We have original fiction from Weston Ochse (“House of Small Spiders”) and M. Rickert (“True Crime”), along with reprints by Barbara Roden (“The Brink of Eternity”) and Conrad Williams (“The Pike”). In the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” Grady Hendrix digs into the role of paranoia in horror. Plus, we have author spotlights with our authors, and Adam-Troy Castro reviews Paul Tremblay’s new novel, The Cabin at the End of the World.
Sept. 2018 (Issue 72)
Be sure to check out the Editorial for a run-down of this month’s content, and to keep up with all our news and adventures.
Some houses never have a soul. It’s not their fault. It’s just the way it is. For a soul to be born to a house, almost too many things have to happen. Three or more families have to have lived there. Someone has to die in the house. Blood has to be spilled. And something, even if it’s just an idea, has to be born in the house. You can always tell when a house has a soul because of the small spiders. They’re everywhere, non-obtrusive, and ever watchful. The small spiders are the eyes of the house, watching those who live in it much like a great beast would observe its own fleas.
The knife is long and lethal yet light, both in weight and appearance; a thing precise and definite, which he admires for those reasons. It has not been designed for the task at hand, but it will suffice. The sound of a heart beating fills his ears, and he wonders if it is his heart or the other’s. He will soon know. The knife is raised, and then brought down in a swift movement. A moment of resistance, and then the flesh yields, and vivid spatters spread, staining the carpet of white, bright and beautiful. He brings the knife down again, and again.
When I was a kid, conspiracy theories were my safe space. I had a couple of books that collected the addresses of different groups and I’d sit in my room, writing away for literature from UFO cults like Unarius and the Raelians. The United States Postal Service was a cornucopia of crackpot conspiracies, disgorging pamphlets from Minnesota’s Warlords of Satan, Christian comics from Jack Chick, apocalyptic photocopied newsletters like The Crystal Ball, catalogs for underground books from Loompanics Press, MK-Ultra exposés from Finland.
He cut off her arms and threw them on the side of the road. They wanted a boy. Her uncle taught her how to play the game. The last time anyone saw her she was dancing. She was drunk. She was flirting with everyone. She was wearing a short skirt. She had a lot of eyeliner on. She got into the car, which anyone knows is a stupid thing to do. She was stupid. Actually, she was very intelligent, but had no common sense. It wasn’t her fault. But what was she thinking?
Carpers further down the canal were using fishmeal and pellets to try to tempt the doubles, but Lostock wasn’t interested in them. Carp might fight for longer, but they weren’t as aggressive as pike. He didn’t like the look of them, those bloated and gormless mouth-breathers. They turned his stomach. He’d talked to bailiffs and other fishermen about the water. Some were happy to chat with him, others hunched over their gear like poker players protecting a good hand as he approached. They’d tell him what he already knew. They suggested he find another place to fish.
This month Adam-Troy Castro reviews The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay.