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St. Valentine’s Week Massacre Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction from Grey Matter Press



NOTE: The contest is now over, but you can find out who won here. Grey Matter Press thanks everyone for participating!

To celebrate carnage, violence and mayhem and help spread the BEST of YOUR OWN horror around the world, enter the Grey Matter Press St. Valentine’s Week Massacre Flash Fiction Contest. AT LEAST ONE PERSON will be awarded a special prize package for sharing their creativity. And READERS will help select the contest winner.


ENTRIES will be accepted until 12:00 PM (NOON CENTRAL) on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014.

ENTER by composing the best piece of dark fiction you can. You can write whatever you want, as long as it falls within the horror, speculative, fantasy or science fiction genres. (Nor pornography, bestiality or sexual situations that includes minors permitted.) And AT LEAST ONE of the words below MUST BE INCLUDED in the body of the piece. Flash Fiction submissions must be 200 WORDS OR LESS. TITLE YOUR FLASH FICTION SUBMISSIONS, and include that title in the body of the webform when you submit your piece. (Titles DO NOT COUNT AGAINST your maximum 200-word limit.) Post your piece in the COMMENT/REPLY Section below. THEN GO OUT AND GET VOTES. Encourage your family and friends or relatives and strangers to VOTE for your piece by leaving a COMMENT/REPLY on your piece.


VOTES will be accepted until 12:00 AM (MIDNIGHT CENTRAL) on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2014.

Readers will help influence the outcome of the contest by VOTING for their favorite piece of Flash Fiction. TO VOTE, click the WHITE REPLY BUTTON (located on the right side of the page immediately following your favorite piece of Flash Fiction). Via the webform that appears, share some encouraging words for the author of the fiction. Feel free to share the link to the Flash Fiction page with your fanbase to get more votes for your favorite author. The piece of Flash Fiction receiving the MOST READER RESPONSES will we become the Reader’s Choice Winner. This Reader’s Choice Winner will receive one point in the overall judging.


Grey Matter Press editors will review and vote on all Flash Fiction submissions. Each editor will have a vote equal to one point, equivalent to that of the Reader’s Choice as determined by reader Comments.


One Grand Prize Winner will be selected. This winner will be announced on Sunday, February 16. (Depending on the number of submissions, this announcement may need to be postponed until Monday, February 17.) The Grand Prize Winner will receive a prize package that includes all four anthologies in the current Grey Matter Press catalog, as well as a trade paperback copy of our next release when it becomes available. And since this is #SVWMASSACRE, one never knows just how many people will be affected. 🙂 In addition to the Grand Prize Winner, Grey Matter Prize may award prizes to any number of other contestants who submit Flash Fiction to the St. Valentine’s Week Flash Fiction Contest. We do like to keep you guessing. 🙂








Pick up your pencils.

Keep your eyes on your own paper.

The clock is set.

Time starts…NOW!



Comments: 147

  • A. R. Braun February 13, 20146:49 pm

    “Love Your Neighbors to Death”

    You’re such cowards, you let your swimming pool rot with green slime and hide inside your house. Why do you let a Peeping Tom run your life? Have some guts and don those bikinis! Pay no attention to the man behind the blinds. That doesn’t mean I’m going to act on my murderous urges, sneaking across the street and hiding behind the wall of the business next door, then jumping out and grabbing you when you least expect it. At least not this week.

  • Richard Auffrey February 13, 20147:03 pm


    “I’ve never seen such carnage in my entire career. At an upper-scale apartment building in Lake View, nineteen units were invaded, and dozens of people, including women and children, were brutally butchered. The level of violence was even more extreme than a Tarantino film. They are already calling it the New Valentine’s Day Massacre because it took place on the 14th.”

    “Officer Ness, did you finally apprehend the killer?”

    “Yes, I eventually tracked Gabriel Alcap down to a grimy basement in Fuller Park. He didn’t resist and spilled out his tale. Seems he only wanted to murder a single person, Anthony Rivera, a publisher at Grey Matter Press. He knew Anthony was visiting someone at the building but didn’t know which unit. So he randomly worked his way through the units, his rage taking over. He slaughtered everyone he found. Finally, he found Rivera and choked him to death with a roll of papers, a manuscript.”


    “Rivera rejected one of his short stories, telling him he knew nothing about horror. I guess he proved Rivera wrong.”

  • John Milton February 13, 20148:29 pm

    “Dogs of War”

    Dieter lay in his grubby bedsit, relishing his impending destiny. Himmler himself had handpicked him and nine others for their linguistic skills to embark on a secret mission for the Ahnenerbe.

