Title Hush Don’t Wake The Monster – Stories Inspired by Stephen King Women in Horror Anthology
Azzurra Nox was born in Catania, Italy. She has led a nomadic life that has brought her to live in various parts of the world. She’s a current member of the Horror Writer’s Association. Her short story, “Fragile Fruit,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2020. Her latest releases are Girl That You Fear and I Want Candy. She loves horror movies and sweets and has a natural disdain for Mondays. When she isn’t writing she’s catching up on movies, dancing, or cuddling her rescue pets.
A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by and in tribute to, Stephen King. Stephen King is a seminal writer of horror, whose influence transcends the literary sphere, having also taken the cinematic world by storm – and ultimately delivering nightmares to generations for almost five decades. This fourth anthology of the Women in Horror series edited by Azzurra Nox brings together a diverse group of female writers who contribute their personal twist to the works of Stephen King. Featured authors include: Andrea Teare, Rachel Bolton, Marnie Azzarelli, Lauri Christopher, Kay Hanifen, Hannah Brown, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, L. E. Daniels, Sealey Andrews, Christabel Simpson, Alisha Galvan, Rebecca Rowland, Cheryl Zaidan, Amy Grech, Jane Nightshade, Trisha Ridinger McKee, and Azzurra Nox.
It all began with a birthday party, and it all ended with eleven little girls dead – except for one survivor – me. I still recall the vivid candy floss pink that spilled from Rose’s mouth when she was set to blow out the candles. It dribbled down the front of her yellow Belle gown and as if on cue, ten little girls followed suit, pink barf everywhere as I watched on in horror as one by one they began to twitch, seize, and then drop to the ground – unresponsive. Tears streamed down my cheeks, the colorful birthday streamers billowing in the wind as I dropped the Disney tumbler filled with apple juice. Rose’s mother reached out for her, grabbed her by the shoulders and called out for help. “What did you do?” The mother yelled at the nanny who frantically tried to revive one of the girls on the ground. “What did you do?” The nanny shook her head. She couldn’t understand what the mother was accusing her of. This wasn’t her fault. None of this was her fault. But Rose’s mother didn’t believe her. So when the police showed up and asked her why eleven girls were dead she merely pointed to the nanny and said, “She did it. She killed them all.” All I could do was agree with Rose’s mother as the CD kept repeating Be Our Guest on a loop, my eyes fixated on the sickeningly pink vomit coated on all those blue lips. The image imprinted in my mind and plague me to this day. This is why I don’t wear chipper colors and dress exclusively in monochromes of black and white. My whole life is a vintage film devoid of color because it’s the only way I can pretend that day didn’t happen. It’s the only way I can feel some semblance of normalcy. That’s why when I found a hot pink envelope in my student mailbox the other morning I couldn’t help but freeze. I don’t know how long I remained immobile for, but it must’ve been long enough to annoy the guy behind me because he cleared his throat before saying, “Are you getting your mail or not?” “Um…yes,” I said and quickly grabbed all the mail, including the pink envelope. I stuffed everything into my backpack and tried to forget about it. And forget about it I did, until now. I went to pull out my folder from the backpack and it fell out. The pink looks so aggressive against the white tiles of Professor Grimes’s class. I stare at it in disbelief as Be Our Guest begins to play on a loop in my head – a soundtrack only I can hear. My heart flutters with dread and I can’t stop staring until someone shakes me out of my reverie.
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