I love being part of the Friday Flash writing community, because it is filled with fine writers, who are also up for mutual support. One of these is Maria Protpapadaki-Smith, who I first met on twitter as @Mazzz_in_Leeds. I've enjoyed her work from the off. Mazzz's writing covers fantasy, gothic, sci fi, horror, is often dark but also very humane. For a long while, we used to joke that each story always had to feature at least one death, though these days she seems to be a bit more mellow. But her characters always die with a purpose and she has a lovely way of turning a story on its head.
In Audience, she describes a father's emotions watching his daughter's killer face the death penalty. In The Shepherd's Daughter, the parent's are so full of pride for their daughter they completely underestimate the power she wields . And here in "Witches Brew", a husband learns the hard way to be careful what he wishes for.
I don't really read horror stories, but Mazzz is so darned good that I'll read any she writes - a recent story Viral being a case in point. But she also writes with real heart as in this tale of Survivor's Guilt. She hasn't got a collection together (though I hope she will one day soon) but do go and have a look at her blog and check out her archive. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.