Holding my book for the first time

To summarize, I have a copy of my Demons in Cotton in my hand!!!

This feels amazing! And well, because of that I want to share it with everyone!

I am thinking of framing it? Is that a thing?

It will be from now on!

For those as thrilled as me, here is the spine:

And here is the back:

I am in full celebration mode!

And I can’t wait until September 21st when you all can read the book!

Flashes of Sanity #93: Crisis in Thoughts

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Crisis in thoughts


Captain Cassandra Crisis stared at the blank screen.
Why does this never end? Why does every gangster has to be replaced with two more?
They had caught five mass-murderers, wasn’t that enough?
No, it wasn’t, she sighed. It never was. Just as she closed the laptop she got it confirmed once again.
Two new murders. Within 30 minutes.
“Still here?”
Cassandra looked up to see Kara lean in through the office door.
“Yes,” she rubbed her temples. “ It looks like we will have another rough day tomorrow.”
“Again?” Kara frowned. Then she lit up. “You know what? We need to take the edge off!”
“You think so?” Casandea had to admit, the thought of a scotch down the throat didn’t sound like a bad idea.
“I know so,” Kara said. “And I know just the place. An abandoned warehouse turned into this scary house bar kind of thing. I promise this is an experience you won’t forget for the rest of your life.”
“You got a point!” Cassandra arose from her desk. “Let’s do this!”
Just as she grabbed her coat, her phone buzzed once more. She glanced at it, and sighed.
“You know what? We’ll call in the others instead. This will be a long and stressful night.”
The murder count had doubled in just a few minutes. The phone buzzed as the word ‘BLOODBATH’ popped up below the latest update.
“This has become an all hands on deck thing.” Crisis sighed. “We’ll take the scary house bar kind of thing another day.”
The frown on Kara’s face broke in a smile. “Sure, I will hold you to your words.”

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #92: Key chain

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Key chain


I am more than my fears, the soldier thought. I am more than my fears.
Then he attached the keychain to his rifle.
“Are you ready?” By the door to his room stood a man in a white lab coat. The shivers still travelled up the soldier’s spine at the sight of the man even though the pain was long gone by now.
“Yes, sir.”
“Great, we want you at the hall in fifteen,” the man in lab coat said, then the he looked straight into the soldier’s eyes. “And remember, you are more than your fears.”
The soldier arose from his bed, the teddy bear dangled on the chain.
‘I will murder you,’ the bear whispered.
Nothing but the brain playing games, the soldier knew, still the whispers were enough to make his mouth taste like blood.
“I am more than my fears,” he said and saluted.
The face above the lab coat cracked in a smile.
“I am glad you are still holding our values high, soldier.”
“Thank you Dr. Hiedel. I am glad to be part of your army.”
Dr. Hiedel continued down the hall to the next soldier, and the next after that. Bryan Brihill could hear them all give the same positive answer.
Soon, he thought. Soon, I will get my revenge.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

What is Demons in Cotton?

Yeah, what is Demons in Cotton?

In short it is my debut horror/dark fantasy novel.

Want it less short?

Here is a short summary (or blurb as it usually is called) of what you will find in Demons in Cotton!

From the moment Gabriel’s and Kelly’s eyes meet, he knows she is his everything.

Kelly on the other hand is completely unaware of him.

How can he expect anything else?

She is just a little girl who loves her teddy bear Chester, and Gabriel is the warrior hiding under Chester’s skin.

Under Chester’s cloth skin, whispers demand loyalty with flames, and on the other side of Chester’s glass eyes, Gabriel finds a world of endless happiness.

But even heaven has its shadows and as the night falls, Nightmares search the darkness for hurt children to feed on.

And soon the monsters playing in the daylight show the true cruelty of Kelly’s beautiful world.

What first looks like paradise quickly derails and Gabriel has to fight for his and Kelly’s survival.

Can Gabriel save her?

Or will he succumb under the Nightmares’ hungry fangs?

