A Literary Micro-Press

Wrapped Anthologies

Holiday Wrappings (Anthology)

*****5 STARS!! Read the entire review here: Holiday Wrappings (Anthology).

HolidayWrappings FINAL


HOLIDAY WRAPPINGS: A Selection of Witches, Ghosts, and Vampires

Sekhmet Press presents

HOLIDAY WRAPPINGS

A LIMITED EDITION (Kindle) Collection featuring thirteen stories from Wrapped in Red, Wrapped in White, and Wrapped in Black

by Allison M. Dickson, Patrick C. Greene, Gordon White, Rose Blackthorn, Bryan W. Alaspa, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Michael G. Williams, Cecilia Dockins, Solomon Archer, Nick Kimbro and Michael D. Matula.

PRE-ORDER TODAY

Available Black Friday through New Year’s Eve.

HolidayWrappings FINAL

PRAISE FOR THE WRAPPED SERIES

“More than horror, an array of emotions that leak off the pages into your mind and at times into your very soul.”

“Every single story was a page turner…Don’t miss out on this terrific book!”

“The Curse of Kirby” by Patrick Greene is darkly twisted in a way that left me vacillating between gales of laughter and horrified disgust.”

“Allison M. Dickson presents the reader with the complete picture… beautifully described settings of anguish, populated with characters that have a strange and unique story to tell.”

“Brilliant and artistically woven anthology.”


NEW RELEASE! WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

Sekhmet Press LLC

presents

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

CLICK HERE to join us for the Official Facebook Launch Party OCTOBER 18 at 1:00 EST

LIMITED TIME Amazon Matchbook Program

BUY THE PAPERBACK GET THE KINDLE VERSION FREE

Kindle eBook

Kindle eBook

Paperback on Amazon

Paperback on Amazon

Paperback

or

Kindle eBook


That least understood and most variable of supernatural personae, The Witch, remains a source of fascination and fear the world over. They walk among us, plying their skills, stealing our hearts -and perhaps other pieces of us- for purposes known only to them. In this boiling brew, you’ll taste not only eye of newt and wing of bat, but wrathful scorn, summoned spirits, and pierced veils that bleed wonders dark and delicious. Straddle the whisk and travel the worlds of Witchcraft, Voodoo and eleven worlds ‘twixt. But be careful not to fall…in love or into the abyss.


HAIR SHIRT DRAG by Gordon White
Despite their power, the women of the Overhold family have gone to great lengths to be accepted by the rest of the town. As the coming out party for a new generation draws closer, however, it seems that some people might never fit in.

COMES THE RAIN by Gregory L. Norris
In 1961, a family is trapped at a rural farm. As their powerful matriarch lingers close to death, storm clouds gather over the house, and a powerful evil force descends, seeking vengeance.

NUMBER ONE ANGEL by Allison M. Dickson
Louise would do anything for Phelan, the mysterious new man in her life, but one woman stands in the way: her insufferable mama. But with just one dark act, one nasty little favor for Phelan, Mama won’t be anyone’s problem anymore, and Louise will win her place as Phelan’s most special girl.

UNTO THE EARTH by Patrick C. Greene
Landon loves his beautiful Haitian wife, Agnes, even finding her devotion to voodoo charming, with its positive-minded rituals that seem more like play-acting than actual ceremony.

HÄXENHAUS by Nick Kimbro
In 17th century Germany a man and his wife have lost a son. The culprit: witchcraft. When a strange black dog follows them home from where the witches are being interrogated, however, it might be just the fresh start needed to help them cope with their grief.

STORIES I TELL TO GIRLS by Michael G. Williams
Auntie Ann is the revered elder of The Book People, a coven of witches drawing power from the written word. Begging for their help, a dashing and sorrowful figure from the distant past reminds them the wise and unshakable crone was once a maiden.

THE RISING SON by James Glass
Cal had been an easy-going man until the night the woman he loved showed up to his secret society’s party with Crowley. Fueled by jealous rage, Cal did the unthinkable, summoning much more than the demon he had intended.

