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Horror

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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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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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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A Purple Heart

“Patrick McMahon died two months ago, defending his country,” Father Cunningham intones. Most of us in the church look over at Patrick, where he sways in the first pew, to see if he reacts. He doesn’t. Patrick has not spoken a word since the two army nurses led him, with a tight grip on each […]

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The Deep

The night the sea came in at the windows with a roar like a thousand drumbeats, I was abed and dreaming of my dead husband. Riauk had been gone nigh on two years, pitched over the side of our fishing boat, where he’d disappeared (I was told) with scarcely a splash. Punishment, the villagers said. […]

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The Mirror With Six Faces

Ruben felt different the moment he awoke, but wasn’t sure until he looked in the mirror. There was the confirmation. The eyes looking back weren’t his, yet he recognized them as he would his own. They belonged to the entity. He was only twelve or thirteen the first time it crawled into his skin, but […]

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Vet

The nightmare drifted at the girl’s shoulder as a dark, sinuous coil of mist. As I crossed the room, its eyes followed me, as red and changeable as coals glowing in a grate, and the sharp sting of its malice raked over my skin. “He won’t hurt you,” said the girl. She sat cross-legged at […]

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Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange

I didn’t have the kind of father who would fake reindeer tracks. And Mom would never have left us alone in the house, not even for as long as it might take to do it.  So I knew no human made those marks. My sister Stacy wasn’t convinced it had been reindeer. Any animal could […]

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