We are calling for submissions for a vampire themed horror writing contest in which the readers get to decide the winner. The rules are simple: Original story (no reprints), no multiple submissions (it was allowed before, but this isn’t a lottery), story must be both horror and vampire-themed (no teen drama stories. I will burn them.), within 9,000 words or less, and lastly tailored for a mature audience.
The winner of the contest will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon. The runner-ups will be featured in the Deadman’s Tome podcast.
The stories will be presented on the blog as soon as they’re screened, and winners will be determined by a mixture of comments and likes.
Contest will be running from now to the end of August 2013.
Send submissions to Legato10@ Swbell.net with Contest as the subject.
The forlorn mother put the twelfth candle in place. The basement was dark. The fetid smell of decomposing flesh hung heavy in the air. ―This has to work,‖ she whispered. ―This just has to work.‖
The mother‘s name was Bethany, and she was preparing to perform a ritual she discovered on a necromancy website. She followed the website‘s directions perfectly. Failure was not an option.
On her basement floor she drew a chalk circle inscribed with the image of a soaring raven. Along the circumference of this magick mandala she placed twelve candles. Eleven candles were white. The twelfth candle was red, made of wax crimsonly colored with her blood. Baby Bridget, her beloved daughter, rested in the circle‘s center. She was silent. She was lifeless.
Bethany was not usually the type to believe in magick. But this was her daughter. She had to try something. The website claimed the spell was genuine, translated from ancient hieroglyphs written by fallen angels. She was just desperate enough to believe that.
Bethany lit the candles one by one around the divination circle. The red candle was the last to be lit. She clasped her hands over it, closed her eyes, and spoke the website‘s incantation.
―Azrael, almighty Angel of Death,‖ she cried. ―Release this innocent child from your grasp. I give to you an offering of fire. Now rekindle the fire in this child‘s heart. Come, Azrael! Accept my tribute and let this child live again!‖
Bethany opened her eyes. The basement was silent. Nothing happened. She was ready to collapse in anguish, when suddenly she felt something. An eerie wind entered the sealed basement and began to blow the candles‘ flames toward Baby Bridget.
―This is it,‖ Bethany said tearfully. ―It‘s working!‖ The flames entered Baby Bridget‘s mouth, leaving the basement in total darkness. Baby Bridget opened her eyes and started to cry.
Bethany joyously arose and rushed to the circle‘s center to embrace her reanimated daughter. As she moved forward, though, she began to sweat. The basement grew hotter and hotter. Suddenly, Baby Bridget erupted into flames. She screamed and screamed and the flames grew higher and higher. Bethany stumbled backward and was caught in the blaze. The fire grew stronger with each of the baby‘s tortured wails.
The fire consumed the basement and eventually the whole house. It was only after everything was reduced to ash that the cries ceased and the fire died down. Bethany had hoped to bring her only daughter back to the world of the living, but she brought forth a demon instead.
The aged priest put the twelfth bowl in place. The basement was bright, but shadows surrounded him like dark sentinels. The smell of smoldering flesh hung heavy in the air.
The priest‘s name was Father Robert, and he was preparing to exorcise a fire demon from the basement of the Morris family‘s five-year-old home. He was meticulous. Given what this demon was capable of, failure was not an option.
On the basement floor he drew a chalk circle inscribed with a dodecagram. Along the circumference of this purification circle he placed twelve bowls. Eleven bowls were white. The twelfth bowl was red.
He filled the bowls one by one with holy water from a silver decanter. The red bowl was the last to be filled. He clasped his hands over it, closed his eyes, and prayed.
As Father Robert recited his prayer, he began to sweat. The temperature in the basement began to drastically increase. Then, fire spewed forth from the center of the purification circle. The light and heat were tremendous, but Father Robert stayed strong and remained in place.
From within the incredible inferno the fire demon appeared. It looked like a skinless human infant, a pulsating mass of charred muscle and tissue. With its daemonic red eyes it scanned the basement. It stared down at the purification circle, then directly at Father Robert. ―Who are you and what do you think you‘re doing?‖ it asked in a shrill, otherworldly voice.
Father Robert was astonished by the creature‘s ability to speak, but he kept his composure and responded. ―My name is Father Robert. I am here to bring an end to the suffering you have caused and free the soul of the girl you devoured.‖
―Girl?‖ said the demon, feigning innocence. ―What girl?‖
―You know full well! The little Morris girl! The innocent child that lived in this house who you burned alive!‖
The fiery creature chortled. ―Oh, I remember now! But you can‘t blame me for what happened to her. She‘s the one who sought me out. After her family moved into this house, she heard me crying and came to ‗comfort‘ me. She threw me scraps of wood to eat and squirted lighter fluid on me to drink. She made my flames grow bigger and stronger.
