It protects me while I sleep.
From the eight-legged reptile under my bed.
From the violent poltergeist in my kitchen.
From the woman in white with midnight hair down to her feet, who waits among the banana trees in my garden.
It protects me, the strange being in my wardrobe.
AJ Joseph occasionally writes at Words from Sonobe.
The man used to chastise the dog for drinking from scummy puddles beside the road.
That extra-hard leash-yank was what returned to him after the water was gone, when he and the dog both lapped at rare graces of liquid, the man’s knees muddied.
Eventually, the dog had to go.
Evan McMurry’s fiction has been published in more than one dozen journals, including Post Road, Euphony, Arcturus, Oddville Press, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Palaver, Mulberry Fork Review, and more. His story “Nothing Kinky” won the New Millennium Fiction Prize, and his story “Nixon in Heaven” won Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction contest. “The Fall of Rabbi Gold” was selected as a finalist for the Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from the Chicago Review of Books.
She won’t stop haunting me.
I can see her wavy hair. I can hear her sweet voice. I can smell her soap and fragrance. I can taste her red lips. I can still sense her as I walk over the ground where I buried her.
She won’t stop haunting me.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying to publish the first of many novels.
The students had dug a grave.
The children had sharpened their knives.
The cult had sacrificed a deer.
“Do you think bad luck will chase us?” someone asked Yanni, the leader.
“This isn’t Ancient Greek class.”
Something watched from the thicket, something of the woods, dark and ancient.
Avra Margariti is a Social Work undergrad from Greece. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, The Forge Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and other venues. You can find her on Twitter at @avramargariti.
She loves me… She loves me not.
I visited her at the cemetery, laid daisies at the base of her headstone. Last time I saw her she was across a meadow wearing a sundress. She was within range.
No need to mind the restraining order now.
She loved me not.
Karin Aurino is currently working on poetry, short fiction, and a first novel, which draws on an early career as a fashion model. She got her start in the talent department at ICM and enjoyed a career as a Longform and Series Television Producer. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, Agnes and True, and Bacopa Literary Review, and has received recognition from Glimmer Train. Aurino lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and their dog, George. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
When I was seven I saw forks rising out of the mattress underneath me as I arched above them, terrified.
It happened again last night.
Too old and infirm to move, I lie here impaled by phantom forks through my eyes, mouth, heart, and spine.
They all think I’m dead.
Simon Clarke was born in and raised and currently resides in East Anglia, United Kingdom. He has been writing fiction for at least five years and regularly submits to UK and international publications as well as reading short pieces and poetry at open mic events. He is currently working on his first novel and continues to write short stories and poetry.
You cut your heart into the shape of a rose and fill your chest with acorns. We eat the rose with some chianti on your birthday.
Afterward, you say this is the best birthday you’ve ever had and stuff your mouth with cake as squirrels braid your hair for winter.
Erik Fuhrer is the author of Not Human Enough for the Census, forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. His work has been published in Cleaver, BlazeVox, Softblow, and various other venues. See more at erik-fuhrer.com.
I stumbled into the kitchen. Last night’s party was wild.
Loose word tiles from the magnetic poetry kit were scattered all over the floor.
I glanced at the refrigerator door. One foot up were two tiles: FEED ME.
I called out. Someone must have stayed.
But only the cat answered.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
A bite on my hand woke me from my nap on the mouldy sofa. “We talked about this,” I said.
The spider slung one eye toward me. “Were you using it?”
It wasn’t my point, but he was right. Terry had a way of cutting through my BS.
Andrew Walo doesn’t really know what else to do. He might as well tell stories.
When the aliens first took our eyes, we said, “Well, there goes sunsets,” as we settled into the black.
When the aliens took our noses we said, “Well, so much for roses,” and prided ourselves on the rhyme.
But when the aliens took our tongues… well, then we started listening.
Crystel lives in Hawaii with her husband and daughter.