It has been done. I have left it all behind. The last sight I had of my kin was of them burning, begging for it to be ended. Still pleading with me to stay with them. It was disgusting.

My lover still claimed me to be the one for him. I removed the heart from his chest. The blood was still warm as I devoured it. So great was my fury that they tried to stop me and greater was my horror at what the love of the king had made me see.

Tessa, the eternal child, was the last to speak. A curse she warned me of. That was laughable. Her power could never match mine for I was queen and only an immense power could keep them in check. I possessed that immense power. She quipped about a plague that would follow me to my new home and a tragedy that would befall all those who crossed my path.

She said my new husband would be driven insane by the images of what I had done. My misdeeds would forever flood his fragile mind. She said that food would spoil rotten in my mouth, my skin would burn at the touch of silk and any children produced from my marriage would suffer from cradle until they begged for death.

She doesn’t frighten me. She will be forever in the form of a child because of the power I hold over her.

My home has been reduced to ashes in my wake. The evil of its people forever banished.

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Also on this site:

Whispers in the Woods (A Red Snow Fairy tale)

The Unwanted Throne (A Red Snow Tale)

The Tower (A Red Snow Tale)

Granny was one hundred and four years old. She wasn’t actually my gran. She was my mother’s, mother’s mother and Granny agreed that that made her pretty great.

I’ll live forever!” she quipped on her ninety eight birthday. When she reached one hundred and two people started to agree with her.

When she turned one hundred and four she thought enough was enough. It was high time she had a funeral.

Give me my favourite blanket though. It will get cold in the winter.”

We all thought Granny was crazy but she insisted. When this particular matriarch had made up her mind there was simply no changing it.

It wasn’t the most orthodox of ceremonies. Granny waved from her casket with a great big smile on her face.

Granny, you aren’t going to have them screw that casket down are you?” I had pleaded before hand.

Now that wouldn’t make much sense now would it?” she returned with a wry smile. “How am I supposed to get up and walk about? An eternity locked down would get a little tedious.”

And so the funeral service went ahead. No one shed tears. It wasn’t what Granny wanted. Truthfully, I don’t think people quite knew how to feel, especially when Granny climbed from her casket to give a few words on her own behalf.

At ninety eight she had claimed she would live forever. She is now one hundred and twenty four and still going strong. She will fight for her rights as an otherwise deceased. She had a nice funeral and she chose a beautiful spot for her final resting place where I can visit her anytime I please. She still gives me tea and biscuits.

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The evening played out as it always did. The patrons came to the Knock, Knock club, ate, drank and applauded the performances – Mostly Tabitha’s. It was as though there were unaware of the horrors that lay in wait. The night before, when I had tried to escape Dennis – the club manager – had assured me that he would find a way to bring me so far into the club that there would be no escaping. He was vindictive and a monster in his own right but I think the real reason he was so keen to keep me around was so that he wouldn’t be alone. Tabitha had known him for years but with the murder of his father and disappearance of his son he couldn’t trust her. The girls in the club adored him and the patrons loved him but it was a front he put on for them. I was the only one he felt he could talk to, for that he would keep me around.

I kept notes in my head. If I did manage to escape their clutches I would return to my old life as a reporter with the most triumphant article ever featured in the ‘Coldford Chronicle’. I couldn’t risk anyone finding hand written notes so for the time being I kept everything in my head.

A woman had come to the club. She was on her own and she wasn’t a regular face. I could only surmise that she had no idea what the club was about. She was a little unsteady on her feet when she arrived and as the night drew on she drank more and more. Her voice became louder and she spilled wine onto one of the girls serving dinner. She had been calling at the stage and trying to engage those around her in conversation. Most of them weren’t interested. Some of them were even made uncomfortable by her loud, brassy obnoxiousness.

Dennis approached her. She instantly took a shine to him and tried to kiss him. She removed herself from her table and hung on him at the bar for the rest of the night. Tabitha came off stage after her performance. She had changed from her onstage costume into grey trousers and a long grey coat.

