http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Nightmare Magazine » Nightmare Magazine - Horror & Dark Fantasy http://www.nightmare-magazine.com Horror & Dark Fantasy Sun, 01 Mar 2015 08:01:35 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Horror & Dark Fantasy Nightmare Magazine no Horror & Dark Fantasy Nightmare Magazine » Nightmare Magazine - Horror & Dark Fantasy http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.nightmare-magazine.com Interview: Chuck Palahniuk http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-chuck-palahniuk/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-chuck-palahniuk/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:05:10 +0000 Lisa Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10558 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-chuck-palahniuk/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Brian Evenson http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brian-evenson/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brian-evenson/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:02:02 +0000 Lisa Nohealani Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10546 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brian-evenson/feed/ 0 Cult http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/cult/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/cult/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:01:20 +0000 Brian Evenson http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10566 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/cult/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Johnny Dombrowski http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-johnny-dombrowski/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-johnny-dombrowski/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:05:02 +0000 Marina J. Lostetter http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10551 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-johnny-dombrowski/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Carmen Maria Machado http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:02:00 +0000 Caroline Ratajski http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10545 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado/feed/ 0 Descent http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/descent/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/descent/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:01:19 +0000 Carmen Maria Machado http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10565 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/descent/feed/ 0 We gathered for the last time in October, under the pretense of discussing a novel that was currently bobbing along in the zeitgeist like a rubber duck at sea. It was unusually cold for October — the summer season had lasted long and hard and then drop... We gathered for the last time in October, under the pretense of discussing a novel that was currently bobbing along in the zeitgeist like a rubber duck at sea. It was unusually cold for October — the summer season had lasted long and hard and then dropped precipitously in a matter of days. Now we came bundled to Luna’s house, sweaters beneath jackets and dishes in chapped hands and the novel tucked into our armpits. Luna’s house was oddly tall and narrow, set back from the street in a way that seemed appropriate for Luna herself. Reserved. As the sun had already dropped away, the entire house was swallowed in shadow, and could only be identified by a pre-arranged marker — a red balloon tied to a wrought-iron railing, whipping around in the breeze like an angry dog tied to a tree, straining and strangling in its collar. The street, though I knew it to be residential, and full of families, seemed deserted, except for a car door that opened halfway down the block. Diane and I both came to the base of the stone steps at the same time. Approaching, she had appeared to be a tall, slender man, but now I recognized her. She gestured with her casserole dish, which steamed in the gloaming. “After you,” she said, and we mounted the steps into the darkness. • • • • Luna’s girlfriend, whose name I did not know, answered the door. She was rosy-cheeked with good cheer, and the house glowed with contentment behind her. She invited us in. We were the last to arrive; the others were already in their cups, in their chairs, and arguing about the novel’s finale. “It dangles,” Janet was saying. “I can’t abide endings that dangle.” Luna laughed stiffly. Irritation snaked through her low, musical voice like a virus. “You can pick the next book,” she said. She opened the novel, shuffled through the pages as though searching for something, and then shut the back cover. She reached her hand out and her girlfriend placed a glass of red wine into it before heading to the kitchen. The living room was gorgeous, an eclectic blend of dark wood and strange artifacts: religious iconography, taxidermied animals, art deco prints, needlepoint. The whole place looked like a tastefully decorated curio shop. Piano notes drifted hazily from a small set of speakers. A preserved crocodile head, no larger than my hand, rested on a bookshelf. I pressed my finger into the teeth of its open mouth. “Welcome!” Luna said, and I jerked away. Diane and I set our contributions on the table and poured ourselves drinks. The tumbler of bourbon was weighty in my hand, and I sat and scratched their cocker spaniel behind his soft ears as the day’s events blurred. In the kitchen, Diane spoke to Luna’s girlfriend, and I heard snatches of words — “sleep,” “nothing,” and “cold” — through the softness. After a while they joined us, and there we were, in our circle, white ceramic plates balanced on our knees and the novel unopened at our feet. There was Luna, hostess and teacher at a local private girl’s high school; her girlfriend, whose name I had not yet caught but it was now too late to inquire without embarrassment; Diane, whose gamine features contrasted oddly with the wine cooler in her hand; Janet, the youngest of the