Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black



Book Review: “A Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay

Is 14 year old Marjorie mentally ill, or is she possessed? Her financially strapped family seeks help from the medical community and the church, and through it all, her 8-year-old sister Merry listens to Marjorie’s understanding of the ghosts who whisper terrible stories. A tv station films their plight, creating a reality television program of their pain. 

Years later, an author approaches Merry to interview her for an upcoming book. Memories of a confused and frightened little girl are dusted off, reality and perception examined, and a secret pushes like poisonous vines seeking the light.

Paul Tremblay’s “A Head Full of Ghosts” has rightly been compared to works by the great Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. Mr. Tremblay builds a creeping terror and unease without much gore. Within the book, he alludes to other great contemporary tales of terror from film, fiction writing, and headlines. He uses a blog to convey some of the information, bringing another modern component to this novel. In the end, this story sticks with the reader long after the cover thumps to a disquieted close.

Book Review: The Sun Dog by Stephen King

On his fifteenth birthday, Kevin Merrill is given a Polaroid Sun 660, but no matter what he frames in its view finder, it only produces photos of a Hellish-looking dog. Kevin and his Dad take the camera to Pop Merrill’s curiosity shop in Castle Rock to determine the nature of the phenomenon. Kevin’s dread grows, though, as the hound seems to turn toward the photographer. The safest course of action is to destroy the damned Polaroid before the dog bursts into their world. Weighing in at a mere 193 pages, Stephen King’s The Sun Dog is filled with the folksy charm of Castle Rock and the mounting menace indicative of the King of Horror. Readers will delight at the many allusions.

Book Review: Baker – Demons and Other Night Things by Terry M. West

Once again, Terry M. West turns his devious writing talents to craft a devilishly gory collection of tales. Horrors best contained, maddening visions, and surprisingly charming monsters! This collection of short stories follows the unflappable Baker Johnson who reminds me of a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the old television paranormal detective Kolchek. (Yep, showing my age, kiddies…) This timeless character strolls into West’s rich, monster-filled universe with the command necessary to gain respect. Using a nightmare demon, Mr. Stucke, and H.P. Lovecraft himself, West joins his creepy contemporary Night Things with the period perfection refined by Baker. This collection of five short stories provides an excellent introduction to the rich, monster-populated, often gory, and always entertaining world Terry M. West creates.

Herd of Nightmares

As many of you know, I’ve published a second collection of short horror stories through Tree Shadow Press called Herd of Nightmares.

My amazing brother, Chris Blick did the cover artwork. Didn’t he do a great job? Not only do I think so, but so do a bunch of people at All Author. They host a monthly cover contest, and Herd of Nightmares has passed the first round of voting. Won’t you please give it a peek and see if you might be motivated to vote it a winning cover? You can check it out here:


Herd of Nightmares contains 210 pages of flash fiction, short stories, and horror haiku.


If you’re interested in purchasing, I have books available for sale here for $12.95 (plus shipping) through Pay Pal at

through Tree Shadow Press

or through Amazon .

Herd of Nightmares

Excited to announce the newest collection of my short horror stories is now available for purchase!

Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

Happy birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

written by Kerry E.B. Black

One of the twentieth century’s most influential horror HP Lovecraftwriters, H.P. Lovecraft, would have celebrated his 128th birthday today, if he hadn’t taken Death’s hand to start a new adventure on the Ides of March, 1937. (Howard Phillips Lovecraft was almost 47 years old when he died.)

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Lovecraft began writing horror stories at the age of eight.  It wasn’t until he turned 31 that he published in a professional magazine. Three years later, he became a regular contributor to “Weird Tales” magazine. Unfortunately, this ingenious author of “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Out of Time,” and “At the Mountains of Madness” found supporting himself with the written word illusive.

As a child, Lovecraft experienced hardships. When Lovecraft was three years old, his father Winfield Scott Lovecraft succumbed to psychosis and was institutionalized. Winfield remained in the Butler Hospital until his death in 1898. Young Lovecraft recited poetry by the age of three and wrote complete poems by six. His grandfather Whipple Van Buren Phillips encouraged Lovecraft to read such classics as “The Arabian Nights” and “Bulfinch’s Age of Fable,” and he retold gothic tales of terror to his grandson. Lovecraft suffered Night Terrors.