Going somewhere?” I asked.

Tabitha swallowed down a glass of whiskey and slid the glass back to, Lisa, the girl behind the bar. “We all are,” she said with a grin. She pinched my left cheek. “It must be driving you crazy not having been outside the club in all this time.”

Dennis put the drunk girl’s coat around her shoulders. She lifted herself onto her tip toes to kiss him again but he turned his head and she met his cheek instead.

Where are we going?” I asked. My notes were still drawing in my head.

To a little party,” said Tabitha, pulling my coat from the coat stand and throwing it to me. “You can see first hand what your Grandfather created.”

Tabitha, Dennis, the drunk girl and I left the Knock, Knock club that night. One of us was never to return.

***

The drunk girl ushered us into her home.

I thought we might have something of a small party,” said Dennis lifting a bottle of whiskey from a badly treated side board. There was a beaten old sofa and a chair by the window but not much else. The girl looked a little disappointed that Tabitha and I had come with them.

Tabitha pulled me onto the sofa beside her. The drunk girl stumbled around her living room smiling to herself. Her brunette hair was in disarray. She took the whiskey back from Dennis, threw the lid aside and began drinking straight from the bottle. With a mouthful she finally managed to press her lips against Dennis’. Dennis looked to us. The drunk girl hadn’t noticed him pushing her back. Tabitha was shaking with anticipation beside me. Dennis flashed us a smile. I was as unaware as the drunk girl.

This girl is wild isn’t she?” Dennis laughed.

You said you wanted a party,” she groaned. I could barely understand her slurred words.

We shouldn’t be here,” I said to Tabitha. “Let’s just leave the woman be.”

Tabitha took my arm. “Nonsense, Samuel,” she said.

The drunk girl slumped into a chair by the window, pulling Dennis with her. Dust particles danced in the air.

Dennis straightened up. The woman’s eyes were closed. She had either passed out or Dennis had pacified her.

Dennis removed a cigarette from his pocket. He placed it between his lips but didn’t light it. He watched from the window.

Tabitha stood. She went to the drunk girl, wrapped her arm around her neck and pulled her to her feet. The drunk girl’s eyes flickered but she didn’t waken. A soft smile caressed her painted lips.

Tabitha ran her finger delicately over her neck. “This vein here is quite extraordinary. A single laceration can cause instant death. Its the same vein that wild animals will target when they are looking for a quick kill.” The drunk girl giggled. She probably found Tabitha’s soft caress quite ticklish. “What do they call it?”

Dennis didn’t look round. He still watched from the window. “Do I look like a doctor?”

Tabitha shrugged off his impatience. “Well it doesn’t really matter,” she replied. She drew a blade from her coat. I tried to stop her, I swear I did, but it was too late. She cut the woman’s throat and let the blood spill down her front. The woman gargled. Tabitha had been a little off with her cut so it wasn’t instant death. I had to look away as the woman struggled for breath before finally falling to fate. Tabitha, still laughing, let the woman drop limp onto the floor. She licked the blood from the tips of her fingers.

Mama!?” came a small voice in the doorway. Two little girls with filthy faces and cheap, oversized clothing looked on in horror as their mother lay dead. Tabitha’s grey eyes shone with excitement. She lowered herself to their height. The girls were confused. In Tabitha’s round, youthful face they saw maternal pleasantness but in her cold gaze they saw danger.

Tabitha, please don’t!” I pleaded.

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Check out the series from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock [Episode 6] Picking up strange women

Knock, Knock: Episode 7 (A night cap at the club)

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb

One of the most surreal experiences of a writer is allowing yourself to become somebody else. Your job is to convince the reader that this particular character is real and sometimes that means convincing the reader that your creation can commit the most unspeakable acts.

