Forces Of Evil: The Board Game

      Rik Hunik
Forces Of Evil: The Board Game

(6300 words) A horror short story about a young couple at a cabin in the woods who find a role playing board game about defending a warehouse from an army of zombies. By playing the game and losing they shift the balance, giving evil the upper hand. As evil runs rampant in the world they race against time and zombies to set things right.The sprite Twaylee enjoys her harrowing quests with Dame Aylith but even the adventurous must sometimes rest. The two elves visit Twaylee's comrades from her days in the Royal Army of the Blessed Court. After their brief respite, the two questing agents venture into a land of goblins to foil a scheme of the dark elves. Unfortunately, the enemy is ready for them.

Read online

    Joyride

      Rik Hunik
Joyride

A slightly shorter version of this story originally appeared in “Tales Of The Talisman”, Volume 1, Issue 2, Sep. 2005. Darien thought he was pretty clever when he stole the Black and Gold Special Edition 1977 Trans Am before Fast Eddy could get to it, but before he can sell it he has to endure a road trip fraught with mishaps. And what's with that license plate?The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Only one other child has been admitted with living parents: Gideon Ross. Can Jeremiah Whitfield, heir to a multi-billion dollar corporation, escape his repulsive household, can he survive Clements once he's in? Are they right? Is it a phase? *Contains adult themes and language. Not for the faint of heart or the narrow of mind.Just a Phase is one of many self-contained tales of growing up the hard way in the future. Find more in 'Breaking Benjamin', available in print or e-book.

Read online

    Winterland

      Rik Hunik
Winterland

(5850 words) After Bryce's eight-year-old daughter tells him she can't remember last summer, or any summer for that matter, he starts to notice discrepancies in the world of his cozy little town. How long has this winter lasted? And why does he feel so cold all the time? A slightly different version of this story appeared in Wild Violet, Feb. 2013.Vivia Brisk knows about the dead. She should. She’s died enough times. Vivia is a hag – or death witch – one of the last of her race, and can die, visit the underworld and return at will. As a consultant with charity The Lipscombe Trust, she has a job she loves – helping London’s most vulnerable supernaturals, even if her colleague Malcolm drives her round the bend on a daily basis. Vivia thinks she’s got Malcolm’s measure – sexist, not too bright and generally a pain in the ass, but then Malcolm zombifies and, along with his fourteen year old son Ben, flees the police. With a zombie on the loose, London goes into lock down and Vivia is roped in into find them. After all, Malcolm can only keep control so long without fresh flesh, and the risk of the zompocalypse increases the longer he’s on the lam. At first what happened seems simple, but then the police find decades-old corpses hidden near Malcolm’s house, and Vivia begins to realise Malcolm’s missing son is in a lot more danger than from just a single zombie on the loose…

Read online

    Witch's Skin

      Rik Hunik
Witch's Skin

While cleaning the attic in her inherited old house Suzi finds a secret room containing a shelf full of mysterious items and a shrine dedicated to a murder trial from decades ago. The room also contains a booby trap, a spell that compels her to don the long-dead witch's skin like a garment.A slightly different version of this story appeared in Tales Of The Talisman, Vol.4 #4, Apr. 2009.Interstellar Anthropologist Fortis Plimick surveys the mysterious planet which is truly alien, though everything seems rather mundane. He chooses to stay, enjoying the completely different life there, until he has to leave or die. But the spirit of the place never leaves him.

