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My Own Personal Niggling, Fleshy, Spreading Growth of a Relentless Subhuman Monster

I just knew. Everything was the same, but that little bit different. Imperceptible to everyone else. I could only tell because of the dread weighing down my stomach, pressing on my bladder and squeezing my colon, about to manifest in copious volatile, nauseated ways.

My head felt fuzzy: a veil had been silently set in place overnight. Like a hangover after a life of irresponsibility.

It’s not like in the movies. Life doesn’t flash before your eyes in a showreel. I’d been having flashbacks to fractured memories for weeks.

Since the blister appeared in my armpit.

He appeared in the bathroom just after a 3am moment of moonlit relief. Angry and vindictive, he wouldn’t leave, clinging to my flesh like a screaming security tag on my life.

Following me everywhere. Watching me. Loitering.

Until now he strikes. A twinge reaching from my sweaty armpit to my soul.

I just know.



Katie Isham is a writer, teacher, drummer and mild adventurer. She believes kindness is a superpower. She writes a travel blog that is currently somewhat static. Her words can also be found in Dear Damsels, The Shrew Satire and Funny Pearls. You will find her in the South of England hanging out with dogs or eating cake. Sometimes simultaneously.

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The Frankensteins Host Their First At Home

Mingle, he oughta mingle. Across the room his new bride waggled her fingers. He waved back, then caught the look on his friend’s faces.

“What? She’s only outta the box a week ago,” he said, lurching across the newly laid carpet. 

“Maybe, but you’re only half the man you used to be,” Drac sneered. “Look at this place, you’re going soft. You’ve got to remind her you’re the monster in your marriage,” Swampy agreed.

Frankie took in the new furnishings.

“Yeah. Sure. Okay. Lemme get you a drink.”

He headed for the new cocktail cabinet. She was right, you wouldn’t hardly know it used to be two slabs. Red velvet went a long way. 

His wife was waving and he held up the cocktail shaker. She smiled and his heart leaked a little love. 

He shook a jar. Frowned. They were out of eyeballs again. Olive would have to do.



E. E. Rhodes is an archaeologist who accidentally lives in part of a castle in Worcestershire in England along with her partner, many books, and probably a lot of mice in the wainscotting. She writes flash, cnf, and prose poetry to try and make it all make sense.

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Rebirth

Once the creatures revealed themselves, my roommates left, so it was just me and them with nothing to do and nowhere to go.

Days gone. I’d wake, I’d eat, I’d scroll, I’d run, I’d drink, I’d sleep.

I’d wake, I’d drink, I’d scroll, I’d sleep.

I’d wake, I’d sleep.

The rest blurred.

Changes. First my abs hardened, then they felt smooth, and even a bit oily, like an M&M shell.

Over seconds, maybe weeks, the coating spread. With admiration I stared, a final smile. Now a smile is a passing thought. Mother calls, and I let myself absorb the vibrations. It feels good.

My bed was an itchy hellscape. Now it’s as it was before, shared among us. I’ll never be alone again. Oh, how precious that is when everyone else is locked away, starved, and without pleasantry!

Presently we wait to feed.



Robyn Smith is a writer and editor based in Queens, New York. She currently works as a marketing & production assistant at the Brooklyn independent publisher Turtle Point Press. Robyn graduated from James Madison University in Virginia, where she studied journalism, creative writing and environmental humanities. You can find Robyn’s written work in BUST Magazine, Business of Home, The Washington Post, Animal Literary Magazine, and more.

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Every Awful Sound

It sounds like a nightmare. Screeching, scratching, crushing, cracking across the carcass-laden ground.  

Mama told you not to wander in dark places. Like this dark cave in the middle of nowhere.

You didn’t listen.

You gasp at the first squishy sound like a creature squealing in pain. Then, nails on chalkboard, slowly, deliberately. Then a crunchy growl like from a hungry animal. Far away then very close.

You slash out with your flashlight, but there’s nothing there but smoke.

It laughs at you. It’s a guttural kind of laugh, like the belching engine of a semi truck.

The volume around you intensifies. Rattling, retching, crying, cursing.

You cover your ears, but it’s so loud. It’s everywhere. Every awful sound. A cacophony so violent, it makes your knees buckle and your ears bleed.

ARE YOU LISTENING NOW?



Elad Haber writes stories that exist in the ephemeral space between the click of the light and the start of the dream. His work has been featured most recently at Space and Time Magazine, Hybrid Fiction, and StarShipSofa. You can follow his ramblings on music and writing and the world on twitter @MusicInMyCar or on his website at eladhaber.wordpress.com.

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Liberation of Spirit

Hello there, little white blob with beady black eyes spinning toward me out of the cosmic darkness behind my eyelids as I drift off to sleep. 

But what’s this – suddenly you’re turning into a compostable paper plate? 

Goodbye!



