HOT OFF THE PRESS: Trips to the Dark Side

23 Aug

Congratulations to Steve Foreman on his newest release from GSP, Trips to the Dark Side



Trips to the Dark Side comprises a collection of twenty-three weird tales.

Each story takes the reader on a trip to the dark side of the author’s mind . . . the side where weirdness lurks in the shadows, strange ideas leap out from hidden corners and morbid thoughts emerge from pools of blood. Here you will find stories of horror, the paranormal, the bizarre, the whimsical, the unknown and the unexplained.

These excursions into darkness include a sinister ride at a fairground; messages from the dead appearing on a Scrabble board; a glimpse into a cellar haunted by a strange entity; a clamber up into an attic where something deadly lives in the dark; a stroll into a back garden inhabited by a murderous imaginary friend; a meeting with a terrible supreme deity; and strange encounters with ghosts and werewolves and evil creatures lurking in the deep . . .



It was late on a cold autumn night when Dermot O’Malley and Kathleen O’Connell—both very drunk—left the pub at closing time and wandered off towards Thomond Bridge on their way to the small guesthouse they were staying at on Patrick Street.

Although they were strangers to Limerick city and just there on a visit, Dermot knew that if they crossed the River Shannon over Thomond Bridge, they would find their way back to the City Centre with no problem. Just before the bridge, however, Dermot veered off onto Clancy’s Strand. He turned round and holding both Kathleen’s hands at arm’s length staggered along backwards in front of her, pulling her along.

“Come on, let’s go into this bone-yard and fool around,” Dermot pleaded, as they weaved alongside the low stone wall of St. Munchin’s Church.

“The bone-yard . . . that’s an old fashioned word,” Kathleen said as she glanced over the low wall at the cemetery. “I never heard ye use that before.”

The place was dark and sombre, full of shadows and moulding Celtic crosses.

Dermot frowned. “Ye are right there, Kath, I don’t know where that popped up from, to be sure; but bone-yard, burying ground, graveyard . . . it’s all the same really.”

“What d’ye want to go in there for, then?” the girl asked petulantly, leaning on the wall for support.

“Jaysus! You know. We can have sex,” the lad pleaded. “There’s nowhere else we can go tonight and that strict old biddy at the guesthouse won’t let us share a room ’cos we’re not wed. C’mon, Kath, just for the thrill. Will ye not come for a roll in the hay with me?” He hiccupped loudly. “Or are ye scared?” The half-dozen or so pints of Guinness he had drunk had lent Dermot unprecedented courage.

“I am already scared, just being with ye!” the girl exclaimed, with a grin.

“Ha, ha. Very funny. C’mon, Kath. Let’s just walk through the gate and along the path that curves around the side of the church away up there.”

“If ye hadn’t noticed, it’s bloody freezing out, ye eejit!” the girl retorted.

“That lad I was speaking to at the pub told me there’s a shed way around the back where the caretaker keeps his tools and gardening equipment,” Dermot explained. “The caretaker never locks it, the lad said. Others have used it before, apparently.”

“So you had already planned this before we left the pub, you conniving sod?” Kathleen leaned back and stared at her boyfriend in surprise. Dermot gave an apologetic shrug.

“Ye want me to have sex with ye in a graveyard?” Kathleen continued. “Are ye mad? It’s sacrilege. People have gone to Hell for less!”

“We’re not going to do it in the church itself . . . just in a shed,” said Dermot.

“How romantic.” Kathleen grimaced. “What about if someone comes?”

“Look, we’re not going inside the church!”

“It’s still sacrilege,” Kathleen said, but warming to the idea. She was feeling pretty horny with all the gins she had drunk in the pub and after a final kiss and a cuddle from Dermot, she relented. “Okay, but hold my hand . . . and don’t let go. If anything happens to me I’ll tear yer face off.”

Dermot pushed open the creaking wooden gate and the two of them entered the churchyard and wobbled slowly up the path.

“Bejaysus, it’s a bit spooky,” Kathleen said, peering about. A tall stone angel stared down at them from between dripping juniper trees, and nearby an owl hooted eerily. A pale moon was starting to rise, giving a grey tinge to the gravel path they were following. She was already regretting agreeing to go along with Dermot.

“Funny really, graveyards are only spooky at night,” said Dermot.

“Nothing funny about it,” the girl responded. “I think I want to go back, Dermot.”

“It’ll be all right, Kath. Come on,” he insisted, gripping her hand more tightly.

About the author:

I am British, living in Entebbe, Uganda, with my wife and two kids, and currently work as a security consultant.

As a Freelance writer I have been published in several UK and African magazines, including BBC Wildlife magazine, Soldier magazine, Combat & Survival magazine, SCUBA magazine, Church of England Newspaper,African Travel Review magazine, Land Rover World magazine, Your Dogmagazine, Travel News and Lifestyle magazine (Kenya), What’s Happening in Dar (Tanzania), The Dar Guide (Tanzania), Daily Mailnewspaper (UK), and others. 

My true story, ‘The Nomads of Sabalon’ was included in the 2002 edition of Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul (USA), and my fiction story ‘The Revengeful Mistress’ was included in the 1999 anthology After Dark, a collection of horror fiction by Neil Miller Publishing (UK).

Two of my short paranormal stories were published in the June 2011 issue of Twisted Dreams magazine (USA)



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