Category: dark fiction

Exclusive Member Story Men of the World By Nick Black

Men of the WorldI write this by the guttering light of a candle, melted down so far, it’s mostly wick and puddle now.   The darkness around me billows and retreats, billows larger again as a draft creeps in near my feet.

My nib scrapes against this paper, though I can barely read what I am writing.  I ignore the repeated, demented, banging that I cannot tell if outside on the street or within this very house.  I steady my hand so as to spill no more ink, and start at the beginning, with Thurwell bursting into the Club, a train of snow in his wake. Burton and I beckoned him to join us by the hearth, and sent for brandy. Neither of us had seen him since his return to England, and while he answered our many questions, I took the time to examine the changes five years abroad had wrought on the man. Never thickly set, he had dropped a weight of flesh from his bones but was finely dressed, moustache well waxed, beard curling from his thin chin in an upward hook.

“Gentleman,” he said, raising his tumbler in a toast. ‘To old friends.” In the dancing rosy firelight, his face had a positively Moorish aspect so that his eyes and teeth flashed all the whiter by contrast. “And tomorrow, my lambs, you must come to my rooms, for I have brought back mementos that I believe may amuse, things,” he looked around, “not suitable for such public galleries.”

(more…)

Ivy Moon By Sophie McNaughton

Ivy MoonI clumsily stumbled off the train into the frosty, crispy air of Glasgow Central Station after my gruelling nightshift. My feet ached, my eyes were stinging and I was yawing with practically every breath. I couldn’t wait to cut through Thomson Street alley, to avoid the Christmas shopping hysteria in the city centre, get back to my flat, make some hot chocolate and climb into my lumpy old bed.

After buying a black coffee and a new pack of cigarettes, I eventually managed to squirm out of the crowded buzzing station and took the shortcut home. Thomson Street alley was quite wide and cobbled with a few charity shops and a crumbling old café that was in dire need of a facelift. I pulled on my woolly gloves and hugged my arms to my shivering body as I paced down the alley with fresh snow crunching under my warm boots. As I turned at the bend later in the alley, I stopped short to see a brand new shop. I had walked through the winding path only the day before and in the spot where the new shop now stood, there was merely a brick wall. I couldn’t understand how an entire shop could have been built and ready for business overnight. Had I just never noticed it before?

It was a small bookshop, decorated with pale blue paint that was peeling around the edges of the roughcast walls. Vines of flowers crawled up the structure into the guttering, strangling the little cottage. A sign above the glass door in an Old English script read: Ivy Moon Bookshop.

(more…)

Cabinet Reshuffle By Thomas Mogford

Cabinet ReshuffleThere were eight of them on the terrace, sweating in their emerald tailcoats. Dinner plates had been discarded, congealing taramasalata stabbed with fag butts, torn pita breads swollen pink with spilt claret. The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ blasted from the CD player, drowning out the evening sounds of the Corfu peninsula – the chant of cicadas, the distant ebb and flow of the Mediterranean, steady as a heartbeat. Above, the Milky Way glowed eerily, but none of the group was looking up. They were staring instead at the three-inch gecko lying motionless beneath the outside lights.

‘Slops,’ hissed the group, ‘slops, slops…’

As the song reached its final verse, the young man knew he was running out of time. He crept towards the wall, black shoe in one hand, seeing moths fluttering around the light fitting. Then he let fly. His aim was true, a fast bowler’s length and line – the reason, his brother would always insist, that he was allowed to run with this crowd at all. A slap detonated above the music as the shoe hit the wall, then fell to the ground.

‘Did he get it?’ someone called.

(more…)

Dark Disneyland By Patrick Sagaram

Dark DisneylandIT WAS ONE OF THOSE EXTRAORDINARY AND INFREQUENT MOMENTS when their dreams however hazy and misshapen did attain perfection. Most of the time, they were a series of narratives of pure imagery, flowing like quicksilver, defining their experiences with such lucidity that when they awoke, it often amazed them what the eye of their minds can achieve.

          They are creatures of imagination and artistry during nocturnal hours, leaving them hollow and empty during the day.

They usually rise from their concrete panopticons from uneasy dreams and begin their daily transformation; individuals bent on consumption who unbeknownst to them are the means of production, mere vassals that power this dreamlike world, this dark disneyland.

(more…)