Wednesday, October 1, 2014

LUCKY THIRTEEN: Regina Puckett


IT'S HERE! HALLOWEENPALOOZA HAS BEGUN! 

And who better to kick off our gorefest than the Lady of the Macabre herself, Regina Puckett! Not only is she giving away one print copy of her fantasmagoriphal SHORT TALES OF HORROR and SHORT TALES OF HORROR II, she's accepted the HALLOWEENPALOOZA II challenge and written a short story featuring a black cat! 

So let's get to reading and winning! In addition to the Daily Book Giveaway, we have two contests running in October. One is the Best Pet Costume Picture Contest and the other is the Let's Prank It Contest which is features our Grand Prize Package! Please click on the HALLOWEENPALOOZA pic at the bottom of the page to find out the details on FB! 

Okay, ready, set, PUMPKIN!!! 


Lucky Thirteen
Regina Puckett

Tina emptied the last overflowing litter box into a large trash bag.  Thirteen cats, two litter boxes and three days since they’d been cleaned equaled a smell so horrible it made her gag. Why was it that her grandmother had ten grandchildren and she was the only one who ever got stuck doing all the dirty jobs?  “There’s nothing worse than old cat shit and piss.”
Her grandmother called from the next room, “What was that, dear?”
Instead of answering, Tina tied the trash bag and refilled the now clean boxes with fresh litter. Once she’d swept the mess from the floor, she gathered everything together and carried it into her grandmother’s adjourning bedroom. The poor dear had been largely confined to her bed for over a year now and depended on help from her close family to take care of her needs. Fortunately, she had the constant companionship of her many cats.
Tina smiled at the sight of her grandmother, propped up against a mound of pillows with cats covering every inch of the bed around her.  She placed the broom against the wall and leant down to kiss her grandmother’s forehead.  “It’s a good thing the health department doesn’t know about these cats.  They might come and take them all away.”
The older woman grunted.  “I would like to see them try,” she said as she rubbed the head of the nearest cat and grinned. “They’re well fed and have had all of their shots.  Besides, I like having them around.  It gets boring being stuck in bed day in and day out.” A white-socked foot slid out from under the covers.
“How on earth do you get your socks so dirty just going from the bed to the bathroom?”
Her grandmother jerked her foot back and giggled nervously.  “I’m certain I don’t know.”
One of the cats jumped off the bed and rubbed against Tina’s leg. “What you really need is a large, yapping dog. There was another break-in last night, four houses down from here.  This neighborhood is going downhill fast. I wish you would take up on Mom’s offer to move in with us.”
Her grandmother snorted and rearranged the pillow behind her head.  “You know how much I hate dogs.  They make too much noise and are always having to go outside to do their business. My little lovelies are the perfect ladies and gentlemen.  Besides, you know very well I can’t make it down the stairs to let a dog outside.”
Tina crossed her arms.  “But these cats can’t protect you if someone breaks in.  You know we would love having you with us.  We worry about you staying here by yourself.”
The low lull of purring steadily filled the air. “I’ve lived here for fifty years.  I’m not afraid to stay here by myself, and even if I wanted to move in with you and Mary, you know as well as I do that your mom would never let me bring all of my babies with me.”
“You’re probably right.” Tina glanced around the room, trying to see if there was anything she needed to do before leaving. “Where’s Boots?  I haven’t seen him all day.” Of all the thirteen black cats her grandmother owned, Boots was the only one who had four white feet.
Her grandmother waved in the direction of the bedroom doorway.  “He’s probably at the top of the stairway pulling guard duty.”  A twinkle filled her eyes. “And you think a loud, barking dog would do that.” She giggled as though she were three, not eight-three.
**
Jason slipped in through a half-opened downstairs window. Once in, a shiver ran down his spine.  He looked around the dark kitchen as his eyes adjusted. There was just enough moonlight shining in for him to see there was nothing special about the room, so why did it have such an evil vibe to it? He had checked out the house on several occasions earlier in the week. Each and every time, a large black cat had stared back at him from a second floor window.  It was if the cat warned him to stay away or else, but of course that was stupid.  Cats didn’t send out warnings. 
Before becoming addicted to heroin, he had been good at sensing things others couldn’t. His grandmother had called it a gift.  It had always made him feel special to know something wasn’t right before anyone else did, but mostly these days his addiction seemed to have robbed him of that sixth sense.  But still, every now and then it would overpower the worst of his drug-induced fogs and break through with a warning. Like now, it forced him to take a second look around the nondescript kitchen.
The very air around Jason seemed to pulsate with a smothering, malevolent force.  He was sorely tempted to crawl back out through the window and go home.  Before he could move, though, a cramp hit his stomach and he broke out in a cold sweat.  He bent over, and with great effort, drew in several deep breaths. 
He whispered, “Let’s do this and get out of here.” In spite of the sickening pain, he straightened and tiptoed toward an open doorway where he stopped and listened.  The last thing he needed was a huge dog bounding out of nowhere to attack him.  He rubbed his thigh, a constant and painful reminder that his line of nighttime work came with its own hazards.
Convinced there was indeed no dog, and that no one was up and about, he inched forward until his foot came against a staircase.  If he was careful, he could sneak upstairs and check out the bedrooms for jewelry boxes and purses, although he wasn’t expecting much.  The yard needed mowing and the house a good painting so whoever lived here clearly wasn’t rich, but  all he needed was enough to hock for his next hit.
Anxious to be out of the creepy house, he carefully took the steps two at a time.  The last thing he wanted was to be shot by a startled home owner. He had almost reached the top when a movement on the landing halted him in his tracks.  He held his breath and tried to make out what had caught his eye.  Jason let out a pent-up breath when the silence was broken by a soft meow.  He almost chuckled but then checked himself.
He reached up to pat the top of the cat’s head but stopped short when several more joined it.  Enough moonlight came in through a landing window to glint back from the assembled cats’ eyes as they stared down at him.  That eerie sight brought goose bumps out all over him and his stomach cramps returned.
He didn’t have time for this shit. He needed to get on, but the cats had the landing blocked.  They were pressed side by side, their meowing growing louder and louder with each second.  If he didn’t do something soon, the stupid pests would wake the house. He tried inching forward but stopped when three of the cats jumped down and began winding around his feet.  He tried nudging them out of the way but the rest soon ran down and pressed in around his legs.  As he tried stepping out of the mingling mass, something jumped out of the darkness and on top of his head.  Already off balance, his trapped feet and the sudden surprise of having something attached to his head and face made Jason reached out to stop his fall but his hands found only empty air. His last thought was how much he hated cats.
**
As soon as Granny made her way down to the foot of the stairs, she flipped on the hallway light and chuckled at the sight of Boots licking blood off a paw. She stooped and patted the top of her favorite cat’s head.  “And Tina thought I needed a guard dog.  Silly girl.  Who needs a guard dog when I have you?”
She studied the young man, crumpled at the bottom of the stairway, his neck clearly broken.  “They get skinnier and skinnier.  But I guess beggars can’t be choosy.” 
All thirteen cats gathered around her.  She made a point of patting every one of their heads before saying, “Well, let’s get to work.  It will take all night to get him chopped up and put in the freezer.”
She grabbed the young man’s feet and, happily chatting away to herself, haltingly dragged him toward the kitchen. “He’s certainly heavy.  Maybe there’s enough on him to feed you all right through the rest of the winter.  Of course, seeing how bad crime has gotten in this neighborhood, there’s always the chance we might get lucky and bag ourselves a couple more for a rainy day. That will teach them not to underestimate old ladies and their kitty cats.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.
Concealed in My Heart is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner.
Claimed by Sin is nominated for 2014 Ellora's Cave Golden Ankh award.
Concealed in My Heart won runner-up in the international 2014 MARSocial Author of the Year Competition.
Borrowed Wings, has received the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval and a 5 star review from Readers' Favorite.
Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.
Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into the Beyond.
Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.
Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.
Her sweet romance, Songs that I Whisper, received a 5 star review from Readers' Favorite.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite-a 5 star review.
She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.
Please come and visit me at facebook.com/regina.puckett1

regina puckett’s short tales of horror
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Mine-A night of ghost hunting with a sexy coworker turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse with an evil spirit. Can anything save them when the spirit decides they belong to him? Crying through Plastic Eyes-A messy divorce, a room filled with creepy dolls, and a missing six-year-old all create the perfect storm for a young mother’s worse nightmare. Will Work for Food-You see them everywhere begging for money or food. When an older couple decides to lend a helping hand to a young man and his son, someone gets more than they bargain for. Pieces-A battered woman confesses to the mutilation and death of her husband, but did she really commit this heinous crime? Paying the Hitchhiker-You see a beautiful young woman on the side of the road with her thumb out, asking for a ride. Who should be the most afraid: the hitchhiker or the person picking her up? Inheritance-A confession from Accalia’s grandmother about a curse and an inheritance are just the prologue to seven days of suffering through a living hell.


regina puckett’s short tales of horroR II


Ours

While Sheriff Wilson has no idea what really transpired the night twelve people were murdered in the old mental hospital during what was supposed to be a simple night of ghost hunting, he was at the scene moments after the lone survivor committed suicide. Now it’s a year later and a group of paranormal investigators want to set up a haunted house and invite the general public in that same abandoned mental hospital. How is he supposed to keep that many people safe from whoever or whatever killed the last group?

Silent Baby Screams


Gwen doesn't understand why her husband resents their newborn baby so much, but she never suspects that one day she'll return home from work to discover their baby boy has simply vanished. What happens next is the stuff of nightmares.

Lucky Thirteen

Thirteen black cats help keep watch over a bedridden, old lady. Sometimes the number thirteen is lucky but then again it might just depend on it who you are.

Pay Back

There’s nothing usual about Jeremy waking up late for school, but on this particular morning something feels different. When he goes downstairs to face the music, he finds his grandmother waiting for him but no one else appears to be at home. Jeremy believes he’s caught a lucky break and his mother and father won’t get to know, but he soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. He finds he’ll have to face up to his mistakes, though, and maybe even suffer a little payback himself.


Slimmer

Sandy loves her new boyfriend, but ever since they moved in together, Donald won’t get off her back about how much she eats. When he offers her a new miracle diet pill, she decides to try one just to shut him up. Unfortunately, there are unexpected side effects that take them both by terrifying surprise.


Sam I am


The morning after moving into her dream home with her young daughter and husband, Paige learns that the three story, 18th century house might be haunted. She then finds that her daughter has a new imaginary friend called Sam I Am. It isn’t long before Paige’s perfect home turns into a living nightmare. 

TO ENTER TO WIN: 

1. Simply click on link below
2. Comment "I Want to Win" on the October 1st Daily Giveaway post
3. That's it! All names will be put into Random.org at 8 PM this evening. Winner's will be posted on FB! 

GOOD LUCK!!! 

h

UPDATE: CONTEST OVER! BOTH WINNERS HAVE BEEN SELECTED! GO TO THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE TO SEE WINNER'S NAMES! 

 

 


3 comments:

  1. Hi Rumeur! Please click on the bottom picture. It'll bring you to the Facebook Event Page! The post pinned at the top is the one you need to comment in!

    ReplyDelete