his handwriting and drawings, was a memoir of his inner world from childhood to
now. The stiff, heavily inked pages crinkled as he turned them, and that sound always made him feel a sense of nostalgia.
     The book had been a gift from his mother on his eighth birthday. Across these pages he had written countless poems, short stories, and glued-together collages of magazine pictures of things he wanted to one day own or become. At age eight, he had wanted to be Batman and pasted cutouts from a comic book. At age nine, it was Aquaman. As he got older, the pictures changed from superheroes to cars, to girls, to the things he now aspired to have as an adult, like an education, professorship, someday a wife.
     Next to a pamphlet of St. Germaine College was a photo of him and Jennifer at the campus gardens where they had taken a selfie standing in front of a fountain. The last fifty or so pages were filled with his love poems, some so sappy he felt embarrassed to read them. Most of his poems were amateurish musings, while every now and then he wrote something he was proud of. The only one who had ever heard any of his writings was the lake.
     Marty held the big book open like a preacher about to give a sermon, only his congregation was the frogs and the reeds and the dark water. “I’ve been seeing Jennifer around campus more and more. Today she gave me a gift and kissed me on the cheek. The way she acts around me sometimes, I…I think I might actually have a shot with her.” He felt his heart expand just thinking about her. “Her beauty has awakened something in me that I’ve never felt for anyone. I can’t stop writing about her. I’ve got at least a dozen new
ones. This first one’s still a work in progress. The beats aren’t quite right, but this is what I’ve written so far.”
     He read the poem aloud:
———————–
In her eyes, fireflies
Sparks from my caress
On our faces, warm smiles
Cannons in our chests
Time’s first gentle touch
Feathers along our flesh
Tall grass all around us
We whisper, touch, undress
Butterflies in our heads
Opening wings together
Taking flight in purple skies
Evaporating like the weather
———————–
     The sound of hands clapping startled Marty.
     “That is the most beautiful piece of shit I ever heard,” a man’s voice echoed off the water, followed by laughter. 
     Marty turned to see three silhouettes walking along the shoreline towards him.

 

———————–
“Just finished Darkness Rising and still reeling from the conflict, terror, horror and emotional rollercoaster that Brian Moreland has weaved so magically into this novella . . . Weaving its superbly crafted way through demons, vengeance and an indomitable spirit, this is a real winner. 5 star horror all the way!
     –Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel and The Pendle’s Curse
———————–
Darkness Rising 72 blog ad
     Darkness Rising is now available for pre-order:

New Book Deal

Posted: April 3, 2015 in Uncategorized
I’m happy to announce that I just inked a deal to publish my 6th book with Samhain Horror. My novella, DARKNESS RISING, will release Sept 1, 2015.
As soon as I get the cover art, I’ll post more about the book.

 

I’m happy to announce that my latest novella is now available as an eBook. While many of my books have been historical and set in the isolated wilderness, THE VAGRANTS takes place in modern-day Boston. Shorter than my novels, this is another quick read, about the same length as my novella The Witching House.

Below is an excerpt of the opening prologue. Enjoy.

Available on Amazon, direct from my publisher, and wherever eBooks are sold.

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Image

Beneath the city of Boston evil is gathering.

 

Journalist Daniel Finley is determined to save the impoverished of the world. But the abandoned part of humanity has a dark side too. While living under a bridge with the homeless for six months, Daniel witnessed something terrifying. Something that nearly cost him his sanity.

Now, two years later, he’s published a book that exposes a deadly underground cult and its charismatic leader. And Daniel fears the vagrants are after him because of it. At the same time, his father is being terrorized by vicious mobsters. As he desperately tries to help his father, Daniel gets caught up in the middle of a war between the Irish-American mafia and a deranged cult of homeless people who are preparing to shed blood on the streets of Boston.

“Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist.  His writing is clean, precise, and, best of all, compulsively readable.  I know, when I’ve got one of his books in my hands, that I’m going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He’s just that good.”

Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters

“Brian Moreland writes horror on a level that soars above the usual fare, and THE VAGRANTS is no exception. Chocked full of scares and suspense, Moreland delivers a tale that will soon be a classic. This is the kind of story horror lovers need.”

