My #Horror Short, Lars’s Muse, Is On the Web Today. Thanks Wicked Shorts Blog!

Hola. Do you like horror?

Do you like creepy? Do you like handsome lead singers of popular boy bands?

If you do, then head on over to the talented author’s Avrin Kelly’s blog, Wicked Shorts, and check out my short story: Lars’s Muse.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

P.S. It’d be cool to hear what you think if you read it 🙂

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Dear Santa by Yawatta Hosby

***If you’re easily offended, stop reading now***

Dear Santa

by Yawatta Hosby

Copyright 2017

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Can you please make my baby sister disappear? I want all the Christmas gifts.

Thank you,

Douglas

Two weeks later on Christmas Eve, Douglas jolted awake by blood curdling screams. His seven month old sister had been mauled by their family’s pitbull. Douglas was the only one to open his gifts on Christmas morning at his grandparent’s house. He didn’t even want his toys and electronics anymore.

Dear Santa,

Can I have my daddy back? I miss him so much.

Thank you,

Tonya

Tonya didn’t know why she found her mommy crying in her neighbor’s arms two weeks later. Her curiosity taking over, she stood in the hallway and overheard her mommy on the phone in the kitchen. Tonya’s daddy had just died in Iraq, and her mommy was making arrangements to ship him back home. Tonya didn’t want to see her daddy in a casket as worm food. Not now. Not ever. Her body shuddered.

Dear Santa,

I want a bike, one that rides very fast. And can it please have a basket on the handlebars?

Thank you,

Kim

Two weeks later, Kim was delighted to get her navy blue mountain bike with the small basket on the handlebars. It was the perfect size to hold her lunchbox, so she could bring snacks with her when she played with her best friend Molly. Molly lived three blocks over. Kim’s delight didn’t last long though. By afternoon in sunny California, her brakes stopped working as she rode through the edge of the park. Kim went full speed into traffic, and a van smashed into her. Lying on the road with broken bones, she didn’t even want her bike anymore. She closed her eyes and took her last breath.

Be careful what you wish for…you never know if an evil troll will put a bad spell on all of the letters written to Santa in the West Gate Mall.

THE END

***If you liked this horror Christmas short, consider signing up for my newsletter. My subscribers got a bonus Christmas story. Happy Holidays!

Excerpt of Six Plus One

Two special things motivated me to share an excerpt of my horror thriller Six Plus One.

First, I’m having a book signing on October 7th. The Hedgesville public library wants to celebrate local authors. This will be my third book signing, and I really need to get my butt in gear to get another book published!

Second, my mom’s co-worker, Mark, loved One By One. He bought a paperback copy from Amazon. After he read the book, I autographed it for him. Hearing about his excitement makes me want to publish the sequel Six Plus One!

Here’s an excerpt of Six Plus One (still a work-in-progress draft until an editor finishes looking over it):

Alta bit her nails, lost in thought as she watched the mountains along WV 28 through the passenger seat window. Raggedy looking trailers surrounded by broken down vehicles turned into a blur while the love of her life, Kendrick, drove at ridiculously fast speeds.

The radio blasted a Big Sean song through the speakers. Kendrick, wearing black rimmed glasses, tapped his fingers on the steering wheel in sync with the hip hop beat. Johanna was squished in the backseat by video equipment lying about. Her body pressed against the door, and the sound mic poked at her thigh. She was skinny like a stick, yet had curves in the right places. Best of both worlds.

Alta smiled a little when she glanced back at Johanna. “Regret it yet that you didn’t ride in the other Jeep?”

Johanna giggled. “Never.”

“I’m sure Declan was pissed.”

“Nah, he understands. We needed to plan our segment and go over our production schedule for the weekend.”

“Something we didn’t even do.”

“Something he never needs to find out.”

Alta leaned over the dashboard and glanced at the speedometer. “Babe, shouldn’t you slow down?”

“Really?” With a glint of mischief in Kendrick’s brown eyes, he smirked. “It’s only us on the road. I haven’t seen anyone for the past two hours.”

“So? Last time I checked animals are outside. Wanna run over a squirrel or hit a deer?” Alta rolled down her window to let some chilly August air in the stuffy space. Their rented Cherokee held a smell, the kind where bleach invaded your nostrils like someone cleaned blood from a crime scene.

