Amaranthine and Other Stories (6 page)

BOOK: Amaranthine and Other Stories
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The Green Tide

Another one of those stories half inspired by an article. Several years ago, there was a supposed incident on the beaches of Brittany, where holidaymakers were warned against a “killer seaweed”. Apparently, it was as poisonous as cyanide and reported that 28 wild boars died when they breathed in a toxic gas, released by the foul-smelling algae as it decomposed. It's normally found on most northern French beaches, but it releases hydrogen sulphide when it comes into contact with nitrogen waste, flowing to the sea from the pig and poultry farms. They claimed that a council worker on a seaweed clearing team was poisoned by gas and taken to hospital in a coma. A local marine biologist warned that this gas was very toxic and smelled like rotten eggs. He said that it attacks the respiratory system and can kill a man or an animal in minutes. Mind you, I think I've read the column in Mail Online so it was probably a load of shite. Still, it immediately captured my attention and I thought it would make a cool story. Did I mention realistic horror? Yeah, something like that. So the guy, a botanist—brings his cheating girlfriend to this beach, secretly plotting her demise by using the poisonous seaweed. Again, the ending is speculative. Will she survive? Will she die? You decide. I managed to sell it to
Theme of Absence
for a token payment and the story received positive feedback. Not from my girlfriend, though. For some reason, she wasn't keen on this one.

Pins and Needles

Years ago, when I was still studying creative writing, I wrote a short story entitled
The Needle Factory
for one of my assignments. To be honest with you, I never liked it. The dynamics were all wrong—so I scrapped it. I had no intention of publishing this story…ever. But when I decided to put the collection together, I went through all of those hidden and forgotten piles of paper buried at the bottom of the drawer. And there it was—staring back, mocking me. I read it again…and loathed it even more. There was a spark in there somewhere, but whipping it into shape would be extremely difficult. I groaned, unsure what to do with it. Luckily, my friend Karen Runge (a fellow horror author) came to the rescue. She read it and gave me some feedback. I ripped the story apart and did a complete rewrite. As suspected, it was bloody hard work! The plot is quite controversial, obviously racism being the main ingredient. But still, it's also a good old-fashioned voodoo story and I hope people will enjoy it for what it is. Again, I drifted from the realistic horror theme with this one. Voodoo dolls (and the entire philosophy behind them) intrigued me for years, though, so it had to be done.

About the Author

Erik Hofstatter is a schlock horror writer and a member of the Horror Writers Association. He dwells in a beauteous and serenading Garden of England, where he can be encountered consuming copious amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry. His work appeared in various magazines and podcasts around the world such as Morpheus Tales, The Literary Hatchet, Sanitarium Magazine, Wicked Library, Tales to Terrify and Manor House Show. 'Rare Breeds' is due to be published in March 2016 by KnightWatch Press.

You can find out more about Erik and his writing at

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BOOK: Amaranthine and Other Stories
4.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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