Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Free Kindle Promotion

My short story "The Cave" will be free to download from Amazon.com from September 22 to September 27.

https://www.amazon.com/Cave-Short-Story-TM-Greg</span><br />g-ebook/dp/B00KQ0RUH0/ref=la_B00ISG7JC0_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474146732&sr=1-2
All Ned Martin ever wanted was to be noticed. And the day Rebecca smiled at him was the best of his life—and the worst. Traveling down a path of darkness from which he can’t escape, Ned discovers a part of himself he never imagined existed. From the author of The Tower, the Monster and the Tree comes this chilling tale of savage self-discovery, where a young Dr. Patrick Denny encounters his first case of insanity and makes a choice that alters the course of his life for years to come.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Brother and Me, Christopher Lee, and the Divine Popsicle Sticks

I never really considered myself a macabre child, but the more I think back to the things I liked as a kid, the more I remember how drawn I was to the supernatural and creepy. Maybe it was because I was raised Roman Catholic and the supernatural stuff really stuck with me, a lot more than the be kind to your neighbor and don’t steal from the collection plate directives. I was both curious and terrified by the idea of Hell and demons, death and resurrection, and the whole good versus evil thing. Also on my maternal side I come from a very old world, superstitious Italian family who prayed to statues of saints and believed in curses. So I guess I was well primed for my fascination with things that go bump in the night.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't walk around like Wednesday Addams or anything. I was a normal little girl who played with Barbie dolls and cooked with my Easy Bake Oven. (I did like to melt crayons in it, but what kid didn't?) My room was pink and frilly and I liked to play princess dress up and run around in my ballet tutu. But I can't deny that from an early age I found creepy stuff really cool.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dear Missus Cummins

 


 

 Dear missus cummins

Im writin cause im worried bout yer husband master cummins I worked for im here in Walingford buildin the towns tower I havent seen im and im startin to worry that somethin bad has happened I think he may be sick in the brain since he been actin real strange these past few weeks and ive taken to checken in on im

This mornin i went to his bordin house and he aint been seen for two days says the lands lady who let us into his room and all his stuff was gone cept this journal book that i sent you but we didnt think it proper to read thinkin it was meant for only you I hope that master cummins has returnd home and all is good if not im fraid something terrible has happend

sincerly,
argus riley


Visit The Diary page for all currently posted entries.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


©2016 TM Gregg

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Diary of Alfred D. Cummings: 31 October 1887

Continued from The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree by TM Gregg






31 October 1887

My hand shakes uncontrollably as I write this final entry, Virginia. For I fear that after the phantasm of last night I will no longer be capable of continuing on. The dream, no the nightmare! was so real, but so fantastical at the same time, my mind cannot seem to reconcile the apparent contradiction and my nerves are strung so tightly now I can feel them beginning to snap one by one and just a few strands remain to keep me from falling into madness. Madness, ha! I think that I have already succumbed. And if ever your eyes fall upon this page, I have no doubt you will think your poor husband has lost his wits completely. The nightmare—Good Lord please let it be just that!

After returning to my room dejected and simultaneously enraged that my work here was yet to be complete, that this tower required even more of me, I paced furtively for a good hour before throwing myself upon the bed still in the clothes I had put on two days before. At some point I must have fallen into a deep sleep, for what happened next could only have been the conjurations of a slumbering mind.

Ripped from my dream bed by dozens of hands, I was carried into the chill night and transported roughly up the hill to the tower. The white robed figures from my previous dreams awaited me at its base, torches alight in each of their hands. They impelled me up the sinuous staircase until we all stood on the uppermost platform. Excitedly I tried to warn them that it wasn’t safe, the ill-constructed supports would not hold and we were all in danger of its imminent collapse, but they ignored me, instead pushing me further into the throng until I was almost to one of the tall windows. I looked about me frantically, but I couldn’t see any discernible faces, each covered by the drooping white hoods. Then from somewhere in the faceless crowd I heard a familiar voice, a man’s voice, that commanded, “Bring her forth.” And in instant abidance another hooded figure was guided forth by the many hands of the throng. My heart choked at my throat, my love, because this figure, though in similar garb as the rest, was quite distinct to me in stature and gate. I rushed forward with a strangled cry for there was no doubt in my mind, though I could not gaze upon the face, that it was you, my perfect wife, that was being summoned forth. But once again I was taken up by the anonymous hands. The horror, the confusion, my mind spun and my heart sank and I realized that my messenger had failed to stop you from making the ill-fated journey to me. Then the voice, much closer to me now, bellowed out in a language for which I am not familiar but sure I was that it spoke of wicked things, spells or incantations that the rest repeated in Hellish harmony. And this berobed wizard moved forward and took your hand, which you gave freely! I shouted to you but you showed no sign of recognition. Trance-like you were led to the window which exploded open into the desolate cold night. Into his arms you were taken up and without a moment’s hesitation, without any resistance from you, he tossed you into the darkness. Frozen in grief and horror, I felt the hands that bound me give release and I fell to my hands and knees. Somehow I knew that I was meant to follow you, my love. They wanted me to make the ultimate sacrifice of my own free will. To give up my soul, and in the weakness of my heart-broken state, I was ready to do anything to be with you again. What was my soul worth if I couldn’t spend my eternity with you? Resolved to my fate, I began to push myself up from the floor, when from my pocket fell Signora Giapetti’s rosary beads. In the flicker of the torch light the image of St. Michael began to move, slaying the serpent before my eyes, and instantly I knew what I must do. Snatching up the talisman, I charged at your murderer, my battle cry the prayer of Our Most Holy Lord. By the window we battled, his strength inhuman, and as we struggled for my soul, the rosary was ripped from my grasp, the beads scattering across the floor. He forced me out the window, and as I fell into the darkness, I saw the face of Argus Riley looking down upon me.

