Christmas Takeover 38: Rebecca Besser: The Magic of Christmas

The Magic of Christmas

A Short Story by Rebecca Besser
3,468 words

“Hammond, where is everyone? Only half the elves are here today.”

“They’re sick, Santa,” Hammond said with a heavy sigh, as he too looked out over the workshop floor. “Ever since Royce came back from cutting down Christmas trees with a strange bite, more and more elves are getting ill.”

Santa crossed his arms and frowned. “Will we still meet our quota for toys? I can’t have children going without presents.”

“If we work longer shifts we should be able to make it,” Hammond said, looking at a spreadsheet on his clipboard. “It’s going to be close. If anyone else gets sick we might fail.”

“Failure is not an option,” Santa said sternly. “Do what needs done—after Christmas everyone can rest.”

Hammond watched as Santa walked away. He hadn’t mentioned that the illness was the strangest he had ever seen. Santa didn’t need the extra stress right now, as he was still going over the Naughty & Nice List.

Turning toward the workshop, Hammond got on the intercom and announced the shifts that would be needed to ensure Christmas came on time.

“Hold him down!” Dr. Jim screamed. “If he bites anyone, they’ll get sick, too. We already have too many of these biters!”

“I’m trying, sir,” Milly said just before the patient broke loose and took a chunk out of her arm with his teeth. She screamed as blood shot everywhere, her eyes huge with pain and shock.

Dr. Jim growled and grabbed the patient’s arm, slamming it down on the table and securing it with tinsel rope. “Milly, go get that bandaged and then admit yourself to the Holly Wing. You’re now infected with the disease.”

Milly took a deep, shaky breath with tears in her eyes. She had seen what happened to the infected and didn’t want it to happen to her. Her eyes pleaded with Dr. Jim, begging him to let her stay, to say she wasn’t infected.

He took a deep breath and softened his tone. “Maybe we’ll figure something out. Maybe we’ll be able to stop it. But you know as well as I do that you’ll try to infect someone else once it takes hold. We have to be careful. Go and get looked after. I’ll come check on you when I get done here.”

Milly nodded, her tears sliding down her round, cheery cheeks that were already starting to pale. She scurried out through the brightly painted red and white striped doors.

As they swung shut, Dr. Jim bowed his head and said a quick prayer, asking God to save them all. He knew this was a hopeless cause. There was no stopping the infection. He pulled up his sleeve and looked at the pussy teeth marks that were turning his arm purple. Soon he would be one of the flesh eaters, one of the walking dead.

The room started to spin and Dr. Jim clung to the table that held the elf who had already turned. The gnashing of the patient’s teeth and the incessant moans began to fade as Dr. Jim fell to the floor.

Two days later, Santa sat in his office, staring out the window. He watched white, fluffy snowflakes float down from the grey, overcast sky without really seeing them. He had finished the Naughty & Nice List yesterday. Today, he had read the medical report from the hospital. Ninety-eight percent of the elves were sick or dead. He feared after delivering presents tonight he would come back to nothing. This might be the last Christmas ever, but at least there would be gifts this year.

Hammond knocked on the door before entering. “Santa, we’ll be ready on time. There were enough of us left to load the sleigh. We’re exhausted, but there will be Christmas for the children.”

Santa sighed. “Yes, for the children.”

Hammond caught the melancholy in Santa’s tone. “We’ll figure something out, sir. Maybe things will be better by the time you return.”

Santa shook his head and rubbed his forehead. The pictures he had just examined flashed through his mind. Pictures from inside the hospital, were the walls had been drenched with blood. The red liquid had been everywhere, dripping off the ceiling and candy cane railing, puddled on the floor. It looked like a sadistic butcher shop. The worst thing was no one was there. Bones and severed limbs had littered the halls and rooms, but no living or moving thing was left. Everyone was missing. The only indication that the missing elves had been able to walk away was the trail of bloody footprints in the snow, leading into the woods.

“The sleigh will be ready in an hour,” Hammond said and left, closing the door behind him.

The reindeer munched contentedly on the hay that was laid out in front of them while they waited for Santa. The sleigh sat behind them, loaded down with merrily wrapped packages. The joyful colors of red and green added a festive and exciting accent to the otherwise drab, brown shed.

Prancer was just bending down for another mouthful of hay when he saw a movement to his left. He froze as he sniffed the air. It smelled like an elf, but it didn’t. Looking at the strange creature, Prancer let out a warning bleat.

The other reindeer looked up at Prancer’s warning of danger, stepping back and forth, they tried to break free of their harnesses.

The creature ignored the animals and instead headed for the sleigh. The little, pale elf sniffed at the velvet interior and liked the scent. She climbed in and burrowed underneath the packages.

Prancer snorted and looked at his teammates. He cocked his head as if to ask, “What was that thing?”

The others snorted and tossed their heads.

Santa’s solemn face stared back at him as he pulled his shiny, black leather belt tight over his paunch, securing his red velvet coat.

“This is it, old boy,” Santa said to his reflection. “Time to deliver all the Christmas cheer.”

He was still staring at his reflection, as if he could find all the answers in his mirrored self, when Hammond came in.

“It’s time, sir,” he reported to Santa. “The sleigh is loaded, the reindeer are ready, and it’s time for Christmas Magic!”

Santa inwardly winced at the false cheer in Hammond’s voice.

“Christmas Magic, indeed,” Santa mumbled, turning and putting on his hat. “Let’s get this over with.”

Hammond was close to tears as he watched Santa walk out of the room. He may be a three-hundred-year-old elf, and had cried maybe two times in his adult elf years, but this was the saddest thing he had ever seen. Santa was depressed about Christmas and nothing could be done to pull him out of it.

Moving to the window, Hammond watched Santa board the sleigh that had been pulled outside. The snowflakes danced, the reindeer pranced, and thirty elves who weren’t sick tried to cheer. They fell flat and looked dead on their feet.

Santa cracked his magic whip, the silver and gold strands glinting in the gas street lights, and with a half-hearted “Ho! Ho! Ho!” they were off.

Hammond watched them take off. It was perfect as always. At least some things stay the same, he thought with a sad smile, watching Santa until he couldn’t be seen any longer. When he looked back at the village, his eyes fell on the condemned hospital. He shuddered. Despite the new snowfall, the blood on the ground in front of the main doors was still visible, now showing pink instead of bright red.

