The creepy tale of a ghoulish baby by Lori R. Lopez. This short story ties in ancient history with modern horror as mummies rise up for a night of terror and fun at a museum.
Roman Emperor Hadrian had a secret that he carried sealed in a jar. A young woman visiting an odd little shop that sells antiquities along with comic books learns of a curse involving Hadrian’s Jar. She and the shop’s owner must confront a vengeful spirit released from his tomb: the ghost of one very bad baby!
Look for an illustrated print edition with artwork by the author. And Lori’s horror collection Odds And Ends, containing Jar Baby!
E-Book: 9,243 Words
Age Range: 12 and up.
He wet his lips. “Dimitri Corbo at your service. Merchant of the macabre. How did you find me?”
~ from Jar Baby
The young woman glanced uncertainly at the front entrance. She was alone with a stranger who happened to be rather strange. She was reluctant to enter a back room, where she would be even more alone with him.
~ from Jar Baby
“LEGEND HAS IT, they found a worker clutching the jar . . . face contorted to a deathmask with the skin stretched so tightly there were rents in the tissue. His jaws were rigid in an unheard scream, the lower teeth bared. They whispered he was cursed. An official explanation would be filed that he was probably poisoned by gases escaping the vessel, or seeping out of the earth in which the pottery had rested for a very long time.”
Thick tomb-like silence made the statements all too real.
“It is my belief the poor man was simply frightened. Scared to death.” Emerson Folly spoke in a solemn tone. “That’s why it was resealed, and this symbol painted on the front, a hieroglyph cautioning that it should never again be touched.” Sporting a complacent demeanor, he tapped the dull red-stained canopic jar with a finger as if poking an inert creature to see if it moved. “Despite the warning, it has been opened on several occasions. And on each, the repercussions were dire!”
A natural showman at home in the spotlight, the speaker paced before a darkened auditorium. He peered at the audience, their silhouettes vague, yet he could tell they were hanging on his words like children being read to. Or hungry nestlings with beaks wide, anticipating a meal.
(From the Illustrated Print Edition.)
“Emerson Folly. What a fabulous name.
He starts the story off with a dramatic flourish that promises murder and mayhem.
In contrast is the gorgeous Alice in dealing with the weird Dmitri and his projectile vomiting inducing smell . . .
In a flurry the jar is opened despite warnings of curses and demons, which have a wonderful spookily told back story.
Salah, the Arabian Knight has family and bloating issues of his own, but finds the time to write a beautiful love letter to his pregnant wife.
UMBRAL is the word of the month – I adore how LRL just appears to casually throw a word in to her writing that makes you stop dead, go look it up and then it dawns on you just how complex and beautiful that word is.
There is an underlying element of smirk as Boris Karloff and his mates make an appearance and all manner of fun starts to occur; a more macabre version of Night at the Museum came to mind.
LRL manages to make mummy/zombie killing so eloquent sounding as you would you were at a tea party with Earl Grey and cucumber sandwiches.
The finale is brilliant, my favourite story by LRL to date!”
THE FLUFFY RED FOX REVIEWS; Amazon Review
“What a great story! Lori R. Lopez spins a great tale of the Jar Baby. When a man sells the one thing he is supposed to protect to save the lives of his wife and unborn child he [knows] that he has enabled another to unleash hell and the vengeance of the demon on the world. He must stop the actions that he has allowed to be set in to motion.
All Alice wants to do is check out this comic store that she heard about. The [salesman] is a little on the creepy side but little does she know that life is about to throw her into an adventure she would never dream of.
Wonderful word flow and outstanding character development.”
“This is One Bad Baby . . .
Jar Baby is a creepy story that you will have to read in one sitting. Lori Lopez tells this dark tale with such vivid detail it pulls you into their world and won’t let go. Jar Baby keeps you on the edge and sticks with you even after you have finished reading. I highly recommend this story.”
Amazon and Smashwords Review
“The creepy tale of a ghoulish baby by Lori R. Lopez. This short story ties in ancient history with modern horror as a museum’s mummies rise up for a night of terror and fun at a museum. Roman Emperor Hadrian had a secret that he carried sealed in a jar. A young woman visiting an odd little shop that sells antiquities along with comic books learns of a curse involving Hadrian’s Jar. She and the shop’s owner must confront a vengeful spirit released from his tomb: the ghost of one very bad baby!
This is a great quick read that keeps you turning pages until the very end. It’s full of everything you need to keep the story interesting…lots of mystery, adventure & drama to keep you entertained. I really enjoyed it [a lot]. This is the first book I’ve read by this author & I’m interested in reading more.”
JULIE’S BOOK REVIEW BLOG; Goodreads Review
“I enjoyed the imagination and creativity that went into this tale. It’s not exactly an original premise, but how many original premises are left? The prose was a bit dense and took a little more from the reader than your usual horror story. I liked that too — somewhat. I also thought the character development was very good. That’s something some authors cannot create in a short tale like this one. I enjoyed the opening scenes on stage and in the bookshop as well . . .
I’m a fast reader, but with dense prose, I need to slow down and make sure I’m getting all that the author intended. When it’s a fast paced tale, (as this one becomes towards the end), I’m reluctant to do that. This author uses some words that aren’t real words (and I’m fine with that), but also uses alternate spellings for words — like loth for loathe. I have no problem with that either, but it did contribute to slowing the pacing down a bit. I don’t think all of that was needed and I don’t think it contributed much to the story, to be honest. I would have preferred to rip right through that portion of the story without slowing down or being tossed out of it by a strangely spelled or made up word.
I received this story free with a promise to review honestly, and that is what I have done. I will probably look for more stories from this author in the future because I did enjoy this one.”
CHAR’S HORROR CORNER and RAVENOUS READS; Amazon Review
“I totally enjoyed this story. Jar Baby is no normal baby, he’s steeped in history and malice. The characters in this book are great, I had some cool laugh out loud moments. As always by author Lori R Lopez, the book is well written and holds the attention the whole way through. Great read, I recommend it!”
About The Author & Artist
Lori R. Lopez keeps a jar of poison by her desk for emergencies, but so far no bottled-up angry spirits. That might change or it might not. She also wears hats, of course. If she didn’t, her hair might stick out like those pictures of people with staticky strands or clown hair. She does get knots in her hair, but that’s beside the point.
When she isn’t typing speculative tales such as Horror and Dark Fantasy or verse, she can be found wandering the hills and shopping malls of Southern California, visiting wild animals and watching movies. Sometimes she watches cats. They can be very unusual. She listens to birdies as well, rather than watching them, for they give rather good advice.
And when she isn’t doing any of the above or all of it combined, she somehow manages to find time to be an author, poet, and artist. There are more things she does, but that’s another book.
Her stories and verse have appeared in various strange places, and Lori has received a number of honors for her writing and art. She loves to twist the rules of writing they say everyone should do when it suits her style.