All Stories, Fantasy

Jack in the Green  by Lee Stoddart

My simple wooden church was all-but empty when I stepped up to the pulpit to give mass to the congregation. I had half expected it.

When Beltane fell on a Sunday, it seemed to draw out the heretical tendencies of my flock. Every year, they would abscond to some secret glade in the woods, to celebrate the coming of the summer, to pray to a heathen god for verdant growth and an abundant harvest. This year was no different.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Unbound, Toward Her Repose by Livia E. De Souza

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.

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All Stories, Horror

Kitty Cat Man by Erik Sorensen

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.

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All Stories, Horror

George and the Horse by Jazeen Hollings

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.

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Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Horror

The Truth Will Set You Free by Alex Sinclair

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.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Mercy by Martina Braunegger

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.

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All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction

The Eleventh Step by Hugh Cron

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.

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All Stories, Horror

Bertha the Accordion Cow by Taylor Martin

“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.

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