Trembling With Fear 08/20/2017

Thanks to Steph, we’re pretty well caught up on what has currently hit our inbox! Ideally, by the time this goes out everyone who had sent something in prior to this last Monday should have heard back in one way or another. As always, we could use more drabble but we’re at least a bit further out and more organized than we’ve previously been!

Things are looking up!

‘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


My mind argues that I didn’t know.  How could I know that reading the book would actually end the world?  But no.  Let’s not lie.  I am a man of science.  I have lived my entire life logically, and have made it a point to refuse being ruled by superstition or emotion.  I have challenged and successfully debunked mystics, soothsayers, and all manner of supernatural mumbo jumbo without any real effort.  So when I saw the book on the shelf in the used bookstore, how could I not read it?  How could I not challenge it?  There has not been a single time in my life when I have not been able to disprove the proposed “truths” of the gullible and the foolish.  I suppose this would be pride then, wouldn’t it?  Pride is listed among the seven deadly sins after all.

No!  No.  I will not give in to this.  Even now.  Even… at the end.

The book was sitting all by itself.  No other copies.  “The end of all that is” the book’s title read.  And the author was listed simply as, “I AM.”  Please.

I purchased the book, brought it home, and sat down in my study to read it.  Opening the book I was insulted.  Ink dark enough to be the void of space, printed on a page so white that it seemed to glow; but as if it were written for children, only a single phrase was printed in the middle of that page.  “A storm shall come.”

I rolled my eyes.  Storm season was already upon us, and we’d been promised a big storm this very evening.  So I thought nothing of it as the wind began to blow.  Each page that I turned revealed only another, single, solitary sentence.  They described the storm covering the world, along with earthquakes, and flame.  I live in Los Angeles.

The earthquake didn’t surprise me, and we have wildfires of varying intensity every year.  I was fairly certain there’d already been a wildfire burning when I began reading, so to smell it’s smoke did not overly bother me.  I listened for sirens telling me to clear out of the area, and hearing none, I went back to reading.  The fact that these things occurred while I was reading the book meant nothing more than coincidence.  But as I continued reading about men on horses, and clashing forces of good or evil, I began hearing things I could neither explain, nor discount as coincidence.  Horses are common enough in this area, but the screams of my neighbors are not.

I read on, determined to prove the book wrong, and I heard homes stripped from their foundations, saw the detritus which used to be the world I knew fly past my parlor windows; and all of it backlit by the flames of annihilation.  I felt the tremors of giant footsteps, and heard things which do not sound or smell human enter my house.  Part of me suspects that they may well be behind me as I speak; smiling, reading over my shoulder, waiting for me to turn.  Stopped from taking their action only by the fact that I haven’t read their actions yet.

There is nothing beyond my windows now.  I hear a low wind whistling past the place where my stairs used to be.  I’ve turned to the last page, but I won’t read the last word.  I can’t.  I know what it says, and can see it’s shape even through my tears.



Bryan Nickelberry

Bryan Nickelberry is a short story writer raised in the rain water of the Pacific Northwest. He searches in bookstores, under rocks, and through people for stories, and now he’s begun to tell his own. Some of the anthologies he can be found in are on Amazon, and Smashwords.

The Countess

Today, my servant brought me the youngest meat I ever dined on.

I remove layers of skin and fat, my sharpest knife easily cleaves through, until I have a whole cut of meat, the rump being the sweetest.

Blood seeps from every orifice but I need not worry, china bowls are there to collect the delicious crimson fluid, which I insist is warm before I bath in it. What I despise are the muffled screams these girls expel when their meat is carved to the bone. I am so damn mad… I slice their pretty little necks wide open. Ha!

D.J. Doyle

D.J. Doyle is a horror / thriller author with a published novel, The Celtic Curse: Banshee, and novelette, Hades’ Gate both available on Amazon.

If you would like to know more about D.J. Doyle and other projects she is working on, please click the links below. D J Doyle Website

Picture Perfect

His photos were famous. Traveling anywhere he pleased, people rarely questioned a man with a camera and confidence. Most found it flattering to have a professional take their picture. They had no idea. No one ever did. He enjoyed immortalizing moments in his photos; keeping them safe from the passage of time. It was the dimming light in their eyes, as death claimed them, that he savored the most; even more exciting than finding, taking, and killing them. In every city he obsessively roamed the streets, looking for the next person to add to his collection. His picture perfect someone.

Catherine Berry

Catherine Berry lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When she isn’t working, she’s spending time with loved ones or satisfying her varied hobbies. Her work has previously been published in Horror Tree’s Trembling With Fear.

More of her work can be found at


He waited on the side of the road for a ride back to college. For every car that sped past he hoped the next one would stop to pick him up.

As evening strong armed the light, his chances for a ride waned. He knew no one would pick up a stranger in the dark.

Who could blame them?

Scary people are out there.

With luck on his side, a car stuffed with college kids stopped.

He hopped inside but scrutinized each smiling face, making sure there wasn’t a serial killer in the bunch.

There wasn’t.

But there was now….

Ruschelle Dillon

Ruschelle Dillon is a freelance writer whose efforts focus on the dark humor and the horror genres.  Ms. Dillon’s brand of humor has been incorporated in a wide variety of projects, including the irreverent blog Puppets Don’t Wear Pants and novelette “Bone-sai”, published through Black Bed Sheet Books as well as the live-action video shorts “Don’t Punch the Corpse” and “Mothman”.
Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and online zines such as Strangely Funny III, Story Shack, Siren’s Call, Weird Ales- Another Round and Women in Horror Anthology to be released. Her collection of short stories, Arithmophobia, will be out in the Fall of 2017.
Ruschelle lives in Johnstown with her husband Ed and the numerous critters they share their home with. When she isn’t writing, she can be found teaching guitar and performing vocals and guitar in the band Ribbon Grass Acoustic Group.
Stalk her on:

Taking Submissions: 2019 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

Deadline: December 31st, 2017
Payment: $0.06/word


  • Have a main character that a middle grade reader (ages 8-12) can identify with;
  • Show a diverse set of real characters;
  • Are well written, fun to read, and encourage a love of reading science fiction;
  • Tell of adventure, space, science.  Give us rockets, robots and alien encounters, and we’re pretty happy; Steampunk, time travel, weird west and alternate history are all fine;
  • Are between 3,000 and 6,000 words.

To be super clear – we’re looking science fiction, in all its variants. While we love fantasy as well, please don’t submit fantasy stories for this anthology.

We’re especially looking for stories:

  • Of adventure!  We love a good dystopia as much as the next robot, but remember – this is the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide;
  • Where the main character is of a population that has traditionally been under-represented in science fiction, e.g. girls, people of color, differently abled people;
  • Where the main character has agency, exercises it, and isn’t just along for the ride.

We are strong supporters of both the #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices movements.


We’re not interested in:

  • Stories where the female characters primarily exist to be rescued or as a prize for the males;
  • Stories where the primary plot or subplot is romantic in nature;
  • Stories with graphic violence or any form of sexual activity;
  • Stories with any violence towards animals;
  • Stories about the first girl to do X, surprising everyone;
  • Stories that depict any ethnicity or gender as universally bad or stupid.

Please note:  although we’re aware kids have a wide and varied vocabulary, we’d prefer not to have swearing in the stories. If your story has swearing, please rephrase before submitting.

Submission deadline, mechanics and planned schedule:

  • Anthology will be open for submissions from July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017, with a reading period of January and February 2018.
  • While we prefer original stories, if you have something perfect that had a limited run elsewhere, query us and we’ll talk;
  • Acceptance notices will be sent by March 30, 2018;
  • In the summer we will launch a crowd-funding campaign to help with pre-publication costs. Regardless of results of crowd-funding campaign, we are committed to publishing the anthology. We’ve successfully funded the previous three anthologies this way, chances are favorable.

Rights and Payments:

  • Authors will be provided with a complete Anthology Contract for review and consideration with the notice of accepted submissions.
  • In keeping with SWFA’s guidelines, we pay $0.06/word on final edited word count for one-year exclusive worldwide English rights and  nonexclusive right to republish, print, or reprint the complete anthology in any language or format after the first year, print and electronic, and two contributor copies. Payment upon final edit.
  • If the crowd-funding fails, please note that we are still committed to this anthology, and will find other ways to fund the project. However, there may be delays. If authors feel the need to withdraw their submission due to delays, we understand.
  • We will provide professional editing, primarily for issues of grammar and spelling.
  • If authors have other questions about rights or payments, please contact us before submission. We want to make sure all concerns are addressed.

More questions?  Check the full description page for last year’s anthology here. Have more questions? Contact us!

Submit your work at the bottom of this link: Dreaming Robot Press.

Ongoing Submissions: Inwood Indiana

Payment: $1.50 for everyone, and $10.00 for those marked “Editor’s Choice.”


Inwood Indiana has been publishing issues since 2010. Each issue features both new and established writers. We consider publishing all forms of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction under 5000 words.

It’s still free to submit!

Many excellent journals charge fees for either online or offline submissions (or both). We all understand those funds are needed to send contributors a copy, or otherwise generate income. More than 70% of journals today do not pay anything. These types of practices are understandable, but frustrating to writers.

Fortunately, Inwood Indiana submissions are still free.

Publication Rewards

All journals have some financial strategy to stay afloat, and those decisions are often difficult trade-offs.
What are our trade-offs?



  • We don’t require writers to pay anything to submit.
  • We are in the minority of journals that DO pay cash (via PayPal because it’s easy and convenient).
  • Along with publication, writers also receive a 1 Year Subscription to Inwood Indiana online ($20 Value).Cons:
  • We cannot afford to send free paperback copies.
  • Token payments are small.

    Submission Guidelines

    By submitting, you are acknowledging these terms.

    1. Your work has not been previously printed elsewhere. You maintain all future-use rights to your work.

    2. You affirm your submission is your own creation and no part of your submission is in the public domain.

    3. You may submit up to 5 times each issue.

    4. You may withdraw any “pending” submission prior to acceptance by logging into the submission manager (just click “withdraw”). Once accepted, you will need to contact us to withdraw a submission.


  • We do not charge you to submit your work.
  • We do not charge a reading fee for general submissions.
  • We prefer you limit your submissions to 5 per issue.
  • Remember to separate your submissions.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine.
  • One token payment allowed per issue.
  • Token payments are currently $1.50 for everyone, and $10.00 for those marked “Editor’s Choice.”
  • Online subscriptions are disbursed after publication.
  • Cash payments are paid by PayPal to any address you designate.Special consideration is given to works with these themes:* Inwood Indiana
    * Small Towns
    * Eerie / Spooky
    * Nature

    We prefer submissions using our submission manager. However, we still accept submissions by mail.

    To submit by mail, follow these directions:
    * Include up to 5 submissions on separate sheets without contact info.
    * Submissions spanning multiple pages should be collated and stapled together.
    * Include your contact info on a cover page with your bio.
    * Include a SASE for notices – or your email address.
    * Submissions will not be returned without sufficient postage.
    Mail to:
    Prolific Press Inc.
    Inwood Indiana Editor
    P.O. Box 5315
    Johnstown, PA 15904



Via: Inwood Indiana.

Taking Submissions: Reckoning #2

Deadline: September 22nd, 2017
Payment: six cents a word for prose, twenty dollars a page for poetry

If you want to know what we’re looking for, try reading Reckoning 1the interviewsthe Reckoning twitterLCRW 33or any of these.

The short version: fiction preferably at least a tiny bit speculative, nonfiction preferably more creative than journalistic, poetry tending towards the narrative and preferably with some thematic heft, art your guess is as good as mine. But the heart of what I want is your searingly personal, visceral, idiosyncratic understanding of the world and the people in itas it has been, as it is, as it will be, as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with the earth.

I am actively seeking work from Indigenous writers and artists, writers and artists of color, queer and transgender writers and artists, and anyone who has suffered the consequences, intended or otherwise, of dominant society’s systemic disconnect with and mistreatment of the natural world. And I am actively seeking new ways to reach all of the above. Seriously, if you know of a way I can do that, please share.

Simultaneous submissions are ok. Multiple short poetry submissions is ok; with longer submissions, please send just one at a time. Feel free to submit again after you hear back. Length: 0 – 45,000 words, inclusive. Response time has ranged from one to three months. Payment is six cents a word for prose, twenty dollars a page for poetry, art minimum twenty-five dollars per piece. Arbitrary cutoff point for the second issue will be the autumn equinox, Friday, September 22nd, 2017.

Submit original fiction, nonfiction or poetry as an RTF or DOC attachment (or art in any compact, web-ready format) to [email protected]. Please use an email subject like “[Fiction/Poetry/Essay/Art] Submission: [Your Submission Title]” or we’re likely to take a lot longer getting to it, thank you!

(All of the above shall be subject hopefully not to too much change but certainly to clarification, evolution and adaptation.)

Via: Reckoning.

Taking Submissions: Real American Horror

Deadline: royalties 60% divided amongst authors evenly.
Payment: September 11th, 2017

We’re looking for short stories no more than 5k that reflect real stories and urban legends found in America. No reprints.

Payment: royalties 60% divided amongst authors evenly.

We’re also looking for raw real stories of America’s underworld, real stories from real people that are going through real life horrors. For example, stories of suffering from addiction, living in the slums of Chicago, or life as victim of sex trafficking.

All names will be confidential, unless you state otherwise.

No payment at this time. Exposure and be in a magazine that reaches a wide audience and invitation to a podcast that reaches an even wider audience.

Real American Horror is a horror anthology designed to evoke strong emotions from readers as they look into stories of Real horror.

Deadline: September 11th

Send submissions to

[email protected]

With real American horror in subject, otherwise I’ll miss it.

Via: Deadman’s Tome.

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