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.
“Psst. Hey. Come over here.”
“No. I have nothing to say to you.”
“Your father made me a promise and he didn’t follow through.”
“So? He died last night.”
“He sold his soul first.”
“That has nothing to do with me.”
“He used you as collateral. I’m here to collect.”
A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing program, Soma Datta is reinvigorating her poetry and flash fiction muscles after over two decades of writing stories for businesses and brands. She intends to tell her story as a first generation Indian woman growing up between Western and Eastern cultures.
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.
When I first laid my eyes on her, I could not look away. Months later, I feel the same.
Charming and delicate, she is absolutely perfect. The only thing I would change about her is the way she shuts her blinds before she sleeps.
One day we will be together.
Samantha Baltz is employed in the medical field and currently taking up writing as a hobby. She loves meeting new people and hearing their stories and sharing her own.
The trees around here grow too fast. They take things from the ground and trap them in bark and heartwood. Once I found my bike sticking out of a trunk twenty feet in the air.
When Amy disappeared, we searched the woods, but I was too afraid to look up.
Aeryn Rudel is a writer from Seattle, Washington. He is the author of the Acts of War novels by Privateer Press, and his short fiction has appeared in The Arcanist, Factor Four Magazine, and Pseudopod, among others. Learn more about Aeryn’s work at rejectomancy.com.
The basement was dank and stark, still, a broken window high on the wall, shards on the cement floor, spider webs as thick as fog, touching me.
I reached for the light string, where I knew it should be, and the cold hand was around my wrist, pulling me down.
Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate editor for Lindenwood Review. He published eight novels and two collections of short stories, wrote Kickboxer, and wrote for Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He has won awards, judged stuff, and spoken often. He taught at Appalachian State University for 12.5 years.
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.
Every night the windows to her bedroom would be frosted over. She sat alone in her bed waiting for the finger-traced messages to appear.
No matter how hot it got during that Los Angeles summer, she refused to open a single window at night and risk meeting their chilly author.
Danielle grew up with a passion for all things literary. She first put pen to paper writing articles for a newspaper she designed and created during elementary school. Danielle’s creative channels evolved into writing poetry, short stories, essays, and children’s books. When not writing her own material, Danielle loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on especially mysteries, suspense, and historical fiction. Some of Danielle’s other talents include finding new and creative ways to use sarcasm, spilling/dropping things, being supremely weird without even trying, knitting, and photography.
Hezekiah was “soul” caretaker at the Mount Airy Cemetery. He liked to call himself “the keeper of the bones.”
While he prided himself in the lush, green grass and carefully groomed rows, it was the unmarked grave in Row 38 that had given him the greatest amount of personal satisfaction.
Susan Gale Wickes enjoys writing and daydreaming about where it might lead.