Friday, 31 August 2012


opens the door without really thinking and the man standing before him is himself or rather someone exactly his height (he is shorter than average but not by much) wearing his clothes (lumberjack shirt black jeans no shoes) hair color (hue somewhere between ash and dirty blond) and build (lanky really) but where the face should be there is but a canvas of blank skin stretched taut over the skull so he sees his own face reflected in the other like on the surface of  deceptive waters and not until then does he remove his thumb from the bell and

by Alex Nyström

Author bio: Occasional fiction writer. A book of short stories was published in 2009 (in Swedish). Twitters @kilotrop.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


by John Xero

Areius tossed the stripped chicken wing aside and fumbled for another in the bucket. He was slumped in a threadbare armchair, feet up on the table, takeaway balanced on his mountainous belly, grease dripping from his fingers and chin.

He wiped his hands on his filthy vest.

The house’s owners scrabbled on the floor, naked, mewling. They gnawed at his meagre leftovers.


He slouched further back. Immortality was such a drag. He’d explored every facet of foul humanity, every whim, sin, desire and degradation. Maybe Lucifer would take him back soon, at least it was always warm down there.

Author bio: This is John Xero's home away from home. He normally resides at the Xeroverse. For throwaway, takeaway wisdom try his twitter.

Friday, 24 August 2012


by Sandra Davies

Caged by guilt and shadowed bars of branding irons, breasts and belly besmirched by centuries of soot from the roof-supporting pillar he had lashed me to, I remained defiant.

“My face? Do you want the world to know?”

His eyes were anthracite-implacable.

“I mean to guarantee you’ll not lie down for another man. Fire is cleansing, only the letter negotiable. Before I gag you, do you choose A or W?”

“'Adulteress' more accurate, I do not charge.”

He had ever admired my honesty, my spirit, but I’d failed to think it through.

He smiled, acknowledging. “But 'whore' the shortest word.”

Author bio: Writer, printmaker, east-coast orientated.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


by John Xero

Things have been washing up on the shores of alien seas. Wretched, dying things, with brains of pulp.

Thousands of red crabs, smaller than a fist, scuttle over the almost dead, stripping flesh. The frothing salt water is stained with blood, but not for long. Soon there is nothing but sand and bones.

Our soldiers. Our bio-weapon. Turned on each other and scattered through a hundred star systems.

The humans think us defeated, but they are wrong. We have played this game a thousand times before.

As our ships slip into orbit around Earth, I spread my wings and howl.

Author bio: When the invasion comes John Xero will be safely holed up with a big stack of books. He will live tweet the fall of civilisation.

Friday, 17 August 2012


by Jack Holt

They fall in twos.

Synchronised pairs of descending death. Crimson and winged creatures, brothers and sisters each.

One pair for every insignificant soul on this planet. Liars, cheaters, schemers, killers: all afforded the same choice.

They fall and then you decide. They'll trick you, manipulate you, twist your feeble minds into choosing them. The decision will be hard, but it will be yours.

And that's why you'll fall.

When you chose, only one can stand. One creature will devour the other, and then you if it remains hungry.

They're always hungry.

They fall in twos. Then you fall in droves.

Author bio: John Xero's number one fan. For more fiction go to For mundane tweets go to @jackkholt.

... it seems flattery will get you places... - Xero

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


by John Xero

Mass immortality had become the bane of Samuel’s life. Science was to blame. No disease, no old age, no natural death.

What work for a gravedigger when nobody dies?

Sam had a god-given gift. There were so many pretenders who thought any hole would do, so few who understood the nature of the abyss. There was a hole left when a person died, and a hole to be made, and the two were not entirely unrelated.

He took up his shovel; it was a fine tool and it would serve him twofold now. Not an elegant solution, but needs must.

Author bio: John Xero knows that not any hole will do. And that even the same hole will fit different people in different ways. Twitter hole. Blog hole.

Friday, 10 August 2012


by Nick Roberts

We watch the gate. That is our purpose. For a thousand millennia we have been the guardians of the Night Gate. But there is a disease in our ranks, a slow moving malaise that affects an unknown number of my brothers. Questions are asked by the Dark Inquisitors to try and root out these free thinkers, these renegades. But they are clever, my fellow brothers, they hide in the shadows and whisper in the quiet of the All Night. Sometimes I hear their whispers and unbidden thoughts race through my mind and I also start to wonder about the light.

Author bio: After many years being locked away I have finally given into the voice in my head and unleashed my inner geek. Find me at and on Twitter @nickroberts101.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


by John Xero

Purgatory ain’t a place, it’s a job description, and it don’t pay too good. All wages go to the ledger, and the ledger, by definition, runs deep in the red.

Me, I got more red than most to wipe clean, and now I got a gun belt and a badge, go figure.

Consider us the bounty hunters of the afterlife. You die and do a runner, you get us psychos on your tail.

Lotta folks run when they see where they’re headed, when they realise heaven and hell ain’t so different. Only us Purged get to go free, in time.

Author bio: John Xero is the sheriff in this town. He done put out a collection of words on one o' them newfangled ereading gadgets. He shoots his mouth off here.

Friday, 3 August 2012


by Kymm Coveney

Posed on the left pant leg of your old jeans that I wear gardening at the weekends, you held your wings stiffly at attention, high above the dark fuzz of your Monarch body. I stood, hose in hand, watering the newly blooming cherry tree. Old echoes of a sigh, a whisper, any sound that might resemble your voice, made me close my eyes against the constant blue sky and purse my lips. I heard only the tunneling of worms deep in the ground as you traced your butterfly kiss across my eyelids, and then wrapped me up in your cocoon.

Author Bio: Ex-pat from Boston living in Barcelona, raising polyglot kids and fooling with written languages.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


by John Xero

His footsteps follow me through moonlit backstreets, ever gaining, into the woods.

He shoves me against an old oak, tearing at my pretty dress, exposing the swirling, black tattoos beneath. Then the ink crawls and he halts, confused. He yelps as the black writhes up his arms, flowing from my flesh to his.

Later, when he is nothing but pulp and bone, the twitching tendrils slink back beneath my skin. They burn incessantly, day and night.

I take no pleasure, watching that show of slow laceration. I am grateful only that I am allowed to live, while I remain useful.

Author bio: John Xero lives here. And here. And here.