This month we have original short fiction from E.A. Petricone (“We, the Girls Who Did Not Make It”) and Stephen Graham Jones (“Hairy Legs and All”). Our new “The Horror Lab” department features a poem from Anuel Rodriguez (“The Girl with the Voice Made of Stone”) and a flash story from Erica Ruppert (“And Lucy Fell”). We also have Justin C. Key bringing us the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” author spotlights with our authors, and an interview with Hailey Piper.
In This Issue: Feb. 2021 (Issue 101)
Welcome to issue 101 of Nightmare! I’m Wendy N. Wagner, writing to you in my first-ever editorial, and let me just say: It is an honor and a privilege to be writing to you, our wonderful readers. Thank you so much for joining me on the next leg of our magazine’s terrifying journey. I hope we have a great time together!
We are not where we are buried. We are where they kept us. We float now, and see the low building in the woods from above, the long plates of rusted metal, the desiccated grass bundling against the sides like a pyre, the orb spider poised over a corroded edge. But when we were alive, we only knew the inside of the basement, where we had all the usual things girls have when they are being held and killed. There are thirteen of us girls. You might be thinking, oh, but can you really call yourselves girls?
This poem came about after reading more of Aileen Wuornos’ story and thinking of the ways society makes monsters out of victims. It is my first attempt at a dark fairy tale in verse. —AR I. climbed out of an abandoned car deep in a forest in Michigan after sleeping through another cold night alone. […]
I was halfway through the first draft of “One Hand in The Coffin” (Strange Horizons) when I discovered what my story was really about. It had just turned midnight on July twenty-third, the anniversary of my cousin’s murder, and one of the main characters had his name. The horror wasn’t the possessed therapy puppet. It was a society that demands multiple jobs from a single mother to make ends meet. It was the lack of access to mental health services in black and brown communities. It was loss and hopelessness. The puppet just gave it all a name.
Like the time you put the shoes on you hadn’t worn for maybe two years but you just saw there in the corner of the closet and you wondered why you’d stopped wearing them since you kind of liked who you were that summer or at least you remember that summer favorably, and these shoes were definitely part of it, so, trying to maybe live a little bit of that time again, you hauled them out, stepped both feet into them, right first then left, like always, only what you didn’t realize but should have considered was that maybe a dark forgotten shoe-cave like that in the way back of the closet might be the perfect cool musty place for a tarantula to sleep one off for a month or two…
This is actually the second time I wrote this—I threw away the first, unsatisfactory version years ago. But this is one of those ideas that doesn’t give up easily, and the final lines haunted me until I wrote it again.
Hailey Piper is the author of The Worm and His Kings, The Possession of Natalie Glasgow, Benny Rose, the Cannibal King, and more. She is a member of the HWA, and her short fiction appears in Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, The Arcanist, Dark Matter Magazine, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, and elsewhere. Once hailing […]