Category Archives: fiction

3000 Miles of Blood

3000milesofbloodBeing a woman who lived during the eighteen hundreds, you’d think I could tell you a whole lot about life when dysentery was a thing people still worried about. When women were still very much beneath men and same gender attraction was basically hush-hush, behind-closed-doors, rarely ever heard of.

I could tell you how much I hated the clothing, the neck-wringing bonnets, or how I slept through the Civil War, World War 1 and even most of World War 2. I know, pretty fucked right?

What I really wish I could recall are the faces of my birth parents. My father, my mother, and whether I had any siblings. Not that it matters now, anyway. They’re all long dead. But there is one person I do remember quite well.

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DISSOCIATE

The scene began with a shuffling noise, not unlike a theater curtain. Short, quick, and mechanical, the reinforced door to the patient’s room slid open. Through the sting, as the fluorescent lights turn on and scrape away the darkness, see the prim black heels and the worn red sneakers, then pan upward: the two familiar figures — woman in a long white coat, man in a patch-adorned bomber jacket — rushing in with tired eyes. Hurrying to observe something on a hospital bed, out of sight. The man checks the silent monitors beside it, puzzled, as the woman sets her hands on the curious thing. They tower over the bed, dominating the room despite the concern and confusion plain on their faces.

“What..?” the woman began, trailing off as she poked and prodded.

“What the hell happened here? Cinq, how did you not notice any of this?”

“Castella,” the man replied, “I told you: I’d been paying attention this whole time. The readings just went… silent, all of a sudden! I called you as soon as it happened!”

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It’s Creaking Up Above

The wind howled it’s way around the cracks and corners of the tiny house. Inside, the youngest of the family, a boy of five, was the only one awake, the blanket to his chin. He heard that wind in his nightmares sometimes, as it came whipping in off the long plains that stretched around the farm forever. It scared him less when the thunder slammed into the windows with it, or it brought the snow to take the world away. Those times it was right, and natural, and only doing what wind must do, because it is wind.

On nights like this, however, it screamed for no reason but to scare him. His father hated it because it hurt the trees, and his mother hated it because it made her sneeze, but he feared it as it encroached, enraged at him for some reason he could never understand.

He could swear he felt the house crouch lower huddling and hiding against the onslaught. The boy could commiserate, and scrambled further down into his quilts, large eyes staring. It almost seemed like he could hear things rustling in the attic above. Perhaps the wind had found it’s way in, or scared in a creature much like himself, small and quaking. Or maybe, as his mother so often said, her lips pursed, her voice snapping like the knots that burst in the fire, his imagination was simply too active. He tried to make it behave, but it never seemed to listen.

Listen. The creaking of the wood, right above his bed. A hole in the roughly hewn planks tried to catch his eye, and he pulled the blankets higher with a gasping little noise.

There’s was probably nothing up there, just like the apple tree wasn’t a skeleton, and the fox holes weren’t secret tunnels to buried treasure.
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A Note on Death

When I died, there was no white light at the end of a tunnel, no gathering of the spirits of late friends and family members—it wasn’t even nothingness. Since my death and crossing into the after-realm, I’ve heard from others that it’s different for everyone, but at first we all experienced the same thing.

From what I could gather, there was one general consensus. Death is both painful and painless. Some spirits hypothesize that it’s the disconnection of the soul from the body, like snapping a rubber band so hard that it breaks. There was an immediate flash of crippling pain, and then a complete lack of feeling or body. Following that was some form of nausea, possibly the last physical feeling a soul experiences before arriving in the afterlife. I think it’s some form of spiritual whiplash; the shock from the pain of dying versus the immediate numbness almost creates its own feeling.

Scientists say that a brain can function up to a few minutes after the heart stops. I think that’s where the pain comes from, like some kind of echo. There’s also a hypothesis that says the brain releases every bit of DMT it has stored up in the brain, all at once. That would explain the following experience.

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All in Fear: Queer Horror for the Holidays

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All in Fear is a queer horror anthology that features a wide variety of different topics. From vampires, to experiments, to frat houses, All in Fear has something for everyone. Each one of these six stories has a unique and alluring feel to it, drawing the reader into the world of the author. All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales is available now at OpenInkPress.com.

GenderTerror was lucky to get a small interview with each of the authors, asking them what their inspirations were as well as why queer horror was something that was important to them. Each author’s personal feelings are felt in each story in this small anthology, making it that much more personal and interesting for readers.

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Momento Mori

There was something to be said about the light.

It was sort of terrifying, the thought of having every last organ exposed, having people see them raw and cold and laid out on the slab. But that was the way it always went. Cold air. Icy touches. The instruments were shiny and sharp and cut through them like butter. Their insides were too dark, too cool, too sticky with clotting blood. They always got to them before they were bloated. Usually just after rigor set in. This was their job, after all.

This happened every week.

They would not know when death would claim them, exactly, but it happened so often that the fear had dulled down to a nauseating apprehension.

