They left the dining hall by another door and followed Fray Joachim across a paved courtyard and into a chapel. If anything, it was darker within than without, though a single tapered candle guttered in the vestibule. Moving like clumsy puppets, the men shuffled past the friar into the musty darkness of the chapel. They fumbled through layers of heavy sailcloth curtains infested with dry

Simon Says
Jason was facing a tree in his backyard, jumping up and down, seemingly alone. His mother watched him from the kitchen window, finishing up the dishes from last night, and smiled. She used to worry about him being an only child, but she didn’t anymore.  He knew how to entertain himself and never seemed lonely.  The six-year-old suddenly stopped jumping and clapping his hands before suddenly freezin

A Question of Compatibility
          I don't know where I was five seconds ago, but it sure as hell wasn't here.

That was the thought that pounded, and pounded very painfully, through my skull as I stared down at the small porcelain cup sitting only inches from my shaking hand.

My entire body hurt. It was a sharp pulsing pain that started at the base of my skull and coursed all the w

The Miracle of the Strigoi
Nadja saw the Strigoi when she went outside to fetch snow to cool Stanoska’s brow.  It was riding her one remaining cow, drumming its heels into the mooing, stumbling animal’s heaving sides and bending low to snap and nuzzle at her straining neck.  The full moon shone on the snow, providing more than enough light to make out the revenant’s darkly discolored face, its

Master Rirhi first appeared to bear witness and give testimony to the initiates in 1893. When he next imparted his wisdom to the initiates, this time in 1921, he appeared as he had decades before. No new line or spot marred his face. His alabaster hair had lost none of its lusters. Same for his eyes, brilliant azure, reflecting the infinite depths of his wisdom. The intervening years had no

The Angels of Pestilence
Prologue:  The Madness of Herbert West

Madness is a terrible thing, and an even worse thing to be accused of, particularly if one knows for a certainty that one is truly not mad.  I suppose it is the nature of madness to deny being mad, but this was the situation in which my colleague Herbert West found himself.  I did what I could to defend him, but the military trib

Mouth of the Faceless
Cybil opened another can of Monster Zero to fuel her third-day stretch of no sleep. The windows and curtains of Cybil’s studio apartment remained closed. Stale smoke swirled amongst the sour tang of energy drinks, mingling pungent in the air. She had rid her residence of anything possessing holes. Fresh sunflowers—in the trash. Her hairbrush, once she had cleaned it off her ha

A Yellow Yule
Cassilda and Cassandra and Caterina and Calliope and Cassiopeia were all seated at their places, the King wasn’t presently in attendance, and the others were all on their own. The other two sisters had already gone to their rewards.

Back in his chamber, Jenkin was frowning into the vanity mirror.

Keziah was trying to keep him relatively calm, as this was probably his last chance to both

Broken Bell
By Cody Goodfellow


The sun at high noon was a curse on the earth when the exhausted pinto mare that bore Lope Obregon and Eight-Finger Nate into the dooryard of the long-forgotten mission dropped dead under their weight. The two men slashed their saddlebags free of the dead horse and ran for the arched doorway at the foot of the bone-white church, and the gaunt, hooded figure that stood

We felt eyes on us for miles. We’d turn only to catch a glimpse of something slinking behind a tree. Later, I felt a tug on my collar. My shirt ripped as I spun. The leg or arm of a giant insect was curled around the tree, torn fabric held in its claws. Then it slithered back behind the tree. We ran.

The Alp
Alpe, Alpen, Drudge, Maraalp, or also little alp,you shall remain no longer alp's sister and father,you shall go out over the gate;alp's mother, trute and mare,you shall go out to the roof-ridge!Let the mare not oppress me,let the trute not pinch me,let the mare not ride me,let the mare not mount me!alp with your crooked nose,I forbid y

Creeping Shadows
“Shifting Echoes”

“Your shadows, as black as your soul, will leap out and devour you whole.”
—Ms. Onyx

Creeping Shadows by Brad Hicks

Creeping Shadows are humanoid creatures that thrive and hunt down those with a guilty conscience. Deep within the darkness, lurking between the creeping darkness, the Cree

Le Lechuza
In the rafters of the half-fallen barn, we saw her, the source of our torments for almost a year. The flashlight beam fell across the horrid, yet human face. Her black eyes contained all the hatred in the world. If she could have killed us with a simple glare, she would have. She spread her wings, and hissed and clicked, making no

Star Ridge Manor
Star Ridge Manor is a combined assisted living and memory care facility set on a sprawling old estate atop the local landmark known as Star Ridge. Star Ridge was originally the estate of Dennis Landry, a wealthy local robber baron who occupied it from 1880 until his death in 1925. 

Star Ridge Manor by Brad Hicks

Void Speck
“Out, damn spot! Out, I say!” 
--Lady Macbeth

Void Speck by Brad Hicks


It’s just a two-dimensional spot, not much bigger than this: . 

It is also obliterates anything that comes into contact with it, leaving a breach in all material  objects including magical items, de-enchanting them. The Speck devours everythi

One-eyed Goblins
Many cultures feature legends of uniocular people or monsters: the Arimaspi (Greek), Likho  (Slavic), and of course, Cyclopses. Japan’s Hitotsume kozō and kasa-obake, both being  somewhat cute, mischievous yōkai are closest in depiction and demeanor to these pests, which  likely originated the myths of monocular entiti

Shepherd / Shepherdess of The Black Goat
These creatures start out as human. They are chosen before their birth for the honor of becoming a guardian of a site sacred to the Outer Goddess Shub-Niggurath. Their mothers are ritually sacrificed to the Shub-Niggurath at the time of their birth. The babies are then rais

Lesser Shepherd / Shepherdess of The Black Goat
Much like the greater variety of this creature, Lesser Shepherds / Shepherdess’ of The Black Goat begin life as a normal human. They too had mother’s die during childbirth, but never as part of a formal ritual to Shub-Nigguruath. During their childhoods they r

Irradiated Scavenger
Defiler of the Forsaken

For a scavenger, Patience is the key to the Pantry.
-Delia Owens

Irradtiated Scavenger by Brad Hicks

As the 19th century came to a close, there was an odd gray area where science was being codified. Discoveries were made and exploited without the proper controls and safety

Eye Drops
 He was so damn insistent I almost did it just out of frustration, to get him to shut up. I didn’t know why it had to be done in some dank, musty old cellar, though I do now. He said the location and the work of the alchemist, some ancestor of his, had to be kept secret. Clearly he was correct.

Eye Drops by Rob Carlos

So t

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