The Watch House: A Ghost Story for Christmas

It was Angie – or ‘Angelique’ as she now styled herself – who first figured out that the old watch house on the Spit would make a great venue for a Christmas party. An early adapter to acid house, she loved beach parties in the summer and warehouse parties in the winter. This year, she… Continue reading The Watch House: A Ghost Story for Christmas

The 2021 Olga Sinclair Prize for Short Fiction – Judge’s Comments

It was with great pleasure, not to say humility, that I was asked to judge the 2021 Olga Sinclair Prize for Short Fiction, the results of which were announced this evening. The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Lost’, to be interpreted in any way by the submitting authors, the only limit being the number… Continue reading The 2021 Olga Sinclair Prize for Short Fiction – Judge’s Comments

A Short Story for Halloween

The Final Entry in the Journal of the Late Leviticus Lovecraft October 31, 18— My reason fails me this night. Already, I have seen the shadows moving in the darkness beyond the glass. And yet, they tell me that I am ill. Ill I am, but I know that I be not mad. 0 curs’d… Continue reading A Short Story for Halloween

A True Story for Halloween

It was hard to live in the country, and Celia had been there her whole life. After eight children, she remained what people called a handsome woman. Despite aprons, a thickening waist, barge arse and silver stretch marks, all of which George claimed he never noticed, her pale skin was soft and wanton beneath the… Continue reading A True Story for Halloween

The Wife of an Honourable Counsellor

Many years ago, the wife of an honourable counsellor took great pride in the completion of a lavish family vault in a fashionable cemetery. It was important to enjoy one’s monuments before occupation, and here, she felt, was a burial chamber in which the couple and their descendants could be laid to rest in a… Continue reading The Wife of an Honourable Counsellor

Deep in the Woods – A Victorian Ghost Story

I do not believe in anything. My dear wife was always more religious than I. That is to say she was more open-minded when it came to matters spiritual and incorporeal, tending towards a polite agnosticism over my own intractable atheism, and general scepticism towards the supernatural beyond the pages of my own fiction.

A Story for Halloween

I was having had a spot of bother with a rich man’s wife. She was older than me but I didn’t care. I just wanted her, like some strange and terrible drug.

It was the usual story. She’d married young, enticed by the charm of a mature and successful man, and the stability that comes of secure investments. The age gap had not seemed so much when she was twenty and he was fit and fifty.

Mockingbird’s End – Part One

There were at least five ways home from The Saracen’s Head, and Stan couldn’t think of any of them. He adjusted to the sharp shock of the winter darkness instead, lit a fag, and smoked it savagely as if it had in some way done him greatly wrong. Behind himself, the lights of the pub shut off one by one. Loneliness bit down. Stan Metcalf stoically lit another off the butt of the first. It was late, he was in trouble. Ruby would be waiting.

The First Story I Ever Wrote

It was the end of the frustrating fifties.

Mary, my mother, heavily pregnant at sixteen, like her mother before her, and just as tragically innocent of the mechanics of her own body, took to the outside toilet suffering from violent stomach cramps. A convulsive eternity later, with a double scream (one of utter terror on Mum’s part and mild surprise on mine), I was born.

A Short Story About Zombies

‘The thing I love about this job,’ said the soldier, ‘is that you never know where you’ll end up next.’

You and me both, I thought, following him along the deserted seafront. One day you’re doing a bit of freelance journalism, the next you’re on some mysterious Pacific island at the invitation of the owners, all expenses very generously paid. Odd really, given that when I was in the Fleet Street mainstream I was one of their most ardent critics. I shielded my eyes and surveyed a promenade of abandoned cars and looted shops. Off the grid corporate retreats can get pretty weird but I hadn’t seen this one coming.