‘Following on from our recent Halloween edition at TWF, remember we have a submission call out for Christmas-themed stories. Twist the topic, bring us your disturbed elves, your winter solstice rituals, your rabid Rudolph’s, turn that jolly Santa into something else, make it original. As always, send us your stories as drabbles (exactly 100 words) or flash pieces (1500 words and under).

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

‘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

Charla Nash

I used to tease my school buddy, Sandra: she would never be brave enough to keep a monkey. 

She proved me wrong. 

It was Friday the 13th when Travis arrived. We felt damn lucky. That weekend we, best friends forever, neither slept nor had meals. 

In some weeks Sandra let the chimpanzee out of his cage. 

The Herolds, Sandra’s family, ran a tow-truck business. When Travis got to ride in the truck, we asked: ‘Steak?’ Nod. ‘Cupcakes, pretzels?’ Nod. ‘Lemon tea?’ Nod.  

On his birthday pink champagne. 

Once, not himself, he stormed out and roamed. Sandra called me to interfere. 

The chunklets of my fingers reminded a witness of minced meat. Most of my scalp went, my eyelids got bitten, my nose and lips were ripped off. 

Not my ears. 

Everyone talks about my ears, noble like ivory. Nobody mentions my removed eyes and the hole in my face to drink through. 

Whenever I have visitors from hell, I try to chase them away by touching my forehead – but I have only one thumb left, and it is numb. And there’s nothing to feel, only a polished yet raw bust to represent I’m able to chin up. 

I made it to the Oprah show, I was wearing a veil. 

Sandra? We are not on speaking terms. What words could we exchange? 

I might look shattered but I remained the same. 

Travis was shot dead. 

If I had my eyes, they could still talk to him, offering relief. 

 

Agnes Marton

Agnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, writer, librettist, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, founding member of Phoneme Media. Recent publications include award-winning ‘Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry’, her poetry collection ‘Captain Fly’s Bucket List’ and two chapbooks with Moria Books.

In the Woods

You’ve gotten all tied up in how dark and mysterious everyone says the woods are.  There’s nothing here but the trees and squirrels.  Come on, I’ll show you.

Don’t jump at that rustling.  It’s just a mouse in the grass. See, there’s an owl diving to catch it.

Hush.  Those aren’t fingers in your hair.  It’s just the branches brushing against you.

Don’t worry about the fog.  It’s not entirely out of reason for the weather to turn hazy at this time of year.  …I think.

That snarling?  It’s probably…  Look, maybe we should go back.

…Which way is back?

Steppen Sawicki

Steppen Sawicki lives in Michigan, where she writes horror and science fiction stories and consumes caffeine. You can read more of her work at SteppenSawicki.com.

Pink Poodle

Amy found a pink poodle buried halfway into their lawn. “Amy! Come play!”
“You’re a talking, doggie?”
“Yes!” The poodle’s eyes shined. “Pet me!”
She reached for it.
“Amy!” her mother called. “Lunchtime!”
The poodle yipped as she hurried inside.
She ate PB&J on the porch and watched the poodle emerge. The top was a fluffy dog, but the bottom was a huge pink crab with orange tiger stripes, scissor-shaped claws, and gnashing teeth hidden under the dog’s torso. It crawled to the neighbor’s lawn and burrowed back down.
Davey Chen came skipping outside.
“Davey!” the poodle said. “Come play!”

Kevin M. Folliard

Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose published fiction includes scary stories collections Christmas Terror Tales and Valentine Terror Tales, and adventure novels such as Matt Palmer and the Komodo Uprising. His work has also been collected by Double Feature Magazine, Flame Tree Publishing, Parsec Ink, and more.

You can find out more about his work at his author website!

Tea Party

Edward hands his guests china cups. Several pairs of glassy eyes stare back. It?s a quiet gathering. Edward is the centre of attention. Just as he likes it. He combs Lillian?s blonde tresses. Silky soft and real. Shorn from her dead scalp. He remembers the girl vividly. Her wide pink mouth and lolling tongue.
A knock makes him jump. ?Put your dolls away. It?s dinner time.? His wife announces.
Guiltily Edward drops his hand. Red faced he stands up knocking Josephine who falls into Lillian?s lap.
?They?re historical artefacts.? He whispers.
Edward kisses each doll?s cheek. His silent adoring girls.

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 on line) 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.

About Stuart Conover

Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!