Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotlight Feature on JH Glaze! Special Horror Challenge, Just For Us!

Please welcome jh glaze and his next horror challenge

Review of The Spirit Box
I’m not sure how many of you have heard of JH Glaze, but by now, you seriously should have!  For me, he is one of the best horror writers out there!  Be prepared for your mind to be gutted, your skull to be warped, and hopefully put back together again by the can hope, but I make no promises.  Oh, and if you decide to skip over the prologue, you’re missing out on one of the best written legend that I have read. Just saying...
Welcome to the world of The Spirit Box, a clay box emblazoned with the likeness of the soul that lives within.  Hundreds of years ago, a spirit was trapped within the box; waiting for his time to be released back into the world...the only problem is he needs souls to do that.  Murder is on the menu for this demented spirit and it seems he has found a new helper: Walt.
 Walt, the quick-tempered, foul-mouthed character, living above his now-deceased mother’s antique shop, is one of the wormiest, slimiest characters I have run across.  You can help but love him and hate him at the same time.  Literally, I wanted to smack him with the turn of every page. 
John Hazard is one of those straight-talking, no-nonsense detectives that I love to read about, but JH Glaze takes him a step further, causing the reader to shudder at some of the things that he does.  It’s refreshing to have a detective within a story who isn’t a full-out “hero” like you will find in most books.
So, the spirit box is hungry for more, and so am I.  I loved the detail and the time spent luring the reader into this gruesome setting, stripping you of any semblance of normalcy at the same time.  There is literally nothing better than having your nerves wracked and your mind blown by a book about a box...I mean, who would have thought?? Guess that’s why his Horror Challenges are so amazing!  He is my go-to guy for horror now.  If you hear my screams tonight, don’t worry: I’ve just opened the box for a little bit of fun...

JH Glazes Horror Challenge
An Original Story by JH Glaze

Horror Challenge Topics: Frog and Tiara
Suggested by Ruthi Kight and MaryAnn Inabinet

To Kiss a Frog

Danika was like a lot of ten-year-old girls. For as long as she could remember, she had dreamed of being a princess. She had many costumes and accessories for pretending, but she was coming to an age when she had other interests. Boys specifically.

When she was younger, what had bothered her most about being a princess was the whole prince thing. After all, boys were disgusting, weren’t they? They were always getting dirty, fighting, and doing mean things to her and her friends. If that wasn’t bad enough, they often wandered over to bother her and her friends. Frequently, it would lead to being chased around her yard while the boy threatened her with some disgusting creature.

Now, she was old enough see boys in a different light. In the stories about princesses, sometimes the girl would kiss a frog and he would turn into a handsome prince. If only that were true, she could have her prince and bypass all the nasty things about boys.

When Danika’s brother Todd came home from college during summer vacation, she helped him unload his stuff and carry it up to his room. As he put his things away, she sat cross-legged on the bed and talked to him about school. She told him all about her friends and, to her surprise, he told her about his new girlfriend. It was fascinating to hear how he talked about the girl he was dating, a Brazilian girl. It seemed she knew a lot of history about her country.

Danika had missed her brother. She had always enjoyed having him around and now she was contributing more than her share to the conversation, but when he unpacked the small glass aquarium holding a large green frog, she went wide-eyed with curiosity.

“Is that a frog? It’s huge!” She put her face up against the glass and watched the frog turn to look into her eyes. “He looks friendly enough. What kind of frog is he?”

Todd laughed at his sister making faces at his pet and finally replied, “He’s a magical frog.”

Danika gasped. “Really? Is that what they really call him, magical?”

“Well, he’s a Colorado River toad, but he’s kind of magical.”

“What do you mean?” She started lifting the lid of the aquarium.

“Don’t touch him!” Todd sounded panicked.

“Why can’t I touch him?” She quickly set the lid back down as though he had hurt her feelings.

Now what? He couldn’t exactly tell her that he and his friends used this green toad to get stoned. Nor was he going to explain that if you squeezed it just right the liquid it secreted was hallucinogenic. Oh yeah, Dannie, he thought, it’s just like being on acid. Right! That is not something that you want to tell your little sister.

Instead, he simply said, “Uh, well, you know how those stories go? The princess kisses the frog, and he turns into a prince? No way do I want Bart turning into a prince. He’d break his tank if he grew that fast, and I’d lose my pet. Besides, what would we do with a prince?” He laughed. “Go on now. I want to go see the gang before it gets too late.”

Danika looked as though he had slapped her. “Todd, I wasn’t going to kiss him! I just wanted to hold him for a minute.”

“Not a good idea. Look, I’m gonna go hang out with my friends for a while. Maybe when I get home I’ll take him out and you can watch him eat. Now get going, I need to change my clothes.” He chased her out of the room and got dressed to go out.

About an hour later, she was watching a show on the TV when it came to her. Since no one was home, it wouldn’t hurt if she went and just looked at the frog. She might even pick it up if she dared. Through the bay window, she checked the driveway to see if Todd’s car was there before running upstairs to his room.

The bedroom was dark except for the light in the aquarium, which lit up the dresser around it. She flipped on the light and walked over to peer in at the olive green reptile through the glass. She hadn’t noticed the golden dots covering its skin when she had looked at it earlier.

“Hey, Bart,” she called to it in her sweetest voice. “Todd says you’re a magical frog. Is that for reals?”

The toad merely looked at her and blinked its eyes.

“You can understand me, can’t you? Blink if you know what I’m saying.”

The toad blinked again.

Danika was excited now. It actually understood her. She had to find out if it really was a magical frog. She went to the window and checked again for Todd’s car. Satisfied, she returned to remove the mesh lid from the tank and reached in to grab hold of Bart. He was sitting very still until she lifted him from the tank. Slimier than she had expected, he easily jumped from her hands and landed on the carpet with a ‘thunk’.

Now she was panicked. The toad was jumping around on the floor while she scrambled and tried to catch it. No sooner would she get her hands around it, than he would slip from her grasp again. Over and over, she tried to catch him. Before she knew it, the slimy secretions from the toad were all over her hands. At last, she managed to hold him in her grip and get him back into the tank. She closed the lid with a sigh of relief.

Danika was glad to put him safely back where he belonged, but she was beginning to feel strange. There were colors waving around the ceiling light and the room seemed to sway as she stood there leaning against Todd’s dresser. Bart was looking at her through the tank and that was when he spoke to her. “I’m hungry, Princess. Could you bring me something to eat?”

She went a little cross-eyed as she looked at him more closely. “Did you just talk?”

“I’d like a sandwich,” the frog replied.

“He just asked me to make him a sandwich!” She smiled to nobody there. Giggling, she said back to him, “Yes, my lord.”

Curtsying like one of the princesses she saw in a movie, Danika headed down to the kitchen. She was having trouble with the stairs, so she got down on her hands and knees to crawl down backwards. When her foot touched the floor at the bottom, she turned and wobbled into the kitchen.

The lights seemed so bright and the colors much more intense here. She squinted as she looked around. Why was she here? She couldn’t remember. “Oh yes, a sandwich,” she said. Without a thought about the slime on her hands, she opened the refrigerator. Pulling out a plate of leftover ham, she set it on the counter. Bread, mayo, and tomatoes, soon she had all of the ingredients. Leaving the refrigerator door open wide, she was ready to make the sandwich if only she could get the room to stop spinning.

Her stomach was hurting, and she guessed that she must be hungry, too. She put a piece of ham in her mouth and chewed it. Pretty good, she thought as she swallowed, but making the sandwich was another story. No matter how she tried, the ham would not go onto the bread. She even tried pressing it into the bread, but it curled up and yelled at her. “No!” It startled her so much that she ended up dropping it on the floor. And, forget trying to get the lid off the mayonnaise jar. The whole thing slipped out of her hands and fell on the floor rolling away. “Darn!”

Suddenly, the whole thing struck her as funny. Sliding down to the floor with her back to the cupboard, Danika laughed so hard she thought her chest would open right up. When she tried to stand up again, she did not have any feeling in her legs. She grabbed hold of the cabinet door handle to pull herself up, but instead she managed to open it. She let out a gasp.

Inside the cupboard was the most beautiful diamond tiara she had ever seen! She must have it. Her head was reeling as she reached in and pulled out the metal spaghetti strainer. She hugged it to her breast for a moment as she received the applause and cheers of all the people she imagined around her. With a tip of her head, she put it on.

She was so happy. Now she had everything any princess could want. Her loyal subjects, a prince who was waiting upstairs, and now she had this beautiful tiara. Too bad her stomach was hurting, and the colors drifting down from the light were so thick. They swirled like strokes of paint around her.

Was she scared? She laughed at that. She had so many friends here with her. She just needed to sit for a minute. Somehow, she got to her knees and crawled into the family room where the TV was still on. It was so beautiful! The dog on the screen seemed to be running through heaven, and then it jumped right out of the television and onto the sofa.

“Nice… dog… Good… dog,” she managed to say as she pulled herself onto the sofa to sit down with the dog, but it was gone! “Doggie…” she rasped as she straightened her tiara and leaned back. She was tired. She needed to rest for a minute.

A few hours later, her mother came home from work. She came in through the kitchen carrying groceries and found the bread and ham out on the counter along with the unopened jar of mayonnaise on the floor. The television was playing in the next room. She called out, “Dannie? Are you okay?” There was no answer. “Dannie?”

She took up a large knife from the wooden block on the counter and crept slowly into the family room. As she came around the sofa, she saw her daughter sitting slumped on the sofa, a spaghetti strainer tangled in her hair. There was a trail of vomit down the front of her shirt, but Danika did not move. Her mother screamed trying desperately to revive her lifeless daughter.

Just then, Todd returned home and ran to his sister, pushing his mother aside as she continued to scream. “No, Dannie!” “Call 911!” he yelled. It didn’t take long to guess what had happened. He lifted Danika’s eyelids as he patted her cheek, then he checked for a pulse but he couldn’t feel it.

“Please, Dannie, wake up!” Why hadn’t he told her the truth about the excretions from the toad’s skin? It was a psychedelic substance, but very poisonous. Maybe then, she wouldn’t have touched it. “I’m so sorry!” Todd began to sob uncontrollably.

Unfortunately, he never knew that his sister had been overwhelmed with a desire to fulfill the dream she had carried for most of her young life, to kiss a frog.

Copyright ã 2012 by JH Glaze. Reprint permission granted to

Bio & Contact

JH Glaze is the Author of “The Paranormal Adventures of John Hazard” series (The Spirit Box, NorthWest & Send No Angel), The Horror Challenge series of short stories, and other books. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Susan and their two dogs. 

Visit his website for more information. His books are available exclusively on in print and eBook formats.

On Twitter @themostcoolone

Watch for new stories coming soon!