In the frozen alleys of Chicago, a renowned skip tracer thrives, seamlessly blending into the digital shadows. His life is simple: track the vanishing for wealthy clients, then retreat to a haze of video games and weed.
As Charles delves deeper into his role at the remote wheat station, he uncovers the truth behind the high employee turnover and the grim fate that awaits him.
In a forgotten schoolhouse, three friends are trapped in a realm where the past’s darkest secrets come alive.
Secrets can kill…
In a near-future society where those cured of a pernicious virus are shunned as an inferior underclass, a troubled, young man is forced to confront his bigotry, leading to a situation both tragic and unimaginably horrifying.
by Jodie Angell
A sharp wind whistled through the forest. The abandoned bar’s shutters rattled. Leaves fluttered through the open door to join the broken glass. Fluorescent light flickered.
A blown transformer snuffed the last of the light.
The bartender downed a shot of Tequila, then descended into the cellar; her makeshift practise.
She grabbed her finest knitting needle and twisted it between her fingers.
Her captive fought against his leather restraints—his screams muffled by the wad of cloth in his mouth.
She clamped his head against the chair and pressed the needle into his eye. “This may hurt just a little.”
Jodie lives in rainy Wales, United Kingdom with her partner. She drinks lots of flavoured coffee—pumpkin spice is her favourite. She has a passion for the high fantasy genre, and her debut novel is due for release on April 15th with Champagne Book Group. She’s recently expanded her writing repertoire to cover dark fiction which she thoroughly enjoys. She’s now officially a part of the BHP family (yay!)—her first contribution was written for Hell. https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Angell-Author-102185304807211
Combining horror, suspense, and deep psychological drama, Cymbals Eat Guitars is the punk rock zombie survival story you’ve been waiting for.
by Tracy Davidson
Manager and monster struck a truce.
It was easy enough, in an out-of-town diner, to drug an on-foot drifter or a hitcher in between rides. Easier still to escort them out back, leave them unconscious in a dark corner, hidden from the highway.
Like this vagrant, tonight.
The manager retreats. He watched once. Never again.
The monster smells fresh meat. It’s hungry. No prey comes near his territory anymore. It prefers human flesh anyway, however seldom it appears.
It bites…slashes…gorges on gut and gore.
Before morning, the manager will clear the mess away. As a good brother should.
Tracy Davidson lives in Warwickshire, England, and writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including: Poet’s Market, Mslexia, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, The Binnacle, A Hundred Gourds, Shooter, Journey to Crone, The Great Gatsby Anthology, WAR, In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights.
To start a piece of work, it takes what I call a glimpse. A glimpse of something that is interesting, unique, and worth building a story around. Being a horror writer, for me that glimpse is usually something terrible. But that terrible glimpse leads to the idea for a suitable protagonist, antagonist, and goal. Then details of the story follow. For Underworld Games, that glimpse was of a kid in a flood tunnel vault in pitch darkness tracing the word “Loser” that was carved on his forehead, and then the terror when he saw light down the tunnel, and footsteps coming towards him. So, that is how this story starts—with the glimpse of terror.
by John Lane
With zombie apocalypse nonstop on mainstream news, Don, terminal manager for Moe’s Truck Stop, unplugged the television.
Greg Watson staggered inside, repeatedly mumbling, “I can’t do this anymore.”
Outside stood Greg’s reefer trailer—the constant shaking was a red flag. Inhuman moans reverberated throughout the parking lot.
When Don walked over, he noticed the trailer side’s convex impressions of human-sized hands.
He peeked through the small rectangular door. Four stiff and slow, pale figures in torn clothes kept walking into walls.
Back at Moe’s, Don handed the keys back to Greg. Don’s last words? “I can’t do this anymore, either.”
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.
by Stephen Johnson
The neon bulbs flickered, casting a foreboding crimson shadow outside the isolated truck stop. I pulled to a stop on fumes, staring inside at the solitary light portraying only the back of a head visible in the store. Cautiously, I walked in and entered a surreal silence that engulfed me. I turned to the register to see a mangled bloody severed head staring back at me positioned on the counter with a devious smile placed on its lips. I felt a putrid cold breath slide across my neck and a gravelly voice whisper in my ear, “Can I help you?”
Stephen Johnson is a retired Naval Officer serving 22 years on four different ships over his career. He is married to his wife, Angelia, and they have two children, Logan and Isabelle. He plans to complete his first novel, The Fizz Prophecy, by the end of March 2021. He has published “The Hollow” in Eleanor Merry’s Dark Halloween Holiday Flash Fiction Anthology and “The Other Side of the Mirror” in Scare Street’s Night Terrors Volume 8.