This Saturday is Halloween, and what better way to count down the days than to read some free short fiction of a spooky nature? I’ve rounded up some excellent specimens for your perusal below. Enjoy!
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers
© 2015 by Alyssa Wong | Art © 2015 by Plunderpuss
A Kiss with Teeth
PUBLISHED ON TOR.COM | October 29, 2014
© 2014 by Max Gladstone | Art © 2014 by Dave Palumbo
Vlad has grown distant from his wife. His son has trouble at school. And he has to keep his sharp teeth hidden.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Marco Palmieri.
Vlad no longer shows his wife his sharp teeth. He keeps them secret in his gums, waiting for the quickened skip of hunger, for the blood-rush he almost never feels these days.
The teeth he wears instead are blunt as shovels. He coffee-stains them carefully, soaks them every night in a mug with ‘World’s Best Dad’ written on the side. After eight years of staining, Vlad’s blunt teeth are the burnished yellow of the keys of an old unplayed piano. If not for the stain they would be whiter than porcelain. Much, much whiter than bone. Read more here.
It Was Never the Fire
He was the kid who looked at the sun too long. He hunted for lighters like sharks hunted for blood. Christ intrigued him for all the wrong reasons.
He only ate smoke.
Cigarette smoke. Wood smoke. Car exhaust. Incense. Liquid nitrogen on rare occasions.
Blood and Stardust
by Laird Barron
PUBLISHED ON Far Fetched Fables, Episode 73 | September 8, 2015
© 2015 by Laird Barron | Art © 2015 by Jason Rainville | Narrated by Nikolle Doolin
Three years later, as I hike my skirt to urinate in a dark alley in the slums of Kolkata, my arms are grasped from behind. The Doctor whispers, “So, we meet again.” His face was ruined in the explosion — its severe, patrician mold is melted and crudely reformed as if an idiot child had gotten his or her stubby fingers on God’s modeling clay. I can’t see it from my disadvantaged perspective, but that’s not necessary. I’ve been following him and Pelt around since our original falling out. Listen to the full story here.
by L R Hieber
PUBLISHED IN Fantasy Scroll Magazine Issue #9 | October 2015
© 2015 by L R Hieber
Something heavy hung in the air the summer the ghost and I finally met. Lovecraft was right: New England is inherently odd. But, in the end, that’s a good thing…..
And last, but certainly not least, here’s a perfectly ghoulish tale to get you in the Christmas spirit!
One More for Christmas Dinner
PUBLISHED ON Postcards from the Hinterland, the author’s personal website
© 2009 by David Barnett | Art © unknown
Here comes Poe, tramping through the snow at the dying of the day, his passage along the slush-covered pavement kept on even keel by the ballast of the full-to-groaning bags-for-life that dangle from each woollen-clad hand.
Bags-for-life! The irony was not lost on Poe as he hefted each cotton sack to better distribute the weight. Bags-for-life! But he had never got on very well with the plastic carrier bags, hated the way they stretched and ripped, their handles cutting into his hands even through the knitted gloves he always wore, whether snow or sunshine, rain or wind.
Consider Poe. A man was never better named, some might say. Consider that tombstone brow, the sparse hair the colour of ashes, the sallow complexion, the nose that hung from his face like a death sentence delivered by a stone-faced judge. Consider the thin line of a mouth beneath that nose, straight and true like the final layer of bricks sealing a man into a cellar, say. Consider the eyes, grey and dry, very much like the afterlife might look. Read more here.