Following the journey of award winning author, Alex Azar, as he travels the publishing world and all things interesting. To reproduce or publish any material found within this blog, please contact me at

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Untitled Ghost story

If I've said it once, I've probably repeated myself as I'm prone to do, but I sincerely feel that as a horror author it is my responsibility to post a horror story every Halloween.  This year is no different.  

Many moons ago I had wondered what would the world look like if no only ghosts were real, but they were public knowledge that the government protected against, or even employed in the cases of non-violent entities.  What you are about to read is my first attempt at writing a story set in this world.  


"Come on Shirley, these tours are completely safe. The paranormal police monitor these places for any violent ghosts and shut down any tours with even a hick up on it's record." Glenn pleads to his girlfriend to go on the haunted prison tour with him.
Shirley argues out of fear more than stubbornness, "But Tiffany's friend's cousin went to a tour in New York state and his son got possessed by an evil spirit. Besides, we're supposed to be going to the party tonight, it's Halloween."
"That's why tonight is perfect for this, we'll still have plenty of time to make it to the party, I promise. Plus I'm sure they were able to exorcise the boy. They've only just sanctioned these things because they're totally safe, come on babe."
Shirley never could say no to Glenn, that's how he he convinced her to lose her virginity with him, also to have the ensuing abortion, all without her parents' knowledge. Tonight is no different as they are soon walking through the observation deck of the electrocution room. Beyond the glass is a ghost sitting in the chair pretending to be shocked. With a lackluster response from the passing spectators, the ghost jumps from the chair, and using the majority of his strength, bangs his solidified hands on the glass. This causes most everyone to scream, including Glenn, who thus far has been trying to be the tough guy.
The couple was grouped with a family of four; the youngest of which, a ten year old boy, hasn't stopped crying since they walked in. "But daddy, what if the ghost man gets me?"
Trying to sooth his son, the father, explains, "The security people here have EMF meters. Do you remember what that stands for?" Following a shake of the boy's head, the father explains, "Electromagnetic field, it's how they can see where all the ghosts are, and they have a pulse that stops all the ghosts. What that means, is you don't have o be afraid. Remember, you wanted to come here."
Glenn whispers into Shirley's ear, "Yea, so maybe the little brat could shut the hell up now." Apparently, he wasn't as quiet as he intended, because the boy's mother shoots Glenn a dirty look.
Embarrassed enough for the both of them, Shirley grabs hold of Glenn's arm as he begins to move ahead with the rest of the group. Mistaking her intentions, Glenn assumes she wants privacy for the two.
Once again, unable to say no to her boyfriend, Shirley allows Glenn to lead her to a room off the tour path. After several moments of heavy petting, Shirley looks around and realizes that the room was once an inmate holding cell. This startles her and coupled with the distant moaning of a ghost, she stops the foreplay entirely. "Glenn, maybe we should catch up to the group, I hear a ghost nearby." She pleads to no avail.
