Monsters Oozing Out of My Skull

When I think about horror in my writing, I picture characters like Sweettooth, a “mara, capable of sucking someone’s dreams and memories until the person [goes] mad or die[s] of fear.”
my Daydream Believer can sure sketch some fangs… Gina, you rock!
With that in  mind, you can imagine how surprised I was when readers started tagging “AlmaMia Cienfuegoshorror on Amazon. Those of you who have read the tale are probably laughing at me right now, thinking, Have you read your own description of the wild girl’s short story?

In my defense, *sigh* when I wrote that “AlmaMia Cienfuegos tells a story where blood deceives, nightmares rot and sisters wage war on each other,” my mind had been whispering that there was a difference between horror and dark fiction.

I’ve read the story a gazillion times since writing it, and have realized that perhaps my initial assessment was not quite accurate. Yes, I still believe that there is a subtle difference between horror and dark fiction, but now I can see that “AlmaMia Cienfuegos” is a bit more horrific than I thought. I mean, the idea of “[b]leeding eyeballs, bulging out of a bloated, purplish face”staring back at you, is pretty nasty… especially when the “you” in question is only a child.

Yet, deep in my writer’s mind, I continue to feel that Soledad might be the biggest monster in AlmaMia’s tale. Very alive, but certainly capable of standing by, rejoicing, while her little sister “chokes on the tears and blood that bubble out of her eyes.”

The rotting man doesn’t bother me that much. Soledad, on the other hand, unnerves me… okay, she terrifies me. Are you ever scared of the monsters that ooze out of your own head? 

This is my last May Monster Madness 2013 post. I had a freaking blast. Did you? 

Giveaway
To celebrate the closing of an outstandingly monstrous event, I would like to give away a couple of things to one (or two) lucky Wicked Darling(s):
1. A copy of “AlmaMia Cienfuegos,” for Kindle
2. A first chapter or short story critique of your work (5,013 words or fewer)
This is what you need to do to enter the AlmaMia and Critique giveaway:
- Leave a comment letting me know what makes a monster (human, alien, living, dead, in-between…) really terrifying in your mind. Please specify if you wish to win the ebook, the critique, or both. 

Extra Entries (separate comments, please)
1 entry - Who scares you the most: Sweettooth, the rotting man, or Soledad? Why?
1 entry - For those Wicked Darlings who have read my fiction, what historical figure or mythical being would you like me to portray in a story? If you haven’t read my work, “The Dark Place,” “Wishing upon Earth and Bone,”and this excerpt from “AlmaMia Cienfuegos” might give you an idea.

* The giveaway ends Wednesday, May 22nd at 5:13 pm EST. 
* The winner(s) will be announced on May 23rd. If the first name I pick wished to win both prizes, then there’ll only be one winner. If not, I’ll select another name out of the cauldron and award the prize that remains.
* I would prefer to critique dark fiction. But if you write romantic westerns about steampunk aliens, my cyber-horse and I will follow our hearts to the final Victorian frontier and read on ;-)
* The critique/feedback will be private, unless the winner requests otherwise.
* Have an amazing weekend, my Wicked Luvs. And write on! 

click on the links and button to visit the hostesses, and to join the last of the monster madness
Little Gothic Horrors

38 comments:

  1. Really scary... that's a tough one. I'd have to say that, the more alien the mind, the more frightening the monster. (That's why I don't like sparkly emo vampires.) And then of course there is everything that makes you run for your life... things such as extra limbs or rotting flesh, on the other hand, do not scare me very much. And tentacles might even come in handy...

    Since I do already have my copy of AlmaMia, I'd like to win the critique. And I promise, no Victorian cyber cowboy alient robots or dinosaurs. ^^

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    1. The Merry Gentry has taught us that tentacles can, indeed, be useful ;-) And don't get me started about "sparkly emo vampires," I might puke. Yuck.

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  2. When meeting them in the dark, I guess that Sweettooth would scare me most. It frightens me to be thought of as dinner. ^^

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    1. Being eaten is not always a pleasant thought...

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  3. And I'd like to read more about terrifying hunters from you, such as the Chupacabra - I guess you could make that really scary.

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    1. Hm, El Chupacabra tale... interesting ;-)

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  4. I would love a copy of AlmaMia!
    I am much more afraid of people than of monsters, in fiction and in real life. The most current example of what makes people terrifying is the man (men) who kidnapped, raped and kept those girls locked up for years - while the neighbors had no idea, and even came over to his backyard for bbq and beer... People are horrible monsters underneath.

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    1. People make really scary monsters, so I'm right with you.

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  5. AlmaMia already lives in my Kindle.

    Soldad frightens the stuff out of me. She represents the seemingly harmless Monsters we all have in our lives, who are all to happy to wreck havoc and pain that is decidedly NOT fiction!

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    1. The people who don't mind hurting their kind can be quite terrifying. And Soledad... well, I definitely get it.

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  6. Great post. I would have to say Sweettooth scares me. I wouldn't want to come across Sweettooth in the dark. It's the thing of maybe being dinner.

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  7. Excellent way to end the monster fest! Hmmm, what scares me the most are demons. Directly from hell demons. The ones who possess humans. Truly terrifying for me. And my second is aliens. Seriously. Good to meet you. :)

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    1. Oh my, a demonic alien would be such a nightmare, then...

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  8. I would love to win the ebook. A really terrifying monster...tough question. It would be one that you might think only exists in your mind only to find out there is someone or something just like it in the real world. The monster gets scarier and scarier the more you think about it until you're to the point of madness yourself.

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    1. To run around with fear only you can see and feel. Scary, scary... the physical fear, the alienation... scary, indeed.

