The Break-Up

The Bethany Arms. The kind of place where they keep a donkey inside a barb-wire enclosure. Chickens chased each other through the rising dust.

“Do you think that’s our supper?” said Jean, trying to make me laugh.

She’d spent the trip sulking. We were on our way to see my dying father and I could have used some support instead of Jean’s black moods. At first she had charmed me – her quick wit, even her temper – but now I knew that she wasn’t the right companion for this kind of thing. If she sulked in the car, God knows what she’d be like when we finally reached the hospice.

For now, the sight of the mundane – a desert motel, the dirty animals – had restored her good humor. To her, the livestock was a charming novelty. But I’d grown up in a town not far from here and my childhood had schooled me well in small cruelties. Unlike Jean, I could spot the whip-marks across the donkey’s back. If this place was a joke, it came at the expense of the voiceless.

The motel office stood locked and empty, ringed by cheap outdoor furniture. We sat in silence, drinking warm soda from our cool-box, suitcases at our feet like loyal dogs. The local fey, finger-length, fluttered around us, cursing in mouse-squeaks until I opened a third can for them.

“They set traps for them. I saw one outside the manager’s office,” offered Jean.

“They don’t like magic around here.” I fumbled across the table for her hand but she crossed her arms and stared into the distance.

“They don’t like magic here? So where does something like you come from?”

“My father had Old Blood. Just a trickle. It didn’t breed true in him. But with me-” my voice trailed off at the sight of a man slouching towards us.

“The manager. You should carry your own luggage,” I mumbled. “We don’t want people to talk.”

Jean’s scrutiny made me clumsy; my suitcase banged my shins. Instead of anger in her gaze, there was something worse. There was judgment.

*********

The manager had wet brown teeth.

There was something anachronistic about his poor dentistry; rotten teeth are almost unknown in an era of cosmetic spells. But as I’d told Jean, they don’t care for magic this far South. His eyes darted from me to Jean, assessing. He took in our superficial resemblance and his brow furrowed in confusion.

“Sisters? Passing through?” he guessed.

Jean opened her mouth to correct him.

“Yes,” I interrupted smoothly, “Just passing through.”

*********

Our room was narrow and smelt, for some unknown reason, of apples. The air buzzed with raised voices. It took me a few seconds before I recognized one of them as my own. I experienced a strange sense of detachment, as if I was standing outside myself, studying the fight with clinical disdain.

“Why the hell did you want me here? If you’re ashamed of me?” hissed Jean. In anger, her face became smoother, her features less defined.

She glared up at me. Lonely as I was, I still wasn’t stupid enough to whistle up something taller than me. And of course, she was shrinking now. A safety measure of sorts. When I first created her, I’d sworn that this one wouldn’t go wrong but God knows, I’d made those sorts of promises before.

“Why am I here if you don’t need me?” she whined “What happens to me then?”

“I make another,” I said.

Her hand – barely larger than a child’s now – struck me. Without thinking, I hit her back as hard as I could. Something – not blood – flew out of its mouth. Then the homunculus collapsed at my feet.

Drained of magic, its corpse was smaller than a drowned kitten. It looked like a half-formed fetus, something born dead. The only sound in the room was my own breathing. I was alone again.

*********

That night I didn’t sleep. Instead, I thought about my mother’s illness. By the time she died, she didn’t even look like a person.

After the funeral, my father came into my room for the last time. He was a lean, gingery man; his Old Blood manifested in his unusual eyes, a foxy cast to his features. He spoke in a beery gasp, somewhere between a sob and a growl: “Did you do something to her?”

I studied him with pale eyes – his eyes – and offered him the lie, carefully rehearsed at her graveside.

“Yes. And if you touch me again, I’ll do something to you too.”

He ran from my room and I heard the sound of spasmodic vomiting. A week later, I left home. Now I was less than a day away from the man who had raised me, sometimes violently, less often with love. I couldn’t face him alone.

On the pillow beside me, Jean’s corpse was a hard leather lump. Briefly I cradled the spent thing to my chest, my lips parting in a reedy whistle. But it was no good. My magic needed living flesh to sculpt. My thoughts strayed to the motel donkey.

There was no one else awake when I approached its enclosure. The animal shifted uneasily but settled down when I reached through the wire and petted its nose. I started to whistle. In the middle of nowhere, a miracle unfolded beneath my touch.

I slipped away before dawn, my new homunculus at my side. Everything fascinated her – the rumbling car, the caress of Jean’s shirt on her skin, me. We touched constantly. In a few hours, she’d be capable of speech. In a few months, she’d be bored with the world and me. Soon she’d look at me with the same disappointed eyes as Jean.

Might as well enjoy my new relationship while it lasted.

The End

Lee Jacob Phillips is a former art lecturer who has had 4 solo exhibitions. His short fiction and articles have appeared in a number of collections and anthologies. He was selected multiple times as an Ambassador of Words by the César Egido Serrano Foundation and recently received a Shortbox grant for his comic work. His previous occupations include toy salesman, bartender and bodyguard. He currently lives in South Africa. To find out more about his art, writing and other projects, you can visit his Twitter https://twitter.com/smokefurandsto1

Our posts are 100% Patreon funded! If you want to see early posts, full resolution art, and WIPs, please consider supporting us on Patreon!

Circe’s Boars

“Odysseus is mad.”

