Dark Moments

Singer

by Steven Sheil

She fell backwards into the crowd and felt their hands take her weight. Sweat-slick fingers pressed into her body as the strobe-light jittered across their faces in time with the pulse of the snare drum. She sucked in a breath as the last line of the song began its journey to her lips, the final animal howl of release, the pinprick that would pierce the membrane of the moment she had created.

It never came, stayed caught instead in the sinews of her throat, as the grasping hands pulled her flesh to wet pieces and their mouths fell to devouring.

Steven Sheil

Steven Sheil is a writer and filmmaker from Nottingham. His works include the horror films ‘Mum & Dad’ (2008) and ‘Dead Mine’ (2012). He is also the co-director of the long-running Mayhem Film Festival, which specialises in horror, sci-fi and cult cinema. His fiction has previously appeared in Black Static magazine.

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Lady in White

by A.R. Johnston

I slowly walked toward the river, fireflies dancing in front of me. The magic on the air—it was almost tangible. I loved it and I wanted more.

The moon reflected off the river as I approached, the mist rose from it. I watched as the mist started to take form. I was spellbound as a woman in a white dress came to be. The most gorgeous figure I had ever seen.

I knew things would never be the same. I smiled, she smiled back holding her hand in offering. She was a signal of death. Mine was upon me.

A.R. Johnston

A.R. Johnston is a small town girl from Nova Scotia, Canada. Her style of writing is considered Urban Fantasy.She participates in NaNoWriMo, won a Live Write and a contest for a “kiss scene” included in a novel of a best selling Indie author in 2018. Lover of coffee, horror flicks, and reader of books. She pretends to be a writer when real life doesn’t get in the way. Pesky full time job and adulting!

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

The Butcher of Redcreek Farm

by Zoey Xolton

Jacob shivered in the cage, naked as the day he was born. He curled into a foetal position for warmth. The hay on which he lay, pricked and irritated him. His eyes flitted around the slaughter shed. Cages lined the opposite wall, tear streaked faces peered out from each.

In walked The Butcher. His bloody apron flapped as he walked, machete in hand. Jacob closed his eyes and prayed. He felt a sting in his rear and then blissful numbness. The world turned upside down, and then warmth spilled over his face to pool on the cold concrete floor below.

Zoey Xolton

Zoey Xolton is a published Australian writer of Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. She is also a proud mother of two, and is married to her soul mate. Writing is her greatest passion. She is especially fond of short speculative fiction and is working on releasing her own collections!
www.zoeyxolton.com

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Excalibur’s Prelude

by Dave Ring

Emrys and Fatou le Fay had been practicing their lines in this damn cave for hours.  Their first mission: find the stone, swap the swords, get out.

“Stop fussing with the hilt, Fatou.”

“It doesn’t look right.”

“No one’s going to notice.  They’re going to be busy laughing at me for saying thee instead of thou.”

A brutal gust of wind snuffed out the candles.

Something growled in the darkness.

“Was that your stomach?” Emrys asked.

Fatou drew her sword.  “No.”

The beast pounced on Emrys.  The transponder crystal shattered beneath her.

“Shit.”

Getting out just got a lot harder.

Dave Ring

Dave Ring is the chair of the OutWrite LGBTQ Book Festival in Washington, DC. He has stories featured or forthcoming in GlitterShip, The Disconnect, and A Punk Rock Future. He is the editor of Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of a City That Never Was from Mason Jar Press. More info at www.dave-ring.com. Follow him on Twitter at @slickhop.

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Grandma’s Gift

by JD Bell

Weathered hands work the long braid of the witch’s ladder with deft skill.

“My dear grandmother taught me how to use this ladder.” Gnarled fingers tied the first of several knots.

“And her grandmother taught her of its magical powers.”  The woman’s granddaughter studied the pattern.

“Now, I’m teaching you, Lucy.” The woman gave the ladder to Lucy.

“You must concentrate on your intention, wish very hard, and tie the final knot.”

Lucy focused her energy on the ladder, then tied the last knot. Moments later, the man who kicked Lucy’s dog tumbled down his cellar stairs, breaking both legs.

JD Bell

JD Bell is an award-winning, internationally published, author of flash fiction and short stories. He recently retired from the world of writing advertising copy and is now enjoying the universe of creative fiction.

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

What Squirms Beneath

by Paul Alex Gray

Chunks of muck splattered Ernie as he blasted the fatberg with his hose.

“Bloody idiots,” he grumbled. “Flushing leftovers and nappies and God knows what down the drain. Here I am, swimming in it!”

