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Introduction

A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

Winter Holidays - Story 1 - The Pale Little Girl By the Side of the Road by Tim Jeffreys

Hearing a crunch of gravel from the driveway in front of the cottage, Harriett Redgrave let out a small exhalation, stood and crossed to the window. Though her husband, John, had got the log burner started shortly after their arrival, she still hadn’t removed her coat. Neither had she touched the glass of white wine John had poured for her before he set about putting up the Christmas tree. She’d spent the last hour perched on the edge of the sofa, in good view of the vintage school wall clock on the wall, clasping and unclasping her hands. As much as she enjoyed spending Christmas with her four children, the anxiety she felt as she waited for each of them to arrive was unbearable.

“That’ll be our Nicholas,” John said. He had strung a set of Christmas lights around his shoulders in order to test them.

Harriett rubbed at the mist on the window and squinted to see through the swirling snowflakes outside. She recognised the green Volkswagen parked on the driveway as belonging to her young…

Winter Holidays - Story 2 - Tis the Season by D.S. Ullery

This story was originally published in When Red Snow Melts, December 2013, and then republished as part of Mr. Ullery's collection in 2016.

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Beneath a sea of stars sparkling across the indigo sky like infinite diamonds adrift in the heavens, Reggie Beckerman shivered. He clutched the lapels of his well-worn topcoat, attempting to wrap it more tightly around his frail frame. The effort had little effect. Biting cold penetrated through the thin material as if he were naked. A strange, repetitive clacking filled the air and Reggie realized, to his chagrin, it was the sound of his own teeth chattering. All around him, snow lay draped over the landscape of the forest, a silver blanket stretching as far as the eye could see under the glow of the full moon.

He glanced over at the older, stockier man standing next to him, dressed in a thick, wool-lined parka. His companion was smiling as if he were in the best of spirits.

“There it is,” the man told him, pointing across the clearing.

A…

Winter Holidays - Story 3 - Pâtisserie Du Diable by Eric J. Guignard

This story first appeared in Winter Horror Days from Omnium Gatherum, December, 2015.

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You revelers, défenseurs and fêtards of the feast day Epiphany, lovers of sweet cake, heed my caution, consider this narrative, beware La Galette Des Rois, for it is not what you think!

My alarm may sound Impossible! C’est fantastique! Absurd, even! But it is so, and nothing further from fiction, and no less than the very ruination of your eternal soul! For what I am to tell you speaks to the infernal, the demonic, and though I am named a fabulist, this is no sensational tale told for thrill, but a forewarning of the most ominous stripe.

La fève, la fève! It is not the sweet charm of childhood delight, ce n’est pas the beloved célébration of our baby savior, but instead the insidious cunning of Le Diable meant to deceive us innocent mortals!

Take heed! Beware! Méfiez-vous La Galette!

…Ah, sacré bleu, but you know not yet what I speak, you so unmoved to believe in the dark, the fiendish manipulatio…

Winter Holidays - Story 4 - A Creature Stirring by Ken MacGregor

This story first appeared in Mr. MacGregor's collection An Aberrant Mind, published 2014.

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Julian set down several bags of presents to unlock his apartment. He lived on the top floor of a nineteen-story building; it was divided into eight apartments. He stepped in, and was hit by a smell: strong, sharp and musky, wild and strange.

Julian dragged in the bags and scrunched up his nose. He walked his apartment, turning on all the lights, but found nothing. Probably, an animal got into the ventilation shaft and died. He poured himself a glass of Merlot and sat on the couch to wrap the first present, a toy unicorn, white, with a gold mane, tail and horn. It was ten inches tall. Julian’s sister, Alice had two girls, Georgia and Nell. Nell was going to explode when she opened this.

Julian had learned how to wrap presents neatly from an ex-girlfriend. Sara was an artist, beautiful, creative, smart. He was infatuated with her, and their passion burned fiercely but briefly. Sara wrapped p…

Winter Holidays - Story 5 - The Zonbi’s Fet Ghedé by K.L. Nappier

Editor's note: This lovely and haunting piece has two erotic scenes that have medium intensity to them. Reader discretion is advised.
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Fet Ghedé: Voudon Festival of the Ancestors, celebrated late October to early November
Bourbon Street, New Orleans 1818 Three Days Before Fet Ghedé
She was the zonbi’s first awareness. He caught her unique scent in the lush, warm blood under her skin. Her woolen cloak and hood, soaked by the downpour, gave off a musky wet animal cloy that carried the blood odor as if offering him a gift.

The sense of her stopped his plodding, though his death-numbed brain was compelled to do his bokor’s bidding. She, trudging along the plank walk beside the muddy ruts of Bourbon Street. He, upon the boards on the other side. The zonbi looked up, turning his dull gaze in her direction.

What was she?

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Just as her scent had brought him his first thought since his turning, so the sight of her gave him his first sense of self after death: I am zonbi. It didn’t com…