Coffee and Contemplation: Studies in Supernatural Storytelling

As promised, I am changing up how I approach the weekly Coffee and Contemplation segments. Think of this as the introduction post. This will kind of be like reviews but focused on the spooky things. This may include films, television, and various other things. My main focus will be on books. As I want to be a writer of supernatural horror, speculative fiction, and magical realism, these are the kinds of books I’ve been reading for the past couple years. I plan to go through them one by one offering my opinion of the works, saying how spooky they are, and perhaps something I learned about writing in this genre.

I can tell you one thing I’ve learned already. The best supernatural horror stories have some real-life horrors included. I mean things that actually have or could happen such as genocide and rape. I will offer and overall rating of the work between one and five stars like so many other rating systems. I will also include a Spooky Spider Scale. I will rate the level of scariness in the book between one and ten spiders. I don’t scare easy. For example, a children’s book might have some scary bits for kids but not for adults. These might be one or two spiders. The average horror novel might get 5 or 6 spiders. It’s too scary for kids but teens and young adults won’t get too scared.

I may need to perfect this scale as I start writing about these different novels. I have read many and have many a book on my To-Read list. I try to keep my list updated on my Goodreads profile. Follow me or friend request me there to see what I’m reading now. And feel free to offer suggestions or comment on what you thought about whichever book I discussed on a certain week. These posts are intended to be a conversation and I want to hear from you all. I hope to have lots of fun with this new approach to my Sunday posts. I’m already excited. Will you join me on this journey into spookiness?

Hellpets – Part 9

Read Part 8

            “Don’t do that again. That was very bad. Bad Duke. Bad dog.” Charles said.

            “I’ve failed my mission.” Hinn said.

            “It’s not that bad.” I said.

            “I don’t deserve the air I breathe.”

            “Now you’re being over dramatic.”

            “They’ll send me back to the pit. I’ll be punished. Oh no! They’ll put me in…The Box. Not The Box!”

            “What’s the box?”

            “I should do the honorable thing and take my life.”

            “Slow down there pup. I think Hell would prefer bad dogs.”

            “I can’t do it. Will you? Just kill me. I have nothing left to live for.”

            “I mean, yeah, I guess. But it feels unnecessary. And probably messy.”

            “It must be done before the other Hellhounds find out.”

            “Everything’s gonna be fine. Relax. Drink some water.”

            “You don’t understand. I can’t go in The Box. I won’t. I’d rather burn in Hell than go in The Box.”

            “Well you’re made of Hellfire, so I don’t see –”

            “Ah! Who is that!? Don’t let it take me!”

            “That’s Ligur, my manager. He’s not here for you. Go sob over there so we can talk.”

            “What’s his problem?” Ligur said.

            “I’m…a…bad…dog! Ahahaha!”

            “Ignore him. He’s being a baby.”

            “Okay. Well all parties involved are pleased with this experiment so far.”

            “I’m not pleased.”

            “Is something wrong?”

            “Yeah, the Hellhound’s an idiot.”

            “Most of them are. Anything else?”

            “Why can’t you get someone else to do this?”

            “You have seniority. You’re the most qualified.”

            “Dammit. Hey, you ever meet a Hellhound named Amy?”

            “Ewe. He always smells. We’ve met. Why?”

            “He’s this idiot’s manager. I don’t like him.”

            “Neither do I.”

            “He’s too bossy. Is that normal for Hellhounds?”

            “It is for Amy. Though Hellhounds do have a more militant mindset to their ranks.”

            “How much longer do I have to do this?”

            “We agreed to give him the same training we give to all our new Hellcats.”

            “Then should he be running missions already?”

            “What do you mean?”

            “He went to collect a soul yesterday.”

            “That’s not right. He just left? Did he smell a dead body or something?”

            “No. Amy ordered him to go. He said it was Hinn’s first assignment.”

            “They were supposed to wait until his training was finished. I’ll have a word with Amy and his superiors. I should inform the elder Hellcats too. Let me know if they send him out again. And try to convince him not to go if possible.”

            “Should he know about this?”

            “The sobbing pup? I wouldn’t say anything yet. He’s probably being used but we don’t know for sure. For now, do your best with his training.”

            “Fine. But I’m gonna complain the whole time.”

            Ligue smiled before poofing away.

            “Did your friend leave?” Hinn said.

            “He’s not my friend, he’s my manager. Are you friends with your manager?”

            “Well, no, but no one likes Amy much.”

            “Yeah I figured that out.”

            “What should we do now?”

            “Weren’t you upset?”

            “Upset about what?”

            “Bad dog?”

            “Where!? I’ll fight him. Show me the bad dog.”

            “I lose braincells every time you speak.”


Thank you for joining me on my first attempt with serializing stories. Please tell me what you think in the comments. The Hellpets will return…or will they?

Hellpets – Part 8

Read Part 7

            “Hey, I’m back.” Hinn said.


            “Did the human notice?”

            “You were gone for like five seconds.”

            “Is that a long time?”

            “No. You’ll get used to Earth time.”

            “It’s really convenient when you’re already up here fetching souls.”

            “Who was it?”

            “The soul? Some retail manager. Suicide.”

            “Retail’s a tough job.”

            “You think so?”

            “I wouldn’t want to deal with humans complaining all the time.”

            “Did anything happen while I was gone?”

            “A fly came inside.”

            “A fly!? Where is this intruding fiend? How dare you enter a Hellhound’s home.”

            I shouldn’t have said anything.

            “There you are. Hah. Hah.”

            He’s trying to eat the fly. This is almost entertaining. I’ll snuggle up here on the back of the couch and watch the show.

            “Owe. You made me trip. Come back here you furry swine!”

            “Hinn, I’m starting to dislike you less.”

            “You like me?”

            “That’s not what I said.”

            “Could you give me a hand with this Earth creature?”

            “But you’re doing so well.”

            “He’s too cunning and nefarious for me.”

            “That isn’t saying much.”



            “What should I do?”

            “Try staying in one spot and wait for it to come closer.”

            “Good idea.”

            “Why do you look like you’re about to poop?”




            “Ugh. Why do you snort when you chomp at him?”

            “I missed. He’s a slippery one.”

            “So nefarious.”

            “I know, right? How do Earth dogs handle this stuff?”

            “You should try asking an Earth dog?”

            “Great idea! Hey! Hey other dogs! Hey! Hey!”

            “Stop barking, you idiot.”

            “But dogs are shouting back.”

            “I changed my mind. I dislike you a lot now.”

Read Part 9 (the final part).