It Will End Like This

I could end it all. I could. No more pain, no more anger, no more lies.I would pretend Mom was there, out in the garden. I could do it out there. End it all and everything would go back to normal. The garden would bloom again, the flowers growing strong and bright, and the feeling of love would return to our home.Forget what sadness is. Forget the pain. Pretend none of this ever happened, so everything can go back to normal.My sister would be happy again. And maybe, so would I. –It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh It … Continue reading It Will End Like This

My Heart is a Chainsaw

But what she always finds herself watching instead of the crowd that night is Sherriff Hardy, coming up out of the shallows with her in his arms, giving her all the body heat he has to give, his 61-year-old jowls quivering with each bellow he lets out about how “This girl is god-damn well not going to die”, not on his watch.In slashers, the local cops are always useless. It’s a hard and fast rule of the genre. Sheriff Hardy not sticking to that is just one more nail in the coffin of Jade’s dreams. By now that coffin’s pretty … Continue reading My Heart is a Chainsaw

Our Trespasses

His head filled with roaring static like an untuned radio wired to a stadium speaker. He flung himself across the floor, still kicking and swinging, though he saw nothing there. He barreled into the side table next to the bed and rammed the crown of his skull against the bed frame; the pain didn’t even register compared to the torture he felt in the rest of his body.He’d take relief at any cost, even death. Anything to make this s top. If only he could reach Jake’s shotgun, he’d put the barrel in his mouth and fire without hesitation, but … Continue reading Our Trespasses

The Haunting of Beacon Hill

The library was fronted by a large concrete patio. The space was well-lit and largely unadorned, boasting only a pair of benches and a flag pole, but as she looked out onto this scene, she noticed a new addition – and a rather unwelcome one at that. A person was standing just outside the door, was leaning into it as if to peer through the glass at her. Obscured by the shade thrown by the awning overhead, it was hard to describe the loiterer’s appearance with any real thoroughness. They looked to be more than six feet tall, but little … Continue reading The Haunting of Beacon Hill

2021 Serial Killers: The Woods Are Always Watching

The forest returned to tranquility. Strenuous, laborious tranquility. Panting and puffing and chattering like wheezy songbirds, the girls crossed through a velveteen outcrop of mossy green boulders. Ferns carpeted the shady groves. Tumbling cascades of a nearby stream, present but unseen, were amplified throughout the canopy.The combination of sublime beauty and severe exhaustion began to soften Josie’s fatalism. A tenuous but arresting sense of empowerment manifested in its place and, although she didn’t realize it, the same sensation was happening inside Nina. It was their first taste of adulthood. A preview of what was to be forever. They were here … Continue reading 2021 Serial Killers: The Woods Are Always Watching

2021 Serial Killers: In the Garden of Spite

They all looked at me, as I thought they would. Their eyes were wary, as if I were a dog that could not be trusted, and they waited for me to bare my teeth. I approached with the tray and placed it on the table. A few of their spoons dipped into the porridge as soon as I let it go.“Thank you, Brunhilde,” the farmer himself spoke. “It’s good to see you back on your feet.”I nodded in his direction and did not look at Anders beside him. I could see his hands though – strong and rough, marred by … Continue reading 2021 Serial Killers: In the Garden of Spite

2021 Serial Killers: Come With Me

At the time of your death, I was halfway through translating a Japanese language Shinagawa novel to English. You know I’ve always been passionate about my work, but I now clung to this Ogawa novel like someone drowning would cling to a life preserver. On our first date when I told you I translated Japanese novels for a living, you thought I was pulling your leg. I may have possessed the industrious quality of a career academic, but you were not expecting a white guy from suburban Maryland to have majored in Japanese literature, to have practiced writing Japanese characters … Continue reading 2021 Serial Killers: Come With Me

October 2021: Serial Killers in Fiction

We have done it – as of tomorrow, we have officially made it into spooky season. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know what’s coming: themed October reads. This year I’ve gotten back into true crime in my spare time, so this month’s theme will be serial killers. These are all fictional books (though we have one based on a true story), so hopefully you’ll find at least one or two that you want to read. 10/7: Come With Me by Ronald Malfi 10/14: In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce 10/21: The Woods are Always … Continue reading October 2021: Serial Killers in Fiction

Goddess of Filth

Pauline’s voice cracked in panic as she stammered. “Is she speaking Latin… or, or Aramaic? Like, you know, in the movies. The language of Jesus.”“It’s not fucking Aramaic,” I snapped as I shot her a mean, uncalled-for look. I moved closer to Fernanda to get a better understanding of what she was saying. She would never hurt me. It was another language, and it was old, yet still spoken. It was Nahuatl. I knew because I had seen a documentary about the indigenous people of Mexico in AP History. When I could afford classes at the community college, I wanted … Continue reading Goddess of Filth

When the Reckoning Comes

They moved through the underbrush, scratch the sores that formed from the insects that bit their skin. Ever cautious of rattlesnakes hidden in the grass. Down to the river they went. Seeing the sprawling willow tree with its broken bow pointing to their deliverance, they followed the trail to the forest. Soon it would clear, showing a path into the water. They were told the water would save them. It would wash away their sins, cleanse their souls, and they waded into the water. Waiting for their brothers and sisters who would steal them away to their new home.Their lives … Continue reading When the Reckoning Comes