Next Time, Take the Stairs

by Nicole Little


My new job has phenomenal perks: travel, luxury accommodations; no expense spared. So the booking at this creaky old London hotel surprises me, I’ll admit.

Late for a meeting, I hop on the empty elevator; impatiently check my watch as the slow descent halts several floors down. The group waiting there shuffle their feet, glance at me awkwardly, but no one makes a move to get on. As the doors whisper shut, I hear a woman mutter something that chills me to my core:

“Why are there so many people on that bloody lift?”

But…I’m alone.

Aren’t I?

Nicole Little

Nicole Little is an award winning short story writer living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Her work has appeared in eight anthologies in the past year. In her spare time, Nicole has either a pen in her hand or her nose in a book. She is married with two daughters. 

The Kiss

by Michael Crow


The bite wasn’t what I expected. A gentle wispy kiss just below the beard line, whispering honey-laced allurements in my ear. Languor took hold of me and warmth filled my body and before long I passed into darkness. It wasn’t the terror and pain that stories tell but gentleness and quittance.

There was plenty of scalding, piercing pain like being impaled by a thousand searing pikes. The pain came when I awoke from death. After pain came gelidity and nihility, a void in my being. A gnawing urge deep within to fill the void. A hunger for succulent satisfying blood.


Michael Crow

Michael has been dabbling with writing for over a decade. His area of focus is dark fiction. He is also published sports writing having work published by USA Today and The Guillotine. He lives in Central Minnesota with his wife, daughter, and two cats. 


The Fliers Club

by James Lipson


“Are you kidding me?”

“I might be. Why?”

“Seriously? Look in the mirror, tell me what you see.”
“I see a well-appointed Armani suit, impeccable Testoni Oxford shoes, one of twelve Rolex Zerographe Reference watches and a pair of Bvlgari BV 106K glasses.”

“Really? Is that all you see?”
“Dimitry, I’m sure I don’t know what you speak of.”

“You do realize your fang implants aren’t invisible, yes?”

“I thought they gave me an air of terror.”

“Vladimir, while impeccably dressed, an aging vampire with dentures does not invoke the level of fear or terror our membership requires. Application denied.”


James Lipson

James Lipson’s debut book, Fallen and Other Stories, was published in 2019. His short stories have appeared in Black Hare Press Anthologies, Teleport Magazine, Inner Circle’s Writers Group Anthologies, and others. With a background in art, James has naturally turned to illustrating as he writes, bringing many of his short stories to life not only with descriptive detail, but also detailed visual imagery.


Instagram: jameslipsonart


Covert Operation Helsing: Malawi Mission

by Jacob Bowers


“You may have done your research, but you don’t know a thing about this place,” said my driver as we bumped along the muddy road.

I clutched my crucifix and my badge; United Nations Peacekeeping, Vatican Dispatch. On paper, they knew the vampire killings were third world hysteria. But in reality…they sent me.

I was scared shitless.

We stopped at the little hovel with no windows.

I entered, brandishing my crucifix in the dark before me.

I couldn’t see it—only those green eyes, waiting, beckoning for me to come closer. I reached for my vial of holy water.

Jacob Bowers

Jacob Bowers is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, majoring in English. He enjoys reading, writing fiction, watching any kind of movie, and debating obscure theological topics. 


A Shot of Carmilla

by Joachim Heijndermans


Funny, a thing like her being so beautiful.  Asleep, she could pass for human, were it not for the teeth at the corners from her mouth.  Sleeping beauty in a drop pod.

The colony is right below us.  Blissfully unaware of what is about to come down on them.  Bloodsucker outbreak, brought to them by a shot of Carmilla.

Horrible way to die.  And any infected survivors would get the thirst and the sun’s burn, I tell you what.  I’d feel bad, but one look at the poster of the King massacre kills any of that.

Green light.  Bombs away.


Joachim Heijndermans

Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws, and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia. His work has been featured in a number of anthologies and publications, such as Mad Scientist Journal, Asymmetry Fiction, Hinnom Magazine, Ahoy Comics’s Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, Metaphorosis and The Gallery of Curiosities, and he’s currently in the midst of completing his first children’s book. You can check out his other work at, or follow him on Twitter: @jheijndermans.


