The Garden of Stars

Finally got my author copies! I’m very excited to say I have a novella available now on Amazon called The Garden of Stars. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested in Lovecraftian horror, it definitely borrows a lot from the genre.

The link to it is here

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I’ve Completed a Short Film!

I’ve spent the past few days working on a small project, which I am glad to announce is finished! It is called Forlorn, and you can view it here.

It was a very fun and gratifying project to work on, and I think I’ll probably be doing a few more videos in the future. Special thanks to the people who helped me make it, I couldn’t have done it without them!

Sisyphus

There it is, the great summit towering

The cold, cruel mountain reigns above

All that life has ever been since we could see

Was the act of climbing its rocky cliffs

In the hopes that we would finally

Summit the top, and look down below

And we saw the others toiling beneath

As, one by one, we knew it was time to go

Musings about Trees

Crown

“Tree, keep on growing

Gaze down upon the cold crowds

In red judgement crowned”

I tend to think of trees as these gargantuan, stately creatures that loom over the horizon with a certain eternal constant kind of vibe associated with them. Things that, more often than not, are far older than us, and will most likely still outlive us if they have the opportunity to grow and live unhindered by the industrial world. It is that very ancient nature that had me thinking about what it must be like to be a tree; trunk supporting a massive frame of various branches all dotted with leaves that gravitate towards the sunlight, all high above the heads of humans. Just as we tend to overlook these fixtures of our world, I wonder if they do not also overlook us, in their own right.

And so, the trees keep on growing, and the most we tend to see of them is the fantastic seasonal changes that occur during the fall. Vibrant hues of yellows, oranges, and reds, all fluttering down from the highest boughs in the trees to the ground where we walk. Now, I know that this is a biological process for trees as they enter a period of cooler climates, but it’s fun to imagine the leaves almost as little letters to us. Humans, though often forgotten by the trees, receive little missives every now and then, little greetings that remind us both of our relationships to each other. I would hope that the trees would have some kind words to say, but who really knows.

This featured poem, along with many others, are out on Amazon now as an ebook called Sweet Shadows, by Samuel Canerday. If you are also interested in the thoughts of trees and the nature of their ancient existence, please check out the book on Amazon.

A Celebration of Unconventional Poetry

Hello, hello, it’s certainly been a while since anything has been going on here. But, in my time of inactivity, I was actually shoring up and working on some bigger projects. One of them, Sweet Shadows, is completed and is now listed on Amazon as an E-book!

Sweet Shadows is a collection of what I would refer to as, for lack of a better term, “Horror Poetry”. It dives into themes of loneliness and despair, while also exploring death in many forms. What was important for me, when I was writing at least, was to impart a message of strange optimism, despite situations of grim circumstance or fearful things. If there was one thing I would want anyone to take away, it is that death, for all its strange and unkind darkness, is a beautiful thing in its own right that has as much to show us as the bright lights of the day.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon, or you can search for Samuel Canerday in the Amazon Marketplace. I’d highly recommend giving it a shot. It was a great experience and I’d love for people to see it!

The Nocturne Chamber, Part 2

PART TWO:

 

A wispy frame emerged from the shadows of a dimly lit alley onto the main thoroughfare, occasional lights from passing cars illuminating the bustle of foot traffic on the sidewalk. The young man slipped between the crowds, walking in a manner that bespoke purpose. Every other step he pulled out his phone, glancing at it for a few moments before slipping it back into his jacket pocket. Throngs of people laughed and bellowed past, but his eyes remained fixed ahead, as if they were unable to see anything but what was relevant to their goal. He slipped down another side alley, unnoticed by so much as a single person.

The monotonous sound of dripping permeated the passage, as if the space existed outside of the city, muffled and isolated from the noise and movement lying in wait at either end of the alley. The man pulled out his phone once more, scanning it in the dim light intently as his pace slowed from a meandering gait to a full stop. Before him was an expanse of brick wall, sullen, damp, and empty. He looked once more at his phone, agitation plainly visible in his demeanor and on his face. The phone disappeared into his pocket once more while he leaned on the wall in front of him, muttering a curse to himself.

The sharp peal of a car horn reverberated through the alley, causing the man to jump back with a start and face the source of the noise. He cast his eyes about him rapidly, chest heaving with rapid gulps of air, but quickly gathered himself. He was about to pull his phone from his pocket once more when his gaze was caught by the appearance of a door on the adjacent wall, large and imposing and scarlet hued. It looked ancient, severely weathered by the countless hands that had touched it; even so, the door was in good condition. The paint was not peeling, and though its luster was very muted, it very well could have been a recent coat of paint. There was no handle anywhere, just a small, circular window which revealed only an impermeable darkness behind it.

