THE BEDDING OF BOYS (Chapter Excerpt)

(This excerpt is not from the final version of the book. Please refrain from quoting passages until you can check against the final version. Thank you.)

bedding pb

WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT

THE BEDDING OF BOYS

by Edward Lorn

1.
The ghost in the passenger seat seemed restless. Perhaps neither of them knew why the other was here.
Regina Corsi drummed her fingers on the steering wheel. Waiting. Outside, her hazard lights pulsed yellow. Headlights swung in behind her. She opened the door and stepped out. Shielding her eyes from the glare, she approached the car. She passed out of the glow of the new arrival’s headlights and stood by the truck’s front fender. An older man with silver hair and kind eyes got out. He offered her a broad smile. She returned it.
“Car trouble?” he asked in a deep voice coarse with age.
“Someone’s on their way. Thanks for stopping, though. I truly appreciate it.”
His smile melted into a frown. He glanced around, as if the boogeyman, one only he could protect her from, might be hidden in the trees on either side of the road. Perhaps ravenous wolves lay in wait for them. Her would-be savior looked concerned to a comedic extreme. Pretty woman like her. All alone. Lord only knew what kinda trouble she could get into.
“You sure?” he asked.
“I’m positive. Super sweet of you, though. Thanks.”
She turned and walked back to her car. His gaze followed her the whole way. The acupuncture-needle poke of his eyes pestered her. She dipped into the car to grab her smokes, shook one out of the soft pack, lit the tip, and tossed her lighter into the cup holder behind the gear shift.
The man in the truck drove away. She waved to him. In the dark, without the aid of his headlights, she couldn’t tell if he waved back or not. Her legs ached with inactivity. How long had she waited for someone to come along? An hour? Two? Likely it was a much shorter passing of time, but when you have nothing to do, time creeps.
She smoked two full cigarettes before the next Good Samaritan arrived. She hoped this was who she’d been waiting for.
The gravel on the side of the road crunched under her shoes as she went to meet the new contestant.
The guy who got out of the minivan wasn’t as thrilled to be out here in the middle of the night as the last guy had been. This guy looked withered, as if he’d not slept in days. A quick glance at the concerned woman in the passenger seat and the young boy in the back was reasoning enough. Likely wifey here had directed her hubby to pull over and offer the poor stranded motorist help and he’d begrudgingly complied. Maybe he’d been on the road for days, and now here he was, having been made to stop to help some stranger. Screw her for possibly needing assistance.
“You need some help?” he said. She expected his eyes to roam her body, as most men’s gazes did, but he didn’t. This one was well-trained.
She smiled at the woman in the passenger seat and eyed the boy in the back. In her peripheral vision, she saw the ghost slip into the woods and out of sight. These folks must be the reason she was out here. The boy in the back, especially. Her new friend the ghost was going to come in handy.
She asked the man, “Could you come look at the engine? It just cut off.”
“You got a flashlight?”
“A what?”
That was too much. She knew it was too much as soon as the words passed over her lips.
He squinted at her as if he could read her mind. She sure as hell hoped not.
“A flashlight?”
“Oh. Sorry. I misheard you. No. I don’t have one. Do you?”
“Yeah. Gimme a sec and I’ll meet you at the car.”
In other words, lady, go back to your vehicle and let’s get this over with, so I can go home and plow my wife. Or sleep. Likely sleep. The guy looked like he needed it more than he needed food and oxygen. Regina had to remind herself that not everyone was thinking about sex all the time. Not everyone was like her. Not everyone was insatiable.
She returned to her car, dipped into the foot well, popped the hood. Leaving the driver’s side door open and the dome light on, she went around to the front of the car, reached into the crack, slid the latch to the side, raised the hood and anchored the support pole.
