Glassman Had His Reasons

by C.L. Steele

 

Hunched over, his glass head slid across the ceiling tiles of her office. She cowered in the corner. She could see through his pristine cyan outline—a glass man. His protracted fingers extracted her with an ease that whispered experience. She trembled in the valley of his palm. He examined her with his laser-blue eyes, each pass a deepening CT Scan.

He whispered, “Globe.” Molten glass coagulated into a glass ball. Trembling, she found herself sealed inside the globe with sand and a towering willow tree. “Why?” she screamed as he tossed her into the Atlantic. “Because I must, dear.”

C.L. Steele

C.L. Steele is proud to be listed in the Who’s Who of Emerging Writers. She is an internationally published speculative-fiction author and enjoys creating worlds with complex characters and plots. C.L. holds numerous publishing credits including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and contributes to literary journals and Magazines. Follow her career at https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07S5YKBQM

Beware of the Talls

by John Lane

 

Born in a pan of green beef, seventy-five of us reached maturity in two to three days.

We laughed when Mom warned that “talls” wanted us dead. Our compound eyes and thin wings could evade them. Or so we thought.

The “talls” caught us while we rubbed our six legs on grooves of wood. They looked like their heads touched the white drywall sky.

Then… WHACK!

I watched the large flat plastic crush my brothers until mangled thoraxes littered the wood. Smell of pheromones lingered.

Only I survived.

I will never forget what the “talls” called their death weapon.

Flyswatter.

John Lane

John Lane’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Hare Press, Ghost Orchid Press, Rejected Manuscripts, Dark Dossier Magazine, Trembling with Fear, The Drabble and other venues.

John’s story, “Dimension Traveler,” tied for Rejected Manuscripts’ third most voted entry out of 130 stories in 2020.

Unclaimed and Quiet

by Miriam H. Harrison

 

They had warned us of giants, and so we watched for the swaying of trees, the sudden flight of birds. Yet all around us were silent forests and barren hills. From the highest of these summits we could see even more of this land, unclaimed and quiet.

“Have you ever seen a place so still?”

My captain snorted. “Better to face stillness than giants. Set the flag; we’ll make camp.”

The silence loomed large as I readied the flag. But as I pushed it into the ground and blood spurted up, the hill beneath us lurched and bellowed in rage.

Miriam H. Harrison

Miriam H. Harrison studies full time, works on the side, writes when she should be doing other things, and trains the dust bunnies to fend for themselves. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association, and you can look for any updates about her published works on Facebook: @miriam.h.harrison

Trey Stone

Trey Stone grew up the youngest of three siblings, proving once and for all to his parents and all of their extended family that third time is in fact the charm – that was until they decided to try yet again and have Trey’s younger brother, after which both parents decided to divorce each other because they couldn’t live with the shame of what they’d done (creating something so incredibly mediocre after something so very nearly perfect).

Sacrifice

by Chris Bannor

 

They towered above us, blocking out the sun in their magnificence. We tried to fight, but how do you stop a creature so massive it engulfs your house with a single footstep?

The government made mechanical monstrosities to combat the invaders, but the damage grew worse. The aliens came to subjugate, not destroy, but in our fight for freedom, we destroyed ourselves far better than they.

Now it’s up to us. We have small teams ready with explosives. We have the will to survive.

But in a suicide mission to save the world, do we have the will to die?

Chris Bannor

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

13 Victims – Launches 30th March 2021

V.A. Vazquez: My husband loves to speculate about the day-to-day lives of henchmen in action films. Like when they go home for dinner at night, do they have to explain to their spouses that Mr. Big Baddie spent a billion dollars on a laser gun instead of making a larger contribution to their 401(k)s? When it’s Career Day at school, how do they explain their profession to a group of fidgety four-year-olds? Do we see so many British henchmen because they don’t need private medical insurance through their employers? So when I was asked to write a story for 13 Victims, I decided I wanted to write about two low-level drones who get caught up in trouble that’s way above their pay grade.

Sleep Under the Stars

by Bernardo Villela

 

It was a marvellous night to sleep under the stars.

Soon, I awoke. The moonlight seemed wrong somehow. Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I saw massive branches asway. Not branches but antennae, leading to a gargantuan ovoid shadow blotting out the moon. I couldn’t be seeing what I thought I was seeing, could I? Moonlit mandibles confirmed my fears: It was a cockroach towering above the centuries-old oak I’d camped under.

I ran. The light changed. Glancing skyward, I saw an intrusion of flying cockroaches swooping down. I tripped, pain rose, I’d lost my foot. Maimed, they started feasting.

Bernardo Villela

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

Intelligent Life

by N.E. Rule

 

Khiiki strokes the silky hair through the cage bars, pleading, “Dad, I can’t choose.”

“Darling, we can’t get both. They’re cute, but when they mature, they won’t like this handling.” Tsts nods at his spawn tickling the female’s belly. “This male will grow hair everywhere, it needs constant grooming.” What Tsts can’t mention is their mating; how it’s noisy and messy.

The male’s blue eyes peer up under long lashes. “Can it understand us?” She clicks.

“No,” Tsts clicks back. Then, he can’t resist extending his tentacle to pet the tiny human. He smiles as it curls into a ball.

N.E. Rule

N.E. Rule attended Ryerson University in Toronto for creative writing and business communications. Her corporate writing portfolio includes software specs, marketing copy, and training materials. However, her passion is creative writing. The characters in her head refuse to wait for her to find spare-time to come out and play.

How Long to Hide

by Joe Buckley

 

So hard to hide at this size. Even harder to protest innocence. The littles never want to talk. They never give up the chase. They swarm and bite and buzz. He cannot hear a word, but he knows the sound of hate.

So easy to run at this size. Leaping bounds and stretching strides. But that only hastens the hunt.

So tempting to turn at this size. To swat and crush and snarl, to give them the guilt they want.

But that only swells the sting. So run. Hide. Try again. Until either they understand, or he deigns to war.

Joe Buckley

While normally running a podcast or walking the wilds with my collie, every now and then I have a chance to try writing. I like to turn to flash and micro fiction. In 2019 I was lucky enough to have three 100-word stories published in the WORLDS Dark Drabbles Anthology

Twitter: @SerBuckley

Gaze Upon a Mountain Face

by Steven Holding

 

Panting, we reached the summit of the hill. My guide gestured towards the horizon. The stunning mountain range snatched my breath away even further.

“They call that ridge ‘The Sleeping Giants’,”

I could see why. Trapped within its topography were familiar looking shapes: monstrous, slumbering creatures.

“Legend say it’s the Nephilim… Spawn of fallen angels, waiting to be called to paradise…”

Suddenly, I stumbled, as the ground surrounding us shook.

Earthquake? A landslide?

A chorus of a thousand trumpets echoed as the peak before us split open.

The dreaming beasts had been awoken.

And God have mercy…

They looked hungry.

Steven Holding

Steven Holding lives in the United Kingdom. Most recently, his work has appeared in the collection Dark Moments Year Two from Black Hare Press and the anthologies Trembling with Fear Year Three and Trembling with Fear More Tales from the Tree Volume Two. You can follow his work at www.stevenholding.co.uk