Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Fiction

Fiction

The One You Feed

There’s an old Indian saying. And I’m an Indian woman who’s worked at an Indian casino as a waitress for almost ten years. My first and only job, right after I turned eighteen. I’ve flirted with old Indian men to get tips and I’ve put on my most tactful, phone operator voice with old Indian women. The old men couldn’t resist hitting on me or smacking my ass and the old women called me a slut for it. So I don’t give a fuck what old Indians have to say.

Fiction

The Ballad of Boomtown

It’s estimated that in 2011 there were 2,881 semi or unoccupied housing developments in Ireland. There was a time when we put our faith in euros, shares and the sanctity of brick. A time when we bought our books from stores as big as barns and ate strawberries from Andalusia, when only a generation before, they’d been grown on farms up the road. The wide avenues of Boomtown were named for trees when there was grand optimism for growth. Now nothing booms in Boomtown. It’s bust and broken.

Fiction

The Girl and the House

She is a girl, coming to a house. Not just any house: a large, sprawling mansion, built up from the remains of a ruined abbey, or a shattered castle. One that stands on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the seas, or lost in fog-swept moors, or deep within a rugged forest. A house of secrets, a house of ghosts and haunts. She is alone, or nearly alone, or thinks she is alone. This is not quite as strange as it might sound. In her world, parents die young. Most of her remaining relatives are indifferent, or poor.

Fiction

Carry On

The line to check in snaked through the terminal like a single great beast, a centipede with a million legs, a thousand heads, and at least five hundred backpacks. Children tugged on their parents’ hands and whined about boredom. Young lovers kissed frantically, ignoring the glances—whether indulgent or disapproving—of the people around them. Air travel was expensive and invasive enough that no one wanted to say anything. That couple might go a year or more without seeing each other again.

Fiction

Example

Hector Ortiz sat on the edge of his cot, smoking a cigarette, because why not. For as long as he cared to remember, “why not?” had been the chief consideration on any of the few life decisions permitted to him, which did not extend much beyond personal habits like smoking. On Death Row, even if you’re not constitutionally partial to smoking, you almost certainly smoke anyway, in part because you have no reason not to, and in part because it is something to do with your hands.

Fiction

Bridge of Sighs

Terry needed a fresh ghost, so he dressed warmly and headed out, camera around his neck, syringes safely packed into the bag over his shoulder. There were many places to look. People committed suicide in surprising places sometimes, such as a change room in a large department store, or the car park at a primary school, or under the pier at the beach, but more often they jumped from the tops of buildings, from bridges, from dams.

Fiction

All the Hidden Places

“Can we stop?” asked Nikki, panting, her face tingling from the assault of the cold. Her fingers were numb, her nose running. Her lungs burned. “When we reach the trees,” her father said. He was a few feet in front of her, walking steadily against the wind. Ahead of them was an island of snow-capped pine trees. After hours of walking, the island—once just a small patch of green and white in the middle of the frozen lake—now loomed as an expanse of dense wilderness. The lake stretched behind them in every direction.

Fiction

The Glottal Stop

Dating cis was rough, no doubt. For any woman, but especially for Beatriz Almonte, a living meme who had several years ago made a mistake and gained the attention of a secret bulletin board full of trolls for whom harassing her was a vocation not dissimilar from the priesthood. She had no more free background checks left on Spinstr, but was bored and horny enough to do without just this once and press *sm00ch* on some guy’s face. Another mistake.

Fiction

58 Rules to Ensure Your Husband Loves You Forever

(23) No man jokes with food. Does your husband like a kind of food? Try to change your cooking. Rumour has it that in the early mornings, the expressways of Abuja are littered with dead bodies. Iman’s Toyota cut through the dusty fog of the early morning, the dark outside her windscreen occasionally broken by the few working streetlights. Never passing the forty km speed limit, Iman drove down Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway till it became Shehu Yar’Adua Way.

Fiction

We Are All Monsters Here

So disappointing. After decades of movies and TV shows and books filled with creatures by turns terrifying and tempting, it was a guarantee that the real thing could never live up to the hype. We knew that. Yet we were still disappointed. When the first stories hit the news—always from some distant place we’d never visited or planned to visit—the jokes followed. Late-night comedy routines, YouTube videos, Internet memes . . . people had a blast mocking the reality of vampires.