Horror & Dark Fantasy

THE ROBOTS OF GOTHAM

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Fiction

Bonfires

The shore was dark when we showed up, but it would soon be blazing, and that thought was all I needed to warm me while we built the bonfires. The waves slopped in and sucked out again like black tar, and I went along the waterline with the others, pulling broken boards and snags of swollen wood out of the bubbling froth and foam, hauling it across the sand and up to the gravel where the road edge ran.

Fiction

No Breather in the World But Thee

The cook didn’t like that the eyes of the dead fish shifted to stare at him as he cut their heads off. The cook’s assistant, who was also his lover, didn’t like that he woke to find just a sack of bloody bones on the bed beside him. “It’s starting again,” he gasped, just moments before a huge, black, birdlike creature carried him off, screaming.

Fiction

The Sign in the Moonlight

You will have heard, no doubt, of the Bergenssen expedition—if only from the manner of its loss. For a short while, that tragedy was deemed significant and remarkable enough to adorn the covers of every major newspaper in the civilised world.

Fiction

Blackbirds

On an August morning in the summer of 1960, a man dressed in black shattered the kitchen window at the Peterson home.

Fiction

Cry Room

The church looked normal from the outside. All steepled and angular in the way of good, rural Indiana churches of a certain age. Red brick and stained glass, St. Thomas Aquinas, surrounded on three sides by hot asphalt parking.

Fiction

Sacred Cows

Clara Maloney peered down the long Brooklyn block. She and baby Sally had been waiting in the cold for twenty minutes, and still no sign of Pop. Figured. Even to pick out his wife’s casket, the old man was late.

Fiction

The Ease With Which We Freed the Beast

Me and Molly Bruin were lying on our stomachs atop a sea cliff overlooking Droughans Beach, fresh from a fuck and lolling there, our skins stuck with bits from the weeds and tall grasses that cloaked our sin, with the wind in our faces and our lives yet to be lived.

Fiction

On Murder Island

The north wind’s been spraying Mainland Runoff in our faces for days, but that’s nothing new, nothing worth complaining about. Here on Murder Island, we have a little saying: “If ever you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and you’ll be murdered.” Or as the Weatherman likes to say: “Radar’s telling us to brace for more hot gusty winds, Mainland Runoff, and murder.” The forecast never changes.

Fiction

Foul Weather

Some things you can’t figure out. Not even with a whole heap of scratch paper and a ribbon of data from a chattering teletype machine. Not before time runs out. And time is like progress—she’s not stopping for anybody. The answer is out there, though, in the weather.

Fiction

Chop Shop

If only she could find the right words to thank him. As he cuts into her thigh, she wants to say something, some small word of gratitude, but her tongue is gone and so she keeps quiet—utters not even a mumble as he continues his work. The scalpel shaves off small slivers of flesh and the sensation is electrifying, little jolts that flash through the drug-haze, and when it’s all over she stares down with dull curiosity at her legs, flayed to the bone. There is a detachment there in which she luxuriates.