The Maker of Days

The Maker of Days

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved.


When I wake, there is this filthy smell in the air. It is everywhere. It seeps around me like fog: thick, enveloping, constricting. I cannot breathe in without it filling my lungs, cannot breathe out without tasting it on my tongue. For a moment, I panic, and with the panic comes nausea. My stomach rebels against the rankness, yet the nausea itself is familiar enough to jog my memory, and at once I begin to relax. Continue reading

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved.


There was a party going on when they arrived. Any other night, Tina would have been pleased by the fact. It meant the neighborhood wasn’t as uptight as the last place they’d lived, where the simple jubilant shout of a child riding past on a bicycle had lacy curtains twitching and old ladies’ lips pursed in lemon-sucking moues of disapproval. It had been impossible to do anything there without someone passing comment. Continue reading

Thirteen Maidens

Thirteen Maidens

Olly loves stone circles. Jason loves Olly, and so begins a week’s holiday monument-hopping in Wiltshire. But is it really dangerous to dance among the stones?

When the young couple book into a chintzy, traditional guest-house in rural Wiltshire, they’re set to experience all the delights of a break in the English countryside. For a start, it never seems to stop raining.

Jason doesn’t share his boyfriend’s enthusiasm for ancient monuments – or his fascination with local circle, the Thirteen Maidens – but, as he evaluates what this time means to him, and to Olly, it becomes clear that the stones exert a strange pull over them both.

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The Weeping Blade

The Weeping Blade, in Dark Harvest (anthology)

Dark Harvest, featuring 'The Weeping Blade'

A whisper of butterflies’ wings promises a lonely old man his heart’s desire; mages draw upon music to work magic; and a fearful symmetry threatens an alien realm. Be it in our dreams or flights of fancy that take us into uncharted territory, our hopes and desires often birth twisted imaginings.

This selection of tales, some devious or whimsical, others downright eerie and unsettling, offer glimpses into other, darker realities. Continue reading

The Night Shift

The Night Shift

The Night Shift

Animal Control Officer Rebecah Pearsall hates working the night shift. As a full moon rises over Seattle, there are even more crazy people than usual roaming the streets, and Becah really doesn’t need any more complications. But an encounter behind the local pizzeria brings her into contact with the strangest dog she’s ever seen – and Gabe, who really isn’t your average black-leather-clad elf….

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The Cuckoo Child

The Cuckoo Child

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved. 


She thought, as she smoothed out the sheet—its pale softness blanketing a landscape of hills, ridges and troughs like fresh-fallen snow—that she heard a bird call. A cuckoo. Not the first of the year, but did that really matter? That some things exist at all is more important than their timing and, in her experience, time didn’t matter that much in any case. Continue reading

Courting Seraphs

Courting Seraphs, in Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and other stories (anthology)

Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories, featuring 'Courting Seraphs'

 

Bloody Parchment is the international literary festival component of the annual South African Horrorfest event. The Root Cellar and other stories comprises creepy tales from 2012’s winner, Toby Bennett, runners-up Anna Reith and Chris Limb, and other finalists.

Courting Seraphs by Anna Reith: Ouseman Fahd is unusual. Somewhere along the line between life and death, mortality and the infinite, he walks. And where Ouseman walks, the seraphs watch. Continue reading