The Witch with Eyes of Amber by Clark Ashton Smith

I met a witch with amber eyes

Who slowly sang a scarlet rune,

Shifting to an icy laughter

Like the laughter of the moon.

Red as a wanton’s was her mouth.

And fair the breast she bade me take

With a word that clove and clung

Burning like a furnace-flake.

But from her bright and lifted bosom,

When I touched it with my hand,

Came the many-needled coldness

Of a glacier-taken land.

And, lo! The witch with eyes of amber

Vanished like a blown-out flame,

Leaving but the lichen-eaten

Stone that bore a blotted name.


by Clark Ashton Smith


Hallowe’en by R.S. Thomas

Outside a surfeit of planes.

Inside the hunger of the departed

to come back. ‘Ah, erstwhile humans,

would you make your mistakes

over again? In life, as in love,

the second time around is

no better.’

I confront their expressions

in the embers, on grey walls:

faces among the stones watching

me to see if this night

of all nights I will make sacrifice

to the spirits of hearth and of

roof-tree, pouring a libation.


‘Stay where you are,’ I implore.

‘This is no world for escaped beings

to make their way back into.

The well that you took your pails

to is polluted. At the centre

of the mind’s labyrinth to machine howls

for the sacrifice of the affections;

vocabulary has on a soft collar

but the tamed words are not to be trusted.

As long as the flames hum, making

their honey, better to look in

upon truth’s comb than to

take off as we do on fixed wings

for depollinated horizons.’


by R. S Thomas

from No Truce with the Furies (1995)

Two Sentence Horror Stories

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, ‘Daddy check for monsters under my bed’. I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, ‘Daddy theres somebody on my bed’.


My daughter wont stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesnt help.


After working a hard day I came home to see my girlfriend cradling our child. I didnt know which was more frightening, seeing my dead girlfriend and stillborn child, or knowing that someone broke into my apartment to place them there.


The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams.

I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.


The doctors told the amputee he might experience a phantom limb from time to time. Nobody prepared him for the moments though, when he felt cold fingers brush across his phantom hand.


The heart attack came and went, knocking Mike into unconsciousness, and as he awoke he could hear the graveside service around him. Somehow the casket was translucent to him and he recognized some of his friends, but his body would not move and he realized with terror what death really was.


You hear your mom calling you into the kitchen. As you are heading down the stairs you hear a whisper from the closet saying ‘Dont go down there honey, I heard it too’.


It sat on my shelf, with thoughtless porcelain eyes and the prettiest pink doll dress I could find. Why did she have to be born still?


You get home, tired after a long days work and ready for a relaxing night alone. You reach for the light switch, but another hand is already there.

I kiss my wife and daughter goodnight before I go to sleep. When I wake up, Im in a padded room and the nurses tell me it was just a dream.


Dont be scared of the monsters, just look for them. Look to your left, to your right, under your bed, behind your dresser, in your closet but never look up, she hates being seen.


I wish I could remember whose these people are. They tell me I have Alzheimers.


You mutter the words ‘hey dad’ as you recognize the familiar figure of your father in the reflection of your laptop screen. A personalized ringing signifies a text from your dad, it reads: ‘tell mom I’ll be home late’.


The grinning face stared at me from the darkness beyond my bedroom window. I live on the 14th floor.


I can’t move, breathe, speak or hear and its so dark all the time. If I knew it would be this lonely, I would have been cremated instead.


Neatly laid across my dining room table, I found a dull kitchen knife, a torn, crusty rag, and a Flip video camera which seemed to be recording. I own none of these items.


Attending his funeral today was really scary. It might have been the constant muffled screams I heard or the worry of someone noticing the dirt on my hands.

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door.

Fredrick Brown

To the woman who keeps pounding on my door at night. Im not letting you out.


The doctors discussed pulling the plug today. Why don’t they hear my screaming?


As I sat staring into the mirror, all I could think was that my face didn’t look right. Honestly, this man’s skin doesnt fit well at all.


The monsters closed their eyes. And not a single star in the sky was seen that night.


The egotistical tyrant convinced them all that he was all-powerful, and they accepted it on faith without question, blindly; they had no choice. All except one named Lucifer.


It’s a weird feeling, staring at your own grave. but it’s even weirder when you dig it up and see what lies there.


“I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window…until I heard it come from the mirror again.”

“I just saw my reflection blink.”

“You start to drift off into a comfortable sleep when you hear your name being whispered. You live alone.”

“There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone.”

“In all of the time that I’ve lived alone in this house, I swear to God I’ve closed more doors than I’ve opened.”

“They celebrated the first successful cryogenic freezing. He had no way of letting them know he was still conscious.”

“I always thought my cat had a staring problem. She always seemed fixated on my face. Until one day, when I realized that she was always looking just behind me.”

“My sister says that mommy killed her. Mommy says that I don’t have a sister.”

“I never go to sleep. But I keep waking up.”

“The funeral attendees never came out of the catacombs. Something locked the crypt door from the inside.”

“My wife woke me up last night to tell me there was an intruder in our house. She was murdered by an intruder 2 years ago.

“Working the night shift alone tonight. There is a face in the cellar staring at the security camera.”

”I can’t sleep,” she whispered, crawling into bed with me. I woke up cold, clutching the dress she was buried in.

“While lying in bed trying to go to sleep, I heard my dog scratching my bedroom door. As I got up to let her in, I found her sleeping at the side of the bed.”

The Truth About The Abominable Footprint by Michael Baldwin

The Yeti’s a Beast

Who lives in the East

And suffers a lot from B.O.

His hot hairy feet

Stink out the street

So he cools them off in the snow.

by Michael Baldwin

The Ghoul by Gareth Owen

One dark and wintry evening
When snow swirled through the air
And the wind howled like a banshee
I crept silently up the stair.

I sat in the quiet of my bedroom
And opened with baited breath
My Zombie-Horror Make-Up Kit
That would frighten my sister to death.


Sowly my face began to change
As I carefully applied the pack.
I grinned at my face in the mirror
But an evil stranger leered back.

Long hair sprouted wild from my forehead,
My nose was half snout, half beak,
My right eye bulged angry and bloodshot
While my left one crawled over my cheek.

My fangs hung long and broken,
My chin was broken with sores,
The backs of my hands were mats of hair
My fingers grew long, bird-like claws.

I heard my sister opening the door,
Heard her call, ‘Hello, anyone in?’
I took a long, last look at the thing in the glass
Distorted and ugly as sin.

My sister was running the water
I could hear her washing her hair.
I heard her call out as a floorboard creaked.
‘Hello, is that somebody there?’

I released my zombie howl
As I crashed through the kitchen door,
Then I saw this ghoul in the window pane
And passed out cold on the floor.

by Gareth Owen