―Do you know how much that hurt? Can you imagine how much pain she put me in? I roasted her body and ate her soul! She tasted just like my dear, sweet mother.‖
―Devilish creature,‖ Father Robert said calmly in reply, ―I can see you are in a great deal of pain. However, that gives you no right to make others suffer. I am a servant of God, so I will send you back to the fires from which you were spawned.‖
Father Robert continued reciting his prayer. At first, nothing happened. The demon chortled, mocking the holy man. Then, the holy water in the bowls rose into the air.
The holy water rushed into the demon‘s mouth. It gurgled. It gasped for air. Finally, its flames were extinguished and it crumbled into a pile of ash. The fire demon was destroyed. Father Robert hoped that this would mean the little Morris girl could rest in peace.
Venturing back to an old story that has earned its place among the classics requires careful consideration of the attributes that facilitated its praise. This not only includes the strengths and weaknesses of the previous work, but the environment, narration, and character development. Honestly comparing Disney’s envisioned prequel to the Wizard of Oz is difficult due to the trends in movie production, but to state that Oz, unlike the Wizard of Oz, felt more like a Michael Bay eye-candy fest than anything else (substitute explosions for flowers and other vivid and beautiful effects).
If I were to summarize my complaint of the film, it would be that it traded story, character development and substance for very vivid and sometimes cartoonish special effects. The colors were so brilliant that most of the scenes felt liked a Windows desktop image, and though the film intends to create a sense of fantasy, the green screening effects instantly killed any sense of disbelief I had. The classic didn’t suffer from that problem as the backgrounds were actual sets, and thus actually looked more believable. And even thought the classic didn’t have the greatest and most in-depth story, it at least didn’t stuff 30 minutes of visual effects into the movie at different intervals just for the sake of attempting to show how fantastical Oz is.
Another complaint is that the Film suffered from lopsided acting. James Franco delivered, bring life into a womanizing carnival magician. Whereas, Mila Kunis’ performance was spotty at best. While she may look attractive, her voice is perhaps too well associated with her Family Guy persona (Meg), and for some that could cause an issue of immersion. In addition, the crying scene, in fact any scene where she attempted to show emotional scorning seemed very weak. The cry scene was one of most awkward cry scenes I’ve seen in a while.
Perhaps her acting would’ve been better if only the characters were given time to develop and thus become relatable to the audience. First five minutes of Mila Kunis’s appearance she goes from timid to overly attached girlfriend to only become heartbroken moments later. Literally, Oz lays down some heavy flirting, which she laps up like sweet milk from a saucer. Her sisters does a little magic trick to convince her that Oz is a player and that puts her into revenge mode? What the hell is that? How do you transition from “OMG! We just met and I’m like totally in love with you” to “I’m gonna rip your heart out and shit in the cavity”? You do it with rushed writing. Rushed writing that condenses a character arch into a two scene progression because other scenes are reserved for special effect fluff.
I’m sorry. I might come off as cynical, but this is only a tolerable movie. It most certainly doesn’t even come close to paling thing original. It doesn’t even deserve to be described as overshadowed, as it is an example of revisiting a classic with good intentions, but with poor writing and a drastic lack of substance.
Deadman’s Tome Podcast four is now available, and Mr. Deadman talks about everything from the new writing contest to the Evil Dead remake. Also, because of the erotic theme of the previous issue, please enjoy the provocative images.
The Best of the Demonic compiles an assortment of editor picks as a way to celebrate our two years of publication. Loaded with ten gruesome, horrific tales that will pull you to the edge of your seat, this greatest hits anthology will deliver back-to-back a complimentary sample of what Deadman’s Tome is all about.
Fans of our thriving ezine, you already know that this purchase will be totally worth it. Those passing by, you don’t need to hold on to your doubt. As a growing monthly electronic magazine, the quality of our releases has increased phenomenally, and this anthology is a sort of snapshot of what we become.
If you crave horror, if you enjoy a good chill running down your spine, then look no further. Deadman’s Tome delivers.
It’s a rare occurrence that a zombie comedy manages to stagger into theaters. It’s even rarer for the zombie comedy to be of the romantic type, and even much more of an oddity for the film to take the perspective of a zombie.
Warm Bodies is a romantic zom-com from the perspective of a zombie. With that said, there are several liberties that occur to make the perspective possible and entertaining. If you are a stickler on zombie mythology and like it only when zombies walk at a slow pace and remain essentially brain-dead, then this is not for you. Secondly, if you are the type that actively defends modern zombie mythology then you should also take note on all the liberties George Ramiro took even in his first film. Afterall, zombie mythology is no more factual than vampires, and vampire mythology is saturated with fictitious hyperbole stemmed from non-sense folktales.
Warm Bodies follows a very typical romantic comedy story arch. Woman is saved, and brought into the man’s home where she is essentially a stranger in a new land. The man fails to keep her hidden, and his friends and family do not like her, but his perseverance eventually wins them over. Then the reversal occurs to where the man is now taken into the woman’s world… A very typical pattern observed in over dozens of romantic stories from Greek myths to Modern film. The story is so predictable that anyone familiar with romantic comedies will know how the next scene will play out. Is this bad? Yes, and no.
