okay, here are all my short stories available on my website! i’ll update the list as i publish more!

  • WHAT WE OWE EACH OTHER; horror, werewolves and mean girls, a fun cross between ginger snaps and russian doll. TRIGGER WARNINGS: suicide mentions, vague implications of sexual trauma
  • MIA & MAYA; horror, doppelgangers and balance. a woman is confronted by a unnervingly familiar face.
  • INGRID’S BODY; horror, a body after hours.
  • PICTURED: MARY MAGDALENE AT THE TOMB; drama, a mother faces the after effects of sainthood. TW; self-immolation, mentions of self-harm
  • THE WATER WOMEN; horror, a town’s strange tradition and the woman who follow it. TW; drowning
  • CHERRY WINE; horror + romance, a not-so-sweet sweet love. TW; violence
  • IT’S WARM IN HERE; gothic horror + sci-fi, the ship needs a heart.

We just published a short story in the Michigan Fleet series!

A secret midnight expedition goes wrong, leaving Rich Merrill and an innocent chicken stranded in the middle of Lake Michigan. Fortunately for Rich, the chicken, and everyone involved, his little sister Athena is almost ten. And she's more than ready to step up and be the hero they need.

Athena Merrill and the Midnight Chicken is a 14k story about two kids dealing with their peers, selkies, and other obstacles in the way of doing the right thing (without their dad finding out).

some of the short stories from this eve that im thinking abt still... someone read them and tell me ur thoughts thank u

monsters never leave you - carlie st. george . i thought the fairytale elements were woven together nicely 😌 you get undead siblings, tree mothers, chosen family, forgiveness vs love etc! good stuff

call them children - wenmimareba klobah collins the monster narrative continues. their descriptions are delightful, especially in the crafting of the setting, and the ending... obsessed

my country is a ghost - eugenia triantafyllou the longing after loss that imbues this.. feel like it captures a loss of family connection when you’re not in your homeland very well imo

open house on haunted hill - john wiswell another house that loves you! adore the concept of this one, though it’s not horror vibes, more cozy and amusing! though the last line ‘if anything is as patient as a parent, it’s a haunting’ so much potential Thematically there for something more sinister... please may someone write it!

 AT A LITTLE PAST EIGHT IN THE EVENING by Yah Yah Scholfield / 2.5k words / a ghost story

Ayyy, Midnight; Smack Dab in the Middle of The Universe stans make some noise~ I've been waiting forever to post the edited version of this, and now I finally can, wow, because it's cleaned up and it's beautiful, and some of you are getting to read it for the first time, wow!
So, I originally wrote this for Oni House Press when it was still Oni Magazine, and it's one of my favorites for me, just for the slow building of atmosphere and the shock of the ending! It's had a very dramatic makeover, but it's still the same premise as before.
At a Little Past Eight in the Evening is about Phoebe, a traveling woman, and Dahlia, a woman she meets on her way to California.
INSPIRATIONS INCLUDE, Lovecraft Country (2020), sundown towns in general, and my overwhelming fear of being out alone at night as a Black woman, wow.
Blink Motherf*cker!

ᴬ ˢʰᵒʳᵗ ˢᵗᵒʳʸ ᵇʸ ᴳʰᵒˢᵗ ᴾᵒˢᵗᵃᵇˡᵉˢ.

Note: Written from the perspective of Wes Weston.

Dear Diary Logbook,

He's doing it again. I'm not even sure at this point if he's aware of it. If someone payed attention to any of this stuff other than me then I wouldn't be alone in this quest to expose Fenton for what he really is. He forgets to breath, he walks through walls like it's nothing, he is cold to the touch. But the worst thing, the absolute worst part of his obviously ghost like behaviour is the staring.

Like I said, I don't think he knows he's doing it. I saw him staring at the blackboard during one of Mr Lancers lectures in English. Something about some book being a literary piece of art, not a new concept, the teacher thinks every book is a literary piece of art. Even that vampire romance series After Noon that every teen girl seems to love. The thing is the blackboard was blank, but he was just staring at it like it held the answers to some of the most powerful unanswered questions ever thought of. And the creepiest thing was he wasn't blinking. I'm not sure how long it had been before I noticed him, but I clocked it from the moment I did and he stared at that blackboard the rest of the lesson. A total of 20 minutes at least. The only thing that seemed to break his concentration was the bell, where he blinked as more a kneejerk reaction to the sudden sound of the bell.