    This was what he had spent months of training in the Bavarian forests outside of Haselbach for.

    His devotion to the Reich had allowed him to stomach living amongst these untermensch for the last six days, knowing that soon he would be a hero to his people.

    As the full moon reached its zenith, Dieter’s bones cracked, elongating; the fangs burst from his gums; the hunger suffocating his human half as the beast took over and the mayhem of the Rohling Sturm was unleashed on London.

    • Laura February 14, 20141:20 pm

      Wish there was a 400 word limit 🙂

  • Stephanie Ellis February 13, 20149:17 pm


    “Sometimes I wonder why I’m here,” said Mr Poulson surveying his students morosely. “Why you’re here, instead of earning an honest living somewhere … else.”

    He scanned the room, hoping to see a glimmer of intelligence but finding only the usual sulky resentment.

    Today’s lecture involved comprehension. Not a hope, he thought as blank faces eyed him dismissively. Their contempt rankled, stirred a spark of anger.

    He had been advised to change his approach by the new principal, be more hands on, the subtext being change or leave.

    “Violence, ladies and gentlemen. Can anyone give me an example?”

    Nobody raised a hand.

    “No? Then allow me.”

    He walked slowly between the rows, then stopped and swung a hefty punch at Garson. He found the crunching sound of fist on jaw extremely satisfying.

    Poulson sensed a change in the atmosphere. His students had sat up, were more alert.

    “Mayhem, ladies and gentlemen?”

    No answer was forthcoming.

    He swept the books off the tables closest to him, kicked over the empty chairs. There was a definite buzz in the room.


    He pulled the gun from his blazer. A thrill ran through him. He had them now. Finally they comprehended.

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20143:26 am

      Very clever use of the words. Also, as a teacher, I can totally relate.

  • Charlie Boucher February 13, 20149:23 pm

    2122 North Clark Street

    Pete is slumped over a chair. He looks absurdly as though his is praying. Although perhaps there is nothing absurd about it, if he managed to fill his last stumbling moments with grace.

    Albert looks the most at peace from where I lie, his hat resting on his chest. It’s as though he was laid out hours ago for a wake, and everyone else turned up and shot themselves out of some obscure sense of loyalty. This thought, that we did this to ourselves, spirals through my head, turning into an angry echo that, if I had the strength and the freedom from pain, I would utterly deny.

    I am staring at James when I hear the woman scream. James is on his front, one arm curled underneath him. If I ignore the stench of blood and the splatters of red I can almost imagine he is sleeping. The scream fails to wake him up and I realise that I am the only one left alive. I decide one thing; I’m not talking. I will not dignify this carnage with words.

    • Sue Denim February 14, 201411:44 am

      Got to vote for this one today.

    • Dan February 14, 20147:59 pm

      I choose this one!

  • Simon Dewar February 14, 201412:03 pm


    Something for the Pain

    With the confusion of the mayhem going on in the streets, she had snuck inside the building.

    For fifteen years, she’d been a good nurse—one of the best.

    She’d make them pay for firing her.

    She had only taken a few pills. Some Endone, some Oxy—just a little something to help with the pain. Something to help when it got quiet.

    From the rows of cribs, she heard soft sounds of breathing and occasional mewling from the newborns.

    She had sat by the bed of hundreds of mothers, soothing their pain in the ordeal of child birth. Who had been there to sooth hers? Who had given a damn?

    She heard an anchor-man on the TV down the hall, decrying the murder of protestors in the streets. Sarah permitted herself a smile at the irony, as she wrapped the thick plastic bag over the head of the first of the infants, cinching it tight around the neck.

    His breath misted the bag as he began to convulse.

    And all eyes in the hospital looked up at TV screens or out the windows at the ongoing protests, while the real massacre took place under their noses.

    • Alan February 15, 20147:10 am

      Very dark. I like it!

      • Tom Dullemond February 15, 201410:54 am

        I vote for this horrible story!

    • Tim February 15, 20148:12 am

      Brilliant, well done Simon.

    • Joyce Chng February 15, 20148:40 am

      Voted for this one.

    • Amenah El Chami February 15, 20149:43 am

      You’re one sick individual. I choose this one.

    • Dave Versace February 15, 20149:44 am

      Brrr, this is grim!

    • Krista February 15, 201410:23 am

      Horrifically grim. Got my vote… 😉

    • Siv Parker February 15, 201410:46 am

      “..she’d been a good nurse….”


