Category Archives: Books

George McDonald: The Cruel Painter (Audiobook, Gothic, Horror)

This is a really crappy story loosely presenting the topics of vampires and Lilith. Circa late 19th century.

Librivox link

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Title: Gothic Vampire Tale The Cruel Painter Supernatural Fantasy Audiobook (YT link) Uploaded by Free Books.

The Cruel Painter by George McDonald – (2006) 1 star

Run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. I didn’t like this story very much. Normally I toss it and move on to the next thing without bothering to post it. This story makes a weak show of horror and confusion encompassing a romance story. That is, the story gives me the impression of a romantic type putting on a bed sheet and pretending to be a ghost. Oooh, how scary! The reason I gave this story a listen is because the keywords of Lilith and vampires were associated with it. George McDonald, sorry, but you don’t know much about vampires and you don’t know shit about Lilith. I’ve seen that bitch in my nightmares as far back as junior high, and as recently as 2014 in my lucid dreams and automatic writing. Besides that, the description of the love story sounds very detached and empty, with no emotional impact for me. This story is as boring as a science lecture. Next!

Monster Mayhem – Horror Collection

Monsters and more, monsters galore! What hides in the shadows? What lurks in the night? What reaches out for your throat to provoke a scream that curdles your blood, to violently shake the life from your body? Could this be your answer? This full-length collection of dark prose, short stories and novellas will surely appease your palate for all things beastly and ghastly. Rating: HIGH controversy.

Purchase or read 20% of the collection Monster Mayhem free at Smashwords, and have a look at my author’s profile page. You can also earn a free, Creative Commons Version of this collection in pdf form from my author’s site at Raymond Towers Dot Com.

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A short story from this collection:

Hidey-Hole Monster

Little Samantha should have told her cousin Amy about the thing hiding in her closet, but she’d been too upset at the time. The unruly Amy hadn’t been in the house two hours before she began getting on Sam’s nerves, what with her constant nagging about where Sam kept her candy stashed, and her callous treatment of Sam’s playthings.

Hadn’t Amy deliberately knocked over and dismantled her pretty building-block dollhouse, the one that Samantha had labored over for the better part of a week? And hadn’t Amy dared to snatch away her crayons and start drawing penises on half the characters in Sam’s coloring books? And when Amy had pushed the grill over in the backyard, hadn’t Samantha taken the blame, since she’d been the one chasing her cousin while trying to get her favorite dolly back?

Dorothy Dookie, that’s what Amy had rechristened her doll, formerly known as Dorothy Duke, Fashion Model. That had been the last straw for Samantha. When she’d been informed that Amy was to sleep in her room that night, Sam had been too upset and too fatigued to argue about it. Instead, she meekly went about brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed. The monster, she knew, would be taking care of her incorrigible cousin soon enough.

The thing lived in her closet, or more accurately, it emerged from a hole in the plaster along the closet’s back wall. Her dad said he’d get around to fixing that hole sooner or later, but he’d been saying that ever since they’d first moved in, and that had been six months ago.

It was as big as a cat, but it was gray and lumpy and dragged itself across the floor in a most repulsive manner, when it thought everybody was asleep. It might have remained in the closet, had it not developed a bad habit of chewing on Samantha’s shoes that forced the girl to store her footwear elsewhere. Whatever it was, it was strong enough to push the closet door open, and to wreak havoc on any cookies or crackers Sam might have lying about, even if they were all the way on top of the dresser.

More than once, Samantha had woken to the sound of the creature cleaving its savage-looking teeth into her dolls or building blocks. On one occasion, she’d dared turn on her lamp to catch a glimpse of the monster before it staggered back towards the closet and into its hidey-hole. The sight of its penetrating red eyes, sharp little fangs and grayish-brown matted hair was enough to make her regret having produced the revealing glare. Ever since then, the poor girl had resorted to throwing her hefty roller skates at it, in the dark, in the hopes of scaring the beast away. (She might have designated the thing a giant rat, were it not for the fact that it had no legs and rolled forward like a furry caterpillar.)

