{Graveyard Shift} The bringer of nightmares and storms, Author Willow Croft Is This Week’s Warden.

You are invited to look after the Kendall Reviews Cemetary, and to choose eight books, preferably horror/dark genre, to take with you to cover your shift; here you can discuss why you chose the books.

As well as the books, wardens are allowed one song/album to listen to. Again, an explanation for this choice is required.

You must also discuss one luxury item you can bring, which must be inanimate and not allow communication.

If you’d like to take part in The Graveyard Shift then please submit an application to gavin@kendallreviews.com

A new shift is about to begin. The warden for the week’s #GraveyardShift is…

Willow Croft

Bringer of Nightmares and Storms”

Quantum Singularity is a voyage through time and space. This poetic journey crosses oceans, traverses other realms, gets lost in the past, and disappears into the future. Choose the right path; the path that leads to the corner of Cosmos and Infinity, and the way will never be lost.

Books

I figured that since this is my first night on the job, I better make a good impression. And what better impression than Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown? You know, in case I run into any wee kidlet ghosts—I can just read them a bedtime story. Or throw it at them, if they are drooling zombie kids. Though, I’m not sure if I will be able to tell the difference. The young ones, even when they’re alive, do seem to slobber a lot. Maybe I should read the training manual again.

Dang it, I’m supposed to have “horror/dark genre” books with me. I’m so gonna be fired. Hmm, well, what are kids afraid of? Oh, yeah, clowns. But clowns aren’t really scary, are they? Otherwise, parents wouldn’t be having them at all those parties, terrifying the heck out of their little darlings. So, maybe I’m better off with a book that explores what clowns are scared of. Ah, here it is: Bloody Red Nose: Fifteen Fears of a Clown. *flips pages* This looks like a good story…all about absolutely terrifying children, tormenting a poor party clown. *pauses* Maybe I’d be better off with the zombie kids. It’s getting a little spooky out here. If only I had a weapon of some sort out here.

Whew, that’s better. Nothing’s going to mess with me now that I have The Gunslinger at my side. And I’d rather be going along on his mysterious and noble quest than tramping around this dreary cemetery…wait, I heard something. Sounds like somebody asking a question, over and over again. I shine my flashlight around. “Anybody there,” I call out, but nobody answers. Hmm, maybe having this gunslinger fellow along for the ride wasn’t such a good idea. After all, you’d think a sharpshooter would be able to defend himself against some weird lobster creatures. Maybe I’d better find something else to read. As I’m trying to pull out another book, I drop my flashlight onto the ground. I pick it up and shake it, but it won’t come back on. Lucky for me, the moon came back out. Good thing I didn’t read Goodnight Moon after all. Now if only there were some stars to make the sky even brighter to read by.

Ah, this is perfect. Ghost Stories for Starless Nights. Or it would be perfect, if I was sitting around a campfire with friends, and listening to these tales of haunted attics and artefacts, of shipwrecks and web-weaving spiders, and disembodied voices that kept repeating nonsense questions. No, wait, I was really hearing that. Or I thought I did. I shivered and put the book back in my bag. A campfire, and a night that really was starless because of cloud cover or tall, tangled trees that blocked out the sky, were what was needed for this collection of spooky short stories. I looked up at the sky and thought I saw a smattering of stars. Strange stars that seemed to be moving. “It’s just an airplane,” but I knew what book I would read next.

Horror in other worlds, or in bygone eras, was much better to read in a spooky place like this graveyard. But the stories made me feel a little lonely. And I hadn’t even encountered a ghost, here, and I was starting to think I’d even welcome a lost soul to talk to. I jumped when a tree branch snagged my uniform. “Okay, you’re scaring yourself, now, out here.” I checked my watch. It was nearing midnight, and I felt in need of some company to chase away my jitters.

I am so glad I brought this book. It was on my mom’s bookshelf. Just look at that cover—blue sky, puffy clouds, warm sunshine beaming down on a peaceful suburban neighbourhood. This is what I should have been reading about alone at night in a dark graveyard; a pleasant suburbia and a happy family where nothing strange or terrifying happens…

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Okay, so people are really messed up. Still, that’s why I read horror, isn’t it? So, I’ll just continue on with my last two horror picks that also have no illusions about the human condition. Like Sarah Langan’s Good Neighbors, these two books revolve around families and friendships that hide dark secrets. The secrets in S. Gepp’s Sins of the Fathers are hidden underneath the veneer of a picture-perfect community, and the terrifying secret buried deep in Yawatta Hosby’s One by One is hidden by the one you may trust most of all.

Once I finish these, I’d better get back to making my rounds, or else my supervisor may have even more reason to fire me. Plus, I probably should figure out if there’s anybody out here. I keep hearing voices. Probably just local kids (live, non-drooling ones, I hope) trying to mess with me.

Show yourself,” I say, trying to keep my voice steady and calm as I reach into my pockets from habit. There’s nothing there, not even my keys; only a somewhat smooshed energy bar. My hands shake as I peel back the wrapper and I take a bite. I didn’t realize how hungry I was, and it tastes like a five-star meal. I stop chewing, and listen. The querying voice is closer, now.

Ded-a-chek?” the voice asks, straight out of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

*cue music*

All Cats Are Grey”/the album Faith by The Cure

(The Cure is one of my favourite bands. Certain songs/albums, like this one, are tied into a dark n’ lonely, but also mystical, fantastical, atmospheric, otherworldly, time in my childhood. Kinda like how I feel when I read horror and speculative fiction back then, and today.)

Quantum Singularity

Quantum Singularity is a voyage through time and space. This poetic journey crosses oceans, traverses other realms, gets lost in the past, and disappears into the future. Choose the right path; the path that leads to the corner of Cosmos and Infinity, and the way will never be lost.

You can buy Quantum Singularity from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Willow Croft

Willow Croft currently writes horror from the high desert, though she is keen to relocate near the ocean.

When not writing, she cares for three recently rescued stray cats. (Please, adopt don’t shop!).

Visit Willow at her website, www.willowcroft.blog

You can follow Willow on Twitter @WillowCroft16

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