joseph miles/author: the official homepage
horror author/artist

What follows are excerpts from my more recently written short stories, some of which have never before been seen by anyone. The reason they are not published at this time is because I'm in the process of compiling another collection. I hope you enjoy them.....

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"Iguana Don" was literally thrown together in a single evening after getting inspiration for an anthology call entitled Mutation Nation - Tales of Genetic Mishaps, Monsters and Madness. My story, however, was declined. The editor held onto it until the last minute because, well, we all know why; editors want to see if something better will come along, and I guess in this case it did. She claimed to really like it, but - say it with me now - "It wasn't quite what I was looking for." LOL. If I only had a dime every time. Anyway ... here's a piece from "Iguana Don," a story that is 1 part sci-fi, 1 part erotica, and two parts comedy. I hope you enjoy...

The camera focused on Mario. “There you have it folks: another sighting of the Iguana Don lizard man. Back to you, Chip.”
The image of Chip at the anchor desk appeared on the screen along with a very professional-looking blonde with even more professionally done breasts. “Thank you, Mario. I believe we have the footage of what Mrs. Lace saw. Can we run that, Chad?”
There was a second of blackness, and then Mrs. Lace’s footage began. It started with her filming the redwood planks on the deck and then up to the baby. There was some zooming in and out and focusing issues, and then it settled on the child. Mrs. Lace was coaxing the baby to laugh, drool, or do something besides fall asleep when Trash started his barkfest. One could hear Fancy’s voice: “What’s wrong, Trash? You see something, boy?” There was terrible wobbling of the camera, and then a blood-curdling shriek followed by a barrage of “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!”

"Boundless Heart" was featured in my first short story collection Machinations - 11 Tales of Death and Despair". It is the very depressing story of a young woman who is attacked in the driveway of her home and forced into her basement where she is raped. I wanted details, but didn't want all the sexual references, so I let the storm that rages outside take the brunt.

The thunder proclaimed the storm’s advent. Its resonance rang in concert with shrill cries. Both declared invasion, an intrusion of masses.
She screamed. Her lip split again, sending a fresh flow of hot, oily blood down her cheeks. The sky ripped apart. The millions of electrons and neutrons accumulated, built up, and aligned themselves with the taller objects on the ground. They ignited in bright blue and white arcs that appeared to jab the earth, but actually traveled upwards. The thunder rattled the windows.
The limbs of trees became entangled, were forced apart, and flailed mercilessly against the onslaught of the wind. The thick trunks creaked and popped, their rough surfaces, wet and glistening with rain. High above, the wind shrieked through them.
“You don’t have to do this,” she cried. “Please tell me why you’re doing this!”
There was no answer.

I began my first novel in the summer of '97 while working on the assembly line of a successful golf car manufacturer. It was hot and boring. As my mind began to wander, I dreamed up this vision of old witches living in mountain splendor, and Lea D'Archer was born. What follows is a seldom seen excerpt (other than the beginning from the link on the home page).

Kyle dropped his gaze to the base of the forest where the trunks of a million trees stood in a vertical mass. It was movement or perhaps a sound that stole him from the majesty of the sky and lured his attention into the darker, mysterious forest. In the dark he noticed what seemed like several sets of red eyes glowing just beyond the indefinable border where light looses the battle and succumbs to blackness; the place before which good things stop and refuse to go. One pair turned and vanished into the dark.
“Hello, Kyle.”
Kyle spun, his breath locking somewhere between his throat and lungs. The car keys flew from his already sweaty hand, hit the left rear tire, and made a loud clank upon its rim.
Unflinching, she stood smiling. Her perfect teeth gleamed in the dim light. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” she said, extending a wrinkled hand. “I’m Lea D’Archer.”

I landed my first real sale with "The Time Traveler" in The Rare Anthology. It was inspired by a real event that occurred a few years back to a couple who had lost their daughter. I'm still proud of this one...

The room in which she hid was void of windows and saturated in an inky blackness. The pupils of her eyes looked like pissholes in snow as she stood, holding the old crossbow in an upward fashion against her chest as she hunkered, poised and ready, beside the antique grandfather clock. The pendulum clicked quietly, but in the deafening silence of the room which was adjacent to the hall where she'd heard the thumps, it sounded more like the cannons at the end of The 1812 Overture.
Who wound this clock?
She shuddered.
Tonight was the night. Tonight she would purge every cell in her mind and body of the loathing she felt for the thing; the cursed thing that had literally ripped her family apart and left her alone at the vulnerable age of 16. And now, lying in the hall of this ancient mansion after possibly taking one of her razor-tipped arrows in the chest, it was dying. Hopefully.

"The Deathwatch Beetle" was also published by Gathering Darkness. I wrote it after seeing the movie Practical Magic with Nichole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, in which Sandra Bullock's character destroys her entire floor looking for the culprit in a futile attempt to save her husband from certain death. It is still one of my favorite movies today.

"Beth, for God's sake, must you do that!"
"What?" she asked. She swept the remainder of salt into her hand and then brushed them together.
"That damn…tossing-the-salt shit!" He performed an exaggerated replay, making him look even more like an idiot.
"Why?" she asked.
"It's not Christian, goddamnit!"
She knew her childish antics were grating on his nerves, but there was something about the way his face flashed bright red that amused Bethany. "Why isn't it?"
His fork hit the plate with a loud clack. "Because it isn't, Bethany!" His bald spot had turned a vibrant crimson. "Doing something like that," he gestured to the spot where the salt was only seconds ago, "says you're putting your faith into the hands of someone, or something else, old woman!"
Bethany stood, making the chair screech upon the tile. "Don't you 'old woman' me, you old bastard! That grandchild of ours is up there with the damned Eskimos, dying with pneumonia, and all I'm trying to do is give her a little luck, that's all!"
"Eskimos?"
Bethany pushed the chair back under the table. It hit hard, making the glassware rattle. She went to the sink and dropped her plate into it. "I'll be in my sewing room."