They would proceed through life quietly and as happily as they could, but then, eventually, it would be an icy Wednesday afternoon and they’d find themselves pinned beneath the too-hot, panting form of a werewolf. Teeth yellow, drool against their skin, and then those fangs (ones they studied in class, ones that were not supposed to belong to beasts this far in the city) would be digging into their throat, giving, taking, ripping away the life from their body as they kicked and screamed.

It happened all the time. They would be dead, as physically dead as any other lycanthrope or car crash or murder victim, but they would still be in there, in most senses of the word. Trapped in their cocoon of meat and sinew, dripping cooling blood and covered in bruises. Sentient, but only partially feeling. Un-moving. Cold.

Then the autopsy.

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Sea Changes

Ben shut the bathroom door before he turned on the fan, the sink, and the tub faucet. He paused for a moment, then turned on the shower as well, a cascade of sound surrounding him. It wasn’t enough. He imagined he could still hear the thrashing in the backyard pool, the way it grew increasingly frantic before it finally slowed. Then, as always, stopped.

He sat on the edge of the tub, almost hyperventilating. The water from the shower beat a warm staccato against the vinyl shower curtain pressed against his back. Drops of mist caught in his hair and mingled with the sweat that trickled down his face and back, soaking into his clothes.

He wasn’t sure how long he remained like that, mind racing but going nowhere, until he was shocked out of it by a knock on the door.  He didn’t answer, and after a few long moments, it opened slowly.

“Ben?”

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Click

Click. Click. Click. She rapped her nails on the table, sounding like a small dog walking across a tile floor. This analogy wasn’t entirely incorrect, though the words were not small nor dog (in the man’s best friend sense anyway). Lenore sighed and with a loud huff, rested her head in her other hand and continued her clicking on her kitchen table. What to do, what to do. The rain echoed her rhythm on the table, a slow and heavy sort of rain. The type that soaks you the minute you walk out the door with fat, heavy drops.

She couldn’t go for a run. Her girlfriend hated the way she smelled when she went for a run in the rain. Her girlfriend was a cat person, being a witch and all, but of course she fell for the werewolf. Go figure. Ana would shoo Lenore out of the house some nights until she dried out and this rain didn’t seem to want to stop. So that was out of the question. What was a bored werewolf to do?

Ana was out. She was out often. Lenore didn’t have to ask where she went anyway. She always came back smelling like spice and sweat. Ana said it was her coven. She never smelt like sex or lust so, Lenore didn’t pry much more into it. No reason. You can’t really hide cheating from a werewolf. People joke about people stinking of guilt and other women, which isn’t exactly incorrect, but Lenore doubted they could actually smell it like her.

With a groan of the chair, Lenore rose her massive frame and decided to see what mischief she could get into in her own house. Why not explore Ana’s study? Maybe she could set up a nice surprise for her or get some ideas for the soon coming holidays. Whatever Lenore could get into in the study was infinitely more interesting than watching water falling from the sky.

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Decay

Jim worked in a field that left his definition of “deceased” a little blurred.

It had sort of called to him ever since he was a child – that desire to distort the line between life and death, to explore what he could outside the bounds of “nature.” His father had been a pious man, a preacher, but where his mother had been quiet and kind, his father had been cruel and his words had rang out like God himself was using him as an amplifier. He could still hear the hellfire spilling from his lips as he lorded over his congregation, spoke of sin and eternal damnation. Whenever he’d preach those things – promises of punishment for being a heathen –  he’d always look down at his son in the first row. It was like he’d seen something sinister in the boy on the day he was born, and every move Jimmy made only solidified that suspicion.

So Jim had done what came natural – he had cowered from his father, turned away from his warnings of damnation and demons. It wasn’t out of spite (he had never been too spiteful, really) but out of fear, a desire to protect himself. He wasn’t bad, right? He hadn’t even done anything wrong, at least, not until he turned twelve and met the witch that would grant him his very first spellbook, would whisper that he had potential, that he had a knack for black magic.

That had been years back, though, in another story altogether – a time when he’d been fragile, swayed by his desire for approval, to find a place he belonged. He was hardly that watery eyed preacher’s son anymore – now he was a thirty-something year old necromancer who hadn’t shaved in a week or so, who smelt of sulfur and gore and stale cigarettes. He lived in the middle of nowhere in a dirty little trailer, and practiced his craft within the shelter of those rotting particleboard walls.

Things were, he assumed, as good as they’d ever get.

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Scrawling

By:  Emilie V Sovis

I – The Parchment

         The silence drives me to desperation. I am here in the dark, with little left of life but a desire to end the madness. Here is my final hope, my last call into the darkness that crawls ever closer to me. This is my recollection and record of the nightmare that has beset us all, and left us, far from one another, alone and quaking.

My skin has taken upon it a pallor like that of the grave. My eyes, peeled wide from staring into darkness have gathered beneath them bags of tired blood and weakened plasma, the children of my rampant insomnia. My hair is filthy; my skin is made-up with the dust of these long dead passages. My fingers are cut and callused and my nails are but brittle, receding refugees of cracked cartilage. I have not the beauty I once did. I have become a rotten ghost, a pitiful creature, and a terror to the eyes, but nothing compared to what moves in the darkness around me.

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