Read online

    The Thing In The Shack

      Rik Hunik
The Thing In The Shack

(1600 words) When Ray found the old shack in the back of his new property, curiosity, or something more, lured him in. When he saw what was in there he realized his life depended on getting out.Once upon a time there were three children who meant to save the world.The first, and the oldest of the three—and whose name was Flannery—knew this on arrival: the world was in terrible trouble. The Great War, still less than seven years past, had left the world in a darkness that for all the optimistic political rhetoric—and the noble aims of the League of Nations—never quite lifted and which was soon to return fully fledged with a small mustache and renewed violence.The second child—whose name was Heather, and who was the youngest of the three—arrived in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in December of 1950, just a little over five years after the Second World War finally ended, and on the very day that her sister Flannery left Ridgefield for her painful and prolonged audience with death. When in her seventh year, Heather’s Irish Catholic father beat her younger brother senseless with his fists, and then killed him by tossing the lifeless five-year-old boy down a set of stairs—deemed an accident by the local Irish Catholic investigator, and grandly forgiven by the local Irish Catholic priest—Heather knew that evil roamed freely in this world and that God seemed to turn a blind eye. She did, however, not remember that she was meant to give God a hand.The third child, Gabriel, was born on the 9th of August, 1945. He took his first breath the very instant that the atom bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, detonated. He was later to muse that his first lungful of air contained the souls of 40,000 Japanese children. He (like Heather) had no notion about his purpose on this Earth until one summer morning when 40,000 dust motes, shimmering in the slotted sunshine of an abandoned attic (where a man recently had hanged himself), suddenly began to sing.Then there was the fourth child: Netoniel.Siblings all.:Gabriel was half-way up the dilapidated ladder. The day was Saturday and the date was July 23rd, 1960. The time was a little after ten in the morning. The rungs showed evidence of age or rot or both so he proceeded up them slowly, taking care to place his feet close to the sides where they would be the strongest. The ladder groaned softly under his weight, but didn’t seem to mind him.A perverse curiosity had brought him here. A few years ago—no one had been very specific about exactly when—a man had hanged himself in this very attic. If the truth be told, Gabriel didn’t know that for a fact, he hadn’t even asked his parents or other such authority to confirm it, but it was rumored, and quite widely—common knowledge, as it were—especially among the kids (and as yet he was not much more than one himself).So, in essence, a fact.

Read online

    The Gold Watch

      Rik Hunik
The Gold Watch

While prospecting a creek in the Cariboo Mountains near Barkerville in 1866, Pete comes across the corpse of a murdered man clutching a gold watch in his hand. Pete decides to return the watch to Sylvia, the name engraved on the back, but the owner of the watch, even though he is dead, has vengeance in mind, and a job for Pete. This story first appeared in Crimson Online Magazine #13, 2000.She lay abandoned, moored to the south end of Luna Farside, left for scrap. Captain Dak Smith saw in her something special, an opportunity to burn for the far horizon as an independent, free from the gloms that hold known space in thrall – but he had to get her running first. Armed with a standard-issue captain's eyebrow and an infectious grin, Captain Smith and his hand-picked crew embark on an adventure through deep space filled with scoundrels, pirates, and some incredibly unfortunate peace-loving rocks that happened to be at the wrong place, at the worst time.

Read online

    Widdershins

      Rik Hunik
Widdershins

When Roland's daughter and his wife Berdine disappear into thin air right in front of his eyes in his own back yard he is shocked. When his eccentric old neighbor comes around and tells him his family has been taken to Elfland he is skeptical at first, but he will go there if he must and face the Goblin King to get his family back. (This story is a modern retelling of an old English folktale.)White Crest is a work of fiction that is in essence, a love story that involves many twists and turns. Mackenzie Mason is a single, stressed-out, professional woman in desperate need of some time off. She finally takes the long needed break and while on that vacation, makes a new friend, deals with a stalker and works a jigsaw puzzle with extraordinary properties that changes her life forever. She also finds a way to light the dark loneliness of her life. It is difficult to nail down an exact genre, because of the several literary tactics employed. As stated, it is ultimately a love story devoid of explicit sexual content, that involves intrigue, suspense, danger and a bit of supernatural assistance. To quote Betsy Palmer, (retired celebrity), "It was an exceptionally descriptive book that once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down until I was done."

Read online

    Artifact

      Rik Hunik
Artifact

2200 words Darby had made a fortune from mining artifacts to exploit their long-lost technology, but he had spent a lot of it trying to find the hiding place of a legendary ultimate weapon. He was sure she would find it at the bottom of this hole. Soon it would be in his grasp.'When Dawn Arises' reunites some of my best works so far. A celebration of people of all kind and their pursue for the lost wonder years of infancy. These are poems who evaluate human life in and outside a city lost in its own creation.---(Poems written between February and March 2015)

Read online

    Incident In A Tomb

      Rik Hunik
Incident In A Tomb

A short H.P. Lovecraft-inspired horror story. When Joe and his cousin Ward broke into a tomb to try out a spell to raise an ancestor they got some unexpected results.“She speaks and they obey,” but even a supernatural ability can’t help this stay-at-home mom control her own life. Don't Rhine on My Parade is a laugh-out-loud urban-fantasy with an unlikely protagonist, a young mother who has an unusual power. Blessed, or perhaps cursed, with the ability to command obedience, Piper Cavanaugh’s normal life turns upside down in this full-length novel. A descendent of the sirens who sang sailors to their deaths, Piper has vowed to never use her power of command, but one little slip-up and her secret has come back to bite her – literally. Now she must gain permission to join the United Supernatural Beings, or it’s open hunting season on all of humanity. While juggling toddlers, keeping her husband in the dark, and babysitting her rebellious kid sister, Piper finds herself befriending a vampire, stealing from murderous witches, and doing battle with “Satan,” otherwise known as her mother-in-law. And she thought grocery shopping with her kids was hard!Don't Rhine on My Parade is a refreshing switch for readers who long for a more relatable heroine. With commonsense and sass, Piper handles diapers to decapitations as only a mother can. Filled with comedy, action, and thrills, Don't Rhine on My Parade expands the borders of urban fantasy into the suburbs!

