Tuesday 1 November 2011


Regular TKnC contributor and serial jangler of our nerves Erin Cole delivers unique horror - always. Erin's contribution to Hellicious Halloween Bloody Truce is no exception and we're really excited she took the time to take part in our dark fiction showcase.

Zip your mouth, check your brakes - and enjoy...


Anger, the snag in the nylon of our marriage.  Car rides were only a catalyst, and tonight, we fought like the monsters we were dressed up as.

“You never told me about this party.  I always find out at the last minute.”

“I told you last Monday,” he said.  “Before you left for work.”

A made-up line.  “Liar.”

“God, you’re a bitch.”

“And you’re an asshole.”

The thread unraveled further, despite our efforts to get along.  We loved each other … didn’t w—PERSON IN THE ROAD!

“Nick!  Watch out!”


Her face flew at me.  Eyes wide.  Mouth agape.  Palms extended to stop what she couldn’t. Her body smacked the windshield.  Glass splintered outward in a circle.  Her face split open. Thunder clattered above us—bones breaking.

The car stopped.  The night ruined and still unfinished. 

“Oh my god!”  My insides squirmed like earthworms.

“Fuck!”  His hands beat at the steering wheel.  “Great!  We are going to prison.”  Vehement eyes turned on me.  “This is ALL your fault.  You distracted me from the road.”

“You’re the one that started the fight.  And you were the one driving!”



He stepped out, slammed the door.  Reluctantly, I followed.  The air smelled like an upturned, river rock. 

Nick opened the trunk and grabbed a flashlight.  He walked behind the car into a thick, black night.  His pirate costume scratched with each step, a sound that out in the middle of nowhere, tapped dark thoughts.

The flashlight waved cold-blue light across the road.  Nothing, yet.

I looked for a broken form in the ditch.  Blood pressure=145/111.  I had to pee.

Nick’s head was a pendulum.  “Where is she?”

“Maybe in the ditch?”

“She was wearing white.  She shouldn’t be that hard to spot.”

We walked to where we turned onto the road.  Nick shined the light back at me.  “She’s gone.”

“She couldn’t be.”  The window was a web of broken glass, her face smashed.  “Are you sure she didn’t get … thrown further?”

Nick passed by me and found the tire marks in the road.  “I don't get it.  She’s not—”


Nick jerked around.  The woman in white stood in front of us. Blood stained her face and neckline.  Her hands were bent and broken.  Her mouth crusted and dirty. 

She grabbed Nick, moving with unnatural speed.


Teeth like a shark’s ripped into his jugular.  Blood spurted.

“Oh, god!”  I turned and ran.  Down a deserted road.  His screams sickened me, made my bones akin to rubber sticks.  Awful sounds … cracking, gurgling, slapping.

I'm so sorry, Nick.  You’re not an asshole.

I kept running.  Arms pumping like a train piston.  Fairy wings flapping.  Pulse=heart attack range. 

That woman … what was she?  What did she do to Nick?

I was getting tired.  Fire in my lungs.  Fairy slippers slipping.  Then light poured behind me.

"Emma!  Wait."

Nick's voice.  I stopped and turned around.

“Nick?”  It was him.  Limping, but still alive.

“Nick!  Are you okay?”

“Emma, I’m all right.”

“But I saw…”

“Come here.”

“Where’s that woman?”

“I took care of her.”

“Took … care of?”  What do you mean?”

He shined the light so I could see his face.  Bloody.  Dirty mouth.  Teeth like a shark’s. And he was wearing his eye patch. 

“Emma, you’re not a bitch either.”


BIO:  Erin Cole writes dark fiction from Portland, Oregon.  She blogs about it here: www.erincolelive.blogspot.com


  1. Stunning stuff, Erin. Love the crispness of the prose. The graphic imagery was just superb. And the courage to be unconventional . . . I like that :)

    Enjoyed immensely.


  2. Lovely (in the darkest sense). I particularly liked the phrase "The air smelled like an upturned, river rock". SO very evocative and put me right in the scene.

  3. no warning on this story - and me about to go get another coffee too ...

    Erin, gorgeous stuff. Dark, mysterious, natural dialogue. Love it.

    Now I can't go get coffee, it's tipping down with rain and I'm trapped in the summmerhouse with those visions in my head...

  4. Excellent craftsmanship on this one Erin. Loved "Palms extended to stop what she couldn’t." And the turn, and turn again made this incredibly enjoyable to read. Well done.

  5. Loved it. Temendous and realistic ;0 opening. It flew by so fast, I wanted it to on. Great style on dislay there, that's for sure!

  6. Stunning! Such fantastic metaphors and a kick ass ending.

  7. "The air smelled like an upturned, river rock." Yeah, I know it did, I smelt it.

    Erin, write lots of novels - I will buy them all!


  8. I loved it, even though I have no idea what an upturned river rock smells like.

  9. Perfect antidote to a dull Halloween night. What three kids!

  10. Thanks for reading and commenting on my story, everyone! You are all too kind, but of course, I'm gonna take all that I can get.

    Thanks TK'n'C editors for showcasing this great event. Proud to be a part, always.

  11. Love me a love story and this is a great one. Cool.

  12. From the very beginning, I was emotionally involved in the scene. The whole story was vivid, active & alarming. Love the mix of humor, vulnerability, and horror. Total magic mix.

    ps. Vamp pirates are hawt.

  13. Eerie enigmatic Erin ~

    "With each step, a sound that out in the middle of nowhere, tapped dark thoughts", was how I read all the places your mind drove mine. Dialogue zigged ... frenetic fears zagged and in a talented tussel the bitch and the asshole had a happier ending. Yay.

    ~ Absolute Applause,
    ~ Kate

  14. And don't overturned river rocks smell ...

    ... wet?

    (couldn't resist - it was jes layin' there, all upheaveled like in the road)

  15. Naw, KT, river rocks smell dank, dull and rancid. Dead fish, rotting weeds and more (you know the score. You're just playing. Right?;)

  16. As you did guess, JBS, I do know the score and have turned over a river rock in my barefoot days. Our eerie Erin is the supremo in creating scene that lingers mind's full senses (and then some). . . long after one of her chock-full of suspense tales be told. But your inn - from descrip alone -- I'd check in! ~ A*K

  17. Patty, I can relate!

    Thanks Jodi, yeah, vampire pirates...ohlalaa.

    Thanks, Kate. JB has it, dank, rancid, rotting weeds - perfect.

    Thanks everyone!

  18. I loved this! The last couple lnes gave me the chills, even though I had a feeling he'd look just like the woman he hit. So descriptive that I felt like I was there! Great work, Erin!

  19. And you made MJS's top 5 list. Big congratulations.

  20. Thanks Nigel. I'm feeling pretty lucky to have MJS behind me.