Turning from the window, he set about straightening the few items Santa had used while getting dressed. He was placing the last item, a silver comb, on the dressing table when he heard the first scream.

Rushing back to the window, he looked down on the quaint village that was nestled in the arctic glaciers of the North Pole. What he saw made him gasp in shock as fear gripped his heart with its icy fingers.

They had returned.

Santa went through his duties, and that’s what they felt like to him that night, duties. Normally it was a pleasure for him to give gifts. This year he didn’t care. He knew unless a miracle happened Christmas would cease to exist. What he couldn’t understand was, why wasn’t Christmas Magic helping now? Why hadn’t it stopped the outbreak? Was he failing in some way?

With a heavy heart, he left beautiful dolls for good little girls and skateboards for good little boys. Thinking of the delight in their eyes when they ran down the stairs in the morning to find their special gifts, made just for them, brought a faint smile to his lips and a rose tinge to his waxy cheeks. He decided right there, right then, this was going to be the best, most beautiful Christmas ever, even if it killed him.

With renewed vigor, he stood tall and marched to the chimney with determination. Yes, Christmas was going to be wonderful, illness and death would come, but not until after he had made sure Christmas would shine in the memory of every person, in every house, that he touched that night.

Hammond stood frozen, not quite believing his eyes. Elf-zombie after elf-zombie came pouring into town, moaning and waving their arms. It was like some circuit in their festering brains remembered they were supposed to be there for something. In fact, they were supposed to see Santa off, but they were too late, and it was now too late for the elves that had arrived on time.

The hungry horde fell on the tired, weak, healthy elves like they had never eaten before and needed sustenance so badly that they couldn’t help themselves. Flesh was bitten and torn off with cruel hands, claws, and teeth. Pale faces and foggy eyes contrasted with bright red blood as it shot through the air, spraying everyone. Some of the elf-zombies were cackling and catching blood drops on their tongues, just like small children do with snowflakes.

He shuddered. The gore was unimaginable. He had never seen such violence. That was something reserved for humans, not elves. They were supposed to be happy, peaceful beings. This wasn’t their way.

A gleeful moan sounded behind him. Hammond whirled around to see five of the elf-zombies standing in the doorway with sadistic grins on their rotting faces. Blood still speckled their cheeks from the feeding frenzy in the courtyard.

“No,” he said, raising his arm to protect himself as they advanced toward him. “No!”

As his back hit the wall, his hand came in contact with a silver-reindeer-topped cane. Lifting it high over his head, he let out a wild war cry and slammed it into the head of the lead zombie. It whimpered and fell to the floor to bleed out.

Hammond was shocked with himself, and with the fall of the elf-zombie. Renewed hope warmed his heart. He would go down fighting. These creatures weren’t taking Christmas away that easily. They would pay with their lives.

“You can’t have Christmas!” he yelled and battled the four remaining foes.

They weren’t fast and they weren’t smart, so it didn’t take him long to dispose of them. With a crocked grin and a cocky swagger, he left the dressing room, dispatching every zombie that was unlucky enough to cross his path. A few other healthy elves saw what he was doing. Taking up arms, they followed, and they fought.

Santa was on the last leg of his journey. He had one country left to deliver toys to. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the children would awaken and the true Magic of Christmas, joy and love, would be spreading all over the world. That was his gift to the masses. It was the only thing that gave him the strength to go on.

He returned to the sleigh after delivering a train set and a teddy bear, after yet more milk and cookies, when something in the back caught his attention. A couple of the packages shifted and he thought he saw claws. Frowning, he didn’t think there were any puppies being given out this year, due to the outbreak they weren’t taking any chances by delivering anything live that could possibly carry the disease.

Leaning down into the backseat of the sleigh, he moved a couple of boxes aside, not finding anything. He was about to turn away when a female elf-zombie shot out and grabbed ahold of his arm. She hissed threateningly and climbed up onto his shoulders in the blink of an eye.

Santa swung up at the little beast, trying to knock her off. After a full minute of swinging and spinning, he got a handful of braid and yanked as hard as he could. He was horrified when he looked down to see that all he held was hair and scalp. It dripped with slimy, dark red blood and veins. Frozen for a moment in shock, he was brought back to reality as the zombie bit into his neck.

Screaming with pain and cursing the little demon, he threw himself backwards onto the roof of the house. He was big enough, and heavy enough, that the action dislodged the zombie. She went rolling and tumbled off the roof, her head hit a fence post, impaling and killing her.

For the first time, Santa noticed the reindeer were agitated. He had been so preoccupied with what was going on at the North Pole, and his personal hang-ups, that he had ignored the warning signs they had been trying to give him all night.

Clutching his neck, he got up on his knees and then stood. Walking over to the reindeer, he patted them gently to calm them down.

“It’s all right now,” he said in a soothing voice. “The little biter is gone. We’ll finish up and head home—everything is going to be okay.”

Despite his words, he wasn’t sure. Even now, just a few minutes after being bitten, he was already starting to feel weak from the loss of blood, and from a fever. As he climbed back into the sleigh, he grabbed the reins and they were off again, for how long, he didn’t know.

Hammond and his army of three follower elves fought their way outside. They stood in the double doorway of the workshop and surveyed the carnage in front of them. Altogether they had killed a total of thirty-five zombies. They were tired from working long, hard shifts and they wanted to lie down and sleep, but that wasn’t an option. Fear and anger were fueling their bodies with overwhelming amounts of adrenaline, which seemed to grow stronger with each passing moment.

They looked at each other, smiling and grinning with a mad delight in getting revenge on these Christmas assassins. With a whoop and a holler, they charged into the fray, swinging their weapons in a craze of joy.

It took the feeding zombies awhile to realize what was happening. Hammond and his band took out twenty more zombies before their presence was noticed.

The zombies gathered in a shuffling, moaning, disgusting crowd and shambled toward their attackers, now intent on enjoying some fresh, hot meat.

“Hold rank,” Hammond barked.

The warrior elves stood in a straight line across the street, bloody weapons dripping on the snow-covered ground. Their breaths came out in thick, puffy clouds. Eyes blazing, stances set for the onslaught, they waited for Hammond’s signal.