group at thirty-five, and apparently a neighbor from around the corner; and myself. The cocker spaniel walked into the middle of our circle, worried his paw over an invisible spot on the floor, and then curled up in a ball. Janet picked up her copy of the novel and gestured toward its cover, with its red and black and white, its serif text. “Shall we begin?” she asked. No one answered. We squeaked forks across their plates. Throats rippled with long sips. The wind had that late-autumn quality that, if you closed your eyes, suggested a great, stripped tundra in the furthest reaches of the world, and not a Philadelphia suburb at all. The branches of the trees that surrounded the house rustled and tapped on the windows. Nightmare Magazine no 26:58 The H Word: Dissonance and Horror http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-dissonance-horror/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-dissonance-horror/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:05:08 +0000 Helen Marshall http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10557 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-dissonance-horror/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Halli Villegas http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-halli-villegas/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-halli-villegas/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:02:58 +0000 Erika Holt http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10544 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-halli-villegas/feed/ 0 Fishfly Season http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/fishfly-season/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/fishfly-season/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:01:16 +0000 Halli Villegas http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10564 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/fishfly-season/feed/ 0 Editorial, February 2015 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:05:05 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10556 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Karen Munro http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karen-munro/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karen-munro/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:02:55 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10543 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karen-munro/feed/ 0 The Garden http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/garden/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/garden/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:01:14 +0000 Karen Munro http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10563 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/garden/feed/ 0 Waiting on the steps at Changdeokgung for my language study group, I watched a girl in a guide’s vest herding American tourists. She had full cheeks and a broad nose, vanishing eyebrows, sad eyes. It was summer, boiling hot. Waiting on the steps at Changdeokgung for my language study group, I watched a girl in a guide’s vest herding American tourists. She had full cheeks and a broad nose, vanishing eyebrows, sad eyes. It was summer, boiling hot. Her skin was sheened with sweat. As I watched, she slipped the wallet from an American man’s back pocket, extracted some bills, and put it back. In chipper English she called to them, “This way! This way please!” Leading them off, she looked at me and smiled. Her name was Sook-Joo. Mine, on loan: Hyo-Sonn. “A good and gentle daughter.” She laughed, and I shrugged. Really, my name was Darlene. “You’re waeguk-saram.” A foreigner. “Hoju-saram,” I corrected her. Australian. We stood in the shade of the palace walls, out of sight of the tourists and teachers. Sook-Joo dug something from her pocket and held it out. A neatly twisted joint. “We’ll be friends,” she said. “Hyo-Sonn and Sook-Joo.” “Darlene,” I corrected her, taking the joint with a smile. • • • • At the end of the year, I sent a letter to my mother, telling her I’d got a visa to teach English. She returned a postcard: “I’ll rent out the room then.” • • • • I was supposed to teach, but most of my time went to Sook-Joo. To long dim days in her tiny apartment with her two shiftless roommates, to boring waits at her dealer’s place, playing video games while she bought pills and pot. To drinking cheap beer and eating crummy udon, to sharing damp cigarettes of scraped-up tobacco ends. I didn’t mind. The first time she pulled up her hair she revealed a bold shaved stripe along the side of her head, and my knees went weak. She wore a black leather jacket, rolled cigarettes in her shirt sleeve, rode a motor scooter through traffic with incautious, un-Korean speed. She worked a dozen little part-time jobs, stole from them, ditched them, started over. She borrowed money from me and there was never any question that she’d pay it back. Sook-Joo loved drugs. Black hashish, Ritalin ground to a powder and mixed with lemon soju, peyote. Aerosols, poppers, esoteric crystalline substances. “What I go through to get this,” she’d say, brandishing a finger of foil or a plastic pill case. “Maybe in Canberra it’s easy, but here, forget it.” With a glint in her eye: “I can find stuff nobody else even knows about.” We liked to get high on the river bank, late at night after the families left and the food stands shut up. I thought nothing of it when, on a cold night in November, Sook-Joo held out a palmful of little brown chips. “Mushrooms?” I asked, doubtful. “They give me stomachache.” “These are special.” She poured the chips into my palm. “They grow in —” Then she said a word I didn’t understand. It sounded a bit like jeong-won, “garden.” I studied the chips. They looked ordinary, even dull. “They grow where?” Sook-Joo smiled, but she wouldn’t say any more. Obediently, I ate a single shred of mushroom. It tasted bad, like the smell of the mildewed newspapers my mother kept inside the storm windows, “to soak up the weather.” Sook-Joo ate a handful and lit a cigarette. We