What terrors lurk in the blackest regions of a cellar, amidst dusty cobwebbed shelves, in the glass jars and metal cans of a hopelessly abnormal mind? These odds and ends are both odd and contain endings. As in the real world, not everything ends well. Sometimes it is all about finding a glimmer of light in the shadows, or being forewarned. Sometimes, the candle’s flame blows out!
An assortment of the weird and wonderfully grim are displayed for your fear and amusement. Whether you like quiet horror, humorous horror, stark horror, monstrous in-your-face horror, you’ll find what scares you here. Twenty-six diverse tales and clusters of flash stories or drabbles fit together between dark poems and brief witfully pithy essays on women writing Horror like pieces of a macabre jigsaw puzzle devised by a single madwoman, Lori R. Lopez.
Among the Odds And Ends . . . a devilish Jack-In-The-Box helps a young woman get even. Two little girls face-off in Nemeses. A very old baby is released from its jar at a museum in Jar Baby. Spaghetti comes to life in Bloodwyrm. A trainride takes one fellow on a harrowing journey toward Fate. A man and woman are reunited by the same curse that tore them apart in The Fruit Of Thy Womb. A weakling finds a dreadful Cereal Box Surprise at the bottom of the package. Ladies play a lethal hand of cards in Mindless. A couple wakes up to discover an enormous cobweb filling the house in Spider Soup. Falling asleep could end the world in Awake, while painting portraits takes a nightmarish turn for an artist in Deathbed. A girl watches her friends disappear on a darkly sinister beach at The Vanishing Point, and much much more. The print edition features peculiar illustrations by the author.
DISCLAIMER: “Odds And Ends isn’t necessarily a collection of happy endings. Not even the fairytales I write always end happily ever after. It will make you think and feel. If you want an uplifting book, go read How To Train Your Gerbil.” ~ Lori R. Lopez
WARNING: This collection is a mixed bag, and a few of the stories are not for the more squeamish!
Paperback: 533 Pages, 8.5″ x 11″
E-Book: 122,773 Words
Age Range: 13 and up.
IT WAS QUIVERING for an hour . . . the type of persistent flicker that could drive you up the wall, scrabbling to the ceiling, foaming at the mouth. Britches Cleary snorted at the image on his mental screen. Sometimes he wished his imagination would take a vacation and allow him to have normal thoughts. It might be nice, he reflected. Or it could be terribly dull.
~ from the short story The Dim Bulb
Everyone’s closet holds a suit of bones within
For it is what a ghost will wear to sleep
Like a pair of pajamas for lying in their tomb
Do not disturb the dead or they will creep
Through the fog and dark with clanking bones
~ from the poem Deadman Tales
Why Ladies Write Horror
There really isn’t a “type” of lady who pens Horror. I’ve met all kinds. The fact is that there are a lot of us, so hear us roar. A nice frightfully monstrous roar. The manner of roar that can split eardrums and bleed brains. And when the blood is pouring out of your ears, remember that you heard it from us.
Play nice? What do you mean by that? We don’t have to play nice, unless we choose to. We’ve been told that for too long. As a kid, I coveted a plastic model of The Mummy that my brother had. He gave it to me since it meant so much more to me than it did to him. I prized it for a whole night or so before the thing “mysteriously” vanished. I recall that mummy vividly. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t approve of me having it. To her relief, I had finally outgrown my obsession with Where The Wild Things Are, but now I wanted monster magazines and weird comic books. I pestered her once at a store until she allowed me to get an issue of Famous Monsters Of Filmland that had Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster on the cover. I cherished it. That, too, would vanish. Try as she might, she could not excise (or exorcise) my fascination with Horror. Luckily for me there were shows like The Addams Family and The Munsters on television. I remember an uncle showing us a Frankenstein film on his home projector. And I was able to see other great horror films like The Blob and The Birds, Night Of The Hunter . . .
A Little Dark Verse
The Vanishing Point
The Eye Has It
Drop Dead Fred
The Dead Thing
The Dim Bulb
Cereal Box Surprise
Flashes Of Fright
The Fruit Of Thy Womb
The Blame Game
Odds And Ends
The Last Word
A Little More Dark Verse
(From the Illustrated Print Edition. Printed in black and white.)
“ODDS AND ENDS is a fabulous collection of horror and weird tales as ever devised, and we have Lori R. Lopez to thank for putting it all together. This is a wonderful array of terror and characters on the outer limits of the outer limits of pure horror, and it’s such fun!”
Robert W. Walker, author of the BLOODSCREAMS Series
“Lori R. Lopez’s characters leap off the page and claw their way into your brain. She is a writer to watch.”
Eric S Brown, author of BIGFOOT WAR and KAIJU APOCALYPSE
“(Although she admittedly likes wearing them) Hats off to Lori R. Lopez! Her eclectic collection of horror includes something for everyone: poems, micros, and short stories, as well as her own envisioned illustrations. This collection on the whole is a testament to a woman, an author, who not only loves the horror genre, but is also a valuable contributor to it. ODDS AND ENDS contains some real gems. Lopez has an in-your-face, hard-hitting style. Her stories are smart, and her characters are presences brought to life on the page. She is a top-rate writer who knows all the (supposed) rules of writing. Her choice to, at times, break those rules, as well as the imaginative ways she does it, is very refreshing and makes this horror author (me) both a little envious and a life-long fan at the same time.
This is a great read! If you say you’re a horror fan and haven’t read Lori R. Lopez’s ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION, well, you’re just talking the talk, not really walking the horror aficionado’s monster walk. Pick up your copy!”
