Friday, 31 May 2013

Shadows & Leviathan

by Chris White


Dawn broke, crumbling through the shadows, reflected from the shattered mirror-faces of temples erected to the illusion of civilisation, to a pantheon long forgotten.

Dawn broke, eclipsing the night, illuminating only the darkness.

She woke, still curled against his chest, still crying, broken.

She woke to her nightmare.

He lay against the cracked concrete, the rust-red hole in his chest no longer bleeding.

They came and pushed her aside, pushed her into the dust.

They came and stripped him – took his shoes, his heavy winter coat, his grandfather’s pocket watch.

They left her his body.

They left her the shadows.


Down, down in the deep, the Leviathan wakes. The seafloor buckles, tears.

Down in the eternal darkness his giant, sightless eyes struggle to open against the mud of uncountable aeons.

Aeons of loneliness.

Down in the deep the Leviathan wakes, an ancient, blasphemous monstrosity.

Unleashed once more into restless hunger.

The last of his kind.

Slowly, slowly rising. Out of the darkness.

The Leviathan rises, awakened into suffering. He pierces the surface, a serpent, writhing. A nightmare, forgotten.

Leviathan, reborn, dying.

The oxygen content is a fifth of what it was during the Jurassic.

The Leviathan surfaces, belly up.


Author bio: Chris White is a freelance writer of many styles (but mostly magic realism and science fiction.) He lives in Brisbane, Australia, on the other side of the world. An emerging writer, he pours out a flurry of flash fiction and short stories, mostly here:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


by John Xero

Oh, wow, people say. Wings!

Yeah, I say. Wings. Without the physiology to make them work – not the way people imagine. Sure I can lift them, and spread them. But fly?

No way. Not a fucking chance.

They get in the way. In a world made for people – normal people – I don't fit through doorways. I don't fit in cars. I don't fit in shirts or suits. I don't fit in.

Look at my face. Is this the face of an angel? Is it fuck.

Just do it, Doc, and drop the damn stupid questions. Cut the fucking things off.

Author bio: John Xero has always wanted wings. They say you should be careful what you wish for, and maybe it's best if we learn to fly with what we already have...
@xeroverse |

Friday, 24 May 2013


by Scott Dingley

Tommy got out yesterday and the kid doesn't remember him. He's got two lousy hours, she says. Then they're gone, across the water.

He talks. The oblivious kid chases and flees junk-filled waves in that futile cycle.

"How ‘bout an ice cream?" he suggests (he hasn't tasted one in six damn years), taking the kid's small hand.

Cold, sandy fingers wriggle out of his grip.

The kid, preoccupied with a plastic bag lapping the shore, fetches it out and asks, "Those fingers inside?"

He looks at two severed hands in the bag...

"No, just starfish, got stuck. Washed up."


Author biography: Scott Dingley is a London-based writer of crime, horror and western fiction.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


by John Xero

Heed the siren's call. It heralds salvation, the bliss of ignorance, the sweet succour of death.

Do not thrash as she takes you into her arms, sweet child, as she presses her lips to yours. Let her steal your breath as if it were her own.

Do not cry out as she cracks your bones for the marrow within. Instead forget what pain is, let her devour that too.

What has free will ever brought you? Let the siren take charge and plant her black flag in your soul. Soon you will be nothing more than tears in the ocean.

Author bio: John Xero knows how easy it is to give in to temptation, to let the distractions wash you away. He's trying to ignore them and write, write, write. | @xeroverse

Siren was runner up in the Scrolls flash fiction challenge. Listen here.

Friday, 17 May 2013


by Jess Cochrane

The light, mortal goodness of Earth fades as I am swept into the Underworld’s darkness.

Hades holds me with the tentativeness of someone cradling a wounded dove. Within his grasp, I feel tiny, fragile… and bright. Against his shadows, my own purity seems to shine.

