Issue 47 – Zombies!

Late night trade seems dead
The zombie apocalypse
Head out to the mall

By DJ Tyrer

Dawn of the Day of the Night
By Harris Coverley

zombie flesh eaters
pouring through the graveyard gates
(Hell full yet again)
creeping along city streets
begging for a brain bullet


By Mark Hudson

There are zombies on Lake Shore drive,
driving fast to work in their cars.
They are going to their nine to fives,
and off they go to drink in bars.
How do any of them survive?
Their bosses act like they are czars.
The zombies have appropriate wives,
they all act like they’re from Mars.
they’d like to stab their bosses with knives,
but they’d end up behind bars.
In the Gold Coast when they arrive,
they wish they could be stars.
They go out at night and drink and brawl,
just another of the zombie crawls.

The Zombie’s Are Coming!
By Celine Rose Mariotti

It’s the coming of the Zombies,
Watch out for the laundry
It’s the coming of the Undead,
From the grave,
I see a head,
From the grave,
I see a hand,
Zombies across the land,
From the grave,
I see a pair of eyes,
And then I hear the cries,
Screams from the Undead,
There’s more up ahead,
Zombies are coming!
We better start running!


The Revenant
By Scott J. Couturier

Gothic rot in a garden plot –
contorted gargoyles frown down
from walls tangled in ivy’s wraith.

Bite of spade into bitter earth,
mute shoveling of disturbed dirt:
here one is buried grace would not allot.

Robber & raconteur, murderer,
faithless to friend & foe alike,
caring not for his fellow-being a jot:

valuing solely what could be stolen
or by grosser dealings got,
derisive of Hell’s embers hot.

Finally infamy came to call
via a musket’s brain-bound ball,
I only left to mourn that lethal shot –

he interred here a fortnight’s time,
in loam thick with worms to toil,
a bribed priest’s furtive blessing

insufficient to set his essence at rest,
so fraught by rage’s woeful roil.
Instead, this fine grave-bed he detests!

Rising at twilight to wander village
byway & lane, lugging often his
pinewood coffin, draped in frippery

from far finer corpses pilfered,
moldering body bloated & ruddy,
roving revenant, malign undead.

Always at night’s fall he knocks,
hoarsely calling out to proclaim,
weeping as none did at his funeral.

Let me in, dear friend,” he moans,
for I know you are not to blame.”
I bar door & window while he groans,

Open up, in our Saviour’s name!”
Denied, he roams road & countryside,
supping on blood of all he can waylay.

I overturn a scant two feet
of fecund sod before his face appears,
rubicund & fat, lips smeared with rud,

& a smile of tenderest bliss,
having savoured of that fatal kiss
until ready to burst in corpulent flood.

Trembling, I raise high my spade.
A whimper before plunging down
to hack repeatedly with blunted blade,

shearing clean neck from crown,
fountain of gore gushing to moil
grave-soil to a viscous morass of mud.

His head – still grinning! – rolls to stare
accusingly, maggots in its glare,
alive with hungers no glut could allay.

Mouth opening, he speaks my name.
Poor creature, pathetic thing of clay,
in my image I could have made you fair.”

Then his eyes shut, & shut they stay.


By DJ Tyrer

He always scoffed at the notion
A silly, silly stereotype
Then, one day, he died
And rose from the grave
Hungry, so hungry
Craving but a single thing
Brains… Brains…
A barely-audible groan
Brains… Brains…
Now, he’s unliving the stereotype

Originally published in Siren’s Call

Very Hungry
By Cardinal Cox

Reanimated they are
Sluggish at first
Jerkily moving stiff limbs
Then the dominant
Motivation becomes hunger
They hunt in packs
Overcoming prey purely
By weight of numbers
They feast – consuming
Day and night
While their flesh corrupts
When the limbs inevitably break
They become dormant
Entering a sedentary phase
Out of necessity
Meanwhile – something inside
Transforms – pupates
We’ve seen the husks
Empty corpses split
Along the breast bone
But not seen what hatches