      Vote 1!

    • Karen Runge February 15, 201410:52 am

      Awesome! Beautifully messed-up.

    • Mellissa Doyle February 15, 20143:01 pm


    • Wendy February 15, 20145:26 pm

      Twisted! Nice work. This one has my vote.

    • J C Michael February 15, 20145:39 pm

      My vote goes to Simon Dewar. Very dark mate.

    • Nerine Dorman February 15, 20146:48 pm

      Wicked, this one gets my vote.

    • Maree Kimberley February 15, 201411:45 pm

      good horror fiction should get a strong reaction, & this story freaked me out in less than 200 words. So, that’s a horror job well done!

    • Louise February 16, 201412:13 am

      Your mind is twisted. I mean this in the most affectionate way! <3

    • Zoe Whitten February 16, 201412:29 am

      Voting for this one.

    • Zena February 16, 201412:40 am

      I vote for this one. So sick. Well done, Simon!

    • Azra Limbada February 16, 201412:44 am

      I vote for this fantastically scary story…!

    • David February 16, 201412:47 am

      My vote!

    • Chris February 16, 20141:36 am

      Gets my vote

    • Amanda February 16, 20143:05 am

      Dark and disturbing. That’s horror alright!

    • Helen Stubbs February 16, 20143:53 am

      We should really collaborate, man. But we won’t babysit.

    • ~lb*/ February 16, 20141:17 pm

      DARK…meets the criteria. Vote.

  • M.J. Pack February 14, 20145:18 pm


    January 15, 1947. Beautiful young woman, sliced in two. Mouth split to mimic a smile, the same come-hither smile she gave to any man on the street who paid her a shred of attention. Snarls of dark hair tangled in the overgrown grass.

    The papers called it butchery, as though they were shocked by this sort of thing. As though laying her out for the world to see was somehow less decent than the acts of violence that ran in the bloodstream of Los Angeles, little one-scene plays that opened and closed nightly in the city of angels.

    Reporters clamored for answers. Citizens demanded justice. Detectives promised, then balked, then hoped quietly that the whole world would just forget about them for a little while.

    Of course they never found me. She was the only one I could bear to part with. Elizabeth just wasn’t quite right; I simply didn’t care for her smile.

    The rest of them, my beauties, my sweet smiling ladies, I kept them safe. And they, well –

    They kept me company.

  • Casey Douglass February 14, 20149:18 pm



    Every queuing customer stared at the far door, their eyes squinting against the gleam of the white tiled surfaces.

    Humming emerged, followed by a fat man with hairy arms. He wiped them off against his grimy apron, streaks of red mixing with other darker stains. He beckoned to the next punter, a quivering man with glasses and a dewdrop hanging from his nose. The larger man put his arm around him and guided him towards the door.

    ‘It won’t hurt much longer fella!”

    The smaller man dropped a teddy bear, the heart it clasped faded and mottled with moisture.

    Both men vanished from sight. A hushed murmuring broke out from the assembled clients.

    ‘Did you see his apron?’

    ‘Yeah, that’s no getup for butchery!’

    A scream split the air like a firework, the echoes bouncing off the walls until they slowly petered out.

    Two of the clients fled, their shoes squeaking on the polished floor. The others stayed and looked down at their feet. Some looked at any tokens that they had brought with them, twisting them idly as they waited. Cards, toys, rings.

    The big man appeared once more and bellowed, ‘Next!’

    • Christy February 14, 20149:47 pm

      I vote for this one 🙂

      • paul brewer February 15, 20146:30 am

        I vote for Casey Douglas

    • Dora france February 15, 20149:25 am

      I vote for Casey Douglas… left me on the edge of my seat wanting more.

    • liza February 15, 20141:49 pm

      i vote for casey douglass

    • Danielle February 15, 20144:28 pm

      The imagery is vivid. Well Done! You have my vote.

  • JC Hemphill February 14, 201410:18 pm


    It Was Her

    I met a man made of smoke today. He had no lips for smiling, no eyes for seeing, no ears for hearing. He billowed and breathed and carried a case containing many items for sale. Inside were potions next to promises written in ink; rarities that shimmered and devices of great carnage; a history of forgotten treasures and treasures from forgotten histories. With a wave of his smoky hand, he said, “Take your pick, son, and please be quick.” When I reached for something bright, it bled through my fingers and vanished. “Sorry, son, all outta that one. Try again, and please be quick.” I reached toward the case, my hand hovering over gems, then an hourglass full of sand, until I fell upon a photograph I hadn’t yet noticed. It was her, it was me, it was what I needed. It was her. I grabbed, expecting nothing but finding everything. She materialized beside me, a specter no more. In a flash, the man made of smoke closed his case and drifted away, leaving her, taking me, a photograph for sale.

    • Sarah L. Johnson February 14, 201410:33 pm

      Egads, I’m a sucker for a great first line. You have my vote.

    • Karlee Hemphill February 15, 20148:32 pm

      May be a little biased since he’s my husband, but I vote for JC Hemphill! Love this shorty =)

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20143:02 am

      I really liked this one…the first line is fantastic, and I absolutely live the surreal quality to the writing. Very literary.

    • Jane Brooks February 16, 20148:11 am


  • Jane Brooks February 14, 201410:41 pm



    I saw blood and signs of violence when he stumbled onto the porch.


    I locked the door.

    “The fuck, Charlotte?”

    “You’re bleeding.” My voice broke. “Stay back!”


    “Those veins on your hands. It’s on your face, too.” I felt a rush of rage. “Asshole! How did you – You’re dying!”

    “No!” His voice was tight.



    Waiting until we know—it’s Schroedinger’s nightmare: the cat is lost and all you can do is watch it happen. I closed my eyes and remembered how my hand fit perfectly on the small of his back.

    “It hurts, Char.”

    “I know.”

    He leaned onto the door glass. “I was gonna fuck you, make you breakfast this morning.”

    “Ha! You can cook?”

    “I have eggs.”

    “You fucking romantic.”

    “Take that back.”


    “I want to touch you again.”


    He coughed. Pain bowed his shoulders.

    “You know, don’t you? I always loved you.”

    Fat tears.

    “Goddammit, Chris. Don’t make me say it.”

    Then he wasn’t Chris anymore. I raised the Mossberg, squeezed the trigger, and he was gone. On my way out the back, I set the curtains on fire.

    An hour later, loving him was something I used to do.

    • Amethyst February 14, 201411:02 pm

      I hope to never have a Valentine Day go like this!

    • A. Scott Glancy February 15, 201412:18 pm

      I’m so glad we added Zombie Apocalypse Protocols to our marriage vows.

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20143:04 am

      Love the use of dialogue. Great last two lines.

    • Rose Blackthorn February 16, 20143:47 am

      Great dialogue!

  • Rose Blackthorn February 14, 201411:02 pm

    Until Next Year

    “Wow, this is… Kind of a ways out here, isn’t it?” Gary followed, stepping into the foggy clearing behind her.

    “You said you wanted to see Hart’s Hollow,” Mia said, halting in the center.

    “So,” he said, breath misting before his face, “What makes this place so special?” He’d met her in the bar, and attempted his lame pick-up line. He’d been surprised when she responded. Then the conversation turned to the town’s only claim to fame, a place supposedly haunted.

    “There are ghosts here.” She watched the dark, waiting for them to appear. Gary followed her gaze, but saw only fog.

    “Why? I mean, what happened?”

    “Violence,” Mia whispered, “butchery… Murder.” Misty figures, echoes of the many men who died here, began to gather. The long knife materialized in her hand. She would wreak her vengeance again, on another innocent victim. Innocent as she’d once been.

    Gary had no time to scream, coughed softly on the bib of blood she sliced from his throat. He fell, hands clawing the damp earth. She lay with him, no more than drifting fog, watching as he died of her wounds. When it was finished, she faded. She could rest—until next year.

    • Geno Mortensen February 15, 20141:13 am

      This is what dark horror is really all about.

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20141:33 am

      I agree that this is an exemplary piece of dark fiction. The fusion of beautiful language and haunting imagery creates a mood which is perfect for the slow build up of dread that leads the way toward a subtle but grim ending. The first line alone accomplishes a great deal by way of mood and atmosphere…well done, Rose. Well done.

    • Shirley Mortensen February 16, 20143:10 am

      Wonderfully written! What an imagination!
      Pulls you right into the fog.

    • Jane Brooks February 16, 20148:12 am

      Lovely and chilling!

    • Richard Alan February 16, 20148:06 pm

      Reading over these pieces has been a learning experience for this first timer. You carried your style forward in this short piece without changing a thing from your wordier paintings. I admire that. I was thrust into a completely different mindset. I may be adaptable, but you have proven you are true to yourself. That speaks volumes to me. Very Blackthornien of you! I have learned another valuable lesson from you.