For fans of mysterious grim worlds and heart wrenching horror comes Ben Mire’s debut Demons in Cotton.

Read about the lost warrior Gabriel as he follows Kelly into a world filled with childish wonder, and all the spiraling darkness hiding under the surface.

Flashes of Sanity #91: A Queen among Kings

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: A Queen among Kings


The door bell shimmered as the woman entered. She held a little girl’s shaking hand in her own. The little girl looked around, seeing everyone yet taking eye vontact with mo one.
So many, the girl thought. Her hand tightened around the woman’s.
”Don’t worry, darling,” the woman said. ”Everything will be okay. They are as harmless as sheep.”
”Susanne Queen!” One of the suits broke off from the masses. ”To what do we owe the pleasure?”
Dom Arnold’s body swallowed the thin woman.
”Oh Dom,” Susanne said. ”I think you know what I am doing here.”
”Off course, I do.” Dom laughed as he released her from the hug. ”You are here to scan the competition for the SurgeRay acquisition. Like everyone else in this shack.”
”Including you?” Susanne corrected her dress as she scanned the large body.
Dom burst out into a second growling laugh. ”I may be an idiot but I am not so stupid that I would risk a fight with you, Susanne.”
”Great choice.” Susanne smiled. ”Hopefully you are not alone in making that decision.”
Dom gave Susanne an amused look. ”You would be surprised by the number of brain cells in this Little room,” he said. “Let me get you a drink, and something for your little wonder there.”
Susanne found a table at the furthest back of the bar and began scanning the crowd. Not long after a waiter came by with two glasses, gin for Mrs. Queen, and juice and some crayons for little Ms. Queen.
”Look now Dina,” Susanne said as she sipped her drink. ”Everyone here is the competition.”
Dina looked up from her two stick figures. One long and one short. Both with long hair.
”But we can’t tell them. That’s the rules. But as soon as we exit this bar, we will stab them mercilessly.”
Dina nodded. Then she went back to her crayons. The two stick figures got a knife each.
”Good girl,” Susanne said. ”Now let’s see… Where to start?”
“You see that bald guy?” Susanne pointed at a suite sipping his Wine by the bar. “Charles Borlogh. Owner of Brainflood the biggest IP bank this world has ever seen. Sadly his father will soon get to know about his son’s interests for misters instead of mistresses.”
Dina nodded and a stick figurer ended up by the two knife bearers feet.
Susanne smiled. How perfect you are, she thought and pointed at the next suite.
“Dino McHallow is easy. His wife is about to lose control over gambling addiction, again. That usually keeps him occupied.”
A new victims lined up by the stick figure’s feet. And blood splattered over their faces.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #90: Bedtime Arguments

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Bedtime Arguments


”Should we take her out?” One of the voices asked. One of the women. The words faded as the mother drifted back into unconsciousness. It was an unconsciousness filled with explosions. Sparks of memories flaring up just to shrink back into the black. Screams. Pain. Red. Oh, so much red. Her own and all the anger raining down on her in fists and feet.

“Why?” One of the men asked. “She is of better use to us alive.”

All the red vanished in an instant to give room for the pleads echoing in the distant.

“Mom.” Three voices. Three cries. Uncountable tears.

“What do you mean?” The mother recognizes the voice. A man she herself had to give the bad news. His laugh explodes in a new memory along with the pain piercing through her legs.

“Just think about it, every time she enters the room will be reminder for everyone in the room of what we are capable off.” “Besides,” the man continues. “ Three lives are enough don’t you think so?”

The three bodies flashes in the mother’s memory. It focuses on each of the three children she once called her sons and her daughter. It was the last they showed her before the final hit over her head. She sobs in her sleep.

“And we have grander plans, don’t we? Hell will burn brighter than ever before.”

The five visitors leave the room where a mother mourns what she once called her life. They shake hands with the nurses.

