Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas with her family, works full-time in the mental health field, and has loved reading and writing her entire life. She writes fantasy, horror, sci-fi, romance, literary fiction, children’s stories, and more, and loves great stories, forests, mountains, and back roads. Gabriella has had 350 works accepted for publication, and won the right to have a novel published by Clarendon House Publications when one of her short stories was voted best in the anthology in which it appeared. Her book, “On the Wings of Ideas,” came out afterward. She was nominated for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award, and won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Company’s 2020 Open Contract Challenge, a competition in which around one hundred authors competed for cash prizes and publishing contracts. Gabriella’s novelette, Worth Waiting For, was then released. She self-published a novelette, Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time, and Black Hare Press published her sci-fi novella, The Return, in 2021. Five other novellas pend publication. “Down With the Sickness and Other Chilling Tales” is her new collection of short stories. (Gabriella Balcom, 2022)
“Down With the Sickness and Other Chilling Tales” – Dive into these macabre horror stories, but be careful not to close your eyes. Evil lurks unseen. Supernatural beings keep watch and monsters lie in wait. Some plot vengeance, while others crave human flesh.
*Crystal idolizes rock stars and longs to be one. What would she be willing to do to make her dream come true? Lie, cheat, or steal? Would she go as far as to kill?
*Elaiyne envies Sonora’s golden skin, blonde hair, and slender body, and goes to extremes to try and be like the other girl. But Elaiyne is not the only one wanting to be someone else.
*A naga becomes karma personified when she confronts a parent.
*Bettie struggles to breathe after Rodney blows cigarette smoke in her face. He could not care less — and does worse. But The Watchers see everything, and they have something special in mind.
*Wahasi stalks through the swamp in cocodrie — crocodile — form, infuriated at her lack of food. However, she has a plan involving the sorcerer, Kula, and the townspeople better watch out.
*A true brat, Brad tries to hurt his sister and defies his parents, but he is not the only bully around.
*Abner is delighted to visit Aokigahara Forest, which is rumored to be haunted, but Sharyn is not.
*When a Siamese cat nears the home of a Chihuahua, the dog makes his displeasure known through piercing yaps. However, something startles him.
*Shane dares Angeline to spend the night in The Devil’s Hand, and if she succeeds, she will get to borrow his fancy Dodge Charger. The site is rumored to be haunted or cursed, but she knows that is hooey.
*Tricia is prideful about her looks, loves bullying, and makes a younger girl feel worthless. But she has a surprise visitor — Ria, also known as Justice.
*Life post-COVID has been anything but happy. Deaths skyrocketed. Nuclear bombs hit. Food dwindled. Cole, Vera, and Marianne survived, but they have little left to eat. Rovers are out and about, and must be avoided at all costs.
*Dean likes pushing people around. When he damages his grandfather, Charlie’s, Venus Fly Traps, Charlie is not the only one who is upset.
Gabriella Balcom’s book includes the above stories and more. Some of her works have been described as masterpieces in the horror genre. They will alternately horrify you, touch your heart, make you shiver, and have you on the edge of your seat.
Reader comments about some of her creations include:
“… this is a thrilling ride …”
“Best plot twist …”
“… great job putting unique twists … highly recommended …”
“Wow, just freaking wow!”
“I was deeply disturbed … loved every minute …! Bravo!”
“Heartbreaking and devastating.”
“Holy shit … that was so creepy. I loved it!”
“I want more, more, more, more, dang it!”
“I got chills reading this story.”
“Exciting and horrific.”
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‘Down With the Sickness and Other Chilling Tales’ release date