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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

The Rift

by Bernardo Villela

 

All aboard were awestruck. Creating the dimensional rift was simple, but from it came a spacecraft identical to ours.

The mission commander’s words echoed in my mind: Conducting geopolitical and scientific experiments over there shields us from consequence.

“Full speed ahead!” I said.

Our comms buzzed.

“This is the Nautilus.” From our twin ship I hear my voice speaking. It was us from another dimension.

“Thanks, our tech failed.”

My heart rate tripled. We looked at one another.

“Houston!”

“Remember your objective.”

We proceeded. The rift closed behind us sealing our doppelgänger’s fate. We were expendable, all versions of us.

 

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.

Visceral

by Bernardo Villela

 

Malcolm awoke confused. Eyes stung from something acidic.

In pitch blackness he groped for his phone. Flashlight on.

A corrugated ceiling. No, a tunnel.

He touched the floor. Not rocky, covered in dark sludge and liquid. A muscular firmness and tissular feel. Fingerlike protuberances brushed against his hand. A noxious breeze blew.

Gaseous.

Sludge slid, knocked him about. Bumping his head into what felt like mucus, he recalled: a face fourfold his size, a gaping maw, being swallowed.

The giant thought he killed me. 

Malcolm gnawed on its intestinal wall. His oxygen limited, he ate in hopes of freeing himself.

 

Bernardo Villela

Bernardo Villela has published the novella, The Isle of Helyr, and three short story collections, The Bloodmaster Trilogy and Teenage Death Songs Volumes 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.