Kendrick pressed the brake to slow down.

Johanna chuckled. “There’s the Alta I love. Where have you been, girl? You’ve seemed distracted since we left your house. Get in a fight with your dad?”

He’d have to pay attention to me first. “No. Just thinking.”

“About what?” Kendrick asked, squeezing Alta’s knee for a moment.

Alta’s cell phone rang. She picked it up on the second ring. “Hey, dad, what’s up?”

“Wanted to make sure everything’s okay. Kendrick’s following the speed limit? You guys aren’t bringing attention to yourselves, right?”

“We’re going to isolated woods to contact aliens. What could go wrong?”

***In a perfect world, Six Plus One would be released on Halloween, October 31st. Keeping my fingers crossed…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Sharing an Excerpt of My Crazy Ballerina WIP

It’s post #7 for Women’s Horror Month. Man, time goes fast! Sticking to my promise of showing more vulnerability as a writer, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my Crazy Ballerina suspense work-in-progress.

If you’ve read any of my books, you know a running theme I love writing about is obsession. My pre-teen Loren character is no exception. After her brother Franco dies, she terrorizes her younger sister Kina. The Carey family will never be the same…

Here’s my excerpt:

In the wee hours of the morning, my feet slid across the carpet in the hallway. I ignored the family portraits hung up on the wall. I walked past Mom and Dad’s master bedroom. There was no point going in because no one was there. They were both sitting on my bedroom floor, probably asleep by now. All night they had taken turns watching over me to make sure I didn’t fall asleep. I made it to the bathroom and turned on the light, then I left a small crack in the door. I did that in case Mom or Dad peeked their head into the hallway. My cover story of having to use the bathroom would sound more real if they saw the light on.

I crept to Angela’s closed bedroom door and opened it. Her Winnie the Pooh alarm clock was the only light in her room. She was snoring lightly. I took a deep breath and placed my hand over my heart. My beautiful little sister. I’d have to keep telling her stories of Franco, so she wouldn’t forget him. I slowly shut her door because I didn’t want to disrupt her peaceful sleep.

I made my way to Kina’s closed bedroom door and balled my hands into a fist. If I was a cartoon character, gray smoke would be coming out of my ears. If Kina had a heart, she would be crying to herself in bed. Or she would be praying near the window.  When I turned the knob, I wasn’t surprised the little brat was sound asleep. Her lamp on her nightstand was still on. Her iPad lay near her pillow.

I folded my arms across my chest, then I stomped to her bed. I wasn’t afraid of Kina, and it was time to prove that to her. If anything, she should be afraid of me. You see, Kina was sneaky. Never in a million years would I have thought she could be so ugly inside. She had that naïve personality that showed innocence. She was probably laughing at how things worked out with Franco. She was probably plotting what to do next. The thing with sneaky people was that they worked on schedules, and sometimes they manipulated other people to do the dirty work for them.

 If there was a war between us, I’d win, no doubt. I wasn’t sneaky. I didn’t plan first. I acted on impulse. And when I think she’s not worth breathing anymore, then I’ll end her life and not even give it a second thought. She could end up like worm food, what she resorted my brother, my best friend to become.

I leaned down. Her breathing tickled my nose hairs. If I didn’t know any better, Kina was smirking. She definitely looked evil.  I whispered, “Kina.” My voice sounded like acid. I wanted to scare the bejeezus out of her.

She yawned and stretched, then slowly opened her eyes. “Loren, I’m happy you’re home. I love you.” Her voice sounded hoarse.

“I hate you.”

Sadness and hurt reached her eyes. What an actress.“Why?” She frowned.

“You know why.”

“No, I don’t. Please tell me.” She hugged her teddy bear, probably trying to squeeze it to death with the black buttons popping off and the cotton oozing from the insides. Franco had given her that Build-A-Bear a few years ago. How dare she hold on to it. It was probably her trophy. Watching Law and Order: SVU I knew  killers liked their trophies to always remember their murders.

I snatched the bear out of the little brat’s hands and threw it on the floor. Kina leaped up. Her mouth was open and her eyes were wide. I leaned even closer to her. “You killed Franco, you little bitch.”

