Nothing.

No…it didn’t start here. Not with the pissed man clutching a crushed beer can in fear on his knees. Not with the other over the wall…somewhere…split. 

After all, it’s only been how many hours? since I stopped staring at the blank wall of the TV. Only so many hours since I’d finally started listening to that other voice, like I should have been all along. I just walked out of the house and into the concrete cold, aiming for the usual trip to the WORLD’s BIGGEST MALL, or so it was once. That should have been the nothing of it. 

And then the surprises came.  

“M-mac…?”

Nothing much else comes out of him, the beer-piss puddle beneath the man growing as grows the effects of the adrenaline I know I can’t let go of now, no, not now. Not ever. There wasn’t a “going back”. I’d already let go. 

No, it didn’t start here. 

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Third Annual Face Your Fears Short Story Draw

What’s October without Spooky Stories?

About this time last year, over 50 contestants braved their worst fears by entering them into my Face Your Fears Short Story Draw. Now you, just like Rob (last year’s winner), have the chance to win a short story that leaves you at the mercy of your worst fear. He was most scared of fungus…what are you afraid of?

Whether privately or publicly, submit your name and worst fear by commenting below, or messaging directly via email, instagram, or twitter. All entries received by midnight on October 9, 2019 will be collected in a hat and drawn at random, with results posted the morning of October 10th, 2019.

Competition Closed: This Year’s Short Story Coming Soon!


Curious to read last year’s story?

Read “Devil’s Fingers” below.

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Devil’s Fingers

No one notices when you slip away, even in the bright orange light of a late autumn afternoon. Instead they sit on their daisy porches unaware of the chill in the air, complaining idly about the Penchant house’s awful lawn.

“It’s rats,” says one of them, sipping a sour lemonade.

“It’s this drought!” coughs another, wiping a grim, wrinkled hand over their parched mouth.

I myself couldn’t say exactly. I’d watched that house a long time; had grown up just across the street, the never-ending parade of “For Sale” signs forever planted in its front yard. One sits there now, dangling and dusty as it has been for the last six years, with nothing but the neighbourhood cats willing to wind their way quickly across the lawn, whiskers high.

That’s who I’d picked as the culprits, at first.

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Face your Fears Second Annual Short Story Draw

What’s October without Spooky Stories?

About this time last year, 62 contestants braved their worst fears by entering my “Face your Fears” Short Story Draw. Now you, just like Aleks, have the chance to win a short story that leaves you at the mercy of your worst fear. He was scared of being crushed alive…what are you afraid of?


Contest Closed; fright-writing in progress!

Whether privately or publicly, submit your worst fears to “Face your Fears” Short Story Contest by commenting below, or messaging directly through my Facebook page. All entries received by midnight on October 10, 2018 will be collected in a hat and drawn at random, with results posted the morning of October 11th, 2018.

Curious to read last year’s story?

Read “Fire-Out” here.

Header Image copyright Jessica Barratt

Fire Out

Lights off, we’d crashed hard onto his grandma’s sectional, still spinning after our longest night yet. Through the fog of comfortable darkness, Aleks mumbled on about his dreams. How none seemed exactly the same, but had a similar feeling. Like knowing for certain you were about to die, and praying for the end.

“And there’s this sound…” he’d managed to say through the alcohol I could smell on the both of us, “…like breaking. Like the sound of rocks breaking. Over and over again. A mountain cracking in half.”

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