Eurylochus leaned in on his bow until only Elpenor could hear him. They hovered near a lighted torch on the furthest side of their beach camp. From where they were, Elpenor saw the great blue eyes of their ship peaking out from the water, which looked oily so deep into the night. On their other side, he only saw dim shadows in the dark wood.

“He misses home,” said Elpenor, himself leaning in, although he kept his back straight. “And he’s kept us alive.”

“By fighting a giant we had no business bothering?” Eurylochus challenged. He looked back at Elpenor from under a headband and dark-brown curls. “Now we’re stranded on this island, and more of us go missing every day. He swears there’s a witch.”

Elpenor’s brows arched downwards, his fine mouth settling into a frown. The woods beyond stayed quiet, and far enough away not to hide listening ears. “You don’t believe him.”

Eurylochus checked behind them to confirm that the men at the bonfire were still distracted. They did. Men sat languidly around the fire, telling tales and cooking meat until their watch. The boat remained quiet, the soft waves rocking it peacefully. “I don’t believe one way or another. I know I took a small group of men into the woods, and we found nothing but vines and wild sows.”

“No boars?”

“Well,” Eurylochus began, “As far as I can tell, there’s not a stag, bull, or stud among them.”

“Odysseus came back with a stag not long ago,” Elpenor added.

“But have you seen any? In the wild?” Continue reading “Circe’s Boars”

Silence

I watched the stars blink out one by one.

I let the silence overtake me then, as space and time grew quiet and alone. A dark void surrounded and filled me as the black grew into existence, and I knew that we had done this. We had stirred this darkness, stirred it and fed it and made it grow, and it consumed us. Slowly, desperately, and terribly, it consumed us.

And then we set it free. Continue reading “Silence”

Happy One Year Anniversary!


Art by Tsi-bi, who has also done The “Thing”!

In the beginning of August in 2016, I began to rebrand my personal blog into a queer horror community. As someone who has always loved horror, I felt there was a significant lacking in queer horror coverage as well as in showcasing queer horror creators and their particular works, some new, some old. I wanted to create a place for people to be able to share their love of horror, discuss their love of horror, as well as support the uniquely queer type of horror created by artists and writers.

Thus, on August 28 2016, I re-launched the site with Monsters Of Our Own, a piece on trans identity and monsters that continues to be extremely popular to this day. GenderTerror became it’s own special place in the queer horror world that is continuing to grow and expand.

In one year we’ve had:

  • 27 unique contributors
  • 15 exclusive art pieces
  • 20 exclusive short stories/interviews/reviews
  • 37,530 views
  • 25,081 visitors
  • all from all over the world from every continent (except Antarctica).

The following are the top 3 posts in each category. This does not mean there is not other fantastic work on the site! Please use these as a stepping stone if you are new here and wish to explore the wonderful area of queer horror!

Top art posts:

  1. Devilbabes n Jawboys by Francine Queen
  2. Fairies by Haley/Ivan Kasof
  3. CHEWTOY by Murphy

Top fiction posts:

  1. Sunflower Blood by Espi Kvlt (link contains 18+ material)
  2. It’s Creaking Up Above by Jacalyn
  3. All The Hungry Ghosts by Jade S.

Top non-fiction posts:

  1. Monsters of Our Own: Monster Symbolism in the Trans Community by Lucian Clark
  2. Queer Ghosts and Those Who Find Them: An Interview with Queer Ghost Hunters with Queer Ghost Hunters
  3. How to Be A Werewolf: Interview with Shawn Lenore with Shawn Lenore

And as always, none of this would have been possible without the kindness and generosity of our Patreon supporters! Without them, we would not have had as many wonderful artists, writers, and contributors for the site. It is with Patreon support that we will continue to grow.

Please check GenderTerror out on Patreon!

This week will have posts as well as ending with an exciting announcement! Please celebrate with us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook!

Sunflower Blood

Delilah would do anything to see her sister again, even if it means walking into a strange and dangerous world.

Trigger/Content Warning: Sexual Assault

She saw the boys surrounding her sister. She saw her sister’s face bloody and beaten. She saw bruises covering her arms. And then she heard her scream. One of the boys dropped down in front of her, knife in hand. He spread open her legs.

And then Delilah shot up in bed, the heat from the sun already beating down heavily upon her forehead. Fear found its way into her sweat. It dripped into her eye and made her jump. She rushed over to the phone to call her best friend.

#

Dante reached into his bag and pulled out a pair of pink-rimmed glasses, handing them to Delilah. He smiled.

“I’m scared.”

“There’s nothing to be scared of, D. You think I’d let you get hurt?”

Continue reading “Sunflower Blood”

Dysphoric Reality

TW: Suicide (potentially), dysphoria

People talk about dysphoria as if its a monster. This looming beast who lurches over us, slowly pressing its weight into our bodies. This creature that lurks around every corner, in every shadow. This Blood Mary who waits in our mirrors to strike if we dare to catch a glimpse. Dysphoria is described as dark and monstrous, something ready to rip out hearts and minds out the moment we dare to acknowledge it, feeding on the small triumphs to bring us back down. Those watchful eyes that never leave, that phantom breath down our necks.

What if I were to tell you that for some, dysphoria really is a monster. It really is a creature lurking in the shadows, sucking on happiness and leaving a hollow shell. What if I were to tell you that it may kill me soon and is just waiting for the right moment to strike with blade sharp fangs and claws? If the hushed ways we speak of these feelings manifests. It twists. It warps. It becomes real. Welcome to my world. I do not only have to deal with dysphoria, I have to live with it.

Continue reading “Dysphoric Reality”