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Eyes of Innocence

by Ximena Escobar

 

Behind her sweet caress lies a lie.  Your heart pauses in a futile warning; you know you can’t escape but it opens a void, telling you to run—like you know to run—when fear haunts you in your sleeplessness. When the past you buried emerges like tree roots, opening mouths of horror you never saw; but how come you see, behind your eyes of innocence; how come you imagine the unimaginable?

Behind the pat, the kiss, her reassurance; lies truth.  She loves you, so she mutes it. But truth lingers, like her palm across your mouth, when you wake.

 

Ximena Escobar

Ximena Escobar is an emerging author of literary fiction and poetry. Originally from Chile, she is the author of a translation into Spanish of the Broadway Musical “The Wizard of Oz”, and of an original adaptation of the same, “Navidad en Oz”. Clarendon House Publications published her first short story in the UK, “The Persistence of Memory”, and Literally Stories her first online publication with “The Green Light”. She has since had several acceptances from other publishers and is working very hard exploring new exciting avenues in her writing.  She lives in Nottingham with her family. but you can find her on Facebook.

 

Awakened

by C.D. Augello

 

     In the night he feels her struggling beneath his body, as if trying to escape the prison of his weight.  Just a dream, he thinks, but in the morning, stripping the sheets, he sees her shape in silhouette, long legs, the heightened curves of breasts and hips.  A woman, unquestionably—but what was she doing inside his new mattress?

     Ten minutes on hold with the 800 number before an automated voice warns, Don’t let her out!   Too late—he hears the fabric tearing.

     A hand, then another, then her face, front teeth bared, her voice hissing a single word: Hungry.

 

C.D. Augello

C.D. Augello lives in New Jersey.  His work has appeared in over 30 journals, including Brilliant Flash Fiction, One Story, and Smokelong Quarterly.  He publishes The Daily Vonnegut, a website exploring the life and art of Kurt Vonnegut. 

 

Flesh Art

by Gary Ferrill

 

Flesh was torn. Limbs flayed open. His eyes, a glassy haze. Massive oak limbs held him firmly in their embrace. The Moon an iniquitous orb, its light casting long shadows that seemed to move among the trees, watching.

She stood admiring her cadaver artwork. The blood spilling forth only moments before, enhanced by the sound of his screaming, quickly slowed as it congealed.

She stepped beneath him to catch the last drop of crimson as it dripped from a motionless hand. Splattering on her lips, she licked it away. She couldn’t linger, there was much more work to do tonight.

 

Gary Ferrill

Gary has been published previously but has not been active in the writing community for several years. Due to his short attention span, he tends to favor flash fiction. 

 

Trophic Dynamics

by Gabrielle Bleu

 

Sixteen dogs used to roam the back streets in a howling, violent mass. Until one day when their numbers began to dwindle; thirteen, seven, four. Until all that remained were two mangy survivors, tails between their legs. People were happy that the back alleys were safer, not questioning the disappearances. Only one girl wondered, and only after she saw the footprints, large and clawed and numerous.

Only she saw, as the thing with too many legs grew bolder, emerging from the shadows. Only she watched from her window late at night, as it ate the dog pack down to one.

 

Gabrielle Bleu

Gabrielle Bleu’s deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. During the daylight hours, she catalogs long dead things. Her work has appeared in the Story Seed Vault and the Arcanist. Follow her on twitter @BeteMonstrueuse for occasional thoughts about monsters, and read more of her work at gabriellebleu.com.

 

After Glow

by Liam Hogan

 

Huh. Zombies.

Of course it was zombies. The apocalypse scenario that never dies. The dead reborn through the years. Fast zombies, slow zombies, space zombies. Explained away by genetically engineered viruses, or airborne fungal spores, or alien parasites. All of them after your flesh, if not your brains.

A numbers game; the dead quickly overpowering the living and, after a bite or two, converting hunted to hunter.

There shouldn’t be enough nourishment to keep them all going. Didn’t make sense.

But, as Malcolm smashed through the rotten skull with his Louisville slugger, at least these zombies glow in the dark.

 

Liam Hogan

Liam Hogan is a London based short story writer, the host of Liars’ League, and a Ministry of Stories mentor. His story “Ana”, appears in Best of British Science Fiction 2016 (NewCon Press) and his twisted fantasy collection, “Happy Ending Not Guaranteed”, is published by Arachne Press. Http://happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk or tweet @LiamJHogan.

 

Where Her Heart Was

by Adam Breckenridge

 

My girlfriend opened the door in her chest and grabbed a fistful of air.

