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The Crimson Room

by Stephen Johnson

 

My eyes opened to a quiet darkness. Strange, I don’t remember coming into the den. I saw a fiery crimson glow emanating from the open doorway to my living room. I tried to enter but the crimson wall repulsed me back.

Confused, I noticed a body spread across the floor. Blood was sprayed across the back wall and pooled under the lifeless head. My eyes locked with the woman standing over the dead man. Terror filled her face, and she dropped the knife, looking down nervously at the body on the floor.

 “No, it can’t be. I just killed you.”

 

Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson is a retired Naval Officer serving 22 years on four different ships over his career. He has published “The Hollow” in Eleanor Merry’s Dark Halloween Holiday Flash Fiction Anthology and “The Other Side of the Mirror” in Scare Street’s Night Terrors Volume 8.

 

Clairvoyance

by L.T. Ward

 

The candlelight refracted within the glass of Antonia’s crystal ball—all a part of her clairvoyant’s show.
“Does he forgive me?” the man across from her asked.
She stared into the sepia light, her hands waving a practiced dance above. With her bare feet beneath her long skirt, Antonia tugged the hem. The metal balls sewn within clacked twice.
“He forgives you.”
The man sank back into his seat, sighing. As he pulled the money owed from his wallet, she asked, “Why would a good man like you need forgiveness?”
An icy chill whispered into her ear, “For my murder.”

 

L.T. Ward

L.T. writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has several published short stories in the literary, historical, fantasy, and speculative fiction genres. She currently volunteers with WriteHive.

 

After the Ascent

by Evan Baughfman

 

Walter rose above his corpse. His spirit approached a widening glow.

Amazing! An otherworldly oasis opening up itself just for him! Sunlight! Beach! Palm trees!

Walter smiled at the sound of lost loved ones’ laughter. His philanthropic life would soon reunite him with his mother, his father!

The glow extinguished.

Walter plummeted. Pleaded.

He fell back into flesh.

Injected chemicals had begun to restart and preserve his brain.

Walter screamed at his doctors to release him. His mouth wouldn’t move.

Walter, trapped inside his skull, was stuffed into his cryochamber, a subzero casket he now certainly regretted ever paying for.

 


Evan Baughfman

Evan Baughfman is a middle school teacher and author. Much of his writing success has been as a playwright. A number of his scripts can be found at online resources, Drama Notebook and New Play Exchange. Evan also writes horror fiction and screenplays. More information is available at amazon.com/author/evanbaughfman

 

Passage for Two

by N.E. Rule

 

Sandra’s knuckles whiten on the steering wheel as the wipers whip back and forth. Glancing into the rearview mirror, she gasps as a man leans towards her. She swerves to the shoulder and brakes. She reaches for the door, but his bony fingers dig into her collarbone.

“Who are you?!” she cries.

“A guide to the afterlife.”

“I’m not dead!”

“I’m here for the body you have in the trunk.” Then he nods to the passenger seat. “He’s your guide.”

A beast forms beside her. Screaming, she jerks free of his grasp as the transport truck hits her car head-on.

 

N.E. Rule

N.E. Rule attended Ryerson University in Toronto for creative writing and business communications. Her corporate writing portfolio includes software specs, marketing copy, and training materials. However, her passion is creative writing. The characters in her head refuse to wait for her to find spare-time to come out and play. Keep up with her her on Facebook.

Down the Basement

by Jean Martin

 

My husband always said I was foolish. “There’s nothing in the basement at night that isn’t there in the daytime.”

Our basement is a cellar, not a carpeted play space—even with the lights on, you can’t see what’s in the corners when it’s dark.

I don’t like it. It scares me.

My husband went down the basement last night to get a screwdriver.

I found him this morning at the foot of the stairs, with his throat torn out.

Once the estate is settled, I’m selling the house. Meanwhile, I’m living at my sister’s—she doesn’t have a basement.

 

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.

The Bus Shelter

by Tracy Davidson

 

No locals use this bus shelter at night. Few use it in the daytime. Something about these three urine-stained, graffiti-marked walls drives them away.

Some smell decay. Some hear voices. Some see shadows dance. And some feel sharp slashes across backs and bellies, though no wounds appear.