It might have taken two full minutes before the monster slinked from the far side of her room and back into the closet, yet it was always just fast enough to vanish as her groggy parents entered the room to find out what she was screaming about.

Her mom and dad had never believed her, just as they hadn’t believed that her precious cousin Amy could have deliberately shoved over the barbecue grill, in a successful effort to make Samantha look bad. Of course, Samantha had been infuriated when her own mom and dad had taken Amy’s side over that of their own daughter’s. But sometime soon, very soon, Amy would be getting her just desserts.

Sam vividly imagined the monster, skulking from its hidey-hole in the closet and worming its way out and across the carpet to where the unenviable Amy slept in her sleeping bag. In her mind, she could see the little beast sniffing about, and opening its fierce mouth in order to start chewing on her cousin’s face.

Keeping her head hidden under the covers, Samantha waited patiently in the darkness. When the shrieking eventually erupted in the cozy bedroom, it took all of the young girl’s effort to keep the mischievous grin from forming on her little mouth.

That would be the last time Amy gave her a hard time, ever.

Apocalypse Now! – Science Fiction Collection

These are the end times, as seen by humanity before, during and after the catastrophic events that will forever change life on Earth. Included is a collection of 31 titles, from poetic fragments to 3 large story arcs in the dark fantasy and science fiction genres. Here is the doom, pain and survival. The Apocalypse has begun. This e-book contains a MEDIUM amount of controversial subject matter.

Purchase or read 20% of the collection Apocalypse Now! free at Smashwords, and have a look at my author’s profile page. You can also earn a free, Creative Commons Version of this collection in pdf form from my author’s site at Raymond Towers Dot Com.

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A Story Fragment – Fleeing

“Mum? I’m scared, Mum.” The small boy squeaked, even as he tried to remain still in the cramped corner of the basement that his mother had stuffed him in.

“Hush now.” His mother quietly warned him. In her hands she held a makeshift spear, a former broom whose handle had been sharpened to a lethal point. “It’ll all be over soon. I promise.”

He’d heard those same words before, and from quite a few others, the small boy recalled. And all of those others who had made similar promises to him were now gone. They were the only two people left now: just him and his mother.

His mother crouched lower to the dank ground, as if she’d sensed danger lurking nearer. As a result, the boy clamped his hand over his mouth, so no audible words might leak out and give away their hiding place.

Shadows began darting across the few spots of daylight that managed to creep into the broken basement, when his mother’s sudden gasp jolted him. “Boy, you’ve got to run and hide, just like I showed you!”

The boy felt even more terrified than before. “But Mum…”

“Do as I told you!” His mother shrieked. “Go now!”

Hearing the rising panic in her voice, the boy barely managed to turn around in the confined space. A moment later, he was scampering through the tiny tunnel the adults had built as an escape route of last resort.

There was a nightmarish scream behind him, of such ferocity that the boy could barely comprehend that his mother was capable of making it, and then he remembered her earlier commands; “Whatever you see, whatever you hear, you don’t stop for it. Do you understand? You don’t stop for anything!”

Even as his mother’s desperate cries mingled with an approaching and savage guttural roar, the boy felt the tears start to stream from his eyes. He felt his face contort into a twisted caricature of grief and raw fear.

As the boy fled through the hole, clawing at the loose dirt and feeling the damp earth seep into the fabric of his tattered jeans, he never looked back.

Not even once.

Carlos Castaneda: The Teachings Of Don Juan (Audiobook)

YT description: audio ends at about 2h50 mark; the second and third books are already up on youtube so thought it was a good idea to install the first!

Title: The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda, Audio book (YT link) Uploaded by Idomeneo.

The Teachings Of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda – (1968) 4 stars

Run time for audio book: 2 hours, 50 minutes. For years and years I’ve been hearing about how great this book is, and I finally got around to giving the audio book a listen. This is an abridged version, so you won’t get everything that is in the book, which runs at about 120 pages or so, but you will get the most salient information. I may or may not read the book and give an additional commentary, if I feel like doing that.

