Tales from the Asylum

SPFBO Edition: Camilla Ochlan & Bonita Gutierrez


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 Authors

camillaochlan bonitagutierrez camilla ochlan

Owner of a precariously untamed imagination and a scuffed set of polyhedral dice (which have gotten her in trouble more than once), Camilla writes fantasy and science fiction. An unapologetic dog lover and cat servant, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband — actor, audiobook narrator and dialect coach P.J. Ochlan, three sweet rescue dogs and a bright orange Abyssinian cat.

Bonita found her way to the stage at the early age of five. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to get into “The Biz.” Over the years, she’s played many roles from actor to producer, screenwriter to filmmaker — and now novelist. With a background in Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu (Bruce Lee’s art), Bonita holds a black belt in Kickboxing-MMA and trains in Kali-Eskrima (stick and knife fighting). An avid runner, student of film and lover of music, Bonita is a self-proclaimed hamburger connoisseur with a passion for all things Star Wars and Buffy.


The Setting

Camilla Ochlan, Bonita Gutierrez


The Scene

Lucy Lowell’s body shook uncontrollably as the guards lugged her through the open cell door.

Encased in riot gear, each man gripped one of her limbs in rapid-response-team mode, the fifth holding her head. Two female guards followed, rifles trained, not taking any chances.

They dropped her on the cement floor like a bag of garbage and retreated hastily. The heavy iron door clanked shut, dim light barely defining the windowless box. Lucy curled into a ball and didn’t make a sound even as hysterical laughter spasmed through her, violent and excruciating.

The riot was over.

Amorphous sounds thundered outside her tiny patch of solitary confinement, but the howling, the barking, the gunfire, the sirens, the screams — all of that was done now. It had ended in the chapel.

As the roar of the riot’s aftermath bounced off the stone walls, pitiless and savage, Lucy cupped her ears with both hands.

She winced as her palms connected with her cheeks. The guard’s knee to her face had left her jaw pulsing, though that hardly compared to the pain in her side. Fire bit her ribs where the rubber bullets had hit. She was certain she was already black and blue under her ripped infirmary scrubs.

Lucy’s nose filled with the scent of drying blood — not all of it her own. Greystone chapel had been bathed in the heavy copper stink when the guards had finally dragged her out the deathtrap.

Her mind replayed the moment the Werebeasts had crashed through the chapel doors — huge, ferocious brutes, wild and violent with anger. The men and women hiding in the pews had scrambled toward the altar, while Lucy had run forward. A colossal reddish Were, a giant upright wolf monster with knife-length claws, had torn through officer Rivers, who’d been trying to block the human inmates from the onslaught of turned prisoners.

Desperate, Lucy had screamed at the thing, which had towered over her, muscle-bound and vicious, its gaping maw filled with razor teeth. It had lunged for her, and Lucy had pivoted just in time to smash her stolen baton into the back of its knee. It had faltered momentarily, and Lucy had grabbed a handful of its thick, crimson shoulder fur, pulling herself close and bringing her baton down on its massive skull.

The Werebeast had thrown Lucy off its back, and she had crashed into a wall, crumpling up like a rag doll.

After that, her memory became sketchy.

She remembered frantically screaming for a group of lupine beast men who were rampaging through the pews to, “Get it.”

Like the creatures in the yard earlier, these Ferals — shockingly — had obeyed her command. The pack had abandoned the chaos of the chapel and rushed the red Werebeast like wild dogs taking down a bear.

Shots had sounded, and Lucy had protectively thrown herself in front of the Ferals taking down the Were.

Rubber bullets had sprayed, connecting with her. The pain of blunt force trauma dropped her to the ground. A guard had kneed her in the face, dragging her to her feet and shaking her as he demanded Dr. Friel’s location.

Lucy’s memories raced.

Imogen Friel had been standing over a blood-splatted corpse — Celia. In the midst of the Folsom Prison werewolf riot, the inmate had given birth. Lucy didn’t know when the baby had started to turn, but she’d seen enough to know that something had torn its way out of Celia.

Imogen Friel had pushed her back up against the wall, guards protecting her on either side, a bloody sheet clutched in her arms.

Lucy had heard airships, and she’d known it was nearly done.

As a team of guards grabbed her, Lucy had seen Imogen Friel lay a conspiratorial finger to her lips, her eyes pleading with Lucy. The bundle in Friel’s arms had shifted, and black fur had dropped into sight for an instant. Imogen had tucked the sheet carefully, hiding the truth.

The guards had hauled Lucy away. There’d been no fight left in her. She was battered and bruised. Beaten.

She had started laughing then.

And she still laughed, curled on the cold, dirty floor. The news would report the riot. People would feel safe that the threat had been eliminated. Lucy would rot in her cell. And all would seem well. But for one little tiny survivor. And that would be all it took. Imogen Friel, after witnessing the worst of the Werebeast threat, had stolen a werebaby for herself. Nobody would be able to stop the inevitable.

Lucy Lowell laughed and laughed, one thought turning over and over in her frayed mind — Welcome to the werewolf apocalypse.


If you’d like to get in touch, you can find Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierrez on social media:

The Werewolf Whisperer

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Empyrean Press Facebook

Camilla Ochlan

Website | BookBub

Bonita Gutierrez

Website | BookBub

Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierrez entered The Werewolf Whisperer, the first book of The Werewolf Whisperer trilogy into SPFBO, which you can check out by clicking on the cover which will lead you to its Amazon page:


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