Icons to Ashes by C. Dennis Moore by C. Dennis Moore - Read Online



In a time when the undead bloodsuckers of legend have become a shadow of their former selves thanks to watered-down romance novels like TWILIGHT and the SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series, horror author C. Dennis Moore returns the icons to their former glory with his collection of 6 short stories, ICONS TO ASHES. Featuring 3 previously published stories plus 3 all-new tales, ICONS TO ASHES doesn't shy away for one moment from the bloodshed and ferocity of these killing machines.

A young man is seduced into a perfect blend of sex and death by his dead girlfriend.

A woman returns home for the first time in decades, but some old enemies can’t leave well enough alone.

In a world where vampires have equal rights, one man’s attempt to start a new life free of the bloodsuckers proves too good to be true.

Douglas wakes up battered and bruised in an alley, with the severed head of someone he doesn’t know lying nearby.

If you’re itching to see some good old fashioned killing machines again, ICONS TO ASHES has everything for the vampire-lover in you.

Praise for ICONS TO ASHES:

"C. Dennis Moore remains one of the best, and yet undiscovered, writers of the macabre working in the small press today. He handles his heroes and his monsters with equal amounts of respect. He weaves his tales with skill, and talent shines through. I'm hoping that Icons to Ashes does as much for his reputation as it does for a tired subgenre."
--Christopher Fulbright, author of Of Wolf and Man

"Vampire fans in need of a quick bite can look forward to C. Dennis Moore's Icons to Ashes. This collection clots nicely." 
--Steve Vernon, author of Long Horn, Big Shaggy 

"Doing away with the gothic trappings, his vampires are clearly monsters--sometimes willing, sometimes haunted by what they have to do to survive. That pull between the vampires' brutal existence and the last vestiges of their humanity provides a lot of the tension in this great collection."
--Kristopher Reisz, author of TRIPPING TO SOMEWHERE and UNLEASHED.

Published: C. Dennis Moore on
ISBN: 9781513042527
List price: $2.99
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Icons to Ashes - C. Dennis Moore

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Copyright © 2012, Charles Moore

All rights reserved

This is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited.  The author greatly appreciates you taking the time to read his work.  Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or telling a friend, to help spread the word.

Thank you for supporting this work. 



To my mother and my Aunt Dale, who took me to all those great horror movies when I was a kid.

thanks to my family, MBEthe2 and Evans for being almost as cool as me, to Brian, Steven, Keith A. and Keith L. for being my homies, to Pete Allen, Babs Lackey, and Alex Severin for publishing three of these stories first, Diavolo for publishing one of them again, to Swope for early edits on a couple of them, to William Campbell for last minute edits on a couple of them, and finally thanks to all my writer friends.



Cover photo by C. Dennis Moore

Become originally appeared in Shadow of the Marquis

Day Sleeper originally appeared in The Swamp

The Salvation of Victor originally appeared in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, vol. V, issue XXVI


Five Fictions is a sampler of short stories from horror author C. Dennis Moore’s various collections, Terrible Thrills, Icons to Ashes, Dancing On a Razorblade, The Dichotomy of Monsters, and What the Blind Man Saw.

The stories in this book run the gamut from mythological gods plotting against humanity to answering the question of what those noises your house makes might really be all about, and finishing up with a story about a young girl whose secrets are about to be revealed when her parents abandon her to the care of a shiftless cousin.

Five Fictions is a collection of Moore’s most popular short stories and a great introduction to the author Kealan Patrick-Burke once called one of the suspense genres best-kept secrets.

Get Five Fictions for FREE when you join the mailing list.




IN BRIAN’S DREAM, THEY LAY under the brilliant Summer sun, on a rock overlooking Giordano Lake.  Brian's box shrieked a Guns N' Roses song, and from behind his sunglasses, Brian watched sweat run from between Jennifer's breasts, across her neck, down her shoulder.

It was the end of school again and they had one year before graduation.  Summer had just started, they had three months of late nights and sleep-ins, and Jennifer had not yet disappeared.

He got up on his elbow and stared at her.  She opened her eyes and stared back. He leaned forward to kiss her and she whispered his name.  Brian . . . Brian . . . Brian . . . .

Brian climbed out of deep sleep.  He heard something, somewhere, and gaze around the room.  He was groggy and only half-coherent, and it was dark, but he didn't see anything.

There is was again, a tapping.  And his whispered name.  Brian.  He turned toward the window.  Jennifer stood outside.

Suddenly sleep no longer mattered and the gunk in his eyes became no match for his need to open them their widest.  Brian leapt from his bed and bounded across the room to the window.  He stood at the glass, staring at Jennifer dressed in a white dress, her skin pale and her hair hanging lifeless over her shoulders.  His mind screamed OPEN THE WINDOW, but his body refused to respond.  He stood there in shock.

Could the past three weeks be over?  Could Brian have dreamt the whole thing?  Could Jennifer never have vanished?

Jennifer, he said.

Brian, she whispered again.  Her voice sounded hoarse, dry, barely more than a croaking whisper.  She put her hands to the window and drew them down, her fingers squeaking against the glass.  You have to come.

Where have you been?

She only smiled and somehow it no longer mattered that she'd vanished, only that she'd come back.  And that meant everything.  Then her expression changed and he could see a look of urgency on her face.

Hurry, she said.  You have to come.

He opened the window and the warm summer breeze hit his bare chest.  Sweat ran down the middle of his back.  He looked into Jennifer's eyes and rubbed dust from his own.

We put fliers all over.  We didn't know what happened to you, he said, slipping on a T-shirt and a pair of sweats, then climbing out the window, into the dry grass.

I'm fine, she whispered.

Jennifer, what—?

Brian, it's horrible.  God, you can't imagine.  She collapsed in the grass and put her face in her hands.  After a few second, she looked up, tears running down her pale cheeks.

Tell me what's wrong, he said.

You have to see.

Okay, he said.

Jennifer croaked, My parents. . . .

Okay, he said, nodding, let's go, and he took her hand.  The sweat on his back turned to ice.  She led him down the block-and-a-half to her house.

When they reached it, Jennifer opened the door.  Brian slowly, cautiously followed her in.  Then a stench hit him with enough force to cause his stomach muscles to tighten, threatening to wretch.  He stepped into the dark living room, breathing quick gasps to avoid the smell, trying to find Jennifer.

Jennifer, he whispered with a hiss.  Jennifer.  His voice seemed loud in the dark.  He gazed around the black living room but saw nothing.  From memory he made his way to the kitchen, whispered Jennifer's name again and, getting no response, went to the stairs.  He stood at the bottom of the flight, craned his head up and whispered again, Jennifer.

This time he heard, in a whisper to match his own, They're up here.  In their bedroom.

Brian climbed the stairs, wondering what he'd find in the room.  He crept down the hall, hand against the wall for guidance, every dark thought conceivable to his mind coming and going.  He found the door and, before entering the room, braced himself for the worst.  He took a deep breath, and thought he could hear Jennifer in the room, weeping.  Then he swung around the doorway and looked.

Oh . . . Jesus.

Moonlight filtered through the window, painting the room a pale red as it shone through a blood-covered pane.  The smell from downstairs became a hundred-fold in here.  Jennifer knelt over something on the floor.  He stood behind her, looking over her shoulder.  He put his hand on her