BEAUTIFUL, BROKEN THINGS by Rose Blackthorn
Trey has made plenty of mistakes in his life, and now he’s paying for them. A random meeting with a strange woman who seems to know more about him than is possible will change everything, and give him the possibility of getting back the most precious thing he has lost—the one person who really meant anything to him.

NOT THIS TIME by Mike Lester
Blood is thicker than water, so the saying goes…and sometimes the bonds of blood even outlast the grave…

INTO THE LIGHT by Solomon Archer
Elliot, a lonely transplant in rural Kansas, finds friendship with a dangerous group enthralled by an ancient power thirsty for sacrifice. With his sanity and the lives of those he loves on the line, Elliot decides the only way out is to take on a force far greater than nature itself.

SHE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd
Jamie’s wife is beautiful, passionate, and exotic, but sometimes her jealousy gets the better of her. And when it does, she punishes him in ways he never thought possible.

PIGEON by Eric Nash
Maddie followed the path straight to the Goddess; she knew the Goddess took care of her own.

PIG ROAST by Aaron Gudmunson
To boorish, boring Chet, food is everything–especially when it’s slathered in mustard. When he meets a beautiful woman who claims to be a master mustard-maker, he thinks all his dreams have come true… but as everyone knows dreams can swiftly become nightmares.

BUY IT TODAY!


UNTO THE EARTH by Patrick C. Greene

excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlack NEW COVER


UNTO THE EARTH
By Patrick Greene

Landon Stower strolled with his dog Shucky along a clean white sidewalk, contented in the placidity of the neighborhood he’d called home since his release from the hospital two years before, sporting a battered baseball cap insigned with the logo of his favorite team, the Baton Rouge Buzzards.
Whistling as he went, Landon waved to his next door neighbor as he turned into his own fenced yard and closed the gate behind him, removing the leash from the panting black lab. He gave the dog a vigorous cheek rub. “Niiiice boy, Shuck.”
Entering his house, Landon was greeted with an exotic, redolent scent and the rhythms of a soft voice.
“Mm!” Landon sniffed the air. “Agnes!?”
When his wife did not answer, Landon set aside the leash and followed his senses to the kitchen. Dressed in hospital scrubs like the day she attended him after his accident (and stole his heart in the process) she was working over a steaming pot, humming “Row Your Boat” as she twisted and crushed dried herbs into the boiling concoction.
“Uh oh. Another voodoo spell?” he joked.
Mildly startled, Agnes laughed and turned to kiss him. “VO-dou,” she corrected in her rich French-Haitian argot. “And no, it’s dinner, my silly handsome boy.”
“Boy?” He drew her into his arms. “Mmm. You do keep me young, I think.” Agnes’ embrace was warm, comforting, enrapturing. Landon breathed of her neck and hair and the scrubs top, loving even its antiseptic hospital smell, as long as it was accented by her.
She finally pulled away and returned to the stove. “Aaaaah don’t leave me hanging!” he protested. He grabbed her ass, kissing her neck.
“Ooooh I don’t deserve you,” she teased. “You do want your special dinner don’t you?”
“…How special?”
Her smile was wide and playful, as she gestured at the pot with her wooden ladle. “You said I keep you young!”
“So it is a voodoo hex!”
“VO-DOUUUUUU!”
Landon went to the living room, laughing as he tossed his good luck charm Buzzards cap onto the couch and sat beside it, switching on the television to watch the cap’s namesake team play.
But there was only static.
“Dammit!” he got up and checked the hookup. “Hey Aggie? Did you pay the cable?”
“Oh! I thought so!” she called.
“I don’t think so,” Landon muttered, rubbing his face. “First game of the season tonight, Ag.”
His mood ruined, Landon muted the television and picked up a magazine–finding it was in French. He tried a Newsweek–also in French. “You subscribed to these fucking magazines in my name but they’re in French!”
She only continued to hum the childish song.
“You read English, but I don’t read French. Didja know that?”
“Oh, you should learn!” was her cheerful response.
Landon frowned. “Maybe YOU should just..!” He trailed off, rubbed the bridge of his nose. “…nevermind.”
Her humming shortened the song by a few notes, becoming more monotonous. Landon’s stomach growled at him. “How long till dinner?”
“Oh…an hour.” Even more cheerful–and annoying. The humming began again; only five notes this time, and off key.
“Shit…” Landon whispered under his breath.
It seemed to grow louder, to echo throughout the house and his head, filling his ears, becoming grating.
“Agnes…AGNES! STOP!”
She did not. Landon stared at the static, the magazines, the open doorway from which the discordant notes reached his burning ears, and he began to seethe. He sat still for several minutes, hoping she would stop, or at least change it up some. But she didn’t.
“Are you listening to me!?” He was suddenly standing, taking impatient strides toward the kitchen.
He entered the kitchen, his love for Agnes absent as he stared at her back, sure she knew he was there, though she just worked and hummed and hummed, offering no acknowledgement.
“STOP, GODDAMMIT!”
She turned and looked at him. There was no sense that she had been startled this time, no expression at all-and she continued to hum.