“Forward,” Hammond yelled. “No mercy!”

Charging forward into the horde, Hammond and his band fought valiantly. Clubs met heads that gave way with moist thumps. Blood sprayed and splashed on the warriors and on their surroundings, but it didn’t slow them at all. The hungry mouths of the zombies were everywhere, gnashing, chomping, and biting. Two of the band fell to their foes; the others fought on.

Before long, all the zombies were down. Hammond looked around for his friends, to no avail. He was the only survivor, or so he thought.

As he stood bent over, breathing heavily, a door to a small cottage across the street creaked open. He spun, raising the reindeer cane high above his head, ready to be charged by yet another enemy. When he saw that it was just a young elf and his mother standing in the doorway, he laughed and lowered his weapon.

More and more families started pouring out of their homes, where they had been hiding. Female elves with their children. He hadn’t thought of all the young elves…that stayed safely at home during everything. They had survived the illness with their seclusion.

Hammond fell to his knees. Their race would go on, the little ones would grow, and Christmas would continue. Laughing hysterically, letting out all of the tension and despair that had been plaguing him, he realized Christmas was truly magical.

Santa wasn’t feeling too good. Every time he stopped to deliver gifts, he vomited. This didn’t worry him at first. All the milk he had drank, and a fever, would cause vomiting, so at first he just ignored it. But as he began to get dizzier and starting throwing up blood, he knew he was done for. He had to get home, and soon.

Weaving, he made his way back to the sleigh.

Santa passed out on the way back to the North Pole. Luckily the reindeer knew their way home. They were still nervous and flew faster than normal. They needed the security and safety they knew they would feel when they got into their stalls.

The smell of blood reached them, even in the air. The reindeer jerked so hard, and rocked the sleigh so violently, it woke Santa. He moaned and took the reins, guiding the reindeer down the best he could.

He passed out again, just as they halted in the bright red snow.

Hammond had seen the sleigh land and had come out to meet it. As he approached, he noticed how pale Santa was. Rushing to him, he shuddered as he saw the festering wound on Santa’s neck and the blood that dotted his coat.

For a moment he just stood there, not knowing what to do. He wasn’t sure if he should waste his time by having Santa dragged inside or if he should just slam something into his head now, before he turned.

The choice was taken away as a young female elf saw Santa. She screeched with joy and tugged at her mother’s skirt, yelling, announcing his return.

Soon the remaining elves were surrounding the sleigh. The adult’s eyes took in the situation and they looked to Hammond with panic and concern.

“Take the reindeer to the barn and see to them,” he instructed a small group of elves. “The rest of us will get Santa inside. Sprinkles, why don’t you take all the little ones to your house while we get him inside?”

Sprinkles nodded and took charge of the small children.

The remaining elves helped him get Santa inside. They removed his belt, boots, hat, and coat and put him in bed.

Hammond stayed with Santa. He could hear the nervous chatter of the other elves in the hall. There was no hope for Santa. He was going to become a zombie, too.

Hammond bowed his head to pray, and jumped when the door to Santa’s room flew open and an elf, no more than five-years-old, came dashing in giggling. Her blonde hair was coming free from her long braids, looking like woven gold in the candle light.

“Santa!” she squealed and hopped up onto the bed.

Hammond jumped up and tried to grab the child, but she was too fast.

Santa’s eyes shot open; they were cloudy. He hissed and sat up, grabbing the girl as she wrapped her arms around his neck. His teeth were merely an inch away from her tender flesh when she spoke.

“Merry Christmas, Santa!”

Zombie Santa froze, and a blinding flash of light flashed between him and the little girl.

Hammond raised his hand to shield his eyes from the glare. Blinking rapidly, he waited for it to fade. It only took moments.

When he could see again, he looked at the girl and Santa. He was normal. He looked cheerful and healthy. The girl was sitting on his lap, rattling off all the presents she had gotten like nothing at all had happened.

Speechless, Hammond turned and left the room. The Magic of Christmas had come through for them after all. Everything would be fine, and there would be more presents next year.

Rebecca Besser is the author of Nurse Blood. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. She has been published hundreds of times in magazines, ezines, anthologies, educational books, on blogs, and more in the areas of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for a variety of age groups and genres. Her nonfiction article on skydiving was picked up by McGraw-Hill for NY Assessments. One of her poems for children was chosen for an early reader book from Oxford University Press (India). Her short story, P.C., was included in Anything But Zombies! published by Atria Books (digital imprint of Simon & Schuster).

Rebecca’s main focus has been on horror works for adults. She writes zombie works, suspenseful thrillers, and other dark fiction related to the horror genre/community. She has also edited multiple books in these genres.

Amazon Author Page

Halloween Extravaganza: Rebecca Besser: STORY: Historical Significance

Historical Significance

Perry Roberts stood at the top of the stairs, staring down into the black depths of his basement. He held the last box that needed to be stored down there, but he couldn’t make his legs move. The light was on when I went outside, wasn’t it? he thought. He knew it had been, but now it was out.

With a sigh, he sat the box down on the floor, reached into the slight gloom at the top of the stairwell, and felt the switch with his fingers; it was still on. Bulb must’ve blown, he thought to himself with another, deeper sigh.

Thinking hard, he remembered unpacking a box with spare bulbs earlier and headed to the laundry room to retrieved one, also grabbing the flashlight he’d stored there. Grumbling under his breath, he returned to descended into the dark depths of his basement. It smelled musty, damp, and slightly metallic; the air noticeably dropped in temperature with each step. The house was old, having been one of the first built in the small New England town, and the basement was designed to hold the cold so that home-canned goods and other food necessities could be stored there.

“Lots of history,” the real-estate agent had said. “Not many places like this left for just anyone to buy.”

Being the history buff that he was, he couldn’t help but be drawn to its charm, even though it had sat empty for more than a decade and had to be drastically updated before he could move in. One of the things he’d found most fascinating about the place was the old “player piano” sitting in the corner of the basement. He couldn’t figure out how it had gotten down there—the stairs were too narrow and the basement walls consisted of large, rectangle slabs of limestone that looked like they’d been there for hundreds of years.

