Category Archives: Short Fiction

Chatting with April R Denton…& GIVEAWAY!

The #CoffinHop wasn’t only about meeting horror authors and enjoying Halloween’s festivities – it was also about winning goodies! I was super happy when April R Denton told me I won a poem she’d write for me, so I proposed to premiere her composition over here.

AM: You’re such a prolific writer: poems, short stories, and novels…where do you find your inspiration, dear Zombie Girl? What sparks your fire?

April R Denton: Music and my dreams are most influential. When I find the right music for what I am writing the words flow freely, but they also influence my tone in the piece.

AM: Me too! Some dreams have become novels – they were that good to expand! Give me examples of the music you listen to write a scene, like a fight scene or a more mellow, romantic one.

April R Denton: I let Winamp do most of the work for my by shuffling until I reach a song that gives me goosebumps. For a sexy scene I use Puscifer, Maynard always makes me want to do dirty things. For violence Morphogenesis by Scar Symmetry or maybe some Killswitch Engage.

AM: Cool stuff. So when you wrote my ♥poem♥, how did you come up with it?

April R Denton: To write your poem I read your blog and took words that described you. Then I used rhymed.com to find rhymes that would work well. I reread the poem about 20 times until I was satisfied.

AM: It feels personal, you did a great job:)
Here it is, folks. Enjoy!

Gothic girl

Hazel eyes

Dark obsessive

Sweet surprise

Gloomy tunes

Oh so tall

Anne, the wordsmith

For her words you’ll befall

***In honor of the macabre and gloomy, I’m giving away two – yes, 2!! – ARC e-copies of City of Hell – Chronicles 1 (horror anthology featuring 7 scary short stories) to anyone who subscribe to this blog and leaves a comment to this post. Drawing of the lucky winners on Monday November 28th at noon-ish, Mtl time. Good luck♥***


Interview From Hell, the saga

I am extremely proud to be part of the Anachron Press horror anthology City of Hell – Chronicles 1 coming out this December. Kendall Grey (you know her, right? such a cool/crazy writer to stalk) orchestrated The Interview From Hell – follow the links at the end of this post to find out other hellish memories…

Kid from Hell

Colin Barnes:

The annoying child across the street to me. Their back garden isn’t far from mine and they have one of those annoying trampolines inside a net. He bounces on that damned thing screaming and shouting at all hours. Drives me nuts. I have considered a sniper rifle.

Victoria Griesdoorn:

During birth I broke my collar bone and the doctors never noticed. My mom saw a nurse for a post-natal check up two weeks later and asked whether it was normal that I was a happy baby but started crying as soon as my mom picked me up. The nurse found the broken bone and assured my mom it wasn’t her fault. My mom must have thought I hated her.

Ren Warom:

I have three – I call them the spawn and they are the burning plasma at the heart of my world and the single reason I will go bat-crazy and drooling before I hit my prime 🙂

Kendall Grey:

As a former middle school teacher, I have a long list of kids from hell, but there was only one I grabbed by the shirt collar and nearly punched. Spawned straight from Satan’s wanton loins, this little shit made it his business to keep all the teachers on Prozac. Years later, I was talking to a substitute teacher at school and thought he looked familiar. I asked his name. It was the kid from hell! All grown up now, he’s the nicest dude.

Anne Michaud:

Aren’t they all from Hell? I mean, really: the crying, the nagging, the demands and diapers. I rest my case.

Belinda Frisch:

Any kid that trashes my house, fails to follow rules, cries excessively, or messes with my pets is a kid from hell.

Amy Overley:

The kid from hell was a little boy named Adam Snavely. Yes, Adam, I’m naming names, dude. I was a kid too at the time, and we knew each other from church. CHURCH, people. Where we’re supposed to love each other like Jesus…or something along those lines. Adam, however, loved staplers. He loved stapling me in particular. I would run every Sunday after church to cower behind my mother’s skirt. My mother, of course, took Adam to task, but his mother would say with a cheerful smile, “boys will be boys.” Really, I should have kicked him in the gonads.

