Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars

One of the perks of being on staff at horroraddicts.net is I get to read a lot of good horror literature, recently I got asked to write the forward to the first story in horrororaddicts.net horror bite series. The story is Alice’s Scars by Adam Belaby, here is my forward followed by some info on the story:

When it comes to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, there have been many interpretations as to what the book means. I like to think that it’s about a young girl looking at the crazy world of adults and trying to make sense out of it, but other people have different ideas.

For a book geared toward children, there are a lot of hidden meanings. One popular theme is the reference to mind altering drugs. This is debatable, but one thing we know for sure is that there is a caterpillar who smokes a hookah and gives advice. Does Alice eat his drugs when she’s told one side of the mushroom will make her taller, the other smaller? Or is the whole story a drug-induced vision?

Recently HorrorAddicts.net Press released Clockwork Wonderland, a Horror anthology that turns the world of Alice in Wonderland into a place of nightmares where anything can happen and time runs amok. Being a part of the HorrorAddicts.net staff, I was lucky enough to read the story submissions for what would become Clockwork Wonderland. Every author who submitted something did a great job of turning Alice’s Classic Children’s story into a tale of horror.

One of the most powerful stories I read for Clockwork Wonderlandwhich stuck with me long after I read it—was the story you are about to enjoy. “Alice’s Scars” by Adam L. Bealby had a much darker and realistic feel than the other stories accepted for the Clockwork Wonderland anthology. The reason it wasn’t included was because it was so intimate and different, we felt it needed its own space to be its own voice. While the stories in Clockwork Wonderland are Horror and Dark Fantasy, “Alice’s Scars” took the idea of Alice to a very different place. For me, it was a hard story to read because I’ve known people who were very similar to the characters in this story and it made the story that much scarier. Adam L. Bealby has written a mini masterpiece that explores mental illness, drug addiction, and real life horror. So prepare yourself for an Alice in Wonderland story that will truly give you chills.
David Watson,
HorrorAddicts.net
Editor and Reviewer

HorrorAddicts.net launches our Horror Bites series with an
Alice-inspired story by Adam L. Bealby.

When he met Alice, he wasn’t prepared to go down the rabbit hole. His love for her pushes him into the uncomfortable realization she might be mad. He wants to keep her safe, but what if that’s not what Alice wants?

“Adam Bealby has written a mini masterpiece that explores mental illness, drug addiction, and real life horror.”

~David Watson, The All-Night Library

Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars

BY ADAM L. BEALBY

Just 99 cents at Amazon.com

 

 

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A look inside…

Alice’s Scars

BY ADAM L. BEALBY

 

When I first met her she was Katie, soon to be Alice. It was her first day at Uni, my second, and her scars intrigued me. They lined her cheeks like tribal markings and the way she caked her face in foundation, you could tell they were forever on her mind. It helped, of course, that she was a beautiful Goth girl. I wanted to save her, share her pain, kiss her, and fuck her, too. I asked her what she kept in the drawstring purse around her neck.

“Money,” she said dismissively, turning away to talk to someone else at the bar.

She disappeared soon after. I only found out later how drunk she got, how she spent the rest of the night over a toilet bowl with Jackie holding her hair clear of her mouth. Her first and last run-in with alcohol. Alice had too much else going on in her life to get any more screwed up.

I dogged her all through freshers’ week. Instead of dorms, she’d been accommodated in a little house just off campus. A new friend I met lived there too, so it was an easy thing to fall in with her motley crew, drawn together by circumstance as we were. I became a regular in their kitchen, smoking weed and trying too hard—as we all did—to be quirky and cool.

We struck up conversation over a jar of pesto. I didn’t know what it was and she couldn’t believe it. I strung it out, made it appear I was more ignorant than I actually was, and I got her laughing. When I said her pesto looked like rabbit food she blushed, right through all that paint and powder.

“You don’t know the first thing about rabbits,” she said, and she showed me what was in her drawstring purse. It was a tiny white rabbit’s foot. It freaked me out and yet I felt even more attracted to her. It was my in, a secret shared. Looking at the severed foot I felt myself getting hard and I had to sit down for fear she’d notice.

She ran away that evening. We were all stoned and a bit drunk, talking about our parents, being glib, critical, or overly generous. She burst into tears and ran out of the kitchen and into the night, not even bothering to put her shoes on. We made an extravagant show of hunting for her, shouting her name up and down the street. Pete the Poet, as we later christened him, came out to help from next door. The way John shouted Katie’s name in his Irish accent, Pete thought we’d lost a cat. We had a good laugh about that.

But it wasn’t funny when we found Katie. She was hunkered down by the bushes on a bit of common area at the end of the row.

“Katie? What are you looking for?” I asked as we gathered round in a concerned hub.

“He was here,” she muttered. She’d been pawing at the dirt. Her fingers were black. “I saw him, but he got away from me.”

“Who was here, Katie?”

She looked up. The glare from a passing car lent her eyes a lustrous sheen.

“Alice. Call me Alice from now on, okay? Do you know what time it is? The days all seem to blur into one.”

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Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

Once Upon a Scream, featuring “The Other Daughter” by Adam L. Bealby

Once Upon a Scream…there was a tradition of telling tales with elements of the fantastic along with the frightful. Adults and children alike took heed not to go into the deep, dark woods, treat a stranger poorly, or make a deal with someone-or something-without regard for the consequences. Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it. From wish-granting trolls, to plague curses, and evil enchantresses, these tales will have you hiding under the covers in hopes they don’t find you. So lock your doors, shutter your windows, and get ready to SCREAM.