And as soon as they leave the nurses lower her drip of pain relievers.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #89: The Priest

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: The Priest


Aaron glanced at the cross.
“Dear merciful lord,” he said. “Show me the righteous path. Show me the road to your blessed garden. Show me how my gratitude best may serve you.”
He moved his hand from his forehead to his chest, and to his two shoulders.
Believers entered and left as sun moved between the painted glass windows. Aaron never left his place on the bench.
“Thank you for saving me,” he whispered over and over again. “Thank you.”
He didn’t even move when the daylight faded or the moon replaced its shining friend.
“Thank you.”
“Your prayers won’t matter when the world turns red…”
Nightly shadows fled as a light exploded in the room. Aaron flew back in his bench and fell down behind it.
“None of your prayers will matter.”
Aaron raised his hands to cover his face from the approaching light. The light shone though his skin, muscles and bones.
“Please, lord,” he whispered. “Please, I will do anything.”
“I am not your lord.” The light leaned so close it touched Aaron’s face with its shimmering fingers. “I am just his words.”
The light felt cold against Aaron’s cheek. Aaron pushed himself closer to the floor. He shivered.
“Arise for me son,” the light said. “Stand with pride in your back. You will guide the world through a new dawn, and through a world where only devils can thrive. You will be the lords final hope when all else seems forsaken.”
“Yes,” Aaron’s tongue stumbled behind his teeth, yet he managed to get up on his feet and look into what he supposed was the saint’s eyes. “Just tell me what to do.”
“All will come clear once the first signs of a world falling shows itself, we need you to be ready when that day comes. We need you to be prepared to light the path when only darkness exists.”
The light disappeared as suddenly as it appeared. Only its final words echoed between the thick stone walls.
“Be prepared to light the path when only darkness exists,” Aaron mumbled. He looked around at the shadows who once again found their nests in the moon light. “I will guide the world through a new dawn.”
Only an angel watched him from behind the clouds. The angle sighed at the sight of his disciple’s confused mumbling.
“Idiot,” Mort whispered. “Hopefully, this idiot stands a better chance than the others.”

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #88: Criminal Rivalry

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Criminal Rivalry


Crime lords. Crime lords. Crime lords. Crime lords.

Oh, Donna sighed, so many they were. Oh, so jealous they were.

You start a pandemic of murders. They must start a pandemic of murders.

You pin it on an unaware father. They pin it on some other sad f*cker.

Donna leaned over the newspaper. Five photos lined up on the frontpage. Five mass murderers finally caught. The mysterious corpses who had been filling the streets since the beginning of the summer where no longer so mysterious. They were just victims.

The police must be so proud. They blamed the alien attack for how long it took them to solve the mess. The truth was more like they had no idea what they were doing. They probably never would.

Wonder how many fathers there would be on the famous thunder chair this year, Donna thought. Probably too many.

With the pictures Donna planted, her father wouldn’t even get the chance to see it. She giggled. He never stood a chance.

The only problem now was to keep everyone thinking he was a monster. After all, he was the only one who has not confessed at this point.

That’s probably a good way to use all those crime lords. All those who still held on to their turf unaware of what was happening among them. Donna threw away the newspaper and began scribbling on her notepad.

All her thoughts ended up on the paper in messy lines. She loved this part. The planning. The adrenaline when she realized how far she had to push the limits was intoxicating. Arousing even.

When she was finished, she looked at the scribbles. There were still pieces missing. Someone who could get under their skin without endangering her.

She knew who that was. Everyone with some connections knew who that was. She shivered. Some bogeymen she had learned were real. The reviewer was one of them. She was not sure she wanted him to know about her. That could mean real danger.

But she needed him. He was the only one who could put the other crime lords on their place once she moved to phase two. The adrenaline spiked again as she began to prepare for how to contact him.

“Why did I kill Mia,” she mumbled. “That puppet would have been perfect here.”

She shrugged the thought away. With Mia still by her side, she wouldn’t be where she was today. She would probably be in her bed playing with her thoughts. That depressing place was the last thing she wanted.

