Tag Archive for: dark moments

Family Fetish

by Pauline Yates

I resisted the urge for years, hoping the curse had skipped a generation and I’d be spared the gruesome reality that I was indeed the spawn of my father. He disgusts me with his morbid eating habits while I’m spooning down ordinary cereal. But today is different. Today I yearn to dip my fingers into his mug of blood and coat my tongue with the coppery taste. I reach out my hand, but Father slaps it away.

“Not mine, laddie.” He hands me a knife. “Yours.”

Taking the knife, I prick my finger and lick the blood.

I taste good.


Pauline Yates

Pauline Yates is an award-winner author of horror and science fiction.

Website: paulineyates.com

Growing Friendship

By Suzanne Link

Patrice’s tiny hands smack the earth with finality. “How’s that, Mama?”

“Perfect.” My heart bursts with motherly joy. Farming runs in our veins, and Patrice is a natural.

“Time to feed ’em!” Patrice thrusts out her palm.

I drag my blade across her thumb. She doesn’t even flinch as blood drips onto the dirt.

“When’ll he be ready to harvest, Mama?”

 A muffled slurp sucks beneath the freshly turned soil.

“Not long. Our crops are fast-growing.”

The mound wriggles. A slick, embryonic finger pokes up from the ground. Patrice claps.

I stroke her hair. “You’ll have a new playmate soon.”


Suzanne Link

Suzanne Link writes short stories, screenplays, and elaborate to-do lists. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Jay, and their dog, Lulu. 

Family Rituals

by Yvonne Lang

I cried when Grandmother strangled the baby. I sobbed when I had to cook and season its body. Grandmother insisted it was an essential part of my witch education. The baby potion would keep Grandmother from aging.

My pleas for them to take my sister’s boy fell on deaf ears; my son had been chosen. Grandmother thinks I’m weak and sentimental, so she underestimated me.

I poisoned the spell. She’ll be as dead as the baby soon. Then I will have to deal with my sister. She is going to be livid when she finds out I switched the babies.


Yvonne Lang

Yvonne’s work has featured in a range of publications, from Northern Life to Siren Magazine and Schlock. Her flash has appeared in The Drabble, Fairfield Scribes and Trembling with Fear as well as appearing in multiple anthologies. She resides in Yorkshire with her partner and an opinionated cat.

Website: yvonnelang.co.uk

Blended Family

by Scott O’Neill

I awaken to paralysis. Blinding lights. Hospital smells.

I vaguely recall feeling dizzy at Mom’s wedding reception.

“You’re conscious.”

My new stepfather glides into view, wearing blood-spattered scrubs and a lunatic grin.


He tilts my head right. I see my new stepbrother, Caleb, unconscious on a gurney. Gleaming surgical staples circumscribe his upper arm, above a Celtic tattoo like mine.

Exactly like mine.

My head gets tilted left. More staples. I see Caleb’s arm grafted onto my shoulder.

The tectonic plates of my sanity shiver and buckle.

“Now you’re really part of our family, and we’re part of you.”


Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on the socials as @wererooster.


by Penny Durham

The king greeted us more like old friends than envoys from his enemy.

“You are weary! Rest. Tomorrow we’ll talk.”

Rada turned her blue eyes on me as we parted, led to our separate quarters, where fire and wine waited. I slept too long. Rising in panic, I was taken to the king in his dining room, which smelled deliciously of stewed meat.

“Dine with me!”

I ate, the slow-cooked flesh dissolving on my tongue.

“Where is—?”

“The other spy?” He grinned, raising the lid on a small dish near my elbow, from which glared two bloodied blue eyes.


Penny Durham

Penny Durham is a journalist living in Sydney with a tall man and a round cat. She is the editor of doctors’ magazine The Medical Republic and began writing short fiction in 2022. Her horror stories have won two awards and appeared in two anthologies, two magazines and a podcast.

