Category Archives: Horror Stories
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
Enjoy Creepypasta? Check out this intense reading of “Trenchman,” by John Wayne Comunale, in 34 Orchard‘s Spring 2020 issue! The story is scary on its own, but John’s intensity gives it that extra edge. You can watch it on YouTube here:
Like what you’ve heard? Get your free copy here: https://34orchard.com/issues/
If you’ve read my novel Bad Apple and enjoyed it, then don’t miss out on Karen Runge’s Doll Crimes.
This is a gorgeously written, terrifying examination of the complicated mother-daughter relationship; how they love and respect each other despite flaws; how they can damage each other no matter the depth of that love. This is real-life horror that reaches into the very bones of any woman who has loved her mother or daughter despite emotional crimes, big or small. Rife with sharp, stunning details and strong internal narrative, it’s possibly one of the most moving, visually beautiful–and yet accessible–books I’ve ever read, fraught with tension, sadness–and a strange kind of joy, because no matter where we are in our relationships with our mothers or daughters, their men, and the people who have done them wrong, we know that we are not alone. If you love dark fiction and are a mother, daughter, or both; or, if you have struggled with that emotionally fragile, yet seemingly unbreakable, bond between you, then this book is for you. High recommend.
Doll Crimes is published by Crystal Lake Publishing. It’s available everywhere, but here’s the Amazon link for ease: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1646693140/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_aRO5DbJF27VPK
Still haven’t read my book Bad Apple? You can get it here: http://bit.ly/BadAppleKPS
My New Year’s Eve-set ghost story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” is now available to read–for free–in the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. The December 2019 issue is themed “The Calling.”
The issue is stunning, but I have to say — I cried when I saw the artwork they chose. Honestly, it’s what I saw in my head when I was writing this, just over a year ago. It’s almost like they were reading my mind.
You can read it here:
“Wrecking Malcolm” was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. I learned about it last year at an archaeology lecture at my local community college, and was lucky enough to be able to visit, as it’s not far from where one of my friends lives.
Here are a few photographs of the actual graveyard.
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” has been accepted by the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs for its upcoming issue, themed “The Calling.”
The issue is due to release on December 1–that’s Sunday!
“Wrecking Malcolm” is a personal favorite of mine, and I’m glad it found a good home. It was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. There is much work being done to preserve the historic structures … and yes, I’ve visited it more than a few times.
I’ll post when it’s available to read. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family!
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:
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.
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
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.
But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry