Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Duel II Round Five

Round Five

Sylvester P. Gildersleeve 'V' Clownmaster


Write about a haunted house that has one or all of the following characters:

- a man with a wooden leg

- a ghost with a stutter

- a cat with no claws

please vote for your favorite story, in the comments section


VOIDED By The Clown Master

Willard’s phone beeped it’s low battery sound.

“I only have a minute or so left and I don’t have time to argue about whether I should have brought the charger or not,” his voice taking on a stern, almost angry tone. “I’ll be damned if I’m holding a metal lug wrench and becoming a human lightning rod. There’s a house nearby with light coming from the windows.”

He purposely left out the word creepy. Beep His phone warned again. “I’ll just ask to use their phone. I shouldn’t be too much longer.” He looked at his watch.

“It’s eleven thirty. Don’t worry about waiting up. I’ll be there before you know it. Get some sleep.” He looked at his phone. It was dead and he hoped she had heard him. His knock echoed loudly and Willard shivered out of both fear and cold. Thump…thump…thump. The door opened with a loud lingering creak.

“Yes?” Willard was taken back a bit at the sight of the frail old man, leaning on a wooden leg. “Come on in an git yerself outa the cold.” The man grinned and hobbled to the side, opening the door wider.

Willard stepped in and the man closed the door behind him. Thump…thump…thump… Willard followed the man, taking note of the deep scratches running down most of the length of the man’s obsolete prosthetic, and into a room lit up by large white candles, but harboring dark shadows.

“Take a seat. I’ll pour us a nice stiff brandy.”

Willard nodded appreciatively and sat down on the dusty and old, red velvet sofa. The man returned, handed Willard the glass, and sat down at the other end of the couch. Willard took a sip. “Hisssss!” Willard turned quickly into the face of a raggedy looking, arched black cat sitting on the sofa’s arm right beside him, and he quickly leaned back away.

“Oh, don’t mind her,” the old man chuckled. “She don’t scratch anymore. Not since losing her claws.” He laughed again, reached down, and knocked on the wooden peg leg.

Willard understood. BONG! A majestic grandfather clock, nestled in the corner, struck the first of its twelve chimes as lightning viciously flashed. Willard was almost sure that the candles flickered in unison. “Might I use your telephone?” Willard asked between the eighth and ninth chime.

“Phone?” the man questioned. “There’s no phone here.” BONG! “And besides…” he added, “it’s probably too late.” BONG! Growing increasingly transparent, the old man continued. “Almost made it out once.” He tapped the wood leg again. “Kept the other tho.” BONG! “T-t-to l-l-late,” came a deep voice from the corner shadows. Willard turned and peered toward the voice. “I-i-it’s t-t-the house. Y-y-you’re n-n-now o-o-one of us!”

Looking down at his glass holding hand, Willard watched it fade from view. By the time the glass shattered on the floor, Willard was completely gone.

“Where could he have gone,” Officer Smith thought, squinting in the sunshine. “There’s nothing out here.”


Ghost Story by Sylvester P. Gildersleeve

My friends were always afraid of the old Thompson house, but I was determined to show them there was nothing to be frightened of. It's true that I also wanted to impress my girlfriend, Kathy, which factored into my decision to cross the house's dusty threshold at midnight Halloween night.

The stories I'd heard painted Howard Thompson as a stuttering, one-legged giant who absolutely hated cats. The story was that Thompson would catch cats that were unfortunate enough to wander onto his property and lock them in his basement, where they would eventually starve to death. Rumor had it that the basement of the Thompson house was knee-deep in cat skeletons. And if you listened closely on Halloween night, you could hear the cats meowing, begging to be let out of the basement.

The front door was unlocked, so I pushed it open. I walked along a dark hallway, passing a large mirror. I glanced into the mirror and was shocked to see not only my reflection, but the reflection of an enormous man with a wooden leg hobbling along behind me.

“W-w-w-what are you d-d-doing here?” the ghost of Howard Thompson asked. I spun around and there he was, standing right next to me. I tried to run, but the ghost placed a bony hand on my shoulder, holding me in place.

“I...I'd heard your place was haunted,” I gulped, “I wanted to find out for myself.”

“Heard about the c-c-c-cat skeletons in the b-b-basement, eh?” he said.

“Yes, sir.”

“Follow me,” Thompson's ghost said.