Bone Music

by Don Money

The humidity of the Arkansas summer drenched Dr Parnum as he hiked down alone into the isolated valley. The tall cairn of rocks marking the entrance to the valley matched the description in the Quapaw stories he’d studied.

Ten years of research finally led him to the location of the legend of the Ozark anthropophagus people. In the clearing, spinal column bones dangled from trees like wind chimes.

A primal grunt drew Parnum’s attention and as he turned, a stone ax descended on him. The cook pot awaited the meat, and the trees awaited the music the bones would provide.


Don Money

Don Money writes stories across a variety of genres. He is a middle school language arts teacher. His stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and magazines.

Coochie Coo

by Patrick Campbell

“What a cutie-pie,” said the lady from the flat below, squeezing their newborn’s adorable thigh rolls. “I could just eat him up.”

They became friendly with her. After eight months of being held hostage by their bundle of joy, they desperately needed an evening out and asked her to babysit. She was delighted.

No longer used to the freedom, they didn’t know what to do with themselves and, missing their little darling, decided to come home early.

“He’s almost ready,” she said, welcoming them in.

They were scanning the room, wondering where he could be, when the oven timer rang.


Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell doesn’t exactly enjoy writing but feels he has to do something with that weird stuff in his head.

Ask and You Shall Receive

by Nerisha Kemraj

A loud rumble shakes Noah awake. Third day without food, he wouldn’t last another night.

He crawls on the floor, weak arms struggling to hold his sign, even though the rush of feet threatens to trample him.

A sudden boom erupts… He watches as the pedestrian collides with the speeding train.

Within seconds, a human leg lands before him. Sploosh!

Bulging eyes stare in horror.

Then slowly, a smile cracks on Noah’s face before his teeth sink into the severed limb. Blood trickles down his chin as he chomps on the flesh, oblivious to the aghast onlookers.

Food, at last…


Nerisha Kemraj

Internationally published author and award-winning poet, Nerisha Kemraj resides in Gauteng, SA with her husband and two daughters.

Website: linktr.ee/NerishaKemraj 

Final Comfort

by Jeff Currier

Desperate for food, Basil and Chloe risked an already looted grocery. A scavenger band ambushed them. Consciousness fading, Chloe never expected to reawaken.


The leader’s matronly voice penetrated Chloe’s resurrecting awareness.

“Your husband claims you’re a doctor.”

Chloe nodded, though the Collapse had cut medical school short.

The woman proffered a steaming bowl. Broth, vegetables, rice—even shredded meat. Chloe ate ravenously. Tipping the bowl, she slurped the last drops.

“Is Basil alright?” Chloe asked.

“He could offer nothing, except fulfilling his vow to comfort you.”

The woman, clerical collar worn and stained, reclaimed the bowl. “He comforted us all.”


Jeff Currier

Jeff writes little stories. Find more @jffcurrier or Jeff Currier Writes on Facebook.

Fallout Shelter Day 198

by Nina Miller

Tori awoke, missing a thumb. A skeletonised stump jutted out from her palm. Phantom pains pulsed. She sucked the nubbin, and its coppery tang activated her taste buds. She got out of bed.

Empty cans rattled around her feet like bones. No food remained. Vermin had fled. Tori’s roach jar was empty. She clutched her teddy. She missed Daddy, whose rotting meat rested in a dead freezer. She missed Mommy, whose gaunt frame was covered in a quilt, having bled herself dry.

Hunger growled at her. Tori nibbled the nails of sausage-like digits, then devoured each finger to the bone.


Nina Miller

Nina Miller is an Indian-American physician, epee fencer, and creative. She loves exploring dark nights of the soul… and chai. Find her work within Cutbow Quarterly, Raw Lit, Jake, Bright Flash, SciFi Shorts, Five South, Roi Fainéant, Five Minutes, and more. Find her on X @NinaMD1 or on her website.

Website: ninamillerwrites.com