Kina looked like she was gutted. She began crying.

What a joke? She couldn’t fool me any longer.

I pushed her down, so she would lay down again. “If you tell Mom or Dad about our conversation, I’ll hurt you.”

I left her bedroom and let her “cry” alone.

******

What do you think?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…Wait I’m Too Scared To Say It Five Times!!!

It’s day three of Women’s Horror Month. When I think of horror, ghosts come to mind. The most popular ghost I know is Bloody Mary. Watching too many scary movies, I believe the urban legend is real. You’ll never see me looking into a mirror and chanting her name five times. No siree.

However, I can definitely write about Bloody Mary. I am a horror writer after all haha. For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on an urban legends novella, on and off. A serial killer terrorizes students on campus using urban legends for motivation.

If you follow my blog, then you know I hardly ever share any work in progress excerpts. Hopefully, by the end of this month, I’ll learn to be more intimate with my blog readers. I hope to show more vulnerability as a writer. So…today I’ll share a scene from my Urban Legends (working title) story.

Here goes:

Surrounded by lit candles, the group of six sat cross-legged in a circle. The floor was dusty, and the lights were off in the abandoned building. The group—three girls and three guys—had brought a full-size mirror with them. They had it leaned up against the wall.

They were in the next town over from Independence University. A group of high schoolers who wanted to seem cool by doing the tradition of trying to contact Bloody Mary on a full moon night.

Unbeknownst to them, someone was already waiting on them in a dark hallway near the room they were in. Dark shadows hid him well. Even if they were to walk past him, they probably wouldn’t notice him. He wore a long wavy wig and a baggy dress with combat boots. He had to look the part of Bloody Mary, even though there was nothing he could do about his male frame.

 His partner, knife in hand, stood in the other hallway. No matter what—these six were trapped, a fatal trap.

He trusted his partner, no questions asked. That person wanted him to become a famous author and would do anything to support him. There was nothing holding him back.

A simple Google search had helped him plan for tonight. The group had blogged about trying to summon Bloody Mary as part of their high school senior hazing. They thought they were daredevils. Yeah right. If they were true daredevils, then they wouldn’t be stalling all night.

His right thigh was starting to cramp. He’d been standing still for an hour straight. He could only imagine what his partner was going through. Probably had to pee due to a small bladder.

Since the building was abandoned, the floor was weak. Any movement would cause a loud creak. If the teeny boppers heard it, then they’d be on high alert. Adrenaline could help them fight back.

And, he couldn’t have that.

He was a fighter, but being realistic, he probably couldn’t take six people all at once.

“I’m definitely getting laid after this. A straight up orgy,” a goofball said.

Sweeny Todd heard a loud slap.

“Ouch. What was that for?” Goofball asked.

“Stop acting stupid,” a snobby girl said. Her and Savannah could probably be friends, if Savannah was still alive.

“Let’s start the summoning,” a natural leader commanded. If any one was getting laid, it’d more than likely be him.

A few minutes passed, and the group still chanted some nonsense. Still stalling, he chuckled to himself.

Then it came. Music to his ears. “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.”

Silence.

Sweeny Todd could imagine them huddled around the mirror, anticipating what would happen next. All wide-eyed like the scaredy cats they should be.

Counting to three, he snuck up on them, tip-toeing, so he wouldn’t get caught. All their backs were facing him. This would be easier than he thought.

He stood directly behind a jock, who wore a letter jacket. Probably a dumb football player who bullied his classmates who he deemed lesser than him. The douche bag should die on principle.

Sweeny Todd raised his butcher knife, then struck it through the back of Jock’s head. As the metal sliced through his bony skull, there was a loud crunch sound. He yanked the knife out. Jock slid down to the floor in slow motion like a horror director timed that scene perfectly.

“Looking for me?” Sweeny Todd imitated a young woman’s voice, all high and shrill. He might as well go all out.

A guy and girl glanced back and screamed. Loud noises would ruin his plans. He had to nip that in the bud quickly. He sliced the guy’s throat and watched him fall to the ground.

More screaming, but he was starting to enjoy the challenge. Besides, the abandoned building wasn’t near anything. It was isolated on a deserted farm. No one could hear the screams anyway.

