Enjoy an exclusive guest post from Michael J Moore author of “Popcorn,” featured in our upcoming anthology ON TIME.
My wife’s name is Katherine. She goes by Cait. I call her Kitten. She’s not too keen on getting pretty things because she already has plenty. Cait prefers the type of gifts that are wrapped deep in the storage-rooms of the heart, and this can make Holidays tricky for a guy whose heart harbors oddities and horrors. So last year, as Valentine’s Day approached, I decided to write her a story. After all, writing stories is what I do, and like all artists, I express my sentiments best through my art. Without spoiling it too much, here’s the basic premise.
Popcorn was Tommy’s Kitten, and at first, she cried in his bed. He was only eight, and his father gave her to him to soften the blow when his grandfather died. And though deep down, Tommy hadn’t needed her, he enjoyed having her around. Then one, night she led him into another world under his bed. A world where it was always cold, and always dark. A world in which it was perpetually a tragic Valentine’s Day in the nineteen-fifties. A world by the river, where he left a girl named Katherine after strangling her in a past life.
Somehow, I’d written “Popcorn” with a grin, because I couldn’t stop picturing Cait reading it, immediately throwing her arms around me, and pulling me into the bedroom. As you can imagine, it didn’t quite play out that way. In fact, her words are still echoing around inside of my skull to this day.
“Not a very smooth move, honey.”
But I’m a horror author. I can’t help but find beauty in the darker forms of artistic expression. As far back as I can remember, I was drawn to the hypnotic allure of the macabre. Things that scurry into the crevasses to avoid the light, scare the hell out of me, and intrigue me at the same time. But as much as I love horror, I love Cait even more. So this year, for Valentine’s Day, I got her some pretty things and a card.
Michael J Moore lives in Seattle, Washington. His books include the bestselling post-apocalyptic novel, After the Change and Highway Twenty. His work has appeared in Blood Moon Rising Magazine, Horrorzine Magazine, Schlock Magazine, Minutes Before Six, Terror House Magazine, Siren’s Call Magazine, Hellbound Books anthology Ghosts, Spirits and Specters, has been adapted for theater and produced in the Seattle area, is used as curriculum at the University of Washington and has received an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. His short stories will also be released this year by Rainfall Books, Horror Tree – Trembling with Fear, Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine, Transmundane Press and Soteira Press. Follow him at: michaeljmoorewriti.wixsite.com/website or www.facebook.com/michaeljmoorewriting
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