If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency. emergency.cdc.gov
Subscribe to darkfictionmuse, my mailing list!
Interested in posting your reviews or guest articles at this site? Then fill out the form HERE.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Love Gone Awry

2019 is just around the corner. It's not too early to start planning for Valentine's Day and I have the perfect gift.

Have you always wanted to be the star of your own story? Do any of the following apply to you?

  • Been scarred by love
  • Had a scorned woman try to exact revenge on you
  • Lost the love of your life
  • Dumped or been dumped but then reunited with that person and realized they weren't the same
  • Been blinded by love
  • Went a little too far for love
  • Had regrets with a past lover
  • Will never forget your first love
  • Found true love that only a tragedy could stop
Well here's a unique opportunity to be the hero (or villain) of your own making.

I will write a piece of dark fiction, up to 1,000 words, based on your "Love Gone Awry" idea.

Send me an email at blackwidow@shelbypatrick.com with the subject "Custom V-Day Story" briefly summarizing your idea in 100 words or less. Since this is meant to be a horror story for the Valentine's season, please let me know if you want to be the hero or the villain and provide me with a location (preferably your own or some place you always wanted to go but isn't too exotic). Also, please provide two names to be used in the story: yours (or an alias) and that of a loved one.

For example, your email may look like this:

I would like a custom story featuring me as the hero, where I was foolish and lost the love of my life and now realize my life is incomplete without him/her.
I would like a custom story featuring me as the villain, in post-apocalyptic California, where Necromancers roam the place, seeking out depressed souls to reunite with loved ones.

Stories cost $30, paid via PayPal, and will be sent to you via email. Please allow up to three weeks for turn-around time. 

Buyers must agree to allow their story, or a portion of it, to be posted at my website, blog, or in a future anthology.

Horror Excerpts

I have three excerpts online from short stories in my anthology The Fear Within. To read the complete stories and more, you can purchase my book HERE

Please send an email to each of the following addresses to read the excerpts:

After Hours -- Working late becomes a night for survival. CLICK HERE

Behind Closed Doors -- What was grandmother hiding behind the locked door in her basement? CLICK HERE

Under a Watchful Eye -- No guards, no fences, and no escape for prisoners once they enter Innsmouth. CLICK HERE 

The Nun - Movie Review by Shelby Patrick

"Pray for forgiveness"

Set in the Carta Monastery in Romania in 1952, this horror story is quick to tear apart our faith. It is based on the Conjuring series and centers around a few true-life facts. Three main stars light up the screen -- Jonas Bloquet (Frenchie), Demian Bichir (Father Anthony Burke), and Taissa Farmiga (Sister Irene).

Plot Synopsis (from imdb.com): A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

The movie opens with two nuns walking down a creepy hallway to a door that reads "God Ends Here". Once they unlock the door, they unleash the evil demon Valak, who needs a host to be able to walk in this world. One nun is possessed while the other one hangs herself, setting off events in the Vatican that result in sending a priest and a nun on the verge of taking her vows to investigate.

The movie is riddled with cliches from the start and there isn't much left to the imagination. You can pretty much guess what is about to come before it happens. The most horrifying part was the demonic face of the nun; the rest was child's play for a seasoned horror fan.

Most surprising of all was that the ending didn't suck. They didn't throw in some stupid finale that made you sit up and say, "what just happened?" It actually made sense.

It might scare some people. The movie was rated R for obvious reasons. It was released on September 7, 2018.

It was mildly entertaining but not worth the money I paid to see it. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Behind the Masque (Prologue)

Abernathy Estate, Detroit suburbs, Spring 2008
         Kyle Abernathy sat alone in the darkened drawing room, watching the flashers of police cruisers and ambulances outside the window. Dozens of people poured in and out of the mansion, tracking muddy feet all over pristine carpets. The noise was deafening; cops wandering around, feet stomping through the halls, raised voices, and the sounds of people vomiting outside the half-closed door. It was horrible and it wouldn’t be over with anytime soon; a violent crime had been committed, here in the Abernathy’s safe haven. The police had a job to do and it didn’t matter that he, perhaps more than most, paid their salaries; they would do it with or without his consent.
         The door opened and a tall, lanky red-head walked in. Her navy business suit was glued to an athletic shape and she walked with a purpose, the lights from the hall glinting off her badge.
         When the officer reached for the light switch in the room, Kyle frowned.
         “Leave them off,” he said, so soft and quiet that she might not hear.
         “Mr. Abernathy, I’m sorry, but I have to ask you some questions now.”
         He didn’t like this cop. She smelled of sweat and hard work and had eyes that were narrow and dark, as if hiding something. It was easy to tell when a person had secrets since he had a ton of them hidden away. Her voice was gruff, not very feminine. It was irritating. Women should act and sound like women, not construction workers.
         “Where’s Jackson?” he asked.
         “Detective Jackson has other cases to handle. I’ll be lead investigator for you…”
         “He’s too busy to help my family? Doesn’t matter, I suppose. You already have the person responsible in custody.” He looked back toward the window. “How bad is it?”
         “No one has told you?”
         “Of course not. I was out of town and received a call that I had to come back. They said it had something to do with my mother. It was a shock to return and find cops swarming my estate. All I know is that my mother is dead. How did she die?”
         “Your mother was tortured before he killed her.”
         He didn’t respond for several long minutes, then said, “I heard talk, Detective. My mother was barely recognizable and when I see trained police officers losing the contents of their stomach all over my carpeted floors, I can only assume it was very bad. What did he do to her?”
         “I don’t think you need all the gory details, Mr…”
         “Look, Officer…” He leaned over to get a look at her badge. “…Higgins, I want to know everything. I can handle it. Now tell me what he did to her – all the details, if you will.”
         She swallowed, tapped her pen on her notepad, and then said, “Her back was whipped, right down to the bone. Her fingernails were ripped out and as if that wasn’t enough, he…he…”
         Kyle watched Officer Higgins catch her breath at the memory.  “He what?”
         “He skinned her. I’m sorry, Mr. Abernathy, truly sorry.”
         “And the guy who did this?”
         “He worked for your gardening company. After finishing with the matriarch of the manor, he sat down and called 9-1-1. We found him sitting next to the body, covered in blood.”
         “Thank you, Detective, that will be all.”
         “Mr. Abernathy, I have some questions…”
         “Which I’m sure will be answered shortly. Right now, I want to be alone.”
         The police officer nodded and left the room, shutting the door. Kyle turned back to the window and smiled, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a ring coated with blood. It bore the crest of the Abernathys and was passed down from one head of the household to the next. Mrs. Abernathy had worn it for years. Kyle had ripped it from her cold hand hours earlier as she lay dying in the basement. She hadn’t said a word; just tried to cough out a retort, but nothing could get past the bruised lips. It was atrocious, but partly sensual, the way her too skinny, ribs showing, wrinkly body swayed back and forth from the hooks embedded into her back. She reached for him, but fell short of the mark. He wanted her to die; the old bag held on for way too long. Eventually, it happened and the light left those sagging eyes. Now the legacy was his.
         He spun around in his chair, unlocked the desk drawer, and dropped the ring inside. Once the murderer was convicted and sentenced to a life in prison, he could safely wear it. When he returned his attention back to the window, they were carting his mother’s corpse away.
         “Goodbye, mother,” he said.
         After they loaded the body, he stood, straightened his tie, smoothed out his black pants, and then walked to the door, ready to go have a talk with the irritating detective.

Buy Behind the Masque at amazon.com

When Angels Sing (Prologue)

Blaze Kerrigan, he always hated that name. It was a stupid name, but one he carried well. Oh, it wasn’t a birth name, of course. No, the birth name had been Darren or Donald or something like that. He couldn’t remember anymore. It was a name for a weakling, though, and weaklings deserved nothing more than a life of pain. He was good at that, causing pain now. It hadn’t always been that way. At one point, he had been a good man, a trusting man, a loving man. Then she came into his life. The perfect angel, Melanie. She had been a beautiful girl, a flaxen-haired goddess. He used to imagine seeing a halo surrounding her head. God had kissed her when she was born and she had been very special to him.

Her voice had called to him many times. He had listened within the shadows as her songs took flight, filling him with a passionate longing to be with her. Sometimes her voice could turn him on more than he liked, but he had held his control, until a young man came along and sapped her energy. She hadn’t wanted to sing anymore. He had missed her singing, his sweet Melanie. So he went to her one night. They had argued. He hadn’t meant to do it, but before he could stop himself, he had stabbed her over and over. He hadn’t felt the horror he thought he might, instead he felt a wave of pleasure come over him. He had enjoyed drawing her blood. Just thinking about it now stirred something inside of him and he remembered how he had plunged the knife into her soft abdomen. With every plunge, he felt euphoric and knew he had found his calling. All he had to do now was get that damn name out of his mind: Blaze Kerrigan. It was all he could see, Blaze, Blaze, Blaze! The day he had killed Melanie was the day Darren or Donald had ceased to exist and Blaze had been born.

Time to end it, Blaze old boy.

But first things first. Ever since Melanie, the man had needed more. He couldn’t help himself. Those pretty young women all needed to be heard. He would listen and love them and when the time was right, he would kill them, but he wouldn’t do it alone. Just as he created Blaze Kerrigan, Blaze Kerrigan had created him. He was killing now for the both of them and neither would get any rest for a long time. It was time to start the game.

He turned his attention to the young woman before him screaming into the phone glued to her ear. He liked that. Her sweet, melodic voice sang to him.

He ducked into a doorway when she turned her head. Her face held the rugged look of a woman who loved the outdoors. A few wrinkles cut across her brow, a long scratch that split her left cheek in half, and a square jaw made her look slightly masculine, but her voice drew him in. It wasn’t as soft or as sweet as his dear Melanie, but he loved it just the same. It was time to move on, on to the next perfect little angel, this waitress that had waited on and flirted with his Blaze creation.

The girl worked out at a karate studio in downtown Manhattan. He had seen her there just moments ago, her long legs flying at imaginary assailants, her nimble hands moving fast against the heavy bags. Very fit and dangerous, that would be something new to him. It was too bad for her, he thought, that the karate school didn’t teach her one thing – how to avoid distraction.

He jumped on her trail right after class; she hadn’t even noticed. A moment after leaving the school, her cell phone attached itself to her ear, and her mind became preoccupied with yelling at whoever was stuck on the other end. Not very wise on her part, he thought. It would be easy to sneak up behind her and blitz her. He didn’t like easy, so he waited, and watched as she let herself into an apartment complex. Apartments meant other people around. Other people meant nosy neighbors. He didn’t like that complication.

A light turned on. Third floor. Her apartment is on the third floor. He glanced up at the sky; it would be dark soon. If he waited a bit longer, stealing into her apartment would be a breeze. He hoped she would be in the shower, or perhaps sleeping by then. The thought of subduing her made his limbs go weak. The game got better with every angel he hunted. He licked his lips and waited for the cover of darkness so he could fade into the shadows.

Those shadows were his friends, his only friends now. They never lied to him or tried to hurt him. He loved the cover they provided. Once inside them, he could become anyone or anything. No one ever beat the shadows. They were his dark side and they now beckoned to him.

He smiled, reaching inside his jacket to take out the small camouflaged knife he carried. He headed for the apartment building door.

Buy When Angels Sing at amazon.com

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Looking for a Fiction Editor

Here's the deal:
I write horror, fantasy, thrillers, science fiction, and erotic horror. 

I have been working with several editors for a few years now; unfortunately, we keep hitting snags and I have to continue finding new editors. What I really need is someone who can work with me for awhile and not fade away or suddenly want more money. 

My past editors work as follows: I pay $25 up front. They will then read over the initial manuscript, perform line edits and check for grammatical errors, passive voice, the overuse of pronouns, etc. They will also check for inconsistencies in my plot, story lines that don't make sense, characters that don't fit, story structure, and areas that I need to work on, etc. In essence, they do it all, then send me back chapter by chapter with their notes and comments. Once I receive this initial draft back in full, I pay $25. 

I usually wait until I have the complete manuscript back before I start on a rewrite. Rewrites can take awhile, but once I'm finished, I'll send the revision back to my editor for his final comments (at no additional cost). 

He also will look over and comment on my query letters and synopsis; although, some of my manuscripts are to be self-published so this won't apply to those. After the second read-through and final notes, I send the rest of the payment ($25). 

If you are interested in this position, please apply at:

Fiction Editor Application

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Howling Kitties Galore!

There is a new phenomena for pet lovers out there. They are called Lykoi cats, or specifically Werewolf Cats. Say what?

These wonderful animals are a natural mutation from a domestic short-haired cat that has the appearance of a Hollywood werewolf. They are partially or almost hairless and genetically distinctive from the Sphynx. They are said to be friendly, unchallenging, and affectionate.

Becoming popular in 2010, these kittens are very scarce. At the time, an estimated 54 were readily available. There is a waiting list and they come with a high price, ranging between $1,500 and $2,500.

These hunter-minded house cats display some similarities to dogs -- they are able to wag their tails, play fetch, and have a keen sense of smell.

Friday, January 19, 2018

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Six Feet Under...

Have you had your heart broken one too many times? Are you tired of all the lovebirds out there while you sit at home alone again? Does the commercialization of holidays tick you off? Or would you just like to send your special girl or guy something unique this year? Then why not star in your own Valentine's horror story? I am an author of several books and short stories. I can craft an award-winning short story for you or your loved one, centered around Valentine's Day. Unrequited loves, eternal love, lovers that come back from beyond the grave, heart broken revenge stories, you name it. Contact me with your story idea and payment offer. Stories will be sent to you via email with 72 hours of payment (made only by PayPal.)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Calls from the Dead

Throughout history, humans have always been concerned with contacting spirits from beyond the grave. In the past, it used to take a psychic medium to be able to connect with the other side. Seances, ouija boards, and other forms of communicating were used. But in this day of technology, savvy new methods are being recognized for ghostly beings to reach out and touch someone, so to speak.

I had my own brush of a ghostly phone call  years ago. I used to deliver newspapers. One day, I came home from work and my answering machine was beeping (Yes, I had a land line phone with machine, remember those? lol). My ringer was always set to OFF though so as to not disturb the other occupants of the house when I was out. Not today! I was told that while I was out, my phone kept ringing. I thought that was impossible but anyway, there was a message. I hit PLAY and at first, all I heard was static. I listened several times and then I swear I heard a faint voice, saying, "Save her."

I thought nothing more of it so I checked my ringer status and made sure it was OFF. It was then that I noticed the phone itself had come unplugged. How on earth did someone manage to call in the first place if the phone hadn't even been plugged in?

It was winter. A few days later, I went to work, delivering my early morning newspaper. I pulled up to one of my customer's houses and my customer was outside, lying on her porch, in the freezing temperatures. She had come out for a smoke and slipped, not being able to get up. Apparently, she had lain there for almost 45 minutes crying for help and no one heard her. I helped her into her house and called 9-1-1. All I could think about was that faint message, "Save her." Could it really have been someone from the other side reaching out to me?

Probably one of the most famous phone calls from beyond comes from the great author Dean Koontz. One day he received a call from a woman who sounded far away. All she said was, "Please be careful." He swore it had sounded like his mother, who had passed away many years prior.

So he goes to visit his father, who was in a mental health facility. When  he walked in, his father attacked him with a knife, but Koontz stepped aside, avoided being stabbed, and was able to take the knife away. As he stepped out of the room, police surrounded him, demanding he drop the knife or he would be shot. He did as told. Later on, Koontz would ponder whether or not the strange phone call had indeed been a warning from his deceased mother.

A widely circulated story occurred on September 12, 2008. On this day, a Metrolink commuter train was involved in a fatal crash with a freight train. Twenty five lives were lost, one of them being a 49-year-old man named Charles E. Peck. In the hours after the tragic crash, 35 phone calls were placed from his cell phone to members of his family. All of them reported that when they picked up, all they heard was static, but when they attempted to return the call, they were sent directly to voice mail.

Crash responders used the signals from his cell phone to finally located his body. It was determined that he had died on impact. Shortly before his body was recovered, the calls just stopped. It is unclear if the cell phone was ever actually found though.

But even though phone calls from the dead can be scary, check out this story of an email from beyond.

In 2011, Jack Froese passed away of a heart arrythmia. Five months later, Tim Hart, a friend of his received an email from Jack's account, supposedly from the deceased. The subject line said, "I'm Watching" The body of the email was as scary as hell. It simply said, "Did you hear me? I'm at your house. Clean your f**king attic!!!" Strange thing was, just before Froese passed away, Hart claimed they had been up in his attic discussing what to do with all the space up there.

Creepy stuff, huh?

Want to share your messages from beyond? Post in the comments.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Horde

One of my favorite shows on TV happens to be The Walking Dead. It's a great show focusing on the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Yes, they slice and dice through plenty of walking dead every week but they also deal with births, deaths, romances, food shortages, looters, and some very bad people who want to take it all. One of their mottoes is "Fight the dead. Fear the living."

Team Rick!

What would you do in the event a zombie epidemic broke out? What if a loved one turned right in front of you? 

Would you rather:
Be a lone survivor or seek out safety in a group?

Put the love of your life down after they turned or lock him/her up in case a cure is found?

Kill zombies from afar with a crossbow or get up close and personal with a sword/axe?

Shack up in a boarded up apartment on the fifth floor or stay in an abandoned prison behind closed gates?

Be part of a group where everyone is treated equally with respect and given a chance or belong to a group of saviors who promise to feed you, give you shelter, and keep you safe as long as you do your part and failure is a sign of weakness that could result in your untimely death?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Devil walks among us!

A little flower bloomed in the desert, living among the cacti and dry heat. It brought life and color to its surroundings. Then one day the devil was passing by. He saw this flower and picked it up. It trembled in his big palm. He saw all that was good. It even gave the devil a smidgen of hope for a pleasant future. Its tiny petals brushed up against his fingers, giving him a warm feeling inside. This frail flower, which had been strong enough to withstand anything and brought life to the arid desert, was alive and growing strong. He smiled, kissed a petal, thanked it for giving him purpose...and then he crushed it in his big palm. The world died that day!

