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Editorial: The Darkness Inside Wendy Nikel

There’s something about these days of autumn in the northern hemisphere, with their chilling breezes and lengthening shadows, that makes one’s mind linger on the strange, the eerie, and the macabre. As our bodies seek our warm, winter shelters and our mugs of pumpkin-spiced lattes, our minds wander to what might be out there, lurking just beyond our view.

But sometimes, what’s even more frightening and peculiar is the darkness that lurks in the more familiar things. The things we’ve grown accustomed to. The things that don’t initially seem frightening… until we take a hard look inside.

Our flash fiction stories this month explore that darkness that lurks inside things that initially seem harmless: A girl. A cottage. An unmarked bottle in the fridge. They challenge us to grapple with our initial perceptions and the question of what’s right and what’s wrong. They dare us to look inside ourselves and face what we might find there.

Struggle along with a young woman of two minds in Sarah Pauling’s “Litany in the Heart of Exorcism” (Oct 1). Creep up on tiptoe to peer in the glowing cottage windows of “Like a Sunday House” by Linda Niehoff (Oct 8). Join the argument posed by Aimee Picchi’s “AITA for Using My Side Hustle to Help My Boyfriend Escape the Clutches of Death?” (Oct 15). And delve into the darkness of grief and sorrow with “Like Feather, Like Bone” by Kristi DeMeester (Oct 22).

These four short-short stories, ranging in tone from the horrific to the humorous, are sure to pull you in and refuse to let go.


  • Flash Fiction Online is funded entirely through the generosity and support of our readers. Check out our special Patreon benefits HERE.
  • We’re still seeking stories of 500-1000 words for our special “ONE HUNDRED”-themed issue! Read the guidelines HERE.


Here at FFO, we’ve been putting together an amazing retrospective celebration and subscription drive leading up to our 100th issue, which will allow us to continue publishing dynamic flash fiction in 2022 and beyond.

To help us meet our funding goals, on September 24, we’ll be launching our 2022 Super Subscription. For the one-time cost of $100, 2022 Super Subscribers will receive perks both during our 100-day countdown…

  • Over two dozen interviews with previous FFO authors, sent directly to your email
  • Access to our superfan channels in our Discord server, where we’ll be hosting kaffeeklatsches with past authors
  • Coupon for a copy of any one of our annual anthologies
  • Your choice of a copy of an ebook donated by one of our authors (selections include ebooks from Marie Brennan, Floris M. Kleijne, Frances Pauli, and others!)
  • A chance to win a $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card
  • An opportunity to vote in the preliminary round of the very first-ever FFO Reader Awards

…and throughout the 2022 calendar year…

  • 12 monthly issues of Flash Fiction Online (Jan 2022 – Dec 2022)
  • Newsletters with exclusive interviews, essays, and bonus content from our newly published 2022 authors
  • Access to our monthly Discord chats, Editorial Roundtables, and other special events until Dec 2022


© Wendy Nikel

Meet the Author

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. She’s had many of her own stories published in places such as LAnalog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Cricket, and Nature. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press.

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