Such sensations deepen in the dark. Only out-of-towners stop here then.

Like this one. He looks lost. Lonely. We like them lonely. They don’t get missed.

He shivers, despite the humidity. My invisible sisters surround him, begin their games. I let them play. It’s been a while.

Tomorrow, another shadow will dance here.


Tracy Davidson

Tracy Davidson lives in Warwickshire, England, and writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including: Poet’s Market, Mslexia, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, The Binnacle, Artificium, Shooter, Journey to Crone, The Great Gatsby Anthology, WAR, In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights.

 

Wasn’t a Ghost

by Evan Baughfman

 

The door creaked open. Kellan took a deep breath and stepped into the shadowy classroom.

Inside, no children chuckled. No teacher taught. Silence suffused like creeping fog.

Cobwebs clung to ceiling corners. Darkness enveloped desks.

Toppled chairs and abandoned assignments lay scattered on the floor.

Very little was as Kellan remembered. He’d been a student here years before.

As he approached his old seat, he heard soft cries. Figures huddled, hidden in gloom.

Kellan’s rifle lifted toward the trembling targets.

“Boo,” he said, though he wasn’t a ghost.

He’d become something far more monstrous the moment he returned to school.


Evan Baughfman

Evan Baughfman is a middle school teacher and author. Much of his writing success has been as a playwright. A number of his scripts can be found at online resources, Drama Notebook and New Play Exchange. Evan also writes horror fiction and screenplays. More information is available at amazon.com/author/evanbaughfman

 

St. Mary’s Hospital for Insane

by Jodie Angell

 

Souls never leave St Mary’s Hospital for Insane. They wander the hallways, linger in the mirrors for too long, and hide in the walls.

Their screams still echo against the high stone pillars. Two-hundred dead still roam the grounds, eternally searching for peace that won’t come.

A broken doll lies on the wooden floorboards beside an old hair comb—belongings of a girl long since passed. Moonlight cascades in through her old bedroom window, illuminating the leather restraints and the sheets still stained with blood.

Her face appears in the shattered mirror. Blood spills from her eyes as she grins.

Jodie Angell

Jodie Angell grew up in South Wales, United Kingdom. She started writing at the age of eleven, entering children’s anthologies. She wrote her first novel when she was fourteen and went onto write five more by the age of twenty-four. Her first book, an adult High Fantasy, is due out in March with Champagne Book Group. Twitter: @JodieA_Author

 

The Burial Plot

by Susmita Ramani

 

Waking, I’ve never experienced such absolute darkness and silence. Peeling apart my clasped hands, I feel around. Above me and to my sides is wood. Below me is satin. I smell fresh earth. I can’t stop sweating and shaking, feeling waves of heat like I’m being dipped into boiling water. I take deep breaths and hold them, focusing on each inhale, to avoid hyperventilating. I have an hour, maybe two. Positioning my hands, palms out, in front of my chest, I press upward. Nothing. Again. After some amount of time, I hear a sound: wood splintering.

It’s like angels singing.

Susmita Ramani

Susmita lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with their husband and two children. Their work has appeared in The Daily Drunk, Nymeria Publishing (winner of March 2021 poetry contest), 50 Word Stories, and Vine Leaves Press, and will appear in upcoming issues of Short Fiction Break and Secret Attic. Twitter: @susmitabythebay

 

Dilapidated

by Alyson Hasson

 

The doorknob slipped from her grasp as the oversized emerald door swung open, exposing the darkness within. Her heart pounded—the door should have been locked. Frigid water encompassed her feet as she stepped into the void. The walls leaned inwards around her, thick moss coating their surface.

The door slammed shut, casting her into blinding darkness. Her breath caught in her throat. The pungent scent of mildew filled her nostrils, and tinnitus stifled her hearing. A shrill scream escaped her lips as waterlogged walls draped around her. They bore down onto her, sucking the oxygen out of her lungs.

Alyson Hasson

Alyson Hasson grew up in New Brunswick, Canada, where she obtained her biology degree and a love for nature based horror. Her interest in horror movies, combined with her background in biology, spurred a curiosity that led to the drafting stories of her own. Instgram: @Alyson.Hasson