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Goodreads Giveaway – STINGY JACK

goodreads(2)To celebrate its release

we are giving away a signed copy of

STINGY JACK and Other Tales!<

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stingy Jack and Other Tales by Patrick C. Greene

Stingy Jack and Other Tales

by Patrick C. Greene

Giveaway ends November 17, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

A collection of short horror stories including the new STINGY JACK, OL’ SCRATCH, AND A HEAD FULL OF FIRE.
Come inside, out of the damp dusk, out from under that ominous black cloud. I want you to meet someone.
Set down your treat bag, take off that stuffy mask. I’d like to introduce Jack.
Yes, that Jack, the legend behind the leering lanterns, like the one burning just outside.
His story is the first treat of the night, to prepare the pallet for the rest.


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A GIFT FOR YOU!

Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter before midnight on Halloween and we’ll send you a free download of STINGY JACK and Other Tales!

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Stingy Jack, Ol’ Scratch, and a Head Full of Fire

Jack shuffled into the cottage, his grimy hat gripped in both blackened hands, and stopped just past the door.

His sister Elspeth rose from stoking the fire and huffed at the sight of him, hoisting her skirt to stalk past him and out, slamming the door behind.

Jack lay his hat over the wooden peg on the wall, and took a single, miserly step forward, watching the old woman -who now seemed almost like a stranger to him- for signs of wakefulness. It would be a relief if she didn’t rouse, if she never roused, for she hadn’t offered a single kind or comforting word in many years, not since he was a teenager. Despite circumstances, Jack did not expect a change.

But family and neighbors lingered outside, and none would spare a charitable thought or word for him if he spent any less than a good halved hour tearfully apologizing to the poor old woman, and swearing his renewed, unshakable devotion to the path of The Straight and The Narrow.

Tears were not to be, alas, but the time he could manage, so long as the old woman slept most of it away.

Jack looked at the fireplace, stayed well back from it. Elspeth had almost always taken care of the fires –she’d had to be after all, for Jack hated fire and avoided it like leprosy, even when he inherited the blacksmith business from his uncle. Thanks be to God he had inherited his uncle’s helper, Colm as well.

But hearing the low eerie squeal of steam escaping from the young birch logs, he shook his head vigorously. That sound was why he only allowed Colm to use wood left drying for a season or so. It was bad enough he had to be around fire all day. Screaming fire was insufferable.

His gaze rose to the silver cup on the mantle and he immediately wondered what value it held. Then a hoarse cough from behind had him cringing.

He turned and saw that his mother’s eyes, watery and fogged, were open and focused on him. Her frail hand rose from her side, weakly wriggling fingers of summons.

He hoped for the regretful and forgiving love of the dying, but when he extended his hand, she clutched with such harsh strength and speed it gave him a start.

He leaned toward her, but just a few inches. Dead and dying bodies sent him queasy. Even mere mice in the mouths of the village cats -whose eyes gone wild and distant with some fugue caused by killing, their ears pointed backward to detect would-be thieves- made him feel like a wee lad in a vast dark forest.

His old mum, already interred under a mound of quilts, managed a string of clear and concise words. “Jacky. Ye make my heart hurt.”

“It’s gonna be all right, mum.” Jack whispered. “Just get your rest and ye’ll be back on-“

“Ye’ll never change.” She coughed again, a droplet splatting Jack’s cheek, making him revulse. “An’ I can’t protect ye any longer! I’m bound fer glory…”

“No mum. Ye’re gonna be fine.”

She ignored him, drawing her other hand from under the heavy quilts, a trying labor. In it was her cross, the silver one for which she had saved and saved, to buy from a silversmith the next town over when she was just a lass. She had worn it all these years, hanging it on one bit of string after another as they wore thin.

She held it up in trembling hands, on the opposite side of the bed from where Jack stood; the side pushed against the wall. Jack had to reach across her to take it, holding his breath as he did for fear he would inhale some essence of her ancient illness.

As she released it, thoughts of its value danced in his mind, and of potential buyers.

“Keep it with ye, boy,” his mother rasped. “Once I’m gone, ye won’t have my prayers to scare away the evils of the world.”

“Don’t say that, M-“

She sat up so fast it sent a thin rod of ice through his spine, and had him falling onto his ass as if kicked by a mule. Her eyes reflected the fire, and in so doing, brought Jack’s very worst memory to the fore. “That’s yer only hope, boy!” she bellowed, then fell back to the bed and gave off a hiss like that of the birch logs crumbling to ash in the fireplace.