  • Charlotte Gitelman February 15, 20141:32 am

    Once a…Always a…

    “HELP ME!”

    The noise rang in Patrick’s ears as Jack screamed, looking up from his bloody, shaking hands. He acknowledged the carnage around him as his eyes flew from the dead body of a deer in front of him, to Patrick’s stunned face, a hundred feet away. His eyes flit back down to the carcass, completely dismembered from stem to stern.

    “What did I do? Pat, what did I DO?” His voice rose, springing Patrick into action. He rushed to Jack, pulling his hands away so he couldn’t see the blood. As Jack looked away from his hands and up to Patrick’s face, he noticed the others.

    The whole field was full of stags, strewn across the grass in bloody disarray.

    “Jack. Jack! Look at me!” With his attention, Patrick continued. “We need to leave. Right now, they’re coming. We need to go!” As he spoke, he wrenched him into a standing position and started tugging Jack out of the clearing. Away from the mess he had created. As Jack watched the corpses disappear behind a collage of trees, his attention was caught by the message spelled out in blood on a nearby rock. In his own hand writing.


    • Jane Brooks February 15, 20141:38 am

      Chills, Charlotte!

    • Emily February 15, 20141:46 am

      Yikes! I like where this is going!

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20143:08 am

      This one is, rather unfortunately, going to stay with me all night. Very unsettling…insanely creepy last line.

  • Richard Alan February 15, 20143:56 am


    I sit in obscurity, composed by my last opus. Demons intimately steal my life-spark with incessant strokes of darkness. Bitterness and disgust forge my thoughts ladled from a decaying heart. Mayhem overflows my dank abode. Inside and out, my stool slips in excrement against a catacomb wall.

    “Is it my own? Could I make such a mess of things?”

    My feet draw to my chest. Would I not sink in search of an absent floor?

    “Touch not!” Yells something inside. A familiar voice. Mine, once upon a time, now obscured in madness.

    Fidgeting, I mumble to myself. No one can reach me but inhuman things.

    Shadows cast butchered visions in the wake of a dream long gone. Nowhere I look relieves their torments. Be still my lips and they may pass me by. Yet they confuse my name as something profane. They always leave, I think, as I pull myself tighter on this decaying stool.

    Once I was something before loathing ate all but the final piece. I am the savior of the world! I must vanish to oblivion or condemn it to live my nightmare.

    This kindness redeem thee. I erase my bane.

    • Rick Hull February 15, 20144:21 am

      Good job on your first piece of Flash Fiction. Win, place, or show, way to go!

    • Barb Hull February 15, 20144:28 am

      Well, descriptive it is, creepy I’d say. How do I feel about it? This story could be the stuff of nightmares if it weren’t still early evening. A big A+

    • Diane Valterra February 15, 20144:49 am

      Yes, a bit spine-chilling, daunting, and downright nightmarish. Well done, I look forward to more of your writing.

    • Barry E Woodham February 15, 20148:37 am

      Strange! I like strange! Do we all carry an unseen passenger? If we do, is this it?

    • DENNIS DE ROSE February 15, 20142:25 pm

      I’m shaking in my boots!

    • Melissa Keir February 15, 20143:52 pm

      Wonderful scary. I can’t imagine the feeling of falling into madness. Great job! I love flash fiction because of the tightness of the words.

    • Missy Watling February 15, 20149:22 pm

      What a great piece of writing! I wish you much luck!

    • Mark Keir February 15, 20149:22 pm

      Scary but evoking of the pain the character feels!

    • M Fullington February 15, 20149:23 pm

      It almost sounds like he ends his life at the end.

    • Wren Hartwood February 16, 20142:45 am

      Tightly written prose that claws at the final shreds of sanity before utter madness. Best of luck to you! 🙂

    • Cynthia Seasons February 17, 20145:47 pm

      Brilliant flash of word photography. A dark despairing visual yet leaves hints of hope as insanity is seldom black or white in choice. This masterpiece work of concise brevity excels in forcing the intelligent reader into the curiosity of wanting to read more however also has the ability to allow a changing pallet of situational conclusions within their own minds.

      For me, the word-hints I choose to cling to include, the ego mind illusions of demons stroking swaths of darkness on Life-spark and bitter disgusting thoughts from a decaying heart (oxymorons as thoughts and darkness are of the mind not of the heart). Therefore since this tormented soul can still ‘hear’ its own former voice both in self mumbling and in yelling, “Touch not”…there is hope the untouchable thing IS the kindness of the heart where there are always more than an either or choice.