One year later, I rise from shadowy death into my mother’s embrace. I am different in her arms. She clings desperately, crushingly tight. Hades' touch was always soft, shadowed and sinful.

In the Hell beneath us, I know He is waiting. The sharp tang of pomegranate lingers on my lips and I shiver with anticipation.

Author bio: Jess Cochrane is an Australian writer, currently "working on a novel" as all writers tend to do. Her short stories, random ramblings and tributes to villains can be found at her blog:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


by John Xero

Screams, the emergency call said, screams of terror, cut short.

When the police arrived the only sounds were the sweet strains of a violin stirring the frigid, winter air. The front door was unlocked and they followed the strings to the music room, to a slaughterhouse.

The child prodigy sat on a stool by the piano, calmly playing his Stradivarius. His parents and two older sisters were spread about the room, quite dead, in spatters of red and tatters of flesh.

The child prodigy played on, a serene smile on his face, his mother's entrails still tangled in his laces.

Author bio: John Xero writes. But not as much as he should. He thinks he may have said that before. | @xeroverse

Friday, 10 May 2013


by Xanthe Elliott

"Thinks she’s magic, she does," Tom confided to Henry with a smirk. "Diggin' through them nests like as if a wand might jump out, or some such."

"Could be, maybe… Tuesday last she called a butterfly and I seen her call a hummingbird–"

Ignoring Tom’s loud guffaw, Bridgit sifted patiently. "Called a flock of crows this morning, I did."  Plucking a particularly fine plume from the detritus, she held it triumphantly aloft and began spinning energetically in circles.

"Daft wench–"

With sangfroid and a serene smile Bridgit replied, "'s all in the feathers…"

An army of gryphons darkened the sky.

Author bio: Xanthe Elliott is the alter-ego of a mild-mannered Maryland accountant. After counting beans by day, she seeks the meaning of life in the written word. Xanthe crafts tales of romance and self-reflection; Feathers is her first drabble submission.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


by John Xero

A tumbling of claws and fur and teeth. A bulbous moon throbbing silver-grey light across the woodland. Ferns and shrubbery shaking, breaking. Bark torn from tree trunks.

Barks torn from throats.

She has him on his back, but he twists and throws her off with inhuman strength, leaping after her and pinning her to the ground. She snarls and bites. He howls.

The forest cowers.

And when they are done they lie in the disturbed undergrowth, panting. In the morning there will be regrets, fears, accusations, recriminations – human things. Beneath the moon they think wolf thoughts, and things are simpler.

Author bio: There's an animal inside us all, the trick is finding the balance. John Xero writes. In everything, the trick is finding the balance.

Friday, 3 May 2013


by Steven Valor Keck

I was ten. My father, the People's Executioner, placed the rope in my hand. I pulled, hard as I could.

The kneeling man cried, "Stop! Don't do this..."

The crowd jeered. One wit yelled, "Don't worry! Gravity is a myth!"

The blade fell. The crowd roared. Many took bloody souvenirs. Some wept.

That night my father got drunk. He said the man was a 'talking head' before the Collapse. A liar, paid to convince people that science was merely opinion. A murderer, hated by all.

"Should I have hated him, father?"

He began to cry, "Someday, you'll hate us all."

Author bio: When he's not watching the news on television, and knitting furiously, Steven posts surrealist short fiction at

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


by John Xero

This was my great undertaking: to catalogue all the demons of the Abyss, and so bind them.

But mere paper and ordinary ink could not match such a task, when even the tamest of names might burn a hole through wood. And so I made an ink of my own blood, with my skin to serve as paper.

In burnt crimson I wrote hell upon my soul.

And bind the beasts I did. But not to banishment.

They walk the Earth in me. And for my great sin I must watch while their evil rides my body, guides my hands.

Author bio: John Xero is a bookseller. He knows the real power of 'mere' paper and 'ordinary' ink. It can conjure entire worlds, make heroes of cowherds, it can change a man's life, time and time again. | @xeroverse