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Moonlight

by Annie Percik

 

I am a light in the darkness, obscured by the shadows of the world. You are drawn to me by fascination and longing. You seek my brightness, shining amidst the dullness your mundane life. Witness my full unshielded splendour and you will be consumed, dying in ecstasy to feed my light. This is an experience that cannot be transcended. Fitting then that it should be your last. Your essence subsumed but living on forever. Release your memories, your loves, your pain. The stolen experiences that give my existence reflected meaning. Give up your life so that mine will never end.

 

Annie Percik

Annie Percik lives in London, where she works as a University Complaints Officer.  She writes a blog about writing and posts short fiction on her website (www.alobear.co.uk), which is also where all her current publications are listed.  She likes to run away from zombies in her spare time.

 

The Power of Love

by Paula R.C. Readman

 

“The first bite is as powerful as love,” he whispered. Cold lips brushed mine as his stale breath caressed my neck. In his empty eyes, death lingered.

His chilling arms snaked around my waist, leaching my body’s heat.

I shivered.

The moonlight edged his fangs as he bent to take a bite. I tried not to stare at his bloodless lips as I gently manoeuvred the stake into my hand.

“No, love’s full of warmth and passion,” I said driving the stake upwards.

After I brushed the dust from my clothes, I crossed his name off my list and left.

 

Paula R.C. Readman

Paula R.C. Readman learnt ‘How to Write’ from books which her husband purchased from eBay.  After 250 purchases, he finally told her ‘just to get on with the writing’.  Since 2010, she’s had 34 stories published and is now busy editing her crime novel again.

Blog: paulareadman1.wordpress.com

 

The Cautious Predator

by G. Allen Wilbanks

 

These children have no appreciation for the subtlety of the old ways. They flaunt what they are for the whole world to see, confident in their invulnerability.

Books and movies make them bold. Humans love vampires for the moment. Revere them. Want to be them. But that will change. It always does.

Eventually, the fear will outgrow the worship as the humans realize the true risk they face from us. They will turn on us. The careless will be weeded out. It is only a matter of time.

And for the cautious predator, like myself, there is nothing but time.

 

G. Allen Wilbanks

G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 80 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, including publications with Black Hare Press. He is the author of two, story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes. For more information, please visit www.gallenwilbanks.com.

 

Hard Wood

by Hari Navarro

 

The tip of his stake pushes the cloth from my chest and settles against my hardening nipple. I prick my tongue on the rapier prongs in my mouth, and I open the moist stick of my lips and offer he, who would be my killer, a glimpse of their reddening shine.

“I’m human. See in me a ghost of the life that was torn from my neck?” I whisper as my long fingers wrap around the hard black wood in his fist.

“I see you. I’m not here to kill the beast. I’m killing the wretched man you once were.”

 

Hari Navarro

Hari Navarro has for many years now been locked in his neighbours cellar. He survives due to an intravenous feed of puréed extreme horror and sticky-spiced unicorn wings. His anguished cries for help can be found via 365 Tomorrows, Breachzine, AntipodeanSF, Black Hare Press and HellBound books.
Keep up to date on Tumblr: harinavarro.tumblr.com/

Beware the Plastic Teeth

by D.J. Elton

 

Brian sighed. Halloween props for tonight. Ridiculous.

Mum was keen. “Here’s twenty. Take your sister.”

Brian scowled. Jodie pulled his arm, squirming and squealing.

Witches, vampires”…rubbish! Brian screened the shop, unimpressed. Jodie found a packet of fangs. Gold!

“Ha! Made in China.” Brian grabbed it, slipping a pair in his mouth.

“Rarrrrrrrhhhh!” He roared at Jodie, who screamed and hid.

“Can I help?” A delicate woman appeared. Brian gulped. She was beautiful. He tried to remove the fangs, but they stuck in his mouth. Old memories emerged.

She smiled as Brian lunged forward.  A kiss was all it took.

 

D.J. Elton

D.J. Elton is a writer living in Melbourne’s west. As a child she came from England to Australia, on the last boat down the Suez Canal, where she underwent a sacrificial dunking ritual in the court of King Neptune, and has never looked back. She likes creating micro fiction, short stories, and random essays. Her work has been published in several Black Hare Press anthologies, and she also wrote a historical fantasy novella, ‘The Merlin Girl.’ When not playing with a pen, she likes most of all to go to the green country.

Keep up to date on Twitter

Thanks, Pop Culture

by Neen Cohen

 

“You gunna sparkle in the sunlight?” She laughed and I smiled as we waltz back to her place.

