One of the first manuscripts I had to look at was this collection of short, disturbingly creepy stories by Julya Oui. It's publication was stalled for months for one reason or another.
What a relief it was when we finally passed the manuscript to the printers.
According to Oui (pun-tastic surname!), the stories were written and compiled over a number of years, way back when. So there were marked differences in... quality. I could only imagine how old she was when she first started.
I worked on it for a total of over two months. It was a... challenging assignment, partly because I'm not a fan of horror or the macabre. But Oui's imagination's like... whoa. Every few pages, I'd ask myself, "What does she smoke? Think I might want some." Sadly, I don't and can't smoke.
Creepiness abounds in the pages. Upset with her own life and angry at the world, a girl kills herself in the dead of night, adamant that nothing could be worse than the cold embrace of death - and is soon proven wrong. Over and over again.
A priest who laments his flock's disinterest in confessing their sins gets more than he bargains for when a prominent, well-respected member of society walks into the confession booth and opens up about his terrible hidden sin.
A thunderstorm traps a quarrelsome quartet in a mansion with a sprawling front yard filled with derelict vehicles. However, it soon becomes evident that there's something sentient - and sinister - about the roof over their heads.
For a reclusive unfortunate, the shadows between the trees ringing his home harbour a darkness from a violent war-torn past. Elsewhere, an overworked executive is haunted by the scarred, grotesque figure of a laughing vagrant.
A man who would do anything - yes, "anything" - for a million bucks is challenged by an extremely wealthy old man whose idea of "anything" is far worse than any Fear Factor challenge ever devised. For a country girl seeking her fortunes in the city, the harsh reality of the rat race is only the beginning of her nightmare.
Justice comes to a belligerent and cruel robber-rapist in an unexpected, yet most appropriate and macabre manner when he picks the wrong victim. An erotic dance of a different kind in a dim, squalid parlour (are those bloodstains on the walls?) leads a woman to a place she doesn't want to go - or does she?
Julya Oui loves a good story, and writes to appease her imagination and reaffirm her sanity. She loves dreaming up things and making them come alive with the stroke of her pen. Gazing at the night skies, listening to trees, and taking long walks are just some of the things she enjoys doing when she is not lost in the alternate realm. ...Whoa.
Bedtime Stories from the Dead of Night, her first book, came off the presses a couple of days ago, which means it'll be about several weeks before they hit the shelves at all major bookstores.
Just in time for Halloween.
Bedtime Stories from the Dead of Night
MPH Group Publishing (2011)