 

Friend from Hell

Colin Barnes:

I once had a friend who did a terrible and highly illegal thing and had to move to Cornwall to escape the wrath of the family of the person on the end of this terrible thing. On the upside, the only way he could afford his rent was to let the landlord do certain ‘things’ to him against his will to make up the shortfall in the rent.

Victoria Griesdoorn:

The only times I ever hated a friend was the dreaded Sunday mornings. Growing up, I used to always be outside, playing or hanging out on the streets. Back then shops were closed on Sundays and my friend’s family slept in. I was bored to tears every time. I still hate Sunday mornings.

Ren Warom:

Huh. Easy. Sharon. Nightmare. Black hole human. Friend at my second senior school. Needless to say I will NEVER be guilt-tripped into being friends with someone ever again. Back-stabbing cow she was. Told everyone I’d gone nuts when I left school due to having enough of being bullied by people who hated HER. Bitch. I’m totally over it… 😛

Kendall Grey:

I have a few, but I won’t name them. To stay off Kendall’s Friend from Hell list, follow these simple rules. 1) Don’t push your kids off on me. I don’t care how sweet they are. I don’t want them around without you there. 2) Don’t use me. Contrary to popular belief, I can be very kind and giving. If you take advantage of me, I will fuck you up. 3) Be there for me like I’m there for you.

Anne Michaud:

Stephanie was her name: she stole my Smurf ballerina, a French dress for my favorite doll, my Halloween candy and tried to make me fall off my bicycle. Needless to say, we stopped being friends after she brought matches to my sixth birthday party.

Belinda Frisch:

Any friend that betrays my trust, covets what’s mine, lies to my face, or uses me for what they can get and then are never there in return is a friend from hell.

Amy Overley:

Her name was Sandy, and she had hair the color of old cherry Koolaid and a carrot-tinted complexion from too much time at the tanning bed. Sandy was the sort who loved you at first sight and regurgitated her entire life story onto you within minutes of clasping you to her hefty bosom. Sandy was fine until she got drunk, and then she was “Handsy Sandsy.” Woe to the man who stumbled across her path at a party. It didn’t matter if you were gay or straight. If you had a package, her hands were on it. Damn, I miss her at parties.

Check out the rest of the City of Hell crew’s Interview From Hell:  

November 14: Colin Barnes – Ride from Hell; Boss/Coworker from Hell

November 15: Victoria Griesdoorn – Pet from Hell; Car from Hell

November 16: Ren Warom – Day from Hell; Illness from Hell

November 17: Kendall Grey – Vacation from Hell; Family Member from Hell

November 18: Anne Michaud – Kid from Hell; Friend from Hell

November 21: Belinda Frisch – Binge from Hell; Book from Hell

November 22: Amy Overley – Meal from Hell; Bug Bite from Hell


The Birdman

A friend’s new avatar picture + Ghost Hunters gang visiting an abandoned prison where a man was said to tame crows = new #FridayFlash for you to enjoy, good people.

The Birdman

So carefully he let go of the last crow, its wings flapping in a fury of feathers until it reached the October sky. So high the bars at the window he’d never reach, the rain and snow and hail always finding ways to remind him you need wind to fly.

Every limb disjointed and broken, the guards bruised and wounded him with their fists until he fell apart. His soul, the birds beaked and scratched into a secret escape.

Each carrying a part of the man, free at last.

With the morning came promises of torture, but the guards found an echo of emptiness, no crooked bars at the window, no tricks pulled at the lock. In the fog around the prison, birds flew high and above, each carrying a part of the man, free at last.


Halloween Withdrawal: Coffin Hop Winners

I had a blast hopping from one blog to the next, participating to great contests and making my own. And then, after the trick and treating, comes the post sugar-rush: picking winners.

You ALL did such a great job, I found myself having a *slight* panic attack as to choose 3 stories that chilled my bones, since they all did. You guys are utterly original, unique, talented writers, and I feel honored you participated to my contest.

1st PLACE: REN WAROM

Glue

I’m standing here. And the rain falls. Gathers in puddles huge enough to drown a house. Swallow it whole. My hair, my clothes, plastered down like they’re glued to me. There’s a hollow ring as the downpour clatters across the top of a corrugated roof. Sounds like gunfire. Like the end of the world.