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


 

Patrick Headshot 433x650As a toddler, Patrick C. Greene was creating horrors in crayon and magic marker upon every available surface. Not surprisingly, he soon discovered comic books and immersed himself in the fantastic worlds found therein. Horror fiction and films came next, and despite spending nights of terror hiding under covers, he always found himself drawn back to tales of dark fates.

Greene cut his fangs in the screenwriting business but found his true calling in the world of prose fiction of the kind his heroes King, Barker and Koontz create.

With the success of his first novel PROGENY, and the upcoming THE CRIMSON CALLING from Hobbes End Publishing, Greene presents a brand of horror as emotional as it is terrifying, as engaging as it is suspenseful.

Living at night, deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Greene answers the call of his morbid muse when not enjoying monstrous helpings of horror, kung fu and doom metal.

You can keep up with Patrick at www.patrickcgreene.com or http://www.facebook.com/patrickcgreene


NOT THIS TIME by Mike Lester

excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlack NEW COVER


NOT THIS TIME
by Mike Lester

I decided to take a walk.
Melanie would have liked that.
The day was lovely, breezy, bright under a blue sky, bluer than I ever thought possible. Not at all the kind of day I expected it to be. The grass was dry and golden and waist high. Soon it would be taller. Tall enough to hide in. Tall enough to get lost in. Almost. I ran my fingers through the grass, blade tips tickling my palms like blinking eyelashes.
I looked back to the house, back the way I had come, my path a darker shade running through the field. I picked up the bucket and kept on. The bucket was heavy. The wire handle dug into my fingers and I had to keep switching my grip from hand to hand, careful not to spill.
They were all still inside, eating and drinking and telling stories about Melanie, no doubt. As if they knew her.
Up ahead, I could see the lane and the tall trees that lined it, tall and straight, two green, even rows falling all the way back to the highway. I remembered foggy mornings. Walking along the path. The tops of trees shrouded, swaying. Melanie and I would always run ahead of the others, trying to get lost, thinking the fog would take us away, away from the paths and the field and the world. But then Uncle Brad’s voice or footsteps or some other human noise would reach through and bring us back.
I had seen the look in her eyes and recognized it.
Not this time. Soon.
That was a long time ago.
I stepped out of the dry grass and onto the lane. Looked up to the tops of the trees, half-expecting them to be blotted out like before. But no, not today. Today they were golden and green and bright yellow, leaves flickering like shiny coins. I set the bucket down in the gravel and looked back home again. Chimney. The roof, smaller now, far off on the other side of the field. Solitary. A dollhouse.
Mother wouldn’t let me take my tie off, not even after the service. Not even up on top of the hill with the sun beating down on us all. It was hot and still and I couldn’t look when she was lowered. Not because I was sad though. I could hardly keep from smiling. At one point I thought maybe Uncle Brad had noticed, and so I started to feel bad and did my best not to smile.
Now everything is different. Now I could smile if I wanted to and I even whistled a bit. Just a bit.