I caught him doing it again in the hallway between gym and the science labs. He was standing with his friends while they were going through their lockers, they were chatting but he just stood there staring in a corner of the hallway that was a little dark. I never noticed how hollow his eyes looked. Were they always that dull? He didn't react to his friends until Manson actually shook him out of it.

Dear Logbook,

He was staring again today but the scary part was he was staring at me in the cafeteria. There I was just trying to enjoy my partially thawed tater tots, seriously they need to hire a new lunch lady, but they're all too scared of pissing of the ghost that haunts the cafeteria showing up. Anyway I look up from my half volcanic, half antarctic tots to see a pair of dull blue eyes staring at me from halfway across the room. They seemed even duller today, almost grey but not quite. His face was taut like he was in great pain as he stared at me, skin paler than normal and his right hand crushing a plastic spork unforgivingly. It was creepy, BLINK MOTHERF*CKER!

Eventually I realised when I shifted to the left down the table, swapping with Kyle who was arguing with one of the others for the umpteenth time that ghosts weren't real and everyone in town was just mistaking mirages for ghosts or something ridiculous like that, that Fenton was actually staring at something behind me, now Kyle. Which kind of made the whole thing worse. It got worse though because after a few minutes his eyes slowly dragged back to just behind me, so whatever he was looking at, and I'm positive now he's looking at something, had moved to behind me again. He looked away himself soon after that looking concerned.

Dear Logbook,

I decided to confront Fenton, I couldn't get the thought that something was looming over my shoulder out of my head. He played it off at first, and I noticed his eyes were bright and blue, he also didn't seem as pale. But as soon as I approached he seemed to avoid me. I finally cornered him at lunch and asked what he was staring at. His friends weren't there, they were getting lunch, and he seemed to have brought his own in a suspicious glowing paper bag that even he looked wary of. He gave me a long tired look and then his eyes flickered to over my shoulder and his lips pursed, I watched as his skin paled and his eyes dulled. I waved my hand in his face which snapped him out of whatever was happening. He blinked a few times and then stood up grabbing my arm and pulling me out of the cafeteria.

I tried to get answers but he kept pulling with strength he didn't look like he had. When he finally stopped we were under the bleachers and out of sight. I thought for a second that he'd finally snapped and decided to kill me for knowing his secret. Instead he looked over my shoulder and then grabbed my arms and said almost breathlessly "she's been following you".

Dear Logbook,

I have to be honest. I almost cried when he said that. Look before you judge me think about the kind of crap that goes on in this town. You don't hear stuff like that in a town terrorised by ghosts and not get scared out of your wits. Naturally I asked who, I mean, scared as I was, I am a junior paranormal investigator, I had a job to do. He explained that at first she wandered around the school sort of aimlessly, standing in corners, just outside the classrooms just watching. She just stared with these inhumanly large colourless eyes watching people. She always looked really pale and sad. But he'd never actually seen her move, she just appeared in spots and he'd find himself staring at her back. They'd be locked in a staring contest until something snapped him out of it and usually she'd disappear. But after a few times she started to linger, closer now, just out of his field of vision. He wasn't worried about it too much, it was pretty easy to get his attention and she didn't seem to be hurting anyone. If anything she seemed happier that someone was paying attention to her.

And then the day before last she actually stood in the middle of class or right in front of him in the halls almost forcing eye contact. It still didn't seem to be a problem until yesterday when she kept appearing behind me. According to him she would longer over my shoulder and talk, though no sound was coming out, and she had a creepy smile the whole time, just staring at him while behind me. What really seemed to freak him out was when I had switched seats at lunch and he watched her walk back to being behind me. She'd never seemed to have the ability to move physically, she usually just appeared.

And then he said she apparently raised her hands and held them over my head. And he'd never actually payed attention to anything other than her eyes until then but her hands were pitch black claws that she was holding near my head and neck until Danny broke eye contact himself. And she'd been appearing all day today as frequently as he saw me. Which had been frequent since I'd been chasing him all morning. He figured if he avoided looking at her she'd leave me alone but it just seemed to have made her angry and she was baring really sharp teeth at him when she appeared in the cafeteria. She looked, he said, like she was about to grab me. Hairs stood on my arms and the back of my neck. He looked at me, sad and tired looking. "I'm sorry. Maybe if I hadn't been giving her attention in the first place she wouldn't have latched onto you."

I told him not to worry about apologies until we figured out how to get rid of her and that's how I got invited inside the Fenton household.

