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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Horror Haiku for The Tightening Spiral by Tara Fox Hall

Finally! I have been waiting for someone brave enough to tackle the Horror Haiku feature! Tara Fox Hall just released her second collection of suspense and horror stories, The Tightening Spiral. Her first collection, Latham's Landing, was featured here earlier this week. She has written some haiku based on the stories in The Tightening Spiral along with an excerpt from the story "". Check them out... My favorite is Let Me In, what is yours?

Horror Haikus for The Tightening Spiral

I admit, when I first decided to do this post, I thought maybe I’d gotten WAY out of my depth. I have written poetry, but never a successful haiku. But with a little brush up on what makes a haiku (three lines of 5-7-5 syllables are the “guidlenes”) I figured what could go wrong? So here are some horror haikus for selected stories from my upcoming horror and suspense short story anthology with Hazardous Press, called The Tightening Spiral.

Five girls names offered
By a writer seeking fans
Good wet inspiration

The Prison

Man on a mission
To break others out of prison
Finds his plan has flaws

In the Night

Mother and Daughter
Enjoy hunting hitchhikers
Mom, your turn to gut.

Say Goodbye

Her child is missing
Every minute ticks faster
Eat the poison berries, son

The Bribe

A cold beach at night
Evil lurks under the pier
Coin for your silence.

The Lie

Stop social climber
With a spoken vague falsehood
In return? Bullets

Not Enough

Save a beloved bro
With a vampiric virus
Infect the whole town

Granma’s House

Girl alone hears noises
Thinks her dead grandparents are there
Gets a killer instead.

Black Smoke

Woman who sees smoke
Confronts her fear in the crypt
Smoke gets her anyway

Let Me In
Demon comes calling
Woman sells her soul for love
Finds she is not the only buyer

The Tunnel

Shelter for world war
Becomes a scene of murder
Something waits below

Cold Enough

Iceman seeks storage
To endure coming summer
Stops killer as bonus

Making Hay
Old bitch nags at him
Hired hand has had enough
Buries her in hay

Face Recognition

Failsafe directive
Sends robot on killing spree
No escape, human

The Memory of Trees

Streets are utterly silent
Pro-earths release mutagen
Don’t stand still too long

The Network

The social network
Everyone too busy to care

End of Days

Supernova bomb
Trek south to kids’ salvation
But Sam’s already changing

The Tightening Spiral
Tara Fox Hall’s second collection of short suspense and horror stories, ranging from novella to microfiction in length. Chock full of demons, serial killers, social climbers, zombies, activists, ghosts, and the occasional happy ending…of sorts.
Excerpt from
Stan stared at the letter on his glowing computer screen, furious. His newest work, My Victim, had been rejected. His editor said it “wasn’t horrifying enough” and had suggested a rewrite to “up the scare factor.” All his work with Kate—more on point, on her skin—had been for nothing. 

Resisting his urge to throw the laptop across the room, Stan closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Destroying inanimate objects wouldn’t slack his rage. But destroying an animate one might. The key here was to gain not only some peace of mind, but also inspiration.

Stan opened another internet window, and typed in an address. His website came up:, the stark image of the survival knife shining with just a faint sheen of blood against the pristine white background.

He had tried several promotions in the last few months to encourage readers. Serial killer books were plentiful in small presses. He’d gotten a mixed response, until he’d decided to do some real life research and post some of his findings. But that small increase had been nothing when he’d invited his audience into the kill. Suddenly his inbox had been brimming with emails, all wanting to offer up victims they knew. As if he was an idiot! Stan was not going to be stupid. He’d come too far to be caught now.

Instead, Stan had launched a contest; Name My Victim. He had put in five random girl’s names, saying whomever got the most votes would be killed. He’d never thought to go through with it. But he’d gotten five hundred votes in the first ten minutes, five thousand total. At first, he had been thrilled so many people had responded with Katlyn. Luck and a little computer hacking had lead him to a girl called Kate. Then he had been worried that the coincidence would lead the police to his door. He needed a better method for choosing victims...

A Facebook notification popped into his email. Irritated, Stan went to delete it, then stopped cold. Here was the perfect place to find new victims. There wouldn’t be a trail on his computer for cops to find, because he wouldn’t need to hack anything; all the information was at his fingertips. All he would need to do was run his contest on his website…then choose a winner with a name like the most popular victim. There was a limitless supply of people with their entire lives online: where they ate, where they worked, how they lived. There were tons of pictures of their houses, their kids, their spouses, and their neighborhood. No address was posted usually, but enough clues to easily find one.

Sure, most people didn’t make all their info public. But he could always get a new email address, and build a new avatar. All he would have to do was make a study of those he wanted to kill. Once he knew a few of their interests, he could formulate an identity that would ensure his friend request would be accepted by his victim-to-be. Once he was in, he could get the info he wanted. Then would come the tantalizing wait for his readers to select that name from the list of choices.

God, this was going to be fun! Stan laughed aloud in glee, then began scanning random names by typing in letter combinations. There was no time to waste.

Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first full-length action-adventure novel, Lash, published in April 2012. Her vampire series begins in June 2012, with the 1st novel Promise Me. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
Connect with Tara Fox Hall


  1. Dark fiction...hmmm that sounds like something I could definitely get into. Thanks for the heads up on this one, I hadn't seen it before today.

    1. Glad you liked them, Mary :) The Tightening Spiral just came out in print a few days ago...the Kindle version should be out soon I hope :) Thanks for the compliment :)