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Eudon by Sean Eads

October 22, 2013 Fantasy, Horror 2 Comments
Eudon by Sean Eads

by Sean Eads

On a spring day in May of 1351, in the village of Castrum Saint Jean, two brothers named Adelard and Henriot saw a boy no older than twelve come from the woods that marked their farmland’s northern border. Henriot saw him first when he stood up to knock dirt clumps from his spade. He rubbed his eyes, because the boy was naked and appeared to be underfed and exhausted.

Such occurrences were not unknown in those hopeful months following the Black Death’s decline. Entire villages had disappeared. One might have encountered the sick, beggared orphan anywhere. Nevertheless Henriot was stunned by what he saw, and without a word he cast down his spade and ran.

Adelard looked up, saw his brother hurrying toward the boy, and followed. At twenty-three, Adelard was older by two years, though more often than not he bowed to Henriot’s judgment.

“You, boy!” Henriot said. “What is your name?”

The brothers stopped within a few feet of the lad, who teetered and fell to his knees. They bent over him in alarm and rested him on the ground. The boy’s breathing was very shallow and his shrunken stomach made a steep slope down from his prominent ribcage.

“He has not eaten in at least a week,” Adelard said.

“Let us bring him into the house.”

Adelard stripped his shirt and wrapped it about the boy, whom Henriot carefully managed over his broad right shoulder. They ran the quarter-mile to their farmhouse, which had belonged to their mother and father before the plague took them the previous year. The boy moaned as if very ill but he ate the bread they gave him and drank several glasses of water. Then he smiled and looked up at them. *** Read on! ***

Everything, All At Once, Forever by Michael Wehunt

June 30, 2013 Horror 13 Comments
Everything, All At Once, Forever by Michael Wehunt

Everything, All at Once, Forever
by Michael Wehunt

It seems to rain every time she visits David’s grave. Petra drips a trail from the bus stop into the house and stands in the kitchen, in those empty hours until dark. She picks at leftovers in front of the television until the gravy on the meatloaf thickens into jelly.

She has heard of people following their spouses into the earth. Dying from a broken heart after a lifetime of companionship seems so full of romance. But Petra just keeps going on, she doesn’t know why. She sits with eleven months of dust on her skin. Later, there is thin sleep, David’s smell a little fainter in his pillow each night. She has to breathe deep to get to it.

And waiting each morning is a new set of hours to fill. Her hands won’t allow her much gardening, but still some mornings she rakes them through the earth to collect clods of dirt beneath her nails. She’ll lay outfits across the bed, a dress for herself and one of David’s dark suits. She fusses over which of his ties to fold along the breast.

Through each piece of routine the hole in her life tiptoes behind like a shadow tapping her shoulder. Late in the morning she takes the bus into town and drifts through barnlike antique shops filled with things she can no longer adore. Even the joy of looking has left her and she is left with simply the familiar movement of her body.

At last the fourth in this cluster of shops is exhausted, and she along with it. She is about to pass back into the day, the clouds of minutes, when she sees her husband standing on a shelf behind the cash register, the suit she buried him in as sharp as it was the distant spring day he bought it in Essex. She stands frozen by the door until two women brush by and set her into motion.

Halfway there she can see it is not David, of course, but a doll. It stands not more than half her height, its polished Oxfords affixed to a wooden base with an inviting red button recessed between them. But it has his face. Petra was with David when the heart attack struck. She recognizes the wrenched-open mouth, the eyes that bulged in agony behind his spectacles. That very face has been captured in molded rubber. *** Read on! ***

Red Letter Day by Tim Reed

Red Letter Day by Tim Reed

Red Letter Day
by Tim Reed

Today will be a Red Letter day. After writing the title, John smiled grimly and added the following sentence: And that is a deliberate term—red denotes blood and we all know the power of letters, when put into words.

“And what dreadful words will bring on the apocalypse?” He chuckled—a touch madly—and looked at his surroundings, half-expecting a horror to enter at any moment. But he was alone in his shack, hiding in the darkness, back to the kitchen wall.