Gravel crunched, like someone chewing popcorn, signaling the approach of her hero. He swept the flashlight up, angled it down and into the engine block.
“What’s it doing or not doing?” he asked.
She said, “Look at me.”
He did as requested. The flashlight’s beam bounced back off the open hood, lighting his face enough to give her a target. She slid the boning knife from the sheath on her belt. Swung upward. The knife pierced the skin under the man’s chin. He jerked too late to save himself the wound but quickly enough that the blade slid easily through his gums and out the side of his cheek. She retracted the blade and threw her arm like a boxer going in for a hook. He tried to block with the hand holding the flashlight but she was far too quick for that. The knife sliced into his temple and exited out through his eye. Odd angle and far from deadly. The flashlight dropped into the engine compartment. She grabbed a handful of his hair, yanked up, and slid the knife deeply across his neck, lacerating both carotids. Blood spurted onto her shirt. Splattered her face.
With no blood to his brain, he’d be unconscious in a minute or less. Just had to keep him out of sight until then.
He fell backward, almost into view of his wife and son. She tugged him forward by his hair before he was viewable. She shoved him on top of the engine. His right leg kicked out. For a brief instant she thought he was still fighting but realized it was just his body’s reaction to a quick, unexpected death.
She rounded the car, moving swiftly, the hand holding the knife behind her right hip, out of sight. She came to the passenger side door, feigning a shortage of breath. Huffing and puffing she pulled the woman’s door open. The wife or lover, or whatever her relationship was to the dead man resting on Regina’s engine block, glared up at her in a state of confusion. The woman in the passenger seat registered the blood and started to ask what had happened when the knife slid into her tear duct like a lobotomy spike. Her body jerked rigid. Her knees shoved into the glove box and her feet dug into the floorboard. Her arms, stiff at her sides, twitched. Fingers bit into upholstery.
The boy asked what was going on. Regina assumed he couldn’t see much from where he was seated. For all he knew, the strange woman had simply reached into the car.
He didn’t sound any older than ten, his voice lacking the crack of puberty and the tenor of adulthood. She shivered in anticipation as she yanked the blade from the woman’s eye. A single, worm-thick tear of blood trundled down the woman’s cheek as she slid sideways into the center console.
“Mom?” the boy said. He sounded confused now. The kind of confusion that preludes fear. She couldn’t wait to comfort him.
“Oh, honey,” she purred. “I’ll be your mommy.”
She climbed into the car, over the dead mother, and snaked between the front seats into the back. The boy caught glimpse of the knife’s blade glimmering in the dome light and lost his mind. He kicked and screamed and managed to catch her under the chin with his shoe. She bit her lip, drawing blood. She licked a gory tongue across red lipstick and stabbed downward, into the boy’s thigh. He screamed at the knife as if it could help him. Then he looked up and screamed in her face.
So young. So beautiful.
God, she wanted him.
“Come to mommy,” she said.
She giggled as she slipped the knife from his thigh. She hiked her skirt and threw a leg over his lap, straddling him. She lay the blade against his tender neck and applied slight pressure. In his haste to be as far away from the knife as possible, he jerked his head back and forth causing the blade to saw at the flesh where an Adam’s apple might one day sprout.
“Be still. Mommy doesn’t wanna hurt you,” she lied. She wanted to hurt him very, very badly. But first she wanted to fuck him.
He wouldn’t look at her. Instead he stared wide-eyed out of the side window, tears having not yet grown fat enough to fall glistening in his eyes. He drew back, blinked, and clear trails barreled down his cheeks. But he’d stopped moving, and that’s all that mattered. Leaving the knife pressed against his carotid, she leaned in and attempted to lick the blood from his neck. Her bitten lip only served to further bloody the boy’s flesh. He looked the part of a vampire victim. She supposed that wasn’t far from the truth of the matter.
