Taking Submissions ‘Pirates & Ghosts’ And ‘Agents & Spies’

Deadline: July 7th, 2017
Payment: 6 cents per word
Note: Reprints Allowed
Note: Apologies for the short notice here

Continuing the success of our previous call for submissions (we received almost 2000 submissions!), we’re looking for around twenty to thirty short stories by contemporary writers to complement a selection of classic tales in two new anthologies. We are keen to encourage new writers, without prejudice to age, background or previous publication history. It’s the story that matters, and the quality of writing.

Submit by email to [email protected]

The Two New Volumes

Pirates & Ghosts: Adventures and hauntings at sea, shipwrecks and buried treasure, treacherous waters, sea spirits, ghostly galleons, giant squid, kraken and a myriad of deadly sea monsters, sailors gone mad, revenge and madness, romance and the ancient skulls of desperate mariners…

Agents & Spies: From Machiavelli to James Bond, the intrigue of the Tudor court, the avarice of the Medicis, the poisons, the secret letters, the betrayal of lovers and governments, the smuggling of plans and formula for new weapons and inventions: this is the murky world of the official saboteur, plausible deniability and quiet knife in the back.

Formal Call for Submissions (2017)

We are looking for new and recent short stories. We do not require exclusivity. You hold copyright, licensing us just for this publication. We don’t mind if your story has been previously published online or in print (though we do need to know publication and date). Simultaneous submissions are fine, but you must have the right to license your story in an anthology.

Word length is most likely to be successful at 2000-4000, but we will still read stories slightly outside this range. 

Submit by email [email protected]

Fees, Copyright and Other Terms

• We pay Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates of 6 cents per word.

• We would prefer to pay via PAYPAL because bank charges to the US and Canada in particular can be crippling for all concerned.

• Payment will be made within 30 days of the final advertised publication date (see our website, flametreepublishing.com for details), although we might choose to pay some early.

• Submission does not imply the right to publication. Each story will be read and assessed by the selection panel.

• Please submit in .doc or .rtf formats, double spaced, with your name and email address in the footer or header of each page.

• We will aim to read each story and confirm its status within 30 working days of the submission deadline.

• The anthologies will be published worldwide, available online and to bookstores worldwide, in print and ebook formats.

• You can submit more than one story, and to each collection.

Final submission date is 7 July 2017.

Submit by email only to:[email protected]

Selection Panel

The selection will be made by our group of life-long, in-house enthusiasts: Nick Wells (Publisher), Laura Bulbeck (Senior Editor) and Josie Mitchell, Gillian Whitaker and Cat Taylor. If required, the final selection will be mediated by our series editors. We try to keep everyone up-to-date as much as possible with occasional email updates.

A Word about the SFWA

To confirm, we became an SFWA qualifying market last year, so being published by us will help your status with them of course, but also with other readers and writers.

About Flame Tree Publishing

Now over 25 years old we started in 1992, covering a wide range of art and culture titles, with a strong vein of highly-illustrated Gothic and Fantasy books, notebooks and art calendars. Our Gothic Dreams books include NecronomiconSteampunkDystopia, our large format titles Gothic ArtFantasy Art and Dragon Art are sumptuous, and we publish gothic fiction reprints by Mary ShelleyH.G. WellsJules Verne, and more, in our Flame Tree 451 imprint. 2017 also sees the publication of a true labour of love: the all-new Astounding History of Science Fiction.

Our anthologies are designed to be read in print. They look and feel fantastic. You’ll feel proud to hand them to your friends, family, colleagues – so do send us your story!

Thank you, and good luck. We look forward to reading your tales of imagination.

Via: Flame Tree Publishing.

Trembling With Fear 06/25/2017

So, we’re finally about caught up on submissions. I’m hoping by the time you read this it means I’ve gotten back to everyone so if you haven’t heard on your sub, please reach out! I believe there might be a couple missing from when I moved around our e-mail. That being said, we could use a few new regular AND drabble submissions!

Also, I’m hoping next week that I’ll be able to announce a co-editor for TWF which will lighten my all too busy load as of late and lower our turn around even more! (A key step in some of the changes which we’ll be looking to make next year.)

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

The Long Road to Immortality

It was dark. The road seemed to have been meandering forever. Her eyelids felt heavy and sleep was whispering sweet words in her ear that she’d already been half-seduced by. She’d passed through hill after valley, hamlet after village, and still her GPS pressed her to go on. The fuzzy white halos of light that were her headlights against the fog that surrounded the car had a comforting, relaxing aura about them, which only added to her wooziness.