Weak Timid Afraid

by Kathy Slater Neilsen


Her skin translucent, veins within, a road map to her heart. The heart I’ve been cast from. I loom over her, wood stake poised.

Eyes open, burning, upon me.

“Get off.”  She flicks me aside, a broken, pathetic mortal.

“Turn me” I plead. “If you love me, turn me.”

“Love? You’re weak, timid, afraid. Turning won’t change that.” She stares. Laughing. “You’re good for one thing only.”

She’s upon me, wild, fierce, hungry. Cold fangs pierce warm flesh. An oaken stake intervenes. Startled, eyes wide, her heart stutters, stops. Eyes dim. Blood gushes. I drink.

I am…




Kathy Slater Neilsen

Kathy Slater Neilsen has always possessed a passion for writing as well as reading. Her early writing career included freelance non-fiction. Then, as is often the case, life lead her on a different journey that included motherhood and a small business. But she never stopped writing. Now retired and living on the east coast she is currently writing fiction and is focused on short stories and flash fiction.


Gift Wrapping

by Glenn R. Wilson


“We’ve gathered here to celebrate the ascension of our newest member,” says the headmaster while pointing at me. “Bring in the reward.”

Within moments a cart appears in front of me. Upon it, something squirms within a canvas bag sealed with rope tied in a bow. I reach out and open the card attached to it.

“Congratulations!” it says.

A smile graces my lips as I hurriedly expose its contents.

The sound of applause drowns out the screams of the young girl as my teeth press deeply into her throat. I watch her eyes close as I get my fill.

Glenn R. Wilson

Glenn thrives on unusual tales in unusual settings. Through these stories he follows his muse as he builds a base on which to grow and expand. He’s had a few successes so far and strives for more. He welcomes the challenge.



by Maura Yzmore


How long has it been? A century or two? Thanks to me, you’re not the worse for wear, yet my gift has always offended you.

I wonder why you asked to meet here, the place where you briefly loved me, where you said you wanted to be with me forever, then abandoned me with hatred and disgust after I’d made your wish possible.

My heart leaps as you embrace me.

Your arms fold behind my back. I feel you swiftly pull something out of your sleeve.

My head spins with the joy of your touch, the stake piercing me through.


Maura Yzmore

Maura Yzmore is a writer and science professor based in the American Midwest. Some of her darker fare can be found in The Molotov Cocktail, Aphotic Realm, Coffin Bell, and elsewhere. Website: Twitter: @MauraYzmore


The Party

by Pavi Raman


The Dardanellis threw the best Halloween parties in the neighbourhood. They were a charming couple, old school. So of course there were rumours. Everything from unholy rituals to BDSM.

The theme: vampires. Perfect with Paulo’s overbite and Sophia’s pale skin.

Paulo opened the door. Eerie silence filled the house.

“Party downstairs. The basement is soundproofed,” he explained, grinning.


“You have no idea.”

“Oh, but I do.”

We both laughed.

I seized him, tore his neck with my fangs.

The body tumbled down the stairs, and Sophia screamed.

I locked the basement door behind me.

This party was just beginning.


Pavi Raman

Pavi Raman celebrates her life as a proud wife and a warrior mom. A physician in another life, her hobbies include reading and writing, then nitpicking what she writes. She has written over a 100 short stories, some of which have been published in the USA and India.

Only When I Sleep

by J.W. Garrett


Shana glanced upward. Bits of darkened sky lightened; daybreak wouldn’t be far behind. Her coffin’s comfort wasn’t far. She’d easily make it.

But more than anything, Shana wanted to be a creature of the light. Instead, she lurked in gloom, syphoning from her prey, never to experience the radiance she yearned for deep inside. When she slept, colours of the sun warmed her, seeping through her blackness even though she was shut in tight.

Reaching toward the brightness she craved, Shana waited…

Her blood pulsed as the brilliance took her, and in a burst of flame, she met the dawn.


J.W. Garrett

J.W. Garrett writes YA fantasy from the sunny beaches of Florida. Currently, she is hard at work on the next book in her Realms of Chaos series, releasing summer 2020. When she’s not hanging out with her characters, her favorite activities are reading, running and spending time with family.