Jack closed his eyes and shook his head till it hurt, trying to break apart that image against the inside of his head. But the vigil watchers would have heard the cry; they would be crashing in, and it wouldn’t look good for him to be cowering on the floor, so he quickly rose and approached her, looking for the rise of the quilt over her chest.

There was none. He reached out to shake her gently, and realized his calloused hands were shaking.

Then the door burst open, and Elspeth was pushing past him.

“Mother!?” She frantically patted the corpse’s pale cheeks, shook the scrawny, purple-veined hands, put her ear to the old woman’s ears. More watchers came in to crowd past him, and Jack suddenly realized he was in the presence of a dead body. He dashed out of the cottage, roughly pushing past the vigil keepers as he went to the big Ash tree behind the chicken coop and vomited his gorge of beef, turnip hearts and very much beer.

Keep Reading STINGY JACK, OL’ SCRATCH, and a  HEAD FULL OF FIRE…


Goodreads Giveaway – PROGENY

goodreads(2)To celebrate the five year anniversary of its release

we are giving away five signed copies of PROGENY!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Progeny by Patrick C. Greene

Progeny

by Patrick C. Greene

Giveaway ends October 22, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

progeny pile“A rip-roaring quick read told so vividly, you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie.Bigger than the battle between man and Bigfoot is the battle between man and son. Three father/son relationships, each one has their own complexities, dramas and heartaches. Although different, they also share a painful similarity: loss. Loss of respect. Loss of innocence. Loss of control. A horror story that goes beyond monsters lurking in a forest..a story of monsters lurking within living beings..of broken relationships and misunderstandings that wreak more havoc than Bigfoot himself.”(Edited) Jen’s Pen Den


 

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Get Your FREE Kindle Version Today! PROGENY by Patrick C. Greene

Thank you to everyone who took advantage of the free download and posted a review on Amazon!

****THIS PROMOTION HAS ENDED****

BUY PROGENY HERE


 

The publisher of PROGENY, Hobbes End Publishing, decided to make the Kindle version FREE for a limited time.

You only have a few days!

PROGENY: ORIGINS

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What reviewers are saying:

“A rip-roaring quick read told so vividly, you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie.
Bigger than the battle between man and Bigfoot is the battle between man and son. Three father/son relationships, each one has their own complexities, dramas and heartaches. Although different, they also share a painful similarity: loss. Loss of respect. Loss of innocence. Loss of control.
A horror story that goes beyond monsters lurking in a forest..a story of monsters lurking within living beings..of broken relationships and misunderstandings that wreak more havoc than Bigfoot himself.”(Edited for length) Jen’s Pen Den

“…surprisingly good, very solid writing, likable (or very much not likable) but always three dimensional characters, strong pacing and just overall engaging storytelling. One can read it as drama with meditation on parenting, action thriller with concentration on a hunt and its consequences or just a story about Sasquatches. Either way it works and well.” (Edited for length) Bandit – Goodreads

“This story is much more than a Bigfoot tale. It’s a coming of age piece of art, about a father and son who experience something deadly behind their wooded home. Mr. Greene has a poetic prose in his writing, and Progeny is a quick and fun read.” Leigha Langston – Amazon

“[PROGENY] climbs inside and demands at least one more page to be read before stopping for the night.” Dean – Amazon

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PROGENY FROM AMAZON

 


Halloween Flash Fiction for FREE

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Back to the Shadows by Patrick C. Greene

At six twenty-two p.m., Pooky yelped and leapt at the door, even before the doorbell rang.

Rising from her rocker and her scrapbook project, Mrs. Edith Tucker shushed the Pomeranian. Answering the door for the first gaggle of trick or treaters, she expressed suitable delight at the pirate, the football player, the home-made mummy, and the two identical suburban princesses from some reality program that she had never watched.  Pooky seemed satisfied, for the nonce, that there was no threat, and pranced back to his post at the foot of the old armchair. READ MORE…Halloween Flash Fiction for FREE.


FREE ~ LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

 

 

 

FREE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!.

 

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 — What people are saying about the author – “Patrick C. Greene is from the twilight zone, and I am just lucky to be along for the ride! Mr. Greene seems to be one of those authors that you seldom come across. His stories are different and well written. He kind of reminds me of a younger Clive Barker, and that’s a good thing. Yes, I recommend this story and every other bit of fiction he writes!”

 


BILL’s BECOMING FREE

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An excerpt from

 BILL’s BECOMING

By Patrick C. Greene

Bill Travers looked with bitter eyes at his reflection. Since puberty, that time when humans learn to care about such things, Bill had been painfully aware that he was ugly.

