Allison’s Ghost

by W.T. Paterson

 

The house wasn’t haunted when she moved in, but something followed Allison closely behind.  After a few days, the lights started to flicker. The stove started to buck. Blood leaked from the hallway light bulbs.  She thought about calling someone, but after her company lost funding, and her husband left, and her brother forgot her birthday, Allison embraced the attention.

The next month, the entity wrote her little notes on the steamed bathroom window.  “I love your new haircut.” She would respond by holding neighborhood seances every Friday.

When all was said and done, the companionship was more than welcomed.

 

W.T. Paterson

W.T. Paterson is the author of the novels “Dark Satellites” and “WOTNA”.  A Pushcart Prize nominee and graduate of Second City Chicago, his work has appeared in over 40 publications worldwide include Fiction Magazine, The Gateway Review, and a number of Anthologies. He is a current MFA candidate at the University of New Hampshire. Send him a tweet @WTPaterson.

 

Muse

by Connor Greenaway

 

He put the pen down, defeated. He couldn’t get the words right. No. He always had the words right, he just struggled to get them out.

They were all there, those beautiful, perfect words swimming around in the soup of his consciousness, caged inside his skull, an unjust prison.

She was watching him, always silently watching, judging.

Help me, please, he breathed wordlessly to her, my beautiful muse I’ve always needed you.

She was always there to inspire him, she never failed. Dead eyes gleamed lifelessly inside her rotting face as he kissed her, enraptured.

Work your magic, baby girl.

 

Connor Greenaway

Connor Greenaway is 25 years old, from South London. He works as an IT engineer and submits dark short fiction to obscure publishers in his spare time. He has recently appeared in anthologies by Gypsum Sound Tales, Tales from the Moonlit Path and Bloody Ribbons.

 

Devil’s Triangle

by Caleb Echterling

 

During the drinking game Devil’s Triangle, Ryan collapsed.

Brett covered Ryan’s face with penises drawn in Sharpie. Julia called the coroner, who pronounced Ryan dead.

At the visitation, a string of damp-eyed last-respect payers snaked past the casket. Snickers would bubble up after a glimpse of the obscenity decorating the deceased, and once mourners reached the family receiving line, it was guffaws all around.

The priest dispensed with a funeral mass in favor of playing Devil’s Triangle. Brett passed out. Ryan’s mother shaved off his eyebrows and wrapped him in duct tape. Everyone had a good laugh about that one.

 

Caleb Echterling

Caleb Echterling’s work has appeared a few places, including X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine and Drunk Monkeys. He tweets funny microfiction using the clever handle @CalebEchterling. You can find more of his work at www.calebechterling.com.

 

Big Bad Consequences

by Tim Hawken

 

Pneumoconiosis has taken its toll. The Black Lung they call it. Black Death, more like.

My breath is ragged where it used to be strong. I gasp air where I used to draw in entire storms of wind.

I would send it blasting from my mouth, past razor teeth to destroy homes. Straw, sticks, it didn’t matter. Stone too, despite what the stories say; I shattered granite to rubble.

Perhaps it was the dust from the destruction that got into my lungs. My only regret is I didn’t wait until the air cleared before feasting on that luscious pork steak.

 

Tim Hawken

Tim Hawken is a dark fiction writer who lives with his laptop in Western Australia. Most known for the Hellbound Trilogy, Tim also posts a weekly drabble on his Instagram feed inspired by the artists he follows. You can check out more about Tim’s weird world over at timhawken.com 

 

Eyes of Innocence

by Ximena Escobar

 

Behind her sweet caress lies a lie.  Your heart pauses in a futile warning; you know you can’t escape but it opens a void, telling you to run—like you know to run—when fear haunts you in your sleeplessness. When the past you buried emerges like tree roots, opening mouths of horror you never saw; but how come you see, behind your eyes of innocence; how come you imagine the unimaginable?

Behind the pat, the kiss, her reassurance; lies truth.  She loves you, so she mutes it. But truth lingers, like her palm across your mouth, when you wake.

 

Ximena Escobar

Ximena Escobar is an emerging author of literary fiction and poetry. Originally from Chile, she is the author of a translation into Spanish of the Broadway Musical “The Wizard of Oz”, and of an original adaptation of the same, “Navidad en Oz”. Clarendon House Publications published her first short story in the UK, “The Persistence of Memory”, and Literally Stories her first online publication with “The Green Light”. She has since had several acceptances from other publishers and is working very hard exploring new exciting avenues in her writing.  She lives in Nottingham with her family. but you can find her on Facebook.

 

Awakened

by C.D. Augello

 

     In the night he feels her struggling beneath his body, as if trying to escape the prison of his weight.  Just a dream, he thinks, but in the morning, stripping the sheets, he sees her shape in silhouette, long legs, the heightened curves of breasts and hips.  A woman, unquestionably—but what was she doing inside his new mattress?

     Ten minutes on hold with the 800 number before an automated voice warns, Don’t let her out!   Too late—he hears the fabric tearing.

     A hand, then another, then her face, front teeth bared, her voice hissing a single word: Hungry.

 

C.D. Augello

C.D. Augello lives in New Jersey.  His work has appeared in over 30 journals, including Brilliant Flash Fiction, One Story, and Smokelong Quarterly.  He publishes The Daily Vonnegut, a website exploring the life and art of Kurt Vonnegut. 

 

Flesh Art

by Gary Ferrill

 

Flesh was torn. Limbs flayed open. His eyes, a glassy haze. Massive oak limbs held him firmly in their embrace. The Moon an iniquitous orb, its light casting long shadows that seemed to move among the trees, watching.

She stood admiring her cadaver artwork. The blood spilling forth only moments before, enhanced by the sound of his screaming, quickly slowed as it congealed.

She stepped beneath him to catch the last drop of crimson as it dripped from a motionless hand. Splattering on her lips, she licked it away. She couldn’t linger, there was much more work to do tonight.

 

Gary Ferrill

Gary has been published previously but has not been active in the writing community for several years. Due to his short attention span, he tends to favor flash fiction. 

 

Trophic Dynamics

by Gabrielle Bleu

 

Sixteen dogs used to roam the back streets in a howling, violent mass. Until one day when their numbers began to dwindle; thirteen, seven, four. Until all that remained were two mangy survivors, tails between their legs. People were happy that the back alleys were safer, not questioning the disappearances. Only one girl wondered, and only after she saw the footprints, large and clawed and numerous.

Only she saw, as the thing with too many legs grew bolder, emerging from the shadows. Only she watched from her window late at night, as it ate the dog pack down to one.

 

Gabrielle Bleu

Gabrielle Bleu’s deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. During the daylight hours, she catalogs long dead things. Her work has appeared in the Story Seed Vault and the Arcanist. Follow her on twitter @BeteMonstrueuse for occasional thoughts about monsters, and read more of her work at gabriellebleu.com.

 

D.J. Elton

D.J. Elton currently lives in Melbourne’s inner west and, when not writing or doing equally exciting things associated with pushing a pen, spends time working in community healthcare, and frequenting meditation retreats.

Amber M. Simpson

Amber M. Simpson is a speculative fiction writer from Cincinnati, lover of all things dark and spooky. She regularly edits for and occasionally contributes to Fantasia Divinity Magazine. Her fiction can also be found at Black Hare Press and Iron Faerie Publishing.