  • Jeff Clare February 15, 20144:02 am

    Panic Erased

    The gas gauge was dipping below E and he was nowhere near a safe exit ramp. Getting on I-75 to leave Cincinnati wasn’t his preference, but time had not afforded Tommy the luxury of contemplation. The drive to the interstate was nothing short of chaotic. No laws to abide. No police to enforce them.

    They were already dead.

    At home, Tommy hadn’t taken the emergency broadcast seriously. Armed forces? Targeted terrorism? Bio-something-or-other? Until, only moments later, he heard the first report of an automatic rifle.

    Then several.

    Moments later he was jiggling his key into the Corolla’s ignition while, in the street only 50 yards away, the body of a policeman was being repeatedly shot by what appeared to be National Guardsmen.

    Violence. Anarchy. A Metro coasted lifelessly across the medium chased by soldiers on foot. The staccato sounds of their gunfire and the passengers’ screams blended into a murderous cacophony.

    The expressway was equally dangerous. Traffic was fast, reckless, and akin to surfing a tsunami.

    Only two miles driven when the car sputtered. Panic erased rationality and then was immediately interrupted by a blinding flash of light, followed by a concussive boom. Then more blinding light.

    Then…     nothing.

    • Rebecca February 15, 20146:35 am

      Well done!

    • Barry E Woodham February 15, 20148:39 am

      This is only the beginning! What happens next? A bleak picture welling up from the depths of the imagination well.

    • Anna February 15, 20144:41 pm


    • David February 15, 20145:57 pm

      Great! More please.

    • Rachel Nier February 16, 201412:25 am

      Loved it!

    • RobGibson February 16, 20141:59 am

      I liked it!

    • judiandcarol February 16, 201411:06 pm

      Yes.Love it !

      • angie February 17, 201412:46 am


  • Mary Anne Lewis February 15, 201410:41 am

    Brad is Back

    Alyssa pushed a chair beneath the doorknob. She knew who was trying to get in, and he was not a friend.

    She and Brad had split up six months ago, just after she had begun to feel some security after the zombie invasion hit Chicago. Brad had a gun and could shoot, killing the midnight marauders whenever they threatened Alyssa and their young daughter Leah.

    She was shattered.

    But he was gone now, and Alyssa had purchased a pistol and paid for shooting lessons. That stopped the mayhem outside from reaching inside her small home.

    “You can’t come in,” she screamed, leaning up against the door. Perhaps this time it would hold.

    Brad had left her for a man — Alan, the guy who had taught him how to shoot. Six weeks ago she heard Alan got taken by a zombie. He and Brad had lived together a few blocks away.

    BAM! The door broke open. There he stood, in all his glory. It was Brad, a full-fledged zombie. She lifted her arm, and fired the pistol. The bullet entered his forehead, above his missing right eye, and down he went.

    No, this was no friend.

  • Morgan Griffith February 15, 20142:45 pm


    Stones and windows, doors and plaster—they all resonate with fear. This crumbling church, a lost relic half-hidden by a copse of trees, its façade and crosses choked by hungry vine, is repeatedly ignored by the police. Eventually grid-walkers of the search team will pass this way. The smell will draw them like a beckoning shroud. At the entrance their faces will go slack, psyches darkened in a way that can never be cleansed. The slow pulse of this church permeates the heavy air.

    Mirrored in my eyes, nightmarish images reappear in flashing sequence as I sleep. The blood trail will lead them on a dark journey. Piece by piece the puzzle unravels, each more disturbing than the last. As the hours slip away and investigators work in stunned silence, shadows thicken as eerily as hovering ghosts. Flashlight beams shed stark illumination riddled with dust motes.

    I watch them work, swaying as the wind of their coming and going flutters my web. Notepad scratchings hint of mental disorder and comment on the violence of these crimes. They will chase a thousand leads across six states, unaware of the underground passages. The worst is yet to come.

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20141:46 am

      I am shocked that this piece has not generated any discussion yet. Lines like “a lost relic half-hidden by a copse of trees, its façade and crosses choked by hungry vine” and “The slow pulse of this church” reveal the mark of an extremely talented writer…one with a knack for eerie imagery and an ability to depict a sinister darkness veiled in just the right dose of mystery to leave the reader in fear. Fear of what is known…and what is not.

  • Sydney Leigh February 15, 20144:20 pm


    “Suicide Note”

    I am sorry it has come to this.