Pop culture had made hunting so much easier. And a lot more fun.

“May I?”

“Oh, of course.” She giggles, believing the act “come on in.”

I step in and watch her as she reveals her flesh.

Her smile slips; from eyes, and then lips. Horror freezes her as she takes in the twisted veins of my body.

I lick her skin, sending poison to freeze her permanently.

Her eyes her only means of communication. I bask in the fear for days.

 

Neen Cohen

Neen Cohen is an LGBTQI and speculative fiction author. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries and is a member of the Springfield Writers Group. Neen loves to roam cemeteries and botanic gardens and can be found writing while sitting against a tree or tombstone.
Find out more:wordbubblessite.wordpress.com  

New Year’s Eve, Party for One: Truth or Dare

by Zoey Xolton

 

“Dare,” said his exotic drinking companion.

“Alright,” Rowan slurred. “Take it all off.”

The foreign beauty teased her bottom lip between her teeth. “All of it? You sure you can handle that?”

“Try me,” he said confidently.

Roxy smiled, then, one by one, peeled off her garments. Her slinky dress, bra, and G-string slipped down her legs to the floor. She winked at Rowan, before grabbing at her breasts and ripped outward. Flesh tore away, and she slid out of her human suit.

She twirled, showing off her red, demonic form.

Rowan had a heart attack.

Roxanzetherus grinned. “I win!”

 

Zoey Xolton

Zoey Xolton is a published Australian writer of Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. She is also a proud mother of two, and is married to her soul mate. Writing is her greatest passion. She is especially fond of short speculative fiction and is working on releasing her own collections!
www.zoeyxolton.com

A Savage Christmas

by Shawn M. Klimek

 

After two years imbedded with savage, aborigines, the missionary couple radioed that they had finally mastered the tribe’s primitive language.  It being December, the responding resupply package had included, besides the usual toiletries and fresh batteries, greeting cards signed by the church elders, a giftwrapped, gingerbread stable containing a chocolate nativity scene, and a letter from the bishop urging them to introduce Jesus without further delay.

“The chocolate Holy Family might help,” he suggested.

Radio silence foreshadowed tragedy: the missionaries’ bodies were never found.

The tribe’s oral history, however, cite this as the year white people introduced them to cannibalism.

 

Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the middle child of seven creative siblings, a globetrotting, U.S. military spouse, internationally best-selling writer, award-winning poet, and butler to a Maltese.  More than one hundred of his stories or poems have been published since 2018, including in BHP’s Deep Space, Eerie Christmas, and the first six books in the Dark Drabbles series. Find an index of his publications (plus bonus reads) at A Jot In The Dark

12 Drummers Drumming

by Rowanne S. Carberry

 

Claire runs faster. Heart beating louder than the drumming that surrounds her.

Shadows move closer, the drumming more insistent.

Eyes blur with tears, sweat stings her skin, their faces flash through her mind.

She stumbles.

Sprawled on the ground, 11 people surround her.

Shrouded in black, blood pours from their eyes.

They drum faster, her heart beats with them. Blood pours from her eyes.

One final beat of the drum and her heart – it ends.

Claire is wrapped in a cloak, the 11 wait.

She rises. A drum placed in her hands she beats a rhythm. 12 of them walk.

 

Rowanne S. Carberry

Rowanne S. Carberry was born in England in 1990, where she stills lives now with her cat Wolverine. Rowanne has always loved writing, and her first writing piece published at the age of 15, but her ambition has always been to help people. Rowanne is currently studying for an MA whilst continuing to write, hoping to help people with both. Although Rowanne writes in varied genres each story or poem she writes will often have a darkness to it, which helped coin her brand, Poisoned Quill Writing – Wicked words from a poisoned quill.

 Facebook: PoisonedQuillWriting

Instagram: @poisoned_quill_writing

Eleven Pipers Piping

by Karter Mycroft

 

I raise my flute with trembling hands, rattling my shackles. The others blow in harmony, all shivering, some crying as we slog through another piece.

The man holding the chains scowls.

“Stop dragging.”

I play faster. It is so cold I start choking.

He jerks my bonds, sending me tumbling over the music stand.

“I said stop dragging. Play in time or I’ll start making cuts.”

Tears freeze on my cheeks. I cannot remember when we started playing.

“How much longer?”

His scowl turns upward. He gestures to the corpse at his side.

“Until my love says you can stop.”

 

Karter Mycroft

Karter Mycroft is a Los Angeles-based author and co-host of The Genre Hustle podcast whose work has been published in Lovecraftiana and Murder Park After Dark.