His oft-inspected reflection offered no differing opinion, ever. Even in the soft light of the lamp on the bathroom counter, there was little reason for hope.

His face, like his physique, was pear shaped, with jowls that drooped around his neck. His brow was thick and pronounced, hooding his beady, unremarkable eyes and forming a trifurcated, bulgy wrinkle over the bridge of his flat nose. His short, thick neck dropped straight to narrow shoulders. His thick-jointed legs appeared too short for his oval torso. Now that he was hitting his mid-thirties, a potbelly was starting to take shape, and his dark brown and oily hair was beginning to thin and recede.

Over the years, Bill had made many attempts to offset the shortcomings with which nature had blighted him. Regular visits to the gym, a stricter-than-average diet, attention to posture, expensive haircuts by that swishy fella that owned the style shop, good hygiene and skin maintenance had been part of this plan, a plan that ultimately must be considered a failure.

Bill had talked to plastic surgeons, hair transplant experts, personal trainers, dieticians, all of whom were eager to accept his money, but less eager to make concrete promises about what could be done for him. Even then, his job as a forklift driver at the warehouse didn’t provide the cushion to make it viable. If only he didn’t have the house payments.

With no self-esteem and little reason to hope for a good life, Bill hadn’t had the tenacity, the temerity to dare dream of a great life, only an adequate one. No college for Bill, only an unceremonious entry into the blue collar world at the age of fifteen, and no looking back.

Bill had scrimped and saved and used the best elements of his less-than-persuasive personality to establish at least a nice home for himself, one that would help lure a practical wife who could then decorate and furnish it as she pleased.

“I don’t deserve Connie.” he said softly in his meek voice.

Nonetheless, Bill had a detailed plan to ask Connie out on a date, charm her beyond anything she had ever experienced, and be on his way to living a life of considerably less solitude. That plan was well into action.

Bill had been kind, but not overt in his dealings with her. Being that she worked up in the office, largely isolated from the activity in the warehouse, Bill had only a few brief moments a day when he could say hello and ask about her day or make some other innocuous inquiry. Today would be different. Today, Bill would make his move.

He added another spray of designer cologne to the heavy layer he had already applied, hoping it would cover the gas fumes he would accumulate while driving the forklift. Bill tried on his smile at its brightest and most sincere, then toned it down, disappointed as always that he was stuck with stubby teeth that were too far apart. Bill smoothed down the front of his new T-shirt and left for work.

As the morning progressed, Connie walked by several times en route to discussing deliveries with Randy the warehouse supervisor, always returning Bill’s smile and wave. From his perch on the forklift, Bill watched her go, admiring her form, swept up in her graceful movement. At 10:30, Randy signaled a break.

In the breakroom, Bill sat with Randy and senior loader Todd. He broke out an expensive energy bar and went to work on it, washing the tasteless paste down with apple juice.

“When you gonna give up that crap, Bill?”  Randy asked.

“What crap?”

“Them health bars. They just give you high-dollar shit, ya know.”

“Maybe I like ’em.”

“Nobody likes ’em.”  Randy sneered.

“Beats burgers.”

The three of them discussed the work to be done for a few minutes, then Randy excused himself to return to his duties, leaving Bill an opportunity to seek Todd’s advice.

“Hey Todd.”

“Hmm?”

“You know Connie, up in the office?”

“Yep.”

“What do you think?”

“About…?”

“I was thinking about asking her out. Think I should?”

“Hell…why not?  You know, Dave went out with her.”

“Oh?”

“Didn’t get nowhere, he said.”

“Well, I just want to ask her out, that’s all. I don’t expect nothin’.”

Todd shrugged. “There you go.”

“So if she went out with Dave, she’ll probably go out with me, right?”

Todd seemed to be studying this for a moment, staring into space. A moment later, it became apparent his eyes were following another of the facility’s female staff members, Jolene, as she ambled past their table. Bill hoped he never seemed this obvious. Jolene certainly didn’t seem impressed.

“Connie, huh?  Ask her. Who knows?”  Todd finally answered. “Her face aint much, but she’s got a nice rack.”

Bill got up and left without another word. He was bothered that Todd thought of women in this way, yet seemed to have no trouble getting dates. Further, he saw Connie as nothing less than beauty queen material. Certainly, he would be proud to have her on his arm.

The hours between break and lunch passed quickly, thanks in part to the huge shipment that needed organizing, but mostly because Bill thought only of Connie, and their date. The conversation with Todd had been encouraging in an odd way.