He looked at the girl, who pleaded for her life. Like cowards, the other three ran towards the hallway where his partner was patiently waiting. He heard their screams, plus the thuds as their bodies hit the floor. He heard his partner still slicing and dicing. Sweeny Todd was proud—Bloody Mary was known for torturing her victims after all.

“Please don’t kill me.” He recognized the voice—the snobby bitch.

“But I’m Bloody Mary. What else am I supposed to do?”

“Please let me go. I won’t tell anyone.”

“All your friends are dead, of course, there’ll be an investigation whether you talk or not. At least if you don’t talk, there’s no chance for the cops to figure out it was me. No witnesses.”

The floor creaked as his partner strolled up to them. His partner grabbed the snob from behind.

“Surprise. Your summon was so on point that you brought out two Bloody Marys. You should be proud.”

A tear slid down the snobby bitch’s cheek. “Please…”

“Please. Pretty please with sugar on top. Please torture me, so I can be a legend, one of Bloody Mary’s victims.” He tilted his head. “Why yes, I can arrange that.”

He grinned as he struck the giant knife into her stomach. He stabbed and stabbed. His partner did the final blow of slicing her neck, then pushed the bloody dead body onto the floor.

Snob laid beside Jock like a twisted Romeo and Juliet story.

He high-fived his partner. They scanned the room and admired their work. His partner stood in silence as Sweeny Todd sat on the floor away from the bloody puddle. He opened up Google Docs, his cell phone illuminating the room. He typed furiously away, afraid he couldn’t remember every detail of this perfect night:

The horror in their eyes. The fear in snobby bitch’s voice. Some couldn’t even process what happened, dead before they saw the knife coming towards them. I killed three, and my partner killed three. I’ll have to get details from my partner, but I heard everything. The knife slicing through skin. The warm bodies that will turn cold before morning, falling to the floor.

He added more sensory details in his notes. This story would be awesome. A best seller. Readers would feel every murder. They’d feel like they were experiencing the pain with his characters.

He looked up at his partner to signal that he was finished.

His partner smiled a warm smile. “You’re crazy. You know that? You look so funny in your costume.”

“You’re crazy too,” he said, not annoyed. He was amused that his partner could tease at a time like this. His partner was probably more demented than him.   

Just the way he liked it.

They didn’t bother to clean up their mess. The only thing they did was wipe off both butcher knives, then they laid the knives beside the victims. They wanted the cops to find the crime scene. They wanted the cops to find the murder weapons. They wanted the town to panic.

That was the only way to create history.

They walked out of the abandoned building towards some bushes and weeds. They changed into normal clothes, then stuffed crimson soaked Bloody Mary outfits into their book bags. No one would think to search them as they walked back to Independence University.

*****

What did you think?

This is only a second draft. I still have a lot of work ahead of me for revisions. I’ve been editing three novellas at once–Six Plus One, my urban legends, and my crazy ballerina one. Surprisingly,  I haven’t gotten editing block 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #31

I’m back! The Weekend Writing Warriors is an awesome site that allows writers to share their 8 to 10 sentence excerpts, published or unpublished, to the blogosphere. If you’d like to join or would like to read wonderful talent, please visit the WeWriWa website on Sunday, 1/8: http://wewriwa.com.

This week I’ll be sharing my WIP of my sequel Six Plus One. Alta and her friends leave Voy on a road trip to Green Bank, West Virginia. They plan to film footage for their popular alien-centric web series. What should be a get-in and get-out situation turns into a deadly nightmare.

Here’s my excerpt:

“We didn’t forget the wireless mics, right?” Alta’s cell phone rang. She picked it up on the second ring. “Hey, dad, what’s up?”

“Wanted to make sure everything’s okay. Kendrick’s following the speed limit, correct? You guys aren’t bringing attention to yourselves, right?”

“We’re going to isolated woods to contact aliens. What could go wrong?”

“I’m serious, Alta…”

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Three Babes in the Woods by Yawatta Hosby

Three Babes in the Woods

by Yawatta Hosby

Copyright 2016

Three Babes in the Woods

If I shut my eyes, maybe Mommy will forget about me. I only need her to forget about me for about ten seconds. Well, I’m not very good with math, maybe it’s an hour. I squeeze my eyes tighter and tighter. And, I hug my red fuzzy Elmo tighter and tighter.

