After months of messages, my time was running out. Soon she’d know the photos were fake, my story someone else’s.
I emailed her from another phony account, my brother’s. Carl’s dead, I wrote. I’m here if you need me.
She responded quickly, devastated yet eager. I had my second chance.
Anna Sanderson is a writer from Nottingham, England, who writes about the world as she sees it. Her work can be found online and in numerous zines and anthologies. Follow her on Twitter at @annasanderson86.
The monster under my bed whispers to me in the dark. Says I’m small, scared, so easy to pull down and rip apart and chew up until I’m nothing but two knuckle bones hanging from a string.
I listen, frozen, until I scream, run.
Mom sighs, says: “Ignore your brother.”
Catherine Ann Fox lives in Indiana with her husband, and enjoys writing all sorts of weird things. Logically, she knows there’s nothing under her bed but boxes, but one can never be too careful, can they?
I was paid in old change. Ancient change. Gold drachmas engraved with ancient marks, no two alike.
Rubbing the coins between my fingers, the flakes of red stained my soft flesh. The stink of copper held fast as I washed away what I hoped was paint.
I can’t quit anymore.
Isaiah grew up in California and has been looking for any reason to become anything but a writer for as long as he can remember. Writing won’t pay the bills, but it sure is fun. He wishes he could name this story “Blood Money,” but his love of horror and puns probably shouldn’t mix.
We held hands and kissed each other for far too long, until time was mostly gone. The room was bright despite night’s descent.
We laid face down on the wooden floor, reached under the bed, and rubbed their chins, cat by cat.
It was the very end. Their eyes glowed.
Tim Cox lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Karen, and their four cats. See more at instagram.com/timcox.
“It’s them again,” Luna hissed, grabbing Reznor’s upper arm.
He glared at the grotesque-styled ring-handle.
She scowled into his right ear.
He noticed because his peripheral vision was exceptional; the Sentry’s had to be.
“They’ll never get out!”
“Being damned breeds desperation.”
Irish writer Perry McDaid lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. He even finds it on occasion.
I bought my ticket, prepared to travel
To fair Verona, for one night only
My guide met me, in doublet and tights
And together we followed the cobbled road
That led to a window, with balcony high
Where a maiden sighed and wondered why
Her lover had brought a rival
Joan Skura writes from Toronto, Canada, where she lives with her husband, Ron, and their finicky feline, Lola.
It’s morning. Early. You stir next to me. Tiny hairs on the back of your neck, patches of fine white silk. Undisturbed by your rustle.
You say I make you anxious. My hovering.
I inch closer. And feel your heat.
Inhaling, I can taste you.
And I wait.
Melissa lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Ken, dog Scout, and kitty, Mickey. She is an avid reader, writer, runner, and amateur actress.
The search party had given up hope of finding any survivors of the crash. The island reeked of death and the heat was intolerable.
The only survivor had been following them for days, hunger gnawing at his belly. He attacked them that night.
Three weeks later, another search party arrived.
When not writing short fiction, Daniel teaches English in Poland.
See more at facebook.com/ponglish1.
On gravitational waves, the primal gods sailed through the interstellar gulf. Their destination: a blue-green world where once they’d lived as kings, exalted by the apes they had uplifted. Memories of Atlantis, Giza and Nazca filled their minds.
The Masters of Earth were returning; let the children submit once more.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. He spends his spare time working on his time machine, determined to fulfil his ambition of one day becoming his own father. His mother is adamant that it’s not going to happen. Family meals are currently quite awkward. See more at northeastnotesblog.wordpress.com.
Noises in the night.
Sounds of fighting, of pain.
On the grass lies something leathery, scale-like, sticky with blood.
Every day a little bit closer to the house.
Where you keep new knives in unexpected places.
Including one under the mattress, not too far from your stretching hand.
Ian Hunter lives in Scotland and is a writer, poet, and editor.