Horror & Dark Fantasy

PRIMITIVES

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Flash Fiction

Fiction

There Are No Monsters on Rancho Buenavista

In Folktales of Mexico, compiled by Américo Paredes (one of the founding fathers of Chicano studies in the U.S.), I read a story about a man who discovered that his wife was a monster. Any night the man was away, the wife stripped away her skin and flew through the air as a skeleton, terrorizing the people of the town and stealing infants to eat.

Fiction

In the Water

As a fan of true crime, I’ve thought a lot about how death is consumed, the dead often reduced to props in their own story. I wrote “In the Water” to explore that same loss from the perspective of the victim, returning some autonomy while maintaining the truth of death’s passive nature.

Fiction

√i

My inspiration for this story combined two separate things: the idea of how terrifying it would be to experience a tornado warning without knowing what you were running from (shout-out to writer Sarah Hollowell!), and a keen interest in the staccato and visceral prose of writer Brian Evenson. These combined to create the story at hand. Written in a single evening, I wanted to see if I could wield language like a hammer.

Fiction

Skins

I’ve always thought that the illicit hunting of baby seals was a cruel and horrifying thing. Putting myself in their position, being out on the ice, vulnerable to humans, their weapons, and their ill intents made me think of this scenario. The story: What would happen if humans were to experience a similar fate?

Fiction

Fenworth City Municipal Watersheds Field Survey

During the lonely summer of 2020, I went on a long bike ride and saw a pair of egrets in a marsh; at the time, it was a beautiful and comforting sight. That evening, I watched trail cam footage of California wildfires blazing through a forest. This story knitted itself together quickly.

Fiction

New Meat(™)

“New Meat” was inspired by my fascination with mouths and the act of devouring both in the feral nature of it and the cultural taboo of being seen to do it or at least to revel in doing it. Can the envie de manger for something you haven’t ever eaten in the first place be communicated like a fever? Can the idea of eating something, the phantom mouthwatering of seeing a meal or being told of it consume you?

Fiction

The Mothers

“The Mothers” came mostly from “hidden mother photography” that was popular in the Victorian era—these are essentially photos of children with their mothers “hidden” in the background. The result is utterly unsettling. I’ve been interested in the blurring of binaries for a while, and the binary of mother/not mother felt ripe for exploration.

Fiction

Murder Tongue

The question “what’s your mother tongue” is forever being asked in India. In a country divided into linguistic territories, it’s a deeply significant question. The answer places you, signals your fundamental origins, wherever in India you now live. I started thinking about how much we take for granted being multilingual, yet tied to that basic mother tongue identity. 

Fiction

I Summon You

I’ve never written a short story this short before. I wrote this one for a Halloween event at a great independent bookstore in Asheville (shout out to Malaprops!). There were four or five readers scheduled, and we were each asked to read a very short Halloweenish piece. I set mine in the late Victorian era because I’ve been spending a lot of time there working on a historical novel (still in process) and the period is right now much in my mind. Plus, I’m fascinated by the spiritualist movement.

Fiction

Still Life with Vial of Blood

In 2006, I did an internship at the Museo Universitario Leopoldo Flores in Toluca, Mexico, my hometown. The museum itself was built on a hill, almost inserted in the rock that serves as canvas for some very interesting pieces of art. Our biggest mural—a behemoth of twenty-two thousand square meters—had to be seen from a window. It shaped my way of understanding art and artists.