To an intermediate extent, I have researched Native American culture, shamanism and skinwalkers, so I had an idea of what to expect here. In that respect, I did not come across much that I had not researched before. Basically, hallucinogenic substances are smoked or eaten, and a lot of trippy shit ensues. This is well documented in other cultures ranging far and wide in time and place, from the Viking era to Voodoo Africa to the shaman of South America. There is always ritual and ceremony involved, and every culture has its own forms of deities that it reveres and / or worships. In the case of Don Juan, it is Peyote / Mescalito that must be honored and not disrespected, or else! I have communicated with a shaman from the northern U.S. who calls upon Nordic deities, and I’ve read about entities from witchcraft and other cultures, where if a practitioner does something wrong the spirits will castigate and sometimes even kill their shaman. I saw one occasion where an American blonde woman tried to experience Indian Kundalini, and whatever came over her was enough to inflict here with a severe nervous tic that was odd and repulsive to look at. People have to walk a very fine line when accessing higher realms with drugs, whether they be natural or manmade. That’s why I refuse to take them!

What can this account add or refine to our pool of knowledge? Okay, we know that people claim there are numerous spiritual dimensions past our physical world. In addition to the cultures I’ve already mentioned, you can add the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead and the Gnostic concept of Archons to that mix, which I believe were also accessed or witnessed through hallucinogenic consumption. These materials may have been as simple as burning a toxic incense, or in the case of some Greek oracles, by placing divination temples too close to places that gave off toxic gases. It can be assumed that certain plants like Ayahuasca, Peyote and the Amanita Mushroom stimulate parts of the brain into opening portals to higher realms, or at least to the inner subconscious at profound levels.

The most intriguing concept I’ve heard is that these plants are living, sentient beings that live in this and other dimensions simultaneously. This isn’t that hard to correlate. For example, our human body lies in the physical world, while our soul is in the spirit realm. So where do thoughts and feelings come from, because they don’t come from either place. In that respect, why can’t plants and animals also exist in multiple dimensions? By consuming a mushroom or chewing on a peyote bulb, the living entity we are ingesting is allowing us a brief time to visit its realm, according to some. This can’t be dismissed easily because sometimes the information revealed in the ‘trip’ is accurate or prophetic. For example, I live here in San Diego, on the West Coast of the U.S. but I have lucid dreamed details of multiple people from England that I later met online, and that’s only through using dream practice and meditation. I can’t really get high off weed, but after smoking a tremendous amount one night, I was only mildly buzzed and saw a ghost who looked like a Hispanic or Native American man from the 1700s or 1800s hanging around me for several hours. Imagine what can be accomplished through deep mediation and a drug specifically used to advance that state of mind like some of these shaman are doing.

Moving on to the skinwalker and shamanistic angles. I’ve heard a lot of tales from all over the world about what I consider to be very stupid shaman. I heard of a shaman from South America who ingested a large amount of Ayahuasca, and afterwards he ate a number of chicken bones that he later vomited out. These bones were ‘magic’ after they came out of the man’s stomach. This shaman got into a spiritual war with the shaman from another village. The shaman hurled a chicken bone at his rival, but he hit his rival’s brother instead. Allegedly, the bone went into or through the man’s body. The brother later died from poisoning. I read another account where a Native American shaman was so jealous of his neighbor’s shiny new truck that he turned into a wolfman and went to attack his neighbor’s house and vehicle. From my buddy from Eritrea, I got a story about a man who had a pretty wife. The local shaman wanted to sleep with this pretty woman, so when her husband went to work, the shaman transformed his self into the image of the husband and went to sleep with the wife. The wife and other people swore they saw the man’s double or Doppelganger in the neighborhood, when the man was actually miles away. I’ve read of similar happenings from the Canadian Inuit and in China as well. Here in Castaneda’s book, we hear about a skinwalker who changed into a dog for the grand purpose of going into a neighbor’s house to eat cheese. Are you effing serious? What good is shamanism and changing into animal / spirit forms, if all you end up doing is scratching the truck of the guy across the street or eating your neighbor’s cheese and getting shot and killed as a result?

