One of my favorite authors, A.F. Stewart, has finished the follow up to Killers and Demons, a delightful smorgasbord of darkness, with a continuation of the feast. Her newest book, Killers and Demons II: They Return, is a collection of thirteen tales, blending short stories and flash fiction, tales where the blood lingers on your tongue or spurts quickly from the swift cut.
If you like a little terror artfully woven into the tapestry of your literary wanderings, you will enjoy this work by an author talented at both poetry and prose. Her words will have you on edge – just meet some of the characters will you will find wandering the pages:
- Wade, every parent’s nightmare
- Hannah and Mr. Greeley. Who is the victim and who is the villain?
- Simon and Zoe, a married couple who are dying to be single again.
- Norman and his “cookie” of a wife, Mabel.
- Millicent and Jane, a delightful duo you shouldn’t invite to your Regency tea party
- Amanda, who literally has a skeleton in her closet
- Balthazar, the demon bounty hunter on the hunt once more.
- Sarah, a young woman going through some changes and craving new tastes
- Emmeline, burned as a witch, now back from the dead for revenge
- Gabrielle, a woman haunted by shadows
- The Dollmaker, she showers death, and an umbrella won’t help
- Nightmare Demons, bent on driving a town insane
- And then there’s Alice, a little girl locked in the basement by her Daddy…
You can find A.F. Stewart’s new book, Killers and Demons II: They Return by following the links…
Excerpt From Killers and Demons II: They Return
I’m Amanda Miller. I’m seventeen and my family keeps a secret in the upstairs closet. A secret we’ve been guarding since the year 1812, the year my ancestor, Joshua Miller, killed his sister, Annie.
Poor Joshua wasn’t a murderer, no. He killed her in self-defence, but under rather unusual circumstances—she being possessed at the time. Regrettably, her death was not entirely effective, seeing that Annie died but not the thing inside of her.
Which brings everything back to the closet.
That’s where Annie’s kept, you see, in our upstairs closet. Her black skeleton wrapped in a faded quilt, tucked away in a trunk, stored behind the Christmas ornaments. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true. That’s the family secret.
Trouble is the secret doesn’t want to stay hidden anymore.
It started a month ago with whispers coming from the closet, mostly late in the evening when I was alone in my room. A soft, sweet sounding voice murmuring, pleading to me.
Let me out. Let me out.
The same words, over and over again, often for hours. I was terrified at first. Scared I was going crazy, and scared it was real. I hid under my covers, tried to ignore the voice, prayed it would stop, but it kept getting louder, more insistent. I didn’t sleep well. And I didn’t tell anyone. Not my parents, not my brother. I don’t know why, but I didn’t. Maybe I liked that someone, something, paid attention to me.
Then one night, the whispering voice called my name. Very faintly, but I heard it.
At first, I thought I imagined it, but it kept repeating.
Amanda, Amanda, Amanda.
I trembled. It knew my name. The thing in the closet knew me, forgettable, ignorable Amanda Miller. I stared at my bedroom door, wondering, a foot dangling off the bed.
I need you, Amanda.
That scared me, and I shoved my pillow around my ears, but the voice kept whispering.
Please, Amanda. Please let me out.
Where are you, Amanda?
I need you, Amanda.
Amanda, please. Amanda, please. Please let me out.
Pillow smashed against my head, face buried in my covers, I tried to ignore it to the point I couldn’t deal, until I needed to scream. Until it started to bargain.
I can help you, Amanda.
Give you what you need.
I know what you want.
You can have what you want.
Just let me out.
Then I sat up in the bed. Could it really know?
A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she has always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, sword collecting, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart is an indie author with several published novellas and story collections in the dark fantasy or horror genres, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction. She has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.