Dave, one of the sales reps in the office, was no Brad Pitt himself, though he stood a few rungs above Bill in the looks department. There was reason to believe Connie valued personality over aesthetics.

The bell sounded. Bill hopped down from his lift, and checked his deodorant. Good working order. If he timed it right…

Bill caught Connie coming out of the office and essayed the practiced smile, despite his misgivings about it.

“Hey Connie. Going to lunch?”

“Yeah. Meeting some of the other girls.”

“That’s nice. Say, listen. I was wondering if you were doing anything this weekend?”

Connie took on a mildly panicked expression, darting her eyes away and back very quickly.

“I don’t know, I might be busy. Let me get back to you, okay?”

“Sure. We can go to the steakhouse, or anything you like.”

“Okay. Maybe.”

“Can I call you?”

“Well, I live with my Mom, and she’s not too well. Maybe you better not.”

“Okay, well, that’s fine. Just let me know something tomorrow or the next day.”

“I will. See you later.”  With this, Connie made quick strides to the door and was gone.

Being a realist, Bill knew that it hadn’t gone ideally, yet he was hopeful. Somehow Dave had convinced her. Why couldn’t Bill?  The rest of the day, he re-lived the encounter, picking out morsels of hope to sustain him until she gave her answer.

The next day, Wednesday, Bill waved and smiled to Connie as always, noticing less enthusiasm than before in her reciprocation. Bill knew the old brush-off when he saw it, yet somehow managed to remain optimistic. When she left early both for lunch and for day’s end, Bill started to get the picture.

On Thursday during break, Bill sat down to be by himself with his energy bar and apple juice, but was joined by Todd, despite his best efforts to be less than sociable.

“Hey man. Heard you asked Connie out.”  said Todd while chewing a distressingly gummy-looking ham sandwich.

“Yeah,” responded Bill, turning away from the sight of Todd’s sloppy mastication.

“What’d she say?”  asked Todd.

“She just said she’d let me know.”

“Did you say something bad to her?”

Bill searched his memory. “No, I think I was pretty nice”.

“Well, she sure was insulted when I asked her about it.”

“You asked her about it?  Why?”

“I just wondered how it went. She practically spit at me.”

As Bill considered this, Todd continued.

“Dave said she was pissed about it on the phone last night, like you was bothering her.”

“On the phone?  Dave calls her?”  Bill heard his voice rising.

“I think she calls him sometimes.”

“Are they dating?”  Bill asked.

“Nope. Dave says just friends.”  Todd explained.

“And she was pissed…that I asked her out?”

“Yeah. I figured you musta said something rude, about her tits or something. But that aint like you. Just curious, that’s all.”

Todd went back to the floor, leaving Bill stunned and simmering in a cold soup of humiliation. His worst image of Connie’s feelings for him were exceeded. Connie didn’t just dislike him, she was disgusted by him. Because he was repulsive.

Bill drove home at the pace of a geriatric Floridian, too distracted, too hurt for a quicker clip. Every niggling doubt he ever harbored about himself stampeded to the surface to stake its claim on the rightful territory he had tried to rob.

The formula fell together with wicked ease. Dave was in sales, a suit and tie guy, so that made up for his lack of good looks. Bill had never made it to sales, because his appearance and reserved personality held him back. Connie was appalled that Bill asked her out, probably because that made her feel like she was as unattractive as Bill himself. And God forbid, Bill had made it known to others in the warehouse that he was interested, embarrassing Connie among her peers.

Poor Connie, Bill thought. I’m so sorry I put you through that.

In the safety and privacy of his home, Bill’s reflection scowled miserably at him, enhancing his ugliness, mocking him with its earnestness. Bill gave himself to the pain he felt, the worthlessness he knew was his lot. To end it, to be finished with this shell that was his prison.

Not an option. He cursed his own cowardice in being unable to end his life.

He had heard from some smartass that if you stare at your own reflection long enough, you could go mad. That was damn sure preferable to the reality that tormented him. So Bill leaned forward and stared hard, though he was offended and nauseated by what he saw. He had an urge to smash the mirror, but realized that action was a trite cliche’ perpetuated by bad television.

There really was no option, but to be miserable, or to accept a life of loneliness, gauzy romantic fantasies and masturbation. Better yet, total freedom from emotion or desire. Wasn’t that Hinduism or some shit?

Bill hadn’t the guts to kill himself, nor the patience to drive himself mad. He simply submitted then and there, ready and willing to be fate’s blowing leaf.

The alarm clock scolded Bill for his dreams. He got up and went to the bathroom, avoiding the mirror. He considered skipping the shaving process this morning, as he no longer felt any need to be presentable for Connie.

