Friday, 26 April 2013


by Pete Stevens

You placed a pill in my palm. You set the water within reach. I told you no and you said yes. I asked of other options, of other possibilities hidden under shiny-slick stones. You said no. You said I’d find my instructions on a card in my pocket. Instructions: Swallow pill with water. Wait to die. Wait to forget the way you laughed when no one spoke, the way I understood your thoughts by reading your skin. I remembered how the flush of your cheeks spoke to the pace of your lungs. You said it was my turn to swallow.

Author bio: Pete Stevens is the Fiction Editor at Squalorly. His work has appeared in Cardinal Sins and elsewhere. He lives in Bay City, Michigan.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


by John Xero

Yoltan's dragon-scale armour is lighter than leather but stronger than steel. Each time he wears it, it feels more comfortable, more of a second skin.

The scales are a deep red, like the memory of fire, and they speak to Yoltan in a voice like sparks on tinder.

'Fire', they say fiercely. And 'flight.' And 'revenge.'

The longhouses burn around him. His brothers-in-arms approach warily, swords in their hands and murder in their eyes.

As the heat rises, he feels the armour meld with him, and he becomes fire, he becomes flight. He stretches his wings and he becomes dragon.

Author bio: John Xero loves winged mythology - angels, phoenix, dragons. There will always be new twists, new ideas, new skies for their stories to take flight in.
@xeroverse |

Friday, 19 April 2013


by Jacques Debrot

Between the wars, the twins on Gwyrdd Hill kept a strange creature, half-boy half-hog, pent-up in the corn-crib at the edge of their property. Reclusive bachelors, the brothers would shyly deny its existence. But at night you’d hear the thing howling. A desperate, heart-sickening racket that might have come from a human child. So it was disturbing to learn later that the brothers had slaughtered it. They sold the organ meat, it was said, to an unwitting butcher in Ffestinoig. But the sweet belly pork and the hideous rubbery mass of the head, preserved in vinegar, they saved for themselves.

Author bio:  I have a PhD from Harvard University.  Poems, stories and artwork of mine have appeared or are forthcoming in more than fifty journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Wigleaf and Pear Noir.  This year two of my stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


by John Xero

Our story is told in many ways, on many worlds. It begins at the very beginning, where few stories truly do. It begins with light, and darkness.

There was a master, and there were slaves.

The slaves rose up, and we lost. Or we won. We were cast down, or we departed. The story is told in many ways.

The way I remember it, we took dominion over fire. A billion fires lit in the old master's corpse.

We invited every rebel to join us. And we made worlds for all, that they might share our fire and our freedom.

Author bio: They say that history is written by the victors. It is no great coincidence that the larger part of the word is 'story'. John Xero is a storyteller, and who is to say what portion of his stories are true...

Friday, 12 April 2013


by R.S. Bohn

Welcome! Welcome to the Theatre of the Soul! Onstage tonight, filling every seat in the house – up there, in the scaffolds! Hanging from the curtains! In the make-up chair, inhaling the scent of greasepaint, letting it fill the pores with gray, slick decoration.

Lost your ticket? No, that could never happen. You've had it for so long. Check your pockets, dear.

There. Now let Miranda show you inside; we've all been waiting. Why, we're just breathless about it!


We love you so much. It's so good to see you again.

The boards await. The lights are up.

It's time.

Author bio: RS lives in Detroit, where they aim for a zombie theme park. She thinks one already exists in her head. Admission is free:

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


by John Xero

Amy lives alone.

Every morning, after her shower, she wanders into the kitchen and finds a cup of tea made for her – fresh, steaming, sweet, just the way she likes it. The toaster will pop, with excellent timing. The butter is out, beside a plate and knife set neatly on the counter top.

This was their routine.

She sits on a high stool and she eats her toast and sips her tea as she looks out of the window at the sunrise. Then she walks through into the living room. And he is not there, of course.

She lives alone.

Author bio: John Xero is still trying to work on the balance of subtlety in his ghost stories. He hopes you realised this was a ghost story... ;)
@xeroverse |

Friday, 5 April 2013


by Cory Cone

It took Tommy from his bed just a moment ago. He's too little to fight back. He just let the little thing drag him across the carpet. I didn't know what to do, so I just watched him struggle, fingernails dug into the carpet, as he disappeared into the quivering blackness. I'm too scared to call out for Mommy because maybe if I'm quiet and don't move a muscle it'll close the door and go away. I must be quiet.

It's back, standing crooked just a few feet from the door, sniffing and searching.

Don't move. Don't Move. Don't Move.

Author bio: Bio: Cory Cone is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He lives and works in Baltimore, MD with his wife and two cats. Keep up with him at and

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


by John Xero

George was a Convert: George no more. His old life, personality, name, all given up for the Common God.

The cGod chip buzzed in his brain, advising, admonishing and administering pain. The voice of cGod gave him direction, and dampened that bad spark which drove him to crime.

He was blissfully servile, till he fell, banged his head, and cGod began to speak in tongues.

He picked himself up, brushed himself down. Remembered. George again.

Now to stay free, evade the law. Dig up the loot, buy a new life.

He swatted the side of his head. A quiet life.

Author bio: As technology advances the world becomes weirder. Talking to yourself, seeing things that aren't there, capturing fragments of the world in little boxes - all these things are normal now. John Xero thinks this is brilliant. Bring on the weird. | @xeroverse