Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Fiction

Fiction

Flight 389

This time I will definitely die, Jeffords thinks. He feels that this conscious thought affords him a certain immunity from such a fate, though logically he knows that’s nonsense. As always, he chooses a window seat, not the aisle or—worst of all—the middle seat. The window seat is essential for a simple reason: Jeffords must remain in control of the window shade being up or down throughout the flight. At certain times it must be closed. At certain times he must open it, even though he dreads doing so, for, when he does, he finds himself trapped in one of three familiar nightmares.

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

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.

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

Ode to My Brother’s Sadness

The first draft of this poem was written in a haze of grief not long after my brother took his life in 2010. The only thing I could do to keep functioning at the time was take refuge in writing, and so I scribbled these verses down without thought to form. For reasons I’ll never fully understand, the music of R.E.M. was, and still is, a balm for my soul—something soothing about the bright tones that also carry undercurrents of sadness and dissatisfaction.

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

Now Will You Listen

Growing up in Nigeria, I heard a lot of superstitious stories—from the rumors that the highest floor of our primary school building was cursed, to the tales that the mythical Lady Koi Koi was stalking some parts of our secondary school during the Inter-House Sports week. This story is inspired by the complex feelings of both wanting to see the supernatural yet feeling cautious about the stories you were told.

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.