The Nightmare Center (a short story)

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” – Sigmund Freud

I.

Dylan yawned, leaned back in his chair. It was another late night at the Nightmare Center, but at least he was collecting overtime. The entire year had been full of late nights, for obvious reasons. The election had peoples’ unconscious selves falling apart at the seams.

“Still here?” Amari asked, bags under her eyes.

“Unfortunately,” Dylan said. “I’m working a double.”

“It never ends.”

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Salem (a poem)

I’ve spent centuries obsessed with evil

fingers bleeding from scrawling in notebooks,

searching for ways to banish it

to deep corners of space

away from us

where it takes souls,

twists them in black sorcery –

I wake up in Salem, trembling

witches burn, the smell of scalding flesh

the executioner removes his mask,

smiles – I fall into deep sleep

(Photo by Vladimir Agafonkin on Unsplash)

4 Creepy Books to Get you Ready for Halloween

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday. Really, I love all the fall and winter holidays. But Halloween? What’s not to like?! Horror movies, marathon readings of Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps a little Lovecraft.

I compiled a shortlist of my favorite creepy books that are perfect for this time of year. Some of them fall within the umbrella term of “weird fiction.” Others are classic ghost stories that I highly suggest you check out if you haven’t read already. And yeah, they’re all old books – like, really old.

Here’s my list:

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Haunted House (a poem)

There’s been trauma in this house

we thought it’d be our forever home

instead, ghosts lurk here

ghosts of murders, suicides

they followed us long after we

left cob-webbed hallways –

the trauma here makes us see things

hallucinations, delusions of despair

we can’t escape it.

(Photo by Stefan Ringler on Unsplash)

The Woman at the Window (a poem)

The woman sits at the window

she’s always there, she stares

at the outside world

her sallow skin a testament to an indoor existence

terrified to leave the ivy-covered house like

a cat that fears and is fascinated by the outdoors.

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Criminals (a poem)

I dream of criminals, being a witness to misdeed

men with dark eyes do dark things in motel rooms

tell me to keep my mouth zippered shut –

I wake with a sense of dread

storm clouds gather outside frosted windows

a woman with an umbrella screams

then runs for her life.

(Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)