watched the Han slide past. There was a cold mist in the air. Above us, the Wonhyo Bridge rose like a vast stretching animal, reached out into the gray, then disappeared except for the blur of its lamps. “Will you go home?” Sook-Joo asked, startling me. “When your visa ends?” I hadn’t thought about it. But I guessed I’d have to. “Back to Canberra?” I pulled my hand free of hers. I was sweating, and my stomach hurt. “No.” “Then where?” “There are other places.” Sook-Joo plucked at her lip. “No there aren’t.” I thought of my mother’s house, gaunt and faded on our dead-end street. My mother herself, tall and dry, her skin yellowed like old paper around her eyes. Sook-Joo’s parents lived in Icheon, just outside the city. She was an only child, I knew, although I couldn’t remember her ever telling me. She never talked about her parents. Nightmare Magazine no 40:26 Interview: David Cronenberg http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-cronenberg/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-cronenberg/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:05:39 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10459 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-cronenberg/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Lucy Taylor http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-lucy-taylor-2/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-lucy-taylor-2/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:02:31 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10441 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-lucy-taylor-2/feed/ 0 Blessed Be the Bound http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/blessed-bound/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/blessed-bound/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:01:07 +0000 Lucy Taylor http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10468 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/blessed-bound/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Tran Nguyen http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-tran-nguyen-2/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-tran-nguyen-2/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:05:33 +0000 Marina J. Lostetter http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10463 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-tran-nguyen-2/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Christopher Barzak http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-christopher-barzak/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-christopher-barzak/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:02:29 +0000 Lisa Nohealani Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10440 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-christopher-barzak/feed/ 0 The Trampling http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/trampling/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/trampling/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:01:02 +0000 Christopher Barzak http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10467 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/trampling/feed/ 0 It starts with a small child — a girl of no more than eight or nine, with stringy blond hair and grease caked under her ragged fingernails — trotting down a street in a not so fashionable district of London. It’s 1886. It’s nearly three in the morning, It starts with a small child — a girl of no more than eight or nine, with stringy blond hair and grease caked under her ragged fingernails — trotting down a street in a not so fashionable district of London. It’s 1886. It’s nearly three in the morning, the night shrouded in fog. She’s barefoot and hungry, and back in the rooms she left just ten minutes ago, her parents have begun making up from the row they’ve just ended, a row that included a vast amount of cursing, thrown cutlery, and fisticuffs, leaving the girl’s mother with a great weal across her cheek and another across her forehead. The girl’s been sent for a doctor, who might stitch up the cuts. Her parents’ making-up will consist mainly of the girl’s father forcing himself into her mother, disregarding the tears in her eyes and the whimpering he mistakes for her pleasure, and in this way he will allow himself to believe that everything that came before that moment has been forgiven. The girl, as mentioned, is hungry. And also somewhat frightened by the goings-on back home, though over the years her fear of her father’s temper and her mother’s sharp tongue has waned. Little by little, the girl has come to see that, though one might easily and consistently be hurt in mind or body by living in the circumstances she’s been born to, one can survive if one keeps her wits about her. So when a fight breaks out, she knows to slip out the door and wait beneath the window ledge with the flowerless flower box sitting upon it, until the shouting and the tussling is finally over. Which is what she’s done. Then her father called her in and said, “Run and get the doctor.” Which is what she’s doing. Even this late at night, there are doctors of a certain type — apothecaries more than anything — that will waken and go to someone’s aid, even though the streets have almost emptied. Even this late at night, too, you can sometimes find a gentleman who may stop to give a barefoot urchin a coin, enough to buy a sweet from the shops in the morning if she can hide it long enough from her parents. And many gentlemen won’t even require her to sing a song or to perform a dance or to allow his hand to caress her for several moments. No, the ideal gentleman will simply press a coin into her hand and will then move along, shaking his head, disturbed by the overwhelming force of pity she’s stirred in him. If she can find an ideal gentleman while running for the doctor, she thinks it could at least mitigate some of the disaster she’s just lived through. To find a doctor, she’s had to go down a street that she’d probably recognize more easily during the day, when people are actually walking about and