Amanda M. Hayes
The sand along the shoreline was soft and cool, soothing to bare feet. It shaped itself around Marizah's as she walked across it, recording the vague imprint of toes, of heel, of arch and callous... only to have the memory erased by the next touch of water and crash of wave.
As it should be. Marizah had no real will to leave traces of this trip behind. It was not the first time she'd stolen out to the ocean that lay so close to her home, that lulled her to sleep every night with its roaring and rumbling music. And it would not, she was sure, be the last. But she didn't need her brothers to know of what she was going to try tonight--to tease her if she failed; to scoff and disbelieve if she met with success. They would dismiss it all as a dream, just as they'd dismissed her pipes and her tunes all her life.
That night Lydia awoke abruptly from the blackest of sound sleeps to the reassurance of Phil lying beside her. She experienced no gradual acceleration of color, from dead to dawn. In one instant--and for how long?--she had lain as a corpse; in the next she was awake, angry, and horny.
Odd that Phil was not snoring. He felt, in fact, quite rigid, and beads of sweat had burst from pores all over his body. And he was so hot, even with the motel's A/C at full blast to counter the summer Texas heat. The heat drew her to him. Her body against his, she felt his chest jerk once, a spasm to draw in air. Then he held his breath.
Dear Mr. Barnes & Mr. Noble,
I am afraid I have some very unfortunate news to impart to you sirs: someone has stolen the Horror genre sections from your stores. At least in the Northern California region. I have yet to investigate the matter beyond my geographical area. I thought it imperative to inform you, since it has been about a year now since I noticed this disappearance and I have not heard of any investigation in the news. One would think the theft of a whole genre from a such a famous fixture in the publishing industry would be newsworthy, but I suppose with Tsunamis, Wars, Famines, and Traffic reports, the loss of a genre did not get reported. Perhaps it has not even been noticed, since I am apparently the only Horror fan in the whole Northern California region if I'm the only one noticing this dastardly disappearance. I can only assume the regional managers felt they should best deal with the situation, since the genre has not been found and put back where it belongs, as I'm sure you sirs would quickly rectify if you knew of its kidnapping. I'm sorry to alarm you, I'm sure this comes as quit a shock, I hope you do not have high blood pressure and collapse dead with a heart attack upon opening this letter, but I thought I should let you know--aortas be damned.
Where have all the dark goddesses gone? Where are the daughters of Hekate and Lilith? Please, some one, anyone, tell me: why can't the Horror genre produce one woman writer that can ascend to reigning queen of Horror? I glance through my local bookstores, and you can almost smell the testosterone wafting with the smell of dusty paper. You can give me your excuses: the fan base is male; violence is a masculine trait; the horror genre can't support that many authors anyways. Whatever. I cannot be convinced that I am some aberration, the lone twisted chickadee that adores the genre as well as any penis could. Not buying it. After all, if horror fiends were solely male, how would our kind reproduce? So you can't tell me somewhere out there, in a land far far away perhaps, there can never be a Great Dark Poetess that can manifest like Stephen King or Clive Barker.
How do we justify our morbidity when faced with true horror? We, the revelers and writers of fake fears, and dreamt up demons. How do we justify our fanciful imaginings when faced with a truth that puts it all to shame?
I had half written a different sort of rant. Like the rest of the sleeping country, I was oblivious of what foul beast towards Bethlehem crept: Katrina.
Anyone of good conscious has been horrified by what has occurred. And though the tragedy started with a storm, and was compounded by a flood, it is the all too human elements that hit us hardest. The families unable to save the elderly, the abandonment of the bodies of loved ones, humans plucked from trees and rooftops. And then there are the crimes that in light of the tragedy can only be called abominations. Rape, murder, complete brutality. I dare not even begin, if you have read or watched --you know.
The upper deck of the skytram stank like a farmyard.
Landholder Castelaine shrieked and was forced back into the doorway of the passenger lock as a startled chicken erupted in the air in front of him. He swiped at the creature with both arms, sending it squawking away in a cloud of feathers.
Castelaine rounded on his footman.
“Ashe, what the hell are you trying to do to me? This isn’t executive class. Have you checked the boarding passes?”
“It’s all in the genes,” the minotaur said, relaxing on the heap of human bones, a ruminative expression on its face. “But you probably don’t understand that, do you? The concept of ‘genes’? DNA? Chromosomes? Any of it?”
“I understand you’re a monster. I don’t need to understand anything else.”
“That’s the point I’m trying to make – my genes make me a monster. And you humans made my genes – well, my grandparents’ genes, anyway. Listen, do you know any history, or are you just some yokel with more guts than brains?”
Charles A. Muir
Green-eyed and blind, the diaphanously clad girl turned from the fire as the Lord of Insidiousness entered. She nodded, smiling, as his fingers closed on a fold of silk.
Stunned, he drew back in the moonbeam that slanted perpetually through his window, clutching his bloody cheek.
“Beware the month of June,” she said, pointing to the calendar by the door, “for you, it is the month of death.” Then she was gone.
"What did you do today?" My grandson was quiet, but not morose as usual.
"I went to the park," he finally admitted. "I saw a Lightshow."
I dropped the plate in my hands. "Who?"
"I don't know."
"You saw someone die, and you don't know who?"
"I don't know. It just happened."
"You know that suicide is wrong."
Toiya Kristen Finley
Rue's eyes were grey, grey as the cigar smoke trailing in crooked halos around her father's head. She watched her father's after-dinner cigar burn, a deep red ember reflecting in her eyes. Somewhere within, flames burned in her too. Her father sat across the table, inhaling and sighing, meditating on the fiery ash and smoke mirrored in his daughter's eyes. She was almost eight now, the age of new beginnings, the age when something broke inside a child, and she grew into her own person. But Rue discovered what she was early. He knew what she knew.