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


lesterMike Lester is the author of An Occasional Dream, published in 2002 by indie crime publisher UglyTown. His story “The Courtier” will appear in Aaron J. French’s upcoming expanded edition of The Shadow of the Unknown. He currently lives in South Carolina.


THE RISING SON by James Glass

excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlack NEW COVER


THE RISING SON
by James Glass

Crowley was a prick. Virgil Calahan, Jr. came to the conclusion as he watched the man move through the crowd, how everyone smiled and laughed at the poorly told jokes only because no one wanted to seem stupid to a foreigner. Moreover, he seethed at the way Cherry clung to the man’s arm in spite of the insipid, resinous cloud of scented oils permeating the air around him.
He knew he had no claim to the gorgeous redhead, they adhered to the tenets of polyamory, but to see her showering another man with affection – Crowley of all the people! It was too much. He slammed his drink glass on the bar top harder than was necessary and pretended it was Crowley’s face.
The bartender’s smile was tight as he silently refilled the empty glass and disappeared into the shadows once more. Calahan clutched the drink to his chest, his eyes narrowed to slits as he continued to watch the man he now thought of as his own personal arch-nemesis.
“Chin up, old boy, she will be back.”
Calahan turned to see his father, one Virgil Calahan Senior, lounging against the bar. The old man also watched Cherry, the lustful expression not one his son had seen on his father’s usually bland but cheerful visage.
“But once a man has spent a night with the likes of her, one cannot return to any semblance of normal.” At his son’s sharp intake of breath he added, “Oh come now, old man, you can’t mean to tell me you had no idea we’ve all had a taste of Cherry?”
“When?!”
“The night after your birthday. She was very… accommodating.”
Calahan the son glared into his whiskey and said nothing, but he could feel his cheeks becoming red with fury. If it had been anyone but his father who spoke those words, the man would be nursing a black eye and possibly a broken jaw at that very moment. He cleared his throat and downed the rest of the amber liquid, then slammed the glass again on the bar top, this time hard enough to send a shard of glass flying into the space between himself and the gathering of revelers.
His father placed a hand over his. “Son, it was nothing personal, merely a good time.”
At Calahan’s continued silence, the older man studied his son’s face. Sudden realization dawned in his piercing blue eyes.
“Good heavens, boy, you can’t have fallen in love with her!”
Calahan pulled away from his father’s touch. “Well what if I had? What good does it do me now, knowing she’s been with everyone I know?”
“Cal,” his father’s voice was gentle, “She is a whore.”
Calahan rolled his eyes, his voice choked by sarcasm. “No kidding?”
“What I mean to say is she is a prostitute. We bought her for you for your birthday.” His father’s expression was filled with pity, and he patted Calahan’s arm, frowning. “I’m sorry, son. We thought you knew.”
With that, the old man wandered off into the crowd and Calahan stared after his father, disgust mingling with hate and whiskey in his churning gut. As Crowley’s accent carried over the crowd he gritted his teeth and stormed out onto the balcony of the lushly appointed hotel. He caught Cherry’s eye as he passed by her, and a small frown curled the corners of her perfectly drawn red lips.
The combination of being away from the party-goers and the chill of the night air cleared his anger only slightly, and he glared over the railing of the balcony into the glittering few electric lights mingling with gaslight below. He heard the latch of the French doors click behind him and he sighed, expecting Cherry to approach him with excuses. Instead his brother touched his shoulder.
The angry words meant for Cherry died on Calahan’s lips at the sight of his sibling. The younger man seemed upset by something, and the signs of laudanum addiction colored his pale features. This was a new addition to a chaotic repertoire of drug use.
“Billy?” Calahan said in way of greeting.
“Cal.” His brother stared over the railing with fever eyes and pulled at his clothes as if they didn’t fit quite right.
“Are you feeling,” Calahan paused, unable to say the word he had intended ‘anything’, instead substituting, “unwell?”
“You can say that, I suppose.” He spun to face Calahan and his elder brother stepped back as if physically assaulted by the mania creeping into his voice.
“I think you’ve had too much to drink,” Calahan said, voice quiet so as not to upset the delicate balance of his brother’s mood. On a typical day the young man’s behavior was erratic, partly due to his mental state and partly as a result of his self-medication.
Billy laughed and shook his head. “The problem is, Cal, I have not yet had enough to drink!” He stared at the lights below for a moment, his voice dreamy when he at last asked, “Have you spoken with Crowley yet?”

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


james glassJames Glass enjoys his privacy, but frequently finds that he plays an unwilling host to Xircon. When not visiting red light districts of red light cities, he can frequently be found contemplating life in the seediest of libraries.

Find James Glass on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesRGlassII and HERE

 


STORIES I TELL TO GIRLS by Michael G. Williams

excerpt from

WRAPPED IN BLACK

Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

WrappedinBlack NEW COVER


STORIES I TELL TO GIRLS
by Michael Williams

“I’m not trying to pry, Auntie Ann,” Maria said to the crone of the Book People, lying badly and showing the disregard for it of young people everywhere. “But why don’t you ever tell us stories about your life?” She asked it with that infuriating innocence of youth, the way a child can go straight to the heart of the hidden.
Lorraine, high priestess of the Book People, froze at the half-open library door.
Auntie Ann as usual said nothing. Lorraine had heard Auntie Ann speak many times but for a specific reason: the older woman was trying to pass on what she had learned in her many years of crafting magic, preparing Lorraine for when she would become the coven’s crone.
That was what the Book People were: a coven working magic through the written word. As the wheel of the year turned they gathered together, trespassing at some library or another to reach into the vast expanse of condensed intention; to make meaning out of the cast dice of a billion words. They broke the law to do their work because magic often requires a sacrifice. The Book People set their own respectability before the gods as an offering they were prepared to burn.
This night, however – Halloween, or Samhain, or any number of other names –the Book People were on their own turf: a little branch library near the tiny town of Pittsboro. Technically they were trespassing there, too, but they had found a key, left out as though just for them, and they took it as a special kind of blessing.
“Is something wrong with the door?” Warren was the scribe, recording their rituals in a great tome he carried.
“No,” Lorraine said. “Just… thought I heard something.” Maria asking Auntie Ann about her past, tonight – this night, when the dead were close enough to touch with the lightest of effort… A chill ran up Lorraine’s spine. Dressed in her usual array of spandex-cotton blends, Lorraine looked the part of the mother of the group, ready to cheer on a soccer league or pilot a mini-van straight into outer space. She felt ice in her heart, though. Maria, the energetic young maiden, had a way of being the first one to stumble onto something and last to understand its significance.
“I just feel like we could learn a lot from you,” Maria said. She smiled, but it was coy.
Auntie Ann’s voice cracked when she spoke, like a piano that hasn’t been played in too long. “I try not to dwell on what’s dead and gone. It has a way of showing back up if it thinks it’s been invited.”
Maria’s eyes lit up with the flame of curiosity almost rewarded. “Oh, but please? Please tell us one story? Just one?” Maria’s pleading eyes turned to Lorraine for just a second. “I bet you’ve told Lorraine all kinds of stories.”
“Oh, girl.” Auntie Ann let out a great big breath with a lot of years behind it. “There are stories I tell to women,” she said, “And stories I tell to girls.” She smiled, though. “And you are still a girl.”

Read the entire story in

WRAPPED IN BLACK: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2014


Michael G. Williams is a native of the Appalachian Mountains and grew up near Asheville, North Carolina. He describes his writing as wry horror or suburban fantasy: stories told from the perspectives of vampires, unconventional investigators, magicians and hackers who live in the places so many of us also call home. Michael is also an avid athlete, a gamer and a brother in St. Anthony Hall and Mu Beta Psi. You can find him here: http://www.robustmcmanlypants.org/perishables/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/perishables.novel