I followed him toward a door at the end of the hallway. As we drew closer, I heard a sound that made my skin crawl and the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It was a cat meowing. Faintly at first, but as we got closer to the door the meowing grew louder. Did the ghost plan for me to join the cat corpses in the basement? I gulped again, fighting the urge to turn and run.

“Oh, d-d-don't mind him,” said the ghost, turning the knob and opening the door. A translucent fluffy black cat padded up the last couple of steps leading out of the empty basement and into the hallway, where it curled around Thompson's good leg. “That's j-j-j-just f-f-f-Fang.”

“Fang?” I asked.

“That's r-r-right,” Thompson said. “He wouldn't h-h-h-hurt a fly. He hasn't even g-g-g-got any claws.”

The cat leapt into Thompson's arms, purring. They both began to fade away.

“N-n-n-now that you have d-d-d-dispelled the rumors about me, I c-c-can finally r-r-rest,” Thompson said, and he and Fang vanished.

My friends were disappointed to hear that there were no cat skeletons in Thompson's basement. I only told Kathy about what had really happened. Now when she and I walk past the house she meows in my ear and I chase her, stuttering and hobbling along after her as if I had a wooden leg.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

House of Horror Magazine Issue #2 Submission Call

Below are the new guidelines set out for the New House of Horror Magazine. From the 1st of February there will be no more of the ezine. Instead we are going to a quarterly print magazine with a theme for each issue. Please do not sub any more stories or poetry to the editors for the ezine that has no relevence to the themed magazine, they will be instantly rejected.

First things first. A few things to remember before submitting ANYTHING to our editors.








Please make sure all things are checked on your list before hitting send.

Before your submission, please introduce yourself and give us a short bio of no more than 100 words. Please include title, your name and the word count. (This is is for payment reasons and will be checked by eye) In the subject line, please place “Magazine Submission” and nothing else.

Poetry – courtesy of Charlotte Gledson

Stories – courtesy of Sam Cox

Payment is 1/4 per word for stories and poetry up to a maximum of 5000 words. For artwork, we pay $5 per piece unless stated otherwise. All payments will be made via a valid paypal account upon signing and receiving the contract, upon publication and no later than 30 days thereafter.

You retain all digital rights to your work, we are purchasing the rights to print and archive your work in the magazine for three months. After which all rights will revert back to you, the author.

Each issue will a themed magazine. Below are the months and themes that we will be looking for, for the four issues.

February 2011 – Valentine’s Day (Closed to Subissions)

May 2011 – Spring Break/Road Trip (I know what you did last summer theme) (Open to submissions) Deadline April 8th

August 2011 – Halloween (Open to submissions) Deadline July 8th

November 2011 – Thanks Giving/Christmas/Festive Holidays (Open to submissions) Deadline October 8th

Book Reviews/Interviews

We are always looking for books to review and new authors/editors/poets to interview. If you have something that may interest us then please don’t hesitate to contact the House of Horror Editor, Sam at

Please note:

We only interview those who have work available for purchase or who own or are a part of an ezine/publication.

We only review print books. No pdfs at this time.

Anthology Submissions

Please follow any guidelines set out specifically for the anthology.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Duel II Round Four

This round is a picture prompt.

The handpicked crowd of spectators rowdily make their way through the underground passages and into the House Of Horror Dungeon. They sit and eagerly await the arrival of the Devilishly wicked House Of Horror Madam. A loud crash and bang, she suddenly appears in a puff of smoke and slowly makes her way through the crowd, taking her seat on the throne of bones.

“Bring on the contenders!” she calls, her voice demanding and pleasing to the crowd.

Clicking and ticking, the steel doors of two cages rise and the two contenders step forth into the fighting ring.

On the right, new challengers, Sylvester P. Gildersleeve, ready to step up and fight for his right to live. On the left, Jerd,fighting knowledge and wisdom pouring from his body, head held high and ready to take the lead.

Both bow to the Madam and the crowd goes wild. Baying for blood each chant their favourite to win.

Two have arrived. Only one will leave with their life.

Who are you backing?


(You can vote in the comments below)


Forgotten But Not Gone by Sylverster P. Gildersleeve

The more years that passed, the more the anger built up in Baby Dumpling's stomach. The doll sat slumped against the attic wall, where Mary had abandoned her eight years ago. Dust caked Baby Dumpling's synthetic eyelashes. Her hair, once a lustrous blonde, had thinned and turned a dull gray long ago. Her plastic skin had cracked and split. The dress she was wearing – originally a bright pink with white polka dots – was now a faded gray. Baby Dumpling's stomach burned with her fury even as she remembered happier times with Mary.

Baby Dumpling had been given to Mary as a fifth birthday present, and for the next four years the two were inseparable. Mary took Baby Dumpling with her to school. She took the doll on family vacations. Baby Dumpling even sat at the dinner table with Mary, despite father's objections.

It was on a day toward the end of that fourth year that Baby Dumpling first found herself lying on Mary's bed instead of going to school with her. Mary didn't even come upstairs until bedtime, and when she did she picked Baby Dumpling up and tossed her on a chair on the other side of the room. Mary had always slept with Baby Dumpling snuggled up next to her. That was when the fire of hatred first burned in the doll's plastic eyes.

Mary started spending more time with her friends and listening to 45's on her record player than playing with Baby Dumpling. The doll spent an entire year lying face down in the bedroom closet before Mary finally came to get her. Baby Dumpling's joy was short-lived, though, as Mary took the doll up to the attic and left it sitting against a far wall.

And there Baby Dumpling sat, eight years later. From her spot in the attic directly above Mary's room she heard Mary and her parents talking about Mary going off to college. She would leave in the morning. As Baby Dumpling considered this final act of abandonment the hate in her stomach boiled and churned until it became a living, breathing thing. Once the family was asleep Baby Dumpling's eyes glowed bright red, and her plastic hands clenched into fists. She focused all the anger that had built up insider her and struggled into a standing position. A few tentative steps later and Baby Dumpling stood at the top of the attic stairs. Mary didn't hear the faint creaking as the doll made its way down the steps. Baby Dumpling turned toward Mary's room, determined that Mary was going to pay for abandoning her.


Dolly Paranoia by Jerd

“Did you hear that?”

There came no reply.

“Shh. There! Again! Did you hear it this time?”

The questions, voiced by a tiny doll beneath the windowsill, again soaked into the floorboards and knotted beams before inciting any response. The attic was damp, dingy, and strangled by cob webs. This stuff has not been used in years. There are stacks of outdated furniture and books with rotted bindings. There is an old piano, made to look older because of the piled layers of dust and neglect.

The little doll’s plastic eyes clicked each time they maneuvered from side to side. Click…Click… Click... The sound reverberated off every wooden obtrusion and each musty cardboard box.

“I think someone is trying to…” The doll began but trailed off. It looked around the room, this time stretching out its hardened plastic neck along with the soulless marbles it tried to pass off as eyeballs. Clicks were met with the screeches and the whimpers of withering pink plastic.

The words came much softer now, the garbled whisperings of the dry-mouthed and the petrified.

“I think someone is trying to get through the window.” The tiny doll inhaled a quick sigh, as if startled by its own words.

“Pleeeease.” It droned, holding the sound like the somber bray of an untuned violin. “I can hear them climbing the side of the house.” The dollish thing’s voice teetered between coarse and angelic.

“Oh dear! The window is completely ajar. Anyone can just waltz right in. No. No, this cannot be.”

The doll sat silent and unmoving for a few seconds. No words. No Clicks.

The attic gave a tranquil, almost meditative, groan as it stretched out its crossbeam spine. The floorboards creaked – the sound was reverent –, they too wanted in on this structural sing-along.

“Shut up, guys.” Said the doll, practically shrieking at the first word and barely murmuring by the last. “It’s not safe. We shouldn’t make loud noises.” The doll’s arm rotated upward, setting its hand right at its hard colorless lips. The stubby underdeveloped fingers, curled like five frozen night-crawlers, came close but did not make contact with its face.

“There’s something out there.” The words were hot and lingering, wisps of warm mist that were eventually met with and swallowed by the nearby porous wood. The things in the attic simply waited. The attic itself simply waited. A splintery chest of drawers in the darkest corner baited its breath. The antiquated cast-iron stove closed its vents and firmed its footing.

Something was indeed crawling up the side of the house, confirming each handhold and foothold with precision and confidence.

“I can’t take it.” The doll’s words mirrored the resonance of miniature church bells. “I have to look.”

Using a wooden wagon wheel as ladder, the plastic infant ambled to the spot just below the sill. Could its marble eyes take what was just on the other side of the wall, methodically scaling and scaling?

The hairless plastic head finally mustered the courage and peeked over, popping up like and a decrepit jack-in-the-box and resting its chin on the malnourished wood.

