You failed your haunting final, so you are relegated to watching professionals do what you’re not licensed to do: lure the rest of your family to the shack in the woods, the one where you had your first kiss with your second girlfriend, the one where they found your body.
J. Bradley is a two-time winner of Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions. He’s the author of Neil & Other Stories (WhiskeyTit Books, 2018). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.
It wasn’t often you’d see Tillie without her broom.
From sunup to sundown she’d sweep the sidewalks, the streets, the floors of the little shack she called home.
After dark, she was nowhere to be found.
But on quiet nights, you could hear laughter as she streaked across the sky.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. Her only mode of transportation is her trusty SUV.
“Hi, honey! Welcome home. Dinner’s ready.”
“Daddy, the flying saucer’s on TV again!”
I smile. “Not hungry, but I’d love to see the saucer.”
I’m really not hungry—the human whose shape I’ve adopted was quite filling.
But I enjoy watching my ship on Earthling screens, my next meal nearby.
Maura Yzmore writes creepy fiction when she doesn’t force-feed math to college students. Find out more about her writing at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.
“You mustn’t play in the fields between worlds,” she warned. “One false step, and whoosh! The muddy abyss’ll swallow you up.”
The children are gone, now. All that remains are the scars in the soil where they fell: a dark, infinite wasteland of holes.
Down here, we call them stars.
David-Christopher Harris published the YA fantasy short story, “Falselight”, available at dcharriswriting.com. He enjoys cranberry juice.
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.