Home » New Horla Fiction (March 2019)

NEW HORLA FICTION (March-May 2019)

THE BOOKWORM by Edward Ahern 

GEORGE had arrived outside the house two hours before the estate sale opened so he could gain a few minutes on his competitors. Once through the door and given a number he’d rushed to the mansion’s library and began scanning titles. The Truro Bear by Mary Oliver was signed and inscribed, and George stuck it in his cloth bag before the other book-vultures could claw it. 

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A-HUNTING THEY WILL COME by S.J. McMahon 

FATIGUE. A well-known companion now. I had travelled by foot. One full day. When I had rented the property, I had been gifted a tattered old map. Repeated evidence of folding had left areas of the map marked by fuzzy white lines, devoid of any useful features. This added an unwelcome weight to a journey of a length I had woefully under-estimated.  

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LIES by Paul Murgatroyd 

SEBASTIAN Tinker was wondering where the blazes all the whores had gone. It wasn’t midnight yet, and he couldn’t see a single one in Soho Square. Something must have frightened them off. Some gang of villains? Another Ripper scare? Selfish bloody sluts! He had dined egregiously well with dear friends at the Mont Blanc, had imbibed… 

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CALLED OUT BY DEATH by Nazli Karabiyikoglu 

LIFE filled in him through a cut he got while rock spread around as it got hit by a billhook. Light washed his slanted eyes, slim nose and cheekbones. Old Man carefully came down the stairs, took a glance at the face completed by a single hit from afar. With joy he wrapped himself around her belly, hugged her. Kissed its thighs…

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PREOCCUPIED by Glyn Carter 

MARTIN and Jess checked into the smart London hotel late in the afternoon. They were both successful in their careers but didn’t like to shout about it, so they wore clothes that bellowed out their modesty, she in her tight white jeans and small denim jacket that cost way more than denim was ever meant to cost; he in…

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CAROLINE by JEAN LEVY 

I CALL myself a writer.  Of psychological thrillers. And I can boast a certain degree of success. Yet … well, I’m having a bad day. I’ve got an ingenious plot, a cast of characters, their lives magnificently intertwined, an unreliable narrator, and a breathtaking descriptive pause already written. But…

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20/20 VISION by Mark Keane 

The sign above the shop read “Optician”. The display in the window never changed, two rows of transparent acrylic noses, each with a pair of glasses. I passed the shop every day on my way to work and the display was scored on my brain from a thousand unconscious glances. One morning a handwritten sign in the corner…

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THE POOL BENEATH THE PAGODA by Andrew Kolarik 

‘Philip Prior, writing for The Spectre. Any comment on the recent rioting that broke out in your constituency?’ George Fletcher collected his thoughts before replying. It was hard to come up with an answer with all the people along the street crowding him. Actually I’ve got a question for you Phil. How does it feel to write a column for a paper that used to

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THE POLICY by Paul Green 

Robert Bentley’s journey to work took longer than usual for the regular train had been replaced by some drab old olive-green units that juddered slowly between every stop, where impatient grumbling suburbanites struggled with heavy latches as they slammed the doors. At the terminus the automated barriers were out of order and platform staff insisted on… 

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A SMALL TOWN HOWLER by Michael D. Davis 

Every town has a howler. Some are drunks, some are teens, others are loonies, but like a gravedigger, every town has a howler. Like every useful thing I know, I was taught about howlers from my grandmother. She was a wise old short woman that knew everything. However, on this, I didn’t believe her… at first.

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SWEETHEART by Timothy Granville 

Glancing back the way she’d come, Libby saw he wasn’t following her. The deserted embankment climbed into the mist, the diffuse glow of the streetlights hung far overhead. She sobbed once and turned to look where she was going. There was no pavement under her feet because no one was meant to walk here…

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THE LOCOMOTIVE OF DARKNESS by Titus Green 

They heard the shrill pitch of its whistle cut through the particles of the spring sky, and the chuffing puffs of its furnace from miles away. A solitary light occupied the top of its monstrous round face, giving it the appearance of a vast, pitiless iron cyclops rolling meter by meter further into the motherland…

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ASYLUM by Mark Colbourne

Adnan considered the building. He had never been entirely certain what to expect of Great Britain. His imagination had proposed a spectrum which swept from opportunity to trial, from hope to adversity, but had still failed to suggest anything quite like this. The house faced north with a facade permanently shrouded in shade.

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THE HAUNTED MAN by Bill Davidson

I heard the ghost a full year before I ever saw it or knew that’s what it was. This was Christmas Eve, the proper time for ghosts, and I was alone in bed, with the lamps off and a glass of whisky balanced on my chest, the streetlight outside making hard slant lines across the room.

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LITTLE CLAWS by Holly Tinsley

Faster and faster, the little rabbit jerked and twisted. Rose felt the creature’s heart racing quicker, gathering speed until it seemed it would explode from her soft chest. Miss Velvet threw herself so violently from side to side that the cage rocked, splashing against the muddy ground.

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LOCO PETE’S LEAP by David Rudd

LEWIS and Clark Caverns are up in the London Hills of Montana, near to where those two explorers first went on their travels. I had gone there after spending the previous day in the ghost towns of Nevada City and Virginia City. In fact, mention of ghosts seems quite apposite, as you’ll see.

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BOX ROOM by Sally O’Reilly

There it was again, only this time Jill was not so much barking as screaming. Almost a human sound. He could fancy there were words inside that noise, just as he used to imagine that clouds had faces when he was a boy. He pushed his chair back and hurried from the room. When he reached the staircase, he climbed it two steps at a time.

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HALLO LEON by Adam Marks

“You were there, Leon, in Anzio… I thought you wouldn’t make it. I’m so glad you’re here, you old bastard… How did you get here?” The Old Man’s dentures flopped around a little as he spoke. “I don’t know who you are,” said Robin, lying. He knew the Old Man’s name, he knew who He was. 

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