Dear Logbook,

It's surprisingly normal inside the Fenton's home. I was kind of expecting it to be like an mad scientists lab but Fenton says that's just the basement and occasionally the kitchen. His sister was surprised to see me and not Manson and Foley, and his mother greeted us as she was coming up from the basement, smoke billowing out behind her. When Danny, just gonna call him that for now since they're all Fenton's and it's gonna get confusing, when Danny expressed concern she just waved him off, apparently their experiments blow up a lot. I guess that kind of explains how Danny ended up being Phantom, you know I never really thought about how it happened. Anyway, he gave her a quick huh, denied snacks and lead me to his bedroom. Another shock since it was a very normal bedroom, lots of space themed stuff, but normal. Not really a ghost thing to be seen unless the ghost catching thermos on his desk counted.

We sat on the bed, star patterned bed spread, and he glanced around the room before relaxing slightly. "She can't enter here." He assured me. I asked how he entered if she couldn't and he said he was entirely human when off duty. It annoyed me that he seemed to deliberately dodge admitting he was Phantom. But more important matters meant I pushed that aside.

He explained he didn't know anything about the ghost, since no one else saw her he assumed she was a ghost. I asked if it was possible that she was a demon and he looked at me like I was crazy. When I told him about what looking at her seemed to do to him he at first seemed unsettled that I'd been observing him then shook it off. We deduced she seemed to be drawing energy from Danny because he'd been paying attention to her. When I asked if he'd tries talking to her he looked like he'd been stung and exclaimed no, she was creepy. But we'll that's all we could do at this point. I couldn't just stay at the Fenton's forever.

Dear Logbook,

I'm currently standing in the school gym in the middle of the night with Fenton hovering nearby, I am bait. This was not exactly how I wanted this plan to pan out but since she seemed to be linked to me and him we figured this was the best way to get her to come to us. Fenton was staring at me, but he was blinking so that was a good sign. That was until his neon eyes flickered to my left and dulled immediately to grey. It had never happened that quick. I instinctively looked back under the assumption that I wouldn't see anything and almost screamed as I locked eyes with a massive pair of eyes right next to my face. I scrambled back and bumped into Fenton who yelped as I stood on his foot. We both ended up on our butts on the floor. The ghost began to jerk up and down, making a broken hissing sound. I think I was hyperventilating until Danny stated he thought she was laughing. I stared at her and she stopped and waved, shyly. I was dumbfounded. She looked horrifying, ragged white nightgown, overgrown messy black hair, grey skin and massive eyes, black clawed hands and no feet at all. And she was awkwardly greeting me.

“Who are you?” Danny asked. “Why are you following Wes?”

Her voice was quiet, and haggard, like she hadn't spoken in years. “Wes?”

“Hi, hello, Wes here!” I said. She looked at me for a moment and bared sharp teeth. I got chills.

“New friend.” She said politely, floating around them, she pointed to Danny then me. “First friend, new friend. We play tag.”

Fenton laughed. It was loud and bright and ridiculous. “You just wanted friends!” He exclaimed. “You were smiling before weren't you?” She bared her teeth and nodded. I couldn't believe it, she was just a girl, she looked scary but she was just lonely.

“What's your name?” I asked.

“Nell.”

Fenton and I ended up chatting with Nell for a few hours, letting her know that she shouldn't hang around school too often incase others saw her, panicked and tried to hurt her. Danny promised to introduce her to his other friends, which kind of meant he saw me as a friend and I don't know how I feel about that. She agreed to go back to ghost school which made Danny looked surprised, obviously it was something I was missing.

I guess we both learnt a lesson about judging a book by it's cover. Nell ended up being really sweet if not a little awkward in her delivery. And Fenton, all the Fenton's were a lot more normal than I gave them credit for.

Dear Logbook,

It's been a week. Fenton caught me on the way to math and said he'd visited Nell last night and had ran into Sidney, another of his ghost friends who apparently knew Nell. Apparently even ghosts found her scary but thanks to Danny Sidney was going to try and get others to befriend her too. He thanked me for pushing him to talk to her and not using it as an opportunity to expose him. Which made me realise...

I DIDN'T COLLECT ANY EVIDENCE THAT WHOLE TIME!!

Photo by Elena Seibert

I got to chat via email with Haruki Murakami about his new story collection, First Person Singular (okay, and I also sent him a pic of one of my cats, since we all know he loves cats). 

"In this book, I wanted to try pursuing a 'first person singular' format, but I don't like relating my experiences just the way they are," he told me. "So I reshape them over and over and fictionalize them, to the point where, in some cases, you can't detect what they were modeled after.”

Read the full conversation here! (No word on whether he liked the cat pic.)

-- Petra