October 2016: Scary, Creepy, and Strange

Inside This Edition

It’s officially autumn, and what does that mean? The Halloween season is upon us. Around these parts, we love any excuse to celebrate creepy things and worship the (un)dead. That’s why, for our October edition, we’re offering up a slate of scary, eerie, mysterious, and maybe sometimes campy stories that are just as delicious and varied as a bag of Halloween candy.

In the terrifying Why I Don’t Let My Kids Trick-or-Treat, author S.A. Decomprosed writes such a detailed, captivating account of trick-or-treating gone awry that you’ll likely have nightmares for quite some time; first beginning with warm, familiar nostalgia for the Halloween season and slowly spiraling into grisly mayhem, this story is horror at its finest and reminiscent of a bygone era of scary movies.

Meanwhile, A Brief History of a Death by Eli Cohen is a thorough examination of a certain species of human—one we’ve come to know as the werewolf. All questions you may have about this particular breed of beast will likely be answered as the tale winds toward its chilling conclusion. But it’s not just the werewolves that give this story life, it’s also Cohen’s fantastic writing, demonstrated by numerous striking sentences and stunning paragraphs that defy criticism.

Doom, gloom and despair are on display in P.F. Simms’s Earworm, which goes light on the horror and heavy on the unsettling atmosphere and insidious feeling of dread. Readers can expect beautifully-wrought descriptions in addition to the creepy-crawly feeling of paranoia as they take in this expertly-crafted tale of infidelity and love gone wrong.

We have a trio of stories that tackle ghosts, each with a fresh take and interesting perspective. Zofia’s I Was Ghosted (By a Ghost) is a satirical look at online dating and the superficiality of modern romance, its ghostly leading man almost an afterthought, forced to take backseat to lead character (and non-ghost) Deb’s narcissism and neurosis. Dead Wrong by Hayley Nicole is told from the point of view of a character just beginning to recognize his newfound ghostliness, and desperately trying to communicate with those still alive. She Never Left by Andy Covert is a gripping flash fiction piece that takes a look at ghostly presences and motives as well as the toll their existence takes on the living-and-breathing, the writing crisp and poignant; regardless of whether or not you believe in ghosts, you’ll probably come away feeling more sympathetic toward them after reading this story, which gets into the mind of its non-living narrator so well that it’s easy to believe any actual ghosts would give this piece a stamp of authenticity. You’ll be left, much like many of the spirits in these stories, wanting more.

Bookending this edition are two flash fiction pieces by Zofia, each taking an evocative look at a different but distinct aspect of the Halloween season. Jack-o-Lantern begins the issue with a touch of darkness, and a brooding approach that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading; Trick or Treat, meanwhile, ends things on a sweeter, upbeat high note.

Also included in this edition are Harbor Road, a delightful mix of both classic horror and Hitchcockian suspense, by Sean Sanford; Fuck Cinderella, for the fairy tale iconoclast in all of us, by Fey Wright; He Made Me Into a Komodo Dragon, which could function as a fascinating new take on the Frankenstein story, by Carl Conrad; and Rorroh, a nifty horror tale told in reverse, by Nicola Hayden.

Far be it for us to tell you how to read these stories, but we recommend curling up in a creepy old house during a dark and stormy night, in a room lit only by flickering candlelight—you’ll get the full effect that way.

Happy Halloween!