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, 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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Mutiny Point

3 AM, downtown’s deserted. Just my truck and the road.

I shouldn’t have come this way, too high profile for carrying valuable cargo. Hitting every red light, besides. Good thing the cops are all busy with them murderers and ruddy fucks causing shit where they shouldn’t. I don’t plan on meeting any trouble. Not tonight, anyway.

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Valley View’s Dead

“Think that one looks fresher than the others?” I flick my cigarette at a grave to my left. Both of us watch as the cherry fades into the yellowing sod.

“What’s the name?”

“Hughes, 1943 to 1987,” I say.

Nicholas gives the stone angel a kick. The priest at the bottom of the hill stops mid-eulogy and scolds us with a brief silence. A few black-laden mourners notice the pause and begin looking around strangely, unaware of the priest’s line of sight.

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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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Spill

A while back I had the honour of having both a short story and a small book review published in the inaugural issue of The Bolo Tie Collective‘s annual anthology. While the book review takes a lighter approach to a local author’s short publication, the short story below casts a dark shadow on Edmonton’s 104th Avenue, where “Spill” takes place.

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Exploring Liam Leroux’s “Ostrich MgQuarck is the Worst Detective in the World”

A while back I had the honour of having both a short story and a small book review published in the inaugural issue of The Bolo Tie Collective’s annual anthology. While the short story casts a dark shadow on Edmonton’s 104th Avenue, the book review below takes a lighter approach to local author Liam Leroux’s short publication, Ostrich MgQuarck is the Worst Detective in the World.

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