It too had reached the window, stopping briefly to stare at the strange little doll before moving farther up the house. Sunlight. Early morning sunlight.

The doll was relieved to relay the message “The Bright is here again!” and the rest of the attic’s inhabitants were relieved to hear it.

But the paranoia and the panic will surely return, as it always does, whenever darkness gives in to the dawn.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Duel II Round Three

The handpicked crowd of spectators rowdily make their way through the underground passages and into the House Of Horror Dungeon. They sit and eagerly await the arrival of the Devilishly wicked House Of Horror Madam. A loud crash and bang, she suddenly appears in a puff of smoke and slowly makes her way through the crowd, taking her seat on the throne of bones.

“Bring on the contenders!” she calls, her voice demanding and pleasing to the crowd.

Clicking and ticking, the steel doors of two cages rise and the two contenders step forth into the fighting ring.

On the right, new challengers, Sylvester P. Gildersleeve, ready to step up and fight for his right to live. On the left, Lady Lych of Alethdin, her beauty and wisdom pouring from her body, head held high and ready to take the lead.

Both bow to the Madam and the crowd goes wild. Baying for blood each chant their favourite to win.

Two have arrived. Only one will leave with their life.

Who are you backing?

You can vote HERE

Let the duel begin!


Be Mine By Sylvester P. Gildersleeve

A busy night had finally brought Jimmy to Melissa Walters' house. It was just before dawn, but still dark outside. His rage propelled him to the front door, which he unlocked with the key he knew Melissa kept under the mat. Jimmy opened the door and stepped inside. He climbed the stairs to the second floor and Melissa's bedroom. Standing outside her door the events of the day replayed in his mind.

Valentine's Day in the high school cafeteria was a madhouse. Everyone was laughing and smiling, exchanging greeting cards. Everyone except Jimmy, that is. Jimmy sat at a table by himself, scowling as he watched the other kids having fun.

Jimmy pushed Melissa's bedroom door open. In the darkness he could just make out the outline of her shape under the covers. He crept toward her bed, checking the waistband of his jeans for the butcher knife he'd stolen from his parents' kitchen earlier in the evening.

Jimmy had been held back a couple of years after having trouble with Chemistry and Algebra, which of course prompted taunting from the younger kids in his classes. To add insult to injury, Jimmy had developed a horrible case of acne. It seemed he was called “retard” or “pizza face” more often than his given name.

Jimmy was a big kid, so when he placed the Tinkerbell throw pillow over Melissa's face and pressed down it wasn't difficult for him to control her squirming. Her arms and legs thrashed silently until she eventually stopped moving.

Not a single girl had offered him a Valentine's Day card. And those he'd given cards to giggled and threw them in the trash when they thought Jimmy wasn't looking. But he was looking. Jimmy made a mental note of each girl who threw out one of his cards.

Jimmy lifted the pillow and leaned forward, putting an ear to Melissa's mouth. She wasn't breathing. He ripped the girl's pajama top off and slipped the bloody knife out of his waistband.

Melissa was the last of the girls Jimmy saw throw his Valentine's Day card in the trash. That made an even dozen. He had been sure that at least one out of the girls would return his affection, or at least thank him for the card.

Jimmy pressed the tip of the knife to Melissa's chest and pushed down, slicing through her sternum. He used his hands to spread her ribcage, then the knife to carve out her heart. He placed the organ in a plastic baggie and slipped out of the house. He ran home, arriving just as the sun began to rise. Jimmy pulled a soggy cardboard box out from under his bed and opened it. Inside lay eleven human hearts. He opened the baggie and added Melissa's heart to the collection. He shed his blood-soaked clothes and climbed into bed, holding the box tight to his chest and smiling. Jimmy had won a few hearts this Valentine's Day, after all.


Romantic Traditions By Lady Lych of Alethdin

“There’s an old tradition where I come from.” He turned to the girl beside him on the bench. “Will you accept a traditional gift on this very special Valentines day?”

She smiled. “Of course.”

He handed her a box with a glittering ribbon around the thick red card.

She took it, weighing it in her hands. “It’s heavy.” Untying the gold ribbon carefully, she lifted the lid and took out the two carefully wrapped packages.

“Open the smallest one first.” His excitement was infectious and she laughed.

“Okay.” Ripping the paper from it, she snapped open a box. “Oh! It’s beautiful.”

He took the diamond ring out. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes! A thousand times yes.”

