Posts Tagged ‘horror’


They watch it on the monitors: grey against grey, shadow against shadow. And the more they watch, the more they cannot agree.

“Like a bird,” says the first man. “A bird with a plume made of smoke.”

“No, no,” mutters the second man. “Like a hooded man. A hunched, thin man, his legs like matchsticks and his face like darkness.”

“It has no shape,” the third man whispers. “It is a shifting thing, a cloak with no wearer.”

The door handle shakes and the monitors blink out.

The men can agree now on what it is.

It is here.

Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Jean L. Hays for providing the prompt photo!


A man lived in the half-built house, amidst bricks and plaster and dust. He wore a pair of hole-ridden boots and a coat of patched grey. His hair was wild and overgrown as the woods, a tangle of grey and brown. No living thing dared approach him save the rats, who ate from the palm of his long-nailed hand.

Once, three men decided to knock down the house and build anew upon the ground. It was valuable ground, worth the weight of the soil in silver, and a hundred buyers would have snapped up a house built upon it.

They came and found him standing on the doorsteps, his rats scurrying about him.

“You’re evicted,” they said. “This place doesn’t belong to you.”

He smiled a broken-tooth smile and whispered, “But I belong to it. The bricks are my bones, the stench my breath.”

They went away. The next day they would come back with police and lawyers.

They never came back. One slipped upon the stairs that evening and broke his neck. Another drowned in a puddle two inches deep.

The third went mad, shrieking about the rats inside his skull.

And the man remained in the half-built house.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Susan for running the challenge and C.E. Ayr for providing the prompt photo!


Do not trust the things under bridges, no matter what they promise you.

They dwell in the mud, in the shallow reeds, dragging themselves through the long grasses. Their necks are as the trunks of crooked trees, their eyes are serpent slits, their toes are long and grasping, and their faces are the pale white of cave creatures.

They are seldom seen. All most glimpse of them is the rustling of grass in a wind that isn’t there, the creaking of wooden boards, or the feeling of eyes watching them when they know they are alone.

The things under bridges only come to you when you are alone, when nobody else can hear their whispers. They tell you things that no human may know – the dark secrets of the night, older than the sun – and promise whole worlds if only you will take their hand.

Never take their hand.

Word Count: 149

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Yinglan for providing the prompt photo!


Rain pattered against the roof, echoing through labyrinthine halls. The candle in Jennifer’s hand drizzled slow cascades of wax as its flickering flame cast shadows upon the doors.

The Professor stood by her side, wearing a somber suit. His eyes were black and darting.

“This is the deepest part of the asylum,” he said. “This is where we keep madness.”

Behind one door Jennifer heard the scraping of an iron nail upon a glass violin. From another came a light, a mingling of all colours and shades. Roots crawled around the frame of another, blossoming with flowers made entirely of moonlight.

The last door was still and silent as an ancient oak.

“What manner of lunatics could be kept here?” She turned to the Professor, but he was gone.

“No,” his voice croaked. “Not lunatics. Madness.”

And in the shadows, she saw two black and darting shapes. They came at her in a flurry of feathers and wings: two ravens, beaks gleaming, tongues screeching.

“You can’t let it out,” the ravens cried. “You can’t.”

But Jennifer batted the ravens away and reached for the handle of the last door. She flung it open…

Her laugh echoed forever.

Word Count: 197

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to J Hardy Carroll.


Sometimes, Bob thought that he might be able to feel at home if it wasn’t for the insects. They crawled over every surface, hid in every corner. In the middle of the night he could hear them scurrying through the walls, across the floor, across the ceiling. Tiny legs in the dark.

He’d tried pesticides. Tried poisons. Tried exterminators. The insects would be quiet for a day or two. Moments of silence, precious as diamonds, shining, pure.

And then he’d hear the first movement, deep in the dead of midnight. He’d tell himself it was a dream. They were gone.

The next day they’d be back, crawling over every surface. He stomped and punched and swatted, but never hit anything. Like clutching at mist.

His sister came over for tea and said nothing, even when a bug landed on her shoulder, feelers tickling her neck.

“What do I do?” he asked.

“About what?”

“About the insects.” He pointed, finger shaking.

She looked at him and shook her head. “There are no insects, Bob.”

No insects. No noises. No crawling in the night. All in his head.

He looked down at his cup and saw an insect staring back.

He laughed.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.


Three days now the tomb had stood unopened. The workers would not go near it. Tales danced around the campfires, whispers of a curse far greater than that of Tut.

Insects buzzed incessantly, black carapaces glinting and silk-thin wings shimmering.

And in the night, shadow-things moved, half-glimpsed shades with swords of night and eyes like burning torches. Plague and death filled the camp.

One man swore he saw a procession of white-robed priests upon the hill, knives flashing, their hands wet and red, chanting praise to Sekhmet, the goddess who hunts in the night.

Others swore they heard the roar of a lion carried on the chill wind. They saw marks in the sand, the prints of a hunting beast.

On the fourth day, the tomb was opened. There was no death, no devastation, only gold, stone, and the sarcophagus, vast and black.

The expedition catalogued it, boxed it, paid their workers a pitiful few coins, and bore their hoard, their plunder, to their ship, a great steel ark tossed upon Mediterranean waves. They set off for London, over dark waters, the sky black with clouds.

And in the hold, amidst the crates, a low laugh echoed.

She was free.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Kathryn Forbes for the photo prompt!


The page is always blank to start with: stark white like a snowfield, ink dripping from the pen like ash. Then you start to write and it just flows, flows like a river, winding, twisting, so fast you can barely lift your pen from the page and all the words and sentences jumble together.

How long does it take you to realize that they aren’t your words – and how long until you realize that you can’t stop?

This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Kira auf der Hiede for the prompt photo!