The Warnings

Published today on Amazon and available as an eBook and a paperback, ‘The Warnings’ is a novella set in Zululand, South Africa. A copy of the eBook cover and an extract from the book follow just below.

The Warnings Cover (2)

The Warnings

‘There is no hillside without a grave.’

Meaning: Death is unavoidable and will find you wherever you go. (Old Zulu proverb.)

No one visits the old property anymore. They dare not. The locals keep away and tell children and newcomers to do so too. It is a place inhabited by some of the worst demons they have ever known. Those ones that can live in a rock, a tree, a bird, a buck, and even a river. These things may look innocent, as if they are simply part of the everyday, but they are not. What could be living within them is too terrible to contemplate. When people talk of what they believe happened and is still there, waiting on the farm that is no longer a farm, they look at the ground and speak in a barely audible voice. They tell of the black presence that is felt but not seen. They warn against taking the dusty paths amongst the thorn trees that lead to the deserted property. Evil is waiting there, silent and hidden, and it can come out at any time and in any way. You could quickly be gone from your world into another, snatched into a realm from where the wicked ones come and go in ways that you would fail to understand. The farm that was once called ‘Valley View’ by those who owned it, is now to be left alone.
      The sugar cane died long ago and the fruit on the citrus trees remains unpicked. Over-ripe oranges fall from the trees and rot in the rank grass. The baboons and the monkeys, as well as a few buck and several smaller creatures, have ‘Valley View’ to themselves. Those who have seen and heard them, as well as those who haven’t, say the baboons on ‘Valley View’ are large and aggressive. The baboons see the property as now belonging to them and chase away anyone who comes near with loud barks and bared canines. Their teeth, so the rumour goes, are longer and sharper than those of other baboons.
      It has happened before that a person will not come back from visiting an area such as this, and it will happen again. There are bad ones amongst the world of the living dead. They will take you for their evil purposes if they catch you. Do not cross the boundaries which separate this forbidden farm from the other farms and wild spaces nearby. You could end up in a realm of bad spirits and swallowing blackness.
      The worst of things could occur if one wondered alone here at night. The umthakathi, the witches that ride baboons and hyenas, could smell you out and come galloping through the dark. They could roast your flesh and eat it, or they could enslave you in the hidden places visited only by the living dead. You would never return.
      It is because of what the local people say, though they do not like to talk about it, that what was at one time a magnificent homestead now lies crumbling amidst the encroaching bush veld. Much of the roof has caved in. A lot of the windows are missing and so are the front and back doors. They were carried away years ago by those who did not know of the turmoil that ended everything on what was a farm called ‘Valley View’. Had they known, they would not have touched the items they thought they could take from what they believed was simply an abandoned farmhouse. As it is, when they were spotted carrying them a while later in the veld, they dropped the doors and windows and ran off sweating and screaming into the dust and heat of a particularly hot day.
      At one point during its long years of desertion, the roof of the stone building tilted inward and then crashed down. Grass and weeds flourish among piles of cement, old bricks and rotten beams. A stunted thorn tree now grows just to the left of the ruins. A grey loerie often rests on its crown of twisted branches, small leaves and long white thorns. When it is there, its distinctive call of ‘’Go way! Go way!’ rises loudly from its feathered throat. Long moments after, ‘’Go way! Go way!’’ echoes from the otherwise silent valley.

© Andrew Pender-Smith, 2018




Will You Come Back?

Will You Come Back (2)

                                                      Will You Come Back?

’Out of something new, harrowing death may come, unnervingly swift and more disturbingly silent than its concealing breeze.’’ Craig Carden

‘’If your mother never told you to stop and listen when the birds sing out a warning, you’d best do so now.’’ Craig Carden


His dark pupils were dilated and his body was tense with excitement. Her quick movements agitated him, and he was becoming increasingly eager to get to her. Hard-muscled and taut, he was watching her as she stood semi-naked in front of a brightly lit mirror while she brushed her glossy auburn hair. His legs were stretched to the limit, and his breathing quickened. He moaned twice while rubbing his face against the bedroom wall.

      Though she was in a room in an apartment building across the road, he could see her clearly. His eyesight was excellent and his green eyes now had a brighter hue as he watched and moaned, deeper this time. All the while he continued pressing against the wall, rubbing first the left side of his face against it, and then the right. How he longed to be out of this place, to be free to get close to her. He would be on her in a second. 


The above is an extract from the newly published novelette ‘Will You Come Back?’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. The book blurb and the book can be found by clicking on this link:


An Absolute Killing

massive roots with shadow

An Absolute Killing’, a new novelette by Andrew Pender-Smith, has just been published on Amazon kindle by Andrew Pender-Smith. It is the latest in a number of short works he has written in the suspense/horror and mystery genres. Click on the link to see the book and learn more about it.

The photo was used for the cover of the novelette.


Humming Amongst the Roses

bees in flight


Humming Amongst the Roses

What turns a pleasant town, in which everyone knows and cares for each other, into a place of unexplained death and tears? As bees hum contentedly amongst the park’s roses and insects skim above the peaceful lake or fly from tree to tree, kindly Molly Jones, a retired school librarian and keen gardener, finds herself unwittingly drawn into a sinister world amidst this happy place of pretty flowers and good friends and neighbours. As loved ones die in the town and nearby, and a young man is missing, Molly Jones finds herself running along a lonely path, step by breathless, sweaty step, into a contemporary horror only a few have contemplated, let alone met.

‘Humming Amongst the Roses’ is another work of short fiction in the crime and horror genres by Andrew Pender-Smith

beetle and hand

The images are connected with the story of poor Molly Jones and the torment she encountered. The first photo was used for the cover.

If they have not already seen it, I hope readers will be interested in looking at an earlier post with the title ‘Alicia Billington’s Best Cat’. Please scroll down.

To those of you who write, ‘Happy writing’ from Andrew Pender-Smith, Craig Carden and Sebastian de Vervet of Green Monkey Publications.

Alicia Billington’s Best Cat

black cat with blue eyes

A number of mysterious and potentially dangerous sightings and incidents were reported in England and Ireland some years ago. In ‘Alicia Billington’s Best Cat’ by Andrew Pender-Smith, the author has created a work of horror and suspense which provides a possible answer as to how these strange events occurred. To say more would  spoil the reader’s quest to solve a puzzle that, some say, has never been satisfactorily explained. After reading this short work of fiction, available on Amazon Kindle, you might be tempted to read more widely on what brought armed police out into some of the remotest areas of the English and Irish countryside as well as a few front gardens and backyards.

rain forest at night

tropical rain forest

So, who exactly was Alicia Billington? What did she do for a living and how did she become so closely attached to her cats?