HorrorAddicts.net

for Horror Addicts, by Horror Addicts

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Clockwork Wonderland Blog Tour: Jaap Boekestein

HorrorAddicts.net Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:

Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis

With Foreword by David Watson

 

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518

 

Excerpt from
Tick Tock

by Jaap Boekestein

Alice was coming. I knew our time was up when I heard the click clack of her heels echoing in the dark streets of the city. We heard those heels the first time in the capital XII and she nearly got us back then. We were lucky and escaped, just. The murderous bitch was still getting the feel of the Watch World and I was completely unsurprised she had discovered us living on the timepiece of her little slave lackey.

Never trust a rabbit. He had sold us out. The only surprise was that it took so long.

We fled, all over the dial. We tried to hide between the seconds, minutes, hours, and other denizens of the tick tock world. No luck. We ended up in VIII City, the most labyrinthine of the twelve metropolises. I had hoped to shake her off in the alleyways, but my hope was in vain. She found us.

Click clack. Diamond heels on white enamel stones.

Our time was up! I…

***

Oh, please forgive me. I have been rude. Allow me to introduce myself.

They call me the Joker, or the Fool sometimes. I am the Wild Card, the savior of dynasties. I am nurse, bodyguard, confidant, lover, and the Man with the Plan.

Forget me, I am nothing. Mary, she is important, the legit Queen of Hearts. I saved her the day she was born, the day her mother was beheaded. We drank the Drink Me, lots and lots of it, and ended up on Watch World, right under the nose of Alice.

The Plan was to take the crown back when Mary was old enough. We’d sneak in at night, rouse the army, and show them their true Queen of Hearts. After that, off with the heads for the whole bunch: Alice, the Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse, the Twins, and of course that damned Cheshire Cat. The White Rabbit would be pardoned for services rendered to the Crown and we would all live long and happily ever after.

No plan survives contact with the reality of the battlefield. We weren’t ready, Mary wasn’t old enough. Old enough for love, yes. Old enough to rule? I didn’t think so, and all that was moot now. I doubted Mary would rule anything ever.

***

Click clack. She was close now, that Alice. The alleyway was a dead end and there was no way out.

“Get behind me,” I said to Mary. “No, kiss me first.” We kissed as if it was our last kiss. It probably was.

“Love you,” she whispered. “Sweet fool.”

“Love you, my queen.”

Click…

Alice stood at the entrance of the alleyway, six feet, excluding the nine-inch diamond heels. She held a nasty whip braided with barbed wire and pieces of glass in her right hand, a MAC-10 with extended magazine and a suppressor in her left. Little girls grow up, and cruel little girls who bathe in the blood of their beheaded enemies, grow up to become evil PVC-clad Dominatrix bitches. Maybe it was a Victorian thing, the release of all those repressed feelings. I didn’t want to know what non-consensual things she did with Hatter, or that cat, or the Caterpillar.

I pulled both my Mauser C96’s and fired. I hit Alice, with both barrels, and down she went.

Bang, bang, bang, bang. Thud.

The Mausers jammed, a problem common with these types of guns. It didn’t matter, the bitch was dead. Behind my back Mary squealed in relief. Bloodlust runs in her family, I can’t deny it.

We kissed once more. The hot kiss of danger and death, victory and relief.

Mary froze and I turned to see why.

Alice wasn’t dead because over her shiny bodysuit she wore a bullet-proof jacket.

I should have gone for her head, but I am a fool. There I was, no weapons, no way out, no options.

Mary cried. I had told her tales about Alice and our worst nightmare came closer and closer. Step by step. Click clack.

Alice grinned as her whip sliced the air, full of expectation. The barrel of the MAC-10 was pointed at us.

I threw down my useless guns.

“Kill us quickly,” I begged.

“No. Certainly not.” Alice still sounded a Victorian governess, totally in control and without mercy. Stuck up bitch.

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Clockwork Wonderland Blog tour. I’m very proud to be a part of another horroraddicts.net publication.

HorrorAddicts.net Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:

Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis

With Foreword by David Watson

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518

Excerpt from
Foreword

Horror’s Name is Alice

What is the most influential piece of horror literature ever written? Could it be Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Perhaps something by Edgar Allan Poe, M.R. James, or H.P. Lovecraft? I think an argument could be made that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the most influential piece of horror literature ever written. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass may be fantasy aimed at children, but they have inspired nightmares for children and adults alike.

A girl following a rabbit down a hole into a land of strange creatures where chaos reins supreme could be the premise of a great horror story. There are several different themes that run throughout the book and one of them is questioning your sanity. Nothing makes sense in Wonderland and at one point Alice says, “But I don’t want to be among mad people.” To which the Cheshire Cat responds, “Oh you can’t help that, we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re Mad.”

But is Alice really mad? Probably not, but she is entering a crazy world where the possibility of death lurks around every corner. To me Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is showing us how ridiculous society and the world around us can be. In order to understand reality, we create our own little Wonderland.

You could also say that Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is a metaphor for adulthood and how we try to make sense of it. To a child like Alice, the world of adults is confusing and sometimes horrifying. After Alice makes her trip down the rabbit hole, she faces a loss of innocence. She is leaving the safety of childhood and all that is familiar to her. In the terrifying world of Wonderland, Alice is alone and death is her constant companion in the disguise of an angry queen and other bizarre creatures.

Alice has a vivid imagination and creates Wonderland because she is bored. Imagine if Alice was a horror writer, what kind of terrors would she create in Wonderland?

This leads us to the book you are about to read. Clockwork Wonderland contains fifteen stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of serial killers, insane creations, a bloodthirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Get ready to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

David Watson

HorrorAddicts.net

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Check out some of the other tour stops by going here: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/clockwork-wonderland-blog-tour-and-events/