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Silenced Night

by Constantine E. Kiousis

 

Colourful lights twinkled around the Christmas tree as muffled screams filled the darkened living room, Marie gawking from a corner as the hulking man stuffed her terrified mother into a huge linen sack before fastening it shut.

Hoisting the bag over his shoulder, he glanced towards the girl, moonlight glinting off his jolly eyes as he winked at her, a toothy smile across his soot-smudged, white beard. Turning, he ambled to the fireplace, the bag’s insides squirming, her parents’ stifled protests fading as he went up the chimney.

She couldn’t believe it.

Santa had gotten her letter!

No more bedtime!

 

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.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KiousisStoryteller

On the Feast of Stephen

by Jean Martin

 

Under the old king, it would have been the Feast of Stephen, the second day of Christmas.

But our new king took us back to the Old Gods and the old ways.

As he decreed, nine men and nine women were offered in sacrifice that morning, in the woods, near the spring that had been named for Saint Agnes.

The snow lay roundabout deep and crisp and scarlet. There was steam rising in the frosty air from the hot blood.

One small page, lying still on the ground, his dead eyes staring wide and empty at the grey winter sky.

 

Jean Martin

A long-time fan of Sherlock Holmes, Jean Martin is a single lady, currently stuck at home in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, which is in the Monongahela Valley. She has been writing fiction for longer than she cares to admit and has talked to channellers, psychics, vampirologists, Anne McCaffrey, and some lesser-known authors.

Cookies for Santa Claws

by Chanelle Loftness

 

“You better not cry,” the creature croons.

I lie on the kitchen table. The Christmas lights that bind me dig into my skin. They send colours dancing across the kitchen’s walls and illuminate the creviced face of the sharp-toothed and horned creature standing over me.

“You better not pout.” Its sharp talons cut another piece of my flesh.

Wide-eyed, I scream around the Christmas stocking in my mouth.

It places the flesh on the cookie sheet by the others, dusting them with cinnamon and sugar, before sliding the sheet into the oven.

It continues singing as it grabs another cookie sheet.

Chanelle Loftness

Chanelle Loftness is a Seattleite who spent eleven years in San Francisco and now calls Chicago home. She was adamant that she wrote fantasy until the kind readers in a writing workshop emphatically told her she was writing horror; she argues there is a lot of overlap.

Twitter: @chanelleloftnes

Carrion

by Rich Rurshell

 

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, four colly birds

If true, then Mother Nature is my true love. I won’t argue with that. I always loved nature. 

I’m not sure why I stayed here. Leaving doesn’t seem appropriate.

Not while I’m like this.

These carrion crows are the only living things to have paid me any attention. If I can still call this me. A lifeless corpse staring into the winter sky from this ditch.

Just days ago, I was eating turkey. Now the birds feast on me. Nature’s way of redressing the balance.

 

Rich Rurshell

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.
Facebook: @RichRurshellAuthor

Yule Dig It!

by Steven Holding

 

He loathed the season of goodwill, but festive choirs congregating upon his doorstep really got his goat.

Red-cheeked warblers, arriving unannounced, expecting pennies for their impromptu performance!

Dozing, jarring harmonies awoke him. “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! He grimaced, determined to ignore the lyrical list of gifts being delivered at his door.

It got worse with each verse, until line number five. Like a broken record, the same three words repeated.

Barging outside, he shuddered at the sight of pale strangers bearing presents.

Five gold rings on five severed fingers, held in the cold dead hands of five carol singers.

Steven Holding

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

Up on the Rooftop

by Warren Benedetto

 

There was something on the roof.

The children huddled behind the couch, their tearful eyes glistening in the warm glow of the Christmas lights. The house shook with each heavy footfall thudding overhead. Plaster dust drifted from the ceiling like snow. A low growl echoed down the chimney, followed by the metallic scraping of a heavy blade.

“What was that?” Annie whispered, her voice trembling.

