Horror & Dark Fantasy

COSMIC POWERS

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Fiction

Fiction

Red House

This is the story you remember. The girl lost in the woods. How they find her after eight days, the mud smeared on her arms and legs, clumped in her hair and under her nails. Through the rain she sees the policeman running, lifting her up in his thick brown jacket, driving her back down the jagged lumber road towards the highway in his truck. She won’t answer his questions, won’t untangle her thin ten-year-old limbs. She runs her tongue along her broken tooth and the cop hits the sirens to run the stoplights, the world flying by in a haze of streets and rain.

Fiction

Ruminations

Running late to catch the bus, Luisa kicked a raised part of the sidewalk toes first. “Mierda!” She winced but managed to keep her balance. She stopped, raised her leg, and massaged her big toe through her canvas work shoes. Relieved to feel no broken bones, she lowered her foot, ignored the pain, and hurried to the bus stop. She shouldn’t have tripped, but that’s what happens when you’re not paying attention.

Fiction

The Finest, Fullest Flowering

A sour note shrieked from the limousine’s speakers, making Milston’s fingers curl in his lap. He took a moment to compose himself before rapping precisely, and with a now steady hand, on the glass separating him from the driver. The tone had droned into a hum that tunelessly dreamt of someday becoming hypnotic. “What is this we are listening to, and is there any way to turn it off?” “Down, sir, but not off, I’m afraid.”

Fiction

Things of Which We Do Not Speak

“Hit me,” said Elaine. I thought I hadn’t heard her right. “Hit me,” she repeated. I stopped in mid-stroke. She might as well have said the sheets were on fire. My penis slithered out of her like a clubbed snake. Rolling off her, I stared at the cracked plaster and wondered why ceilings weren’t routinely decorated with some groin-enlivening mural—Delacroix’s Rape of the Sabines, maybe, or some nice nineteenth century Japanese porn.

Fiction

Great Black Wave

Staff Sergeant Walker steps away from the Ridgeback, wipes sweat from his eyes with a dust-grimed bandana, and tries to make sense of the scene before him. The heat has grown punishing. For a moment it twists the air, so that grey walls and desiccated bushes and sun-scorched faces above dark shalwar kameez all shiver unsettlingly. Walker wipes his eyes again and gradually the shimmering steadies. Yet still, the prospect doesn’t quite add up.

Fiction

The Lost

A week ago, I was a salesgirl at Filene’s Basement. It was seven a.m. on the morning of our semi-annual suit sale, and I was driving my twelve-year-old Saturn down Stewart Avenue. I was late for work because I’d stayed up drinking Wild Turkey in front of Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It was a depressing good time for lonely hearts at the casa de Koszalin, punctuated by a screaming alarm at 6:30 a.m. and cheese doodles dried to the side of my face.

Fiction

Sawing

Clarissa watched from the wings as the Great Bertoldi sawed a woman in half. Down went the saw through the coffin-like box, then up, then down again. A cigarette burned at the side of his mouth, on the edge of his smile. The saw broke through the box. He put it down and slid metal plates between the two halves, then rolled the sections apart. The woman’s head poked out from the end of one of the sections, feet from the other.

Fiction

Twittering from the Circus of the Dead

What is Twitter? “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? . . . Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the Web.”

Fiction

The Old Horror Writer

He’s harder to find than most. I have the basis for comparison because I’ve gotten to all of them sooner or later, from the big names to the obscurities. There are some who give up so thoroughly, and disappear so completely, that it’s as if they never existed at all. This guy’s far from the worst. He’s an old man now, twenty years removed from his last novel and ten from his last short story; he’s no longer a member of HWA or SFWA, and the agency that used to handle his interests now has him in their estate file.

Fiction

The Grave

It was as if someone had suddenly wrapped a thick layer of cotton around her. Things that had been ordinary and familiar became muted and removed. If she hadn’t been so frightened, she might have even laughed at the feeling. Not that it was an entirely unpleasant sensation. She could still hear the birds singing in the thick, autumn-bright canopy above her and identify each sweet trill and warble, caw, churr, chirp and whistle. She could smell the moss and moisture from the stream as it gurgled through the shallows.