But before my body slammed into the bone-breaking ground beneath, I awoke in my bed. Only a dream! A horrible phantasm. And now I write to you because I am alive and you are safely in our home at Concord. But the tower—it still calls to me. It calls to me and I am drawn to it now as never before. That horrible, horrible edifice that I both hate and love. I must be delirious with a brain fever. But Virginia, my rosary, it is not in my pocket. I’ve looked everywhere in my room, ripping apart the bedclothes, flinging the cot over, tearing open the secretary drawers in search of Christ and St. Michael. But they are gone, Virginia! Gone! Oh, Good Heaven save me! That tower wants my soul. I can see the workmen trudging up the hill, and there they will await my direction. I am to be the one to bring this monstrosity to life by completing its body. And I will. Yes, yes, yes, I say. For I’ve decided to end this nightmare, my dear sweet Virginia. I can no longer deny that there is a presence here, a force that beckons me, that compels me to complete this tower with inhuman rapidity. I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, I cannot think of anything but the completion of this brick and mortar abomination. I cannot break free from its bewitchment. It has taken me and calls for my blood. And by all that is unholy, it will have it if you are to be saved!


Visit The Diary page for all currently posted entries.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


  ©2014 TM Gregg

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The St. Michael Medallion



"I’m a little embarrassed to say, for fear of sounding superstitious, but I had taken to keeping the rosary beads tucked into the front pocket of my vest. Helping the old woman to her feet, I retrieved them and attempted to return them to her. But she pushed them back, shaking her head and holding firmly to my hand. She pointed to the centerpiece of the necklace, a golden medallion that I had never really taken the time to look at. Embossed on the oval gold medal was a picture of a winged angel slaying a dragon. 'San Michele uccide il diavolo,' she whispered slowly. Then let go of my hand and went back to her chore."


–From The Diary of Alfred D. Cummings

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

©2014 TM Gregg

The Diary of Alfred D. Cummings: 30 October 1887

Continued from The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree by TM Gregg





30 October 1887

I waited until late into the night for Angelo’s return, quite fretful that he had not yet arrived, before exhaustion finally overcame me and I nodded off at my desk, still listening to the bangs and shouts of the workers up on the hill. My dreams were strange and convoluted. At first I was in my room and then once again instantly transported to the hill, where I partook in the construction of the strange room at the top of the tower, raising and hammering support beams in place alongside my workers, who had not a flicker of life behind their dark eyes. Yet they seemed quite able to work as skillfully and quickly as ever. What seems even more strange to me now in the light of day was I felt a sort of connection to these somnambulant beings, as if I were no longer Alfred Cummings but a mere cog in this industrious machine that had a larger importance than myself. And then the dream changed and I was outside looking up at the tower. All the others were gone and I was once again myself, but so small and insignificant in the presence of the behemoth, which seemed to fluctuate growing larger and smaller, as if in the act of inhalation and expiration. My heart began to beat in synchronization with this unnatural breath and my ears filled so with the thunderous sound that I thought my skull might explode. At this horrible point, I was jarred awake and found myself still sitting at my desk, my cheek smeared with the ink from yesterday’s diary entry, and the sun shining quite brightly out the window.

And to my confoundment, I found, after chancing downstairs to see if our messenger had arrived home, the house was empty. Not just of persons, but of belongings. It seems that Signora Giapetti had already made her departure. Keen as she was to make her exit from this unpleasant village, I assume that her son had arrived during the night and they had gone on their way to Boston. I do find it curious that she neglected to inform me of these events, either through person or writing, I myself, so equally keen to take my leave, dismissed the uncomfortable thought and bounded back to my room to retrieve my things and be on my way.

You can only imagine my utter despair and disappointment when I heard the slamming of the front door and the footsteps trailing behind me. Gertrude and her followers had arrived with yet another demand, casting aside my quite vociferous refusal to be forced into any more of their service. But, alas, that infernal contract was once again flaunted in front of my face and on the assurance that this would be their final demand, I relented.