“I’m giving this to you,” she said, dropping it in my hand.  It was the heaviest air I had ever held.  I looked into her dead eyes as I tried to lift it, dribbles of her life slipping through my fingers.

“Now I want something in return,” she said and dug her fingers into my chest, reaching through the blood and flesh to grab ahold of my tin can soul, so fragile in her grip as she crunched it into a ball and swallowed it whole.

 

Adam Breckenridge

Adam Breckenridge, is a Collegiate Traveling Faculty member of the University of Maryland University College where he travels the world teaching American military stationed overseas and he’s currently based in Japan. His fiction has previously appeared in Independent Ink, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens, the WTF?! Anthology, Strangelet Press and elsewhere, and most recently he was accepted into the Final Summons Anthology from NESW Press, Visions Magazine out of the UK and New Reader Magazine.

 

Reflections

by Lynne Lumsden Green

 

My friend Ben and I loved jumping in puddles; our mothers despaired of our damp and muddy clothes. One day, Ben jumped into a puddle on the footpath and sank up to his armpits.

“Help me,” he screamed. “Something is pulling me down.”

I grabbed at his hand, but I was too late. He disappeared into its depths. I ran for help, but no one believed me. Later that day, when the puddle dried up, it revealed no pit. Just ordinary footpath.

Now days, I don’t jump into puddles. I gaze into them, looking for Ben. I haven’t found him.

 

Lynne Lumsden Green

Lynne Lumsden Green has twin bachelor degrees in both Science and the Arts, giving her the balance between rationality and creativity. She spent fifteen years as the Science Queen for HarperCollins Voyager Online and has written science articles for other online magazines. Currently, she captains the Writing Race for the Australian Writers Marketplace on Facebook. She has had speculative fiction flash fiction and short stories published in anthologies and websites. You can find her blog at: https://cogpunksteamscribe.wordpress.com/ Twitter.

 

AA

by Shane Sinjun

 

“Welcome to AA,” the convenor says. “Please, share.”

I suck in a breath, shut my eyes, and shrug off my coat. Air teases my insectile left arm, folded against me like a mantis. I wait for gasps that don’t come. I open my eyes, expecting looks of horror, but everyone is smiling.

A woman across from me removes her sunglasses, blinking her amphibian third eyelids. Another woman pulls off her mittens and stretches her claws. A man doffs his hat and unfurls his antennae.

For the first time, I’m not alone.

The convenor nods. “You’re safe here at Anthropomorphs Anonymous.”

 

Shane Sinjun

Shane Sinjun writes dark quirky fiction from Melbourne, Australia. He has a heart of gold. The rest is mainly base metals. Follow him on Twitter.

 

We’ll Always Have Venus

by Shawn M. Klimek

 

To humanity’s great relief, the aliens who had arrived by warp-gate were not conquerors, but law-abiding capitalists who had come hoping to develop our system’s underutilized real estate. In exchange for forfeiting Earth claims to Mars, they proposed to make Venus habitable for human expansion—a price too good to refuse. As more aliens colonized the red planet, and cities grew on Venus, trade between all three flourished.

When Earthlings eventually noticed the New Martians had begun mining Jupiter and terraforming Titan, they demanded compensation.

“Oh, we already own Jupiter by law,” the aliens responded. “Our planet is the nearest.”

 

Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek’s stories and poems have been published in scores of e-zines and anthologies, including “Grumpy Old Gods, Volume 1”, Zombie Pirate Publishing’s “World War Four”, and “Gold: The Best of Clarendon House Anthologies, Volume One, 2017/2018. Find more, including links to all his published works at A Jot In The Dark

 

It’s So Dark

by Stephen Herczeg

 

I wake. It’s dark. So dark.

My bed is tight. Snug on both sides. I reach up. There’s something a few inches above me. It’s hard, but covered in soft fabric. It’s like I’m in a box, with soft silk sheets all around. I’m wearing a suit, not pyjamas. Where are my shoes?

I’m falling. Slowly. Very slowly. I land with a thump. My bed is jostled, but I can’t fall out.

Something lands on top of the box, thud. Then even more thuds. I scream but I have no voice.

Then there’s only silence. I’m alone.

It’s so dark.

 

Stephen Herczeg

Stephen is an IT Geek based in Canberra Australia. He has been writing for over twenty years and has completed a couple of dodgy novels, sixteen feature length screenplays and numerous short stories and scripts.

His horror work has featured in Sproutlings; Hells Bells; Below the Stairs; Trickster’s Treats #1 and #2; Shades of Santa; Behind the Mask; Beyond the Infinite; The Body Horror Book; Anemone Enemy; Petrified Punks; Beginnings and Beside the Seaside.
Find him on Amazon