the shops are open. She’s unsure of whether or not she’s taken a wrong turn, because it feels like it’s taking longer than usual to find the building where the old sawbones who usually sees to her mother’s ailments lives. And despite her belief that there are always kind gentlemen available at any hour, none seem to be appearing now to help her. The moon is high. The gaslights flicker in the white fog like faraway lighthouse beacons. Though the girl doesn’t see any gentlemen appearing in her path, someone is in fact coming toward her. Someone — or something — is approaching from nearly two blocks away, heading in her direction, his footfalls thudding against the cobblestones, his breathing fast and heavy. He is not a gentleman in the least, though. He is more like some kind of elemental force: a dark wind blowing down an alleyway, pushing over carts, spilling apples, shaking windows until they shatter in his wake. He is hurrying away from something at this moment, his arms pumping furiously, as though he’s being chased, and his bloodshot eyes are glistening. When he turns a corner, he sees the little girl just up ahead. She’s standing under the foggy glow of a street lantern, a sole actor illuminated by stage lights. He doesn’t slow down in the least. He goes forward, possibly even faster, Nightmare Magazine no 31:26 The H Word: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby –The Female Protagonist in Horror http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-youve-come-long-way-baby-female-protagonist-horror/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-youve-come-long-way-baby-female-protagonist-horror/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:05:35 +0000 Lisa Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10458 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-youve-come-long-way-baby-female-protagonist-horror/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Norman Partridge http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-norman-partridge-3/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-norman-partridge-3/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:02:26 +0000 Britt Gettys http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10439 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-norman-partridge-3/feed/ 0 The Hollow Man http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/hollow-man/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/hollow-man/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:01:00 +0000 Norman Partridge http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10466 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/hollow-man/feed/ 0 Editorial, January 2015 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:05:58 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10449 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Kat Howard http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-2/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-2/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:02:25 +0000 Kevin McNeil http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10438 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-2/feed/ 0 Returned http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/returned/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/returned/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:01:15 +0000 Kat Howard http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10446 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/returned/feed/ 0 The shadows press on your skin, prickled velvet that shouldn’t have weight, shouldn’t have texture, shouldn’t feel like you are wearing sandpaper and poison, but they do. You are almost used to it, this new way that things that shouldn’t happen do, The shadows press on your skin, prickled velvet that shouldn’t have weight, shouldn’t have texture, shouldn’t feel like you are wearing sandpaper and poison, but they do. You are almost used to it, this new way that things that shouldn’t happen do, but... Nightmare Magazine no 21:37 Interview: Robert Shearman http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-robert-shearman/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-robert-shearman/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:05:39 +0000 Helen Marshall http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10358 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-robert-shearman/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Michael Marshall Smith http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-marshall-smith/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-marshall-smith/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:02:56 +0000 Erika Holt http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10348 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-marshall-smith/feed/ 0 Night Falls, Again http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/night-falls/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/night-falls/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:01:09 +0000 Michael Marshall Smith http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10373 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/night-falls/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Brom http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-brom/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-brom/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:05:32 +0000 Marina J. Lostetter http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10352 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-brom/feed/ 0 Author Spolight: Seras Nikita http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spolight-seras-nikita/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spolight-seras-nikita/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:02:23 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10347 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spolight-seras-nikita/feed/ 0 Bog Dog