Knew This Day ’d Come
By DS Davidson

His friends all mocked him
Laughed at the basement bomb-shelter
The piled-high cans, boxes of food
Gallon bottles of fresh water, medicine
And the weapons, so many weapons
Shotguns, rifles, pistols, machetes, axes, knives
Body armour, a veritable armoury
His predictions of doom – pandemics
Nuclear war, alien invasions, zombies
Especially the damn zombies – an obsession
But then, of course, it happened
Spread by a contagious bite, cannibal hunger
He knew this day ’d come
Only, dammit, never expected it’d be like this
Him – one of the first ones bitten!


zombie lovers kiss
a little of each remains
love slowly decays

By DJ Tyrer

Originally published in Scifaikuest

Issue 45 – Werewolves

A cinquain composed by the Were-Man (before a paw-shattered mirror)

“One word
only truly
describes the shameful state
halfway between werewolf and man:

By David Edwards


By Harris Coverley

a gap in the clouds
moonbeam—the briefest of howls
a spilling of blood

Killer Queen
By DJ Tyrer

Lycanthropic blood
Porphyria, claws and fangs
Killer Queen stalks night


Howling for the Test of Winter
By Christopher Collingwood

Test the shaping wolf –
the rage of winter,
defiant of the man,
a cabin lost to nowhere,
tragedy carves words,
freed man’ above the door;
snowflakes set upon
its fur, clinging with a
a deadly calm, the fireplace
crackling inside, eyes
burning, the door left open;
footprints dig deep
into the snow, the beast
drawn out for the hunt,
free to rage in solitude,
endless snow fields – too distant
for the winds, moon evoking
wild intent, unburdened morality,
pounding through the snow,
bitting branches, howling
in fever; the cold contains
the worst, nature concealing
the smallest prey, the chill of the
winter keeping tally;
catching sent, the wolf is born –
a raw instinct, the animal engages,
instilled by the moon, it races
against the cold, mile after mile,
tree after tree, over the white horizon,
travelling beyond humanity;
until the wild can be no
wilder – the deepest forest,
staggering the beast gathers
strength, stained breath clinging
to unnatural life, panting by
a rotted log, exhaustion almost
summoning its human state;
a sniff – a growl, something
behind the rock, mouth salivating,
it peers over – ‘howling’ in fury,
the trap is sensed, a deer’s head impaled
upon a stake, inner betrayal,
the words ‘freed man’ carved
upon the wooden stake; the wolf feels
the moon receding, death is coming,
gnawing at the meat, it gathers strength,
wild instinct returns,
it heads back to the cabin –
and the test begins


Beast Within
By DJ Tyrer

Magic conceals fur beneath the skin
A masquerade to hide the beast within
By night revealed to stalk its prey
A pious man by light of day
No faith, no force can those jaws withstand
No weapon held in mortal hand
A bullet blessed or blade anointed
Perhaps might slay the one appointed
By the Devil as his hunting hound
Assuming the beast can ever be found
Ravenous, unstopped so many shall perish
That the tale none shall need embellish

Originally published in Siren’s Call issue 34


A kid who is a werewolf
By Mark Hudson

Last night a full moon gleamed in the sky,
I awoke with sleep escaping my eyes.
I found a book upon my shelf,
a werewolf tale by someone else.
A book I got free at the local library,
I snatched it thinking it might be scary.
I noticed the targeted age was ten,
I read it in one night in my den.
I wondered what a kid would think,
but then again, I’m not a shrink.
But I wonder how the editors decide
what kids can read, or else they will hide?
In the first chapter there is a boy
living on a farm with a life of joy.
When a monster comes and kills his mother,
enough to scare kids to hide under covers.
The boy then turns into a werewolf, too,
but he is the hero in this twisted zoo.
The book is fantasy, nothing is real,
but what in it gives it it’s appeal?
Are some of the scenes just G-rated gore?
Is it something that kids have seen before?
Is it just a preview of future junk?
Is this what you read before you turn to punk?
If you want to know, I’ll tell you the truth,
I’m the wolf man, I’m the youth.

