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Upcoming Issue – Available 15 April 2015
Midnight Echo 11 – Sinister.
Check out the Table of Contents here.
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As determined as Kaaron Warren was, she still found the Midnight Manor deeply unsettling. What was that movement at the corner of her eye? Why did she feel like she’d been there before? And what was that weird singing she could hear in the distance?
This final question was answered when she entered the Midnight Ballroom. Swinging from the chandelier by one arm and crooning that maniacal tune was Deborah Sheldon, whose medically inspired tale blew us away with its detail. You could cut the tension with a scalpel.
KAARON WARREN: What does Sinister mean to you?
DEBORAH SHELDON: ‘Sinister’ evokes dread, escalating tension, the threat of something terrible about to happen. It is Nosferatu’s shadow on the wall, rather than his bite.
KAARON: What was the ‘spark’ for your story? Where did the idea come from?
DEBORAH: As a medical writer, I often squirrel away facts about diseases and conditions as inspiration for pieces of fiction. The black market in body parts has intrigued and horrified me ever since I first heard of it many years ago. In response, I became an organ and tissue donor – with enough voluntary donors, the black market would cease to exist – but I have long wanted to write a story about this macabre criminal trade. When I saw Kaaron’s prompt (‘Sinister’) on the Midnight Echo website, I knew immediately that I would write that story and make it a slow, atmospheric burn.
KAARON: Where else can we find your work?
DEBORAH: Most recently, Cohesion Press published my crime-noir novella Dark Waters in both print and e-book, which includes my novella Ronnie and Rita as a bonus. In February 2015, Satalyte Publishing will release my crime-themed collection Mayhem: selected stories. To date, I have a few short stories due for publication in 2015, as well as a stage play, and at least one novel. For more information about my writing projects, please visit my website: http://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com
You can friend me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/deborahsheldon
Cohesion Press hosts a Facebook page on my behalf: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deborah-Sheldon/936388749723500
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Perfect Little Stitches
by Deborah Sheldon
Angelo De Luca took up the scalpel and opened the cadaver’s thigh, from hip to knee, with a single stroke. There was very little subcutaneous fat. Using firm, continuous passes of the blade, Angelo pared through the muscle within seconds and exposed the femur without scratching it.
“Very nice, as usual,” Gary Mathews said. “Ah shit, you know what? I just went and notched mine at the hip end.”
“At the lesser trochanter?”
“I think so, yeah, the top bit that sticks out a little.”
Angelo De Luca glared across the stainless steel table at his new assistant, who was harvesting from the cadaver’s other leg.Garyhad started his working life as a butcher and still acted like one, even though the meat now was human, and therefore precious.
“If you would put your mind to the study of anatomy,” Angelo said, “and learn about the attachments of soft tissue, you wouldn’t keep making these basic errors. Haven’t you read the books I loaned you?”
“Relax. Most of the bones we get are in shit condition anyway.”
“That’s no reason to damage them further.”
Gary sneered. “Even with this bloke? He’s almost ninety. How good are his bones going to be? Swiss cheese. The poor bastard who gets these femurs will bust them in half on his first step from the hospital bed.”
Angelo couldn’t trust himself to speak.
Whistling, Gary returned his attention to the cadaver’s thigh, slicing briskly towards the kneecap. Angelo heard the muted snicking sound as the scalpel contacted the femur, over and over. Oh, how Angelo despised Gary Mathews with his uncouth footy-beer-and-barbecue personality, his ginger hair sprouting thick as fur over pale forearms, his skin freckled and wrinkled as if he’d been pressed out of dough and left in the sun to crack; Gary Mathews, the jovial, under-educated idiot, the very antithesis of everything that a funeral director ought to be.
Angelo felt the familiar stab of regret…
Midnight Echo 11 will be released in digital form on 15 April 2015.
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