My Baby isn’t Ready Yet

By Olivia J. Young

She had been lying like a bloated question mark for some time, how long I couldn’t say anymore. I counted days in the pooling sludge that had begun to halo around my wife, and our partially birthed child. Flies pecked at the windows, looking for the cracks that bled sunlight. Winged scavengers looking to make those cracks bleed flies.

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Night Heat

by Steve Carr

It was one of those nights. You know the kind of night I mean. The kind of night where you’re tortured by the heat. The kind of night when you’re alone in a cheap hotel and there’s no air conditioning. The fan above the bed just swirls the heat around and fills the air with the smell of ozone and kicks up the dust, stirring up odors from past desperate lodgers; rancid sweat, South American tobacco and poodle urine.

It’s amazing what can happen in a couple of hours, the time it takes for a guy who didn’t have much to begin with to lose the one thing that really mattered. Continue reading

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The Man That Wasn’t There

By Armarna Forbes

Three sharp knocks banged on Lionel’s bedroom door.  His mother’s muffled voice sounded agitated on the other side.  “Lionel!  You promised you were going to take care of that mess outside yesterday!”

Startled, he yelled out a quick, “Just a minute!” before minimizing the photographs on his computer while sucking in his gut to force his zipper shut.  He shoved himself away from his desk and crossed his legs as Rose pushed the door open.

“Mom!  You can’t just… barge in like that!”

“Oh, I most certainly can!  Since you’ve not bothered to pay the rent you promised me when you got your job, I am well within my rights to enter any part of myhouse I damned well please.”

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The Last Rebirth

By Sandor Kovacs

The molecules of its brain get assembled first. The primitive piece of flesh floats inside a skull filled with boiling liquid. Bones lay in perfect order. It cannot feel the heat, though, as the receptors are not yet active. But then, the cells began to form an infinite network, a net that is more complicated than anything living in this world, and the first thought gets created.

Am I alive?

It doesn’t know what eyes, nose, ears are. How could one comprehend the surroundings without senses? Like branches, the empty tubes called veins spread, but not upwards like on a tree. They fill out space, criss-crossing everywhere, shaping organs inside a cover of bloody tissue. When it tries to inhale driven by the first instinct, the boiling liquid burns through its not yet ready intestines. Continue reading

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Ammunition

A Dark Tale by Aaron Hull

He was at his desk with his headphones on, watching something loud and hard, so he didn’t hear her come up the stairs. Didn’t hear the click of the safety disengage. Didn’t hear the wrap of knuckles on wood, or turn to see the shadow under the door. So when the blast filled the room and the door behind him shattered, he believed—for an instant—that there’d been an explosion outside, out on the street, and he looked up from the screen, down through the window, expecting to see smoke.

Instead he smelled it. Gunpowder. Continue reading

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Arachnid Gift

A Morbid Tale by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Old age plagues my body. I am stiff, sensitive, and rotting.

I stomp through my own shit to reach my feeding trough. The wood beams creak under the weight of my body and I lean forward to poke around molded piles of leftover food. My clouded vision makes everything run together. I close my eyes ignoring the pain in my stomach. It increases with each slurp and I think back over my long life. Continue reading

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Just Enough Brains

A Macabre Tale by Steve Sibra

Every animal has just enough brains to preserve its own hide – dead or alive.

 It took Adrian a year to learn how to properly skin a human being.  He studied on the process and then he practiced.  There were quite a few setbacks.  But eventually he got it down.

 Now tanning the hide, that was even more difficult.  First it had to be carefully dried; then he used a mixture composed of dog shit, cow shit and his own urine in order to soak it and massage it and soften it.  Over time this would remove the hair follicles as well . . . but he had to let it all sit and soak.  Sometimes for months.  He had to be able to scrape the hide without damaging it.  It took lots of practice.  Lots and lots of practice.  But his mother had always been so happy with how good he was with his hands.  So this accomplishment gave him great pride and satisfaction.

 One of the final steps was to add the brains to the mixture.  Cedar oil was a good tanning agent when he could get it.  The mixture of feces, urine, brains and other ingredients would sit with the skins soaking in it for many, many weeks.  It did not smell pleasant.  Adrian could never get the smell off himself.  Another reason to just stay away from people who were still alive.

 Or if he encountered them — another reason to not let them live for long.  They would always complain.

 Doing the skin from the head, the scalp and face – – this was the most difficult to maneuver through the tanning process.  But for Adrian, it was the most rewarding and the only part he truly loved.  If he did his job right, when he was done he could stretch the skin of the person’s head over his own.  He could position the eyes and nose holes, and the mouth, to match his own facial features. 

 Adrian would prance around the shack, naked except for the face of his victim.  He would imitate the voice of the person whose face he was wearing.  Late at night the sounds of high pitched squeals emanated from the rickety building.  The birds and raccoons would never approach the place.

 “Oh my God!  Oh my sweet God!” Adrian would mimic the pathetic creatures.  “Please don’t kill me!  Oh God oh no, please!  Please!  I will do anything!  What do you want?  What do you want from me?”

 Adrian danced in the moonlight that came through the window.  His erection jutted out in front of his lean body casting a shadow across the wall. 

 Adrian had everything that he wanted from them.  All of them.  When he wanted to be another person he just took off one hood and hung it on a nail.  Then he would choose another.  A new one, and pull that person onto himself.

 Adrian was content.  He had it all.  He thought of it as using others to bring out the best in himself.  God had placed many beings inside of him.  Now he was able to dress himself for each of them.


STEVE SIBRA grew up on a farm in eastern Montana where the earth was dry and there were snakes and bugs everywhere you looked.  After college he embraced the world of monsters through his childhood fascination with comic books, which he turned into a career.  His writings have appeared in numerous literary journals and he regularly reads his work at various venues in the greater Seattle area.

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Breaking Point

A Twisted Tale by Tom J Perrin

“Olsson, what the fuck is that meagre excuse for a report?”

Meet James ‘Jim’ Olsson, a 40 something seemingly stuck in a dead end finance job like many others, and with a complete cunt for a boss. Like millions of others worldwide, Jim’s Monday morning started with a dressing down from a ‘superior’. Jim’s boss is a younger man called Mikey. Mikey hasn’t lost most of his hair, and Mikey also apparently spends a lot more money on his suits than Jim does or can. Continue reading

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Turning Out Leather

A Twisted Tale by Steve Sibra

I awaken and I sleep and I do not know the difference between the two.  In one realm my wife and children have been brutalized and left to die; they have been sewn up, stitched into leather tubes while still alive.  I hear the screams.  But do I hear them in reality, or in a dream?  I pray it is the dream.  But I cannot tell.

The rhythm of Amber’s screaming lulls me into sleep.  Or am I already there?  I dream that I have gone to the kitchen for some applesauce, only to find that a naughty puppy has eaten all of it.  Or is this real, and the other a dream? Continue reading

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Installation Pieces

A Twisted Tale by Sarah Beaudette

3,462 people responded to Mitchell’s tweet, all of them asking where to send their donations. Mitchell thanked each person from the bottom of his heart and gave the address of his brother’s cold storage unit in upstate New York.

One month later Mitchell was shivering in a maze of frosty boxes stacked to the ceiling. He picked his way through the crates, boxes, and air mailers of every size and color to the west end of the unit, toward his work table and some precious few feet of floor space. He’d only had a few thousand followers. He’d only been asking for donated materials for his newest sculpture, but something about his tweet struck a nerve with the masses and inspired them to come to his aid. Standing at the work table with apron donned and crowbar in hand, Mitchell knew he was about to become a conduit for a sea change in postmodern art.  Continue reading

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