With the help of his flashlight, he removed the old bulb and shook it beside his ear, and sure enough, he heard the filament rattle. Tucking the flashlight under his chin so he could use both hands, he slid the burned out bulb into the front pouch of his hoodie and extracted the other. As he screwed in the new bulb, he forgot the switch was still on and didn’t close his eyes. When the bright glow of the 75 watt bulb flared to life, he dropped the flashlight with a loud clang and squeezed his eyes tightly shut.

After a moment, he started blinking rapidly and looking around the room. Bodies in old fashion clothing lay everywhere—some holding bottles of whiskey or tankards of ale. Slowly they sat up and then stood with leering grins, looking him over like he was a succulent piece of meat. They advanced toward him and Perry spun around; he was completely surrounded and the closer they came the more the temperature of the air around him dropped. He tried to focus on them directly, but the light spots in his eyes prevented him from doing so; as his vision cleared the images began to disappear.

Almost in a panic, thinking he was being attacked, he spun around in a circle with his arms up defensively, looking for assailants. None were there. All he could see now were the leaning shadows cast by the stairs and the stacked boxes; the rough, bare rock of the walls and floor echoed his harsh breathing back to him, giving him a chill that had nothing to do with the climate of the room.

After dropping his arms, taking a couple of deep breaths, and doing another, thorough visual examination of the entire room, he shrugged the occurrence off as his imagination. He bent down and picked up the pieces of his flashlight—having broken it when he dropped it on the hard floor—before he went upstairs, dumped the ruined flashlight in the trash, and carried down the last box. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was down in the basement with him, and kept looking over his shoulder expecting to find them standing behind him, ready to hurt him. He was beginning to wonder if the house might be haunted, but then reminded himself he didn’t believe in ghosts.

With an effort, he forced himself to calm down, and after stacking the box with the others he had in the corner, he headed toward the stairs. Pausing, he glanced around one more time and ran his fingers over the now yellow keys of the player piano, wondering if he could get the old thing working. Once again he pondered on how the piano had come to be in the basement and couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation.

“Maybe the ghosts brought it downstairs,” he said with a mocking laugh.

As soon as the words left his mouth a chill ran down his spine and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as the air around him suddenly dropped in temperature and he felt like he was being stalked again. Not needing any more encouragement, he jogged up the stairs and could have sworn he’d heard a deep, masculine laugh echo from behind him.

Back upstairs, he turned off the basement light and slammed the short, rough plank door behind him, making sure the old, wrought-iron latch was secure. He pressed both his hand on the door and leaned against it, taking deep, calming breaths, feeling silly about his reaction to his imagination running wild.

“There’s no such thing as ghosts… There’s no such thing as ghosts…” he repeated to himself over and over again, as if in saying it he could dispel the horrible feelings he’d had downstairs.

Perry heard a knock at his front door and almost jumped out of his skin at the sudden and unexpected noise; he stepped from the kitchen into the short, narrow hallway and spied his friend John through the door’s window.

“Hold on,” he yelled, rushing forward and letting his friend in, glad for the distraction. “What’s up?”

John grinned. “Five days ‘til Halloween! What do you think’s up? We need costumes and a lot of ghoulish stuff to decorate this spooky old house of yours.”

Perry laughed and all of his trepidation melted away as he focused on his friend and pushed everything else from his mind. “How could I forget?”

John smacked his forehead in a “Duh!” gesture and pointed with his thumb to his Chevy pickup parked at the curb. “I’ll be out there. Hurry up!”

With that John turned and practically hopped down the limestone block porch steps. He hadn’t been too happy when Perry had decided to move here, wishing his friend would stay closer, but he’d handled it well. They’d known each other all their lives and had just recently graduated from separate colleges. Over the past summer they’d spent a lot of time together catching up, and now they were separated again; growing up was indeed hard to do.

Donning a light jacket over his hoodie—taken from a hook by the door—Perry stepped out into the brisk October wind. Red, gold, and brown leaves littered the yard and street, leaving behind dark skeleton trees to moan eerily as their bare branches danced in the wind. He pushed his hands into the front pouch of his hoodie and his hands came in contact with the lightbulb he’d removed downstairs, and for a moment the memories of his experiences returned. He tossed it in the large trash can sitting in the corner of his enclosed porch, as if ridding himself of the bulb also discarded the disturbing memories permanently, and hurried to join John.

Their day went fast. They’d each found a costume they loved: John, a ghoul of disgusting proportions; and Perry, a very bloody looking zombie. They’d also picked up an array of fake tomb stones and bones to litter in Perry’s yard, to serve as decorations for the huge Halloween party they were planning.

“Stop by the library, would ya?” Perry asked on their way back to his house. “I had the librarian look up some historical information on my house and I need to pick it up.” He paused for a moment and almost continued, asking John if he believed in ghosts, but with a shake of his head he decided not to waste any more time on nonsense.

John raised his eyebrows at Perry’s undecided movements, but when he didn’t say anything more, he nodded consent and drove to the small, out-of-the-way library that served the town.

It took Perry less than ten minutes to retrieve the information he’d requested. John laughed hysterically as he watched his friend come stumbling out of the local library, weighed down with books and printouts of old newspapers.

“Are you writing a book series?” John teased as he leaned over and pushed open the truck door for Perry. “Looks like you have enough research there for five!”

Scowling, Perry managed to maneuver himself, and his load, into the truck. “I didn’t know they’d find this much. Now I feel like I’m back in school!”

John laughed again, shook his head, and drove them back to Perry’s place. They unloaded all their Halloween “goodies” and discussed the party briefly before John left; he had to work early the next day and he knew Perry was itching to get at the materials he’d picked up from the library.

For the next few days Perry poured over the books and old newspaper articles, learning about his new house and its history. He wanted to get through as much of it as possible before the party, and before he had to start his new job; he would begin his career as a website designer the second week of November. The information the librarian had gleaned was very interesting. Apparently the house he was living in used to be a small time, bar-like establishment. It was known for its many visitors of “questionable virtue” and after reading some of the articles, he knew that meant men who lived outside the law. A couple of people had even been murdered in the house, which made him again think of the occurrences in the basement.

One picture particularly interested him. It was taken on October 31st of 1872, according to the notation under the photo. The player piano was in it, but the photograph had been taken in his living room. The people in the photo looked like the ones he’d thought he’d seen in the basement, but he couldn’t be sure because most of them were wearing festive masks depicting demons. The clothing style was the same, as were the bottles and tankards, but he figured what happened could still have been just his imagination. After all, he’d seen plenty of the same in old movies.

