It’s been a long time since I wrote a Drabble. You know, a story in 100 words. And what better place to submit it than A Story in 100 Words, who published it. Writing the story wasn’t easy, in fact that’s what the story is about. Click on over and give it a read.
Of the dozen stories published in 2019, this may be my favorite. Atmospheric and eerie, it tells quite a complex tale in about three-thousand words. Published by Eternal Haunted Summer in their Winter Solstice issue.
Horror writing has always been part of my speculative toolbox. When I started writing these stories, there were things I vowed NOT to do: werewolves howling at the moon, unearthing a mummy or the same old vampire tale. This pledge came with a disclaimer, that I would give myself the go-ahead if I found a unique way to approach tried-and-true monsters. “The Difference Blood Makes” is such a tale. Now available in ebook or print as part of the third Weird and Whatnot anthology (11/16/19 issue).
With some short stories, persistence pays off. Curveball has been searching for a home for nearly four years. I knew the characters were interesting and plot was good, but the story didn’t fit neatly in a genre; it touched the supernatural and a crime was involved, but it fell somewhere in-between. Submitted 25 times and rewritten twice, this tale finally found an editor who liked it enough to publish it on their website.
Everyone who reads this piece asks if it’s true. Thankfully, no. The story is fictional and was originally submitted to Reflex Fiction in April 2019. It didn’t win the contest, but they were moved by it and decided to publish it anyway.
by DL Shirey
The boy beams when finished. Beams. Like the face of God’s son whose name I no longer invoke. For eleven years he’s smiled whenever he sees me. Smiles when I feed him yoghurt. Smiles as I clean up shit and vomit. Gabe is a happy child. Happiest when he finishes a drawing.
Exciting update on my short story “Faithful.” It is now available in an anthology on Amazon US (Kindle or paperback) and Amazon UK (Kindle or paperback).
Horror Tree has assembled all stories previous published in their 2018 “Trembling With Fear” column. That’s 204 tales of fright and weirdness (I counted). Stories are listed by the month they were published. Mine is in December.
Despite the title, this story is more horror than sci-fi. (And as horror goes, fairly mild.) As Corner Bar Magazine editor Garry Somers told me, “It’s like a Twilight Zone episode, only without the preface by Serling that warns you that you’re about to be freaked out.” Being a TZ fan myself, that is high praise. First published in July 2019.
Where Pluto Used To Be
by DL Shirey
The nausea hadn’t started yet, but it was just around the corner. Right now the problem was itching, and those awful thoughts that if she scratched too hard, too often in the same spot, her skin would shred like grated cheese.
Elsa tried not to scrape her manicured nails where it itched most, on her ankles. Instead she crossed her legs, placing a foot on her knee, then gently rubbed at the itch beneath her pant leg. But a laying-on of hands wouldn’t sooth it, nor would a lotion to moisturize skin. Oxy or Vikes would do it.