Pieces of Candice: A Horror Story
Told in a voice of madness and menace inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, “Pieces of Candice” is the first-person account of what happened when a helpless young woman in a desperate situation ventured into the dark woods for help. It’s psychological horror right in step with classics by the likes of Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell.
As a psychological horror story with a touch of gore, it’s certainly one of the darkest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the earliest as the seeds for it date back to 1994 as I was reading a lot of horror and suspense back then. Writers like Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, to name the heavy hitters at the time. Not to mention that the serial killer fiction as true crime stuff had been all the rage during that period. When I finally took a stab at writing it in earnest, it took roughly three years of stops and starts to finish it because it was difficult to slide in and out of the narrator’s disturbed mind. I felt pretty icky at times, other times I’d chuckle at my sick sense of the grotesque.
Although I finally finished it in the late 90s, I didn’t pursue getting it published until the summer of 2010 when then editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement put a call out for stories dealing with madness for an anthology aptly titled MADNESS OF THE MIND. With a title and theme like that I knew that “Pieces of Candice” had a likely home. Thankfully, I was right, although I made some changes to certain details and updated others to bring it to this current century.
Recently I decided to spruce the piece up a little more and re-publish the ebook edition on Smashwords as part of Operation: Remember Me? so that it would exist for online reading as a digital download on various eReader devices.
By today’s literary and consciousness standards, this piece probably doesn’t play as well given the old school male predator versus female victim aspect of it. However, if you can get beyond that and don’t mind stepping into the disturbed, socio-pathic mind of Jules (the narrator) for a little night reading, click on the cover image below — designed by yours truly — to access the Smashwords view page for a free read. Just be sure to dissociate the art from the artist.
None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.