November 21, 2014

One Year After the Storm: a guest post + giveaway by Ira Gansler, author of "The Things in the Darkness"

About The Things in the Darkness: An accident puts Kevin Tremmel into a coma. Upon waking, he is not the same. Is it psychological trauma or something darker at work?
Until recently, Kevin Tremmel was at peace with his life. He had a wonderful family, a meaningful career, and his life is finally settling down. Everything seems to be going great - until the night he dies in a car accident.
When the doctors revive him, it's evident that he's not the same. Strange urges and images haunt his waking hours, and he finds himself fighting frightening new impulses. Has the trauma of the accident caused a mental illness -- or has he brought some malevolent being back with him?
In order to save his sanity, his sense of self, and his family, Kevin must discover what force is at work on him and how to overcome it. It’s that, or give up all he loves and become a servant to the things in the darkness.
"Terrifying and engaging, impossible to put down." Henrique Couto, Writer/Director of Babysitter Massacre and Director of Haunted House on Sorority Row and Scarewaves.

"Creepy, contemporary riffs on Lovecraftian themes!" John Oak Dalton, Screenwriter - Among Us, Haunted House on Sorority Row, and Scarewaves.  

ONE YEAR AFTER THE STORMan excerpt of The Things in the Darknessby Ira Gansler

He could feel that something was in store for him that would change his life forever. The darkness held promises of something approaching. It spoke to him. It pulled to him. It wrapped itself around him like the intertwining limbs of a lover and its words spoken directly to his mind whispered of pleasures to come. The ecstasy that was promised went far beyond the pleasures of the flesh that he had once experienced with his wife. It even went beyond any desires for the women that had come before her or even the more depraved titillations he had with the girl that was currently bound and bleeding in front of him. But, that was before he had started his worship with her. Although, those indulgences had been of the variety that he had never dared dream of, but which the darkest regions of his subconscious had desired without him even knowing it. He had thought that he was taking no pleasure in her pain and suffering, but realized now that he had only been trying to fool himself. In truth, her suffering was rapture to him.
Picking the girl had been easy. For his first piece of art, his homage to the darkness, he wanted the most pure, desirable creature he could find. She called to him from where he waited and watched. Her light green sweater had revealed nothing, but had not really been able to hide her sensuality either. She could not hide the curves of her breasts, even though the shirt hung loosely below them instead of hugging them in a tantalizing embrace the way most women’s clothing did. The curves of her hips and smoothness of her legs were not evident in the loose fitting pants she wore. She was not trying to be unattractive, but was not trying to draw attention either. She just was being herself, and that was perfect for him. He would take her unrecognized beauty and make it reveal the beauty of the darkness within us all.
He followed her from a distance over the next few days. He was far enough away from home that he didn’t have to worry about being noticed, but at the same time, his recently acquired scars made him stand out, so caution was necessary. He made sure to always watch her from a distance. Whenever he thought there was even a chance that she had spotted him, he turned a corner or entered a nearby store. He never went on foot if there was not a crowd present. When she got closer to home each day, he alternated between following her in a recently stolen vehicle or a rental car he had chosen for the occasion. The rental car fit in with the other small, trendy cars of her college town, so it drew little attention. He only followed her enough to ascertain that she did, in fact, live alone and had no frequent visitors. Then it was just a matter of waiting for a time when she would not be missed for a few days.
The opportunity arose and he seized it without hesitation. It was a four-day weekend at the university where she attended school. She returned to her home located just off of campus that Thursday evening and sat at her kitchen table with a novel in front of her, sipping a glass of wine and listening to some classical music pouring from the stereo on the nearby counter top. It was still early enough in the evening that a knock on the door did not draw suspicion. He lightly rapped on the front door and looked around to make sure that the street was still empty. It was. Dusk was coming on and most of the students and faculty living on the street had already left for the long weekend. A faint breeze blew and whipped around some papers that had been laying on the side of the road. A dog barked in the distance. He returned his focus to the door when he heard her footsteps approaching.
She opened the door and he was momentarily struck by her beauty, which was even more striking up close. She had pale green eyes and auburn hair that lay all around her shoulders. She crossed her arms beneath her breasts, unintentionally showing off her form. “Can I help you?” He voice was as soft as the breeze blowing down the street and as sweet as the song of spring time birds. He knew intuitively that if she ever gave a presentation she must need a microphone to be heard in the back of a lecture hall, but that she would hold her audience captive with every word.
“Yes,” He finally stuttered. “I know this sounds cliché, but my car broke down and I need to use your phone.” Steam poured from the hood of the rental car parked in front of her house. It had taken some effort to damage the vehicle just right without drawing attention as he did it, but he thought he had done a fine job. He found it funny that the extra cash he had slipped the clerk at the rental firm to acquire the car without a credit card would likely not cover the damage. He was using his best classroom voice, the one that said, “You can trust me, you can let down your guard around me, and I am safe.” He smiled and even with the slightly disfigured face, it served to disarm her concerns.
“Don’t you have a cell phone?” she asked, more out of curiosity than concern.
“Afraid not,” he replied, keeping the smile and the even tone of voice. “I never have believed in them. They just strike me as an electronic leash.” She looked at his left hand instinctively and noticed the wedding band. In seconds, she had assessed the situation and deemed him harmless. It was the last mistake she would ever make.
“Come in,” she said, nodding her head towards the hallway. She walked in front of him down the hall, not knowing that she was experiencing her last moments on her own two feet. “The phone is over this way in the kitchen.” As she walked ahead, he brought a wrench out of his pocket, lifted it up, and brought it crashing down on the top of her head. She crumpled to the ground like a marionette with the strings cut. She had no idea what had hit her and did not even suspect that the harmless man she had just allowed into her house might have been responsible. She did not have time to change her mind on the subject before she blacked out.
When she awoke, she was tied to her bed and naked. She struggled briefly with her bindings, but found herself without an inch of wiggle room. She lifted her head slightly and saw, with mounting horror, that her arms and legs were tied so that she was spread eagle on the bed. She screamed and wailed for help. She shrieked until she heard the laughter coming from the side of her bed.
She looked over and saw the man she had let in earlier. Instead of the feeling of security his smile had given at that time, now it just filled her with dread. She was not naïve in any way and knew that in all likelihood, she stood little to no chance of reasoning with this man. This had been planned. The smoking car, the convenient lack of a cell phone, maybe even the wedding band, had all been but a ruse to get her alone and vulnerable. She knew there was no hope, but she had to try.
“Please,” the tears streamed from her eyes and her voice hitched even as she tried to control it. She didn’t want to seem weak or possibly anger him. “Please…why…why are you doing this? Why me? I don’t…I don’t even know…you.” She managed to spit out between sobs.
“Oh, but you know on whose behalf I am here, even if you won’t admit to it.” His eyes gleamed and she thought she could see the madness behind them.
“Know who? What…what are you…talking about?”
He just continued to smile. “The darkness beckons. And if you aren’t familiar with Them now, you will be shortly.” He rose and began to strip out of his clothes. Her eyes revealed the terror at what she knew was coming.
“I will admit,” he said not pausing his undressing, but going on as he spoke. “I wasn’t planning on taking part in you like this, but it seems such a waste. I want to experience the before AND the after so that I can see if Their presence in you makes any difference.”
“I don’t…I don’t under…stand,” She cried harder at the invasion she knew was coming. She really didn’t understand. Aside from the scars, he was not a bad looking man. Surely, he did not need to resort to this for sex? Then she recalled the look in his eyes when he told her that she knew why he was here and she knew that there would be no reasoning with someone who had lost any mind they ever may have had.
“So few people do.” He now stood naked over her. “But you are going to help me change that!” She closed her eyes as he entered her and prayed for it to be over quickly.

