As we continue our Author Spotlight series of the contributors to A Darke Phantastique, we are very proud to present Chris Marrs. Her story, “Paper and Pencil, Skin and Ink” starts out:
Autumn opened the door leading out of the pub’s washroom. Bobby stood in the entrance. He pushed her back inside and into a stall. One of her heels slipped on the tile, causing her hip to bounce off the toilet paper container hard enough that she winced. Bobby grabbed her, pinned her wrists to the wall, and kissed her. His teeth clashed against hers, then he bit her lower lip, hard. It tightened and swelled, and she jerked her head back.
“Don’t, Bobby,” she said.
He frowned, “What, not in the mood?”
Bobby’s tone brought the apprehension that hummed in the background of her mind whenever he was near racing to the forefront. She studied the pattern on his dress shirt.
“I just want to get back to Seattle, that’s all,” she said. “After the fiasco of Vancouver . . .”
She talks about the inspiration for the story:
This story didn’t come all in one nice complete package but slowly, and over time, in random observations. The rainy night where the locals of a small and very isolated town descended on the pub I worked at, instead of being animated their merriment sounded muted, their motions forced and fake. The fellow with eyes that appeared lifeless who sat at my bar, then vented his tale of woe over beer. The man with an interesting full-sleeve tattoo of skulls and mist, rendered in black and gray, that began at his shoulder and made its way down to his wrist. The girlfriend who thought her boyfriend ditched her in a strange town in the interior of British Columbia. By themselves they were things to contemplate, but when I stumbled upon a what if—what if a woman, an artist, was abandoned in a small town where everyone seems half dead—the individual elements came together to become “Paper and Pencil, Skin and Ink.”
Chris Marrs lives on the West Coast of British Columbia. She tends bar during the day to keep her kids fed, watered, and sheltered and spends the nights writing, usually accompanied by copious amounts of coffee and sometimes a little wine. In 2012, Chris had three pieces of flash fiction published and one short story. Early 2013 saw the Evil Jester Press release of Deep
Cuts, an anthology she co-edited with Angel McCoy and Eunice Magill to honor women in horror. She has had stories appear in Dark Discoveries, The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, and Nightscape Press’ Nightscapes, Volume One. Bad Moon Books published her novella Everything Leads Back to Alice in the fall of 2013. You can find her on Facebook, where she “likes” more than posts, or on Twitter @Chris_Marrs.
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