Up ahead darkness loomed, somehow darker still. The car’s engine continued its purr, pulling her toward it. Closer now, she could see skeletal fingers through the fog. Trees, barren with the burden of the frozen winter. She zipped through the forest, her GPS still silent, its long, slender blue line still urging her on. The road narrowed and the tips of branches began tapping at her windows intermittently.

“In four hundred metres, turn left,” said the woman’s voice on her GPS.

She squinted, peering in to the murk. Could see nothing. Still she drove on.

“In one hundred metres, turn left,” the voice again. “Turn left.”

She slowed almost to a stop and could just make out a dirt track veering off to the left. She turned, the car bumping off the smooth tarmac on to bumpy earth and stone.

“Your destination is in forty metres, on your right,” came the voice of the GPS once more, the screen illuminated, clamouring for her attention to rate the directions she’d been given. She pulled in to the clearing on the right, swiped away the message on her screen and turned off the engine. She fastened her thick coat, pulled on her woollen gloves, tightened the scarf around her neck and stepped out of the car. She looked around. Nothing. No wait, a shape. She stepped towards it. Out of the gloom appeared a well. Old fashioned with a slate roof and a crank that could have been centuries old.

The wind blasted through the bones of trees that surrounded her as she approached the well. She looked back at her texts from him. ‘Meet me at these co-ordinates,’ the last one read. She looked around her again. Nothing. No-one.

She bit the middle finger of her right glove and tugged it off. Thumbed into the phone ‘Here’ and pressed send. The light started to dim, then brightened, a tick next to message. Delivered. She stamped her feet to keep the blood flowing in her legs. It was a frigid night. Then her phone buzzed, the screen brightly coming to life. She swiped up.

‘Do you still want to join the immortals?’ read the message in her preview.

She took her gloveless right hand from her pocket, tried to stop it trembling as she typed. ‘Of course. It’s why I’m here.’ Send. Since the first message left on her voicemail. The anonymously delivered envelopes of money that had followed. The secrets that had been revealed to her in those cryptic emails. Her ego, massaged like it had never been in her utterly unremarkable life to date, would not let her off this train now.

Another minute passed. The silence was deafening. Nothing stirred, but for the icy blasts from the north every few minutes. She looked over her shoulder to her car. Plumes of steam were still rising from under the bonnet. Then another buzz. She brought her phone to life, another message. ‘Coming,’ it read.

Then she waited. Paced. Reached out to touch the crank handle. Frozen, as she ought to have expected. She stepped backwards, almost tripping on an exposed root. Looked at her phone once again. Then she heard something. A cracking sound on the other side of the well. She tried to look, but could see nothing. Why hadn’t she brought a torch? “Hello,” she called out. No reply, but more cracking of branches. Closer. Then a figure – more of a shadow really – began to emerge from the woods.

“Hello Emily,” came the man’s voice. “You’ve come a long way. Thank you. Are you ready?”

Emily nodded. Then realised it was almost certainly imperceptible in the darkness. “Y…yes. I am. I think I am.” She shivered. She wasn’t sure if it was the cold this time, or the anticipation.

The man stopped at the other side of the well. She could begin to make out some of his facial features. “Go to the well Emily. Wind the crank.”

She stepped forward, put her gloved right hand on the dull metal of the crank and pushed. It wouldn’t budge. “It’s stuck,” she said, still trying to force it.

“It’s not stuck, it’s heavy. Two hands.”

She lifted her left hand and pushed the crank harder, it began to budge. Her muscles screamed and she felt herself starting to sweat at the weight of the bucket on the chain. It slowly rose, the effort required seeming to multiply every with every revolution. She heard creaking of the wood, but could not see in the cylinder of darkness that was the well shaft.

“Almost there,” he said in encouragement.

And then it rose up out of the darkness, that seemed to be broken like the surface of a liquid. In the wide wooden trough was a teenage boy. He was asleep. Possibly unconscious. It was difficult to see. He was wearing a filthy track suit, his hair was matted, his skin pale.

“Lock the crank, by pulling it down.”

She did as he said.

“Look down by your feet.”

She looked down. Could see nothing. Not even her feet.

“You’ll have to get closer.”

