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Kelli's horror story, “The Ape” appeared in The Four Horsemen: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine & Death, published by Pill Hill Press.

This anthology of twenty-five short stories was released in May 2010 and is based on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In “The Ape” a young boy in South Carolina uses an unusual “toy” as a tool for revenge.


An Excerpt From The Ape

South Carolina, 1961

Billy wrinkled his nose as he entered the dimly lit shop. The air smelled funny, like a mix of spices and smoke. He closed the door behind him, cutting himself off from the outside world.

His mind fired a jumble of warnings. Nobody knew where he was… he wasn’t supposed to be here… who knew what might happen to him?

He fought the urge to yank open the door and run, but he couldn’t. He had work to do. It had taken every bit of courage he had to get this far, and he wasn’t going to give up now. Everyone in town knew where the voodoo-lady practiced her magic—but no kid in fourth grade had ever been brave enough to come inside before.

He clutched his schoolbooks in his sweaty hands and looked around the store. Dusty shelves were lined with candles in every color of the rainbow. He spotted small cloth dolls lying in a red wicker basket and rows of clear jars filled with white powder. What was all this stuff for?

“Hello? Is anyone here?” His voice sounded muffled, as if the thick air had absorbed it.

The red curtain behind the high wooden counter whipped open. An ancient black woman wearing a bright yellow dress stood in the doorway, looking him up and down. She frowned. “Little boy, what you doin’ here? Don’ you know better?”

“I need a spell,” he whispered.  



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