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 […]
Amber Riley’s husband had promised that he would come home to her no matter what, so after they reported him dead she began to keep the shotgun next to the front door. The day he returned, ambling, shambling, reeking of decay, the dog barked once in warning and went to hide under the back porch. […]
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 […]
Death’s daughter walks into my bar, her steps as smooth as a silver dollar gliding down a silk sheet. She’s dressed in a black suit and carries a coffin slung over her shoulder. The coffin’s an ugly, misshapen affair and covered in cankers of rust. The letters engraved on the lid are reduced to tell-tale […]
They live in crowded old apartment buildings, leaning up against the walls at night to listen to the sounds the pipes make, the transit of air and water from here to there. Sometimes they will sing strange songs, harmonizing with the pipes and the sirens and the city sounds from beyond their apartment walls. They […]
I found the painting in the basement in a Japanese tansu. Noriko had moved in a lot of antique furniture when we got married, primarily from the late Edo period, and I had lost track of most of it. The painting itself was buried underneath a stack of clothing and wrapped in old brown paper. […]
“I’d like my own reality show,” she said, and her gossamer wings fluttered, catching the light like fish scales in still water. It was the faerie equivalent of batting eyelashes. Grissom sighed and shoved a pile of papers from the center of his desk to the corner. “I’d like to not have cancer,” he said. […]
“One final question, Cassandra. Why do you deserve to be sacrificed to the great Yog-Sothoth?” The candle on the table flickered as she studied the hooded man’s dark eyes and considered her answer. She hated when the elder gods sent a proxy. How hard was it to show up for themselves? It made her feel […]
I meet Sir Magvelyn at dusk in a north London park to exchange gifts. The damp, frosty air makes my seven-hundred-year-old bones ache, but I hide my discomfort, and reach up to brush grey strands of hair from his wrinkled brow. He greets me with a tender kiss, then we sit on a metal bench […]
Keith thought he was looking for a new guitar. The brass numbers, 2281, nailed above the door of Vic’s E-Z Pawn told him to go in. He trusted the numbers. If you added 2+2+8+1 you got 13, which was lucky, because that’s how old he was when he started.
Keith pushed open the door.