Full Service

by Andrew McDonald


It was 3 a.m. when the 18-wheeler pulled into Phil’s twenty-four seven rest stop. Phil’s was a massive and all-encompassing set up—restaurant and store, gas pumps, car wash, efficiency units and showers—basically everything a trucker needs.

 Pulling up to the car wash area, an attendant ran to the truck and hopped up onto the wide step. The driver asked for the premium full service and went to shower and change his bloody clothes.

 The attendant removed the mangled corpse from the cab, to be disposed of later, before doing a deep clean. The driver tipped well, as usual.

Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada with his wife and daughter. His short story “First Visit” was included in Pulp Science Fiction from The Rock by Engen Books.


by Jodi Jensen


“Would you look at this…” Ignoring the weeds growing in an abandoned truck at the derelict rest stop, Randall slid into the driver’s seat and gripped the gear shifter. “It’s so cool.”

A movement by his elbow caught his attention, and he turned to see a broad green leaf wrap around his arm. Razor-sharp edges cut into his flesh and blood dribbled down his wrist as another leaf wrapped around his leg.

Vines twisted around his chest, pinning him in the seat as a massive pod opened from the steering wheel.

Gleaming rows of bloody teeth gnashed, swallowing his screams.

Jodi Jensen

Jodi Jensen grew up moving from California to Massachusetts before settling in Utah. The nomadic life fed her sense of adventure and the wanderlust continues to this day. She has a passion for old cemeteries and historical buildings, and regularly uses them as story inspiration. Twitter: @WritesJodi

Safe Haven

by Michelle Brett


“Call an ambulance. Someone’s been hurt.”

Marcus burst through the doors of the gas station; the bright lights irritating his eyes. He laid Mary down on the tiles and pressed his jacket against her leg.

“It’s okay, Mary. I’ve found help.”

But she only mumbled in reply, her eyes closed and her face drenched in sweat. The blood, having already soaked through the fabric, now pooled onto the floor.

Marcus called again.


No response.

Then finally, footsteps. A sign of life. Marcus felt a wave of relief.

Until another noise followed, metal against tiles. The dragging of an axe.

Michelle Brett

Michelle Brett is a New Zealand based author, writing horror, thriller, and speculative fiction. She has a Diploma in Applied Writing and is currently working towards a Bachelor in Communication. In her free time, she likes to question the choices of horror movie characters and report on historic crimes for a local paper.  Website: 

Black Dog

by L.J. McLeod


He’d heard other truckers talk about the black dog, but this was ridiculous. The fluffy mutt between him and his truck could’ve fit in his hand. It cocked its head to one side, eyes filling with white light. As it started towards him, he wondered where it had come from. Those eyes seemed to keep getting bigger. The light was mesmerising. It broke into a run, so close that those eyes were all he could see. Its mouth opened and a loud honk rang out. He woke up just in time to see the other truck bearing down on him.

L.J. McLeod

L.J. McLeod lives in Queensland, Australia. She works in Pathology and writes in her spare time. She has been published in several anthologies and has been nominated twice for the Aurealis Award.  In her spare time she enjoys diving, reading and travelling.


by Warren Benedetto


“I’ll have the scrapple,” I said.

The waitress glanced at the fist-sized bruise on my arm, then at Mike. I nodded. She jotted on her pad.

“Coffee.” Mike thrust the menu at the waitress. “Black.”

The waitress disappeared into the kitchen. Through the swinging doors, I saw her hand my order to the cook. He read it, then looked out at me. Eye contact. A small nod.

“What’s even in scrapple?” Mike sneered.

“Pork bits,” I explained. “Lips, nips, and assholes.”

The cook emerged from the kitchen. He approached Mike from behind, meat cleaver in hand.

“Mostly assholes,” I added.

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 or follow @warrenbenedetto on Twitter.

The Lay-By

by Liam Hogan


I don’t like to stop. The cab fulfils my needs, from somewhere to sleep, to food and drink: coffee and instant noodles, a travelling kettle serving for both.

But you can’t resist a call of nature forever.