Lovecraft started school late, and he missed a lot of school due to illness. He left school in 1908 without graduating after having a nervous breakdown caused in part by his aversion to mathematics. After ending his academic pursuits, he lived for five years isolated with his mother. He wrote poetry and in 1913, a pulp magazine published a critique of Fred Jackson’s love stories. The ensuing debate garnered the attention of the United Amateur Press Association, and he joined the UAPA in 1914. He published a story, “The Alchemist” in “The United Amateur” in 1916. He mentored and corresponded with many contemporary writers, including Robert Bloch (Psycho).

His Mother died in Butler Hospital in May, 1921. For two years, he married Sonia Greene and moved to New York. After, he returned to Providence. There, he lived in a Victorian house on Barnes Street. (He used the address in “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.”) He fostered a friendship with Harry Houdini.

He died impoverished of cancer. In 1977, his fans bought a tombstone of his own in Swan Point Cemetery. Inscribed thereon is the quote, “I am Providence.”

H.P. Lovecraft’s writing continues to influence writers, including Stephen King. He is called upon by modern writers to serve as a character of cunning, occult knowledge, and guile.

*first published at Halloween Forevermore

Happy Birthday, Shirley Jackson

Happy Birthday, Shirley Jackson

I wished to share my enthusiasm for an amazing, versatile author, Shirley Jackson.
Her amazing short story “The Lottery” provided my introduction to Ms. Jackson’s writing when I was but an enthusiastic junior high student. Setting a brutal ancient rite in small-town America haunts me to this day. “The Lottery” appeared in the “New Yorker” in 1948 and created an unprecedented stir. It was named the O. Henry Prize Story in 1949.
hill houseShirley Jackson’s body of written work is varied and plentiful. Her hundreds of short stories found homes in most of the magazines of the time. Subject matter varied from “real life housewife” stories to thrilling horror tales. “Louisa, Please Come Home” earned a nomination for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1961. In 1966, she won Best Short Story from Mystery Writers of America for “Possibility of Evil.”
She penned children’s literature including The Witchcraft of Salem Village (1956), Nine Magic Wishes (1963), and The Bad Children, based on Hansel and Gretel, which was adapted as a play. She wrote what she called “disrespectful memoirs of her children” called Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons.
Her novels include The Road Through the Wall, Hangsaman, The Bird’s Nest (1954), and The Sundial. Her We Have Always Lived in the Castle garnered the accolade “One of ‘Time’ Magazine’s 10 Best Novels in 1962.” The story was successfully adapted for stage.the lottery
Stephen King and Neil Gaiman acknowledge her influence on their work. Mr. King calls her novel, The Haunting of Hill House (published in 1958 and adapted for the silver screen at least twice) “one of the best ghost stories.” It was nominated for the National Book Award.
On 14 December, 1916 Shirley Jackson was born in Burlingame, California. She attended school in Rochester, New York, where she met her husband, literary critic Stanley Edgar Hayman. The couple moved with their family to North Bennington, Vermont. She died on 8 August, 1965 of heart failure at the age of 48.

Full Moon Slaughter

Full Moon Slaughter 2It terrifies us that an innocent face can mask evil.

Shifters. Lycanthropes. Werewolves. Secrets hidden beneath the skin of seemingly normal people. Be they metaphors or deep-rooted fears of the nature of man, these creatures claw their way through our imaginations.

Compiled by Toneye Eyenot and Nick Hatfield, Full Moon Slaughter 2 is a monstrous volume of tales that explores these fascinating creatures, and I’m thrilled to have two short stories included. Available through Amazon and a number of other sources, it promises a lot of hair-raising horror for your enjoyment. In fact, it is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Do you dare check it out?


I’ve also a story in the first Full Moon Slaughter, which is also available on Amazon, and it is also available free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.



A Carrot Ranch Campfire Story told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

Fire’s magic transforms all it touches. Its gold infuses elegance into humble surroundings, and its heat warms human souls.

It dances across logs, graceful as a sprite. Its tongues send messages to heaven, wrapped in clouds of billowing gray smoke.

I squeeze my eyes shut. Blue-bright flames lit by hatred to creep up my skirts. Hair sizzles. skin bubbles. Pain sears as fragrant flesh pops from bone until all that remains is unrecognizable char.

My spirit clings to the spot of my assassination, but instead of damning my persecutors, I admire the flame’s artistry. Fire transforms all it touches.maxresdefault

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