April 2018: Paranormal & Supernatural

Inside This Edition

Creaking floorboards. Flickering lights. A shadow out of the corner of your eye. Is it your imagination, or something more sinister? Our April issue decides to explore the darker possibilities, vis-à-vis a collection of stories centered around the paranormal and supernatural. Phenomena and creatures that defy scientific explanation, these are the make-believe monsters that haunt your dreams.

The first piece of our April issue, Andrew Feldman’s Un Posto Per I Mostri, follows a man who—in a bid to save his crumbling relationship—takes a vacation to Italy with his girlfriend… only for the romantic getaway to quickly go off the rails. Both intensely humorous and sweetly poignant, Un Posto Per I Mostri is always entertaining, packed with a series of twists you won’t see coming and crammed with quite enough goodies to earn its place in a supernatural/paranormal-themed edition.

The Incident on Highway 2 by Aaron Elias, meanwhile, focuses on one man’s dissatisfaction with himself, and dual feelings of envy and suspicion toward the well-liked, enigmatic newcomer in his town. The brilliantly-written piece—with a tone and storyline reminiscent of The Twilight Zone‘s best—offers a nuanced meditation on human nature that elevates it to a league of its own.

Evan Purcell’s Give Me Your Soul and I’ll Give You a Pepperoni follows one young girl who seeks to stop the soul-purchasing exploits of a fellow classmate. The ingenious piece takes the well-tread themes of demons and soul-selling in an entirely new, fresh direction, and the resulting story comes together beautifully. This is a witty tale that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat until the final heart-stopping showdown.

Separation Anxiety by Sean Sanford explores the idea of hauntings—be they spiritual, monstrous, or just the haunting of a guilty conscience. The story unfolds in crackling, electric fashion, taking its time to unwind and explore its protagonist’s equally-tangled psyche. It crescendos in a satisfyingly dark finale, but the build-up is arguably just as fun. The writing is crisp, the imagery cleverly-wrought, and the storyline is seeped with a certain Edgar Allen Poe callback.

Zofia’s The Girl in the Lake is a new take on a familiar horror movie setup: a group of young people going to stay by a forest with a lake. In this version, however, the story takes place after the inevitable murders, as the sole surviving member of the group is interviewed by a police detective—and spins a tale for him that sounds suspiciously folkloric. Sharp and smart, with a haunting ending, this piece will draw you in and won’t let go.

Next up, The End of the World by Loral Uber is a slickly-stylized short story, as captivating as it is finely-tuned. Following The End of the World, there are a trio of flash fiction pieces to round out the edition, beginning with Sapphire Huie’s The Old Man with the Answers, a snappy and succinct story about a group of friends who aren’t quite like everyone else—and who are lured in by an old man that promises to answer their gnawing questions. Entertaining and intriguing, The Old Man with the Answers has ample charm, establishing a group of curiosity-piquing characters with luminous descriptions.

Then there’s One of These Days by Greg Roensch, a story about a man who seeks revenge on the cat that terrorizes him… and gets more than he bargained for. This piece zigs when you expect it to zag, and is laced with a wry wit and true personality. Finally, our edition comes to a close with John Healy’s Karma, a surprisingly uplifting story that leaves our April issue on a positive note. It’s about the power of helping others and explores the concept of karma in a way that is singularly unique, short and perfectly sweet, with a surprise ending bolstered by colorful, creative imagery.

We give these spring-time stories to you as a reminder to look over your shoulder and check under the bed every once in a while—you never know when supernatural happenings are afoot. But not to worry: as this collection of stories goes to show, some monsters aren’t as bad as they may seem.