Horror & Dark Fantasy

Claiming T-Mo

Advertisement

Fiction

Fiction

With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfsbane Seeds

“It’s Halloween,” Mary told Cook, while Cook boiled caramel and dipped apples and laid them on the table to dry, buttery and glistening in their new candy shells. Cook smiled indulgently and gave Mary a ball of caramel to play between her fingers, and shooed her out of the kitchen. “It’s Halloween,” Mary told Mr. Evans the gardener, while he stuffed old clothes with hay and sticks and raised his new-formed scarecrows onto their stands, propping them around the grounds like watchful sentinels.

Fiction

Dollhouse

There is a man locked in the dollhouse. He is not a doll-sized man. He is a full-sized man. The structure is designed for miniatures, and he is trapped inside it, knees up against his chest, head scraping the ceiling. He only fits because the architects of the little house equipped it with a palatial foyer, the kind that, in real houses, is designed to make visitors gape at the sheer magnificence of the space. The effect is lost on the full-sized man. To him, it’s more like a cabinet.

Fiction

Growing and Growing

After half a barrel of foaming sour pulque, Ignacio and Hector start the long stumble home. The night is cold but they’re still warm, still cocooned, and they talk in circles about the business, the vermiculture that will turn Oaxaca’s gardens into jungles and fill their pockets besides. Their families’ futures in a tub of worms. If the shadows on the street are deeper than usual, if the barking of the dogs is more desperate, if the waning moon is unnaturally sharp, a shard of bone from a desecrated grave, they do not notice.

Fiction

Grave Goods

Put the pieces back together, fit them against each other chip by chip and line by line, and they start to sing. There’s a sort of tone a skeleton gives off; Aretha Howson can feel it more than hear it, like it’s tuned to some frequency she can’t quite register. It resonates through her in layers: skin, muscle, cartilage, bone. It whispers in her ear at night, secret, liquid. Like blood through a shell. The site they’re working on is probably Early Archaic—6,500 B.P. or so, going strictly by contents

Fiction

Some Kind of Blood-Soaked Future

Here’s the thing about surviving a slumber party massacre: no one really wants you around anymore. All your friends are dead, and your mom is dead, and you get shuffled off to live with your miserable Aunt Katherine, who blames you for getting her sister killed because she’s an awful human being like that. And you try to move on, but you don’t know how because your nightmares are constant and therapy is hard, especially when a new killer arrives and murders your therapist with his own pencil.

Fiction

The Maw

Mix was about ready to ditch the weird old bastard already. Too slow, too clumsy, too loud. Not even a block into Hollow City and already they’d captured the attention of one of the wagoneers, and in her experience you could almost clap your hands in front of their faces and they wouldn’t know it. Experience, though; that was the key word. She had it and he didn’t, and it was probably going to get him killed. But she’d be goddamned if she’d let it get her killed too.

Fiction

Wilderness

The airport was small, squat like a compound, its walls interrupted in regular intervals by tall, shaded windows. When Krista looked out the windows, the sky seemed slate-gray and heavy, but when the front doors opened, she remembered that it was really blue and cloudless outside. She was early for her flight back to New Haven. She liked to arrive at the very earliest time the flight website recommended. She was prepared to wait, liked it even. It was calming to have nothing to do and nowhere she had to be.

Fiction

Sweet Dreams Are Made of You

The girl has no name. As often as internet forums try to dub one for her, nothing ever sticks. One week there will be a consensus for a name befitting a drowned girl, an agglomeration of classic and cult horror tropes of long-haired, white-dressed dead women, and soon after there is no trace of what it was. No one remembered. Any posts or recordings mentioning the postulated name will have blank spaces where that name should have been.

Fiction

The Tiger

There is a bed, a wardrobe with a large oval mirror, a built-in cupboard to one side of the chimney breast. The boards are bare, stained black. There is a greyish cast to everything. Croft guesses the room has not been used in quite some time. “It’s not much, I’m afraid,” the woman says. Her name is Sandra. Symes has told him everyone including her husband calls her Sandy, but Croft has decided already that he will never do this, that it is ugly, that he likes Sandra better. “I’ve been meaning to paint it, but there hasn’t been time.”

Fiction

Beyond the High Altar

A note to the reader: I purchased these letters at the bazaar outside the gates of the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2006. I was working that winter for a humanitarian organization in Kabul. The bazaar was a row of shipping containers and battered tarpaulins along the road to the base’s fortified gates. Military vehicles rumbled past, splattering sleet and mud. Inside the containers, merchants warmed their chapped hands before makeshift propane heaters and haggled over cold piles of misappropriated objects.