Eli S. Evans would rather fight than snitch, but he’d rather run than fight. Recent or less recent or forthcoming work can be found in: n+1, X-R-A-Y Lit, e*ratio, Berfrois, Drunk Monkeys, Eclectica, On the Seawall, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. Recent chapbook with Analog Submissions Press. 

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The Beast Lives

In the deepest dark of night, I heard a sound. I thought it was the driving rain on the roof. I squinted at the neon light of my alarm clock. It was 3:30am. I heard the sound again. It sounded like shuffling. Raindrops don’t shuffle. I sat in the dark. Inhaling and exhaling slowly. Listening. Nothing. But I was unnerved. 

I got out of bed and turned on the lights. I looked in closets and in bathrooms. This is ridiculous. Another shuffle sound. Right behind me now. I spun around. Nothing. I laughed. It was stifled by a black, hairy, clawed hand closing around my throat. 



James Rayvin haunts the alleyways of Ybor City. He ponders justice, the macabre and the words that are just beyond reach.  

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At The Door

Something was banging on the door again. The Reverend Philip Moorstock paused in the aisle to listen. 

Thud. 

Thud.

Thud.

Outside, the rain fell in sheets. Wind howled between the rafters. The chapel ceiling was a sea of shadow.

Thud.

His predecessor had taken Philip aside, whispering hurried instructions:

Ignore the knocking. Ignore the door. Never open it after sundown. 

Thud.

Thud. 

The Reverend gritted his teeth. 

Because when you open the door–

Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.

The door trembled violently. With a cry the Reverend threw it open, and screamed into the rain:

“For the sake of–”

The graveyard stretched out ahead of him, empty but for the fog and the dead. 

…He’d opened the door. 

You never opened the door. 

Because when you opened the door–

Thud…

Thud…

Thud…

High up in the ceiling, the knocking began. Slowly, slowly, the reverend lifted his head. 

You let it inside.



Georgia Cook is an illustrator and writer from London, specialising in ghost stories and fairy tales. She has been shortlisted for the Staunch Book Prize and Reflex Fiction Award, and published as both an author and reviewer. She can be found on twitter at @georgiacooked

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why I leave the lights on some nights and avoid stepping on insects or blowing experimentally on conch shells at the beach

without monsters of all 

description where would fear

triumph adversity

occur for the layperson

not to say that 

monstrosity is a religious

experience heavens no, 

but to say initiation is

general admission

with teeth, unhinged jaws

a slow pan over

colossal flanks wreathed

aflame, claws tapping

a grim two-step across

a broken spine metropolis

tentacles everywhere

my God-

zilla, mechanized or otherwise

atomic ages dropped

the needle and left

so much horror



Will Davis enjoys the strings of words and scribbles that resemble poetry. Most recently published in Speculate This magazine. Can be found writing under @ByThisWillAlone

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My Kitten Won’t Let Me Sleep

For Kylo

With a pillow for a shield and a chain linked duvet, I await him. 

He noses open the bedroom door and enters, casting his ghost onto wall. Arched back, taloned feet, tail like a barbed baseball bat. And those teeth – an iron maiden for a mouth. My mangled skin prickles at the memory of fang in flesh.   

I lay as still as possible, willing my spine to fade into the mattress. But the itch tickling my crotch betrays me. Slowly, I reach beneath the covers, careful not to disturb the surface, but it’s a futile task. I’m wading through water and trying not to cause a ripple. 

His shadowed ears prick up like arrowheads, alerted to the rustling polyester. He mounts the bed, depressing the sheets with his landing, and prowls closer. I clutch my pillow. 

His eyes burn in the darkness; a basilisk yellow. 

Petrifying. 



Tyler Turner (she/her) is a writer and student based near Sheffield, UK. When she isn’t writing or studying, she’s hiding from her demon kitten, Kylo. Find her on Twitter @cartilagexfluid

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The Tuck In

8pm.

She was tidying her son’s room as he brushed his teeth.

She put his toys back in their chest, while he raced in and jumped under the covers.

“All done?” She asked smiling.

“Yeah!” He said, crawling into bed.

She walked over and tucked the covers into every corner.

“It’s too tight Mom!”

“It’ll help you get to sleep quicker. I’m going to do the same for your sisters, and the two of them wiggle like crazy,” she smiled and kissed his forehead.

“Goodnight mom- Wait…closet monsters, will you check?”

“Of course, honey”

She opened the closet, theatrically peering in and looking around.

“Nothing here,” she called back to him.

He smiled, trusting his mother and closed his eyes.

Before she closed the closet door, she whispered into it, her voice a shaking tremor.

“He can’t move. Take him and leave the other two like we agreed. Please.”



Pete Smith graduated Lancaster university with a degree in English, creative writing and practise, and immediately put it to zero use. He writes short horror stories, and has worked freelance for sites such as cracked.com and https://thenewsdump.co.uk/. He once got paid by the BBC for a joke about putting your finger up your bum.