Mammoth Books Presents Messing With Your Head
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Black Country - Joel Lane"'Black Country' is one of a sequence of weird crime stories set in the West Midlands that I've been working on for years," says Joel Lane. "A collection of them is forthcoming with the title Where Furnaces Burn. 'Black Country' is also a sequel to my earlier story 'The Lost District', which describes another narrator's experience of Clayheath."I'd like to thank The Nightingales and Gul Y. Davis, whose words influenced this story. It was originally published as a chapbook by Nightjar Press, with an enigmatic cover illustration by Birmingham photographer Trav28."
We All Fall Down - Kirstyn McDermott
"I carried the bones of this story around for quite a few years before I finally stumbled upon its beating heart," explains the author. "In my head was the image of a doll house, huge and not quite right, and a woman searching desperately for something concealed inside. But I could never work a story around it that didn't seem twee. Doll houses, you know?"But then Emma and Holly appeared - trapped within their own fractured, futile relationship - and everything just, well, fell together. Beautifully. Awfully. And now I have a doll house story. Of a kind."
Telling - Steve Rasnic Tem
"As for the following story," reveals Steve Rasnic Tem, "it began with a dreadful image at the end of a dream. I couldn't remember the other details of that dream, but I was determined to find out where that image might have come from."
A Revelation of Cormorants - Mark Valentine"
'A Revelation of Cormorants' first appeared in the excellent series of chapbooks published by Nicholas Royle's Nightjar Press," explains Valentine, "and I first encountered the dark grace of the cormorant while visiting Galloway with Jo."
Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls - Brian Hodge
"I hardly ever write extended fragments of things and then leave them indefinitely," Brian Hodge reveals, "but that's how 'Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls' got started."I first wrote the part about the fantasised magic show, plus the earliest bit about Roni moving in, after rereading a Thomas Ligotti collection. It may not be apparent to anyone else, but some flavour of his lingered in me for a little while and wanted to come out, and the magic show was the result."Then it sat idle for three years or so before I knew what more to do with it. Maybe because I had to forget about how it had begun and get back to being myself again."
because that woman is— Is— Then Holly is tugging at her sleeve, steering her away from the car and over to the side of the road, where Emma stumbles on something sharp and hidden in the long scraggly grass that grows there, and doesn’t even try to stop herself from falling. “Are we?” she whispers. “Did we?” Holly sinks down beside her. “No,” she says, squeezing Emma’s shoulder. “No, Em, we didn’t.” Intensely sweet, the feeling of relief, but it lasts for less than a second before Emma gets
his presence. He craned back his neck and looked up to the defile he had just negotiated. The cliffs rose as a great looming shadow, but they were cut by vertical gashes into nearly separated columns, so that the effect was like looking at the spines of a vast case of dark basalt books. There was even gilt tooling upon these volumes, made by clusterings of ochreous moss, and perhaps their titles might be read by discerning the imprints and indentations left by the narrow hollows and niches in the
assistant into pieces. That would only be the same old trick. Once the assistants were in pieces and scattered around the stage, smiling and waving and tapping their feet from the separate remnants of the cabinets, I would begin to reassemble them, although never the same way they’d been. They were meant for better things. I would start simply, swapping an assistant’s arms for his legs, and vice versa, or grafting her grinning head onto the middle of her body. Then, after I had basked in the
when my father got a job that took him away from home most of the week. Then discovering that my parents saved up all their resentments for the weekend. The shouting, the bitter silences, the hours of quiet crying, the times when it became violent. The years of it. I’d suffered from nightmares and broken sleep, been put on a medication that I’d discovered only quite recently to have been a tricyclic antidepressant known for its side-effects. Yes, I’d got up to stuff. Nothing that would make a
inside the house, no footsteps or floorboard creak, and Emma opens her mouth to say something she probably shouldn’t, how Holly better be prepared to carry her back down that fucking hill now but— “Shhh,” Holly says, tilting her head. “Listen.” So Emma does. Closes her eyes and even holds her breath for a couple seconds, trying to pluck a sound from beyond the ratchety, rhythmic buzz of the cicadas which seem to have colonised the surrounding trees in near plague proportions, but there’s