Book Review: “Grave Predictions”

Grave Predictions was my seventh read of 2023.

I picked up Grave Predictions because it contained Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.” I’d always wanted to check out this short story but could never find it anywhere—and I didn’t want to pirate it. Then, after a chat with friends about disturbing ideas—such as Roko’s basilisk—Ellison came up. Thus, I decided I needed to read it and find a copy.

The collection as a whole stands as a bit hit-and-miss. “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”—the reason I got it in the first place—was excellent, as expected. As were several other stories, such as King’s “The End of the Whole Mess”. I also enjoyed the early pieces from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The progression through the decades was a nice touch. But a few parts did not work for me.

It’s worth the price of admission for some of the more standout stories. Of course, some are weaker than others. But the high moments make it all worthwhile. And that closing story is breathtaking.

Please give it a go, but don’t be afraid to pass on the stories that aren’t working for you.

Book Review: “The Drift” by C.J. Tudor

I picked up C.J. Tudor’s The Drift for my sixth read of the year.

I’d heard of Tudor before and had seen The Chalk Man getting positive reviews. So when I saw The Drift’s stunning cover in my local Tyrolia, I had to pick it up. Whoever said don’t judge a book by its cover?

Three thriller stories twist around each other, happening at the same time. Oh, and there’s a zombie-ish apocalypse going on, as well. A coachload of students crashes, leaving the survivors trapped inside. A cable car breaks down, stranding the strangers onboard with a dead body. Friends, locked in a snowed-in chalet, are soon at each other’s throats.

The Drift is a mix of murder mystery, suspense thriller, and apocalyptic horror. So it’s hard to pinpoint what genre The Drift is, but there’s one thing for sure: it’s bloody brilliant.

If any—or all—those listed genres appeal to you, then I urge you to pick up a copy of The Drift. It had so many twists I could not predict where it headed.

I’d say it’s damn near flawless, and I look forward to delving into Tudor’s back catalogue.

‘In the Dark of the Zombie City’: A story of an intense discussion

Hey, everyone! How’s everyone doing this fine *checks notes* September afternoon? This next one was written for the contest, In On a Little Secret. I chose the prompt, “Write a story about a meeting of a secret society.” The title of my short story is In the Dark of the Zombie City, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

“So, the first item on our agenda is killing Ethan.” Lilly looked up from the sheet of paper on her judge’s desk. “Are we all in agreement?”

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Well, that’s all for now! Until next time, guys. 🙂

‘In Circles’: My 50th Reedsy story!

Here we are! All caught up — on the Reedsy stories, at least! Whew! Took me long enough, didn’t it? Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

This next one was written for the fairly recent contest, Two Hundred. This one was special because not only did it mark Reedsy’s 200th writing prompt, but it was also my 50th story with them, since they started publishing stories on their site! (I had a few stories with them before the site, but I still feel that this is a rather momentous occasion!)

I chose the prompt, “Write a story that involves a mystery — it doesn’t need to be crime-related, it should just include something that remains unexplained until the end.” Such a great prompt, as it can be taken in so many different directions! The title of my short story is In Circles, and — you know how this goes by now! — you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

I just woke up in this place, and I don’t know how I got here. I’m not alone, but I don’t know any of the people that are with me.

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Well, that’s that! You’ll have to wait until I’ve written the next one to read it, as we’re all caught up, now! Hope you enjoyed the ride, guys! Oh, and here’s to 50 more stories! 😀

‘Where the Children Used to Play’: A story about what happens after the horror

Hey guys! How we all doing? Sick of this constant barrage of stories yet? Well, I’m afraid we’re not quite done yet — but we’re almost there! This next one I’m really rather fond of. It was written for the contest A Moment Like This, and for a while I was thinking about using the prompt, “Write a story told entirely through one chase scene,” but in the end, I went for, “Write a story about a summer afternoon spent in a treehouse.” I don’t want to become predictable, after all! Anyway, the title of my story is Where the Children Used to Play, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

They couldn’t climb, so she knew she was safe, even if only temporarily.

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Well, until next time, guys and gals — stay safe, and look after each other. 🙂

‘Living and Dying in 42 Beachley Street’: An apocalyptic story written during lockdown

We’re halfway through July. How the hell are we halfway through July!? The year is just flying past, isn’t it? I guess that can be mostly (but not completely) attributed to the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown.

Appropriately, this next one was written in the middle of lockdown, for the contest Close to Home. I chose the prompt, “Write a story about two neighbours talking from their yards, windows, balconies, etc.” The title of my story is Living and Dying in 42 Beachley Street, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

I held my breath as the silhouette of the little old lady turned around at the sound of my veranda door opening, then sighed internally when she waved cheerfully in my direction.

