Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Podcasts

Produced by Skyboat Media, and under the direction of Grammy and Audie award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki, our podcast features audiobook-style recordings of two of the four stories we publish each month in Nightmare, released more or less on a weekly basis. To subscribe (free!) to the podcast, you'll either need our podcast RSS feed and put that into your favorite podcast client, or you can just subscribe via iTunes.

 

 

Fiction

Caw

He looks at me, and I am his. A steady rhythm of flickering light cast from above, pursuing me like a shadow. I scurry through tunnels, crawl through gutters and across fields, and always he is there. Relentless, wearing me down, toying with me. I escape it, breathless and relieved. But when I look down into the puddle of water at my feet, he is me. Black eyes slowly displace my brown, like thick tar pouring slowly into my pupils. Soft red lips stretch into a hard, pointed beak. Oily black feathers spread across brown, hairless skin.

Fiction

Frost Bloom

I would call her beauty “otherworldly,” but that doesn’t really describe her cheekbones like scalpels, the ice that rimes the bird’s nest knots of her hair, or her ghost-cold touch when she visits me. “Beauty beyond description” or “the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” just means the viewer, personally, finds her pleasing. What does a description like that tell you about the bored, dark dip of her eyes, the curve of her lip, and the forward thrust of her nose?

Fiction

Chanson D’Amour

You wake with a start, your dream cutting off like a break in the film. If you could just remember it, you’d be getting somewhere, but it’s gone, the screen in front of you blinding white, the film spinning on its reel, the trailing end going flip flip flip as it turns. With a sigh, you shut off the machine, take that trailing bit of film, feed it back through, start rolling the whole thing again, from the bottom. The images on the screen move backward and too fast.

Fiction

Cadaver Dogs

They didn’t find anything but the teeth. I heard somewhere that’s what pigs do, eat everything but the teeth. Except there were no pigs here. Just bloody molars strewn across the forest floor like a shattered pearl necklace. The parents of Mill Creek had already buried seven almost-empty coffins that summer. It was about to be eight. Me and Taylor and Easton and the rest weren’t supposed to be playing outside when we found them. By that time, our parents had gone from strict before-dark curfews to full on house arrest.

Fiction

Where Things Fall from the Sky

Spitzbergen, 1881. The whaling station stinks, metallic and rank, even though it’s slap-you-in-the-face cold. David Grace—born and raised in the Welsh valleys—had thought he’d known cold. A thin layer of ice on milk left out overnight, his sisters tracing patterns in the frost on the bedroom windows. But the last few weeks in the Arctic seas have taken him somewhere entirely different. Up here, the cold gets into a man’s bones. He looks at the huts huddled around the small bay.

Fiction

Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror

You’ve enjoyed a few of his stories and you follow each other on Twitter, so when you see that horror and weird fiction author Gordon B. White has started a Patreon, you think, “Sure, I’ll throw him a couple of bucks.” You pick the $7 tier—Postcards of Lesser Known Haunted Houses—thinking it might be a lark to get a picture and a microfiction each month for your modest contribution.

Fiction

At The Periphery

He asks for a table by himself, in a quiet part of The Periphery. It’s late, nearly ten, and the pub is just about empty. Ali has twenty minutes left on her shift. She doesn’t care where he sits. “Anywhere you want is fine, sir,” she says. He slips into a booth full of shadows. One of the lights on the wall is gone. He’s a tall man, this man who slouches down in the seat, his features worn. She cannot guess his age.

Fiction

Cake Between the Teeth

I only know what you’ve told me. Around 11 p.m. while I’m checking yogurt expiration dates for tomorrow’s continental breakfast, you are pulling over to a man crumpled on the side of the highway. It’s a dangerous place to be, trapped between concrete and a road that’s iced over several times since the New Year. At any moment, a car could whip out of the tunnel, just as you did on your Yamaha, and smear him like butter along the dividing wall. I don’t know why you stop.

Fiction

Empty Houses

The new house had a lot of mirrors in it. Not, like, a freakish number—just more mirrors than I’d ever had before. They were in the usual places: bathrooms, closet doors, a nice-full length in the foyer so you could check your coat and shoes. But they were on the back of every door: bathroom doors, bedroom doors, even the odd little door that topped the staircase onto the second floor. There were additional mirrors in each bedroom—big ones!

Fiction

The Cabbit

“It’s a cabbit.” He wiggles his fingers through the grille of the hard plastic kennel. He is John or Tim, or maybe Jim: some name that means random white guy at a Midwestern college. It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t quite remember. Through one of the air holes, I glimpse something that swirls, dark and shining, like a galaxy. It speaks of hidden places—but when Jim pulls the furry body into the light, all I can think is soft and long. Soft, long ears. A curling cat’s tail.