Magazine Cultura

Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla

Da Alessandro Manzetti @amanzetti
Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla     Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla is now available at the price of $ 2,67 on the Publisher Store and on the major online booksellers such as Amazon. Open the Black Tea door, enter in the three hells that this amazing writer has appointed for you. Choose your favorite Hell, don't wait.
Black Tea and other tales includes three stories: Black Tea, Crocodiles and The Janara. The first two stories were previously published in hard copy (in Italian) in the collection Malarazza (Epix Mondadori, 2009), while the last one, The Janara, was published by the author in 2011 in ebook. This new edition offers a fully revised English version of the stories, edited by the Bram Stoker Awards winner Benjamin Kane Ethridge. The collection also contains an introduction by another Bram Stoker Awards winner, Gene O'Neill, entitled: A box of lovely dark chocolate. Samuel Marolla's stories, are different as for atmosphere, setting and use of the supernatural, and they offer a complete overview of the author's writing. The three stories are linked by a thin common thread, which after passing through the palate, runs through all the senses. The Black Tea horror has the flavour of a mysterious tea, of a haunted wine and of an alchemical cocktail of milk and blood. Something undou-btedly unique, original and terrible.       Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla    
Above you can see the cover artwork by Daniele Serra,  Best Artist at the Britih Fantasy Award 2012,  Artist of the Year at This Is Horror 2013. Let's go into the details of the three stories of Black Tea and other tales, by brief descriptions and short excerpts of the three stories included in the Samuel Marolla's collection: Black Tea, Crocodiles, and The Janara:     Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla     Black Tea Black Tea has got the unwholesome and decadent atmosphere, which presents an original labyrinthine hell. We are in the Marolla's spectral Milan, the unfortunates will have to deal with a weird house haunted by a presence that seems to live on the edge of a parallel reality, a supernatural stomach slowly digests everything and everyone. The distortion of sensory perception, due to ingestion of a hypnotic and mysterious black tea, opens an invisible door to the unfortunate visitors of the house, that will reveal a new reality from which will be impossible to escape. A tale hard to forget that goes far beyond the usual clichés of haunted houses.
The "principal lodger" of Jean Valjean's day was dead
and had been replaced by another exactly like her.
I know not what philosopher has said: "Old women are never lacking.
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
The man walked through the shadows, over crimson carpets, past the mesmerizing patterns plastered on the walls. The air was sultry with no windows or other apertures, just a never-ending progression of forking, dead-end hallways, scattered with dust-laden mirrors, stairs leading nowhere, vaulted arches groaning under concrete masses. The wallpaper concealed other doors leading to cubbyholes and more empty rooms. Dark shelves held up old trinkets thick with dust. The plank ceiling was moldy. Sunlight had been foreign to this place for years.
He looked down at himself, touching his clothes that clung to him like a second skin. He was wearing an Elite Maintenance waistcoat suit, a white T-shirt, baggy dark-blue cotton pants and work boots. He couldn’t remember his own name but he had a nagging feeling in his mind – a glimmer of consciousness dimmed by that still air in those dull, vacant hallways. Who was he? Where was he? And why?
He rummaged through his pockets and found a folded, squared notepad sheet with the Elite Maintenance heading at the top. Right in the middle, large capital words ground onto the sheet with a red marker:
The man stood there staring at the words, his hands damp and trembling. What-the-fuck was going on here? An electric fever flamed up in his temples as he considered everything over again. He was some sort of special-maintenance technician. He and his team had been sent to do a job but then everything became a haze, names and faces dissolved into a grayish light, a shroud of sleep and forgetfulness.
What the hell was this place? (...)

Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla
Crocodiles Crocodiles is a wicked and disturbing tale that allows us, between the lines, to explore a new way of Marolla's deforming Milan: neighborhoods, streets, small bars, prostitutes, swindlers, cowards, a throng of characters of a squalid "behind the scenes" reality. A crime news journalist meets a member of the small Milanese underworld called Ligera, and will be dragged into a whirl of blood. His hands, his thoughts, are now guided by something supernatural, a damned wine that he drinks allows him to "make a piece of a dream." The crocodiles, in Italian journalistic jargon are the articles written in advance in cases when a public figure could die, will mark the time and the sequences of this dark story that leaves no room for hope.
Incipit: Milan, summer 2008.
Cold rain flogged the city and when William Fiorucci woke up, freezing numbness ran through him. He got up, stark naked, took a crumpled cigarette from the bedside table, passed in front of the bedroom mirror, ignoring his bleak, bony body, and went out on the balcony.
The hideous old street-walker from the flat below was already on her morning shift. Not even eleven o’clock and there she was on the game again. They had crossed paths but never been introduced; she had been living there for as long as he could remember, since he was a kid living there with his mom, before the doctors came and… well, before… before they found out mom was mad. Anyway – the old hag was there at the time, younger of course, but already as ugly as the plague. Who the hell would do her, for Chrissakes? he wondered. Especially now that she was sixty, with peroxide hair all done up in a bun, heavy make-up and itchy, skin-tight clothes – something meant to look sensual but in fact made her look like some huge crooked doll placed on the sidewalk in front of the Detroit Hotel.
She was a horrible creature, it was a horrible day, and William Fiorucci had to get back to his horrible job. He lit his cigarette, breathed in the cold, smog-oozing air, and thought of that bitch Luisa at the sea with the kid. Life sucked, that was his motto, and he repeated it mentally, like some cathartic mantra, as he breathed in his first dose of nicotine.
He slouched and swayed through his messy two-roomed flat, its walls plastered in damp, peeling, cream-coloured wallpaper with hypnotic, dark-purple patterns showing something... something vegetable, a sort of monstrous rotten cauliflower; something abnormal, similar to a carcinoma, with spiraling roots stretching out under him and intertwining with the head of two other cauliflowers, from which more roots sprouted, and these roots intertwined with other cauliflowers... and so on, all around the house; this was his mother’s wallpaper (and it was no coincidence that she had spent half her life at the local mental institution – no coincidence at all), and he hated her inherently, pervasively. He reached his desk, sat down, and moved aside the crumpled sheets on his typewriter, an old Olivetti (and whaddaya know, this used to belong to his mother, too!), desperately on its last legs, but it still got the job done. Tictictictictictictictictic, tictictictictictictictictic, tic-tic – a machine gun. He had to finish his piece but he didn’t have a fuck worth writing about; he had spent the night in Melchiorre Gioia among the trannies but all he’d come away with was an invitation in Portuguese to fuck off. (...)
Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla
The Janara The Janara talks about one of the Italian popular beliefs and superstitions, the witch called Janara, who populates many stories and legends. But the Marolla's Janara is different, is not limited to steal donkeys and horses, to enter under the doors and windows as the wind, this one is a modern Lilith, a night demon, a human prey hunter. The main character, a young boy, must defend himself from the continuous Janara's assaults; and there are some rules one should know, in order to sur-vive. The problem is always the same, every time, every night: stay alive until dawn, or use a milk and blood cocktail and get rid of the demon, and someone else has to take the place of the prey.
Incipit: There are rules.
If you want to live, just follow them.
Taken verbatim there’s not much else to think or worry about, really – follow the rules and you’ll live, the tattooed guy had told Giuseppe. That was precisely what he had done for the past two years. Sure, it didn’t happen every night; he’d have gone crazy otherwise. But it did happen. It sure as hell happened. This New Year’s Day marked the second full year since her first visit; she had come a dozen times in 2009 and seven in 2010. But that was beside the point.
He wasn’t too sure about the first twelve because the first few times Giuseppe hadn’t counted them. He was too terror-stricken. No, terror-stricken wasn’t the right description – he was crushed. The first time he had shit his pants. Literally. The stench of warm feces had seeped right into his mattress and he had to come up with some lame excuse when he faced his parents the next day – they had been watching over him for the past few weeks with loving concern.
Perhaps they had perceived something was wrong; a month later Giuseppe’s dad had put a transmitter in his room – one of those noise-triggered gadgets – so they could be alerted in their room if anything was wrong. It was humiliating because it was one of those baby monitor devices and not for an eleven-year-old, but his dad was always on about sleep apnea and people dying because of stuff like that. Eventually it turned out to be a waste of time.
The times she didn’t come (and that was the case most of the time, thank God) the transmitter went off at random because of a cough, the crack of a powered-down TV set, or a burglar alarm somewhere along the street; over time his dad had cooled and eventually removed it.
But on the nights when she did come the transmitter never went off and the next day Giuseppe would find it there on the chest of drawers, next to the television, motionless, like all the objects and furniture caught by the morning sunlight, suddenly still in suspicious positions.
But that was beside the point too
Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla   Open your Hell: Black Tea and other tales by Samuel Marolla
  Samuel Marolla was born and lives in Milan (Italy), his stories and collections were published by Mondadori (Malarazza 2009) Edizioni XII (Archetypes 2009, Carnival 2010, The Midnight of the Century 2011) and Sergio Bonelli Editore (cartoon-series Dampyr and Zagor). His story Phobia was published in the collection Onryo - Avatar of Death, edited by Danilo Arona and Massimo Soumarè (Urania Mondadori 2012). His website is:        Live from the Black Tea House

Potrebbero interessarti anche :

Ritornare alla prima pagina di Logo Paperblog

Possono interessarti anche questi articoli :