The man blinked rapidly, transfixed by what now stood before him, as well as unsettled by its sudden appearance on a wall that had moments before been just a wall. He hesitated, certain he had reached his goal, but terrified of what that entailed. What waited within was a mystery, just rumors that he had decided to look into out of personal curiosity. Maybe a slight obsession, in the back of his mind. This curiosity brought him back to the moment, and he found the strength then to lay his hand on the door. It was cold, despite the warm, damp air that circulated through the alley, and reminded the man of a slab of granite, heavy and immovable. Even so, the door swung open easily at the touch, as if it had been waiting to do so the whole time but needed an invitation.

He was frozen in place, uncertain whether he should continue. He had come this far, but the option to turn back was still available. There were still the noises of commotion just feet away, and he could turn back and melt into the cacophony. He pondered this momentarily, but he knew the truth: nothing out there had ever enraptured his mind and soul like this mystery, this cryptic door which few mentioned in secret and even fewer had ever actually laid eyes on. He had no choice but to continue. Everything was right in front of him, the answers he had sought, the reward he deserved for his efforts.

The man took one final deep breath at the threshold, closing his eyes momentarily before gazing with renewed vigor at the portal in front of him. He stepped inside, and was greeted by a sudden change in atmosphere. A breeze, quite different from the stillness of the alley, seemed to pull him farther inside, as if the door itself was breathing in with anticipation of his arrival. He moved forward, reaching once more for his phone to illuminate the chamber. Just as the light blossomed outwards, there was a noise like a sharp scream of anger and hurt, like an animal caught in a trap, and his phone rapidly heated to an unbearable degree in his hand until he dropped it, shattering in on the ground. The sound of the phone sizzling to a violent end was drowned out as the door slammed behind the man with a loud crash, and he was plunged into darkness with no idea of where to go, or even where the exit was now.

Hands groping outwards, the man searched for something to steady himself. His chest felt constricted, the air heavy and chill, like swimming in cold, deep water. After several tense moments, he felt something firm, and small enough to grip in his hand. He latched on, breathless, the suffocating stillness causing him to gasp in the frigid room. Suddenly, a dim glow illuminated the room, originating from several candelabra placed on a long, wooden table. The man could now see he was in a room bathed in a seemingly crimson light, his hand placed on the back of a large chair pulled up to the table. The walls were covered in what looked like satin sheets, pale yellow in color and draped on every wall. Without thinking, the man stepped back and ran his finger along the closest one, appreciating the material’s touch on his fingers. It almost lulled him into a sense of peace. He looked back to the table.

It was at least twenty feet in length, with several chairs pulled up to several places that had been set along its length. It was only then that the man realized what waited silently in each chair: foreboding figures, every one bedecked in a long robe, yellow as spring daffodils, and hoods obscuring their features. The only thing visible were their soot gray masks, molded in the shape of a cherub’s crying face, hiding a soft stillness behind it that reeked of hidden horror. The man shuddered. All of the figures had their faces turned towards him, watching him with unseen eyes. He moved slightly, walking towards the other side of the table. Their gaze moved with him every step, soundless, as if holding their breath in anticipation. He kept moving, slowly, past the sea of masks; at the end of the table was an empty chair, vacant, like an abdicated throne. He knew it was for him, that all of this was for him, a ceremony sacred beyond all comprehension.

He took his seat quietly. All eyes still lay on him. Several tense moments passed. The man was unsure how to proceed, unsure what further action to take in the face of these attendants. With a shudder like a marionette, the closest figure beckoned towards the table in front of the man. There were words scratched into it, the immaculate surface marred in one small spot to form a single message. The man read, and, almost swallowing the words in his throat, spoke out to the rest of the congregation:

Let the feast begin.”

Not a sound of the horrible scrapings, scuttling, and screaming could be heard within the room. The alley was as it always had been, still, the sound of constant dripping prevalent in the air, as well as the echoes of the busy streets it connected. There was no door, nor was there a man. Just an empty alley, and a busy city beyond that, and for this, the world was grateful.

The Nocturne Chamber, Part 1

THE NOCTURNE CHAMBER

by Samuel Canerday

I entered the bar late, late enough that the crowds had thinned out and only the stragglers remained. The speakers were droning some barely intelligible music, which was just loud enough to drown out the murmurs of the patrons there. Taking a seat at the bar next to a grizzled old man nursing a drink, I ordered a shot of whiskey and gulped it down, surveying the bar as my eyes watered from the sting. There were two other groups of people, two men at a table in the corner, and a man and woman in a booth on the side. Then there was the man next to me. He was the man I had come for, though he did not know it. I ordered another drink, and ordered another round for the man as well. He looked at me with surprise, and I raised my shot in a toast.

