They stood in the doorway, framed by the heavy veil of night that blanketed the afternoon. The preacher with his pressed black cassock, the circuit judge with his riding clothes still dirt-stained from the road, and the sheriff with his glinting bronze badge were like a trinity delivering Esther to her damnation. Continue Reading
Aurore is dead from the moment she walks into my shop.
Her entrance is accompanied by a soundtrack of clicking heels and an equally entitled whistle, the shrill notes of “Oh, my darling Clementine” ringing proudly in their dissonance. Continue Reading
The air shifted, with a chill brushing away the warm October night. The scent of snow surrounded Kera, crisp and icy. No, not quite snow, but something harder, less forgiving. Stone, maybe. The air felt unnaturally still, like an invisible dome had encircled the pair and was magnifying yet isolating every sound. Continue Reading
She played him once, when he was alive. How could she refuse? Lucio Gresci’s reputation far exceeded her own, and his request was a summons, no matter how much she dreaded it. His studio was in a large detached house, walled and surrounded by gardens with a few fruit trees. Continue Reading
The humming fluorescence of the artificial sun faded, and with it faded Cyril’s motivation to finish his work. Despite the whirring air circulation systems, a stasis suppressed the room in which he stood, surveying rows and rows of growth pods. Continue Reading
Oh it’s simple to freeze people, I grant you that. It’s not at all complicated to kill a human being by transmuting all their molecules into ice or quartz or marble or whatever. But let’s be honest with ourselves: that’s not art. That’s murder. Continue Reading
I’d braced myself for take-off more tightly than usual; her cursory pre-flight checks, the way she flicked switches and tapped dials unnerved me. The ancient Piper Cub bounced across the grass, revving too hard, its skittishness mirroring her mania to see the wave. Continue Reading
It was stunning, an absolute marvel, so much so that if Chrissy wasn’t already cold to the core from the rain she would have felt a chill run down her spine. The statue was uncanny. Too lifelike. Continue Reading
On his deathbed, my father begged me to listen without interruption and whispered a tale I could scarcely believe.
This is the story he told me… Continue Reading
Captain Roone Cong flipped through the contract. A bundle of papers—old school—easier to destroy than electronic files. Roone stopped at a recent picture of a girl-almost-woman with lank black hair. She took after her mother. Still frail and lily-white, like a snowdrop after a late May frost. Continue Reading
The sun’s finally let go of the old window by the time Ema brings a chalky hand up close, so close, cupping the cheek and pressing dry lips against dryer ones. It doesn’t feel like how she’d imagined it with Angela and her smiling, always-chattering mouth, but Ema can dream and wish and hope. Continue Reading
In the gloaming of the year, when trees’ bark shrinks and holds fast to the mighty trunk; when the life-filled woods are stripped of those merry, clamorous sounds which bespeak a nature of anything but gloom; when all the shade-giving leaves are robbed from the canopy and replaced instead with an ever-present atmosphere of shade-ridden air, oppressive and dank… Continue Reading
The silence is absolute, as if time never began here and never will. How can I describe it? As if a wall of glass has been placed by the great hand of a God in the midst of the forest, and no living thing may pass. Continue Reading
Though she knew in advance what to expect, nothing could prepare Helena for actually seeing them in the flesh.
“So, what do you think?” asked the curator.
“Wow,” she replied. An unimpressive response, but it was all Helena could come up with. Her brain was too busy processing what she saw. Continue Reading
The arrow pins me to the door by my cloak. I try to remove it, but a second arrow pins my other shoulder. These are soon followed by two more under my arms. I am trapped.
For the first time, I hear footsteps approaching behind me. Continue Reading
I raise my hand against my better judgment and a well-honed sense of self-preservation. The team turns and looks at me expectantly.
“You have an idea for what we should test it on next, Paige?” asks Brad.
“Yes, I do,” I reply. “We should test it on me.”
Three jaws drop in unison as six eyes gaze at me in disbelief. Continue Reading
The line of hopefuls is moving faster than expected. Alkem’s reputation as an efficient operation is well-deserved. Winding like a river around brass poles and velvet ropes, the flow of people draws me steadily forward. Within a few minutes, I’ve reached the head of the line. Continue Reading
Derek shuddered as he examined the metal plate sitting on the hardwood floor. It was solid copper and two feet in diameter—large enough to stand on.
“Well, that’s just creepy,” he remarked at last. “Creepy but only a story.”
Claire flashed a smile. “Though that would appear to be the case with such an outlandish tale, I assure you it’s true. The plate is cursed.” Continue Reading
I take one look at the space between the mannequins and frown.
“No way,” I say, shaking my head.
“C’mon, Shae,” pleads Lizzie. “It’s perfect. They’ll never expect it.” Continue Reading