Read online

    Key Service

      Rik Hunik
Key Service

Robert Jarvis has a problem with losing or misplacing his keys far more than the average person. Fortunately he has one of those little plastic "Key Service" tags on his key ring so they keep getting returned to him. So far the service has been free. Until a strange-looking dwarf shows up at his door asking for a dollar before handing over his keys.After a bad breakup, Lisiantha returns to her rural coven. Dreading a run in with her ex, Josh, she soon has more important things to worry about: her master made a mistake and a warring coven wants her blood. Can Lisiantha and Josh find a way to save her – and maybe rekindle an old love in the process? Even vampires enjoy a Hallmark-style Christmas special.

Read online

    The Hole Story

      Rik Hunik
The Hole Story

This story first appeared in Tales Of The Talisman Volume 5 #2, Autumn 2009.Within an hour of the time Tal wakes up in a strange bed with no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he came to be here on this strange, unknown world, he is being pursued as he climbs endless stairs through featureless fog with Neola, the local teenage girl who took him off the Net and nursed him back to health.This story first appeared in Tales Of The Talisman Volume 5 #2, Autumn 2009.Within an hour of the time Tal wakes up in a strange bed with no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he came to be here on this strange, unknown world,, he is being pursued as he climbs endless stairs through featureless fog with Neola, the local teenage girl who took him off the Net and nursed him back to health.He climbs to find answers. She climbs to prove the legends her father told her are true. They both fight to protect her people.

Read online

    Ninja Obstacle Tournament Role PLaying Game

      Rik Hunik
Ninja Obstacle Tournament Role PLaying Game

This is a pencil-and-paper role-playing-game. These ninjas are not mercenary assassins. They are athletes on a television show, who compete in obstacle courses with extreme obstacles that resemble challenges traditional ninjas would face in the execution of their duties. Simple, fast-paced and exciting. Anybody who can add up three dice can play.A man of great melancholies prone to bury his woes in a pint or a shot glass, Ansen drifts from job to job, typically taking on details for which no one else is suited.When a movie director approaches him in a dingy bar in Zimbabwe, offering him a job as leading man in a film to be shot in a remote location, down-on-his-luck Ansen Grost decides he has nothing to lose.A globetrotter, he’d often found himself in circumstances where he must offer his expertise in mercenary forms to eke out a living. So being paid high wages just to look good for the cameras was an enticing opportunity. Not to mention, the blonde playing the lead role was rather easy on the eyes...After days a-sea they make land only to march inland through a steamy tropical forest to their campsite where they soon suspect they are not alone. The native porters, ever superstitious, sense eyes upon them...Having faithfully borne the talisman for years, the ancient weapon seems ever destined to draw him into confrontation with supernatural evil in bizarre, mind-blasting forms. But even Ansen is unprepared for what he finds atop the cliffs of this unknown island.This introductory short story in the series Tales of the Tomahawk will be followed shortly by Volume 2: The Banshee of the Atacama.

Read online

    The Ghost In The Kettle

      Rik Hunik
The Ghost In The Kettle

A slightly different version of this ghost story was published in Midnight Times # 18, Summer 2007, under the title "In The Kettle".When Jeff first heard about the ghost at the Phoenix Tire Retreading Plant he thought the old timer was pulling his leg, but when a young coworker told him the ghost wanted to talk to him he had to change his thinking.A slightly different version of this ghost story was published in Midnight Times # 18, Summer 2007, under the title "In The Kettle".When Jeff first heard about the ghost at the Phoenix Tire Retreading Plant he thought the old timer was pulling his leg, but when a young coworker told him the ghost wanted to talk to him he had to change his thinking.Author's note: Yes, I actually worked in a tire retreading plant one summer, many years ago.