She reached down with her free hand and massaged between her legs.
She moaned. “I’m gonna—I’m gonna unbuckle you—and you’re—you’re gonna lie down and let Mommy show you how much she loves you. Come on, now. Do as Mommy says.”
“You’re not my mom,” he managed. He sounded older now. Tougher. That wouldn’t do.
She head-butted his brow. The flesh split and blood poured into his eye, the lid fluttering to keep the warm fluid from blinding him.
“You’re gonna do as Mommy says or you’re going to watch me cut off your little dick. Mommy doesn’t want to hurt you, but she will. Boys like you need to be taught, is all. The good and the bad. But the bad, oh baby, they get it so much worse. Now, I’m going to unbuckle you and you’re going to lie down. Right?”
Sobbing, the boy nodded. She undid his buckle and twisted with him as he turned and laid himself out on the back seat. She worked his belt free and told him to pull down his pants.
“Have you had your first erection?”
“What?” he said in a tremulous voice.
She flicked a finger at his limp penis. “Has this gotten hard yet? Do you play with it?”
Quaking all over, he nodded.
“How old are you?”
“T-t-tw-twelve.”
She shoved up his shirt and drew the cold steel of the knife’s tip down his chest and stomach. She watched the skin react under the dome light. The flesh quivered and drew away from the knife’s edge as if the blade were white-hot.
“Oh, you’re just right.”
She worked at him with her hand. When that didn’t work, she used her mouth, threatening him with the blade any time he protested. She’d not tried to arouse someone under duress before, and this boy obviously was not having it. Maybe he didn’t like girls? No telling.
One thing was certain—she’d wasted enough time here.
“You’ve disappointed me,” she said.
“I’m—”
She drove the knife into the side of his neck and tore it vertically, as she had with his father, opening his throat, baring his windpipe, as if his throat were a purse and the knife a zipper. Blood burbled from his open neck. He wasn’t long dying.
She placed her ear to his chest and listened to his heartbeat. Faint and ever-lessening, the space between each beat growing further and further apart. Shock was a wonderful thing. It eased the worst of pain and numbed the body to prepare for the passing of the soul. The evacuation of that soul, to her, was the most beautiful thing in all of existence. She reached up and ran her gory fingers through his sweat-damp hair.
“You can go now, honey. I’m done with you.”
His heart beat twice more, thirty seconds or so apart, and then it ceased to beat at all.
She sat up, twisted around, and opened the back door. She slipped out and tugged the boy by the ankle. He flopped onto the gravel.
She glanced around. Her new friend was nowhere to be found.
“Hey! Come and get it!’
She scanned the trees. Nothing.
Well, this was awkward.
She nudged the boy’s corpse with the toe of her flats. “You got me out here. Come and take care of this.”
No answer.
Shit.
What was she going to do now?
She dragged the boy by his hands to the rear of her car. Leaving him behind the car, she walked around and pressed the button that released the trunk latch. She returned to the trunk and pulled out a folded tarp. She lay out the nylon sheet and rolled the body onto it. Wrapped to her liking, she hefted the boy’s corpse up and into the trunk.
From the shadows of the tree line and into the corner of her vision drifted a figure in a white sheet. The ghost was no more than three-feet tall and draped with a white sheet. Had this been a simple Halloween costume, there might have been eyeholes cut into the fabric. Her friend didn’t seem to need eyeholes. Somehow it saw well enough to navigate obstacles without them.
“Where the hell’ve you been?”
No answer.
She pointed into the trunk. “What am I supposed to do with him?”
The ghost didn’t appear to be the least bit interested in the corpse.
Obviously, the boy wasn’t part of tonight’s menu. She’d have to dispose of him herself. Not a huge problem. She’d gotten along just fine before her friend in the sheet had come into her life, and if the thing quit her now, she’d continue to be fine. She hoped so, anyway.
She loosed a sigh. “Did you at least get rid of the dad? Clean up the engine?”
