‘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 Scutterings

I know they are out hunting again. I hear their scampering’s and scuttering’s as they sneak ever nearer, waiting in the dark. Stalking. Watching.

It’s at this time of year that they hatch. They travel with the blowing leaves, a twitch in the corner of your eye, a blur across your vision, masking the sound of their clawed feet under the rustle of the leaf.

It sounds insane to those who do not know: who have not been blessed or perhaps cursed, with the sight. The ugly realisation that we are not alone in our cruel intelligence.

They bide their time as summer dies and look for an opportunity.

Let me ask you a question. How many of society’s outsiders vanish?

The homeless, the tramp, the vagrant. All of those we try to avoid thinking about. Those living in the dark, lonely places away from our sight.

Some are fated to become the feast of the Autumn born.

We hardly notice their sudden disappearance? Who cares that the unsightly in our society just… vanish. We don’t bother to ask where they go.

Only when our own beloved pets go missing and homemade posters adorn lampposts in the neighbourhood, do we ever begin to wonder.

Food. The creatures of the falling foliage regard us and our furry pets, as food. Clever food. Intelligent food. Dangerous food even.

 

That’s why they hunt in packs, letting the windblown leaf, cover their stealthy advance till they are near. Till they can pounce. Until they can kill and feed.

You must… must… have seen something. The faded shape suddenly speeding across the road in front of your car. A sudden scrape sound around your feet. Remember the shock of fear before you rationalise that it’s just the breeze and a few dead leaves idly tumbling across the ground.

You are so easily tricked by the dark creatures, in their seasonal migration from the tree tops in Autumn. They journey to breed in the winter months of long darkness as they have for millennia, this ancient nemesis of humanity.

You will never see them directly. You will fail to describe their small jaws, sharp needle teeth, mouldy green eyes. You will not be able to relate their colour or number of limbs. Nor could you know of their instinct to secrete themselves in the soggy piles of detritus, waiting for a gust of wind. The same piles of leaves you allow your children to kick with such happy abandon, under the predatory gaze of the pre-winter killers.

Be warned and learn from one who knows. Listen for the breathing of the wind, the touch of decaying greenery, and try not to walk alone as the nights draw in.

Martin Fuller

Martin P. Fuller is just the west of 60 and trying to enjoy a semi-retirement from being a law enforcement officer for over thirty-four years. He works part time delivering cars for a rental company and endeavors to join as many writing classes as time and finances allow. He lives in a small terrace cottage in Menston, Yorkshire England.

It was because of these writing classes that he started gain the courage to submit his work for publishing. He prefers darker stories especially if he can affix a twist in story although he has dabbled in some comedy and poetry pieces.

So far, he has had work printed in self-produced anthologies from writing groups but hopes for a story to appear in October in an anthology published by comma press. He is hopeful that people will like the twists and turns of his dark mind. Either that or recommend serious therapists!

Crimes of Passion

Antoni sat in his car and gaped at the statement for the joint credit card. Her affair was itemised.

The bedroom light was on as he pulled up. His key wouldn’t work in the front door. He hammered on it. No reply.

The key wouldn’t open the back door, either.

There was a half house brick in his hand, edges rough, corner jutting.

The back door jerked open. His cuckold leapt out, shirtless, brazen and cursing. Antoni quietened him with the brick, and went after the woman.

He’d need to find a new woman. One of them would be faithful.

Michael Parker

Michael James Parker is a struggling amateur author striving to become a struggling professional one. He writes horror and sci-fi, mainly, but will try his hand at anything. His work has appeared in anthologies by Dark Chapter Press, and Iron Press.

Flashes

When I woke up yesterday I realized I could see how people around me were going to die. I said hi to my neighbor and saw a flash of him strapped to a gurney in a white robe, an IV inserted in each arm. Confused, I ran back inside. I remained inside all day, I didn’t even look at people on the street passing by.

This morning I looked into the mirror and saw a flash. It was my neighbor, holding a piece of rope as it descended around my neck. Then there was a bang in the next room.

Tara Devlin

Tara A. Devlin spent the first two thirds of her life living in Australia, the next third living in Japan, and now finally resides in Europe. When she’s not procrastinating on the internet or looking after her two cats she enjoys horror and pew pew movies. You can find her collection of horror and fantasy writings at taraadevlin.com and on her Amazon Page.

No Ordinary Game

The film hadn’t scared them so much as intrigued them.

“Let’s make a Ouija board – there must be a DIY on YouTube,” Joy suggested.

“Wouldn’t work,” Bill dismissed.

“Let’s ask Mr. Vincent in the toyshop – he’ll order one – knows nothing about toys!” The kids slapped a high five.

 

Mr. Vincent frowned, “Ouija board? Why of course.” He shuffled behind the curtain hiding the back of the shop.

“I told you he knows nothing about toys,” Bill whispered.

In the darkness Mr. Vincent lit a black candle then blew out the match.

“So true, so true. But about the occult…”

Naomi Rawle

N.O.A. Rawle graduated MMU with a degree in writing and philosophy. She lives with her family in the middle of mythical Thessaly, teaching English by day and scribbling creepy weird tales by candle light into the wee hours of the morning. You can get to know her better at www.noarawle.blogspot.com.

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