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Fantasy

Now Open

I was walking through the mall when I saw a kiosk that claimed to be selling time. And I don’t mean in a “buy some labor-saving device” kind of way. I mean, little white boxes each labeled 10 minutes. I stopped and picked one up. The act of holding the box made me feel strange. […]

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Becoming Normal

I haven’t showered in ten days. My scalp fosters a family of bacteria, but the table of party food — chunks of chicken, weenies slathered in mystery sauce, and eyeballs — has been sitting there for two days. Its smell leaves mine in the dust. “Nance, we’ve practiced this.” Mom yanks on her matted clumps […]

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Childhood Fears

Charles took a moment to look at the houses on his street while the last bit of sun vanished. Broken windows and kicked-in front doors stared back across overgrown brown lawns. Rusting cars slumped on driveways. Weeds pushed through cracks in the sidewalks. He ran through his checklist: backdoor secured, garage door bolted, storm windows […]

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Despair

O’er the midnight moorlands crying, Thro’ the cypress forests sighing, In the night-wind madly flying,      Hellish forms with streaming hair; In the barren branches creaking, By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking, Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking;      Damn’d daemons of despair. Once, I think I half remember, Ere the grey skies of November Quench’d my […]

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Notes on Writing Weird Fiction

My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature. I choose weird stories […]

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The Dragonslayer

Krin looked sheepishly at the dead bear. “Well,” Mika suggested, “I suppose we could always just, you know, say it was a dragon.” She was sitting on a rock a little way off, under the shade of a forest oak, checking the fletchings of her arrows. She’d put three shafts into the poor bear before […]

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Banshee Lullaby

The night my daughter sings my death, I am sitting in the living room floor, sifting through old pictures. I’m on my second glass of wine, white wine because the carpet is new. In this one photo, Emily is lying in her crib, staring up at a mobile that Aunt Linda made for her. Tiny, […]

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Ring Worlds

Sir Charles Wilton had just poured himself a glass of brandy and flipped open a book he’d been looking forward to reading, when a sudden whooshing sound made him look up in time to witness a demon materializing in the library. For a moment Sir Charles considered running out of the house and then down […]

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Meditation for the Dead

When you start this meditation, keep in mind that you’re not doing it to feel alive, or relax, or avoid decomposing. You should simply experience whatever is going on in your corpse. From moment to moment. Gently focus your full attention on your breathing. Maybe you can find a hint of a breeze going past […]

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Sun Belt

The Sun sucked in her gravity, drawing the planets taut about her waist. It’d taken far too long to bead them all onto her 1-dimensional strings. She wasn’t giving up now. Planets shuddered from the strain, beaded so tightly that they really didn’t fit, bulging on her solar flares. “I think they’re just too small […]

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