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  9. Being brand new to your site I know nothing of your fiction- yet. I intend to correct by reading the stories you link to above this weekend and will check back after.

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  10. What makes a monster to me...is a total lack of compassion and disregard for life. There is nothing that frightens me more than a Predatory Paedophile, especially the kind that hide in plain sight. Fortunately my reaction to such fear is a total lack of compassion for their life.....which apparently makes me a monster too....:)xxx

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    1. I think you are capable of ignoring manipulating suffering, but your heart and mind are big and clear, my friend... your compassion would come up. Even if you have let the offenders twitch for an hour or ten days before helping them out ;-D

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  11. Like many others, AlmaMia also lives on my Kindle. As for a critique, well... it is only fair to leave that chance open to others, my generous fiend. *wink*

    I'm not surprised (too much) by people tagging AlmaMia as horror. The lines between dark fiction and horror are a bit blurry in modern times. I think the rise of slasher flicks have helped contribute to this -- they seemed to create the definitive line between physical horror (mostly involving gore) and psychological horror involving things the characters cannot explain much less understand. Personally, I would call AlmaMia a horror short simply because Soledad actively engenders feeling of dismay and dread in AlmaMia. She also engenders those feelings in me -- there is just something not quite right in that girl's head; and the reader in me is dying to know what it is.

    Honestly, I think I'd rather meet Sweettooth in a dark alley. Soledad is like the kid who pulls wings off flies...but then takes it one step further into darkness.

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    1. I just saw Soledad flash a sneer that made her look like a two-legged piranha... *cringe*

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  12. I think the most terrifying monsters are the ones who leave something to the imagination. Each person has a different definition for they find horrifying and the best way to tap into that is let their subconscious fill in the blanks.

    I would love to win either a copy of your book (sounds very intriguing) or a critique. Great prizes!

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    1. Our imagination can be a monstrous creator, especially when someone (or something) gives it a jump start into the madness...

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  13. Yes I had a freaking blast ;o) Excellent Magaly ;o)

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    1. WoooHooo! *doing Stacy's signature happy dance*

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  14. I think the most terrifying monsters are those within ourselves. Thanks for being so active within the hop, the effort is appreciated so much!
    You posts were always interesting.
    :-)

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    1. I agree. Our thinking bone can birth the nastiest of nightmares... We know ourselves well (at least, some of those do) and that is a recipe for some things that makes jump in the night.

      Right back at you on the "interesting" bit, I enjoyed your posts very much ;-)

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  15. I'm not entering - I don't have a Kindle and I don't have a piece of writing I'm focusing enough on (ref. Interlude of Obsession lol) to want a critique right now, but I wanted to respond anyway, because I enjoy commenting on your posts. :)

    Soledad scares the bejeezus out of me. Because to me, the scariest monsters are the ones who look just like you and me. Werewolves (when they're transformed anyway), demons, Elder Gods, and even vampires to some extent are all obvious in one way or another. You look at them and you -know- they're monsters. You could walk past Soledad in the street and never know the difference until you wake up with her standing over your bedside with an I'm-gonna-F-you-up expression on her face. Running a close second to that would be the monster who is so totally alien that you can never understand his motivations, the thing that just wants to rape and murder and destroy for reasons incomprehensible to the human psyche. I don't think that counts for the purpose of this post, though... lol.

    In keeping with that theme, I would love to see you portray Rasputin, and I don't think I need to explain why... *crooked grin*

    -Fox ^.^

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    1. Sometime back I read a collection of short stories from a writer who was inspired to write horror by the deeds of a serial killer who lived a few streets from his childhood home. I'm not citing the writer because... well, I some of his views are rather unsavory and I refuse to promote meanness. Anyway, the writer said that after the serial killer was found out, he began to suffer panic attacks and is still suffering them. When a stranger looks at him with interest, when someone bumps into him in public, when he picks up the phone and it's the wrong number... Every time one of these things happens the thinks that a murderer is studying him to gut him.

      So yes, Soledad and those like her scare me, too. Even the monsters of myth we know how to kill. But how do you defend yourself from someone pretty and terrible who you don't even see coming?

      Rasputin... I've always wondered about the childhood of such a man. And in a funnier note, for some reason I can never picture him without his beard--even when he was five lol

      P.S. You know know you can read kindle books on your computer, right?

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    2. Uhhh... heh... I did not know that about the kindle books. I feel silly now.

      A story about a 5-yr-old Rasputin who goes around stealing beards because he can't grow one of his own? hehehe

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    3. Oh and in that case I would love to enter for a copy of AlmaMia! ;)

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    4. Hooray! Every time I think that everybody knows everything, I find out that people are as human as me and we are always discovering new bits.

      I just snorted, imagining Rasputin going around "stealing beards" lol

      And you are in!

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  16. I'm with you on Soledad. The petty hates that we nurse in our hearts can grow into full on monsters in real life, making vampires, zombies and the like seem toothless in comparison.

    I would love to see you portray Ninon de l'Enclos. I think you'd have a blast with her.

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    1. LOL - oh yeah. I already own and love AlmaMia, so the critique would be groovie!

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    2. The human mind is capable of birthing the nastiest of beasts, isn't it? I think it is the most vivid example of Freud's uncanny concept. Our brain can construct such beauties, but on our bad days (and good days for some) we can bring forth the most horrible nightmares.

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  17. I know this is late but have been gone and now catching up with your blog. After reading this I so want to read your work. It sounds so intresting. I love discriptions of characters because I can imagine what they look like and how scary they are. While writing my story I am trying to discribe my character so someone like me can imagine what the character looks like. :) Great post.

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    1. I'm really bad about specific definitions. I tend to give readers just enough to imagine the characters--sometimes I don't give enough. It's one of my weaknesses *cough, cough*

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