She looked at the man. His features, still out of focus in the shadows, remained impassive. She sighed and crouched, hearing her knees give off an arthritic click as she did so. She felt around with her hand, finding soil, leaves, twigs and then something solid. A knife. Her breath rushed from her. She tasted sick in her mouth. But she choked it back and stood, knife in hand.

“Now?” she asked, unable to form the rest of the question.

“Cut his throat.”

There was silence. The wind had dropped. She could hear her heart drumming, double-time in her ears.

“What?”

“Cut his throat.”

“And then I’ll-“

“-and then you’ll join the immortals. Do it.”

She lifted her left hand to the boy’s head, tipped it backward, exposing the neck. His sallow skin darkened under the pressure from her hand. She raised the blade so that the edge was pressed against his neck. Her hand trembled. She let out a breath and steadied herself. Then she pressed and slid the blade along the line of his throat. Dark blood, near-black in the pitch of the woodland, began to seep from the wound, then flow faster. The glove on her right hand began to get heavy and warm as it soaked up the blood, running over the blade. Emily looked up. He was still watching from behind the well. The boy shuddered, spluttered as his lungs gave out and then was still.

Emily released her hands from him, let them hang limp at her sides. Felt the blood already beginning to coagulate on the fingers of her cutting hand. She couldn’t feel herself breathing. Was she breathing? Her mind was thrumming with what she had just done, but she managed to find a moment to focus. She looked directly at the man, or the shape of him, at least.

“And now?” She let her question hang in the icy air between them.

“Throw the knife into the well.”

She tossed the knife down behind the trough, heard the metal clanging against the shaft once, twice, before any trace of it was swallowed up by the darkness.

“OK.” She waited for a long moment.

“That’s it,” he said. “You’re immortal now. You’ll live forever.”

“I… I don’t understand.”

“Look up Emily, see your immortality.”

She looked up. Saw nothing but the spindly branches of trees, criss-crossed over one another, hatching out every last speck of sky above. She looked back to him.

“Really look, woman,” he said. It sounded like a taunt.

She leaned her head back again and then she saw it. Above and just behind her. A red light. A tiny LED. She felt the world enter a spin around her.

“Yes, it is,” he said. She could hear him smiling. “It’s a camera. Go-pro. Night vision. Why don’t you wave to your public?” He chuckled at his own joke. First I checked in to this location, then I started the live video broadcast, and then I tagged you. You’re a social media star, Emily. There are, let me see-“ He took his smart phone from the deep pocket of his long coat “-two thousand-and-thirty-one viewers.”

“But you-“

“Am not who I said I was. And an hour from now, will be someone else entirely. What’s that?”

He turned his head slightly, his eyes darting upward.

“Sirens?” she asked, though to whom she wasn’t sure. She looked back to the road. Nothing yet. She turned back in time to see the shape of the man melting into the shadows of the forest. She knelt. And waited. And wept.

Kev Harrison

Kev Harrison

Kev Harrison is a British author of dark fiction, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal. In the past year, he has had short stories published in anthologies by Jitter Press and 9Tales Told in the Dark. In the coming months, he has work awaiting publication in anthologies by MacKenzie Publishing and Lycan Valley Press. He is also working on his first novel.

Monsters

I never liked the well in our backyard. It scared me since the day we moved in. It smelled bad—like garbage and dead cats. The walls were covered in nasty moss, and it was in the water that mommy tried to pull up from the bottom.

And it was so dark down there. I knew there had to be a monster living in it.

I’m down here now, cold and waiting for the monster to get me. Mommy says that if I’m a good girl again, she’ll let me out.

I think the monster will eat me by then . . .

Patrick Winters

Patrick Winters is a recent graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, The Sirens Call, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles.

You can find out more about Patrick on his homepage.

Roses Are Red: Volume 1

The baby’s crying was coming from the garden. Strange, he thought, because they didn’t have children. Joanne couldn’t, she’d told him.

He donned his dressing-gown, and headed outside. The crying was faint, muffled. It was coming from the rose bush, but, he thought, beneath the roses.

Oh God. Could someone perhaps have buried…? A young mother perhaps?

He put his ear the ground. The sobs died away.

Frantic, he scraped away the earth until he came to a small bundle. Opening it, he saw a photo, and a child’s skeleton. He looked at the photo. It was Joanne, heavily pregnant.

