Though he had spent two years as a ship’s doctor, Naudain had never in his life seen such a storm. The crew had not glimpsed the sky in two days, only dark storm clouds bombarding the sea with rain: a monotony of shadow, broken by thunder and the crawl of lightning.Continue reading “Unbound, Toward Her Repose by Livia E. De Souza”
“Open your eyes.”
The voice crawls in from the dark. It is little more than a whisper. I am still dazed; I can barely distinguish the words.Continue reading “The Maker of Crèches by Loredano Cafaro”
A clutter of stray cats roams the streets at night, eating corpses. Least that’s what they say. The clutter don’t make the corpses neither; they just sort of clean them up for us. Course, technically speaking, they’re a destruction of cats, seeing as how they’re wild. But clutter sounds better. Besides, all cats are wild no matter how fat and lazy and orange they might pretend to be. Cats are more like us than we care to admit. Only two animals who regularly practice sadism are us and the kitty cats. Hell, they even domesticated themselves just like we did. But even after all these thousands of years, they’re still creatures of the night. Just like us. Just like that Laura Branigan song. And just like the world.Continue reading “Kitty Cat Man by Erik Sorensen”
Huddled in the dark, the three children shook at the sight of the black horse. It’s head, bashed in from madness, left a bloody smear along the splintered barn wall. It’s body was too still on the dusty floor. For Walter, the blond-haired boy of four, it was just a rigid, mountainous shadow. It frightened him to watch the beast, the devil and his illness finally take hold of the animal. The silence that followed that was unbearable, unclear. Walter felt that something was very wrong but his innocence would not allow him to understand the stillness of the mare. As his unease grew, consuming his little heart, he buried his head into his older sister’s arms for relief.Continue reading “George and the Horse by Jazeen Hollings”
He couldn’t remember much, not even his own name, but what he could recall from the previous evenings jaunt with the ever elusive they, the them that had occupied his thoughts for as long as he could remember, came in silent camera flashes that appeared somewhere behind his eyes; the men in the masks and all the pretty butterflies floating in silent dances that tickled his face and arms.Continue reading “The Truth Will Set You Free by Alex Sinclair”
The slippery slipper slipped from my hands. The glass leaving its bloody traces; a path of dark red leading to absolutely nowhere. Straight into silent nothingness. How fitting! My vision blurred, my skin scarred and my life shattered into tiny pieces. Every time I tried to pick them up, to put them back together, they cut me again and I could hear the devil’s familiar laugh paralyzing my everything. My life rejecting me. Still, I was weirdly proud that I did this all to myself. All by myself. I didn’t need a Prince Charming to do the shattering. I was perfectly capable of ruining my own life.
I hate that eleventh step. It’s the darkest one. It always has been. I remember noticing it when I was around twelve years old but I couldn’t say anything, not to my parents.
I blamed them. I thought when they died it would leave me alone. It didn’t.
I’ve suffered that step for forty years now. But I don’t think I’ll need to for much longer.
“Step right up step right over, behind this curtain is the most fascinating farm animal you’ve ever witnessed.”
I didn’t buy it. Every carnie on the fairgrounds regurgitated that same hook, pointing around with their canes and blinding us with their red striped suits.
And so the night sparked the beginning of something reckless and dangerous.
He wanted to show me the city after a drink or two. Shotgun, wondering why I dated a policeman. I sat cozily in his car as he drove around in the moonlight. I had the time of my life and he seemed to notice that. It’s a pity I had to kill him before sunrise. He perceived almost everything about me just by looking into my eyes. He spent the whole night explaining to me everything he saw in me. And he was right – mostly – which is creepy if you consider it was only our first date.
Here! Follow my voice! Over here, I say! For God’s sake, man, come over to the fire. What in heaven’s name are you doing, out in such a storm? Come and warm yourself before you freeze where you stand. There, it is only a whistling nook amidst the snow and the cruel wind, but it affords us some small respite and the luxury of civilised conversation. Here we will wait for a break in the weather. I would share with you a morsel, but I have none. Rest and talk must serve as our sustenance. I note that you are hardly dressed for being so deep in the mountains. A light jacket? Such flimsy trousers? I know I must look a fright, unkempt and unshaven, but I am something of an exception. Those who linger in these hills generally know the value of good boots and a winter coat.