Ronald Kelly is the guest on episode 72 of Pod of Horror, the horror podcast hosted by Mark Justice and Nanci Kalanta! You can listen to it on their website, download it from there, or get it from the Pod of Horror podcast on iTunes.
The limited edition of Ronald Kelly’s Southern-fried vampire novel Blood Kin is now available from Thunderstorm Books! The limited edition hardcover includes the new bonus novella, “The Wanderer of Twilight Mountain.”
From their website:
by Ronald Kelly
Curiosity pulled at Dud Craven, whispering like a woman in the night, as he stared at the ancient casket that his plow had unearthed in the mountain pasture. Open it up, it said. Just pry up the lid and take a peek inside. It won’t hurt none just to look.
Dud placed the flat end of a jack handle between lid and box, then gently pried. One by one, the rusty nails popped free until, eventually, the lid was completely loose.
Open it up, suggested that voice in his head again. Just lift it up and look inside. Don’t be scared.
When he opened the lid, he found exactly what he expected to find. It was the skeleton of a man—a tall man—the bones bare and bleached a dull yellowish white. The body was clad in a dusty black suit and vest and a brittle white shirt yellow with age. >From the looks of it, the remains had lain beneath that field for a very long time. Maybe a hundred years or more.
Dud then turned his eyes to the one thing about the body he didn’t expect to find. There, jutting from the center of the ribcage was a length of wood; like a broken piece of bean pole or a tent stake.
Go on… pull it out. It wouldn’t take but one tug, two at the most.
It took some doing, but Dud finally yanked the stake free and tossed it away into the night. Abruptly, something began to drift from the hole in the skeleton’s vest. Sort of like smoke, but more like a vapor. It resembled the fog that hung thick among the Smokies early on a frosty winter’s morning.
Startled, Dud watched as the vapor rippled from out of the empty rib cage, growing thick and strangely luminescent. It curled around the skeleton, filling the bottom of the casket. Soon the mist had rolled completely over the body, obscuring it from view. It swirled gently, giving off an eerie blue glow, and from the depths rose a being; powerful and seductive… yet no longer alive by the standards of mortal man.
Thus began the vampiric reign of Grandpappy Josiah Craven.
You can order the book from Thunderstorm Books here.
From the introduction:
Halloween is more than a holiday; more than a fun time of candy and costumes for the young. It is inoculated into our very being at an early age and there it remains. As we grow old, it grows dormant… but it is still there. For the lucky ones, such as us, it emerges every year, like a reanimated corpse digging its way out of graveyard earth to shamble across our souls. And we rejoice… oh, if we are the fortunate ones, we most certainly rejoice.
So turn these pages and celebrate our heritage. Blow the dust off the rubber mask in the attic and hang the glow-in-the-dark skeleton upon the door. Light the hollowed head of the butchered pumpkin and string the faux cobweb from every corner and eave.
It’s Halloween once again. Shed your adult skin with serpentine glee and walk the blustery, October streets of long years past. And, most of all, watch out for misplaced steps in the darkness and the things that lurk, unseen, in the shadows in-between.
Stories included in this collection:
Pins & Needles
Mister Mack & the Monster Mobile
The Halloween Train
The Candy in the Ditch Gang
Halloweens: Past & Present
Monsters in a Box