On his lap lay his diary. The diary—intended to document the past, present and possible future to anyone sane enough to find it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of anything positive to write—in other words, no lies—so he began with the truth, knowing time was running out on his Red Letter day. An hour or two and the tatters of the world would be fed to the wolves.

“And what awful wolves we have summoned.” John shuddered, cursing being privy to knowledge best left in the distant past. Now that the dim time was returning, coming full circle through the sludge of human achievement, part of him welcomed it—it would be a fitting end to humanity’s ignominious reign.

But first, his mind sought the past.

Throughout the twentieth century, and in the early years of the twenty-first, humans craved war…

John broke off, thinking he heard a noise from the study. Cautiously, he rose, holding his breath, but a peek through the door showed that he was alone. Or was he? *** Read on! ***

Man Murders Wife by Judy Viertel

March 11, 2011 Horror, Literary 3 Comments
Man Murders Wife by Judy Viertel

Man Murders Wife
by Judy Viertel

I’m running. I stop to retie my shoe, and find myself looking at a young woman’s breasts. She’s walking towards me—I don’t mean to stare, I’m not a lesbian, although my short hair and lack of makeup often confuse people. It’s the way her tight shirt pushes her breasts up that makes them difficult to ignore. They’re oddly rounded, like two cereal bowls propped against her chest. As I finish with my shoelace, she wobbles past on spiked heels. Ankle breakers, my grandmother would have called those boots, and her leather skirt is so tight she can only manage tiny, nibbling steps. The two men she’s walking with have to support her as she steps down into the crosswalk. They look ten years older than her. They outweigh her, each of them, by at least a hundred pounds. It’s none of my business. Even so, I start thinking about something I recently read.

A man murdered his wife. She was a fashion model. Did he use a gun, or was it a knife? I can’t remember. He killed her and dumped the body. But first, he cut off all her fingers. He pulled her teeth. Why? No fingerprints, no dental records. There was no way for the police to identify the body. But those detectives, they were smart. They traced the serial numbers in her breast implants. That’s how they caught the husband. ** Read on! **

Handy Man by David Landrum

November 8, 2009 Horror, Speculative 2 Comments
Handy Man by David Landrum

Handy Man

by David Landrum

“Hey, baby, I’m your handy man.” — From the song, “Handy Man” by Otis Blackwell

I’ve always liked the song “Handy Man.”  I like the original version by Jimmy Jones and the cover by Del Shannon.  My favorite, though, is the recording James Taylor made of it in 1977.  I like Taylor’s version because he sings it in an easy, sweet, gentle voice, and this reflects how I am.  Of course, I like the song most of all because I do the thing the guy in the song says he can do.  I fix broken hearts.  I’ve done it now at least two times.

The first one I fixed belonged to a girl name Linda Seales.  I got to know her when I worked at a McDonalds in Indianapolis.

Linda was not a pretty girl.  She had red hair and blue eyes but her teeth all had spaces between them and she was a little chubby.  She came from a poor home.  As a senior in high school she started working at Mickey-D’s to earn spending money.

Linda didn’t open up much at first, but after a while she started talking about a kid named Tom Hefner, who was giving her a hard time at school.

Hefner came from a wealthy home.  Religious, good-looking, popular, clean and wholesome, he tormented Linda without let-up—and to the great amusement of the other students. Every day he launched some kind of barb at her.  She insulted back, but he had popularity on his side and good looks.  “Suck my nose,” she would say, but her insults had no effect because he, and the other students, knew he rated higher on the social ladder than she.  Linda patiently endured it and confided to me, the Handy Man. ** Read on! **

Horror/Dark Fantasy Section Open for Submissions

October 7, 2009 Horror, Speculative No Comments
Horror/Dark Fantasy Section Open for Submissions

We are now reading for horror and dark fiction stories.  Send us your tales that are guaranteed to tingle even the numbest spines!  See our “About Us” page for submission guidelines.

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