Tag Archive for: by the light of the fire

The Forest of Teeth and Bones

by Leanbh Pearson


He’d heard the warnings, but this was only a forest. No man had ever been killed by leaves and twigs. But the villagers muttered of teeth and bones, an abomination made manifest into something uncanny and terrible.

The first twig sliced his arm, the second his face, spilling blood to the earth.

The Forest roared, a humanoid shape forming from trunk and branch. He ran, but the Forest was hungry. Skeletal arms caught him, holding him firm as red eyes peered from the shady depths. Teeth of splintered wood gnashed. His scream echoed before the Forest ripped viscera from bone.

Leanbh Pearson

Leanbh Pearson lives on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, Australia. An LGBTQI dark fiction author, inspired by folklore, archaeology and the environment, her fiction features in numerous anthologies. She has judged the Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, is a recipient of an AHWA mentorship and a convention panellist. When not writing, she enjoys exploring the Australian wilderness accompanied by her dogs (the canine assistants). Leanbh’s alter-ego is an academic in archaeology, evolution and prehistory.

Follow her at www.leanbhpearson.com | Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @leanbhpearson



By the Light of the Fire

by C. L. Sidell


We summoned the thing without knowing what we’d done.

A simple campfire—roasting marshmallows for nostalgia’s sake.

“Grab the sticks,” you said.

I did.

They burned, smoked green.

The earth rumbled, shook without moving.

The thing rose behind you—a menacing, monolithic shadow amongst forest shadows. Its innumerable yellow eyes fixed on me, its rusted voice impregnated my thoughts with inarticulate words. Root-like appendages rose into the air as if in depraved prayer, and my own hands mimicked its movements.

Know I had no choice, its putrid need filling my throat as I thrust the hunting knife into your heart.

C. L. Sidell

A native Floridian, C. L. Sidell grew up playing with toads in the rain and indulging in horror stories. She holds a Master of Arts in both English and library & information science, moderates two creative writing groups, and reviews books for the Florida Library Youth Program. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in 34 Orchard, 805 Lit, Dark Moments, The Dread Machine, Frozen Wavelets, opia, Quarantine Quanta, Spark: A Creative Anthology, and others.

Twitter & Facebook: @sidellwrites