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Short Stories

A list of published short stories

This list is incomplete because it does not include work featured in ezines or websites. I just need to work out what and where they were published. (Plus, there’s some free flash fiction at the bottom of the page, titled “Guzzle”).

  • “Alone with the Bones” (featured in Dragon: Ten Tales of Fiery Beasts anthology)
  • “Ten Minutes Till Deadtime” (featured in Hell’s Garden anthology)
  • “Hole in the Sky” (featured in Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk anthology)
  • “Disturbed” (featured in Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons anthology)
  • “The Artist and the Crone” (featured in Hell”s Grannies anthology)
  • “A Sunset Companion” (featured in Hell’s Kitties anthology)
  • “Naked Wings”, “The Donation”, and “Pieces of Cake” (featured in Burger Van anthology)
  • “The Commission” (featured in Shadows at the Door anthology)
  • “Away in a Mangler” (featured in Bah! Humbug! An Anthology of Christmas Horror Stories)
  • “The Rebirth” (featured in Collected Easter Horror Shorts anthology)
  • “All in the Eyes” (featured in Trapped Within anthology)
  • “A Story of Amber” (featured in Collected Halloween Horror Shorts anthology)
  • “Demon Alcohol” (featured in Doorway to Death: Afterlife anthology)
  • “In Loving Memory” (featured in Sparks: an Electric Anthology)
  • “Dust Devils” (featured in Tales From the Lake 4 anthology)
  • “Trust Issues” (featured in Masters of Horror anthology)

And…

Here’s that freebie I promised:

GUZZLE

A pool of grey muck leaked from the hessian sack and soaked into the shed’s floorboards. The smell of animal, of wet fur, forced Gerald backwards. His elbow smacked the door. The hinges creaked and an evening sunshine lanced the gloom.

“What—?” His voice came from a tight throat. He crouched beside the sack.

Something shifted inside, something heavy. Gerald jerked away and his foot slid in the filth. He crashed into a rack. Tins of nails, nuts and bolts, and a box of metal brackets rained down and clattered across the floor. He grabbed his head, clenching his teeth. From a throbbing scalp his fingers came away sticky.

The top of the sack gaped like a crooked mouth.

Gerald’s heartbeat thundered into the silence.

A clawed hand shot from the sack and jagged fingernails shredded the fabric. In a splash of filth, a bulk of mottled flesh, slick and glistening, flopped out. Fleshy limbs with bony joints covered in bristles, extended and slurped. One hand slapped the floor, fingers curling.

That filth spattered Gerald’s face and covered his lips. Bitter. He spat. His legs shook, his stomach churning; his breath came in short and sharp.

The creature stood upright and raised a bulbous head that almost touched the ceiling. Floppy appendages – were they ears? – clung to either side of a stubby snout. Clumsy, blunt teeth chattered between wet lips. Yellow bug-like eyes leaked as though crying not tears but pus. Raw blisters seethed over every inch of its grey flesh, and slime dripped from its immense torso like the thing sweated the damn stuff.

Seeming to ignore Gerald, this abomination reached towards a shelf and snatched a bottle of plant food. Plastic cracked as it tore off the cap. Knocking back its head, mouth wide, it guzzled the contents. White liquid dribbled over quivering lips and its forked-tongue. The empty bottle thumped the floor.

Gerald’s legs and arms failed him, terror rooting him to the floor.

The thing grabbed another bottle from the shelf, this time animal repellent. And this, too, it downed. Next was a bottle of weed-killer, and then white spirit.

The spreading muck, now churning with spilled chemicals, soaked Gerald’s clothes.

Finally, the creature’s yellow eyes focused on him and squinted at his wounded scalp. Its roar filled the confines of the shed, deafening. Then it pounced.

Those blunt teeth clamped his skull and—

Pain. Darkness.

Nothing.

(c)Mark Cassell 2015