“I don’t know,” Joshua sobbed. “Do you?”

He directed the question at the fat man in the red suit cowering behind the couch next to them.

Santa shook his head, his eyes wide with fear.

Warren Benedetto

Warren Benedetto writes short fiction about horrible people doing horrible things. He has a Master’s degree in Film/TV Writing from USC. He is also the developer of StayFocusd, the world’s most popular anti-procrastination app for writers. He built it while procrastinating. Visit www.warrenbenedetto.com or follow @warrenbenedetto on Twitter.

Seven Swans A-Swimming

by Ali House

 

Chloe awoke touching something wet. As the fog clouding her mind lifted, she realised that the floor she was lying on was covered with an inch of water.

The room was unfamiliar, as were the six terrified women trapped with her. Nobody could remember how they got there or knew how to get out.

Suddenly the water began to rise. Within seconds, it was almost waist high. They cried out for help, searching frantically for an escape.

Their abductor watched from another room. As the water reached shoulder height, a wicked smile crossed his face.

“You’d best start swimming, my little swans.”

Ali House

Ali House resides in Nova Scotia, Canada, surrounded by overflowing bookshelves and unfinished stories. Her novels include The Six Elemental, The Fifth Queen, and The Lightbulb Forest (Engen Books). She has appeared in Apocalypse, Love, Hate, Oceans, Zero Hour 2113, and Pride (Black Hare Press).

Check out more at https://alisonahouse.wixsite.com/home

Under the Mistletoe

by Amber M. Simpson

 

Aaron held Mia in his arms, slow dancing across his candlelit living room to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”

Her head rested on his shoulder, long hair cascading down his arm. His heartbeat raced from the nearness of her. Holding her like this was a dream come true.

With subtle deliberation, he swept her towards the doorway where the mistletoe hung, eager for the kiss he’d been longing for all night.

He lowered his head to hers, pressed his mouth to her cold, lifeless lips.

“Merry Christmas,” he murmured against her neck, covered with the deep purple bruises he’d left there.

Amber M. Simpson

Amber M. Simpson writes from Northern Kentucky, with a particular interest in horror and dark fantasy. Her work has been published (both fiction and poetry) in multiple anthologies, in magazines, and online. She assists with editing for Fantasia Divinity Magazine and is currently working on her first novel, Wolves Hollow.

Website: www.ambermsimpson.com

Nine Ladies Dancing

by Charlotte Langtree

 

They mesmerised him, nine beautiful women seducing him with every spin and flash of bare legs. He was the last man in the club but he didn’t care; he had enough cash to keep them dancing. It was almost Christmas, his divorce was finalised, and he felt like celebrating.

“How much for even more fun?” he slurred.

The ladies smiled. When he spotted the glint of sharp teeth between their lips, he put it down to cheap vodka and expensive coke. As they gathered round, sinking their teeth into his veins, the pleasure stole his breath. They stole his life.

 

Charlotte Langtree

Charlotte Langtree is an author and poet from the North of England. Her work has appeared in the Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine and is due to be featured in upcoming anthologies by Eerie River Publishing and Black Hare Press. You can find her online at www.charlottelangtree.wordpress.com.

Ten Lords Tumbling

by Kimberly Rei

 

The mall was three storeys tall, with a spacious central opening and a gathering area at the bottom.

The first man to crash down landed as the relentlessly joyful Christmas carol sang “a partridge in a pear tree.” We all stared in horror as verse after verse, another body fell. All men, each with a word attached to their chest.

Confusion scattered the screaming crowds. I saw him smile from above.

My truest love, he had claimed. I knew what the words would spell out: his response to my refusal.

“If you don’t marry me, my heart shall surely break.”

 

Kimberly Rei

Kim has taught writing workshops and edited novels for Authors You May Recognize. She has three published short stories and has become a greedy beast, hungry for more. 
She currently lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her beautiful, supportive wife and an abundance of gorgeous beaches to explore.