He slipped the ring onto her finger and kissed her briefly. “Open the other one now.”

The waiting as she unwrapped the parcel was unbearable. The silence stretched out.

“Well? Do you like them?” he asked.

“What are they?” she picked them up and weighed the two small leathery balls in her hand. “Why are they so heavy?”

“Do you remember Steven Hicks?” He watched as she fondled and examined them.

“That bastard? Of course I do, he bullied us in high school.”

“I’d been talking to my father about getting married and he reminded me of this tradition. So when Steven attacked me in Grey Alley last night, I took the opportunity to fulfil it.”

“Steven attacked you? Did you get hurt? Where is he?” she glanced around wildly.

“Sweetheart, don’t worry. I’m a lot stronger now and besides I carry a gun for work remember.” He slipped his arm around her.

“He’s dead.” she guessed and he nodded.

“I harvested those before he died though. That’s traditional too.”

She looked at the soft spheres in her hand. “They’re…”

“Yes, that’s right. This is a traditional betrothal gift in my tribe. The Balls of my most Hated Enemy.”

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Preditors and Editors 2010 Polls

Wow, I am so honored to find that both myself and House of Horror has been nominated in the P&E Polls 2010. House of Horror is nominated as Best Fiction Zine and is currently at number 8. If you want to push up that leaders board then you can vote for us HERE It wil only take around two minutes of your time but would be a huge achievement for us if we got to number 1.

I as an editor am also nominated in the Best Editor Poll and am currently at number 1!! Yes thats right, number 1!! Please hel to keep me there and vote for me HERE if you like what I do.

The poll is open until the 26th January, so please vote now.

I thank you in advance on behalf of myself and everyone on staff at HOH.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Open to Submissions: Deadication, an anthology dedicated to all things zombie

Deadication is the first anthology to come out of Panic Press and as Zombies seem to be on the up at the minute, we thought we would start the New Year with a zombie antho for all you flesh eating fans!

The anthology will be edited by myself S.E. Cox, editor of Panic Press and illustrated by talented artist, Darren James who designed the cover. The introduction will be writen by Darren James, introducing the origin of the zombie myth.

Submissions are open now and will close 1st February. Estimated publication time is the end of February 2011

Deadication Guidelines

What we are looking for:

25 stories and poems dedicated to all things zombies. We want well written zombie tales in any era, be it the end of the world, the future, the past, as long as it's interesting and well written, we want it. Minimum word count 500 words and maximum 2000 words.

How we want it:

No fancy fonts, Times New Roman is fine 12pt. Please indent all paragraphs, no hard returns after paragraphs and indicate scene breaks with ***

Please send us your story as an attachment with a short cover letter and bio of no more than 100 words in the email. Send all submissions to


Payment is 1/4 cent per word and a pdf copy of the book. We also have a royalty program in place where if someone purchases a copy of the book quoting your name either on the order or emailing me directly, you receive $5 for every book that you sell.
Payment will be sent via paypal and only paypal upon publication. No monies will be paid until you sign and I receive the contract.
We are accepting new stories and poetry and also reprints. We will be purchasing First World Rights for a period of one year, after that all rights revert back to you.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Duel II Round Two

The handpicked crowd of spectators rowdily make their way through the underground passages and into the House Of Horror Dungeon. They sit and eagerly await the arrival of the Devilishly wicked House Of Horror Madam. A loud crash and bang, she suddenly appears in a puff of smoke and slowly makes her way through the crowd, taking her seat on the throne of bones.

“Bring on the contenders!” she calls, her voice demanding and pleasing to the crowd.

Clicking and ticking, the steel doors of two cages rise and the two contenders step forth into the fighting ring.

On the right, new challengers, Morticia, ready to step up and fight for her right to live. On the left, Lady Lych of Alethdin, her beauty and wisdom pouring from her body, head held high and ready to take the lead.Both bow to the Madam and the crowd goes wild. Baying for blood each chant their favourite to win.

Two have arrived. Only one will leave with their life.

Who are you backing?

Let the duel begin!

You can vote Here
Happy New Year By Morticia

Mattie held the match in her hand. No need to be in a hurry; she had plenty of time before midnight. One stroke, one flick of her wrist and her life would start over fresh as the new snow. And it must be at the very instant the old calendar died. She stood on the sidewalk checking the time on her phone every so often.

She thought about the people inside the dark house. Her mother and her mother’s lover of more than ten years had become too old to stay up much past ten o’clock. They would have put out the cat, locked the door and turned off the television long ago.

And that was exactly what Mattie wanted. She wanted the shock of reality to get them long before the flames ever did. Her mother and her scheming little brain! She and Darryl deserved each other. She would no doubt sit up in her bed, tap Darryl and tell him she smelled something burning.

He would sit up and sniff the air. “It’s just a fireplace somewhere in the neighborhood,” he would tell her. “Go back to sleep.” He would never believe that Mattie had left prison on her twenty-fifth birthday after ten years and come back to cook a great feast for the New Year.

She pushed the button and the screen lit up on her phone. Five minutes ‘til blast off. She smiled.

She wondered if her father had felt the blast when Darryl’s car bomb exploded. She remembered screaming as the explosion knocked her into the snow drift in the yard. She continued to scream as her father’s car roasted with him inside in the driveway in front of their house. Her mother had been seeing Darryl for a while and Mattie knew all about them. She knew that her dad would’ve taken everything from his wife, and Mattie hoped to see her mother begging in the streets. She had screamed this at her mother on her sixteenth birthday.

Darryl was a dangerous man; Mattie knew this because she had been on the sore side of his fist a couple of times, but Mattie’s mother, Florence, seemed to love that about him. When the police showed up and her mother pointed to her teenaged daughter telling them her well-rehearsed story of the imaginary father-daughter fights that had gone for a year, Mattie made the resolution that she would have her revenge for herself and for her father.

One more minute. The emptied gas cans were tucked neatly in her trunk as she took a step closer to the house. A single fire cracker popped down the street as she struck her match and flicked it. If any other fireworks went off, they were overpowered by the monumental explosion of the house where Darryl and her mother lay sleeping.

“Happy New Year!” She sang Auld Lang Syne as she got in her car and drove away watching the flames in her rear-view mirror.
An Evening to Remember By Lady Lych of Alethdin

Women wearing sexy waitress costumes, carrying trays of shot glasses with coloured liquid in them, circulate through the crowd outside the town clock tower on New Year’s Eve. One of them stations herself near you. Men drift over, drawn by the woman’s figure.

“What’s this then?” One man asks.

“It’s a new drink.” The waitress replies. “Contains an aphrodisiac guaranteed to make this evening one you will never forget.”

Another man grins. “Sounds like my kind of drink. How much?”

“Free, until I run out.” she smiles back.

Amused, you watch the byplay as one after another downs the drink.

A shout rings out from the crowd “One minute left!”

Everyone cheers and begin to surge towards to the railings, in preparation for the fireworks. The bunny slips away with an empty tray and climbs into a black van with the rest of the waitresses.

“…Five…Four…Three…Two…One…Happy New Year!”

As the town clock tolls out the twelve strokes welcoming the New Year into being, the crowd cheers and strangers turn to hug each other. It's obvious to you who has had the new drink, they get more involved with their partners, the lust contagious.There’s a scream. You recognise the first man who took a drink from the waitress. He’s collapsed to the floor, his skin lime green. His trousers bulge and writhe, each movement drawing a shriek of pain. Fascinated, you watch as the cloth tears and a cyclopean head peeps out of the hole on a long neck, swinging and looking at each personaround it. With a hiss and a wriggle the creature pulls itself out of the material, blood flooding out of the wound left behind.

“It’s a trouser snake!” Someone shouts. A titter ripples amongst the crowd.

A circle widens around the dead man, everyone watching the creature which darts towards a woman wearing a short skirt. It moves too quickly for her to react, disappearing up her leg and under the skirt. She gasps, her face flushing and breathing quickening; she cries out in ecstasy, dropping bonelessly to the floor beside the man, hundreds of tiny cyclopean snakes pouring from her body. The front row of people try to move away, but there isn’t enough room. Each tiny snake selects a woman and slithers up her legs.

Sirens blare; police shout, but it’s too late. The crowd are a panicking mass that can’t get away: those who aren’t lying at feet in pools of blood, anyway. Each wriggler feeds on the blood, growing and seeking out more sustenance. The first snake reappears having stripped the flesh from the woman, huge and sluggish. Rearing its ugly head, the snake stares up at you balefully before exploding, goop splattering over your body. The fine mist accompanying the explosion is breathed in by every one around you.

The next morning, the waitress reappears. She looks up at your bronze prison. “England is finally ourssss, my sister. We shall free you soon… and the Medusai shall rule.”