JUICY NIBBLES From A Buffet Of Horrors

Below you will find more excerpts from my latest collection of horror stories, HIDEOUS FACES, BEAUTIFUL SKULLS, which is available on Amazon as a trade paperback or Kindle download. Here’s the Kindle link:



1. An excerpt from the surreal horror story, “Her Horrible Apartment”

I looked down in utter shock: I was naked, caked with dirt, and my toenails needed trimming. Everyone in the room turned toward me and laughed. Except her: she simply sighed.

Suddenly, fat, moist-looking iridescent bugs began to scurry around the room. They had way too many legs and bulging compound eyes. They seemed to be talking to each other in a shrill little buggy language. As I watched them, I realized that a form of nausea very close to car-sickness was building inside of me.

One of the exterminators, a tall man with red hair and a redder face, handed me a rake. “Make yourself useful, ya bum,” he said.

I looked around and saw that all the other men were chasing the bugs, slicing them to bits by passing the rake-teeth over them. I sliced up a few of the slower bugs, and hated doing it. Sure, the slimy freaks were utterly loathsome, but they were still living beings. My nausea became so intense that finally, I had to crouch in a corner and breathe deeply to keep from vomiting.

“Don’t do that,” said the red-haired man, pulling me to my feet. “Are you crazy, letting your butt drag so close to the floor? One of those bugs could have crawled up there, and then…” He made a face – a disgusted yet smirkingly knowing face – and returned to the task of bug-raking. More and more of the creatures were crawling about. Soon they were joined by frogs, scorpions and lizards, all multi-colored, all dewy with slime. Thin rivulets of steaming ichor flowed across the floor as more of the little horrors were sliced up. A hot, farty smell filled the air.

My skinny hostess took my hand. “Let’s go,” she said. “We don’t want to get in their way.”

As we were heading out the door, I looked back for a second, just in time to see an iguana force its way down the red-haired man’s throat. The look in his eyes was – well, I suppose it was one of pleasure. There are so many different kinds of pleasure, and oddly enough, some of them aren’t all that pleasant.


2. An excerpt from the Lovecraftian horror story, “The Slimy Ones”….

Suddenly there was a loud rattling, crunching sound – it seemed to come from the back porch. Michael couldn’t help but think, that side of his house faced the river. “I’ve got to get off the line, George. Something’s going on outside.”

“Like what?”

“It’s probably just a dog or something – but I’ve really got to check it out.”

“Oh … okay.” Was there actual concern in George’s voice? “Well, call back as soon as you find out what it is, okay?”

“Will do, George.” He hung up and looked around for something to use as a weapon. He wanted to call the police, but he was always calling them for information on his various investigations, and they never seemed to take him seriously. They sure weren’t going to break their butts to rush and help him.

In his odds-and-ends drawer he found his dad’s big old fishing knife. He grabbed it and moved down the hall toward the porch, listening. Somebody was moving around on the back porch – the screen door had been locked, so whoever it was must have broken through it.

Usually, the back porch light was always on, since there were several large, shady trees lining that side of the house, and it was always dark back there. But now, no light shone through the curtains of the window looking out onto the porch. But he could see a larger shadow that seemed to shift uneasily through the darkness. The rest of the view was obscured by a thick, swirling fog.

“Who’s out there?” Michael called out.

The shadow moved directly in front of the darkened window. It was shaped roughly like a huge person with some sort of shaggy mane around the head. A surge of bile rose up in his throat. His stomach always acted up whenever he was worried. Or nervous. Or scared out of his mind.

“You should not …” A thick voice, full of phlegm, murmured. At least, Michael supposed it was phlegm.

“What shouldn’t I do?” Michael called out, moving a little closer. There was a hammer on the table by the couch. He’d been fixing a bookshelf in that room earlier that day. He didn’t want to get too close to the window, but the hammer would make a good weapon, if needed.

“No more talk. Why are you saying these things? You are one of us.” The voice had an odd, halting accent to it – either that, or the speaker just wasn’t used to speaking. “You are a Thragg. Forever.”


3. Finally, here’s an excerpt from “Diagnosis and Treatment of Ocular Parasitism and Associated Mental Disorders” — a weird tale of medical horror….

“There is no need to fear,” Dr. Seldag said. “I’ve read about this problem in Professor Puthmoor’s text. Puthmoor is the last word in parasitism of the eye.”

Pretty Mrs. Thetron nibbled nervously at a corner of her delicate lace hankerchief. “Then there is hope?”

“Of course. Your father will be fine.” The physician patted the bald head of the emaciated man seated on the examining table. “As I see it, old Beric must have been napping under a thromba tree. Lich-crows favor thromba trees for their nests. Lich-crows are simply acrawl with the most vile organisms. The worst of these is the eyeworm. A little nap … an upturned face, directly beneath an infested nest … a slight breeze … Most unfortunate. But do not worry, Mrs. Thetron. There is no need to alarm yourself. With the Puthmoor text to guide me, we’ll have these eyeworms licked in no time.”

In a shadowed corner of the room sat a silent woman, visible only to Dr. Seldag. Her black hair hung down over her face in a solid curtain. Only her mouth and chin could be seen. Her lips moved, but no sound came forth. Her long, twisted fingernails wove manic patterns in the air. The doctor chose to ignore her.

Old Beric gasped. “Am I dead? Get these squiggly-wigglies out of my head. I must be dead ‘cause I’ve got worms in me. Am I dead?”

Mrs. Thetron helped Beric down from the table and wrapped her thin arms around him. “Can we take my father to the Professor?”

“Oh, no, no, no. Professor Puthmoor was killed in his Lundyn laboratory during the Great Meteor Rain.” Dr. Seldag said. “In fact, the Museum of Abnatural Wonders on Yath Street has a few of the Lundyn meteorites on display. The largest found was the size of a baby’s fist … But what does size matter? Eyeworms are small and just look at all the trouble they cause.”


You can find out more about the story collection HIDEOUS FACES, BEAUTIFUL SKULLS at:




About bmoviemonster

Mark McLaughlin is the author of the novels, HUMAN DOLL, THE HELL NEXT DOOR, and INJECTABLES. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in more than one-thousand magazines, newspapers, websites, and anthologies, including Cemetery Dance, Black Gate, Galaxy, Fangoria, Writer’s Digest, Midnight Premiere, Dark Arts, and two volumes each of The Best of the Rest, The Best of HorrorFind, and The Year’s Best Horror Stories (DAW Books). He is the author of many books of horror, so be sure to visit his Amazon Author's Page at http://www.amazon.com/Mark-McLaughlin/e/B008QCY4TC/
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