“Lopez is an amazing artist and wordsmith! In this full-length bundle of ODDS AND ENDS, expect everything and be prepared for anything. Lori R. Lopez makes me smile from deep inside. There is no denying this author never fails to captivate me. I adore her style … her witty darkness … poetry and creative tales … artful imagery and out-of-the-box multi-dimensional writing. Her work makes a worthy contribution to our literary world and the horror genre. But even if you aren’t “normally” a horror fan, I recommend you give her a try. You will not be disappointed!”
Tamara Fey Turner
“This book is a collection of short stories, poems and some other writings of Lori Lopez. If you’re looking for stories with ‘happily ever after’ this isn’t for you. All stories don’t have happy endings. Ms. Lopez gives us characters that are of the strange lot, just a little on the odd side but isn’t life sometimes? Just a little on the odd side? The author gives you a variety of horror mixed with humor, just plain horror and then the horror that has a sassy side to it. Some of the stories are towards the realistic side. Did you ever think how mean and difficult we can be towards others and how they can be to us? Sometimes Ms. Lopez mixes in a little jab at society and our government. Sometimes that can easily be understood. This is when the humor shows through. You may find yourself smiling a little at how real it is. Some of the stories have a dark, evil side to them, which makes you think of the dark alleys, the damp, dim cellars, the evil thoughts that we all think at times. Ms. Lopez has written stories that are far from your usual horror stories. Many are so alike but Ms. Lopez doesn’t do that. . . . If you’re looking for a different kind of horror world, then enter Ms. Lopez’s world and it will become yours. But, this isn’t for the faint of heart nor the squeemish. So BEWARE!”
BOOKS, REVIEWS, ETC. Blog; Goodreads Review
“What a collection! I have never hidden the fact that I am a Lori R. Lopez fan and that there is nothing greater to me than a new Lori Story. . . . If you are looking for something on the dark side to read that is gripping and unique then you really need to check out this anthology.”
“I thought the stories just as good as the poetry. From the poor fellow who has a gift for exploding heads in “Headcase” and the weird case of the “Jar Baby” in the museum at night to “The Fruit of Thy Womb,” a strange and horrible story that is not as persuasive in its character development as many other entries, I realized myself to be in the presence of a writer worth watching. I appreciated that I was reading a writer who has clearly worked hard on establishing a voice in the horror genre.”
Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
“Odds and Ends is a collection of many of Lori Lopez’ writing from a variety of publications. Lori has included short stories, poems and a few stories that are 100 words or less. The last format is one of my favorites because I think it tends to be to most challenging for a writer and really shows what can be done with so few words. Lori Lopez states it plainly herself in her disclaimer “Odds and Ends isn’t necessarily a collection of happy endings”. That was the truth, plain and simple. From the first story Headcase she proves her case, happy endings are to be found elsewhere. Headcase gives Odds and Ends a solid and strong start and this was a story I really enjoyed.
Odds and Ends is filled with characters that are by all rights loners, geeks, oddballs, on the outs with society, or you could say what some might call strange, even different. They are not your typical character and it’s a connection I saw after just a few stories. These are the people who you see and wonder if life is strange for them because you can tell they are just a bit odd themselves. . . . The stories in Odds and Ends vary from horror mixed with humor to horror that is sarcastic. Many stories poke fun at society or the poor way the government is operating. Other times it’s how twisted we all are toward one another. All of these topics were fun to me and I couldn’t help but laugh a time or two.
Stories that really stood out for me include: The Eyes have it, Bugged (one of the 100 word stories), The Door, and Chill Factor, last but not least Drop Dead Fred. They are poetic and dark and stories that say so much. The following is a favorite sentences from Drop Dead Fred. “I feel weighed down, as if the world has become too heavy and my flesh too delicate for the strain. As if the air could bruise me.” . . . The further I went into Odds and Ends the more I enjoyed it. The Dim Bulb may be my favorite story of them all. A man has been hired to sit and guard a corridor. It’s a simple task, just sit and make sure the lights stay on. He and his co-workers work around the clock for the company to ensure the lights are always on. At the conclusion of the story it becomes painfully obvious why the lights need to be on and the twist is fantastic. If you want a book full of stories that aren’t the usual or typical horror stories then this is your book. It was full of surprises and I loved the time I spent in Lori Lopez’ world.”
THE SCARY REVIEWS Blog; Goodreads Review
About The Author & Artist
Lori R. Lopez keeps all manner of oddities and endities beneath her hat, unless she is wearing a cap . . . in which case, she keeps them under your hat. Unless you aren’t wearing one, in which case nevermind. They are probably in her pocket, or in the red wagon she seems to recall pulling as she walked to the Public Library loaded with books to return as a child. The wheels squeaked. But it could be her imagination. The wheel thing. Possibly the whole thing. She can’t be certain because it was a long long time ago, practically ancient history or even prehistoric. Almost before they invented books. Whoever that was. She’s very grateful to the individual as she adores books!
Lore (what she calls herself for short in Third Person) has never been what you could call Normal, except perhaps Abby Normal. But that’s not very normal at all. And there is no telling what might crawl out of her head, which is why she generally wears corks in her ears to prevent escapage. Sorry, that’s a perfect example of her Abnormalness. Kindly step over it and don’t, whatever you do, look back.
Lori’s own books, published, sometimes in progress, or buried in a deep dark hole, are pretty diverse . . . taking many shapes that include novels, novellas, novelettes; collections of short stories, poetry, fables and fairytales, storybooks, art, nonfiction . . . The list goes on. For about a block, at least. And when she is near, the birds gather. Yes they do. The weirdest birds you’ve never seen. But don’t worry, she hasn’t completely lost her mind. It’s safe and snug in a jar, nestled on a shelf in her basement, floating in Creative Juice labeled DO NOT DRINK.
Fine Print: The author will not apologize for writing as she pleases! Lori is known for poetic prose and uncommon terms (some of the words are admittedly made up). If you try to put her in a box, she will simply climb out. You have been warned.