In our day to day lives we are held in control by the regulations placed upon us by society. We pay heed to the law and we treat our colleagues, friends and family with respect but what if your character doesn’t? What if your character has so little compassion for their fellow man that they would think nothing of murder. What is their motive? Money? Lust? Jealously? Greed?

Giving them a motive is just the beginning. Take yourself out of your own head for a moment and into the creation that has been made. Where did it go wrong for this person? Are they a person at all? You can be there at that precious moment where something inside the mind of this character clicks and their murderous urges come racing to the surface. What is the selection process for their victims if any?

A lot of readers of my novel ‘Red Snow’ have commented on how large a body count there is, even in the genre of ‘Horror Fiction’. Without any spoilers I will explain my process. There are a lot of characters within ‘Red Snow’ who think nothing of murder. In fact an entire kingdom of people have been created who hold little value on life. How was I able to do this? Being the upstanding citizen that I am it seems far fetched that so much blood shed would occur as a result of a certain characters urges and whims. However. in order to write that you have to delve into the mind of a serial killer.

WHERE TO START…

Of course there is lots of information out there on the motives and techniques of well known serial killers such as Ted Bundy. Most serial killers follow the same general pattern. Childhood Trauma – Teen angst – not so well adjusted adult. Your character has had their own experiences. Childhood is always a good place to start. It is likely that their parents were one of two kinds; overbearing or emotionally unavailable. Both can be just as poignant in creating a serial killer. In the case of ‘Red Snow’ a particular character was hailed as something of a Goddess. Growing with the belief that she was above others and had the right to decide fate over them took away any emotional attachment to the people around her.

MOTIVES…

It’s not enough to say that a character had a terrible upbringing. There is always an option to say your character is mentally unstable but there is no originality in that. By them committing serial murder mentally unstable is suggested. Perhaps your character is a fantastical creature that needs to feed on the flesh of others. In ‘Red Snow’ that is partially true but she does gain a certain satisfaction from watching life escape others. Lust is always a popular choice but again that had to stem from somewhere. Financial gain is also likely but sometimes rather than just making a character greedy it gives the character more dimensions if there is an event causing them to need money or even something in their circumstances that is drawing the greed from them.

THE FIRST KILL…

This is an important moment in any character willing to kill. Their initial victim will set the tone for any further. Many people don’t realise it but the difference between a character who has killed in self defence and one who has been calculating can completely change the plot.

A helpless victim who managed to fight their way out of a sticky situation with blood on their hands may become an ambassador for many like them. Their prey being those who wrong others. However, a character who has been cold blooded is very unlikely to be a champion of the helpless.

How the reader feels about the first victim also sets the mood for how the character is portrayed. If their first victim is one who is antagonistic and downright unlikeable the reader may root for the killer (even though their knowledge of how a society operates would tell them otherwise). Whereas if the victim was something or someone with the reader sympathises with (children, animals, pleasant people) the killer will never be able to redeem themselves in the readers opinion.

FINALLY …

Now that the killer has made their journey and left a trail of horror behind them it is time to decide how they are to exit the story.

Pulling all the building blocks you have used to bring your monster to life their conclusion will be the last remaining impression left on by the reader.

Do they get caught? Do they face justice? Do they escape?

Each of these will offer a different feeling to the reader and your choice will depend on how you want the reader to feel when the story has ended – angry, shocked, pleased, happy.

Each story is different as is each writer so the best advice I can give for writing a perfect ending is to steer the reader down the path which offers the biggest reaction.

Happy writing!

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Click HERE to enjoy Vivika’s hit thriller Maestro!

I was a bad seed.

My whole life I wasn’t what one would call an angel. So it came as no surprise when I passed and death said,

It’s Hell for you my dear friend Gus. You have been so bad you must take the bus.”

Not even the courtesy of a ride of a quick journey into the seventh circle for my eternal damnation.

So there I was, at the bus stop for the direct line to Hell. Torrential rain was falling and there was no shelter – although it did have the strong smell of urine that would normally accompany one.