The article beneath the picture spoke briefly about the Halloween party, and how wild they’d gotten, referring to a couple of “rough men” who were believed to have been associated with the occult. As he read on, he was disappointed to find that most of the article was missing due to the photocopier running out of toner, at least that’s what he ascertained from the spotty black ink on the rest of the page. With a crocked grin, he looked back at the photo, thinking it would be great to show it to John, since they too were having a Halloween party in the house. As he laid the paper aside, he didn’t notice the date on the top—for the article—was for November 1st, 1872, or that the rest of the article was printed clearly on the back telling of the horrible events of the night of that party, and how no one who’d attended had ever been seen again.

On the night of October 30th, Perry lay down in bed, excited about the party that would take place the following evening. Thoughts swirled through his head about all that needed to be done, and about a certain woman he’d invited, hoping she’d attend. Even with these thoughts it didn’t take his exhausted body long to fall asleep.

Shortly after midnight, icy hands gripped Perry’s ankles and fingernails penetrated his flesh like icicles, startling him out of his warm cocoon of sleep.

He cried out and struggled, feeling hot, slick, wet blood seep from his wounds and soak into his bed, but his efforts didn’t deter the grip that was dragging him out of bed with astounding force and strength. He screamed and grabbed at the sheets, blankets, and mattress, trying to save himself, to no avail.

He hit the floor with a hard, resounding smack. His head bounced off the hardwood with a loud thud that almost knocked him unconscious; blood gushed out of a gash on his head from where it had hit the metal bedframe during the struggle, falling into his eyes, and making the floor slick. Blinking rapidly, he tried to stay awake and twisted around to get a glimpse of who was assaulting him.

“Stop!” he yelled. “Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?”

There was no answer, no reply to his desperation and pleas.

The darkness prevented him from seeing anyone or anything, and the more he struggled the tighter the grip on his ankles became; he heard his bones crack and felt the shards of their splinters escaping the encasement of his flesh. Crying out from the pain, and imagining that his ankles now looked like pin cushions because of the protruding bones, Perry tried to grab onto anything he could, but it was no use. Every time he would get a grip on something his attacker would either yank him so hard that eventually his fingers broke with loud pops or he would be lifted slightly into the air and slammed back down onto the floor until he let go.

The violence continued as he was dragged down the stairs, and Perry suffered so much head trauma that by the time he was on the first floor the world around him was nothing more than a blur seen through drops of blood, flowing from multiple gashes all over his bruised head. And as he was dragged toward the kitchen—where he left a light on all night—he saw that no one and nothing was there; he was being attacked by an invisible force and thought for the first time that he might have been wrong about ghosts.

He heard the piano playing downstairs and laughter with it. What’s going on? he thought before he was finally knocked completely unconscious by a battering from the basement stairs.

Perry regained awareness slowly. He was lying on the cold basement floor in nothing but his boxer shorts. He shivered and tried to curl into a ball to conserve his body heat.

A harsh male laugh barked behind him, making him jump.

Turning his head sharply, he beheld a group of seven men and two women. They were all dressed in clothes from the 1800s. He blinked and frowned. His head hurt beyond belief and his hips, legs, and ankles throbbed. Weak and disoriented, he couldn’t focus or speak.

Desperation soon overcame his weakness when he saw them moving toward him. They didn’t have legs, but floated a foot and a half above the stone floor. The closer they got to him the more transparent they became. Frantically, he tried to crawl toward the stairs, hissing and whimpering at the pain in his ankles and head, but didn’t make it.

Cold seeped into his body, causing him to shiver more violently, as the “spirits” came closer, surrounding him and laughing.

“Sweet hot blood…” one of the men said.

“…and meat!” one of the women exclaimed and cackled.

“What should we do with him?” another of one of the men asked.

“Let’s eat him,” the first man said.

“Wasn’t he going to have a party tonight?” another feminine voice asked almost coyly. “Maybe we should possess him and have our fill of the guests!”

The group laughed and jeered in agreement; many to feast upon was better than one.

One-by-one the spirits drifted over Perry and sank into his body.

He screamed as his body temperature dropped and he felt his consciousness being forced deeper and deeper inside himself. He knew no one would hear him, but he still called out for help. Even if he had been lucky and someone did come to his aid, he knew there was nothing anyone could do.

“He’s damaged!” one of the women said inside him. “Someone will notice!”

“She’s right, you know,” said the other feminine voice. “We’ll have to clean him up.”

“I’ve got it,” one of the men said with a laugh. “I’ll have him fixed up momentarily!”

Perry convulsed in excruciating pain as his frigid body popped and snapped, healing itself of the wounds which had been inflicted upon him during the attack.

“Lovely,” the first female voice sighed.

“Please stop,” Perry cried out from the box inside himself he’d been pressed into; his consciousness was pushed back and he had no control over his body, but he could still feel everything that happened to his physical self. “Kill me, but don’t torture me like this… Please!”

“Oh, shut up!” one of the men yelled and the rest of the unwelcome spirits inhabiting Perry’s body laughed.

“What should we do with him until the party?” one of the male voices asked.

“He’s still all bloody… Why don’t we give him a bath?” asked one of the female voices.

“Oh, yes,” said the other female voice with a giggle.

“You ladies have your fun, but I want no part of it,” a male voice said with slight amusement and a bit of disgust.

The females giggled again and Perry felt himself rising up to a standing position. Awkwardly his body ascended the stairs and he noted that he could see everything around him, but still had no say or control over his body.

Before he was ready, they were in the bathroom and his shorts were being removed.

“My, my, what do we have here?” one of the female voices asked snidely. “Seems we have a naked man to play with.”

“Share!” the other female voice yelled. “You get one hand and I get the other.”

Perry could feel the women becoming more prominent in his body and the male entities slipped back and almost felt like they were sleeping.

“All right, all right,” the first female voice said. “I’ll share.”

They both giggled as they shut the door to the bathroom and found a full length mirror hanging on the door.

“Oh, what fun!” the second female voice squealed.

“Yes, indeed,” the other said with smug satisfaction.