Convention Listing

2018 Conventions throughout the United State:

  • Stokercon 2018  -- March 1 - March 4, 2018 (Providence, RI). Horror's premier event.
  • Horror Hound Weekend -- March 23 - 25, 2018 (Cincinnati, OH). A series of mid-west horror Conventions. 
  • Spooky Empire -- April 6 - 8, 2018 (Orlando, FL). One of the most popular horror conventions in the nation. 
  • Motor City Nightmares -- April 27 - 29, 2018 (Novi, MI). Michigan's premier horror convention. 
  • Penguicon 2018 -- May 4 - 6, 2018 (Southfield, MI). A non-profit, community-run convention for open source software and hardware, science fiction, gaming, DIY, and more!
  • Crypticon Seattle -- May 4 - 6, 2018 (Seattle, WA). Seattle's best convention of the macabre.
  • 13th Annual Texas Frightmare Weekend -- May 4 - 6, 2018 (DFW Airport, Texas). The southwest's premier horror convention.  

  • Readercon 29 -- July 12 - 15, 2018 (Quincy, MA). The conference on imaginative literature. 
  • Flashback Weekend: Chicago Horror Con -- August 3 - 5, 2018 (Chicago, IL). Chicago's largest and longest-running horror convention.
  • 16th Annual Kerrytown Bookfest -- September 9, 2018 (Ann Arbor, MI), 10:30 am - 5:00 pm. This celebration of books (readers and writers) is held each September and showcases local individual, business, and organizational talents.
  • 11th Annual Scarefest -- September 14 - 16, 2018 (Lexington, KY). 
  • World Fantasy Convention 2018 -- November 1 - 4, 2018 (Baltimore, MD). An annual gathering of professionals, collectors, and others interested in dark fantasy art and literature.

Heroes Wanted

So You Want to be a Hero?
By M.A. Donovan

Heroes aren’t born, they are made. Society, relationships, and the way we live dictate whether or not we can become a hero to someone. In ancient times, you didn’t have to be completely honorable, loyal, or an upright citizen to become legendary. You just had to do something remarkable that people would talk about (and maybe write an epic) for years to come. For instance, Achilles, the Greeks’ greatest hero, tried to get out of fighting for his country and when that didn’t work, he sulked in his tent while his comrades were killed. But yet to die old and unsung would never do, so he stepped up and was remembered.

Today, heroes are defined by their values. Just doing something heroic isn’t enough; one must also live honorably, be healthy and strong within, learn humility, and have some redeeming qualities that someone will look up to.  

Heroes can be almost anything – the shy kid living next door, the 89-year-old veteran in a wheelchair, or your accountant. Animals have been known to carry out great feats in stories as well as real life news events. When writing a hero into a tale, they can wear many hats and have varying dispositions, but they all have one thing in common: the need to aid someone who is in trouble. They needn’t be superheroes with special powers or physically strong; anyone can be a hero and sometimes, you’ll find them hiding in the last place you would look.  Do you have it in you to be a hero to someone?

In The Golden Horn, my wayward hero, Galen, is a combination of the ancient legends and the modern day hero. He is humble and refuses to title himself, but yet, his heart breaks at the thought of all the struggles the common villager has to suffer. Galen is no stranger to pain, coming from a broken home filled with evil, but he finds a way to survive and decides to do something important with his life. With his sword and companion mage, Olstek, they travel the land, doing good whenever possible. He becomes the Hero of Shandor, even though he feels he’s not worthy to be called that.

The Golden Horn is available at amazon.com or createspace.com. Want to win a free signed copy along with a special gift from me? Enter my “Letter to a Hero” contest. Simply craft a genius letter to your special hero (can be a fictional character or a real person) and send to me at kariah@donovanfantasyauthor.com with “Letter to a Hero” in the subject. I’ll select a winner at the end of my virtual book tour, on or around March 1, 2013. Please make sure to include your name, mailing address, and email in your letter.

Visit M.A. Donovan online at http://www.donovanfantasyauthor.com or check out her blog at http://www.freethewriterinside.com.


Charles Manson, Cult Leader, Murderer, Musician...Did Hell Claim Him?

On November 17, 2017, Charles Manson passed away. Did the devil finally lay claim to this possessed soul? Interestingly enough, there is a battle going on for his estate and his remains. He's worth a lot. Check this out....

Three Camps Battling for Manson Estate