Horror & Dark Fantasy

Trouble Department

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Podcasts

Produced by Skyboat Media, and under the direction of Grammy and Audie award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki, our podcast features audiobook-style recordings of two of the four stories we publish each month in Nightmare, released more or less on a weekly basis. To subscribe (free!) to the podcast, you'll either need our podcast RSS feed and put that into your favorite podcast client, or you can just subscribe via iTunes.

 

 

Fiction

The Plague Puller

Stopping by the canal to piss, and only a third of his way back to the House of Death, Ah Keng found his friend Leung, dead of the cholera. He recognized his oldest friend immediately, even in the darkness; even in this state. Leung’s sickness-shriveled body lay a few feet from brackish water, pallid face upturned towards the moon. Leung. It was really Leung.

Fiction

Inkmorphia

For my eighteenth birthday, I get a tattoo. A small red heart on my shoulder, Loot inked across it in black cursive. Loot was my brother’s nickname. He was twelve years old when he disappeared. I was seven. The next morning, I peel off the bandage to take a look. A vine with thorns where there was no vine with thorns. It wraps around the heart, above and below Loot’s name.

Fiction

Glimpses in Amber

My visitor gazes at our family bookshelves. I perceive right away that this is less the helpless bibliophile’s habit of scanning the titles of any shelf encountered in the wild, than an exercise in measuring me, of finding the best means of approach. We are in the family living room, a welcoming space with, among other things, three double bookcases. It is not an extraordinary book collection to find in the home of people who read.

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

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

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

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.