October 2017: Creepy, Scary & Strange

Inside This Edition

It’s our second-annual Halloween issue, and—just like last year—that means a selection of spooky stories that’ll haunt your dreams. Can you handle it?

From the horrific to the mildly weird, this edition (our largest yet) is jam-packed with tales that’ll appeal to every autumnal binge-reader. A good place to start would be The Thing in the Corridor by Elizabeth Wing, a creepy and subversive piece that makes fun of horror conventions with a finely-tuned wit. Another great choice would be Jeremiah Treacy’s Let Me Tell You a Story. It’s a slow-burning, sumptuously-written profile of a very unusual father and son.

Then there’s the narrator of Misti Rainwater-Lites’s The Glory Doll. She’s biting, snarky and sassy, which helps make the subject matter’s inherent spookiness easier to swallow and endlessly entertaining. It spices up the issue with a much-needed burst of humor.

Immaculate Deception by Erin Carini is a story that encapsulates the idea of “weird in a good way.” It’s surprising and unexpected at every turn, a page-turner that’ll keep you glued to your screen. Pseudo Nym’s The Traitor Game—a piece that harkens back to the work of R.L. Stein—will similarly keep you at the edge of your seat, and transport you to those hazy childhood days of summer camp. Just be glad that your summer camp never involved the titular game of traitors (we hope!).

Other stories included in the issue are When Henry Disappeared by Aaron Elias, a tense and moving tale with plenty of scares and a thoughtful, intellectual approach to the scary-story genre; Knock Knock and The Boy Who Washed His Hands by Soryn Silpram, two vastly different and distinctive pieces that, in addition to showcasing impressive range, demonstrate a knack for creepy tales and a willingness to tackle the most frightening and wonderfully demented ideas; A Dark Secret by Belle Herrera, which takes on a character from Filipino folklore and does something chilling and terrifically memorable with it; Welcome Back by Fey Wright, a sci-fi piece involving time travel and romance that is, at times, reminiscent of The Twilight ZoneSomething About a Soul and a Bottle by Sapphire Huie, a short story that expertly balances sweetness with creepiness in a way that is relatable, realistic, and deeply fun to read; Nick Nelson’s two latest “smoke posts,” or micro flash fiction, which are each eerie and perfect for the season while also being an inventive way to get some reading done fast and hassle-free (who doesn’t have time to read a hundred words or less?); Kaleidoscopia by Dan Brook, a mad scientist yarn, elevated by beautiful writing and an original take; A Spider Bite by Carl Conrad, which invites you on an exciting, out-of-body journey as it is being experienced by the narrator, all thanks to one incredible insect bite; and Shadow Boxing, the latest piece offered up by Sean Sanford, which rivals even his story from our last Halloween issue: it’s at once creepy and funny, wickedly readable, and unafraid to laugh at its own genre. Finally, there’s By Day She Dreams of Heroes by David Martin, a stirring and stylized piece that follows an intriguing protagonist as she seems to spiral into madness—possibly. 

All in all, it’s a festive and frightful blend of stories that we hope you’ll savor like a piece of really good Halloween candy. Whether you want monsters, ghosts, psychological thrills or moderately creepy/weird fiction to give you a chill, there’s a story (or several!) for you to enjoy.

Happy Halloween, from all of us at Defiant Scribe!