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Horror stories by various authors.


Where the Demon Lives

I noticed the demon living in my right index fingernail because that nail grew ten times faster than any of the others.

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Moon Road

My mother taught me how to walk the moon road. We find it with the tips of our toes, sliding them along the slick bottom of the river. If I close my eyes, I can feel the slightest edge. I ease the ball joint, the sole, the heel up out of the water. The foot that emerges is not human with its short dark nails and tufts of fur. My nose elongates, protrudes. Whiskers tickle my cheeks. My ears swivel, seeking the sounds of night.

It is a gentle transformation.

Mother and I walk the moon road, swishing our tails. We bound over the water, chase meteors, pounce on constellations. We grin at each other the way dogs do—it’s said they learned that from people. Maybe they learned it from people like us.

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In the Company of Shadows

“Child, keep out of gravestone shadows.” Wendy gave Aiden’s hand a slight tug, dragging him farther from an elongated shadow in the grass.

“I don’t want to die.”

“No one dies in here. Just don’t step in any shadows. The sun’s getting higher. See. The shadows are already disappearing.”

“Will they follow us then?” Aiden stumbled on a root hidden in the uncut weeds.

“The shadows?”

“Those men.”

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In the Alley

“They found the body in the alley at the bottom of the fire escape.”

“The one outside my bedroom?” Henry rolled his wide eyes at his cousin. “You’re full of it.”

“All the witnesses said he jumped for the ladder three times before they caught him. He died still reaching up grabbing at anything that came in reach.”

A couch pillow hit Laveral hard enough to snap his head back and stop his story. Henry smiled at his mother. She didn’t notice. She glared at Laveral. He had all her attention.

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Triumph of the Skies

Stars above shatter and rain down as glittering dust.

Sima peers from her window at the shining dark sky to watch the snow sprinkle down. The tip of her nose grows cold where it presses the glass. Frost forms where she breathes. She scratches a star into the ice with her finger nail.

Every snowflake is different, her mother told her once.

The house breathes quiet. In the basement the furnace rumbles like a purring cat.

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Glamour Girl

A vampire walks into a bar. That sounds like a joke but it’s not. The vampire in question is me, Elizabeth Bathory di Mastrioni van Helsing y Menendez, Liz for short. I walk into a bar, sit down on a vacant stool, and the hot guy sitting next to me leans over.

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Last Supper

I stare down from my perch and think about suicide for the thirtieth time today, but I can’t do it. If the five story fall doesn’t kill me, I don’t want to be at the mercy of the hoard.

I snap open another soda and stare at the horizon as a rainbow forms through the distant rain clouds. It’s beautiful. Then I look down at the writhing ground beneath me and I want to vomit. They crawl over themselves, crushing those at the bottom as they try to reach me. Each day the pile gets a little higher.

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A Perfect Life

Bill Wexler woke at six, as he did every morning, and kissed his wife.

“I’m going for a run,” he said.

She didn’t reply.

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Airi

Andy sat on the edge of his bed, hands cuffed behind him. Uniformed police finished carrying the last folders out of Andy’s apartment. His computer, all the contents of his filing cabinet, and even his checkbook left with the last of the uniformed officers.

A suit-clad detective made one last sweep of the apartment. He spotted the phone sitting in its cradle by Andy’s bed.

“Almost forgot your phone.” He grinned at Andy. “Not that we need it after what we found on your computer.”

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Two by Two

“Marcus?” his caseworker said, her hands folded on Mama’s kitchen table. “Did something happen to your sneaker?”

Marcus looked down at his size thirteen feet—two shoes, one old, one new. “No ma’am.”

“Why don’t they match?” She didn’t understand that matches weren’t the same as pairs. Daddy never told her about arks.

“They’re opposites,” he said. Daddy explained it better because he had more words. That was okay. Marcus was better at pairing.

“Like your socks?”

One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot. Marcus smiled and nodded. “You and me, we’re opposites, too.”

“I guess we are. Is your father still spending all his time at the hospital?”

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