He asked if I knew him from somewhere, and I said no. Just feeling in a generous mood tonight. He looked me up and down slowly, then nodded. He toasted back to me, and I asked as he lowered his glass what he did. He said he was a miner, worked for some big corporation. Regular work doing excavations and such. I expressed interest, and asked what the most amazing thing he had ever dug up was. He chuckled, said that he’d found handfuls of gold, gems, riches beyond your dreams. I shook my head, expressing my dismay. I claimed that these were not great things, as they did not stick with you. Something great sticks with you to the day you die, it can’t be spent and gone in a week.

His expression darkened a bit here, and he seemed to be recalling something with a slight measure of panic in his demeanor. I eyed him carefully, cleared my throat, and asked if he had thought of something. He took a nervous sip of his drink, then nodded and stared me dead in the eyes. There was this one dig they did, he said. The land had once been lived on by natives, and it was expected they would find a few mementos of that. But one day, as they dug down, deeper than fifty feet, they found a cavern, long since caved in. Searched around, got some debris out. He stopped again here, and swallowed.

Then, he said, they found the stone. It was dark, the deepest black he had ever seen. It didn’t have the luster of obsidian, or the hardness of onyx. It was almost like a liquid, dense and deep. When they found it, they all gathered round, touched it, marveled at it. Then, the lights went out. He said he felt that he was suddenly weightless, floating, his mind wandering off into some sort of dream. He could feel something now, that he had arrived somewhere, and he knew he was meant to see what would be there. His voice was slightly frantic now, and his eyes were wet.

He told me that, in this supposed dream, he was scrambling around in the dark. The stone ground and gravel he tread on was cold, but the air was somewhat warm. He could feel the temperature rising, as well as a sort of dim light that slowly revealed his surroundings. In that grey twilight, he saw shapes. They were tall, very tall, and slender. He said they looked like people on stilts, almost. Long, ponderous limbs that waddled forward, pure black and hazy, like smoke. As the atmosphere continued to illuminate slowly, he said he saw more of the creatures, tens, hundreds, more, wandering across derelict plains of cruel stone that stretched on interminably to horizons unseen.

He paused his story there, and swallowed nervously. He turned away for a few moments, and gulped down his glass of beer. Since his silence seemed as if it would continue if left alone, I pressed him for more, asking if he saw anything else in the dream. He breathed in deep and closed his eyes, muttering the rest of the tale quickly, as if trying to get it out and away from him as soon as he could.

The light was even bright, he said, and he wondered at its source. So he turned around, and saw he was at the edge of a great cliff, one that yawned into such a cavernous abyss as to suck in all light, dense as a black liquid settled down below. But out of that blackness arose a horrible shape, glowing within itself with an arcane light stained red by the flesh that contained it.

His words were coming out even quicker now, and they seemed to cause him greater pain. His face kept twitching with every breath, as if wincing away from something.

It was beating. I realized my mouth was agape, and closed it quickly. He said the shape was an enormous heart, covered in giant, awful eyes, which peered in every direction with their horrifying gaze. He knew they were eyes. But they had such black centers, all pupil with no iris to speak of, deep and inky like the abyss that spanned below them. He had a thought then, but he said he could not explain it. I asked him to try, and he shrugged, pausing for a moment to think.

The thought was like a realization, a slight one that he noticed in that

dim, oppressive place under the abyssal heart. The darkness was watching. That chasm was alive, it was sentient, and it mocked life with this form it took in order to watch, and to judge, the awkward shuffling of the shades damned to wander this plane beyond the span of eons. He knew all of this, he said, in that single moment, for there was no lie in that place. Then the light hit his eyes, and he woke up in the barracks the dig team was staying at. Everyone else was there too. Not a single one mentioned the stone, or if they had also had the dream.

He finished the rest of his beer and placed some cash on the counter of the bar. As he stood up and pulled on his jacket, I asked him if it was still watching, that thing. He faltered for a moment at the door, before pushing it open and stepping out. He didn’t look back at me, but he said that he didn’t know what such darkness could hope to see. I smiled at this, and decided to stay at the bar for a while longer.

From what I could tell, this was a similar phenomenon from what I had come to expect. The content of the dream was different, but it still involved some sort of dream-like quality, as well as interaction with some sort of object. It was as if that mysterious object, in the man’s story, a stone, or the crimson door I had heard so many rumors about, were links to that plane. A physical gateway to teleport a person beyond the physical, a link anchored in this reality. That it appeared, I knew, but where, as well as when, were beyond my current knowledge.

But it was my only hope to find them.