Ghost—for she lacked a better name for the thing in the sheet—remained silent. It had not spoken to date so she had no idea why she always tried to engage it in conversation. Its presence was as unexplainable as her lust for deviant and murderous behavior. If this was a haunting, she didn’t know by whom. None of her victims had been this small. She preferred her boys to be near-puberty, if not just slightly over the line.
She shook her head in exasperation as Ghost drifted back into the tree line and out of sight.
“Fine. Be that way. I didn’t want to talk to your ass anyway.”
She went back to the business at hand.
She dragged the woman from the car. The mother seemed heavier than Regina might be able to manage. Why were the dead always so much heavier than the living? Perhaps guilt at not being able to save her son had weighed the dead woman down. For a time, Regina gazed at the mother. Who would have thought this beautiful little family of three would end how it had ended? Somehow, that chaos, that unexpected ending, made life all the more gorgeous to Regina. Knowing this existence could end in an instant, that it was so insanely fragile, brought a tear to her eye. Ghost drifted from the shadows, floating less than an inch off the ground, its passing not so much as stirring the fallen leaves and twigs dotting the forest floor. It hovered beside the murdered woman, as if waiting.
Regina turned to leave but a presence on her shoulder stopped her. She faced Ghost once more. A tendril of sheet wiped her face clean. Then it wiped down the rest of her, supernaturally removing every speck and splatter of blood from her skin and sucking the blood from her clothing. Thus were the talents of Ghost and what made him such a good friend.
She’d forgotten what a mess she’d been. If she had been pulled over in the state she’d been in…
When Ghost was done with her, she left her friend to its business.
As she headed back to the car, the sound of static hissed to life. The sound didn’t come from any radio or television. It came from Ghost. It was the only noise the thing made, and it only made it when it disposed of her victims. She didn’t concern herself with what Ghost did with the bodies. That the bodies were never found was the only thing that mattered.
She locked and closed the family’s minivan and returned to her car to close the hood. Ghost had done his part here. The father was gone and there was not a speck of blood to be found. Not that she could see much in the backsplash of her headlights.
She drove into town by way of Highway 607, passing Hunter’s Point and the Welcome to Bay’s End sign at quarter to three in the morning. What kind of parents had their twelve-year-old son out at such a time? She didn’t like looking a gift horse in the mouth, but sometimes she wondered if maybe there wasn’t something supernatural at work. The thing in the sheet helped her to some degree. To what end, she didn’t know. Ghost never required anything more from her other than time with the corpses. He would spit and hiss like a static-y television and the bodies would make like a tree and leave. She couldn’t lie; the thing in the sheet had its uses. She’d come to enjoy being haunted, as nutty as that sounded.
She stopped at the car wash next door to the old insurance building—the insurance salesman who’d owned the place had disappeared a few years back, but the building still stood with his name on it. She parked in a stall at the hand-wash and got out. She spent half an hour scrubbing her car and using the high-pressure hose to blast clean her engine block. You know. Just in case any one looked inside or under the hood. The cleaning wouldn’t hold up to forensic testing, but if things got that far, she’d have more to worry about than blood residue on her engine.
After all, Ghost had failed to remove the boy. Therefore he might have missed something.
Whatever power watched over her saw that no one came along while she worked. Small towns were good for such courtesies, and Bay’s End was nothing if not a small town. Three thousand residents couldn’t be bothered to leave their houses after midnight unless it was the weekend. It was Wednesday, Hump Day, and here she was, short one hump. The streets were as barren as her womb.