Elmo. Yikes! I throw him away from me in the back seat. He hits the side of the door with a thud. Oh no, the thud may get Mommy’s attention. I can’t open my eyes, so I can’t tell if she sees me or not.

“Honey, what are you doing?”

“You can see me?”

“Of course, honey, are you playing a game?”

I wish it was a game, but I’m scared to dea—Wait I don’t want to say death. Oh no, I said it by mistake. I don’t want to die. Maybe if I don’t answer Mommy she’ll forget about me.

“Honey?”

I open a eyeball. Mommy’s looking at me through the rearview mirror. I can’t hide anymore. I may die.

“…I throwed Elmo.”

“Why? He’s your favorite toy.”

“He’s scary.”

Mommy laughs. She stops when she sees I’m not laughing too. “Why is he scary?”

I hide under my coat by pulling it up over my head. Then I point out the window, afraid to see the scary sign. We go on this road every day to get home, and I didn’t know it was scary until yesterday. Bennie, my older cousin, warned me about Elmo leaving his three daughters in the woods to die. That the scary blue and yellow–I mean gold, is it gold or is it yellow? I haven’t learned all my colors yet in school–sign near the road is proof that it happened. Bennie says if I become a burden on Mommy and Daddy, then they may leave me in the woods to die too.

“What are you pointing at? The woods? You love the woods, sweetheart. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Did we passed the sign?”

“The sign? You know what the sign means?”

I stop hiding under my coat. Mommy needs to see me shake my head yes.

“Oh, Samantha, you’re too young to understand. How in the world did you hear about what that sign means?”

“I know-I know that Elmo killed his three daughters because they were a burden. Mommy, how does Elmo have daughters? Did he get married?” I reach out for Elmo. The seat belt cuts into my chest, but I manage to get him. Mommy needs to see who I’m talking about. No more lies, Mommy.

“You don’t have to be afraid of Elmo. He’s just a toy.” Mommy frowns. Oh no, is she lying?  “I wish I could’ve explained things when you’re older, but let me try to now. I don’t want you afraid. Nothing bad will happen to you, honey.”

“But-but something bad happened to those girls. They died in the woods. Can I die in the woods too?”

“I’ll do everything in my power to protect you. Me and your daddy.”

“If Elmo’s just a toy, then who killed those girls?”

“Elmo Noakes was a man from California. He took a road trip with his three daughters and girlfriend. They ended up here in Pennsylvania.”

“Why did he kill them, Mommy?”

“In 1934, I want to say it was the Great Depression, but I’m not sure. I was never good in History class. I think… Mr. Noakes was a desperate man. He couldn’t afford to support his family…it was a tragedy, but you have to know me and your daddy love you very much. You never have to worry about us abandoning you.”

“Even if I’m a burden?”

“You’ll never be a burden to us, honey. Never.”

Did Elmo ever tell his daughters that? What if Mommy changes her mind? Bennie said it could happen at anytime. I never want to go camping again. I never want to drive on this road again. I never want any fur coats either.

And, I hate the color green. Green used to be my favorite color, but not anymore. Those three girls were found by a green blanket. Why couldn’t it have been a blue blanket? The awful scary color blue. Scary blue and scary yellow or scary gold. I really need to learn my colors.

My best friend in pre-school is scared of frogs. My cousin is scared of dogs. My little sister is scared of the boogeyman. I’m scared of Mommy and Daddy, thanks to my cousin Bennie. I’m scared to die. What if I become a burden and they decide to leave me in the woods to die? What if Mommy is lying about Elmo? I look at my red fuzzy toy. Is he going to kill me? Is he going to leave me in the woods to die if I become a burden?

What does burden even mean? I’m scared to ask Mommy. She may lie. Shutting my eyes tight doesn’t help me disappear. I’ll have to come up with something else. Only when we take this scary road that passes that scary blue and yellow—or is it gold?—sign. The sign that says On This Spot Were Found Three Babes in the Woods. Nov.-24-1934. The only reason I remember is because last night my cousin Bennie made me say it out loud a billion times until it stuck in my head.

How can I disappear? And what does burden mean? I’ll ask Bennie the next time I see him.

THE END