Soon Perry’s hands were traveling all over his body, doing things to himself against his will.

“Please stop!” he groaned from deep within as he was forced to watch and feel what the female spirits were doing to him.

“Don’t you like it, luv?” one voice asked, and both the females laughed.

“Stop!” he screamed, but they just continued to laugh at him.

It took over an hour for them to play games with him and molest him in the shower, after which he felt more dirty than clean; they’d done unimaginable things to his body.

Later that day, John arrived to help with the Halloween party, letting himself in with the key Perry had given him when there was no response to his knock. As he turned from shutting the door, he spotted Perry standing silently at the top of the stairway in his zombie costume.

“Hey, man,” John said, as he jumped in startled surprise. “You scared the crap out of me!” He looked his friend over and grinned. “You’re costume is intense, but I thought we weren’t going to change until after we had things set up for the party.”

Perry’s body just stood there with its eyes staring down at John while the spirits inside argued about how to answer the question and handle this “newcomer”; they finally came to a decision.

“Hello, Earth to Perry,” John said, looking slightly worried and confused at the foot of the stairs. “You okay, man?”

“I’m fine,” Perry’s voice said, being controlled by one of the males. “I was excited and decided to don my festive apparel early.”

“You sound strange,” John said, his confused frown deepening. “What’s with all the ‘don my festive apparel’ shit? You sound old or something.”

Perry’s face sneered at John behind the zombie make-up as he descended the stairs toward him. When he reached the bottom step his arm shot out and he wrapped his hand around John’s throat, squeezing and lifting him off his feet.

“You’re a cheeky bloke,” a strange masculine voice said, using Perry’s mouth, no longer trying to disguise himself. “I don’t like being called old!”

John dropped the bags of stuff he was carrying and tried to pry the strong hand from his throat so he could breathe; he kicked and clawed at Perry’s hand and arm as he was lifted off the floor.

“Now we have to do something with him,” Perry heard one of the male voices say as they again began talking internally to each other.

“It is crowded in here,” another said, “maybe some of us should possess him, so we’ll have more space to move around and breathe!”

The other voices agreed and started to argue about who would go and who would stay. Perry broke into their argument…

“If you are going to do something, do it soon!” he yelled. “Otherwise you’ll kill my friend and have nowhere to go!”

The voices quieted for a moment and Perry’s hand loosened slightly on John’s throat, allowing him strained breathing rather than none at all.

“I think Ginger, Frank, Paul, and Peter should go,” one of the female voices said.

It was the first time Perry had heard them refer to each other by name and listened carefully. Something about the names seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place them. Then it hit him. Those were some of the names of the people who’d attended the Halloween party in the old newspaper article. He wished now, more than ever, that he’d been able to read the end of the article, so he could know what had happened, and was going to happen.

They argued some more and then Perry felt his small containment area expand. Four of the spirits drifted out of his body and into John’s, who was instantly released. He fell gasping to the floor and started thrashing around, screaming and clutching at his body. Finally he stilled and looked around with eyes that weren’t his own.

Perry cringed and whispered, “Sorry, my friend.” He wished John hadn’t gotten involved, and more than anything he wished he would have mentioned what had happened in the basement a few days before, thinking this wouldn’t have happened if he’d acknowledged it. He also thought about the horrible experience he’d had earlier in the bathroom and hoped his friend wouldn’t have to endure something similar when he changed into his costume; as if reading his thoughts, the female spirit who was still inside him laughed softly.

“He might like it, luv,” she said. “After all, you seemed to enjoy some of it.” She cackled with a perverse laugh and Perry didn’t respond.

It didn’t take the spirits long to master the control they had over Perry and John, and they extracted from their brains and thoughts all the things that needed to be done to prepare for the party; they’d just finished when the first guest arrived.

Nicole Winters—the tall, raven-haired, blue-eyed beauty who lived just down the street—stood on the porch with her coat hanging slightly open. Perry heart sank when he was forced to open the door and let her in. She smiled broadly, sporting a sexy fairy costume that would have made him drool if he hadn’t been possessed by crazy entities from the past; some of the comments the male ones were making about her made him panic and try to take back control.

“Run, Nicole!” Perry screamed. “Run!”

But of course, she couldn’t hear him, he still couldn’t control any part of his body, including his vocal cords.

“Shut up, you,” one of the males growled. “We’ll have our fun with this little tart and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Thanks for inviting me, Perry,” Nicole said, stepping inside and sliding off her coat, revealing more of her costume, or lack thereof. Most of it was sheer and see through; the male spirits were going wild.

“Ever seen any dressin’s like ‘em, fellas?” one of them asked.

“No, but I’d like to tear them off with my teeth and devour what’s underneath!” another exclaimed.

John entered the hallway, coming from the kitchen, and Perry saw a reflection in his eyes of what he was hearing within.

“I’m glad you could make it,” Perry’s pleasant voice said, as his hand was placed on her butt and he squeezed.

Nicole gasped and giggled, giving him a wink. “I wouldn’t have missed it. I love Halloween parties. They give me an excuse to dress up.” She was pressing herself against his body now and practically purring with wicked intent in her eyes.

“Oh, yeah, boys,” one of the voices said. “We’re gonna have us a slice of that Heaven.”

They all laughed.

Perry cringed and wished there was something he could do to stop all this, but he couldn’t think of anything.

John walked down the hall toward them and pressed up against Nicole from the back, trapping her between them. He bent forward and whispered something in her ear that Perry didn’t catch. He knew it wasn’t John doing any of it, but he still felt betrayed for some strange reason.

Nicole jerked and struggled, trying to break free, just before her personality flipped and she giggled and sighed, accepting the attention from both men. Perry and John realized instantly when their containment expanded slightly that the female spirits had both moved into Nicole’s body. She began to wiggle against and grope both of the men and pouted when someone knocked on the front door.

“Bloody hell!” she growled. “All these interruptions are spoiling our fun!”

Both of the possessed men laughed. None of them were themselves any longer and just watched and felt everything that happened around them.

Guests continued to arrive for the next forty-five minutes and none of them knew a thing about what was going on. If Nicole, John, or Perry did something strange, the guests would just shrug it off, assuming they’d already started drinking.

