Tales from the Asylum

SPFBO Edition: Catherine Schaff-Stump


One of the goals of SPFBO is to give a chance to self-published authors to get more exposure. This year I’m taking part in the competition with my own team. You can keep updated on our progress and all of our content on my SPFBO 5 page!

Tales from the Asylum is a new feature I came up with for SPFBO. I wanted to create a unique opportunity for the authors to show off their story telling skills by taking their characters and putting them in an asylum room to see how they would deal with the situation. A lot can happen in a closed space…


The Author

Cath Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and adults, from humor to horror. She is the author of the Klaereon Scroll series, the most recent of which is The Pawn of Isis. She lives and works in Iowa, teaching English. You can find her online at Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, @cathschaffstump, cathschaffstump.com, and unreliablenarrators.net, and follow her column The Crone on Substack.com


The Setting

Catherine Schaff-Stump


The Scene

Octavia found the door locked again. She brushed one dark curl behind her ear, and let it go. It was for the best, wasn’t it? After she’d tried to smother Lucy with the pillow, of course her parents would lock her away. Why shouldn’t they? It was always a question of Ra pecking away at her will. Ra didn’t want to be with Lucy. He wanted to be with Octavia, and Lucy was always there, and Ra was always encouraging Octavia to kill her.

Octavia put her hands over her ears. “Shut up!” The voice echoed in her head, the voice of the demon Ra. Even now that she had no way to kill Lucy, he kept telling her to do it.

Mother was right. Octavia was sick. The locked door kept Lucy safe, and really, this room wasn’t so bad. She had Khun with her. She sat down on the floor and scratched his ears. “You understand?” she said. “I don’t want to hurt Lucy. Ra makes me do it.”

Khun yapped and put his head in her lap. She could get used to it here, quiet, no one telling her what she should do or who she should be.

The door opened. The old woman who had locked her in smiled at her. Behind her was Caius Klaereon, her father.

“There’s my brave girl,” said Father. “I’ve come to fetch you home.”

What? Why? “I don’t understand.” Octavia looked up at him.

“Come now. There’s no reason for you to be here.”

“But Lucy–I–Mother sent me here when I tried to–“

“I have dealt with your mother,” said her father. “You will put on your coat and follow me.”

“Yes, Father.”

“I commend you,” said Father. “I commend your ambition.”

Khun barked. Father scowled. “You know what I did?” Octavia asked.

“You tried to rid our family of ill-formed trash,” he said. “You have proven yourself as my heir.”

Octavia heard Ra’s hiss in her head. “Everyone wants you to kill Lucy,” Ra said. “This time, do not let your father down.”

If you’d like to get in touch, you can find Catherine Schaff-Stump on social media:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Catherine Schaff-Stump entered The Vessel of Ra, the first book of the Klaereon Scroll series into SPFBO, which you can check out by clicking on the cover:


You can keep updated on our progress and all of our content on my SPFBO 5 page!

Timy, also known as Queen Terrible Timy hails from a magical land called Hungary, born and raised in its capital city, Budapest. Books have been her refuge and best friends ever since she can remember along with music. She might be a tiny bit addicted to the latter. Timy is the owner and editor of Queen's Book Asylum. Timy is also the co-owner/manager of Storytellers On Tour, a book tour organizing service dedicated to indie SFF authors. In her free time (hah!) she likes to scribble things, collect panda stuff, go to concerts and travel.

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  • Victoria Corva

    Ooh! Yes, the Asylum setup seems to work really well with these characters and stories. Catherine Schaff-Stump has done a really excellent job of setting up the world of her novel with this one and it is now firmly on my TBR. Very dark for so short a story about a little girl and her dog XD

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