Mythical Drabbles: ‘Beneath the Mangoes’ by Natasha Sinclair

My drabble, Beneath the Mangoes, written for Insignia Stories upcoming Mythical Creatures of Asia anthology is featured on Insignia Stories site today! Original Post linked below.

Today’s Mythical Creatures of Asia drabble features the kapre, from Filipino mythology. Natasha Sinclair has three drabbles in this anthology, and is…

Mythical Drabbles: ‘Beneath the Mangoes’ by Natasha Sinclair

Marching

There’s been some writing and lots of editing on the go this month — one in which my home life has also hiked up the demands. Though that could be the cumulative effect of this year of, well, you know, it’s been mental for many of us! To say a balance has been tricky would be playing down how much of a riot things feel. The execution, thankfully not so much, but certainly my panster and parent brain are on the juggle, with at least one child jumping on top of it incessantly ringing the jester bells on the cap feels out of whack. Who am I kidding — it’s a shambles in there!

Moving on from that shambles ramble…

I was delighted to be enlisted by Kevin J Kennedy to edit his debut solo novella, Halloween Land. For which I also created some supporting promotional graphics and synopsis for the release.

Kennedy’s solo project has been a long time coming! Given how hard he works as an anthologist, engaging and gathering horror voices to present to eager horror fans – this solo piece is eagerly anticipated by fans of his writing.
The super cool cover art was created by François Vaillancourt, internal artwork by Mar Garcia and a closing poem written by James Matthew Byers.

He kindly asked me to write the foreword introducing the book, which I was taken aback by. To introduce such an important work in a writer’s career is a tremendous honour, I was delighted to oblige.

Halloween Land is out now and is available to download worldwide from Amazon, and the paperback will be available in the coming days. If you pick up a copy, please do leave a review! Kennedy loves engaging with readers and fans of the genre — you can reach out to him directly via Facebook, Goodreads or Instagram.

Writing — I have two short stories I’m working on with deadlines looming, which I can’t share much about yet. Both horror, one is extreme, which I am at the idea outline stage — this one will be sleazy and gore-filled. The other is further underway and is an adult-horror spin on a children’s classic. Though the inspiring story, I would debate whether it’s ‘children’s’ at all. Certainly, lots of coming of age issues addressed, particularly the challenges of girlhood and adolescence. The original story is heavy in bizarro / fantasy. If anything, there’s too much inspiration to play with for creating a new short piece. So I am keeping my distance and tipping my mad hat to this beloved literary classic only.

Being invite only opportunities, it’s imperative that they each fit their retrospective bills, which adds a little bit more pressure to the creative process. That time has been more of a challenge than I anticipated this month. It’s getting into the flow with it when batting different characters and plots around. All that being said, I shall get there with them; the engine is revving, I just need a clear stretch to slam down on.

Time being so restricted for longer pieces, I have ended up playing with another writer, David Owain Hughes, this month and co-writing some drabbles, as well as throwing a few solos down. March procrastinating at its finest! Productive down another road, at least. So there’s a bunch of these little bad boys being published with Black Ink Fiction this summer.

I’ve also shared a few free quick-fic pieces right here for those who fancy a gander! That’s it for now. The sirens are wailing, I better skedaddle!

The Flow

A Drabble

We fell in love; free-falling into some unknown abyss. Her eyes were like staring into the universe; secrets intrigued, inspired, ghosts whispered. I was entirely enthralled, spinning through the dazzling, cataclysmic void of her soullessness.

Shelley said she was different from the others. When she eventually came out of the metaphorical coffin, I was hardly surprised. She feasted on me for hours when I bled. Thinking it just a kink at first, I went along with the proverbial flow. There are worse things than being with a vegetarian vampire; Shelley loves eating out, I can only oblige, she needs me.

One Shake Too Many

A Drabble

Mothers of sons are queer — boundaryless.

I should’ve known when she barged in, unapologetically, when we were screwing. Kidding myself — it was just another funny little accident? She couldn’t have heard me moan…

It was never going to work while she was still ramming the teat into his wide, open mouth. 

The final straw came at Christmas. I walked into the bathroom to see her shaking it off — too pissed to piss on his own. Marking her territory with pride of her homemade produce; one shake too many.

She’ll do anything for her boy. Quite frankly, she can have him.

A drabble written a while ago. Reading it again made me want to revisit the cast of ‘Psychoville’ . If you know the characters, you know.

D&T Publishing – Interview

Interview for ‘Women in Horror’ month

Recently I was asked to interview with the wonderful D&T Publishing for Women in Horror (WIH) month – February 2021.
At first, I was, admittedly, taken aback because I live with a serious case of imposter syndrome — I mean ‘Women in Horror’, why would I be asked?! Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? Then it dawned on me, Hey, yeah, I am one of those – a woman who writes horror!
Needless to say, I agreed happily, in support of a wonderful publishing house run by wife and husband duo, Dawn and Timothy, who do so very much for the indie horror community. They even warmly accepted one of my little dark tales, ‘Neighbours’, into their dark fiction anthology ‘After the Kool-Aid is Gone’ last year.

With a massive line-up of planned publications this coming year, they are a publisher to put on your ‘to watch’ list for sure!
Check them out by visiting their website and socials:

Home | D&T Publishing


You can catch my little interview, along with other WIH chat featured on D&T’s Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DT-Publishing-105199147804217/

FREE HORROR

Newly released for the death of 2020 – The Sirens Call eZine is out now! Celebrating a world of horror and dark fiction from around the globe, Sirens Call Publications have put out issue 52 containing 130 pieces of Horror and Dark Fiction. All honouring the theme of death. I am chuffed to have one of my own stories Snake appear in this issue. Snake first appeared in Concoction: A mini Anthology of shorts which is still available in print and ebook from Amazon worldwide. To get your hands on The Sirens Call eZine – where you can read online or download your copy FREE – head to their site:

RELEASE: The Sirens Call eZine Winter 2020 Edition – Issue 52 | FREE Online #Horror and #DarkFic #eZine #magazine @Sirens_Call | The Sirens Song (wordpress.com)

Snake, first printed here: Concoction Anthologies (2 books) Kindle Edition (amazon.com)

No Good Grief

Gnashing and gnawing at my innards
Viscera shredded; trauma tombs embedded
Stitch in bells, weigh down the nauseating flapping
Jangle a euphonious jingle
Steady placement of chinked shield
Conceal agonies.

U-bend blocked
There my guilt brims
Shame for wishing away rapid cell division
Liquor and voluntary scalding
Natures way away
Life folding poured out
Out of Order; terror of disorder

For two, a freshly dug hole
The morning after
Mourning follows
Nipping at heals with the snow
A hollow in another garden
There, a piece of my heart lays
A depression for my first’s succession

She wants to see my torment on display
To harvest in morbid grief games
Pretend she’s just the same
Catfish loss-mother
Conspiring tiring
Yearning to reap from the suffering leaks of my soul
Observe my lamentations trapped in a fishbowl
To don a cape, be in control
Prodding my wounds, infecting

Imitation empath storing stories
Catalogued, indexed, held hostage
Latching of grief vampires
Sucking ephemeral life’s marrow
Chipping stones off my bones

An archaeologist scraping the shovel
No delicate brushing of bristles
Attention desperation
Desecrating my pain
Self-appointed steward on my cradles grave.

Cookie-Cutter Lane

Claustrophobic, locked in.
Mirrored headstones line the grey road. 

Buried alive, suburban death-row.
‘Did you hear about so and so?’

Blurred race of parallel lines standing still.
Masking — one fanes will.

Mimic gimmicks with lacklustre flare.
Another unforgiving snare.
Teeth scraping bone.
Smile while blood flows soaking frozen toes.

A trend-setting bush, a coat of paint.
‘Oh, look together we’re dammed saints.’
The season of outdoing the clone next door.
Marching down the line of uninspired duplication — snore.

Bored.
Trapped.
Locked down on cookie-cutter lane.

Painting beige with grey, painfully mundane.
Disgusted with one’s own disdain.
It really is insane.

© Natasha Sinclair

NaNoWriMo Kick-off

1st of November is here and it’s NaNoWriMo Time! The month of writing will be focussed on my project ‘Backyard Asylum.’ 50K word target over the 30 days, no editing allowed – just writing!

Good luck to everyone participating I hope very many goals are utterly smashed!

Hopefully I manage to also keep on top of progress updates over at the nano site: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/clanwitch

I like a playlist as I live and write — every project has its own, and as with the story and characters this too will evolve. Here is where it’s at for Backyard Asylum;

https://music.amazon.co.uk/user-playlists/b06186a4658f4cc4a3dcd2fca1b32e21engb?ref=dm_sh_wRH1l1MzhRwgb4UaiKBj3F6jR

Speed-Meat

Bumbling sedate-like, a year on, rotters are no different to the local junkies. Except, the rotter isn’t coming at you with its drooping face, skin pulling down at the darkened cavernous eye-sockets, hanging loose off the jawbone, slurring; “Any spare change pal?”

They’re still using that old line, except by change they mean anything that can be offered to dealers in exchange.

I prefer the real dead-walking — even they won’t touch a junkie for their fix. Shame, maybe that’d help us all; thin the heard. Though, I’m not prepared for the sight of the dead on something like speed-meat.

This drabble was first published by Reanimated Writers Press in their anthology 100 Word Bigger Zombie Bites.