The great Western alchemists and magicians aren’t doing any better, mind you. We have Crowley who, gasp, made a guy trip half a block ahead of him, and we have Dees who, gasp again, caused a marble to float out of a window in front of witnesses. There was a popular phrase in the 1980s; Where’s the beef? I’m certainly not seeing it, and I’ve been looking for the beef for decades now. What are modern ‘sorcerers’ doing today? Well, we’ve got mind-freaker Cris Angel toying around with playing cards and Dynamo, I think it was, pulling long pieces of bread out of the palm of his hand. So what? Is that really the extent of magic historically and also contemporaneously? Even The Powers That Be can’t get a full lockdown on the masses, despite vast resources and wealth, Kabbalah, Sacred Geometry, Numerology, Witchcraft and other devious means. The bad guys, both the intelligent ones and the dunces, are only like two steps ahead of the rest of us. That’s not very far!

Look at this example of Don Juan. He has all this power and mystique that Castaneda is in wonder and awe of, but what is Juan doing with that power? Well, nothing really. He smokes out, he chews his little Peyote, and he teaches Castaneda to do very little. The big thrill is to witness and have a chat with this Mescalito character, but what knowledge is really being revealed here? I see Castaneda learning more about his self than anything else, which leads me to believe, again, that he is only unlocking his own subconscious and not really accessing anything like divinity, Akashic Records or universal / Jesus consciousness.

You don’t really need hallucinogenic drugs to get in touch with your inner self. You can do that naturally. For contrast, I can call upon tons, and I mean tons, of apparitions, light anomalies and shadows to appear in my apartment nearly every single night. After dealing with these entities for over four years now, I find that if I ask them bigger questions or questions involving others and myself, I get iffy answers. If I ask questions about me and only me, such as will I have a good day or a bad day, or will I see X news or Y news on today’s alternative news sites, or are my favorite chips on sale at the store, I have a 75% accuracy. In that respect, my ‘spirits’ are more like vague Tarot cards or like flipping coins while concentrating on a strong / belief intent.

Basically, your physical experience is subjective, so what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. At the same time, there are a million ways for you to reach your Higher Self / Spirit Guides / angels, or whatever else you believe in, without scaring the crap out of yourself like Castaneda did several times in the book. You start with prayer or meditation to clear you mind, you eat healthy and you do your regular exercise. Once you have that down, you ask your helpers or your subconscious to show you the next step. Depending on how ready or grounded you are spiritually, you might get a quick or delayed response. If you try something for a time and it doesn’t work, you move on to something else until you find something that does work. The basic tenets will always be Service To Others or Service To Self. From my years and years of research and hands-on practice, I don’t think anybody can reach the level of the famed Arthurian Merlin or the Biblical Moses during the fabled time of the Exodus. As far as I can tell, those levels of power are out of the reach of today’s humans. If you do follow the Left Hand Path, which is alchemy / magic and not Satan, do us all a favor, leave the petty jealousies and bickering behind and do something for the common good.

Roaches In The Attic 1: First Contact – Science Fiction Novel

The natural inclination of Man is to war with other Men. This, then, is our destiny, to grasp the stars, and to bring our weapons of destruction with us. But what really is Man, and more importantly, why is Man? The great voyage begins here, as Man encounters other Men, equally clever and as warlike as He is, and war will be waged for the conquest of the entire universe.

Purchase or read 20% of the novel Roaches In The Attic 1 free at Smashwords, and have a look at my author’s profile page. You can also earn a free, Creative Commons Version of this collection in pdf form from my author’s site at Raymond Towers Dot Com.

Excerpt From Milton’s Lecture

We felt the impact of the Roach Nest as it landed. The Roaches don’t have any type of atmospheric entry stabilizers. From what we can tell they basically just aim at a planet from space and crash into it. They destroy part of their nest, their starship, in the process, but they aren’t planning on using it again like we do with our vessels. They plan on taking over the entire planet from the outset. When their population expands to a certain point, they simply begin building a new ship through unknown means, and hypothetically, they launch it and begin a search for another suitable planet.

All we knew at the time was that we were way out in the field going through our training exercise. Our squads were spread out all over the place, and something loud and heavy had just caused the ground beneath our feet to rumble. That’s all we knew. Our radios were on fixed frequencies, but the radios the DIs had were not. They told us to stay put while they went out and tried to figure out what was going on. Since we were playing the bad guys that day anyway, I told my team to hide in the brush until we got more intel.

We found out later that several drill instructors went out in an electric cart to investigate, and they weren’t heard from again.

About an hour had passed after the initial impact, when we heard our DI order us back to our starting point. We were over four miles away from our barracks by then, and I guess we were pretty far out when compared to most of the other squads. I can remember my teammates and I grumbling because we’d barely gotten to our sector, and here we were being called all the way back. We thought that maybe the DIs were testing us somehow.

Then we started hearing distress calls from some of the other squads in our platoon. Some guys were saying they were under attack, others were saying there were monsters in the woods. We didn’t know what to think.

I’d asked my buddy Dane Weathers to handle the radio for us that day, and now I was asking him to contact the head DI and find out what was going on. Again, we were told to head directly to our starting point, which was still almost four miles away.

Guys from our platoon, guys that we knew, were yelling into the radios and telling us that something was running after them and grabbing recruits, and taking them into the forest. We kept hearing that these things were shadows, or monsters or demons. A lot of times, we tried to raise the squads that were making those calls a second time, but they weren’t answering any more. I told Dane to try the DI again, and this time, he wasn’t answering any more either.

We did get one last reply, from somebody in the Admin building. It was a woman’s voice, and she was ordering us to return to the landing field for an immediate evacuation. She did identify herself, but I can’t remember what her name was anymore. When we could not reach her a second time, those weird feelings some of the guys had been having that morning started coming back.

I did not order my squad to head straight back to the starting point, or straight to Admin. Instead, we circled around from the north and through the forest, and we found a hill with a good vantage point. It took us a couple of hours to get there, but once we’d reached its crest we could see most of the Admin building, the parade grounds and the barracks. That whole area is known as Admin Square.

I don’t know if you can even imagine the gruesome scene we saw there. The scared recruits that were coming into view were being slaughtered as soon as they got into the parade grounds. They had no way to really defend themselves other than to use their laser rifles as clubs. What they were fighting against… Well, that’s when we got our first good look at those things.

They looked like giant roaches. They had black shells that covered most of their bodies, and they ran on six legs. They were much faster than the recruits. When they got close enough, they’d jump up in the air and knock the recruits down. From what we could see, they were mauling the recruits until they were dead. Not one of the recruits they knocked over got back up again. We watched the Roaches drag their bodies into the woods and ready themselves for another ambush. When the next group of recruits came by, the Roaches were already hidden and the recruits walked right into a trap. Our initial estimated count was fifty or sixty of those Roach things at Admin Square, and not counting however more were hiding in the woods.

The Black Cellar – Horror Novel

Jason had enough problems to deal with. His parents moved from the city to the country, shortly before high school graduation. Now, he’s discovering some very sinister, macabre secrets in the house his parents watch over. While looking for clues, he will follow a darkening path that will lead him to the most diabolical evil of all. This e-book has a HIGH amount of controversial subject matter.

Purchase or read 20% of the novel The Black Cellar free at Smashwords, and have a look at my author’s profile page. You can also earn a free, Creative Commons Version of this collection in pdf form from my author’s site at Raymond Towers Dot Com.

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Starting Over Really Sucks

Jason Moore cast a longing glance at the wall clock. In his thoughts, he cursed it for being so slow. Every second felt like a minute, every minute like an hour, every hour like an eternity.

Jason was in a prison for teenagers. He was sitting in a textured, bright orange plastic chair, with a wire basket soldered under the seat, and at waist level, a small wood-laminate surface that fit either a book or a sheet of line paper, but not both items at the same time. Benton High School was so much different than Jason’s old high school in San Diego, he lamented. Even the chairs sucked here.

Jason hated Benton. He hated the way the other students treated him; the way the girls would glance at him and whisper to themselves, the way the boys shouldered their way past him in the hallways, or merely ignored him as if he wasn’t even there. Jason hated that he was an outcast, because of how late in the school year he’d transferred, because he didn’t dress or talk like any of the other kids.

