Author’s Note I: You Really Should Read This First
My wife once asked, “Could you write a story with a happy ending?” She was reading the first draft of Victim at the time while I was scanning the pages of Asimov’s Science Fiction. After a moment of contemplation, I came to the conclusion that writing happy stories might be impossible for me. Shrugging, I answered her question the best I could. “Sometimes Always was suppose to be an uplifting story of a father reminiscing about his daughter." But even that story
clings to its fair share of death and murder. I deserved every bit of eye rolling in regard to my lame defense. The Groaning Attic is perhaps the only story I’ve written that comes anywhere close to a happy resolution.
Many of the stories contained within this volume are filled with folks being maimed, dying, and having an all around frightening time. Yes, there is some humor, but don’t expect much. When I write, I tend to go to the dark places, the places that send me scrambling under the blankets late at night. Don’t ask why because I don’t have an answer for you. I’ll let you know once I figure it out for myself. I do know, however, I’m not alone in my desire to look into the darker side of life. The proliferation of horror and dark fantasy books, magazines, fanzines, and ezines are proof enough I’m in good company. So if you are timid or loath the ominous sounds in the night, then these stories are not for you. Don’t worry. This probably means you are well adjusted. (Hopefully you bought a paper copy so you can take it down to the used bookstore, and get something useful out of this volume.) If your passions are similar to mine, then you are about
to embark on a series of adventures that will not disappoint. I enjoyed writing these stories, and I’m arrogant enough to say you will enjoy reading them.
A helpful hint for those who insist on continuing from here: The worse of the gore is found in the first short story, The Manual. Please proceed on from here as you see fit.
My Promise as a Writer
I promise to entertain you to the best my twisted little mind can manage. I will take you from the light, and into darkness. I might even let you see the sunrise at the end of the journey, but that I can't promise. My stories will sweep the hair from you brow, leave your stomach in knots, and suck the air from your lungs. But no matter how far we descend, I will offer you a fragment of hope to cling to. I will treat you to dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything that falls into the strange and disturbing. Will we re-emerge into the light? Well, that is the point of taking the journey. I hope you will join me on these adventures.