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.
Gus believes the strangest tales, including one that terrifies him—indeed, it’s his motive for never reading—about a pale, shroud-like thing that creeps behind you as you’re distracted, nose in a book, and which, being a courteous psychopath, waits for you to finish your sentence before it kills you.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and 50-Word Stories. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
She waits, in ambush…
Her DNA matches an amber-enveloped relative, one who drew blood from the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
She is of the Clan Culicidae, razor proboscis, a highlander’s blade.
Sweating, hiding undercover, I fall asleep, exposing an ankle. She launches, a creature from a Bram Stoker novel.
Bloodlust… Ectoparasite prevails.
Paul Hock is an author, illustrator, and storyteller. See more of his writing at paulhock.com.
When the elevator got stuck, her heart began to pound. Her feeble hand stretched out for the call button. She couldn’t reach.
“Anyone in there?”
She gasped for the air to respond.
“Guess not. We’ll have maintenance take a look at it on Monday.”
They taped up a paper sign.
Sarah Hausman finds inspiration in her apartment building’s shoddy maintenance. She posts updates on her writing at facebook.com/sarahhausmanwrites, but probably only her mom checks it.
In college I had a roommate who kept “borrowing” my clothes.
I made a salt perimeter around my closet door as a passive-aggressive joke, but when it worked too well I tested it out on the refrigerator.
I reimbursed her for the week of take-out and we called it even.
Sarah Krenicki is 90% sure all her non-feline roommates have been human.
Children shrieked as goblins, witches, and werewolves jumped out at them. Children screamed when they saw corpses and body parts oozing blood and gore.
It was the best haunted house ever, and the children remembered it for the rest of their lives—which, for some, was only a few seconds.
Harry Demarest Likes to write Halloween Stories. This is the first one to be published.
As I rounded the corner, he shot out. Nearly the size of a small dog, running like he was headed for the border.
Terrified, I screamed and ran the other way.
Armed and determined, I returned, roach spray in one hand, shoe in the other.
He never stood a chance.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
“Isn’t Darryl joining us?” I ask my host.
Otis grunts, gnaws on a BBQ rib. Should ribs be that big?
They’d argued… I heard thuds. This is hillbilly country!
A bruised Darryl appears. “Dang, Otis! Don’t freak our dinner guest.”
Then he stage whispers, “You know fear spoils the meat!”
Mary Sheehan hails from southern Ireland and is vegetarian…
“He fell. Hard. We’ve called 911.”
I was terrified. His eyes were closed.
“Severe concussion,” they say. Serious head trauma.
“CT is clear. No bleed. He needs rest.”
No contact sports. No TV. No colouring.
“Physical and cognitive rest.”
How do I possibly keep a six-year-old boy still?
Michelle is a freelance writer; who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is a regular contributor to the Briar Crier Magazine, and has had her work featured recently in the Voice of the Farmer newspaper, and the Focus 50+ newspaper. In April 2016, she was shortlisted as a finalist at the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starters Contest.
I can’t forget the first year I got to go tree-chopping. Displacing snow drifts heaped like cairn-stones, Dad and I trudged over hills and through hollows until he whispered: “Stay here. If you see red snow, run.”
It’s a shame there’s bloodthirsty trees in this world. And one less Dad.
Leigh Ward-Smith is a writer who subsists almost entirely on sweet tea, literature, and the weirdities of life*. She also loves dogs and other critters. When there’s time, she blogs at Leigh’s Wordsmithery.