A simple inspection of the new platform was their request, which I could hardly refuse after so many deaths had occurred to date. I couldn’t well leave in good conscience without making sure that the most recent work had the surety of safety. So accompanied by the hovering group of women, really the dark coven of Hell spawn as I now saw them, I made my way up the hill. Expecting to find that the craftsmanship of my workers was sound, I was quite horrified to see that many of the supports were ill-placed and dangerously inadequate to hold the weight for which these mad women demanded.

Oh, the Good Lord have mercy on me! My temper rose to such a fever pitch that for the first time my shouts actually beat back the shrill cry of Gertrude’s banshee wails. What a scene it was, my love. I hope that in our long marriage you will never see such a vicious display from me as I put on in front of those ungrateful harpies. Especially once I was informed that my workmen would not be available to fix their mistakes until the next day. So choked with anger and disappointment at such an egregious delay of my departure, I could feel the flames of fury radiating from my face. But before I could regain my voice and spew more hateful condemnations at these witches, Gertrude transformed before my eyes, like a Selkie shedding her skin, discarding her scowl to reveal a contrite and almost timid creature. She promised with earnest that the men would return tomorrow and under my sole supervision would complete the fixes and that I would be on my way by tomorrow eve.

Oh, another night trapped in this God forsaken Hellhole! Half-starved for food and for real sleep, I sit here now writing to you, desperate to be with you, my dearest love. If I don’t leave this place soon I fear I shall be trapped here forever!


Visit The Diary page for all currently posted entries.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


 ©2014 TM Gregg

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Diary of Alfred D. Cummings: 29 October 1887

Continued from The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree by TM Gregg



29 October 1887

Without sleep or sustenance, I had barely completed my previous diary entry to you and carried my weary body down to breakfast when Gertrude once again accosted me about the altered designs. Intolerable she-devil! She slammed through the back door of Signora Giapetti’s kitchen so violently my poor landlady dropped a heavy crockery upon her immaculate floor, where it exploded in to a thousand shards. Ignoring the elder lady’s outrage, that insufferable woman slammed the table with her fist and demanded my designs forthwith. Fatigued and famished I could barely fumble out a response as she rushed me up the stairs to my room, where I presented her with the designs for the reinforced flooring. I tried to assure her that I planned to spend the whole of the day with my work crew completing the project once and for all, but before I could get a single syllable out she snatched the plans from me, turned on her heal and stormed from the room. As she sailed down the staircase, she called back to inform me that my services were no longer needed.

My heart leapt and I heaved a sigh of relief, my love. I was almost free! But just as I was about to start throwing my belongings into my valise, almost giddy, the wretched beast, as I’d come to know her, stopped at the bottom of the stairwell and called back, “But we do expect you and the missus at the dedication ceremony.” I slowly walked to the top of the staircase and peered down at the hateful face that sneered back suspiciously. Keeping my true intentions between me and the Lord, I gave her an indeterminable nod, which seemed to meet her satisfaction. And she tore out of the rooming house, shaking the whole structure with the slam of the front door.

Thusly, I returned to the kitchen where Signora Giapetti, on hands and knees, swept up the remains of her crockery. Upon hearing my entrance, she let out a discharge of rapidly fired Italian, accompanied by an animated display of gesticulations that weren’t hard to decipher. But when I bent over to help her, she held up her hand and said, “No!” I stopped, suspended in a half bow, and for a few seconds she held me with angry eyes that transformed into a most dreadfully frightened gaze. And for the first time she spoke in my own language. “Angelo come back soon. Then, you go.” She pointed at herself. “I go. Angelo go. Leave here. My sister in Boston. I no come back.” At this point she took my hand and squeezed it. “You no come back!” So dumbstruck by her earnest command, I simply nodded. I turned to go, but I remembered that I still possessed the talisman she had secreted away in my room. I’m a little embarrassed to say, for fear of sounding superstitious, but I had taken to keeping the rosary beads tucked into the front pocket of my vest. Helping the old woman to her feet, I retrieved them and attempted to return them to her. But she pushed them back, shaking her head and holding firmly to my hand. She pointed to the centerpiece of the necklace, a golden medallion that I had never really taken the time to look at. Embossed on the oval gold medal was a picture of a winged angel slaying a dragon. “San Michele uccide il diavolo,” she whispered slowly. Then let go of my hand and went back to her chore.

My hands still tremble as I write this. I have spent the rest of today locked away in my room, my mind a whorl of irrational thoughts and primitive fears, Christ and St. Michael securely in my breast pocket. In the distance I can hear the shouts of the workmen up on the hill, but I dare not look out my window. The very sight of that thing that I have played such an essential part in creating makes me sick to my stomach.


Visit The Diary page for all currently posted entries.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


©2014 TM Gregg