He moaned loudly as he slammed into her, pounding his crotch against hers. There was no gentle caress, no consideration for her feelings or physical pleasure as there had been with all the women before her. He yanked her hair with one hand until she screamed and continued to pound into her. He leaned down and bit her breast until she bled. She screamed more and with every scream, he pounded into her harder. She begged even though she knew he would be deaf to her pleas. She prayed, but there was no answer to be heard or felt. He bit down on her again and she shrieked as his teeth clamped down with tremendous force, separating the nipple from the rest of her breast. She wished and prayed to pass out if nothing else, but relief was not to come from above. Surprisingly, even if only temporarily, relief came from her rapist as he simultaneously had his release in her and pressed an odd-smelling cloth over her nose and mouth. She slowly watched the world grow blurry and then go black.
Enter to win one of two great prizes during the #DarknessEmerges Tour. Ira is giving away a GRAND PRIZE of a signed print copy of his book, The Things in the Darkness, plus a signed copy of his “Office Case” segment from the movie, Scarewaves. As a second prize, he’s giving away another signed print copy! Enter to win through the Rafflecopter below. Enter now until Dec. 1, 2014. This is a tour wide giveaway, and open to U.S. Residents only due to shipping. If you want to enter from outside the U.S., and you can, but if you win, you’ll receive an e-book.

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Ira M. Gansler is the father of three girls whom he adores and hopes to one day mold into fellow horror fans! He has been married to his fantastic, supportive wife for almost twelve years. Ira focuses on honing his writing craft through fiction, blogging, and screenwriting. He was one of the writers for the film Scarewaves, having written the screenplay for the “Office Case” segment.
Ira has been an avid horror fan since the time at age five when he ran screaming back to his bed after having witnessed the scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street where Freddy was dragging a bloody and dying Tina across the ceiling. Since then, he has embraced all types of horror. The Shining, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, and the original Night of the Living Dead will always hold a special place in his twisted heart. He prays that when the zombie apocalypse does come that it consists of slow zombies and that the Elder Gods show mercy on us all.
You can follow Ira M. Gansler on his blog, The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void at, on twitter @RageCircusBlog, or on Facebook at Ira also writes reviews and conducts interviews for the From Dusk Till Con Network at

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