Category Archives: horror short stories

Announcing 34 ORCHARD’S Autumn 2020 Table of Contents!

34 ORCHARD COVER ISSUE 2

It’s been an interesting journey this time around, but I’m thrilled to announce the Table of Contents for 34 Orchard’s sophomore issue—coming to the magazine’s website here on November 10!

In this issue, twenty-one artists from everywhere burn worlds to the ground in terrifyingly beautiful ways, featuring the following art, fiction and poetry: Read the rest of this entry

Join me for SCREAMS OF AUTUMN Halloween afternoon!

Screams of Autumn Night of Scary Stories

Looking for a short, sweet thing to kick off this very unusual Halloween?

Join me on Halloween, Saturday October 31, at 2 pm at Brookfield Theatre for the Arts in Brookfield, CT as I present a perennial favorite (Poe’s “The Raven”—not really read by women too often), a forgotten classic (Julius W. Long’s “The Pale Man”), and one of my own: “Screams of Autumn,” which was published back in 2010 in the online lit mag, Spilt Milk.

The event is FREE and is OUTDOORS! SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKS ARE REQUIRED. Bring your own chair (there will be markings on the parking lot pavement), dress warmly, and bring blankets if you wish. Goody bags for everyone in attendance will include a bonus, never-before-published short story that I just wrote this summer.

The show should last about 45 minutes to an hour. So come on, kick back for a bit, and get your scare on! The theatre is located at 184 Whisconier Road, Brookfield, CT. More information and RSVP to BrookfieldTheatreCT@gmail.com

34 ORCHARD’S debut issue–Spring 2020–now available!

JPEG OF 34 ORCHARD ISSUE 1 COVER

The cover of the Spring, 2020 issue of 34 ORCHARD. Cover art: “Lost and Found,” by Brandon Kawashima.

The debut issue of 34 Orchard–a new dark literary fiction magazine–is now available!

With cover art by Brandon Kawashima, this issue features artists from as far away as Greece, Nigeria and the UK–as well as right here in the US–and delivers visceral work that unpacks the things we don’t want to admit are in our basements.

The downloadable PDF is designed so that it can be printed on double-sided paper for easy reading like a print magazine.

The issue is free, but there is a donation link should you choose to contribute.

Click here to get your copy!

“Last Christmas” posted!

Crystal Lake Logo

My story “Last Christmas” –a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–is up today for Patreon Supporters of Crystal Lake Publishing! If you’d like to check it out, you can make a $5/month Fans of Fiction pledge (you can change this at any time) and vote. The first two stories posted were really good stuff, and I’m sure the remaining 10 are going to be great, too. Here’s where you can sign up, read, and vote if you like:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/31736315

I’m celebrating: “Last Christmas” a finalist!

This is my favorite Christmas wine glass.

This is my favorite Christmas wine glass. I think I got it at Christmas Tree Shops, but it always comes out when I want to celebrate something holiday-related–even if it isn’t that time of year!

I’m pleased to announce that “Last Christmas”–a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–has made the final round! This month’s challenge was “creepy stories with a twist ending that take place in a graveyard.” My story shares the list with thirteen others.

Normally, I don’t announce when a piece is a finalist or is shortlisted–I consider that bad luck. However, this contest is a different animal. The winner will be selected based on the votes of the publication’s Patreon supporters, and so in that case, it truly is a crap shoot. I’m just happy I made it to the finals.

I had a wonderful time writing this piece–I’ve always loved a theme challenge. I’m hoping to do more in the future. It forces me to think outside the box as well as practice word economy and other skills. But mostly? Yeah, it’s just FUN!

I’ll be back Thursday with the link to my story.

Short Story Sunday: Yellow Smoke, Scott Thomas

Urn and Willow Cover

While every story in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow—a collection of ghostly tales set in 18th and 19th century New England—is great, “Yellow Smoke” is a standout for its genuine mastery at inducing absolute terror; few short stories scare me into sleeping with the lights on like this one does.

This is due to its Read the rest of this entry

Sinister Settings: THE HANA HIGHWAY

Palm Tree Clip Art

Even palm trees can be creepy.

It’s often been said that anything that is stunningly beautiful is also incredibly dangerous, and that’s probably no more true anywhere in the world than it is on Maui’s Hana Highway.

Built in the 1920s, the nearly 65-mile road takes almost a full day to travel from end to end. Along the way Read the rest of this entry

Sinister Settings: ATALAYA

Atalaya Castle Side Shot

At first glance, the exterior of Atalaya looks like an abandoned fort.

Myrtle Beach has always been a favorite destination for me and my husband, and in June, 2013, we went down for a week for his family’s biannual reunion. I’d just been asked if I’d like to submit a story to an upcoming anthology, the theme of which was Mummies and Canopic Jars. An “Under the Boardwalk” setting seemed like an odd backdrop for a story about ancient Egyptian curses, but I was excited. A visit to a different place always gets my creative wheels turning.

Canopic Jars

A set of Canopic Jars, which the Egyptians used to store the innards someone who had been mummified (presumably so the individual had access to them in the afterlife). These happen to be very plain. There are some that are much more colorful and decorative.

Although we’d been there before—we even have a favorite Read the rest of this entry

HELLNOTES calls THE SHADOWS BEHIND “incredibly smart writing”

Hellnotes Reviews Masthead

Hellnotes, a major reviewer of horror fiction, film, and art, has reviewed my latest short story collection, The Shadows Behind, and given it a rave! Reviewer Elaine Pascale has written: “The stories within tell of lingering loss via imaginative and incredibly smart writing. Schoonover writes of grief and regret that follows like a shadow, and the stories in this collection will remain like a shadow for some time after you finish reading…the writing is intelligent and the themes transcend genre. Add this book to your summer reading list.”

I am SO EXCITED about this! You can read the full review here: https://hellnotes.com/the-shadows-behind-book-review/

You can get your copy of The Shadows Behind here: http://bit.ly/shadowsbehind. Or, if you want a signed copy, reach out to me through my Contact Page or in the comments and I’ll get in touch with you about making arrangements.

Malicious Monsters: The Jackalope

Jackalope Real

This jackalope may look adorable, but according to legend, it’s a vicious beast.

In the summer of 2011, I needed an escape. I ended up going to see my sister, who lived in Austin, in my first-ever trip to the state of Texas.

Long story short? I fell in love with Texas. In an absolute, complete, I-see-no-wrong kind of love. The smell of burnt asphalt and cactus blossom laced with a kiss of mesquite. In Hill Country, woods and mountains not much different from Connecticut, but with the occasional surprise of a cactus thrusting from a blanket of past autumn leaves. The joy of watching over a half a million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The 108 degree heat, hot glazed pecans at the HEB, and people who will absolutely talk to a total stranger without looking at him like he has five heads.

Austin Jackalope

Me at The Jackalope, a dive bar with incredible burgers on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. There’s a challenge associated with the giant jackalope that stares at you the second you walk in—you have to have a drink in your hand to climb on. It’s not easy. Trust me! To visit The Jackalope’s website, visit here: https://www.jackalopebar.com/downtown To read about my adventures at the bar when I visited in 2016, visit here: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2016/05/23/i-met-a-real-jackalope/

But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry

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