Hello you maniacs. You freaks, you wasters and deviants. You creeps hiding in pretty flesh, secretly reading my twisted, scary stories in the dark and reveling in the romance of Gothic horror and the sheer delight of terror. I see you all dressed in black, hiding in your own basements, spinning old Bauhaus records and smoking clove cigarettes.
I will be your Queen if you will be my faithful acolytes. I don’t want your worship, I don’t want your souls, tawdry things that they are. Just take my hand in the darkness and let me show you what is hiding there under the stairs, down with the musty smell of cardboard boxes filled with memories past, left rotting and forgotten. Or perhaps dark secrets lie within the pages of that leatherbound book that is hidden under the floorboards — and is that blood on its pages? Or just spilled coffee?
Let us discover together….
I’m putting together a little collection of strange tales for you. I wanted to bind it in human flesh, but apparently that’s frowned upon in modern polite society, and so I have a dark friend of mine who goes by the name of Moonshadow creating a suitably disturbing cover for your deviant pleasure.
I’ve also enlisted the devilish talents of a special artist to illustrate and illuminate some of the stories, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing.
To whet your bloody appetites, I’m giving you a glimpse of the first delightfully dark drawing, that will accompany my poem “Under the Stairs”, reproduced here for your enjoyment.
Her Infernal Majesty,
Jessica B. Bell
Under the stairs at grandmother’s house
there’s a creature that lives, and it isn’t a mouse.
It’s got claws, funny eyes, and a million sharp teeth
that it uses to grab you and drag you beneath.
It will rip through your belly and tear out your spine
and declare in a chortling voice YOU ARE MINE!
And just when you think that you’re soon to be dead,
there’s a tickling just at the back of your head.
Your body convulses and twists and contorts
into something resembling a lizard of sorts.
Your fingers extend into twisted, gnarled claws
and a million sharp teeth push their way through your jaws.
As you writhe on the ground staring up in surprise,
(your vision distorted by all your new eyes)
you gaze at the face of the thing changing, too
and you scream as you see that it changed into you.
You watch, weak and helpless, as the new you ascends
up the stairs, out the door to go play with your friends.
As you lay in the dark with a strange hunger rising
a bloodlust that’s achingly sweet and surprising.
So you wait in the dark growing hungrier still,
aching and longing for someone to kill.
When the door at the top of the stairs opens wide
and your soon-to-be meal takes its first step inside.
You quietly hiss “No, don’t turn on the light!
There’s nothing to fear, come on down for a bite.”
But your grandmother isn’t quite what she appears.
in fact your old grandma’s been dead for some years.
And the thing creeping down wearing grandmother’s skin
has been waiting for years for new blood to come in.
To breed an entire new race of nightmares;
to put monsters beneath every grandmother’s stairs.
So you claw and you hiss and you put up a fight
but you’re simply no match for old grandmother’s might.
You even try saying you’re not in the mood
but both you and the world are now totally screwed.