"Oh babe, don't you know? Ghosts can't be heard, those are just speakers they use to scare us." However, what Glenn is unaware of, is that not all the scares on the tour come from ghosts.
Sticking with the theme of the night, the tour staff have added actors dressed in classic horror movie costumes. Bursting in the cell is a large masked man wielding a bladeless chainsaw and screams, “Trick or treat, i’m here for your meat!“
The scare tactic fails so miserably that even Shirley was unimpressed. Glenn mimics her emotions by asking, “Was that really supposed to be scary? Go get a real job buddy.“
“Whatever punk, get back with the rest of your tour group and I won’t have you kicked out.“ The actor sits on the bed before removing his mask and lighting up an illegal unfiltered cigarette.
“What an asshole, you believe that guy, Shirley?“ Glenn mindlessly asks as the two pass through the medical room of the prison, filled with ‘bloody‘ instruments.
“Glenn, we should hurry up, this place is creeping me out, and I still hear something and don’t tell me its a speaker. I know what I hear“
Snapping out of his mindless stare at the medical equipment, Glenn answers, “You’re right, but I think it’s the group behind us. Maybe we should keep moving.“
Shirley comes running out of the prison screaming with tears flooding from her eyes, and blood splattered all about her face. When the paranormal police officer reaches her, she calms enough to explain, “It killed him. My boyfriend and I got separated from the group after the prison cells and in the medical wing something stabbed him in...“ Unable to finish her thoughts Shirley un-intelligently sobs the rest of the sentence.
The officer takes action, directing the tour manager to sound the evacuation alarm as he enters himself, armed with an EMP gun.
After rounding up and accounting for all spirits, the paranormal police takes Shirley to the hospital so she can undergo tests to verify if she needs an exorcism or not. During the tests, Officer Brennan is approached by the actor that interrupted the couple’s privacy, “Excuse me officer, I work on the tour and saw the couple. They had snuck off to a cell to mess around, and the guy might have been a tool, but she was really into him. I didn't get a chance to talk to you earlier, but I hope this helps her. Patting the actor on his shoulder, the officer thanks him before sending him on his way.
“Hello officer, I’m Dr Cosy, and after passing the CAT scan and holy water tests, Father Teag and I believe an exorcism is unnecessary for the patient Shirley McKenzie.“
“Thank you Doctor, Father.“ Brennan says with a nod to the clergyman. He begins to turn away before he stops and asks, “Excuse me, but what about the EMF scan?“
The doctor answers, "It came back inconclusive." Seeing the uneasiness grow on the officer’s face, he further explains, “However, this is a common occurrence when the subject was recently interacting with spirits as is the case with the ghost tour.“
Not completely at ease, the officer asks Dr.Cosy, “I’d like to speak with her nonetheless, where is she?“
Dr Cosy nervously answers, “I was under the impression that she was free to go after our tests... She was discharged fifteen minutes ago.“
Outside the hospital, Shirley enters and awaiting car lacking the stress and fear she wore when arriving to the hospital. “Looks like everything went according to plan babe.“ She leans across the center console and gear shift to kiss her boyfriend on the cheek. “You’re a genius Jordy“
Settling back in his seat, the actor from the tour smiles more to himself, “Yea, I am.“

I started this story unsure how I wanted it to develop, and even left it unfinished for several months before returning to it with a clearer mind.  I've since written several different tales set in this world, even one for a comic that I'm hoping will be accepted in the coming weeks (more news on that as it develops), and I plan on doing more with this world as I feel there's a wealth of ideas waiting to be tapped.

Enjoy this horror-iest of holidays, I know I will.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Intro 7: Little Changes

Lest you forget this is first and foremost a blog about my writing, here's the intro to the next story I had published, Little Changes.

This is another story that was written for a particular anthology that unfortunately didn't make the cut.  The original publisher I submitted this to had called for a were-creature story that didn't involve werewolves and took place in an urban setting.  It took me about a week to come up with a satisfying story, and only a few hours to write this piece of flash fiction.  I wish it had been longer but the story didn't call for it.  I still feel that there's more to be told in this world, but as it is the story stands as it is.

"Are you paying attention?... Good.  We don't have much time.  The group that attacked you and your mom are still in the area."  The overweight man leaning over Jack reaches out a hand.  Helping Jack to his feet, the stranger introduces himself and his friend.  "This here is Monty, and I'm Marshal.  You have to listen to me, and believe me.  Those men, they are werewolves.  I know it sounds farfetched, but they're real and so are we.  And I mean you too.  Your wounds were mortal and the only way to save you was to turn you.  Unfortunately, your mother was too badly injured, and at her age she wouldn't have survived the transformation."
Marshal and Monty help Jack to a nearby bench overlooking the river.  "Now, listen to me, Jack.  Tonight is going to be a full moon, so your transformation will be quick, but it will be painful.  Once you've turned , Monty and I are going to need you to join us in the fight.  There's four of them in the pack, but with you, the three of us should be able to beat them.  We are the wolves’ natural enemy."
Monty leans close to Marshal and whispers in his ear, while keeping his eyes locked on Jack.  “Yea, Monty’s right, what were you and you’re mom doing walking the docks so late at night on Halloween?  Did you really think it’d be safe any other night?
Up until now Jack’s adrenaline has been pumping so hard he couldn’t even see straight. His nerves are calming, and he looks around to see he’s in a rundown section of the docks; this is not where he remembers being last.  The two men in front of him are clearly homeless, which doesn’t make him more comfortable.”Wait... did you say werewolves?  Crazy homeless people, what’d you do to me? Where’s my mom?  Where are we?”
“Jeeze Louise! Get a load of this guy, Monty.  Accusing us of harming him, when it was us who saved him.  Buddy, you’re not listening to me...”
“Of course I’m not...”  Cutting each other off, they play a verbal game of cat-and-cat.
“In less than half an hour...”
“You’re bums...”
“You are going to transform!”
“Crazy bums!”
To Monty, the exchange sounds like he’s wearing two earphones, each playing quotes from different movies.  He holds his hands up to stop the conversations and leans close to Marshal again.
“You’re right again, lil buddy, a show of what he’s in store for should help convince him.”

Are Marshal and Monty just crazy bums or is there something more to these vagrants then alcohol induced hysteria?  To find out read "Little Changes" in Monster Gallery at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Free Thoughts 10/10/13

Late last night I returned to NJ from a trip to San Francisco and here are a few takeaways I have from my first time to the city.  I'm a fan. New Orleans is still my favorite vacation spot, but I really enjoyed my time in San Fran. Everyone is so laid back, even in the Financial District, not something I'm used to from the East Coast.

Hills are killer on the calves, but you gotta love the burn, right?  They had some incredible books stores, and even more amazing eateries.  The seafood was so fresh (as one would expect) and the bars/patrons were so friendly.  I frequented one bar near my hotel and befriended an older couple from Hawaii that just made anyone they spoke to nicer.   I mean, I'm not the most endearing to old people, but this couple had me laughing both times we drank together.  Yes I went back to the bar looking for the couple, Sam and Vicki, on my last day there (I may have to take them up on their offer to visit them at home...)

I spent some time at the Fisherman's Wharf, where off the coast Alcatraz resides. Everything was just beautiful, even the loud as all hell seals chilling off the pier.  It was all a little too commercial for me, but certainly worth a visit if you're ever in the area.

I had a serious case of writer's block for the past month or so, but just the prospect of getting to the wonderful city, got the creative mind working, and I was writing in the airport (stay tuned for news on that story).

My main reason for heading out there was to see my first 49ers game.  I don't speak of sports too often here, but I'm a lifelong Niners fan, but never had the chance to see them live.  This season also happens to be the team's final year at their historic stadium, Candlestick Park, and it was a goal of mine to visit before it was demolished.

After being there for a game I can say, it's about time.  This stadium is horrible.  The PA system is barely audible, there are obstructed view seats, going to the concession stands means you can't see the game (not even a live feed of the video), and it's in the middle of nowhere.  There are no bars around the park, it's accessible by a single highway that becomes over crowded during game time, and the only convenient parking is a 15 minute walk away, but I loved every minute of it.

 The team will remain the San Francisco 49ers, however the new stadium will actually be in Santa Clara.  I'm not big on that idea, but if it grants them a better stadium, one they deserve, I'm all for it.

My biggest complaint of the trip, is that I didn't stay long enough.  I had flown in on Sunday, landed about 2:30 pm, then left Wednesday at noon.  Next time i head out there, I'll be sure to make it for at least a week, but for a quick trip, it was absolutely worth it... especially since the 49ers won 34-3 against a team, that was supposed to be a bigger threat.

Until next time, remember to keep reading and have a good one.