    My soul lies in carnage, not unlike the savage butchery I have witnessed on a daily basis during my tour. What were once bodies, strewn across upturned concrete, caked in blood and dust. I cannot keep myself from thinking of what these deaths leave in their wake. The violence we were ordered to bring upon others was perhaps worse than the unrelentingly harrowing massacres we faced in return.

    Not self, but country. Always faithful. So others may live. Always prepared.

    But nothing could have prepared me for this . . . Nothing.

    For the murder, the bloodshed. The ringing in my ears and sweat blurring the lens of my scope. For the child I shot while his father held him like a shield during a routine sweep gone bad.

    The leg I lost is not what I miss most. I miss who I used to be; the man who never saw the mayhem of war and left footprints on the soil of foreign lands. And I miss you—my family. Please understand I could not go on—not for you or my country. Not like this.

    The only easy day was yesterday.

    • CB February 15, 20145:15 pm

      Some nice imagery in this piece.

    • Judy Holweger February 15, 20145:15 pm

      I vote for this one. It states so clearly what is war.

    • Patricia Howard February 15, 20145:32 pm

      Heartbreaking! But it gets my vote.

    • Michael February 15, 20145:43 pm

      War, what is good for? Absolutely nothing. I vote for this one.

    • Julianne Snow (@CdnZmbiRytr) February 15, 20145:47 pm

      Such imagery Sydney! Hands down my favourite and an easy vote to make 🙂

    • Michelle Rademacher February 15, 20146:10 pm

      “I vote for this one!”

    • Anthony February 15, 20146:57 pm

      Very moving. This earns my vote.

    • Tracy Butrica February 15, 20146:58 pm

      Sydney has my vote!

    • Jodi February 15, 20146:59 pm

      Gets my vote.

    • sarah February 15, 20147:00 pm

      I vote for this one.

    • Dona Fox February 15, 20147:34 pm

      Sydney gets my votes!

    • DreamCatcher February 15, 20148:03 pm

      This earns my vote. It uses the assigned words in a way that makes the story stand out, and I like the idea of framing it as a suicide note. Very touching and emotionally powerful.

    • Beth Murphy February 15, 20148:09 pm

      This one get my vote!

    • Dan Giadone February 15, 20148:18 pm

      I vote for this one !! Its imagery worked on a very visceral and profound level. Awesome !!!

    • Michelle February 15, 20148:23 pm

      Great story. Gets my vote

    • Jim Sorrento February 15, 20148:30 pm

      Raw, lonely, hopeless, beaten. Add my vote here.

    • David Pointer February 15, 20148:31 pm

      This story gets my vote. It is a very poignant piece. Thank you.

    • Dennis Hardy February 15, 20149:01 pm

      Great! This gets my vote!

    • Tracy Carbone February 15, 201410:15 pm

      Great story by a talented author. Voting for a Suicide Note

    • Andrew Freudenberg February 15, 201410:54 pm

      Dark and beautiful! Gets my vote.

    • Jen Rogers February 15, 201411:28 pm

      That was moving!!!

      • Elaine Pare February 16, 201412:24 am

        I vote for this piece. Right on with the horrible realities of war.

    • Amie February 16, 201412:18 am

      Definitely gets my vote!

    • Joseph J. Patchen February 16, 20141:12 am

      This tale rings truer because it comes from a much different perspective; a perspective more based in reality. It is horror is understated and deeply, deeply disturbing. Its components are highly emotional evoking sadness, dread, fear, need I go on. This has my vote.

    • Josh February 16, 20141:26 am

      Well-written and a packs a strong emotional punch. I vote this one.

    • Blaze McRob February 16, 20141:52 am

      Suicide Note by Sydney Leigh is my choice. I have been to war and have seen what happens. It is not pretty. Sydney tells of the horrors. A moving piece.

      Blaze McRob

    • Madoosk February 16, 20141:57 am

      Has my vote. Brutal and disturbing, mostly because it is a piece not restrained to the realm of fiction. A condition and event that plagues too many of our veterans.

    • Fred February 16, 20142:51 am

      Extremely well written.

    • Lisa February 16, 20143:02 am

      ‘Suicide Note is masterfully crafted’…………….truly the stuff nightmares are made of. Sydney should be proud of herself.

    • Gina February 16, 20143:08 am

      This has my vote

    • Frank February 16, 20143:29 am

      Disturbing and moving at the same time.

