Horror & Dark Fantasy





The Beasts of the Earth, the Madness of Men

The crew is drowned, the ship is flayed to ribbons and splinters, and her own arms are a-rotted down to yellowed bone and salt-cured jerky not even the gulls will touch. Cross-legged on her chunk of life-raft, staring at that familiar line of decaying blubber through the spyglass, all Captain Perth can think, over and over again, is: just a little further. Just a little further and things will right themselves, if only I am strong.


The Crowgirl

From the camp on the hill they could see everything, the river and the barn with its silos of molding grain, the hunting crows, and far to the west, in the square white farmhouse with its padlocked cellar door, the congregation of the Dead.


10/31: Bloody Mary

The boy isn’t very large. The way things are these days, he figures that’s a plus. He is less of a target at night, and for this reason he has come to trust the darkness. Strange to trust darkness in a world overrun with nightmares . . . but that’s the way it is.


A Short Guide to the City

The viaduct killer, named for the location where his victims’ bodies have been discovered, is still at large. There have been six victims to date, found by children, people exercising their dogs, lovers, or—in one instance—by policemen. The bodies lay sprawled, their throats slashed, partially sheltered by one or another of the massive concrete supports at the top of the slope beneath the great bridge.


Alone, Together

She was dressed like a private detective from a low-budget TV show—a pair of slacks, modest high heels, and the most ridiculous trench coat I’d ever seen, one of the shorter ones, that hung just above the knees. I couldn’t help but laugh, and it was obvious my reaction annoyed her, but she did her best to hide her feelings as she pressed a finger to my lips, quieting me, and gently nudged me back inside my apartment.


All My Princes Are Gone

When the world was young, it was filled with monsters.


How Far to Englishman’s Bay

Max had made the decision that April morning to close up the bookshop and go away for once and for all, but he hadn’t told anyone yet, and he needed somebody to take the cat, so it was a good thing Jeffrey showed up an hour before closing.


The Companion

When Stone reached the fairground, having been misdirected twice, he thought it looked more like a gigantic amusement arcade. A couple of paper cups tumbled and rattled on the shore beneath the promenade, and the cold insinuating October wind scooped the Mersey across the slabs of red rock that formed the beach, across the broken bottles and abandoned tyres.


And Yet, Her Eyes

Sasha came back from Kandahar in pieces, a sack of broken glass in the shape of a woman. She knew her edges stuck out at hard, invisible angles, waiting for an unwary hand to snag and recoil, so she kept her eyes closed through the flight to Chicago, immersed in civilian travel-murmur but not part of it.



The men went out in boats to fish the cold waters of the bay because their fathers had, because men in this village always had. The women waited to gather in the catch, gut and clean and carry the fish to market because they always had, mothers and grandmothers and so on, back and back.