Kristopher Rufty, author of OAK HOLLOW and THE LURKERS

“I am in awe of Brian Moreland.”

Ronald Malfi, author of Snow and Floating Staircase

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Prologue

 

 

The darkness beneath Boston was calling him.

No one walking along Tremont Street seemed to hear the whispers coming from the grates and gutters, but Rex Rigby heard them. Their raspy voices sounded like a dozen people whispering all at once. He cupped his hands over ears, but it didn’t stop the madness. They had chosen him. And they weren’t going to quit until he joined them in the cold, black core of the earth.

He drank from his bottle of vodka and tried to fall back asleep on the bus-stop bench.

The whispers persisted. “Rex Rigby…”

He sat up and looked around the busy street. Cars and taxicabs drove by. On the sidewalk, throngs of people moved past him in a hurry. Most of them acted as if he were invisible.

A little girl met his eyes only to gawk at him and quickly look away. Rigby didn’t blame the girl for being disgusted by him. He had a long scraggly beard, greasy hair that hung to his shoulders, and he was wearing the same gray suit he’d worn the day he walked out on his wife, his job, his miserable life.

That was eons ago, and the man he’d once been was now dead to the world that lived above ground. But below ground…the whispers were offering him a way out of his hell.

“Take the Red Line…” They showed him visions of the routes to take and the glory that would be his once he reached them.

Rigby’s mind became sober. He stood and left behind his vodka bottle. Propelled by a sense of purpose he hadn’t felt in a long time, he walked to the T’s Park Street Station and went underground.

The subway at noon was crowded with people coming and going. He walked among them and the crowd parted for him. The stampede of sneakers, high heels and men’s dress shoes echoed off the tile walls. A train on the Yellow Line shrieked by, blowing a warm, unnatural wind across the underground terminal.

He caught the Red Line train. The other passengers kept their distance. Rigby smiled at this.

They weren’t one of the chosen.

One day he’d hear their cries of agony and suffering. He’d see his wife’s face among the damned, bleeding tears from eye sockets devoid of eyes. Her new husband—the man she had been cheating on him with—would be skinned alive and then skewered with sharp instruments. And Rigby’s former asshole boss would be torn apart, one limb at a time, until the only thing looking up at Rigby was a torso and wailing head.

All of this and more, the voices promised.

A few stops later, the automatic doors hissed open and he got off at Broadway in South Boston. While clueless pedestrians hurried past him to catch the train, Rigby walked to the edge of the station to a door with a sign: MBTA employees only. It was locked, so he waited until two subway service men exited, chatting about the Red Sox.

Rigby slipped through the door before it closed and walked through a narrow service tunnel that he imagined ran parallel to the train tracks. The whispers guided him as he meandered through a network of dimly lit passages until he found himself in an old subway tunnel covered with dust and cobwebs. Only the first few yards were lit from the pale light behind him. Straight ahead was an infinite blackness that beckoned.

As the darkness swallowed him, the voices grew louder and clearer. He heard footsteps and felt the presence of others. They welcomed him with pawing fingers and heated breath on his face.

Then came the pain of a thousand needles.

“No, no!” he cried out.

Rex Rigby’s screams and their chittering voices echoed off the subway tunnel walls and traveled upward to the grate of a nearby street. But no one heard them except a homeless woman who was awakened by the calling of the darkness.

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The Abandoned Subway Tunnels of Boston

 

Parts of my book take place in the abandoned tunnels that run beneath Boston and have been sealed off for decades.

Here’s an article about the Boston subway that I find fascinating. It has a great video of a tour through the abandoned Boston tunnels. Below are 2 other videos that will give you a personal experience of exploring abandoned subway tunnels. The first one is an unnamed tunnel system that could be in any city, but it’s what I imagined while writing THE VAGRANTS.

 

The second video is a Red Line subway train running through one of Boston’s abandoned subway tunnels. There’s a scene in my book where I have a man standing next to the tracks when the train passes. Below is an example of what he would have seen.

 

Vagrants_The cover

THE VAGRANTS is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, direct from my publisher, and wherever eBooks are sold.