http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bog-dog/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bog-dog/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:01:07 +0000 Seras Nikita http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10372 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bog-dog/feed/ 0 My hands were badly chapped that fall, the year we found Bog Dog. At least that I remember. The ground iced in early September, a month and a half early, and we had to dig the turnips from the earth with trowels. My hands were badly chapped that fall, the year we found Bog Dog. At least that I remember. The ground iced in early September, a month and a half early, and we had to dig the turnips from the earth with trowels. The soil was like pebbles of ice and the turnip tops were stiffened with freezing juice that re-froze on our hands as we sliced them off. When all the turnips were in and Surrey and I went back to stitching the Christmas Quilt, I remember how the yarns kept catching on the hardened trills of split skin that cracked my palms and fingertips. I remember how the dyed yarn would tug a crack so raw that it bled, leaving a muddy track of green or vermillion where the wetness of my blood had loosened dye from wool. Even with fair hands I hated sewing and I was no good at it (I’m still not), but Surrey could whip stitches so tight and even you’d swear she was a practiced seamstress, like the aged woman with the port-wine birthmark who’d stitched her tiny christening dress eleven years before. I was going on fifteen that winter. A storm was coming, and it was going to be a bad one. Pop could tell because his toe with the gout was swollen up as big as a red potato. He stood in the doorway to the woodshed and rolled a cud of chew in his mouth, counting. Two cords of wood, half a box of kindling, and only eleven blocks of thin peat. Pop grunted and spat, and his eyes looked worried. The meager stack of peat in our woodshed didn’t look like the stuff they burned in the schoolhouse or the chapel. Ours was thin and gray and full of air. When you held it in your hand, it weighed nothing at all, and instead of smoldering hot in the stove, it flamed up yellow and then dissolved into ash. Ma said we didn’t have a very good piece of land because Gran didn’t know what to look for when she bought it, so she’d gotten bamboozled on account of her being a woman and an out-of-towner. Gran had grown up near Aberdeen where they burned coal and ate eels. She didn’t know about peat or sheep or winter storms that could trap a family snowbound until they burned cribs and floorboards and frostbite took their toes. Pops spat again and then he said to the spot of saliva-moistened dirt, “A thief’s not a thief if he steals to save himself and his own.” And then he told me and Surrey to take the barrow from the woodpile and go cut as much peat as we could carry from the Cornwalls’ property. It was almost five o’clock and sun was already low in the sky, but I buttoned up my coat and then helped tuck my little sister into her scarf and mittens. Then we took the old barrow with the wobbly wheel and pushed it along the hardscrabble path that led through the bone-white elms and into the rye. • • • • The O’Farrells had got two hundred pounds sterling for the bog man dug out of their property in 1954, so Surrey figured we could get at least fifty for the mummified dog we dug up while we were stealing peat from the Cornwalls’ poisoned rye field. At first we weren’t sure if the University would be willing to buy, because we’d been out there stealing blocks of the Cornwalls’ peat. But after, Pops told us Ma said we didn’t have to feel guilty because the fields were just going to thorn anyhow. The Cornwalls were dead, and nobody would make a bid on the land because everyone knew that rye field was haunted. So that’s why we were on the Cornwalls’ property stealing chunks of rich dark moss from their bog, peat that was going to waste anyway. By the time we’d filled our barrow, the wind whipping through the white elms had chapped our lips and cheeks as red as beets. To my back stood the blackened field, with shadows like faces and stalks like naked bones. I buttoned my coat up high on my neck, but I could still feel it watching me. There were as many stories about the Cornwalls’ fields as boys in the schoolyard, but Patrick Freer’s rendition was the most highly regarded. His account went like this: Nightmare Magazine no 26:43 The H Word: The Strange Story http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-strange-story/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-strange-story/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:05:13 +0000 Simon Strantzas http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10365 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-strange-story/feed/ 0 Bodywork http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bodywork/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bodywork/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:01:05 +0000 Christa Faust http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10371 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/bodywork/feed/ 0 Editorial, December 2014 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:05:08 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10355 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Tim Lebbon http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tim-lebbon/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tim-lebbon/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:02:50 +0000 Lisa Nohealani Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10346 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tim-lebbon/feed/ 0 Embers http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/embers/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/embers/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:01:36 +0000 Tim Lebbon http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10366 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/embers/feed/ 0 They had known that the pillbox was in the woods, but for