by Mark Silcox
There’s more to spectres than meets the eye.
It was the sort of road that might have been frightening to travel in the dark. It turned and wound to and fro through the rugged countryside like a weird carnival ride. The hedges on either side were unruly and hopping with life, and there certainly wasn’t enough space for two cars to pass alongside one another without incident. I could imagine how, in the moonlight there, just about any movement in the shadows or the flicker of a headlight might have taken on the appearance of something strange and otherworldly.
But we were traveling in the middle of a bright summer afternoon. Karen was driving, with a bunch of photographs, pamphlets, and file folders stacked on the passenger seat next to her. Virginia and I were sitting in the back together, pulling monster faces at each other to pass the time. According to the directions we’d received at the realtor’s office back in Marquette, the old house was supposed to be at the end of this road, but so far it had been hidden from view by the impenetrable shrubbery.
Continue reading A Fixer-Upper
by M. T. Nagel
Sometimes the things that comfort us turn on us.
Sam stumbled through the marsh. His feet pulled his boots with drawn-out suctions that culminated each step in a gurgling pop. It was slow moving and the air gave added weight to his lungs. All the sweat and mosquito bites were worth a goodnight’s sleep though. Sam reached the recorder he and Charles had setup the night before. With a loud rip, the Velcro that was cradling the device to a tree above the marsh let go. The recorder slid into Sam’s sweat-slickened hands.
“Here’s the ticket.”
Charles slapped his neck in a vain attempt to stop a mosquito from stealing a meal. “This ticket is going to cost you for all the blood I’m losing.”
Sam ignored the comment as he hit the stop button. “A little of your editing magic, and I’ll be back to sleeping like a baby.”
Continue reading Song of the Frogs
by Celesta Thiessen
When all else fails…run.
“Jeff’s all fired up about this disease or whatnot,” said Hailey, looking around wildly, rubbing at a spot on her side. “He’s gone to the city for supplies, you know…. Just barely made it out of our house before…. Thanks for letting me stay at your place.”
Hailey put her hand under her shirt and scratched. Her eyes took on a glassy, vacant look and she stood unsteadily, still clutching her side.
My husband and I looked at each other across the living room. Suddenly we both realized what had happened…what our friend was becoming. She had not made it out unscathed.
Continue reading Unprepared
by Derrick Eaves
In the backwoods of Upper Canada, 1796, time comes to a halt.
Catharine was dead. Her body was laid out on the bed in the small cabin, but James had to wait for his sister-in-law, Sarah, to prepare the body for a proper burial.
Not more than an hour after waking to find his wife’s lifeless body beside the bed, James had driven the carriage along the rough clearing to the dwelling of the only neighbours for twenty miles–Sarah and her husband, Thomas. Sarah hurriedly packed a few items in a travel bag and rode back with James to help bury her only sibling.
Continue reading The Forgotten
by Bruce Harris
Strange things occur when you’re down for the count.
TRAGEDY IN THE RING – THE HEAVYWEIGHT CONTEST BETWEEN CHAMPION PAOLO “ANGEL” GALENTO AND CHALLENGER JOHN “THE GENTLEMAN” SULTAN ENDED IN TRAGEDY LAST NIGHT…
“Your mother was ugly.” Sultan spat as he spoke.
Paolo “Angel” Galento stared into the exanimate eyes of John “The Gentleman” Sultan. Outwardly, Angel showed little emotion. He rotated his head and flexed his neck muscles.
“You both received your instructions in the dressing rooms,” the referee admonished.
“She wore combat boots, right?” The Gentleman showed his mouthpiece.
Continue reading Angel of Death
by Chris Griglack
Who knew cockroaches could be so sinister?
Jay woke from his fitful sleep as a slim beam of sunlight penetrated the Venetian blinds of his bedroom’s only window. Though it was only a small amount of light, it fell directly across his left eye, the dawn’s razor severing him from his dreams with a single precise stroke.
Normally he would have simply rolled over and fallen back asleep, but as he cracked his left eye open to check the red numbers of the digital clock on his nightstand, he noticed a cockroach calmly sitting just a few inches from his gaping mouth. For a brief moment, the two just stared at each other, each puzzled by the existence of the other.
Continue reading Squirm