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I really like this one, and it’s actually the kinda vibe I’m going for in my current WIP (stay tuned…). I hope you guys liked it! Until next time — be careful of your zombie neighbours.

My comedic zombie story, ‘Sequel to the Apocalypse’, was shortlisted for the Reedsy contest!

Whew, look at me go! Getting through these at breakneck pace! Pretty soon I’ll have all caught up. This next one is a comedy story about zombies, set in a fantasy world. I just let loose and had fun with it! This was written for the contest Write It Down, and was shortlisted — which is always a lovely confidence boost! I chose the prompt, “Write a story about an author who was just published a book.” The title of my short story is Sequel to the Apocalypse, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile!

Baldahr Seltro didn’t mean to cause The Great Undead Uprising of the third century (third century post-Reckoning, that was) but cause it he did.

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I really quite liked this one. I hope you guys enjoyed it too!

Read my short YA horror story, ‘The Hands That Rattle the Cage’!

Hey there, everyone! Back again! Sorry for the radio silence, but I moved to a new apartment and was without proper internet for roughly a month. I kept writing though — I’m always writing! So, on with catching up on the Reedsy backlog!

This one was written for the contest You’ve Got a Friend in Me. I chose the prompt, “Write a story about two people who meet and become instant friends.” The title of my story is The Hands That Rattle the Cage, and you can read it either here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile!


The shout startled her from her reverie. Jackie opened her eyes and squinted up at the sun. It was about midday, by her estimates.

“Hey, you!

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Well, that’s about it for today! I’ll be catching up on all the others over the coming days! In the meantime, stay safe, everyone!

Reworded Voice

You’re only alive once.

That’s my dad in my head again.

You should go outside more.

His words echo around my mind as I keep watch out of the upstairs window.

Some fresh air would do you good.

I sigh as my eyes stroll back and forth across the street, darting from face to face.

It’s not good to be cooped up inside all day, go play with the neighbours, go chat with your friends.

I recognise each person down on the street; the little old ladies, the balding, middle-aged men with paunches sticking out over their waistbands, the women, the teenagers in their up-to-date outfits and freshly trimmed hair, the children.

The sunshine’ll make you feel better.

I squint up at the clouds, but there’s no sun shining through. Nothing but nebulous, churning grey.

It must get stuffy being locked away in your room.

My gaze twitches to the latch of the shut window — it’s locked, it’s always locked, but how I long to open it once more, to feel the cool kiss of a gentle wind, to smell the bouquet of the world’s perfumes.

Everyone’s out there, living their lives; go join them.

The knot in my chest squirms like a ball of snakes, like a black scribble, perennially writhing within the hollow confines of my heart. From behind the safety of the glass, I look from friend to neighbour to family; all out in the street, swaying slightly like reeds in an autumn breeze, eyes vacant, mouths agape and mindlessly chewing nothing with an almost bovine absence, their sallow skin pulled taut across their decaying frames like the membrane of a funeral drum.

What are you waiting for?

Dead. All of them dead.

Go join them.

And yet, not entirely so.

“You’re only alive once,” I confirm to the empty room. “You’re only alive once.”



Many thanks to PJ for tagging me in this little challenge! I took things which have been said to me, in various forms, whilst growing up and twisted them into a work of fiction! (I hope that’s allowed.) Rest assured, my family and friends are all well and are not (as of this moment in time) zombies.

You can check out PJ’s initial post and awesome poem here!

I’m not sure who to tag in this, but instead, I open an invitation to everyone who sees this to take part in this little challenge — the rules are simple, just use something that’s been said to you and use it to make something. Other than that, go wild with your creativity, and have fun!

Read ‘The Dead at My Door’: My Reedsy story based on a nightmare of mine!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? Thought I’d better get on with uploading ’em, before the backlog gets any bigger! This short story was written back on the 18th December, for the Reedsy theme ‘quite the character’. I chose prompt #2 — “Write a short story about a character experiencing anxiety.”

The title of my story is The Dead at My Door, and it is based entirely on a nightmare I had a few weeks back, beat-for-beat. The dream was quite vivid, and I did my best to transfer the feelings and emotions I had upon waking to the reader. I am currently living in Austria with my partner, but this dream was set back in England, where I grew up… You can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

They were still following us. We hadn’t managed to lose them, despite our best efforts. I could hear their frenzied footfalls and their growls filling the wintry night air, just behind us.

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I hope you guys like the story! Even though it was based on a nightmare, which, at the time wasn’t very pleasant, I had fun writing the story. Read into this whatever you will about the state of my mind. 😉

Until next time, be sure keep your windows and doors locked and your ladders handy…