Justin Boote

Justin Boote has lived for over twenty years in Barcelona, Spain, plying his trade as a stressed waiter in a busy restaurant. He has been writing horror stories for just over a year, and currently has 8 published in diverse magazines including for Lycan Valley Press, Deadlights Shotgun magazine, Zimbell House Publishing, Dark Dossier Magazine and The Horrorzine’s summer edition.

He is also a member of a private writer’s forum called The Write Practice where he has also acted as a judge on two ocassions for their contests.

He can be found at Facebook under his own name, or at [email protected].

Jagged Little Teeth

They gleamed in the dark

Those jagged little teeth

Chomping at the bit

Nibbling at your feet

They’re from under the bed

And scurry across the floor

Monsters in the shadows

Who live behind closed doors

They fuel our nightmares

And hide beneath the stairs

The knock at the windows

Scratching in the walls

Peace of mind is in the past

As soon as night falls

The clicking of their legs echo

As they approach their sleeping prey

A plague on the sanity

For those who’ve ended their day

They feed upon the happiness

On all who have dozed away

Stuart Conover

Stuart Conover is a father, husband, rescue dog owner, horror author, blogger, journalist, horror enthusiast, comic book geek, science fiction junkie, and IT professional. With all of that to cram in on a daily basis, it is highly debatable that he ever is able to sleep and rumors have him attached to an IV drip of caffeine to get through most days.

A resident in the suburbs of Chicago (and once upon a time in the city) most of Stuart’s fiction takes place in the Midwest if not the Windy City itself. From downtown to the suburbs to the cornfields – the area is ripe for urban horror of all facets.

Oh, he’s also the editor of this site!

You can find out more about Stuart over at his homepage.

Taking Submissions: Trouble The Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue

Deadline: November 1st, 2017
Payment: 6 cents per word

She moves with deliberate grace.

 

Mami Wata, Momu Watu, La Sirene, Sedna, Coventina, Suijin, Mother of Waters

She is the water between us, the water within us, the water that slakes thirst, from which we were born. Water is the natural and the sacred, the functional and the necessary. All over the world, in cultures young and old, water is life and from this force, great adventures, quests, and legacies begin. And whether it is still, moves, rises, or falls, water fills us. Imagine what stories and strange tales can be told from the depths of its depths.

 

TROUBLE THE WATERS: Tales from the Deep Blue will be a new anthology of water-themed speculative short stories that explore all kinds of water lore and deities, ancient and new as well as unimagined tales. We want stories with memorable, engaging characters, great and small, epic tales and quieter stories of personal and communal growth. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, interstitial, and unclassifiable works are welcome. We are seeking original stories in English (2500 – 7000 words; pays 6 cents per word) from writers of all walks of life from this beautiful planet and will accept some select reprints (pays 2 cents per word). Deadline: November 1, 2017. Projected publication: November 2018, Rosarium Publishing, www.rosariumpublishing.com. Please send submissions as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file in standard mss formatting with your name, title, and word count to: [email protected]

Please note that we are unable to accept simultaneous or multiple submissions.

Via: Roasrium Publishing.

Taking Submissions: Afrofuturism

Deadline: September 30th, 2017
Payment: 1 cent per word

Afrocentric Books is taking submissions for a futurism anthology.

Futurism is a broad umbrella, encompassing many elements of science fiction and fantasy. For this anthology, we are most interested in science fiction. Time travel, space travel, cultures far advanced from our own. This world, other worlds, space stations, the setting doesn’t matter.

We want adult science fiction stories in diverse settings, featuring diverse people. The “in the future all people are a uniform color of café au lait” trope does not interest us. While it is not necessary for you to describe the physical features of all your characters, we do want to know that one of your main characters is of indigenous African descent. Please read our general submission guidelines prior to submitting.

1,000-7,500 words, although we’ll consider pieces that fall outside those parameters on a case-by-case basis. Multiple and simultaneous submissions ok. No reprints.

If accepted, pay is 1 cent per word. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2017.

 

Submit here.

Via: Afrocentric Books.

Taking Submissions: Whispers of the Apoc

Deadline: September 1st, 2017
Payment: Between $25 and $100

Tannhauser Press is looking for the short stories for the WHISPERS of the APOC anthology.

Here is a set of common items all the submissions must include:

  • The stories will be set after the Zombie Apocalypse has occurred. It could be the day it hit or a year later. The stories are from various locations around the country.
  • No one knows why or how it happened. None of the stories will solve that mystery.
  • Anyone that dies for any reason will become a zombie. The dead will turn Two to Ten minutes after they die, even if they were not bit.
  • Zombies can only be killed with the destruction of the brain.
  • The zombies dry out and mummify the older they get.
  • Zombies hear and see and smell to find prey. It’s all they do.
  • They will eat any mammal they can catch. Cats, dogs, rats, cows, horses, deer.
  • Zombies get slower the older they get. Fresh ones can run and fight hard. Old zombies are shamblers.
  • Zombie bites will not kill you outright. You die in 24 to 48 hours. Symptoms include sweating, extreme thirst, eventually fear of water (like rabies: Hydrophobia).
  • These stories should be character driven and about survival.
  • Stories will take place in a variety of places: Urban, suburban and rural. Even desolate places. The focus is on survival.
  • Stories should be 5,000 to 20,000 words.
  • Authors will be paid between $25 and $100 per story if accepted, with signed agreement.
  • All submissions are to be delivered in MSWord format. Basic Italics and Bold are the only additional formatting used. Garamond 12 will be used. Scene changes will be separated by “ *** ”.
  • WHISPERS of the APOC will be Rated R.
  • The target soft deadline for this is sometime in September 2017.
  • The amount of interest has already ensured they will be a Volume 2! So screw the deadline. Keep them coming!

–Please direct any questions to Martin Wilsey, [email protected]

Via: Martin C. Wilsey’s Homepage.

Taking Submissions: Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths

Deadline: July 28th, 2017
Payment: $25 and a contributor’s copy

Life asked Death: ‘Why do people love me but hate you?’
Death responded, ‘Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.’”
~Anonymous

The above quote will appear on the first page of the book. Let the title and quote take your imagination and your story, wherever it wants to go.

GENRES: Open to Speculative Fiction (works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements); Mystery/Thriller; Horror; Western; Fantasy; or Science Fiction. Some Literary Fiction (only involving social commentary or reflection on the human condition) is acceptable.

SPECIFICALLY UNACCEPTABLE GENRES: Romance/Erotica, Middle School, Biographical, Autobiographical, Memoirs, Poetry

WORD COUNT: 4,000 to 8,000 words.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES:

Via: Left Hand Publishers (Visit the link to submit.)

Taking Submissions: Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of H.G. Wells

Deadline: July 15th, 2017
Payment: Royalties, details below

We have some exciting news at Belanger Books. We are currently accepting submissions for an upcoming anthology. This is a book which we have wanted to put together for years now. Back in 2015, we originally had the idea of putting together an anthology of stories based on The War of the Worlds. While we still may someday put that collection together, we changed our plans when we received a wonderful story submission from author GC Rosenquist. Mr. Rosenquist submitted “The Mystery of the Last Martian”. This excellent story has Holmes and Watson solving the mystery mentioned in the title, and it got us thinking, Why not make an entire anthology of stories where Holmes is in the realms of H.G. Wells?  Thus, Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of H.G. Wells was born.  See story submission guidelines below:

Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of H.G. Wells Submissions

Imagine Holmes trying to solve the case of an invisible man, matching wits with a traveler from out of time, or using his deductive skills to help fight martian invaders. These are just some of the stories which could be included in the new anthology Sherlock Holmes In the Realms of H.G. Wells . The anthology will feature traditional Sherlock Holmes stories blended with one or more tales from H.G. Wells.
Belanger Books is calling for submissions from writers, new or established, which are between 5,000 – 10,000 words (it is okay to be over or under some).
Requirements:
The stories must feel like traditional Holmes and Wells stories. For example, the stories should have the traditional Holmes and Watson working with the traditional characters and realms of H.G. Wells. For example, a story that is a sequel to the Time Machine should have Holmes and Watson working with The Time Traveller. It should not feel like Sherlock meets Dr. Who.
The stories must use public domain material (some aspects of Holmes, like his life as a retired bee keeper are still under copyright in America; some of H.G. Wells’s later work is also under copyright in America).
Payment:
Authors will receive a portion of net sales (between 2 – 5% depending on number of stories) from the Kickstarter campaign and from the first year of book sales.
Authors retain the rights to their work.
Due Date: All submissions must be received by July 15th
Send submissions to: [email protected] Include the word SUBMISSION in the subject heading.  In the body include your name, a brief synopsis of your story, and your story length (# of words).

Via: Balanger Books.

Trembling With Fear 06/18/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Mr. Jackson

Darren Phoski lifted the blind and peered out the window. He was still there. Mr. Jackson; owner of the jewellery store across the street. Jackson had been watching him for over two hours now, and Darren was decidedly worried.

I shouldn’t be worried, he thought, if we analyse the basics. There was absolutely no way that Jackson could have seen him during the robbery. He’d been wearing a mask, and hadn’t said a single word that might have given away his eastern European accent. And besides…

So what the hell was he doing out there?

And what the hell am I gonna do about it?

Darren sat back down at the table beside the window, and with a trembling hand picked up the litre bottle of beer he was drinking. The liquid swished and foamed. Pretty much like what his head was doing right now.

The initial shock and horror was now subsiding, to be replaced by unease. Uncertainty. He looked at the bottle as though it may hold the answer or a solution to the problem, and to a certain extent there could be a relation here, he mused. Certainly, after downing the fifth since seeing Jackson the first time, there was a chance he might be imagining it. Alcohol could play havoc with one’s perceptions of things.

He decided to chance another peek. The seventh.

With the tips of his fingers, he lifted the blind, holding his breath without even realizing, and cast a wary eye out.

“Shit!” he hissed, and jumped back from the window as though it might explode at any minute.

Mr. Jackson stood across the road, dressed in his habitual three-piece black suit, arms by his side, and staring up directly into Phoski’s second-floor window. The overhead street light cast an eerie shadow around Jackson that should not have been there either. And Phoski would have sworn that the shadow moved of its own accord, albeit slightly. Swirling, expanding and decreasing as though it were breathing. Partners in crime. A dark one. Very dark.

Darren slumped back into his chair; drunk, nervous, and alarmed. He mentally recalled the robbery. It had gone perfectly. Five minutes before closing time at eight, when Mr Jackson would have no customers, people would be busy rushing home from work, and Jackson no doubt thinking of dinner, and putting his weary feet up in front of the television. He was reasonably old-near retirement age presumed Phoski-thus should provide little or no threat. By simply removing the revolver he kept hidden in his jacket, no words would be necessary. The language of guns was universal.

Jackson had looked scared, as though he might suffer a heart attack even. Phoski didn’t want that to happen. It was one thing going away for a couple of years for theft, another off for fifteen for second-degree. So, he finished the job as quick as possible before anything nasty might happen, and left. The next day, he sold the jewels for a tidy eight thousand, and life seemed wonderful again.

And now this.

Somehow that old fucker had discovered that it had been him. How, he couldn’t even begin to wonder, but then, considering that what was waiting, lurking, outside for him- and who knows what ideas Jackson might have in his head should they be re-united- it might be an idea to start looking at things in a new light

Because Mr. Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Jewellery Shop, should not fucking be there.

All kinds of drunken thoughts passed through Darren’s head. Maybe he’d read the article in the newspaper wrong? Perhaps he was shitfaced and imagining it? The guilt of what he’d done catching up with him. Could it be that…? No. Don’t go there. Because that’s impossible, right? He would be the first to accept that plenty of weird shit happened in the world-often tragic, occasionally amusing, sometimes downright bizarre-but that was the kind of shit you laughed and joked about in the bar with your buddies. The usual thing;

‘been smoking too much dope, have you?’

‘been watching too much X-Files, pal. It’s getting to ya.’

‘good idea to see a psychiatrist, don’t you think, chum?’

On one occasion, during the robbery of a gas station on Halloween of all nights, the employee’s girlfriend had startled him (scared him almost to fucking death actually) by appearing from the office wearing a zombie mask after hearing the ruckus out front. That had freaked him out, and for several days afterwards, had seriously considered a new career. An honest one. But this…

This bordered on abnormal. Beyond comprehension. Fucking neurotic.

Darren dropped the empty beer bottle. He couldn’t stay here all night, on the verge of a mental breakdown, wondering if he had finally lost it, or there really was an explanation plausible, natural. It was time to confront Mr. Damn Jackson who should be somewhere else right now, somewhere specific that did not allow for doubt or certain questions about one’s state of mind.

“Fuck it,” he said and stood up, rapidly grabbing onto the edge of the table to avoid falling back down again.

Two things were about to happen. One: some guy impersonating Jackson was going to get very probably shot for freaking him out so much, or two: Darren was going to need lots of help very probably in the near future. If he survived.

He picked up his trusty revolver, thrust it into the back of his trousers, and before heading towards the door, looked once more at the newspaper article to confirm his suspicions;

JEWELLERY STORE OWNER DIES IN ROBBERY

Andrew Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Jewellery Store, was found dead of a heart attack this morning following a robbery at his store. Police are currently investigating the robbery, but as yet have no leads…

Justin Boote

Justin Boote has lived for over twenty years in Barcelona, Spain, plying his trade as a stressed waiter in a busy restaurant. He has been writing horror stories for just over a year, and currently has 8 published in diverse magazines including for Lycan Valley Press, Deadlights Shotgun magazine, Zimbell House Publishing, Dark Dossier Magazine and The Horrorzine’s summer edition.

He is also a member of a private writer’s forum called The Write Practice where he has also acted as a judge on two ocassions for their contests.

He can be found at Facebook under his own name, or at [email protected].

Soul Mate

We gorge ourselves on the scents and sights of the street market. From behind the church, a lone flute pipes its melancholy notes. Lured in, we wander over to where the toppled tombstones hug the earth. A line of dancing children snakes out of the graveyard grass. One of them, a bedraggled girl, approaches with a pitiful smile showing rotted teeth.

‘Rosemary?’ She holds out her hand.

You cannot resist her call. The music tugs at your spirit. You are drifting away from me.

Selfishly I have kept you with me too long. It is time to let you go.

Alyson Faye

Alyson trained originally in the UK as a teacher/tutor. She wrote a couple of children’s books which were published by Collins and Ginn. Now she lives near Bronte terrain in Yorkshire with her teen son, partner and 3 rescue cats. She writes noir Flash Fiction (some of which is published online) and spooky longer tales (3 are available for download on www.www.alfiedog). She has a collection of her Flash fiction coming out soon from Chapel Town Books in the UK. She enjoys old movies, singing, and swimming. She is a confirmed chocoholic and is still hopeless at maths. Her blog is at http://www.alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com.

The Itch

There was a need she couldn’t fill.

Sex, drugs, rock and roll, she’d tried it all.

It was always there, unfulfilled.

She wanted more. Needed more.

The boys couldn’t help with lust and desire.

The girls couldn’t help in the heat of the fire.

The highs lead to lows and turned happiness to woes.

The music was a reprieve but couldn’t satiate her need.

But one day she found the solution to her pain.

An accident that happened while driving in the rain.

She’d killed her first in that dreary night.

It wouldn’t be the last. It felt so right.

S.C. Cornett

The Midwest’s very own curvaceous author of strumpets, harlots, kink, fetish, and all kinds of other illicit and fun-filled naughty activities!

You can follow her work at http://sccornett.com.

Taking Submissions: Hidden Animals: A Collection of Cryptids

Deadline: August 31st, 2017
Payment: 0.03/word and a contributor’s copy

CRYPTOZOOLOGY:  the study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals (such as Sasquatch) usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence

CRYTPID: an animal whose existence or survival to the present day is disputed or unsubstantiated; any animal of interest to a cryptozoologist

We’ve explored loneliness, isolation, and solitude in our first anthology. We Put the Love Back in Lovecraft in our second anthology. Now we are looking for stories involving the creatures which hide in the shadows — the monsters of cryptozoology.

Bigfoot, Nessie, el Chupacabra, The Jersey Devil — cryptids so well known that they have become part of the cultural zeitgeist.

For our new anthology, tentatively entitled Hidden Animals: A Collection of Cryptids, we are looking for lesser known cryptids, creatures of the dark corners of cryptozoology. They can be the antagonist, the protagonist, the creeping dread which drives the story, but they must be present.

What We Want:

Finely crafted works of Dark Speculative fiction which feature one (or more) of the lesser known, but established cryptids. Authors are encouraged to put their own spin on the classic creature. Make them terrifying. Make them sympathetic. Make them humorous. Above all, make them feel real.

What We Don’t Want:

Non-fiction. We want fictional stories with a plot and a well defined story arc. While we are interested in hearing about your own personal experience, or that of your friend or family member, this is not the book for that.

New Monsters. While we appreciate your creativity, we are looking for stories which feature creatures that readers will have at least a passing knowledge of. Give us your giant cats, dogboys, and lake creatures, but please do not create your own creature.

[Note: There are plenty of website which describe various cryptids. A brief list appears here.]

Stories where nothing happens. Keep the creatures in the shadows if you like, but give us something. There’s a reason that we don’t watch that show where they look for but never actually find Bigfoot.

Retreads of established stories. This is going to be a little tougher. We dowant stories based on “actual encounters.” Feel free to incorporate material from real life sightings. Sprinkle the history of the creature in your prose. Do not simply give us a fictionalized version of a story that you read in another book or saw on the big or little screen.

We don’t like being sued.

Aliens. Yes, there is some overlap between the study of some cryptids (e.g., el chupacabra) and extraterrestrial beings, we are not looking for stories that exclusively feature visitors from other worlds. Maybe in a future anthology, but not this one.

Important Note: We are going for cryptozoological diversity. Towards this end, we will only accept ONE story featuring each cryptid. Authors may consider focusing on a lesser known cryptid, or getting their submissions in early.

The Specifics: We are looking for short fiction up to 6,000 words. While we prefer original material, we will consider reprints. Please query before submitting reprints. Naturally, we will only consider stories which you retain the rights to. Please provide original publication information for all reprints. Fan Fiction, Slash Fiction, and any other material containing characters or setting which you did not create, are not acceptable (so no returning to Boggy Creek). Submissions should follow standard format. For an example of what we are looking for in terms of formatting, please visit Shunn’s website. The only addendum to this is that the editor prefers Times New Roman.

Please edit your material carefully. Common spelling errors (they’re/their/there, your/you’re) may be acceptable in social media posts, but not in works submitted for publication.

Word (.doc/.docx) format is preferred, but we will also accept submissions in Open Office (.odt), and Pages (pages). Send your stories to [email protected]. In the subject line of your e-mail list “Hidden Animals,” the title of your story, and your last name. For example:

Hidden Animals / Really Awesome Story / I. M. Ayeti

E-mails which do not follow this format will be deleted unread.

Provide a short (500 words or less) biography in the body of your e-mail. Also, feel free to provide a brief description of the cryptozoological being which appears in your story along with links and/or citations.

We are looking for North American Print and Digital Rights. Rights revert back to the author upon publication. Submissions accepted until 31 Aug 2017 or until filled. Our previous anthologies have each closed to submissions a month or more before the deadline. For this book, we are only looking for 13 – 15 stories (instead of the 21 – 30 stories of our previous anthologies) Don’t delay, start writing today!

Please wait four weeks before querying.

Direct queries to [email protected]

Multiple submissions are OK, but please wait until you have received a response on your first piece before submitting your second. Simultaneous submissions: no.

Estimated publication date Winter 2017 via Create Space and Smashwords.

At this time payment is three cents per word ($0.03/word) plus one contributor’s copy and one digital version in the format of the author’s choosing. We will be running a crowd sourcing campaign with the goal of providing higher monetary recompense to our authors. As with our previous anthologies, this is a charity anthology to raise money for the canine rescue organization Last Day Dog Rescue.

Note to New Authors: Most publications seek First North American Rights. While you may be able to sell your story again as a reprint, publication in this anthology may limit your story’s future marketability and may affect the amount of money you will be able to receive from other markets. Please take this into consideration before submitting.

Via: The Dragon’s Roose.

Taking Submissions: Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns

Deadline: August 15th, 2017
Payment: $50 CAD and a contributor’s copy

The ability for people to control (to some extent at least) fire has long been held as one of the major events that contributed to human evolution, but when fire eludes or escapes our control it is also one of the most destructive forces on earth. Associated with passion, power, transformation and purification, fire is a ferocious element with an unquenchable appetite.

We want to explore the many facets of this beautifully furious element and the creatures associated with it so Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns will be filled with stories about every kind of fiery creature you can imagine, not only those listed in the subtitle. We’re looking for phoenixes, ifrits, salamanders, lava monsters and fiery beasts no one has ever heard of before. And of course this anthology will not be complete without at least one demon, dragon and djinn!

Rights and compensation: Payment: $50 CAD flat fee and a paperback copy of the anthology. In exchange we are seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: June 1, 2017 – August 15, 2017

Length: Under 7,500 words

 

No simultaneous or multiple submissions.

Via: Niteblade’s Submittable.

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