What inspires you? Nature inspires me, along with smells, music, pictures, people I’ve met, places I’ve gone, and my own experiences—pretty much anything and everything.
What kind of research do you do? I love research and mine is all over the place, depending on the story. Recently, I’ve been researching a local witch legend for my chapter in an upcoming Black Hare Press 13 anthology. In 1800, a girl was buried alive in a cemetery 30 minutes from here. Although she couldn’t speak, jealousy surrounding her beauty led to her accusation and execution as a witch. I’ve also been researching Hurricane Katrina for a different story.
by Bernardo Villela
All aboard were awestruck. Creating the dimensional rift was simple, but from it came a spacecraft identical to ours.
The mission commander’s words echoed in my mind: Conducting geopolitical and scientific experiments over there shields us from consequence.
“Full speed ahead!” I said.
Our comms buzzed.
“This is the Nautilus.” From our twin ship I hear my voice speaking. It was us from another dimension.
“Thanks, our tech failed.”
My heart rate tripled. We looked at one another.
“Remember your objective.”
We proceeded. The rift closed behind us sealing our doppelgänger’s fate. We were expendable, all versions of us.
Bernardo Villela has published a novella The Isle of Helyr and three short story collections The Bloodmaster Trilogy and Teenage Death Songs Vols. 1 & 2, and has short fiction included in Coffin Bell Journal, The Dark Corner Zine, 101 Proof Horror, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, Page & Spine, and forthcoming in 42 Stories Anthology, Constraint 280, and Rivet. You can read more about these and various other pursuits at www.miller-villela.com.
by Victor Nandi
Blood spattered as bullets tore through soft flesh. Olivia and her followers fell. Their bodies lay still for a moment. Then, electric sparks sizzled from their artificial limbs that yanked them to their feet.
Olivia rose, stabbed her metallic hand into a guard’s chest, and walked into the control room. Teary-eyed, she hit some buttons.
“Target cities locked,” the console said.
A slot lit up displaying Insert key to launch warhead.
“You need the key.” A dying guard grinned.
Relief filled Olivia’s face. But it soon changed to helpless horror as metallic nanoparticles extended from her fingertip forming a key.
Victor Nandi is a Senior Content Developer with an Edtech Company. His works have been published in Verdad Magazine, Amanda Steel Publication, Virtual Zine, Clover and White, Tiger Shark Magazine, FTHM Magazine (publication due in January 2021), Healing Words Exhibition in London, and Nano Nightmares.
by Constantine E. Kiousis
David cowered in a dark corner of his bedroom, eyes wet behind fractured glasses, body shaking, arms clasped around folded legs. He could hear it walking down the hallway, heavy footsteps thudding towards the locked door.
He’d spent his whole life searching for them, dedicated every waking moment on deciphering clues others dismissed as conspiracy theory fuel. But he’d figured it out: the cattle mutilations, the crop circles, the sightings, the abductions.
He’d pieced it together.
He’d discovered the truth.
What never crossed his mind was that he wasn’t supposed to.
The door exploded.
They’d come for him.
Constantine E. Kiousis
Constantine E. Kiousis spends most of his time wandering through the worlds he has created, exploring every nook and cranny and constantly discovering new places and stories that need to be told.
He’s currently plotting ways to unleash the terrifying stories hiding in his mind upon the world, one word at a time.
by Chris Bannor
I did everything by the book, followed every rule and regulation. None of that matters now.
I can see inside the window and nothing changes the judgement they passed. I want to scream that I did what I had to so we could survive.
The ship gets further away as they continue to watch.
I try to keep my face still, but terror eats away at me, and pain is etched in my bones. I turn my head and my body rotates. Now there is no one to see my last moments.
There’s no witness in the void of space.
Chris Bannor is a speculative fiction writer who lives in Southern California. Chris learned her love of genre stories from her mother at an early age and has never veered far from that path. You can chat with Chris on Facebook @chrisbannorauthor
by Kaitlyn Arnett
It’s supposed to be a joke, marking the boundaries of space with a kraken next to the compass, or dragons curled alongside the edges of the page.
But the creature in front of them is real, solid, and there. It’s every monster they tell stories about, all dagger-like fangs and sharp claws. Its body wraps around a star, and when it speaks, its voice is that of a thousand people.
“You have seen something not meant for human eyes,” the voices call, “and you can stay no longer.”
It moves, and when it stills, nothing remains.
Nothing, but the unknown.
Kaitlyn Arnett is a teen author from Temecula, California. She primarily writes drabbles and short stories, specifically in the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres.
by Trevor Jess
I toss another green log into the struggling fire. It sputters in protest. I’m only prolonging the inevitable.
The cold permeates my suit, licking away the little remnants of heat. I stare at the frozen lake.
It should be teeming with laughter, bodies splashing joyfully.
But it’s barren.
Beside me, a human block of ice. Crystallised. Their skin like fine salt.
They didn’t last.
Neither will I.
I look skyward. Our once vibrant sun flickering in a death dance.
Not long now.
Will anyone wonder what happened to us?
A final ripple of light.
And I wait.
Trevor began writing twenty-five years ago. Always a pen or pencil in hand when he was young, he could often be found doodling. Doodling led to drawing. Drawing led to creating his own comics. Comics led to storytelling. Storytelling led to writing. He still enjoys all aspects of his journey.
by Rich Rurshell
Buzzing filled the air as swarms of impregnators scoured the colony. The colonists were strewn around the settlement, paralysed, and riddled with eggs. Hosts to the next generation.
Sickly moonlight shone from the slick plating of the Prospector strolling through the chaos. It infiltrated the colony’s information network, accessing files documenting the colony’s eighty-seven-year history, before flying to the colony flagpole, incinerating the Fortuna Colony Flag with a pulse of energy, and constructing a beacon in its place.
Ascending to a vessel floating silently above the settlement, the Prospector left the swarms to prepare everything for the hatching.
Rich Rurshell is a writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From his home in Suffolk, England, Rich likes to ponder the existence of the sinister, the fantastic, and the downright terrifying. He likes to explore the darker side of life and what lies within us and celebrate the beauty in the world and what lies beyond.
by Charlotte Langtree
The ship was like nothing Jasper had seen before. Porous walls secreted a strange substance, and the floor throbbed beneath his feet. Leading his men into a small chamber, he stilled as a sharp hiss erupted.
Liquid flew from the wall onto his arm, searing clothes and skin.
“This ship’s alive!”
He tried to run, but his boots stuck to the floor. With growing horror, he watched as his men were drenched in acidic ooze and devoured by the living ship they’d hoped to pilfer. When his turn came, death was a blessing.
Satisfied, the ship returned to its hibernation.