Jason hated most of all hearing students bragging about their prom dates or the upcoming graduation ceremony. He didn’t belong in Benton High; he didn’t want to belong in Benton High. He wanted to be back in San Diego, making his own plans to go to the prom with his buddies, and goofing around while rehearsing for the big day of graduation. That’s all his buddies kept talking about in their emails.

If Jason could change the world and return things to how they used to be, he’d make it so that his mom and dad never lost their house to the bank. That way, they would have never left his hometown and moved up to… to this crappy place.

Benton really blows, Jason thought. When that Melville guy said, ‘Thar she blows!’ the teen mused, he was probably talking about Benton. He grinned at his little joke.

Somebody snickered to his left. Jason turned to see the girl in the next row watching him. She looked over to whisper to the girl beside her, loud enough for Jason to hear.

“He is so stupid!”

Jason was stupid, he thought. He should never have come to this little town, where nobody paid any attention to him, and where everybody was making fun of him behind his back.

But at least there was the big house to look forward to, once he finished his classes for the day and headed back home. It had been built way back in the nineteen-fifties, and it had once catered to the Hollywood elite back in the day. Now, Jason’s dad was in charge of taking care of the place. The house even had its own name; it was known as the Grant House. How many houses had their own name?

And lastly, there was that persistent rumor that the Grant House was haunted… but that couldn’t be true, could it?

Dobrynia’s Path 2 – Ragnarok – Fantasy Novel

This is a story of adventure and glory, of wars, triumphs and failures taking place on the Nine Worlds of Viking lore. Ragnarok has come. An entire universe is starting to collapse in on itself. The warrior Dobrynia must rally her fellow Valkyrie, perhaps to defy even the gods as she struggles to save her world from destruction. This e-book has a HIGH amount of controversial subject matter.

Purchase or read 20% of the novel Dobrynia’s Path 2 free at Smashwords. Here is a link to my author’s profile page, and a link to my official author’s website at Raymond Towers Dot Com.

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The Beginning Of The End

“The tracks end here.” The gruff voice of Brynhilde was heard, just a few yards ahead. The rough woman’s red hair was a sharp contrast to the wintry landscape all around them.

The other two Valkyrie, Dobrynia and Geirhold, trudged through the barren trees and loose snow to get to her. Due to the cold, they all wore furred clothing over their armor. They even gripped their weapons with gloved hands.

“It will snow again, soon.” The blonde Geirhold noted, as she stared up at the darkening, tumultuous sky.

“Small matter.” Brynhilded told her. “Let the snow come as it will. What say you, Dobrynia?”

The raven-haired woman stepped next to her mentor, taking in the sparse and lonely landscape. They’d traversed through a cold region already, in following those strange tracks that should not have been there. The creatures that made those tracks did not belong in that world, the world of men known as Midgard. Now, they’d reached the edge of living things, where the meager trees ended and the vast frozen tundra began.

“By Odin’s decree, we must go wherever the tracks will lead us.” Dobrynia said.

“Of course, of course.” Brynhilde stated, keeping her gaze on the empty land before them, and on the high mountains that could be seen in the far distance. “I fear this is the beginning of the end. This is the Great Filbumwinter of prophecy, which comes just before Ragnarok.”

Dobrynia opened her mouth to speak, but it was Geirhold’s voice that came forth first.

“We cannot be certain of that.” The blonde warrior said.

“The gods of Asgard tremble.” Brynhilde reminded them.

Truly, all three Valkyrie had seen how the faces of their gods had been filled with uncertainty and trepidation, just before Odin sent them on their mission.

“We will know the truth of it, soon enough.” Their captain said. “We can no longer follow our prey in our natural forms. Let us transform ourselves here, and let our hunt for these foul creatures continue.”

With that, and despite the freezing temperatures, all three Valkyrie began to undress.

Dobrynia worried as much as the others, for the beginning of Ragnarok would herald the destruction of the Nine Worlds.