No need for a truck stop or gas station, not when there’s woodland either side.

By day, the lay-by would be busy with dog walkers, in summer with hikers and family picnics. On a damp April night it’s utterly empty.

Not dark though; not with a full moon peeking between the clouds.

I unleash a howl even before my paws hit the ground.

Liam Hogan

Liam Hogan is an award winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction 2016 & 2019, and Best of British Fantasy 2018 (NewCon Press). He’s been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London. More details at

Little Truck Stop on the Prairie

by Jameson Grey


Gunnars Diner [sic] reeked of rank meat—like the fridge was broken or the sous-chef hadn’t checked the expiry dates.

Sous-chef? Marilyn wondered. Did middle-of-nowhere greasy spoons even have them?

Her Freightliner was the only rig in the lot. Marilyn was beat, and hours from the next truck stop, but the smell convinced her groaning stomach it no longer wanted to eat.

“Coffee, please,” she said. “To go.”

The waitress smiled, yelling to the kitchen. “We got a lady trucker, Gunnar!”

Gunnar emerged, his apron stained blood-red.

His cleaver gleamed. Gunnar gleamed.

“Excellent, I ain’t cooked a lady in weeks.”

Jameson Grey

Jameson Grey is originally from England but now lives with his family in western Canada.  He also spent time in the Middle East as a child, which he understands makes him a third culture kid (TCK).  His story The Waiting Room was recently published in The Toilet Zone: Number Two.

One More for the Road

by Blaise Langlois


Route 37 at night is a lonely stretch. My eyelids feel the weight of sleep, but the next exit promises 24-hour coffee.

The car lot, bathed in a sick, yellow light, is practically deserted. I order a coffee and venture round back to use the restroom, but a foul smell makes my eyes water, giving me second thoughts. Flies buzz, insistent, drawing my gaze to where a trailer stands, rear doors ajar. Something oily and slick in the moonlight, pools on the asphalt beneath. Heavy hands grasp my shoulders.

“Always room for one more,” a thick voice whispers from behind.

Blaise Langlois

Emerging author, Blaise Langlois, will never turn down the chance to tell a creepy story around the campfire. She has a penchant for horror, with published fiction and poetry through Eerie River Publishing, Pulp Factory E-zine, Ghost Orchid Press, Space and Time Magazine and Black Hare Press. Learn more at:

Glassman Had His Reasons

by C.L. Steele


Hunched over, his glass head slid across the ceiling tiles of her office. She cowered in the corner. She could see through his pristine cyan outline—a glass man. His protracted fingers extracted her with an ease that whispered experience. She trembled in the valley of his palm. He examined her with his laser-blue eyes, each pass a deepening CT Scan.

He whispered, “Globe.” Molten glass coagulated into a glass ball. Trembling, she found herself sealed inside the globe with sand and a towering willow tree. “Why?” she screamed as he tossed her into the Atlantic. “Because I must, dear.”

C.L. Steele

C.L. Steele is proud to be listed in the Who’s Who of Emerging Writers. She is an internationally published speculative-fiction author and enjoys creating worlds with complex characters and plots. C.L. holds numerous publishing credits including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and contributes to literary journals and Magazines. Follow her career at

Beware of the Talls

by John Lane


Born in a pan of green beef, seventy-five of us reached maturity in two to three days.

We laughed when Mom warned that “talls” wanted us dead. Our compound eyes and thin wings could evade them. Or so we thought.

The “talls” caught us while we rubbed our six legs on grooves of wood. They looked like their heads touched the white drywall sky.

Then… WHACK!

I watched the large flat plastic crush my brothers until mangled thoraxes littered the wood. Smell of pheromones lingered.

Only I survived.

I will never forget what the “talls” called their death weapon.


John Lane

John Lane’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Hare Press, Ghost Orchid Press, Rejected Manuscripts, Dark Dossier Magazine, Trembling with Fear, The Drabble and other venues.

John’s story, “Dimension Traveler,” tied for Rejected Manuscripts’ third most voted entry out of 130 stories in 2020.