Lights pierce the shroud of rainfall. They watch me, giant yellow eyes. I hear tyres on gravel, crunching loud as the shatter of bones, and we’re illuminated. The door flies open, Gina stumbles out, mouth wide as a puddle. She runs to me, falls to her knees, arms out. And I hear myself shouting.

‘I tried to make her look right. I tried to fix her. But she wouldn’t stick together.’

2nd PLACE: MILO JAMES FOWLER

Clowns Don’t Really Smile

We
Just
Unhinge
Our slack jaws
And wait for you to
Accidentally make eye contact…

3rd PLACE: LAURI MARTIN

There’s a house like any other house, except for the bear skull hanging above the front door, and the knocker resembling a giant skinned knuckle.

On Halloween we’d skip this house, but one year a pack of us ran to the door. Buck, bolstered by his Superman costume, rang the bell. It sounded like a hornet swarm. I froze. The others ran off.

She’s clever, Mrs. Shyer. Made a wreath out of me. Used paint and shoe polish so my bones look fake. I hang outside year-round now. Sometimes at Christmas she puts a red bell between my teeth.

***A SPECIAL MENTION to JANICE NEWTON and her creepy three entries***


Coffin Hop Horror Contest (and cool prizes)

I ♥ Halloween. Cold and dark and spooky, the night of the dead is my favorite holiday, which is why the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour is the perfect opportunity to celebrate it!

I’m holding a writing contest to test my fellow 96 hopping horror authors bloggers and friendly followers–I always ask for kids to sing when they trick or treat at my door, so here it goes…

RULES:

    • Scare me in 100 words or less! Fright me to no end with unique, non-rape/animal abuse/ torture horror in the comment section.
    • Subscribe by email to my blog
    • Tweet about the contest using @annecmichaud (Non-twitteroons can still participate, of course)
    • Contest starts on the 24th of October and ends on Halloween at midnight, winners will be announced the following week.
    • Have a spooky good time:)

Aleister is very sensitive about his vitamin B12 intakes

    PRIZES:

  • 1- A special vampire edition skeleton, handmade by moi
  • 2- A critique of 5k
  • 3- An interview or guest post on my blog

The first place winner gets to choose first, then the second and third, last. I wish you good luck and may the haunting Muse be with you!


I Follow Rivers

The *tiniest* of #Fridayflash…

La Rivière Ste-Anne à Beaupré, Yvette Boulanger, 2011

When the breeze warmed up spring, my toes wiggled in the river.

Came the stuffy days of summer, its waters cooled me.

Fall rains pummeled on my head until I drowned, staring at the sky.

As the first frost of winter traps my soul, nobody will ever find my body.


Award Season Book Giveaway

Notice the pretty lace and teacup

After the journey to Versatile Blogger came the surprise of Cute Blogger and the creation of Minions of Misery—now, it’s time for the road to One Lovely Blog award. Julie Particka and Lisa Forget are both lovely blogging ladies, and have bestowed upon me this sweet (and sour) nomination.

7 things about myself and 15 lucky nominees: easy-peasy right? Wrong.

  1. I hate to divulge anything about myself, whether it’s personal or not.
  2. I have a super-duper expressive face, which means I can’t hide anything.
  3. I’m mega tall, so it’s quite hard to hide. Period.
  4. My hazel eyes are the mirror to my soul, they reflect hate and love, at the same time, on occasions.
  5. When I get nervous, my tongue gets tied and my hands fly about. Super attractive.
  6. There’s no way I can lie, so don’t even try to make me.
  7. I wish I was elegant but with my clown feet, it’s just not possible.

There, happy? Now you know who to look for in a crowd.

On a brighter note, here are my 15 Lovely Blogger Award nominees who have great blogs you *must* check out!

Jenny

Samantha Young

Blaire Kensley

Robin Ashe

Michelle Birbeck

Hannah Stephenson

Cyndi Tefft

C.W. Lasart

Heather Jacobs

Kyla Holt

J Birch

Ali Cross

April Denton

Stephanie Alexander

Liz Fichera

Misery of Me is in there...

