This story won Gold in Blank Spaces Magazine's Short Story Contest. Here's what judges had to say:
"This author simply elevates tired folklore to a new level and deftly weaves it into a humanistic tale that underscores the value in family relationships... Well done!"
"The writer puts care into his / her language, as well as the characters. The imagery lightens the load on a heavy theme. Loved the resonance of the ending." “Rich in character and symbolism, this story engages the reader from the outset and maintains the suspense through to the end... The sense of tone and the atmosphere make this a unique and appealing piece of writing.”
Published by Blank Spaces Magazine. You can read an excerpt here.
The Pleasure's All Mine
Tim crouches beside me, trembling. He clutches the best weapon he could find among the toppled supply shelves, but his office scissors only underscore how helpless we really are.
“What do you hear?” I ask him again.
“Still the rescuers! They say it’s all safe - they just need help opening the door.”
“Don’t even think about it.”
“You don’t hear them?”
I listen, though I don’t want to. Still your promises, still your kindness, still your love. It sounds so real, like I could just open the closet door and you’d be there. But beneath it all, steady and cruel, I can hear The Pleasure’s blades scraping away at the steel door.
“No. Something else.”
Two employees struggle to survive their company's murderous invention. In this Frankenstein's Monster tale, creating fantasies is a dayjob - but believing them could cost you your life.
Published by Broken Pencil Magazine and illustrated by Nicole Zaridze - available for order here.
Shut Your Hellhole
Vancouver is paradise for real estate developers – but when an enormous mouth opens below the construction of a high rise, Carlos will have to face the hell that lurks beneath his beautiful city, and confront his own demons therein. Published by Literally Stories - you can read it online here.
All Over, Anyway
This story won Gold in Blank Spaces Magazine's September Short Story Contest. Here's what judges had to say:
“Readers are transported to another time and place with this telling of the image provided. The author brings visceral sensations to a tale that pushes readers to consider their own mortality. Very well done.”
“I am stunned by how much was packed into this short story, an entire world inhabited in a brief moment.” “Vivid and beautifully written, full of sorrow, frustration, yearning, and love. ”
Published by Blank Spaces magazine. You can read an excerpt here.
“Now, now, now,” scolds the instructor, dislodging Harriet’s paintbrush from its neck, “stabbing isn’t a part of paint night!”
I'm really proud of this twisted little horror story. Published by Haunted MTL, you can read it online here. (4,310 words)
Abra-Cadaver follows a 14th century teenager as she tries to outrun predators and stave off delirium long enough to keep her promise: delivering a plague victim to the city for a proper burial. Ultimately, her greatest obstacle won’t be the wolves, but a struggle for compassion in an era of fear and discrimination.
Published by Blank Spaces Magazine, and available for order here.
This story was nominated by Blank Spaces for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.
This is the only wholesome thing on this list. A tiny piece of flash fiction I wrote to cheer up a friend, about a cactus looking for identity.
Published by Every Day Fiction, you can read it online here.