A couple times Nicole disappeared from the room with John, and a couple of times she left with Perry. No one really noticed, but Perry was devastated; he really liked and cared for Nicole, and the damned possessing spirts were making them both do tainted and lewd things to each other. He didn’t even want to think about what she was doing with John, knowing it was probably just as bad or worse.

“Why are you doing this to us?” Perry asked as he was again entering the living room where the party was, after being with Nicole. “Why not just kill us? Why play with us like this first?”

“Well, you see…” one of the voices started in a teasing manner.

“Don’t tell ‘im!” another barked. “Then he’ll know!”

“What does it matter if he knows?” another asked. “He can’t do anything about it.”

“Just shut up, you,” the second voice ordered. “It’ll be over before you know it.”

Everything kept moving smoothly along until around midnight, and then Perry’s mouth announced that he wanted to show everyone the player piano in the basement. They were intrigued, so like cattle the twenty-three people at the party (including Perry, John, and Nicole) went down into the basement; Nicole was the last one and she shut the door tightly behind herself.

“What’s going on?” Perry asked from deep within himself. “Why did you bring everyone down here?”

“Shut up!” all the voices barked at him.

Everyone was ohing and ahing over the piano while Perry, John, and Nicole stood at the base of the stairs. No one saw their eyes glow bright red, and no one saw the humans’ bodies transform into red scaled monsters with vicious long claws and mouths full of long, sharp teeth. But they did hear the panting and growling that emanated from them; the guests all turned and screamed.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had human flesh,” the once Nicole growled, running her long black tongue across her teeth. “I want the first bite.”

Both the beings who were once John and Perry growled and stepped forward.

The crowd cringed and moved backwards, pressing themselves against the far wall.

The Nicole-demon lunged forward, and with one clamp down of her jaws, she ripped a woman’s head clean off. Blood dripped from her mouth and onto the floor as she chewed the skull and slurped out the brains within before swallowing it all. The woman’s body fell to the floor and her blood began to drain out onto the stones. Instantly a pentagram made of flames appeared on the floor, encompassing the entire room; the body burned and dissolved to nothing in the fire.

More and more bodies joined the first as limbs were torn from torsos and hips, devoured by the bodies that had earlier been possessed and were now transformed. They gorged themselves on the flesh of the frightened, screaming guests and didn’t stop until they were all dead.

The three stood in the center of the pentagram panting. Their eyes were ablaze with adrenaline and their bodies were covered in the guts and blood they’d spilt.

“It’s time for the last three,” a deep, growling voice said from beneath them as the floor disappeared and turned into a raging, licking fire.

“Yes, master,” the three growled.

The female spirits left the body of Nicole they’d inhabited, and instantly it turned back into the human form with Nicole at the helm once again.

She blinked in confusion and screamed as her body began to burn. Soon there was nothing left of her; the same happened to both of the men.

Once they were consumed the floor reappeared and the fire was gone. The spirits floated in the air, looking at each other.

“I guess that pays our debt to Hell for a few more years,” one of the females said.

“Yes,” a male said with a laugh. “Happy Halloween!”

Days passed and none of the cars in front of Perry’s house moved. Neighbors became angry and then concerned. The police were called and they finally contacted Perry’s family when they couldn’t reach him.

A search ensued for Perry, John, and all of the others, to no avail.

When nothing and no one was found, Perry’s house was emptied and sold.

No one noticed the newspaper article from long ago when it was thrown into the trash, and no one knew to be afraid of what lurked in the basement, waiting for the next Halloween.

Rebecca Besser is the author of Nurse Blood. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. She has been published hundreds of times in magazines, ezines, anthologies, educational books, on blogs, and more in the areas of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for a variety of age groups and genres. Her nonfiction article on skydiving was picked up by McGraw-Hill for NY Assessments. One of her poems for children was chosen for an early reader book from Oxford University Press (India). Her short story, P.C., was included in Anything But Zombies! published by Atria Books (digital imprint of Simon & Schuster).

Rebecca’s main focus has been on horror works for adults. She writes zombie works, suspenseful thrillers, and other dark fiction related to the horror genre/community. She has also edited multiple books in these genres.

Amazon Author Page

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Rebecca Besser

Meghan: Hi, Rebecca. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books, and thank you for agreeing to take part in our Halloween Extravaganza. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rebecca Besser: Hi, I’m Becca. A wife, mother, and author. I write mostly dark fiction, but have been published in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for all ages (children – adult). I like to read, watch movie, and cook.

Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?

Rebecca Besser:

  • I’m a sometimes goat midwife, since my son has a small mini-goat farm.
  • I’m a published photographer.
  • I was homeschooled after 6th grade.
  • I’ve been to Israel twice, and have also visited Rome and Holland (all before I was 16).
  • I snore.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

Rebecca Besser: The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Meghan: What are you reading now?

Rebecca Besser: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?

Rebecca Besser: That’s a hard one… I read a large variety of books and genres. I’ll go with The Shack by William P. Young.

Meghan: What made you decide you want to write?

Rebecca Besser: I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I won an award for a story when I was in 1st grade. But, I signed up for my writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature after I had a miscarriage. Writing ended up being good therapy for me.

Meghan: When did you begin writing?

Rebecca Besser: Writing for serious? Like trying to get published? About 12 years ago. So, around 2007.

Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?

Rebecca Besser: At home, on my laptop. Usually in my living room, on my couch/recliner.

Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Rebecca Besser: No, not really. I do like it when my house is quiet and I know I won’t be interrupted.

Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Rebecca Besser: Finding the time to do it. My family is important to me, so I give them a lot of my time.

Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?

Rebecca Besser: I’ve written a number of articles for Super Teacher Worksheets. One of those articles was about my husband and his job. Writing that was pretty satisfying, especially knowing that it will help educate children.

Meghan: What books have most inspired you?

Rebecca Besser: As a writer? I can’t think of any in particular. I love all kinds of books, writing styles, and story-telling formats. You can learn for any book, even a bad one.

Meghan: Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Rebecca Besser: I’ve never tried to pattern my writing story after another writer. Writing style, I believe, is something unique to each and every writer. No two writers can tell the same story, because their insight and style change everything.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

Rebecca Besser: A good story needs to be told well, easy to follow for the reader, and be interesting. If you can easily entertain and captivate your reader, your story will be loved regardless of the content/genre.

Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character?