He aimed the spray at a stubborn glob that hung from the sewer walls, smiling with a grim satisfaction as it peeled away. Unravelling, it drew itself up, a squirming snake of glistening fat.

“What the-?” said Ernie incredulously, dropping the hose.

The putrid fatberg lashed out, a revolting maw of muck wrapping around Ernie’s face, suffocating him as it forced its way down his throat. 

Paul Alex Gray
Paul Alex Gray writes linear and interactive fiction starring sentient black holes, wayward sea monsters, curious AIs and more. His work has been published in Nature Futures, Andromeda Spaceways, PodCastle and others. Chat with him on Twitter @paulalexgray or visit www.paulalexgray.com

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

They Hang

by John Saxton

They hang; some in bunches, others alone. Umbilical cords connect to maternal branches. The progeny sway in the breeze. Sun bakes the forest floor.

Footsteps! In soft grass. The man salivates, eyes glazed. Pauses; inhales; snarls through discoloured teeth. Bloodshot eyes swivel toward a succulent hatchling. Unsheathes his knife.

The scions sense danger. Scream. Agonisingly.

He falls to his knees, knife dropped. Ears covered, bleeding through fingers.

Foetal leeches jump, cords elastic. Countless needled jaws affix. His death is slow torture. They drain him. Withdraw. Bloated. His alabaster corpse stinks in the calescent sun.

They hang.

Until the next feed.

John Saxton

John Saxton hails from Yorkshire, UK, where he is happily married, with two sons.  He has had over 50 short horror stories published in the independent press, including his own collection: ‘Bloodshot’.  He writes mainly after dark…

Find him on Twitter @jsaxtonwriter.

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Soul Food

by Mike Murphy

The eternal soul fluttered about the bedroom, waiting for instructions either to return to Heaven or the dying man. Joel’s family clustered around his bed, the lights from the blinking monitors casting off-and-on red shadows on their faces.

Finally, the soul got its orders and began the careful descent to its host. Seconds later, Gravy, with her incredible feline sight, pounced on it – snatching it from the air and pinning it down.

Joel’s blue-haired mother cried out as the heart monitor went flat. In a dark corner, the orange tabby ate happily, knowing she would soon have nine lives again.

Mike Murphy

Mike has had over 150 audio plays produced in the U.S. and overseas. He’s won nine Moondance International Film Festival awards in their TV pilot, audio play, short screenplay, and short story categories.

His prose work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies. In 2015, his script “The Candy Man” was produced as a short film under the title DARK CHOCOLATE. In 2013, he won the inaugural Marion Thauer Brown Audio Drama Scriptwriting Competition.

Mike keeps a blog at audioauthor.blogspot.com.

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Ghulskelche

by Russell Hemmell

“Welcome to The Morgue. At 5 pm, we serve tea. In the evening, different drinks.”

Kelly glanced at the barmaid. The nightclub, hosted in a deconsecrated church, was freezing cold, but the girl, ghastly pale with naked shoulders, seemed unaffected.

“It’s midnight now.”

“And that’s champagne o’clock, sweety.”

The girl poured and Kelly took a sip. It tasted like champagne, bubbles and everything. Only the colour wasn’t right. Carmine red.

“Where?”

“In Hell.”

The barmaid’s face became opalescent, her eyes glaring white. The flute morphed into a snarling serpent, fangs plunging into Kelly’s wrist, blood-like tears on its snout.

Russell Hemmell

Russell Hemmell is a French-Italian transplant in Scotland, passionate about astrophysics, history, and speculative fiction. Recent work in Aurelis, The Grievous Angel, Third Flatiron, and others. HWA Active Member & Codexian. Find them online at their blog earthianhivemind.net and on Twitter @SPBianchini.


You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here

Learn

by Belinda Brady

“Shapeshifters? Why are you reading about them? They’re not real,” my childhood friend, Joshua, scoffs.

 “You know me. I’m always learning something new,” I reply, glancing at the book on my table.

Like how I had learned Joshua was sleeping with my wife. That was new.

“You learn about dumb stuff, man,” Joshua laughs, getting a beer from the fridge.

The bottle shatters to the floor when he turns around and faces himself.

“You could learn a thing or two, man. Like how to stay away from a friend’s wife,” I seethe, lunging forward.

I never did get a reply.

Belinda Brady

Belinda is passionate about stories and after years of procrastinating, has finally turned her hand to writing them, with a preference for supernatural and thriller themes; her love of both often competing for her attention. She has had several stories published in a variety of publications, both online and in anthologies. Belinda lives in Australia with her family and has been known to enjoy the company of cats over people. 

You can read the DARK MOMENTS archives here