Habit overruled self pity, and Bill soon found himself at the mirror with his razor, trying to avert his eyes from the big picture of his revolting features. Bill scraped the razor across his lathered cheek, his mind drifting to the events and the pain of the past week.

That pain demanded companionship. Bill felt pent-up frustration rise to the surface, taking over his razor hand. Gritting his teeth, grimacing at his grimace, Bill pressed the razor viciously into his cheekbone. A deep and alien sound arose from him as he felt the steel sliver penetrate.

Widening his eyes to behold the damage he was doing, he watched a thin rivulet of blood draw a line down his cheek to round his jowl. Bill was surprised there wasn’t more pain and blood, and withdrew the razor to assess the damage.

The tiny flap he had cut lay open just a centimeter or so, revealing the next layer, as Bill expected it would. But that layer was not a bloodier version of his epidermis, as his knowledge of the human body dictated it would be.

Instead, there was a slick blackness there, like eel-skin. Bill stared in wonder at this, picking it gingerly with his fingers. Alarmingly, the flap gave way rather easily, without the pain and pliability of flesh as he knew it. He began to peel the flap, revealing more of the shiny, smooth-textured…growth?

Suddenly alarmed by the ease with which his initial efforts had succeeded, Bill stopped and gazed at the anomaly for several seconds. In this time, he grew to admire it. Not only curious, he felt a kind of pride in its uniqueness. Bill took a long look at his features as they were, saying a less than tearful goodbye. He then dug in with his fingers and began pulling away the useless husk that had trapped him for so long.

Bill’s story continues and can be found alone as BILL’s BECOMING or in the collection DARK DESTINIES.

BUY BILL’s BECOMING for Kindle HERE www.tinyurl.com/pcgbillsbecoming

BUY DARK DESTINIES for Kindle HERE www.tinyurl.com/darkdestinies

BUY DARK DESTINIES  Special Edition paperback HERE  http://tinyurl.com/DDpaperback

Please visit the publisher Sekhmet Press LLC


OH YES it’s FREE!

FREE ALL WEEKEND July 12-14 Progeny by Patrick C. Greene – From Hobbes End Publishing. Great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Action/Adventure, Coming-of-Age, “Monsters portrayed with realism and thoughtfulness. – “Not your typical horror.”  You can also enter for a chance to win a free autographed paperback copy of Progeny when you join the Facebook event on the Progeny page HERE Thanks and Happy reading!ImageImage


All 3 FREE TODAY!

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PROGENY
Owen Sterling is a reclusive author living in a secluded house deep in the woods. When he welcomes his son Chuck for a summer visit, the eleven-year-old suspects something is not right at his father’s home. His worries mount when he witnesses a confrontation between his father and some local hunters.

Zane Carver is the local gun-shop owner who confronts the author over Owen’s refusal to let anyone on his land for hunting or camping. He defies the recluse, taking a hunting party onto Owen’s property.

Soon, Zane and his buddies discover the writer’s secret . . . a deadly secret; a creature whose infinite rage they have unwittingly ignited . . . that is now hunting them.

KHOST
1984. The Soviet Union is locked in a bitter war in Afghanistan against the Mujahideen. To make matters worse, they are losing. With little hope left, and all odds against them, the Soviet Union grows desperate. In response, they create an exotic chemical weapon with a single purpose: To enhance their soldiers on the battlefield.

To test their creation, a secret mission is underway, and they test it on a Mujahideen hold-out, a massive cave complex on the far eastern border of Afghanistan.

Khost.

2010. The United States is now at war in Afghanistan. To make matters worse, an elite team of Delta Force Operators have gone missing. There remains a lone survivor: Sergeant C. York.

Sergeant York describes a horrifying tale, a nightmare that has been awakened after two decades.

In response, a top-secret CIA team is brought in. These are members of the elite Special Activities Division, the best of the best. Made up of Delta Force, DEVGRU and a famous Marine sharpshooter, they face sheer terror as they are sent in to do one thing:

Kill everything inside the cave.

THE ENDLANDS VOL 2
The Endlands—a place of darkness, of despair.

The Endlands—a place where terrifying legends are true.

Watch where you step, as there are things hiding in the recesses of your imagination that will keep you up at night. In this second volume, you will explore your deepest fears. You will find twisted realities, demonic diaries, and creatures from the beyond. So turn on a light, just enough to scare away the shadows, and enter the world of The Endlands.

16 stories.
14 authors.
Created by Vincent Hobbes