We had an amazing time recording an episode of Life After Midnight recently, where we discussed our upcoming anthology, ‘One Night in Salem’ with Kristin and Allison! We talked about the gothic literary connections to Salem, and about historical connections within the anthology. Listen at the link below, be sure to subscribe, especially if you’re a history buff!
A Cry for Help
by Rivka Jacobs
They turned left from Peachtree Street, into the parking lot beside the Brookhaven apartment building. Kayla, sitting like an unstrung marionette slumped against the back seat, caught her mother’s eyes as she glanced in the rear-view mirror. “Young lady, put your knees together,” the woman demanded of her daughter as they pulled into their reserved slot.
Six-year-old Kayla didn’t move. She watched as her mother checked her makeup and hair, then switched off the ignition. “I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with you,” her mother said as she exited with a graceful swing of her legs, stood, tugged her tight red skirt back into position. “The doctors and counselors couldn’t find anything wrong with you. They don’t have to live with you, sitting there with your mouth hanging open like a dumb animal, your mind the hell knows where…” She paused, then said loudly, “What are you waiting for? Take the damn seat belt off and don’t forget your book bag.” She waited another moment, then shouted, “Kayla Marie Boggs, get your butt out of that car!” Continue reading
By Claire Davon
The candles flickered, once, twice and then burst to life, surging up in a synchronized flare of yellow and sulfur. They cast their shadows across the altar in forms that to the untrained eye appeared random.
They were not.
The flame sought the stale air, using it to gutter higher. Although it had no eyes, it could see; no ears but it could hear. No mouth but it knew the taste of flesh.
A human was coming from the heavy slap of feet, one after the other; after so long another being had found this place of worship. It had been that human once, come to make offerings to the terrible, magnificent altar of skulls and smoke and power. It had dared to invade this sanctuary and had paid this price. Then it had waited for the next one to come. It had not expected the decades that followed.
There was a faint squeak, a terrified high pitched noise. The human did not come alone. A paltry offering, to bring only a rat, but it would serve. Continue reading
Don’t Fear The Reaper
“I need you to kill him for me.”
The words were spoken in the right order, the request not unreasonable. After all, Brian Turner’s father had been a son of a bitch long before the Vietnam War but an even bigger one since.
But Brian also knew that rules were rules.
“You know I can’t,” Luke replied.
Before he could continue, Brian snatched the words out of his mouth.
“Rules are rules.” Continue reading
Defender of the Girth
By John Taloni
Jerome sat in the examining room, waiting for the doctor to return. The chill metal of the examination table bit into his thighs. The too-small gown, open wide in back, provided little warmth. As the minutes ticked by Jerome tried the chairs in the room. They were all too small and the sides pushed into his legs.
After a half hour, the doctor finally came back. He gave Jerome a quick look, then stared at his clipboard. “Well, it’s arthritis,” he said, “Bone on bone.”
“I see,” said Jerome, “I’d pretty much guessed. So what are my options?”
The doctor barely looked up from his clipboard. “Lose some weight,” he replied.
“Um.” Jerome tilted his head, “Of course I’ve tried many diets. It’s not really as easy as that.” Continue reading
When He Left Himself
By Jillian Bost
Alfred curled up underneath his blankets. The evening shouting had begun. His father had staggered home early from the White Hart Inn, and his mother had hurried Alfred upstairs. He fancied he still felt the warmth of her grazed kiss against his forehead.
But the ghost of his mother’s kiss, and the warmth of the blankets, didn’t keep out his father’s shouts, and the smash of glass, and his mother’s silence.
Alfred squeezed his eyes shut, willing the blackness to grow darker still until he could become nothing, and float away from his body, away from his trembling limbs and the chilled attic.
He murmured the words again and again: “Far away, far away, far away.”
Alfred felt himself floating and gave a quick whisper of delight as he gazed down at his prone body. He spotted an owl perched on the windowsill. He longed to sit beside it and stare out into the night.
He moved through the window, seeking the moon.
The round comforting glow became obscured by a figure, with no face but a black void. It beckoned to him.
He flailed about, but couldn’t get back to his body.
The dark figure was pulling him down to the ground. Alfred could sense a grim joy from the thing.
He couldn’t speak. Couldn’t move.
A warm spot on his forehead grew and intensified, and Alfred jolted back to his bed, feeling as if he’d fallen from the sky. He stared wild-eyed at the chestnut-haired woman looming over him as she stroked his forehead.
“Back to sleep, my darling.”
He smiled and nodded, and closed his eyes again, scarcely hearing his mother’s soft footfalls as she left the room.
He was just about to drift off to sleep, when he felt a tugging on his foot.