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

DP FICTION #63B: “Synner and the Rise of the Rebel Queen” by Phoebe Wagner

The Greyhood Gang created the boards to escape the guards. The Gallows Hand Gang modified the design with runes, potion washes, and badass art. The last gang, the Blacksmith Bitches, put the boards to their true purpose: rooftop raids on the rich. It went like this. Rich folks live at the highest points in the … Continue reading DP FICTION #63B: “Synner and the Rise of the Rebel Queen” by Phoebe Wagner

DP FICTION #63A: “Everything Important in One Cardboard Box” by Jason Kimble

Content Warning: Domestic Violence Max found the box that fit absolutely everything when he was clearing space for Roderick to move in. They had agreed he’d pare down to a single bookshelf, so he drove by the local rental place and bought a half dozen boxes. By the end of the first round, he’d cleared … Continue reading DP FICTION #63A: “Everything Important in One Cardboard Box” by Jason Kimble

DP FICTION #62B: “On You and Your Husband’s Appointment at the Reverse-Crematorium” by Bill Ferris

You place the urn carefully onto the examination table. The doctor opens the lid, takes a peek inside, sniffs a little. He nods, like he’s evaluating a new blend of coffee, then dumps half of your husband’s cremains into a big metal mixing bowl, the kind they had in the restaurant kitchen you used to … Continue reading DP FICTION #62B: “On You and Your Husband’s Appointment at the Reverse-Crematorium” by Bill Ferris

DP FICTION #62A: “A Promise of Dying Embers” by Jordan Kurella

It is a long way down to the sea. A long way down, and treacherous. But I must make this journey today from my uncle’s castle, carrying his bones. I must make this journey, both for my uncle’s bargain, and for my own. The way starts in the morning, when the frost’s sheen at the … Continue reading DP FICTION #62A: “A Promise of Dying Embers” by Jordan Kurella