 

This concludes an excerpt of The Bedding of Boys, by Edward Lorn. The paperback will be live the same day as the digital copy, with an audiobook to follow. The ebook will be $4.99 upon release, but you can pre-order the book at a discount here: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DWS3PT2

Thank you for you continued support!

bedding pb

THE SOUND OF BROKEN RIBS is now available!

The day is finally upon us. Grab your copy of THE SOUND OF BROKEN RIBS today!

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07885XCV3

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07885XCV3

Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07885XCV3

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07885XCV3

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07885XCV3

The book is also available in paperback here:

https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Broken-Ribs-Edward-Lorn/dp/1981619585

ribs ebook 2018

 

THE SOUND OF BROKEN RIBS Now Available for Preorder (on sale, too!)

My new novel The Sound of Broken Ribs is now available for preorder. The book is $2.99 during preorder and release day only. After that, it goes up to $4.99. You can grab it in your respective area of the world by clicking any one of the links at the end of this post. The paperback should be available the same day as the ebook goes live, and the audiobook, produced by Veronica Giguere, will be out in the next few months.

Thank you for your support!

Advanced praise for The Sound of Broken Ribs:

“Lorn’s latest tale is masterful, and absolutely mesmerizing.” ~ Craig Saunders, author of Highwayman

“If you’re already a fan of the nightmare factory that is Edward Lorn, you’re in for a major treat with this newest addition to his lexicon. If you’ve yet to discover his work, fix that. He’s a rising star in the firmament of horror and an author you–and I–want to keep up with, someone who is the real deal, doing his own thing in his own way and doing it up right.” ~ Shotgun Logic

Visceral and harrowing, this book isn’t just a punch to the gut. It caved my whole damn chest in and broke my heart in the most beautiful ways. Lorn is a wonderful torturer, and this book captivated me like few others.” ~ Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Black Site and Let Go

“Breathing, flawed characters you come to sympathize with and a perfect balance of moments that make you cringe and others that will make your jaw drop, this is on my top 5 list for sure so far for the year. “ ~The Behrg, author of Housebroken

“Lorn has written an incredible book on the horrors of humanity with a monster that haunted my dreams every night this week. This is by far his best book I have read.” ~ Deep in the Crease.

“Lorn’s writing has always reminded me of a young Stephen King’s: lean, evocative, and powerful… I can’t praise this book enough. If I hadn’t already anointed Edward Lorn the Future of Horror, I would with this book. “Dan Schwent

ribs ebook 2018

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07885XCV3

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07885XCV3

Germany: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07885XCV3

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07885XCV3

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07885XCV3

 

The Future of SLASHER LIVE

Hello peeps. Been one fucker of a month. First Darkfuse’s collapse, and then today I get a couple messages asking me if I’d seen the news about the upcoming Stephen Kozeniewski and Stevie Kopas book, SLASHVIVOR. I had not. Huh… Let’s talk about that, shall we?

Some of you will remember my over-sharing regarding my project SLASHER LIVE because I was so fuckin’ stoked. Some of you definitely remember, because I was messaged four times today regarding how much their new collab reminded people of my yet-to-be-published novel. One of my Facebook posts, one from March of 2016 in particular, was brought to my attention, one that went into great detail about the titular show having seasons with a killer clown… a killer doctor… a killer named Machine… a kid that kills… and so on. The blurb on the back of their book and my post are eerily similar. Is it all a crazy coinky-dink? Probably. Who the fuck knows, right? I’m not inside either of these authors’ heads. Kozeniewski and I shared a publisher once upon a when. I reviewed his zombie detective novel Braineater Jones on this very blog! Oops, I mean THIS BRAINEATER JONES. I even met the dude in person. Seems like a good enough chap.

So I’m entirely comfortable saying it’s a coincidence that my highly-public concept just so happened to pop into his and her head, too. Let’s run with that. Forget that both titles start with SLASH. Forget that we have the same kinda killers. I mean, they’re all common tropes, right? Easily explained away. They’re both about a tv show that blends slasher films and reality Tv. Hell, EVERYONE owns a television, am I right?! Forget all that. What I want to talk about today is whether or not I’m scrapping the project in light of recent revelations.

The answer is no. This will have to be a redux of ARMAGEDDON vs DEEP IMPACT. Remember those movies? There are more instances of this happening in pop culture, so no big deal. Carry on, my wayward son! One thing’s 100% certain, I will continue to polish this book until it is ready for publication. I’m not letting anyone, or anything, coincidental or not, make me rush this.

And to the people out there that beta read my version over a year ago and felt the need to message me, I thank you, but there’s nothing to see here.

E.

“The Morning Dew” Synopsis and Cover Reveal!

Coming later today (08/14/2014)…

Ten-year-old Jimmy Dougal can’t wait for his sleepover. Twelve hours in the treehouse out back, accompanied by his two best friends, listening to tunes and devouring Fig Newtons… with no parental interference.

During the night, a vicious storm blows in – a storm that terrifies the neighbor’s livestock.

The next morning, all seems right with the world. That is until one of the boys goes missing. Now the two remaining friends must fight to survive…

The Morning Dew

 

Five Essential Ways to Live a Happier Life

1. Don’t worry about anyone else’s sexuality aside from your own. You’re not fucking them, so reduce your stress by not worrying about who they are fucking.

 

2. Only hate food. Food doesn’t give a shit what you think about it, nor does it have any self esteem. So the next time you want to hate someone, hate a fucking apple, or a bit of zucchini. Chop those fuckers up if it makes you feel better. 

 

3. The only color you should concern yourself with is the color of the sky. Blue means good. Gray means wet. White means snow. Black and/or red means the end of days. Worrying about skin color does not affect the weather, and thusly does not affect you. When was the last time a person with a different skin tone rained on you or snowed you in? Exactly. Plus, racism doesn’t require those goofy ass yellow rain slickers, tire chains, or cumbersome umbrellas. 

 

4. The only vagina that matters is the one you own or the one connected to the woman you love. Worrying about what goes in and out of someone else’s vagina, or what lives inside it, is like worrying about a gopher hole in another country. Sure, someone else might break an ankle trying to access or escape it, but they’re of no concern of yours. Neither is anything that grows inside it. Stop worrying about foreign gopher holes!

 

5. No one cares about your political beliefs other than you. The only time your political swerving even enters the minds of Tom, Dick, and Harry is when you hang Tom’s Hairy Dick out for everyone to gawk at. Okay, that didn’t make any sense, and neither does your infatuation with anti-current-president posts or melodramatic shenanigans about how they’re coming to take away your hair curlers. Curlers don’t kill people, people with hairspray do! Your opinion only matters to you and the folks at the voter’s registration booth. Seriously, your Facebook posts will not be the deciding factor in whether or not they impeach the prez or allow illegal immigrants to defecate in your cornflakes.

 

In summation: Follow these five easy tips to reduce the stress in your life, or to simply not be a dickhead. Love is stronger than hate, and your body is no one else’s business aside from your own. 

Scare E: A Contest of Horrors! 2014

scare e 2014

Back in 2012, I started a contest known as Scare E, where I sent out a call for the best horror fiction from today’s up-and-comers as well as the completely unknowns. Now it’s a new year, and I need another horror fix.

The rules are simple:

1. Your story must be no shorter than three thousand words and no longer than ten thousand.

2. Your story must be your own original work.

3. Your story must never have been published. It can be an old story, or a story that you’ve won other contests with, but it cannot have been up for sale anywhere at any time. I will check. And remember, cache copies are a thing. If you’ve had it up for sale, I will find out.

4. Your story must be well edited. I only want the cleanest manuscripts. I don’t care how you format it, what font you use, or if your mother told you it’s the swellest story in all of Christendom; if your story is unedited it will be disqualified and deleted. Great ideas are simply that; great ideas. I want great stories; and great stories are edited stories.

5. Your story must be scary. My personal preference is quiet, unsettling horror, but sometimes I’m in the mood for a bit of disturbia or gore. If you choose to bloody things up or drift off into the surreal, you must be on your game and do it well. The thing lurking in the shadows is far scarier to me than a creature tearing someone’s head off. Also, you might face an uphill battle if your tale involves vampires, werewolves, or zombies. I’m quite tired of overused monsters. I’m not saying great stories cannot include those things, but you should be careful not to revisit old tropes without a bucketful of originality behind you. Consider yourselves forewarned.

Ze contest opens for submissions on October 1st and closes on the 21st day of the same month. If you don’t math good, this means you have exactly three weeks to get your stories in to me after the contest opens. As soon as the clock strikes Midnight (12:00am CST) on October 21st, I’m closing her down. All stories submitted after that time will go directly to my junk folder, where a ravenous cyber troll will feast upon your hard work and crap out piles of useless kilobytes. The winner will be announced at high noon on Halloween (October 31st, 2014). One talented (not lucky, but talented) individual will win a $50 Amazon gift card or five Audible credits. It’s up to the winner which one they prefer. Due to restrictions on international rewards, this contest is only available to residents of the United States. I hate this, believe me, but I am unable to award gift cards and credits to persons residing outside of the US. Blame the Mighty ‘Zon, not me.

This year, as a special added bonus, the winner will also receive a professional cover and formatting so that they can upload their piece to Amazon.com and sell their story for further profit.

The rest is up to you. Get to writing, and I’ll see you back here on October 1st! May the horror be with you!

E.