Of course the bus was over an hour late. I was cold, miserable and just wanting to get to Hell already.

Death took some glee in my punishment.

That’s what you get for being such a shit! You’re not going to like this, one little bit.”

The bus arrived. The most broken down, hideous piece of metal on four wheels you could ever hope to step aboard. The driver had a face so sour it could peel an onion.

Get on!” he snapped. “I ain’t got all day.”

Death pushed me on board.

The seats were torn, broken and mostly filled with graffiti.

REG WAS ETERNALLY DAMNED ERE’

Death slumped beside me.

I hope you are ready to press that bell. The next stop for you is the depths of Hell.”

Rude driver, broken chairs and a sticky floor you wouldn’t dream of touching. The bus to Hell was pretty bad. I think I’ve been on worse.

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Coming soon as a web series from Torrance Media!

Deep in the heart of Mendelov woods lies an evil more voracious than you could possibly imagine. Edele – an unschooled, naive girl wandered in search of the Gladerilla plant which only blooms in the shadiest, darkest parts of the forest where civilised men rarely venture. Edele was skipping along a path, singing to herself. The eyes of the nastier forest creatures watched her from the shadows but she wasn’t frightened. Mother had sent her for a Gladerilla and that is what she would find.

She didn’t stop singing until a mighty flutter of wings caught her attention, causing her to look back over her shoulder. When she turned back round she almost slammed into the tall, slim frame of a young man. He reached out and clasped her hand to stop her falling over.

So sorry,” she gasped, clutching her chest and trying to catch her breath.

The man smiled. His skin was so incredibly pale it almost glowed in the darkened surroundings. The little light that the thick forest canopy above allowed showed a soft face with perfect features. Edele blushed and began to fidget with her auburn ringlets.

You’re a long way from home,” he said. His voice was as smooth as butter. His eyes were electric. The cobalt colour of his gaze was reddened like he had been recently sick or upset.

Are you ill?” Edele wondered.

The man laughed. “All the better for meeting you,” was his reply.

Edele. My name is Edele,” she giggled. She could feel her energy burn so she swayed from foot to foot. “You are very handsome,” she admitted with a blush.

The man’s smile widened. “Thank you. My name is Julien.”

Edele clasped her hands behind her back. “I’m looking for flowers,” she explained.

Julien raised his black eyebrows. “Of course you are. I must warn you though, most of the plants here are poisonous.”

Edele laughed, shaking her head. “My mummy is sick. She says she needs the Gladerilla. It will cure her.”

Julien surveyed the perpetual child, trapped inside the body of a young woman. “Can I tell you a secret?” he asked.

At first Edele met his gaze but then she looked away shyly. She leaned forward to let him whisper in her ear. She felt one hand draw slowly across her back. His breath was cold on her neck.

Mummy is already dead,” he whispered.

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Travelling home from anatomy class in my second year of medical school I was musing to a friend about how beautiful the city of Aberdeen was and yet how grey and atmospheric.

“Just pretend you are in a Stephen King book,” she suggested.

This was great advice. I mean who doesn’t love Stephen King books? Perhaps wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle of one but you get the gist.

With building stories and characters never far from my mind, as I skipped down the rain lashed streets the premise for ‘Knock, Knock’ started to brew. It was a slightly different story then and some earlier drafts are best kept to myself. Needless to say my love of cheesy old horror movies played a huge part.

Thankfully after a lot of development, advice and more rainy day pondering I am excited to see ‘Knock, Knock’ be enjoyed.

It took eleven years for it to finally be penned and as much as I would have loved to have made it available as a book I felt that it wouldn’t be served much justice so it was broken up into an ongoing blog series.

I hope you have enjoyed reading it so far and look forward to where Sam’s adventures will take him next. For those who haven’t read it yet it is available exclusively on vivikawidow.com from Episode 1.

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Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock [Episode 6] Picking up strange women

Knock, Knock: Episode 7 (A night cap at the club)

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb