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Dec. 2020 (Issue 99)

We have original fiction from Caspian Gray (“The Book of Drowned Sisters”) and Angela Slatter (“The Wrong Girl”), along with reprints by Stephen Graham Jones (“The Ones Who Got Away”) and Nicholas Royle (“The Obscure Bird”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, and a media review from Adam-Troy Castro.

In This Issue: Dec. 2020 (Issue 99)

Editorial

Editorial: December 2020

Welcome to issue ninety-nine of Nightmare! This month, our original shorts circle around the theme of sisters. Our first piece is a spooky little story of truly missing people—“The Book of Drowned Sisters,” from Caspian Gray. Angela Slatter gives us a dark tale of family and revenge in “The Wrong Girl.” We also have reprints […]

Fiction

The Book of Drowned Sisters

They lived on the last street that had been constructed before investor money ran out, and behind their row of seven houses was a long unfenced field marked KEEP OUT, within it a little hill and little retaining pond, and a row of three streetlights along an unpaved road that stopped abruptly at the foot of the hill. Trees rimmed the field, and the streetlights still lit up, so there was a touch of Narnia in every evening. Even in the brilliant summer sun, the trees were thick enough to give the woods an inviting fairy tale darkness. | Copyright 2020 by Caspian Gray.

Author Spotlight

Fiction

The Ones Who Got Away

Later we would learn that the guy kept a machete close to his front door. That he kept it there specifically for people like us. For the chance of people like us. That he’d been waiting. I was fifteen. It was supposed to be a simple thing we were doing. In a way, I guess it was. Just not the way Mark had told us it would be. If you’re wondering, this is the story of why I’m not a criminal. And also why I pick my pizza up instead of having it delivered. It starts with us getting tighter and tighter with Mark, letting him spot us a bag here, a case there, a ride in-between.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Perfect Possession

Truth is more horrible than fiction. The complex and mysterious ritualism of the Catholic Church has always fascinated horror writers, regardless of their personal convictions: the Irish Protestant Bram Stoker (Dracula) fell back on Latin orthodoxy to inter the undead, and the non-denominational demi-Buddhist James Wan (The Conjuring) idealized a Roman Catholic couple to expel […]

Fiction

The Wrong Girl

“The problem is,” she says as she spears a piece of crispy bacon skilfully enough that it doesn’t shatter, “you’ve got a revolving door for a heart.” He doesn’t like hearing things like this, mostly because she’s generally right. Ilsa’s clear-eyed about him. and that makes their friendship remarkably unfraught (apart from these moments). Unlike his other relationships. She sees him for who he is, but doesn’t stop talking to him, doesn’t judge him, not really, or if she does, she’s still friends with him. His father used to say he was his own worst enemy.

Author Spotlight

Fiction

The Obscure Bird

It was late. Gwen spent ten minutes helping Andrew tidy up the kitchen and then put her arms out for a hug and said she was going up to bed. “I won’t be long,” Andrew said as he released her with a kiss. Gwen smiled. “Of course not,” she said. It was a ritual. She knew it would be at least an hour, probably two, maybe more, before he joined her. Outside, an owl hooted. Andrew’s eyes were dark behind the round lenses of his glasses, unfathomable. He turned to the sink as she walked towards the door to the hall, where she stopped and looked back at him.

Nonfiction

Media Review: December 2020

Adam-Troy Castro takes a deep dive into new horror from Blumhouse Productions: The Lie and Black Box. Are they worth streaming? Find out!