Hecatomb – ‘heka’tom/ (noun) – An extensive loss of life for some cause.
The name of my terrifying novella.
In a drowned village, on a dark shore, in a city of white stones, an ancient evil stalks.
It has no name, no face, and no desire but to see the death of everything…
Down through the ages it exists, sleepless and void, a relic from the world before humanity.
One dead. Every night. Forever.
Until nothing remains.
Happy All Hallows Eve!
You’re here, which means you have the chance to unearth a ton of great books.
Several are free. Many others are only $0.99.
I’ve got fantasy, horror, sci-fi, philosophy, and even a pair of alcohol-fueled memoirs.
Crawl through the graveyard and go here here to view my entire catalog, including everything I’ve slashed for this one-day event.
To get a feel for what I’m offering, peruse some of my cover art below.
As always, I appreciate your Amazon reviews.
Catch you later,
As a child, I remember stalking the streets until 10PM.
With a plastic jack o’ lantern in hand…
And hoards of candy awaiting me.
Those were the days. Those were the nights. Beneath the pallid streetlamps of my suburban Chicago neighborhood, I craved All Hallows Eve. In the rain, in the bitter cold, in the deep shadows through which the wind tore ragged holes, I was king.
As Darth Vader, I hunted bucket-loads of candy.
As a vampire, I hid behind oak trees and scared the crap out of the other kids.
As a demon, I shambled to my neighbors’ front doors. They didn’t know me that night. My mask earned more than a few shudders.
And when at last I returned home, belly full of candy and cheeks wet and chilled from the night, I arrived to the sight of jack o’ lanterns on the porch, candles still flickering in their bellies, dry leaves crackling at their bottoms.
I remember this…
Where have the nights gone? What happened to the crisp afternoons during which the sun dared only a few peeks through the clouds? Where are the sidewalks buried in fiery leaves, the crickets chirruping long before evening descended?
I’ve lost these things.
I want them back.
I’m middle-aged now. And while my exhilaration for All Hallows Eve has taken a twenty-year nap, it’s not completely gone. I still crave all the things October brings, but now I do it more for my son’s sake than my own. He loves his Halloweens much the same as I did. Carving jack o’ lanterns and wearing creepy masks are his domain. We light bonfires in the backyard, build mountains of candy in our kitchen, and take twilight walks to savor the coming Samhain.
He’s too small to understand it. But Halloween in the modern age isn’t what it used to be.
And somehow I’m sad.
Maybe I’m getting old.
Or maybe All Hallows has changed more than expected.
Anymore, there’s not enough of this…
And entirely too much of this…
Sometimes I no longer recognize my favorite night of the year.
I’m not against sexy things. I’m a guy like any other. But I’m glad my son (and the other neighborhood kids) aren’t caught up in what adults have made of Halloween. In fact, the thing we adults celebrate isn’t really Halloween anymore. It’s cosplay. It’s something other than what it was. It’s undefinable…and in some ways bizarre.
It’s pointless for me to rebel against what Halloween has become.
But I’ll allow myself to long for what it once was.
Long ago, All Hallows was meant to be a glorious, frightening thing. A day for driving demons and witches back into the dark. A night to celebrate the harvest, the end of summer’s warmth, and the arrival of a long, cold, and dangerous winter.
You can keep your sexy nurses and stores stacked high with cheap autumn-ish decorations.
I’ll take my…
As Halloween draws near, I’ll try to do it right. My son and I will carve our jack o’ lanterns a little creepier. We’ll picnic out in the leaves. We’ll take walks at dusk and leave our windows open while we sleep.
And when we head out to haunt All Hallows Eve, we’ll stay out a bit later than the other kids. We’ll dress a little scarier. We’ll stretch out our ghoulish fingers and grab a piece of Halloween the way it used to be.
November will arrive the very next dawn.
But our Halloween will last forever…
I’ve got a game for book lovers to play this Halloween.
Every Monday through every Thursday until All Hallows Eve, I’ll be offering random Kindle books for free.
The catch, I’m not telling exactly which ones will be free on which days. You’ll just have to guess.
Each book will be free one day of each week. With six books to choose from, some days will have two freebies.
Here’s the books:
Trick or treat!
As summer’s warmth fades and the days die earlier than before, I find myself in the studio for long stretches of time.
Some might say locking myself indoors with brooding soundtracks playing in the background and a crispy cold glass of scotch on the table is a swift road to being utterly alone.
My point exactly…
My latest painting: All Hallows
All in all, this canvas was fun and simple. In other words, my favorite kind.
The same night I finished All Hallows, I began work prep work on a huge 36″ x 48″ canvas, my hugest ever:
Recently, I used one of my grimmest works for the cover of Let the Bodies, my latest short story:
And previously in the ‘Painting with Darkness’ series:
* * *
See you next time. Painting with Darkness, Part VI will feature the finished version of ‘Ocean of Knives.’
…my favorite time of the year.
Because I’m crazy, I’ve decided to discount several of my novels. From today until Halloween at midnight, the Kindle and e-versions of Down the Dark Path AND Dark Moon Daughter have been reduced to an epically low price of $0.99 each. Both books are normally $6.99. Yes. I’m out of my mind. I know it.
So for those on the fence about investing in the darkest fantasy series ever, please push over your tombstones, crawl out of your graves, and get some. Here. Now. Today.
And for readers with non-Kindle e-readers, head on over to Smashwords and use these coupon codes to get either book for (yeah, you guessed it…) $0.99!
At 12:01 AM Nov 1st (Halloween’s unfortunate demise) prices will return to normal.
Nothing beats autumn. It’s the best season for writing, the best season for existing. Summer is great for sports, spring for de-hibernating, and winter for all things indoors, but autumn……sips of Scotch on the back patio, bbq’s, meaningful football, All Hallows, walking in the drizzle, sleeping with your windows open, listening to the wind, black cats, fallow fields, cawing crows, spooky twilights, grey dawns, crimson leaves, crackling fireplaces, roasted marshmallows, camping, creeping, raking, burning, and watching the world get ready to sleep.
I’m glad you’re here, autumn. Let’s do this.
J Edward Neill