Read online

    Worse Than An Orphan's Curse

      Rik Hunik
Worse Than An Orphan's Curse

(3800 words) A pair of fantasy stories wherein an orphan's curse brings about the death of a ship's captain, but the captain's dying curse is worse. (Yes, the title is from that poem by Coleridge) In the sequel, “Dead Man's Ashes”, Dar, a young thief, is sent into the darkest part of the city by Peli, King of the Beggars, to recover the ashes of the man who cursed him, so he can exact his revenge.The cool sand in the Dunes is comforting to a young girl as she seeks to find her goddess and finds a Sun God instead. A walk barefoot reveals cool secrets and a lakeshore ramble results in a myriad of butterflies. Inspirational.

Read online

    Lakeside Motel

      Rik Hunik
Lakeside Motel

(2970 words) When Dwight has an argument with his wife and storms out of the house he is forced to take a motel room for the night. All the motels in the small town are full but at the Lakeside Motel he finagles his way into a room reserved for someone with a similar name. Later that night he has an unusual visitor.The Life of Saint Enimie, a 13th century text by Bertran de Marseille, comes to life as translated by Karena Akhavein, PhD. Fascinating in its own right, this translation serves as a reader's companion for the exciting action adventure Translatio, by Karena Akhavein. Readers can choose to read this fascinating tet detailing a Merovingian princess' life on its' own, or refer back to it while reading Translatio. The old medieval Occitan language becomes accessible, rendered in modern english, in this version.

Read online

    The Sitting

      Rik Hunik
The Sitting

Peter Dennis is flattered to be asked by a beautiful artist to sit for her next painting for a book cover. It starts out well but it doesn't go as he'd anticipated. A short horror story.A slightly different version of this story first appeared in "Black Petals, Summer 2003".Nine Books. One Boxed Set. Endless Adventure.Find your next favorite YA series in Stranger Worlds. This urban fantasy collection includes nine full-length, first-in-series books. Gods and ghosts, portals and shifters, werewolves and fairies... there’s a magical new world waiting for every reader. Explore them all!Stealer by A.M. YatesWhen Dee chases a thief out of her house, she ends up with a whole new set of troubles... in a whole new world. Now, all she wants is to get back home again.The Portal and the Panther by R.A. MarshallAll Jon Parker really wants is to graduate high school and escape his sleepy little hometown, but everything changes one day when he stumbles into the boys' bathroom and transforms into a panther. Without choice, he's thrust into a world in which alternate universes exist, people control the elements with a mere thought, and somehow it's his job to protect our world from interdimensional "intruders". But whether or not it's a job Jon will accept... well, that remains to be seen.Undraland by Mary E. TwomeyStill reeling from the deaths of her parents and brother, Lucy is trying to get her life back on track — until short-tempered, handsome Jens saves her from a bear attack. Soon, Lucy is swept away to an enchanting world where Scandinavian fairytale creatures run wild... and adventure is for the taking.Crystal Magic by Madeline FreemanReading people’s thoughts and making things move with her mind is nothing new for Kristyl, but she hopes to leave her past behind when she moves to Clearwater. But when a curse threatens her aunt’s life, she must do anything for a cure—including tapping into the magic that terrifies her.My Fair Assassin by C.J. AnayaAfter a childhood of foster families and being labeled freakish for her strange looks and eating habits, Crsyta is emancipated and providing for herself. Just when it seems she's finally settling into the normal life she always wanted, a dangerous man with lethal intent breaks into her apartment. But has this enticing stranger come to kill her or to protect her from others who will?A Brush With the Moon by Raquel LyonWhen Sophie moves away to university, she isn’t expecting to be thrown into a world where supernatural creatures are real, nor is she expecting to attract the attention of the most eligible werewolf in town.Soul Slam by Allie BurtonOn her first heist, sixteen-year-old Olivia steals an ancient Egyptian amulet and inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut . . . and the curse that comes with it. But Xander believes it’s his place to inherit King Tut’s soul. Now, he must deal with the thief who stole the amulet. When the two find themselves up against a secret society that wants to use the curse to rule the world, they reluctantly join forces to end the curse before it turns deadly.Ghost Hand by Ripley PattonOlivia Black has a rare birth defect. Instead of a hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a ghost hand. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia must run for her life from a group of men bent on taking her power for their own nefarious purposes.Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnelLena’s on the run, struggling to master the forces of chaos she now controls while at the same time staying out of the way of the crazy gods and goddesses who want her to use Red Magic to cause chaos. Turns out, Red Magic is real…and deadly. Will Lena learn enough about her power before it’s too late, or will she become a walking disaster?

Read online