Book Excerpt Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)

February 25, 2014 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

talkingwalls

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from horror short story anthology “Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)”.

Read an Excerpt

From “Porcelain” by Kelli Beck

 Shadows of flame danced on the walls from the lanterns. Crickets chirruped outside, a cool night breeze passed in through the opened window. Eleanor and Alexander stood in front of the fireplace. Eleanor took one of the dolls from the shelf, the dark haired doll with the red dress and lace trim. It had been Serenity’s favorite since before she could speak. She set it on the side of the table, the spot reserved for Eden. Serenity’s smile was questioning.

            “She’s going to eat with us tonight if you don’t mind.” Eleanor said, standing next to Alexander in front of the fire.

            Serenity laughed, taking her seat at the head of the table, an honor bestowed upon the girls at each birthday. “That’s fine, but where’s Eden?”

            Eleanor and Alexander looked at each other but neither seemed to have an answer. Eleanor shrugged, “She’s out playing. She’ll be back in a while.”

            Serenity tossed a thumb over her shoulder towards the door, “We were just outside. I didn’t see her.”

            Eleanor laughed, “Of course you didn’t! She went out to retrieve your present.”

            “By herself?”

            Eleanor was getting weary of the questions. She placed a hand on her hip and frowned, “I think she’s plenty capable of going to retrieve your present and getting back here just fine.”

            “She’s five.”

            “And? When you were five you were helping your father split firewood.”

            “I–”

            Eleanor put a hand in the air to silence her daughter. She gestured to the steaming bowl of soup in front of Serenity.

            “Aren’t you guys going to sit down?” Serenity asked.

            “Not until you take a bite. We want to make sure it’s perfect.” Eleanor said.

            Serenity took the spoon and scooped it into her mouth. Eleanor and Alexander watched as she chewed on the meat, swallowed and smiled up at them. There was something missing in that smile, Eleanor thought, then brushed it away. She didn’t need thoughts like that ruining a perfectly good dinner.

            “It’s delicious, thank you.” she said.

            Eleanor clapped her hands together, “Splendid!” she said. Alexander kissed Serenity’s forehead and took a seat next to her. Eleanor filled his bowl with soup and placed it in front of him. She poured herself a bowl and sat down to eat. Hunger getting the best of them, they neglected their spoons and put the bowls to their lips. They lapped at the soup, the broth dripping onto their shirts and down to the table. Never had Eleanor experienced such a delicious dinner. True, the meat was a little tough, but it was easy to overlook with the interesting undertones the flavor of the meat added to the whole dish.

About The Book

Talking Walls and Cigarettes coverTitle: Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)

Author: Erin Beck and Kelli Beck

Genre: Horror,  Short Story Anthology

Talking Walls and Cigarettes is a collection of seven dark short stories that deals with both real life monsters and those that dwell within us. A bartender still grieving the tragic death of her brother, shunning from her family, and the whispers in the street is visited by a man who appears out of thin air to offer her a way out of her own personal hell in The Salesman. A poor family is cursed by a mysterious old man in the woods and the children are at risk for falling victim to their parent’s unspeakable acts in Porcelain. The title story follows a man as he is tormented by demons in his own mind. In Homecoming, can a young woman find what she’s looking for years after her father’s abduction by other-worldly beings?

Author Bio

Erin Beck was born and raised on the mean streets of Chatsworth Illinois.  Every day was a struggle to survive, to overcome, to persevere.  At the age of twelve, she took up writing.  This passion for the written word saved her from such fates as teen pregnancy and tooth decay, that which have befallen many other great Chastworthians.  Erin is also the author of The Pursuit of Hair and co-author of Grabappleberry Punch: The Adventures of Mister Tennison Volumes One and Two.  Her influences include Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Christopher Moore.  Erin spends her leisure time tossing a ball around with her dogs and parasailing, and has on more than one occasion been caught napping in a box full of packing peanuts.  She is a drop-out of Hogwarts where she majored in English and minored in the contortion arts.  She has scaled the dark tower; she has trekked through middle earth; and she thinks cannibalism is a real hoot.  Erin now lives in the woods with her boyfriend and survives off of insects and pine needles.  She wrote portions of this short fiction collection on homemade paper and her own blood.

kelli bio picWhen she is not gold mining or globetrotting with her husband, Kelli spends her time writing, reading, and playing with her two dogs. Often described as “worldly” and “well-traveled,” Kelli is envied amongst co-workers and friends alike. She has a knack for reading minds and can often predict the future. Many people worldwide come to her for financial advice and money as she is the sole proprietor of the only money tree in existence. Her heroes include her father, Stephen King, and Albus Dumbledore. She has read the Harry Potter series many times over and is proud to share her birthday with The Chosen One. She has been described as a fearless leader, charismatic, even bulletproof.

Links

http://www.amazon.com/Talking-Walls-Cigarettes-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B00FPRZ4A4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391020263&sr=8-1&keywords=talking+walls+and+cigarettes

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/talking-walls-and-cigarettes-erin-beck/1117156441?ean=9781492265191

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/talking-walls-and-cigarettes

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