Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories
Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories by Susan Abel Sullivan.
“CURSED is a small package of strangeness and charm, delivered by a writer blessed with imagination and wit.” — Hugo Award Winner Allen Steele, author of THE COYOTE TRILOGY
Wickedly fun YA short stories featuring witches, werewolves, limericks that can change fate, and a sinister vine bent on murder and the destruction of Alabama! Inside quirky settings with creepy plots, characters discover new and unsettling powers as their worst fears manifest.
Let these stories draw you in with their lighthearted tone — then delight you with their wickedly sly sense of humor. You’ll laugh, you’ll shudder, you’ll think twice about taking a deal from a bucktoothed woman.
- Published March 4, 2012
- Praise for Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories
- Excerpts from the stories of Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories
Susan Abel Sullivan lives in a Victorian house in northeastern Alabama with two dogs, way too many cats, and a ghost. Her previous work has graced the pages of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, ASIM Best of Horror: Vol II, New Myths, Writers’ Journal and others. Her novel The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama (A Cleo Tidwell Paranormal Mystery) is available October, 2012. For more about Susan, see her author page.
Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories features pieces previously published in such magazines as Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Beyond Centauri, and AlienSkin, as well as a never before published short:
Getting the Curse
The Accidental Poet
Witch Place? (poetry)
The King’s Story
Praise for Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories
“CURSED is a small package of strangeness and charm, delivered by a writer blessed with imagination and wit.”
— Hugo Award Winner Allen Steele, author of THE COYOTE TRILOGY and THE COYOTE CHRONICLES
“Quirky, clever, and just a little savage, CURSED is a delightful read!”
— Lane Robins, critically acclaimed author of MALEDICTE and KINGS AND ASSASSINS
“Engrossing, imaginative, and funny … Susan Abel Sullivan’s debut collection of short stories will have you both laughing out loud and checking your closet for monsters.”
— Kelly L. Stone, author of GRAVE SECRET and THINKING WRITE: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind.
“Sullivan has talent!”
— Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust
“Sullivan…delivers a sense of humor, wit and playfulness that cannot be beat. This book will literally having you laughing out loud! 5 out of 5 Stars!”
— Good Choice Reading
“The best speculative fiction short stories that I’ve read … deliciously creepy.”
— Through the Wormhole: Confessions of a Bookworm
Excerpts from Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories
From “Getting the Curse”:
It’s Ladies Night in the little town of Foggy Hollow. You won’t be attending, of course, not yet, not until you get the curse. Your mom, and all of your girlfriends and their moms, will be out painting the town red tonight while you sit home alone, doing your algebra homework at the kitchen table. Being a late bloomer just isn’t fair, you think.
What had been a light pitter-patter of rain quickly turns into the drumming of a torrential downpour. You get a small sense of satisfaction in knowing it’ll be cold and wet in the woods tonight. But you still wish like crazy that you were out there with the other women.
The grunting ding of the doorbell gives you a start and you spill hot cocoa on your sweatshirt. Who in their right mind would be at your door on this of all nights?
The answer turns out to be Jason Lamb, the hunky new senior from school. Your breath hitches up a notch at the sight of him on your front stoop. Your insides feel all warm and goopy. He moved in down the street a couple of weeks ago, and already he’s in the popular crowd. “New blood,” your girlfriends like to say. But what’s he doing out on Ladies Night?
A flash of lightning momentarily turns the night inside out, followed a thunderous boom that shakes your very bones.
“Come in, come in!” You gesture frantically. “You shouldn’t be out tonight.”
He leaves his umbrella on the porch and steps inside. You close the door. A dozen witty repartees flit through your head but what comes out of your mouth is, “So what do you want?” Inwardly, you wince.
From “Accidental Poet”:
If Bernie Lludd could trip, fall, or lose his balance, he did. If there was a wrong thing to be said, he’d say it. If there was a social faux-pas, he’d commit it. And if he could fall for a girl who was out of his league, he could and would. So, when a chain letter entitled, “Change Your Luck,” arrived for him one afternoon after marching band practice, he secretly hoped that it might actually be for real.
Bernie dumped his books and clarinet case on the floor and dove onto his bed. Ma had made the bronco-buster-themed bedspread and matching curtains. But the rest of the room was pure Bernie. A plastic glow-in-the-dark voodoo skull hung from the ceiling. Posters of Bela Legosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Godzilla were thumbtacked to his walls. His bookshelves held a small collection of Stephen King paperbacks and the Aurora monster kits he’d put together himself.
He rolled onto his back, fishing the letter out of his pants pocket. The postmark was smudged and there was no return address. As he slit the envelope, he wondered who might have sent it.
Change Your Luck
The owner of this silly verse,
May think that he couldn’t do worse.
Try your hand at a rhyme,
Add intent, and in time,
You’ll be the one casting the curse
And that was all there was to it. Bernie checked the flipside. Blank. Someone was having some fun with him, as usual.
From “The King’s Story”:
With only the tick-tock of the clock for company, Lummox straightened his quills one by one for the umpteenth time that morning, laying them in an orderly procession across the top of his writing desk. Out in the streets, carts rumbled, horses whinnied, and footsteps clomped upon wood planks. Voices of all timbres and tones added to the fray, saying, “Good day,” and “How are you?” and “Have you heard?” He kept hoping to hear the bell above his door jingle, but instead, people murmured right outside like buzzing bees. A few even went so far as to laugh, and that sound was the worst. It made Lummox cringe and crinkle. Had he made a mistake in visiting the Soothsayer’s Shoppe and taking Madam Mabel’s advice on a suitable profession? He’d just begun unrolling a pristine piece of parchment to practice his letters when the bell above his door tinkled.
In waddled King Bonaventure, grousing under his breath. The king’s feet were like sausages stuffed into casings too small. His legs were stout and bowed. His belly was the size of a barrel. And his jowls could rival a hound’s. His entourage followed close on his heels, a lively assortment of advisors, guards, and royal retainers. They crowded into Lummox’s shoppe much like a circus in a horse stall.
“I want to buy a story,” said the king with a swirl of his velvet cape.