    • Patricia Grant February 16, 20144:41 am

      Beautifully written and very powerful…… I vote for Sydney…

    • Alandice Anderson February 16, 20144:51 am

      Wonderful, eerie, and a good read! 🙂 Thanks Sydney Leigh!

    • Cassie Miller February 16, 20144:53 am

      OH! Thanks so much!

    • Adam S. House February 16, 20145:01 am

      Great, gets my vote. m/

    • Timothy Frasier February 16, 20145:21 am

      My vote is for Suicide Note. A powerful and chilling story.

    • Daniele Serra February 16, 20149:33 am

      Great! I vote for this one.

  • Jan Cusson February 15, 20144:50 pm

    This has wholeheartedly earned my vote!

  • Joshua Skye February 15, 20144:59 pm

    A very nice piece.

  • J C Michael February 15, 20145:16 pm



    The words release the darkness. With them I have unleashed mayhem. I have slaughtered hundreds. Subjected young and old alike to butchery unrestrained by practicality. Demonic visions which plague my imagination set free on paper and screen to infiltrate the mind of the reader. A corruptive sickness to eat away at their soul, as their eyes devour texts born of my own, mental, perversion.

    Murder, rape. Suicide, depravity. I’ve written of them all. The ink, blood, the pen, a scalpel. A release of the pressures of modern life in literary form. But is it enough?

    The self prescribed cure for my affliction no longer releases the inner demons to a sufficient extent. I put down the pen. I pick up a knife. It’s dark outside. I’m dark inside. I need to feel, not imagine. Experience, not invent. The words, now insufficient, the acts to come, will be sublime.

    • JC Hemphill February 15, 20148:11 pm

      Vote! I like how this plays on some people’s perception of horror authors. “Where do you get such gruesome ideas?” “Why, let me show you…”

    • bri Carter February 15, 201411:58 pm

      Very dark, this gets my vote. Reminds me of the blame horror films get for mindless murders. However, u never know who you should b scared of…..

    • Sydney Leigh February 16, 20143:19 am

      I love this one. Very clever, and we can all fathom the possibilities as writers of such things. Love the lines: “It’s dark outside. I’m dark inside.” Really great piece.

  • LadyHazmat February 15, 20145:27 pm

    The Morning After

    Rachael’s mouth ached. She wore a beard of dried blood that extended down her front, expanding into a ragged bib, an artifact of the previous night’s violence. It was her own fault, of course. She knew better than to interrupt Boy’s Night, but it was Valentine’s Day and she couldn’t wait to share the good news.

    She tiptoed up the stairs. There was doubtless a mess in need of cleaning. Best to just get it over with. Rachael straightened up, tossing beer bottles, emptying overfilled ashtrays and righting an obstacle course of overturned chairs. Then she turned her attention to the bodies. What was left of them.

    The kitchen was littered with limbs and viscera that had been torn apart and cast asunder such that if she hadn’t previously seen them in working order, she’d have no idea they represented the remains of only three men. Rachael set to cleaning again. When she’d finished, she showered and then hauled the remaining trash—double bagged—to the curb. That done, she started for home. Her belly rumbled. Rachael was mildly shocked, considering what a pig she’d made of herself last night, but then again, she was eating for two.

    • Jennifer Roman February 15, 20148:53 pm

      Great storyline! Makes me want to read “the rest of the story…” Keep writing.

      • Jennifer Roman February 15, 20148:55 pm

        My vote is for The Morning After

    • Z February 15, 20148:57 pm

      You are creepy and weird. I like that.

    • K February 15, 201411:07 pm

      Great ending – Gets my vote!

    • Token February 16, 201412:04 am

      1 vote for The Morning After

    • Jaime Burchardt February 16, 201412:14 am

      Voting for this story! Excellent stuff.

    • Becky February 16, 201412:51 am

      That’s my girl! Voting for LadyHazmat.

    • debbie christensen February 16, 20141:36 am

      love the story

    • Shalone February 16, 20144:25 am


    • Zach February 16, 20144:27 am

      Creepy as usual.

    • Jessica February 16, 20144:55 am

      LadyHazmat has it – spooky…

    • Taylor February 16, 20145:11 am

      1 vote for the Lady Hazmat!

    • debbie christensen February 16, 20144:20 pm

      like this story

  • Elaine Pare February 15, 20147:12 pm

    The piece by Sydney Leigh has my vote. Very vivid, indeed!

  • Kristen February 16, 20147:23 pm

    Great story, Ladyhazmat! Voting for “Morning After”!

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