Rebecca Besser: I need the character to seem as real as possible. I want to forget I’m reading about a fictional person and actually think I’m reading about a real person.

Meghan: How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Rebecca Besser: I try to make my characters seem as real as possible. I want them to have quirks, realistic dialogue, and seem like someone you could walk past on the street at any moment.

Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Rebecca Besser: Oh, that’s an easy one, since I actually wrote a short story with the main characters based on myself and my husband. The story is entitled, “My Kind of Woman,” and can be found in my zombie short story collection, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death. I named her Brooke.

Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover?

Rebecca Besser: Sometimes. But if I find the blurb for the book interesting, I will probably still read it. Some really great books have bad cover. Also, some really bad books have great covers. Covers don’t always represent the book well.

Meghan: To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Rebecca Besser: For my self-published works, I create my own covers using stock art, but sometimes I have an artist do an original cover. Undead Drive-Thru’s covers (both versions) were done by artist, Justin T. Coons. Also, my Nurse Blood novel was inspired by one of his original paintings, which I bought from him and now own. Nurse Blood’s current cover (with Limitless Publishing) is based on some pictures I found on the internet.

Mostly though, I do my own covers.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

Rebecca Besser: I’ve learned to create and format book covers, edit, and do eBook and paperback internal formatting. I can do it all because I worked with some small presses years back and learned a lot about indie publishing overall.

Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Rebecca Besser: In an anthology entitled, Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound, my story, “When Plans Fail,” has a scene that was hard to write. The book was about hopelessness. My story was set in the zombie apocalypse. The characters were a young mother and her infant. The mother was bitten when she attempted to get supplies, mainly food, and she tried to take the baby and find someone to care for it. Unfortunately, she didn’t find anyone before she started to turn. She didn’t want to eat her own child… so she ended the baby’s life so she wouldn’t hurt it and it wouldn’t suffer and starve to death.

That was hard to write, and I imagine it was hard for the reader to read.

Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Rebecca Besser: I try to stay away from the mainstream norms of the genres. Nurse Blood is an organ harvesting thriller, which isn’t a huge genre. For zombies, I try to do stories with themes I haven’t seen, heard of, or read before. My Zpoc Exception Series (ebooks) is based on characters that are immune to whatever is making people zombies. They get bitten, they get sick for a time, and then they’re fine. Undead Drive-Thru only had one zombie in the entire book. Undead Regeneration, the sequel, has zombies, but not at apocalypse level.

Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Rebecca Besser: I used to really struggle with titles, but I’ve gotten better. I decided the title needs to have something to do with the book, like I’m summing up the entire book/story in just a few words. That’s incredibly hard. I usually have a few working titles and pick one when the book/story is complete. It really helps if I can take a line or phrase out of the actual work to use as a title, but that rarely happens. You also have to make sure the title actually sounds interesting so you can catch people’s attention. Because, you know, it isn’t hard enough already.

Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Rebecca Besser: I feel fulfilled if the story is told well. It doesn’t matter the length of the work. Making everything make sense in a way that will engage and grab the reader is fulfilling always, no matter what the work is. I really enjoy when I can make things clever in a way that there’s this huge “Ah-ha!” moment, especially at the end.

Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Rebecca Besser: Undead Drive-Thru and Undead Regeneration are Scifi zombie books about a man who comes home, turns into a zombie and is protected by his wife—she keeps him as kind of a pet. Things go bad. People get hurt. Things happen and lives are changed.

Nurse Blood is a serial killer organ harvesting thriller. A group of a couple medical professionals, a couple thugs, and a black market dealer kill and part out people for money. That, and they have a warped sense of righteousness, because they’re killing one person to save many lives (depending on how many organs they get from their victim).

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death is a short story collection of various horror stories, from broken humanity to monsters.

Zombies Inside is a short story collection of various zombie short stories I’ve had in anthologies (there’s a brief history of each story after it in the book). That was also has a short story by guest author, Courtney Rene.

Zpoc Exception Series: Re-Civilize series is currently available in eBook only, and is about the few among the many that are immune to whatever is turning people into zombies. Thus far, there are four character books available that start from the outbreak to where they meet. I’ll do a novel series also, with all the characters together after that point, when they’re turned into a team to help re-civilize the world for humanity after the zpoc (zombie apocalypse).

Hall of Twelve is a short story Scifi horror eBook about monster from a different dimension who come to Earth to use humans for food.

Curse Bounty is a short story western zombie story about outlaws that rob a bank. When the sheriff asks for help tracking them down, he’s given help from a zombie bounty hunter.

Heart of a Soldier is a short story YA Scifi story about love, healing, and hope.

My main audience is anywhere from YA to adult. I like to provoke people to think, to ask themselves what they would do in the characters’ situations. At the same time, I want to entertain people.

Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Rebecca Besser: There’s not usually much I take out. Nurse Blood has a missing flashback for Roger, because the publisher insisted I take down the word count a bit. Otherwise, you usually get it all.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

Rebecca Besser: I have idea journals with so many ideas they’re too vast to put here. But, even if they weren’t, I don’t share my unwritten ideas with many people, at least not until I start writing or am at least halfway done.

I was told once to never throw any drafts away, even if things change majorly in the story, because one day you could use those bits or ideas to write something else. I have a bunch of those in a writing folder on my comp somewhere too.

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Rebecca Besser: Scary stuff. Stories that are hard to read because they question morality and the reader’s humanity.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Rebecca Besser: I make it easy to find me, since everything has a version of my name.

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Instagram

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?

Rebecca Besser: Thank you for having me on your blog and including me in your event!

Also, thank you to all the readers that love my work—you inspire me when things get hard.

Rebecca Besser is the author of Nurse Blood. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. She has been published hundreds of times in magazines, ezines, anthologies, educational books, on blogs, and more in the areas of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for a variety of age groups and genres. Her nonfiction article on skydiving was picked up by McGraw-Hill for NY Assessments. One of her poems for children was chosen for an early reader book from Oxford University Press (India). Her short story, P.C., was included in Anything But Zombies! published by Atria Books (digital imprint of Simon & Schuster).

Rebecca’s main focus has been on horror works for adults. She writes zombie works, suspenseful thrillers, and other dark fiction related to the horror genre/community. She has also edited multiple books in these genres.

Amazon Author Page