While Warm Bodies suffers from its predictable narration, it offers something different to the mix that still remains on the fringe. Zombies seem to only have one place in film, and that’s to die, even though their already dead. Because zombie traditional have very little screen time, and are rather brainless and one-dimensional, the film has to take several liberties to render a zombie from a reanimated corpse that just simply lumbers and rots, to a reanimated corpse that lumbers, sort of thinks, and tries to interact with the environment. I really do detest that fact that some people take zombie mythology all too seriously. To the very core, Warm Bodies is a comedy, a romantic comedy, and the zombie element is used in a way to make it possible for story telling. It would be impossible for a one-dimensional rotter to do anything other than die. Besides, we’re talking about fictitious creatures that are dead bodies that can lumber and mumble without a brain, heart, lungs, and blood flow.
The strengths for Warm Bodies are R’s quirky and funny narration, the interaction between R and his zombie friends, and the interaction between R and Julie. R’s narration provides witty commentary on how life could be as a zombie on an anecdotal basis, while the interaction bears the question if and how zombies would interact with one another over time. Then, of course, most of the film revolves around the interaction of R and Julie which is very similar to any romantic tale involving lovers from different and conflicting worlds. Julie, being a live and a survivor, was raised and trained to hate and kill zombies, and ironically, zombies apparently have just as much disdain for the living.
Like in any traditional romance involving mortal enemies, once Julie is introduced to R’s family and friends, a feud between the zombies and the even older zombies (bonies) begins, which serve as common enemy that forces the two conflicting sides (zombies and living) to unite. While a common goal is often a necessary component to have rival factions unite, the unification and alliance felt forced by the director and writers.
In summation, Warm Bodies is a light-hearted at life as a zombie spun for a romantic comedy that offers a little of both, but the clichéd and easily predictable narration hinders the experience, while making the absurd perspective easy to swallow for others. The movie is fun, as it is meant to be. Is it an oscar winner? No, of course not. Is it the best zom-com? No, but how many take the perspective of a reanimated corpse? Not a lot of competition there.
Final recommendation: Theaters if you like zom-com. Rent it if you don’t. It’s a fun and enjoyable flick, as it intended.
*For those zombie nerds that actively plan for a zombie apocalypse, if you can’t find empathy for zombies and aren’t flexible on how zombies are depicted (the make-up is really good), then don’t watch it. You’ll end up hating it as it deviates from typical zombie “mythology”.
Walls of cold, hardened flesh bound to bone, a core without the faintest glow of radiance for warmth, and a vast, ever-expansive darkness that permeates the internal decay. Yet, the corpse somehow manages to move. But it doesn’t move like that of a man, however. As if blessed by some unfathomable hellish fiend, it moves with more life than it ever had as a mortal. As if a secret dark oath was taken in exchange for a demonic reanimation, but with any oath their comes a price.
Deadman’s Tome announces a vampire themed writing contest that starts NOW and ends in August. Feel free to submit your dark, morbid, horrific vampire-themed tales for chance to win and be published in the yearly electronic magazine. We don’t want any mushy, teen-drama tales. Any and all submissions of those type will be burned. I’m serious.
What’s the prize? I don’t like this part because I feel that one shouldn’t write because of a prize, but because the craft is enjoyable. However, this is a contest, and every contest has a prize. First place will receive a $100 Amazon gift card, along with a signed copy of The Cradle of Ruin. Second place will receive $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the Cradle of Ruin. Third place will receive a signed copy of the Cradle of Ruin.
Read the SUBMISSIONS page for more details.
Winners and select runner-ups will be featured in the yearly Deadman’s Tome publication.
Journey into a world of dark, carnal horrors, a realm where sadistic torture is intertwined with pleasure. Brace yourself, for each story will take you further into a land of extreme perversion. Otherworldly horrors such as the provocative succubi will tempt poor unsuspecting saps so that they can feast upon their soul. Narcissistic Masters will inflict a lashing onto their slaves in the name of obedience. Heavenly beings that mirror that of ancient Greece will suffer the product of an incestuous lust. I feel compelled to warn you again, dear reader. The stories do not only increase with provocative images, they increase with deep and maddening tales of the consequence of falling for temptation.
The creator and editor-in-chief of Deadman’s Tome regrets to inform you that the old Deadman’s Tome site (www.deadmanstome.com) will be shutting down due to financial reasons. Though funds are tight, the passion for the ideals and principles that allowed the site to exist is immense. Deadman’s Tome, instead of fading into the dark internet abyss, will transition to a new home.
With that said, we welcome you, members of the Deadman’s Tome family, authors, poets, friends, fans, and, of course, curious readers, to our new home.