In honor of this blog-awards season and the long autumn nights looming on the horizon, I am giving away a copy of the Tattered Souls Volume 2 anthology, which features my novelette Misery of Me. Beware: this lit horror collection of dark stories and even darker characters might not be suitable for impressionable youngsters.

Here are the giveaway specifics:

  1. You MUST follow me on Twitter
  2. You MUST subscribe to my blog
  3. You MUST leave a comment with a valid email address

The lucky winner will be drawn on Monday, October 3rd, at noon, Montreal time. This giveaway is open to international participants, and I will check if all rules have been applied.

Good luck and have a lovely blog-hopping dayJ


View from a Hill

My #Fridayflash is an old story I revised into something new. It’s a little sad.

View from a Hill*

Sam did everything he could to save the last proof of their love: this little baby girl wrapped in soiled cloths, his own. Night promised a bone-chilling cold, and yet she survived. A victory in itself, something to be happy for.

Footsteps on gravel, their echo heavy as he abandoned his girlfriend’s body in the field. Covered with wild flowers found by the road, would she be mad at him for letting go of her so quickly, after childbirth killed her? Never forget, never forgotten, always loved. If only he could carve it in a stone with a knife.

The city, its remains a skeleton to detest, to fear. Parts of it burnt, leaning cement towers with black holes, no food, no water, no nothing. The rest was just empty of life, deserted in a hurry. Sam stopped and listened, hoped and cried out loud. Defeated except for the baby, breathing and sticky, but warm in his tight embrace. Where to go? What to do? She would’ve known, pointing to the right direction; she would’ve made it all right. She was gone.

The day they met, the world ended. Invaded, infected. The Others first manifested themselves through pregnant women, through life. The invisible force lurked from every corner, starting with the weak, malnourished, and ending with the rich and healthy. Then, a war between humans. The last to be shuttled had been the homeless habitants of this city, the last convoy to other galaxies in space by now. It had left him behind, to face what they were so afraid of: aliens.

Fog almost let dusk through light, dim and shy, cold and grey. The baby wailed, needing so many things Sam didn’t have. He put her down, not in a damp spot, and took layers of junk out of the way. Rotten food, empty cans, empty bottles, some old electronic devise now rusty and broken. Scavenged and combed by the hungry and desperate, trash hid nothing but Sam’s treasure box.

Condensed milk, way past its expiration date, still liquid and untouched, trapped in dusty cans. What she begged him to bring with them, what she knew could save their baby if she didn’t make it. And she’d been right. Portions, enough for tomorrow and the day after that, portions enough for the baby to not starve without her mother. Sam dipped his scarf into the thick white fluid and opened the baby’s mouth with his dirty finger, pressing the wet cloth to her tongue. Good, she stopped crying and fed.

He reached the edge of town walking down the middle of the highways, litter and cars its only survivors. Then he turned and stared, couldn’t help it, wanting to remember it this way, silent, lonely and sad. He’d hated it from the first moment, finding it cold and heartless, ignorant and irrelevant.

When the wind picked up, Sam ran toward the hill, the city becoming smaller with distance. The baby cried, sensing his fear that the Others were coming. The clouds cleared, less heavy without any combustion to feed them, pollution deferred when humanity moved out. Sam blinked and scratched his eyes, couldn’t believe that right above him, stars shone in the sky.

You wait until your turn comes comes around again*

Small glittering white sparkles in a map of black. Stars, his girl would’ve liked that. But then the flickering lights fell on him and the baby, all around and everywhere. His bones rattled, his heart shook, as the Mothership settled down. They found him, probably sensed his presence on the hill.

As the door opened and light blinded him, Sam recoiled from his coming punishment. He cried about being trapped in this body, confined with this love he’d developed for his mission’s vessel, now a soulless corpse. The baby had never been hers but his people’s, remorse and regrets pierced his Human disguise.

“We’ll name you after your mother,” he whispered to the baby in his arms. “We’ll call you Hope.”

*Marvelous song by The Chameleons UK*