some reason they’d never got around to visiting it. Andy thought maybe it was because the older kids went there sometimes, smoking cigarettes and drinking cider and, so rumour had it, They had known that the pillbox was in the woods, but for some reason they’d never got around to visiting it. Andy thought maybe it was because the older kids went there sometimes, smoking cigarettes and drinking cider and, so rumour had it, getting blowjobs from Mandy Sullivan. He wasn’t entirely sure what a blowjob was—though his older brother Nick seemed to think it was something to do with sticking your tongue into your cheek—but those ideas were enough to keep the pillbox out of bounds. Usually. “We should go there,” Joe said. “The old kids won’t be hanging around this time of day. Just to see.” “To see what?” Andy asked, trying to sound cool but feeling scared. “See what it’s all about,” Kai said. “Yeah, that,” Joe agreed. “Come on. Race you to the stream.” Joe went off quickly, Kai followed, and Andy pelted after them, sprinting through the blazing summer sunlight, legs thrashing through long grasses and raising clouds of tiny flies, dandelion seeds, and dust. It was the middle of a long hot summer, and school had finished a week before. Days of potential lay before them, and evenings of barbeques and bike rides around the village. His mum and dad had already told him that they’d give him a bit more freedom this summer. The day rested heavily across the fields between village and woodland. The air was still, as if exhausted from the heat, and everything to Andy seemed large, wide, almost endless—the sun, the humidity, the fields and woodlands that were his playground, and the school holiday that was to last all summer. He whooped and hollered as he ran, overtaking Kai and closing on Joe. Just as they reached the stream he and Joe were neck and neck, and they leapt the old wooden fence together. The timber rail beneath Joe collapsed, sending him sprawling into a thicket of stinging nettles. He yelped and rolled out, scratching all over, grinning from ear to ear. “I am victorious!” Andy yelled, leaping into the stream and almost slipping on the slick rocks beneath the surface. Cold water hushed over his shoes and past his ankles, and he was tempted to throw himself in head-first. “Only because I had an accident.” “Sore loser.” “No, I’m just saying, I fell into the nettles, my race-scars are better than yours.” Joe reckoned that scars made girls like you more. He was scratching like crazy, his face tensed with the unpleasant tingling that would last for hours. “Rematch?” Andy smirked. “Screw you.” Kai arrived at the fence, panting. He leaned on the section just along from the collapsed rail and it broke too, spilling him to the ground. “Fat bastard!” Joe shouted. Andy smiled but didn’t join in. Kai was fat, and it didn’t feel right taking the piss. Joe didn’t care. He rarely did, and though there wasn’t anything really mean about him, sometimes he was too brash for his own good. He was Andy’s best mate. Kai had just begun hanging around with them, and Andy was growing to like the shy, overweight kid. It was only now that his parents were letting him out to play. Andy loved the woods. There were streams to jump and dam, fallen trees to break apart and use to build dens, waist-high wood ants’ nests to prod and throw caterpillars in, places to hide, trees to climb, and animals to watch. It was a well-trodden woodland, but the paths were worn in by use, not formed artificially. There were still places in there that felt wild. Andy, Joe, and Kai played war all the way in, hiding behind trees and performing forward rolls to dodge each other’s bullets. Kai was shot first, then Andy, and Joe declared himself the winner of the battle. That’s just the way it was, invisible bullets obeying an unconscious social ranking. Andy’s dad often commented that Joe would probably be in the SAS when he was older, and Andy wasn’t quite sure whether he meant that in a good or bad way. They played on the concrete bridge over the stream for a while, Nightmare Magazine no 35:30 In Memoriam: Karen Jones, Nightmare Art Director http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-nightmare-art-director/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-nightmare-art-director/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:04:37 +0000 Jennifer Heddle and John Picacio http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10356 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-nightmare-art-director/feed/ 0 Interview: Leslie Klinger http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-leslie-klinger/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-leslie-klinger/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:05:25 +0000 Lisa Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10309 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-leslie-klinger/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: David Morrell http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-morrell/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-morrell/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:02:29 +0000 Erika Holt http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10304 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-morrell/feed/ 0 For These and All My Sins http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/sins/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/sins/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:01:40 +0000 David Morrell http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10315 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/sins/feed/ 0 There was a tree. I remember it. I swear I’d be able to recognize it. Because it looked so unusual. It stood on my left, in the distance, by Interstate 80. At first, it was just a blur in the shimmering heat haze, but as I drove closer, There was a tree. I remember it. I swear I’d be able to recognize it. Because it looked so unusual. It stood on my left, in the distance, by Interstate 80. At first, it was just a blur in the shimmering heat haze, but as I drove closer, its skeletal outline became distinct. Skeletal: that’s what struck me at first as being strange. After all, in August, even in the sun-parched Nebraska panhandle, trees (the few you see) are thick with leaves, but this one was bare. So it’s dead, I thought. So what? Nothing to frown about. But then I noticed the second thing about it, and I guess I’d subconsciously been reacting before I even realized what its silhouette resembled. Stronger than resembled. I felt uneasy. The tree looked like a menorah, a giant counterpart of the candelabrum used in Jewish religious services. Eight candles in a row. Except in this case the candles were barren branches standing straight. I shrugged off an eerie tingle. It’s just a freak, an accident of nature, I concluded, although I briefly wondered if someone had pruned the tree to give it that distinctive appearance and in the process had unavoidably killed it. But coincidence or not, the shape struck me as being uncanny—a religious symbol formed by a sterile tree ironically blessing a drought-racked western plain. I thought of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. For the past two weeks, I’d been camping with friends in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. Fishing, exploring, rock climbing, mostly sitting around our cook fire, drinking, reminiscing. After our long-postponed reunion, our time together had gone too quickly. Again we’d separated, heading our different ways across the country, back to wives and children, jobs and obligations. For me, that meant Iowa City, home, and the university. As much as I wanted to see my family again, I dreaded the prospect of still another fall semester, preparing classes, grading freshman papers. Weary from driving (eight hours east since a wrenching emotional farewell breakfast), I glanced from the weird menorah tree and realized I was doing seventy. Slow down, I told myself. You’ll end up getting a ticket. Or killed. And that’s when the engine started shuddering. I drive a secondhand Porsche 912, the kind with four cylinders, from the sixties. I bought it cheap because it needed a lot of body work, but despite its age, it usually worked like a charm. The trouble is, I didn’t know the carburetors had to be adjusted for the thinner air of higher altitude, so when I’d reached the mountains in Wyoming, the engine had sputtered, the carburetors had overflowed, and I’d rushed to put out a devastating fire on the engine. In Lander, Wyoming, a garage had repaired the damage while I went camping with my friends, but when I’d come back to get it, the accelerator hadn’t seemed as responsive as it used to be. All day, the motor had sounded a little noisier than usual and now as it shuddered, it wasn’t just noisy, it was thunderous. Oh Christ, I thought. The fire must have cracked the engine block. Whatever was wrong, I didn’t dare go much farther. The steering wheel was jerking in my hands. Scared, I slowed to thirty. The roar and shudder persisted. I needed to find a mechanic fast. I said this happened in Nebraska’s panhandle. Imagine the state as a wide rectangle. Cut away the bottom left corner. The remaining top left corner—that’s the panhandle, just to the east of Wyoming. It’s nothing but broad, flat, open range. Scrub grass, sagebrush, tumbleweed. The land’s as desolate as when the pioneers struggled across it a hundred years ago. A couple more hours into Nebraska, I wouldn’t have worried too much. Towns start showing up every twenty miles or so. But heading through the panhandle, I hadn’t seen a sign for a town in quite a while. Despite the false security of the four-lane interstate, I might as well have been on the moon. As a consequence, when I saw the off-ramp, I didn’t think twice. Nightmare Magazine no 35:47 The H Word: Horror Fiction of Tomorrow http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-horror-fiction-tomorrow/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-horror-fiction-tomorrow/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:05:22 +0000 Eric J. Guignard http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10308 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/h-word-horror-fiction-tomorrow/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: David Sklar http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-sklar/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-sklar/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:02:27 +0000 Lisa Nohealani Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10303 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-sklar/feed/ 0 Rules for Killing Monsters http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rules-killing-monsters/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rules-killing-monsters/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:01:37 +0000 David Sklar http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10314 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rules-killing-monsters/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Jeff Simpson http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeff-simpson-2/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeff-simpson-2/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:05:12 +0000 Marina J. Lostetter http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10305 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeff-simpson-2/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Karin Tidbeck http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karin-tidbeck/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karin-tidbeck/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:02:25 +0000 Britt Gettys http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10302 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-karin-tidbeck/feed/ 0 Rebecka http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rebecka/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rebecka/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:01:35 +0000 Karin Tidbeck http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10313 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/rebecka/feed/ 0 Editorial, November 2014 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:05:20 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10307 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Maria Dahvana Headley http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-dahvana-headley-2/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-dahvana-headley-2/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:02:22 +0000 E.C. Myers http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10301 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-dahvana-headley-2/feed/ 0 Who Is Your Executioner? http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/executioner/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/executioner/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:01:33 +0000 Maria Dahvana Headley http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10312 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/executioner/feed/ 0 Since we were little, Oona’s collected Victorian photographs. A certain subset of people love them, but I got a library book of them once, just before I met her, and I’ve never not been appalled. I don’t know what a book like that was doing lost in our... Five Since we were little, Oona’s collected Victorian photographs. A certain subset of people love them, but I got a library book of them once, just before I met her, and I’ve never not been appalled. I don’t know what a book like that was doing lost in our local library. It’s exactly the kind of thing that would normally have been removed by a logical parent. The book was death images, yes, but worse than that. These were all dead children and babies dressed in their best clothes and propped up for the last family photo. Held in their parents’ arms, posed with their pets and toys, staring at the camera. It was like some sort of Egyptian funerary ritual, except much more hardcore. The thing about them was that everyone in them had to pose for a long time to make it through the film exposure. There’s lots of accidental motion, lots of blur, and so the families look like ghosts. The dead children are the only ones who look alive. • • • • “Did you hear about Oona? Because if you did, and you didn’t call me, I don’t know who you are anymore,” the voice on the other end of the line says. The same rattle Trevor’s had in his voice since we were seven, a sound like tin cans tied to the back of a wedding day junker. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. Since I’ve spoken to anyone, really. I tried to start over with new people, but I was still the same person and it never works the way you think it will. Trev and I faded out in a record shop a few years back, arguing over Kate Bush for reasons that are now difficult to recall. Kate Bush wasn’t really the problem. The problem was the way friendship can tilt into more than friendship for one person, and less than friendship for the other. Trevor and I have a history of cheater’s matinees in crappy un-airconditioned theaters. Back then, we watched superhero movies together, the three-dollar shows where no one we knew would be hanging out. Sometimes I reached over and put my hand in his lap, and sometimes he put his in mine. We were having an affair, but neither of us could commit to a bedroom. Instead, it was his fingers inside me, and my hand on him, both of us watching the latest incarnation of Spider-Man like nothing was happening below our waists. We were trying, as we’d been trying for years, to not be in love with Oona. “What about her?” She and I have history too, but not the history I wanted. Probably she’s gotten married or is happy or had a baby or something. I’m expecting a New York Times announcement, her with something handsome beside her, a grinning, sports-playing something, and Oona, her yellow eyes and long red hair. She looks—has always looked—like a tree on fire. She’s six foot two and covered with freckles. One time she and I were naked, and I drew the constellations on her with a Sharpie. All there. Next time I tried it, they were gone. There were new configurations but not the ones I’d mapped. It’s getting to be time again for weddings and babies. This is the second round after the first marriages. Trevor’s been divorced a couple years now, and I’m single again too after trying to settle for a woman in Georgia who got pregnant by sperm donor and then said, witheringly, “you always act like you’re so smart, but you’re not as smart as you think you are. You’re fucked up. You’re in love with her, and you should stop lying about it.” She was four months pregnant and I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t know she wanted to have kids with me, and she didn’t, it turned out. She wanted to have kids without me. Now I’m back in the city, avoiding my roommate. My life, what there was of it, has dissolved like Kool-Aid in a cup. We’re all thirty-seven, Trevor and Oona and me, and we’ve known each other since second grade. I haven’t talked to Oona in years. Every time I see her name in my inbox, I delete it. After the last time I saw her, I’m better off alone. She messes with my head. “She’s dead,” says Trevor, sounding astonished. “Oona finally died.” Nightmare Magazine no 1:01:44 Interview: Joyce Carol Oates http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-joyce-carol-oates/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-joyce-carol-oates/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:04:33 +0000 Lisa Morton http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10254 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/interview-joyce-carol-oates/feed/ 1 Unfair Exchange http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/unfair-exchange/ http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/unfair-exchange/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:01:38 +0000 Pat Cadigan http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/?p=10259 http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/unfair-exchange/feed/ 0