So, she needed to create a new puppet. Someone fragile with nothing to lose in a new friend. She scanned her yearbook.

Then she locked on the smelly kid.

He would be perfect.

With a smile on her face the plan fell into place piece by piece. She shivered again.

Dear crime lords, she thought. I am coming for you.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #87: Peppers and Incidents

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

This week’s entry: Peppers and Incidents


Klaudio was his last name. Alred was his first name. Everyone knew that nowadays. It is apparently hard to miss the guy standing in his stained underwear in front of the rooftop luxury suit every day.

Alred never really understood what the fuss was about, he was just doing his morning stumble. It was the perfect start before a perfect overnight matured burrito breakfast.

It was a lot of things Alred never really understood about living on a rooftop. Like the constant visitors. All the girls offering nighttime snacks and the suits coming with opportunities too good to be true. Alred already had a nighttime snack, it was a burrito, and he considered anyone wearing a suit not trustworthy. They had a noose around their neck, who could trust anyone with that level of stupidity?

The guy visiting Alred today on the other hand, him Alred could put his whole life in the hands of. Those ripped jeans. That messy hair.  Those gloomy eyes. That posture. He glowed with trust.

“This pot will show you the world,” the man said and handed Alred a dragon shaped pot.

Sadly, Alred dropped it, immediately. Pots are somehow always slippery.

To Alred’s surprise, peppers began to grow. Pink ones. How weird.

The man giggled. Alred did not really care. A pepper was exactly what, he needed to finish of his burrito. So, he ate one, it became two. Well… Why not eat a whole bunch now when they grow on the floor.

The man’s giggle turned into a growling laugh. Alred could not resist to join in. Then he spat fire on the man’s jeans and man’s laugh turned to screaming.

“I am so sorry,” Alred said. “I will try to take it out.”

He reached for the fire, but accidently stumbled. He hit the man face first, which apparently breeds more fire. The man fell, like all the way down to the street.

“Oh,” Alred sighed. “I better call the police.”

He ate another pink pepper.


Apparently Alred had wings too. Why had he never noticed them before? Life is mysterious sometimes.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!

Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

Flashes of Sanity #86: Birthday party

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your weekly (during July it is daily!) dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less. The last entry for this celebratory month. What better way to end this than a story about a birthday party!

Today’s entry: Birthday party


Everyone was there. Her mother, her father, her brothers, her friends, friends’ parents. Exactly everybody.

It was the perfect birthday party.

Yet no one played. No one smiled. No one talked.

Everyone stared.

”Mom, what is happening?”

”I don’t know hon’, go ask your dad.”

The girl walked over to all those who stared, past the children freezing between the crowd and her mother.

”Dad, what is happening?”

”I am sorry little one, but we can’t celebrate on days like this.” Her father glared at her mother. ”Not when snakes have been ruining lives.”

”Ruining lives?” The mother screamed. ”Your riot killed someone!”

”And how many won’t your machines have killed when this all is over?” The father snapped back. ”How many will have to starve before you realize the wrong in all this.”

”You are impossible,” the mother mumbled.

The father went down on his knees beside the little girl. His charring eyes met hers.

”Once they knock on your door,” he whispered, ”I want you to know that you are safe. You and your brother will always be safe.”

He then turned to all those who stared. He nodded and the house became empty in a matter of seconds.”

”Mom,” the girl’s voice trembled. ”I am scared.”

The mother hugged her daughter. Hard.

”Why do they hate us?” The birthday girl cried.

”Because,” her mother’s voice trembled too. ”Change is hard on people.”

Later that night, when they came knocking she didn’t feel safe either. Not when they shot the guards. Not when they punched her mother. Not when they opened her bedroom door.

“Don’t you worry,” she told her brothers. “Dad told me we would be safe.”

”Dad,” she whispered as the men walked closer. “Are you there?”

But her dad was not among the knockers.

They were only starers.

Want to read more? Click here to read all previously published Flashes of Sanity!