DP FICTION #68B: “Are You Being Severed?” by Rhys Hughes

Content Warning: discussion of suicide He was lost in the guillotine section of the big department store. He could never have guessed there was such a thing, or he might have taken more care when the doors of the elevator opened and let him out. He was on the wrong floor. The lighting here was … Continue reading DP FICTION #68B: “Are You Being Severed?” by Rhys Hughes

DP FICTION #68A: “A Complete Transcript of [REDACTED]’s Video Channel, In Order of Upload” by Rhiannon Rasmussen

VIDEO TITLE: Easy cooking for the family. DESCRIPTION: Thank you for watching. TRANSCRIPT:Dark kitchen, grainy. Camera, low resolution, is pointed at a cooking range with dented skillet resting on it. Both are crusted with food and what appears to be rust. The stovetop paint is flaking off in layers. Over the side of the skillet, … Continue reading DP FICTION #68A: “A Complete Transcript of [REDACTED]’s Video Channel, In Order of Upload” by Rhiannon Rasmussen

DP FICTION #67B: “That Good Old Country Living” by Vanessa Montalban

Phase Two consists of a trip outside Sector 684. It’ll take us two days to reach the human-curated farm fields. We’ll have the chance to see how our creators lived before the dark decline. How they coexisted with their animals in vast, clear-skied land. The minis are the most excited. We watch them swing their … Continue reading DP FICTION #67B: “That Good Old Country Living” by Vanessa Montalban

DP FICTION #67A: “The Last Great Rumpus” by Brian Winfrey

So I’ve been at the dog park going on three hours now, and even some of the newbies have started looking at me funny. I’m used to it, though. I long ago got written off as one of the crazies, so far as the regulars are concerned. Every park has a couple—the folks who show … Continue reading DP FICTION #67A: “The Last Great Rumpus” by Brian Winfrey

DP FICTION #66A: “Finding the Center” by Andrew K Hoe

Content warning: racism, including racial slurs. I brought Annie to my math-racist’s because I’d stolen a laptop from the Syndicate. I’d stirred the vipers’ nest. Their reach was long, and I didn’t have anywhere to take her. Last year, they’d killed Annie’s mother—a trained policewoman—using crooked cops from our own precinct. So Annie went where … Continue reading DP FICTION #66A: “Finding the Center” by Andrew K Hoe

DP FICTION #65B: “Bring the Bones That Sing” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

The bird bones arrived on Grandma’s porch every day at dusk with no warning. There were all kinds of skeletons, each distinct: finches, crows, goldfinches, tiny barn owls, starlings, and once, a blue heron that had covered nearly the entire stoop. Muriel sat on her grandmother’s front porch each summer night, trying to spot when … Continue reading DP FICTION #65B: “Bring the Bones That Sing” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

DP FICTION #65A: “Minutes Past Midnight” by Mark Rivett

Ruth slammed through a metal security hatch. Solid steel met Ruth’s super strength and speed, and it shredded like tinfoil. From Ruth’s perspective, the world was frozen in time. Soldiers were posed in action – walking through halls, manning their posts, and otherwise going about the daily business of staffing a nuclear missile silo. None … Continue reading DP FICTION #65A: “Minutes Past Midnight” by Mark Rivett

DP FICTION #64B: “The Automatic Ballerina” by Michael Milne

The dancer spins, one limb upraised, precision-bevelled pointe toe poised against the place where a human knee would be. Cassia works leg-like appendages below its central chassis, tossing a frilly grey tutu out in a jellyfish whorl. It has a choice now: it could approximate anthropomorphic performance, occasionally wobbling, rotating its abdominal segment in concert … Continue reading DP FICTION #64B: “The Automatic Ballerina” by Michael Milne

DP FICTION #64A: “Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell

Editor’s Note: The original posting of this story included a terminology error where a spindle was confused with a spinning wheel. This has been corrected. Thank you to “Janice in GA” who first pointed out the error. 133 Poisonwood Avenue would be stronger if it was a killer house. There is an estate at 35 … Continue reading DP FICTION #64A: “Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell

The Lodge and Seven Contrivances: How Contrivance Affects Horror Plots

written by John Wiswell Most Horror stories are built on contrivance. In Jaws, a shark that absolutely isn’t native to that region attacks swimmers. How did it get there and why is it behaving this way? Neither Benchley’s novel nor Spielberg’s film cares. Little more effort is put into justifying the mayor and business owners … Continue reading The Lodge and Seven Contrivances: How Contrivance Affects Horror Plots