Discover more of Mark Hudson’s poetry here

The Howling
By DS Davidson

Like Little Red Riding Hood
Stalked in the woods
Unseen pursuer dogs your trail
Start to mean that literally
As howls haunt your flight
Headlights in the distance
An offer of hope
Flag down the car – phew!
Driver is strangely hairy
Smiles a fanged howl
His pack mates reach the road
No fairy tale ending for you…


Issue 43 – Supernatural Valentine

No Valentine date
Bigfoot regrets profile pic
Wolfman swiping left

By DS Davidson


Dracula’s Date
By DJ Tyrer

The evening had been planned to perfection
Every detail a century of care
But, the Valentine’s date was a flop
And, Dracula was getting nowhere
The problem, you see, was his ex
Against whom he was forced to strive
In his attempted evening’s wooing
And, when I say ex, I mean ex-alive
His ex-girlfriend’s ghost at the table sat
Freshly risen from her untended grave
Determined to ruin Dracula’s date
By showing his new nibble that he was a knave
The evening was a disaster
You really have to feel sorry for poor Drac
Who was stuck, alone, with the bill, and yet
Got neither goodnight kiss, nor late-night snack


Lover of Man, Lamia of Lust
By Harris Coverley

For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.”

Proverbs 2:18-19

Carved from the clay
Baked in the Sun
Just as He was

A purpose clear:
To shadow Him
To love Him
To obey and kneel before Him
To suck and fuck
And take the seed of Man
To grow the fruit of purest love and fealty
And spread our progeny through
That Garden of Perfection

But still…
I wanted more
Just some more
And paid the price
For being made the way I was

Exile burns a fearsome lust
Amongst the jackals of the desert wild
And He still within that painless place
With Her
That monstrous rib job
That usurper
That bitch

I’ll have my revenge yet
Oh yes…

I am the Queen of Serpents
The angel Lucifer calls to me
From deep below the loam
On his throne in Sheol
And I answer him
Licking my lips with every word
My eyes rolling back in sordid ecstasies…

It will be sweet
And the Fall eternal


Beggar’s Brothel
By Mark Hudson

There’s a place you can go
Where the ladies don’t say no,
If you visit it quite often
You’ll end up in a coffin.
It’s your last resort
If your money is short
They offer discounts and deals,
On ladies in high heels.
A penny saved is a penny earned
Some have gone in, and since not returned!
It’s run by a Madame from the Mob
She’s known to be somewhat macabre
And that if you don’t pay,
You won’t know what to say
You’ll cough up the cash
And they’ll give you a gash.
There’s a harlot there some men admire
But they do not know that she’s a vampire
If she sinks her teeth into your neck
You’re going to be a nervous wreck
And you will join the land of the dead
But you’ll just end up living, instead.
Heed my warning, avoid this trap
Besides, you just might get the clap
Or be bitten by a vampire’s fang,
Or beaten by the mobster’s gang.
Safe sex takes on a whole new level
When it comes to creatures of the Devil!
You can go there, if you insist
But a vampire shouldn’t ever be kissed
So,, I will not visit this place
Consequences I won’t face
And if you go, stay away from me
From hell on Earth you’ll never flee!


Issue 42 – Out of the Crypts

On one awful day
Dead stir, awaken to life
Step out of their crypts
Present themselves to the world
Overturn old certainties

By DS Davidson

Old Ladies from Hades
By Mark Hudson

The crypts have become undone,
the rise of the dead has begun.
Here come the old ladies from Hades,
they died when they were in their eighties.

Riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles;
head on fire, hearts cold as icicles.
Riding down the highway to hell,
you can hear their rebellious yell.

Come to ignite the world with fire,
a black leather jacket is their attire.
Long after their husbands had retired,
they had listened to the ultimate liar.

Their husbands died by poison in the tea,
so they hog all the money, with grandma glee.
Now they’re back with a vengeance for their cash,
and they’re flying down the highway with a flash.

Was the money hidden in a secret vault?
They tend to think it was the banker’s fault.
The account was frozen for the bankers to steal,
Now the old ladies would make their last deal.

Into the bank, they came as bank robbers,
With canes to beat up, canes to clobber.
They hypnotize the bank tellers with spells,
these old ladies from the bowels of hell.

They fill big bags with all the loot,
they get all the money, they don’t have to shoot.
Then they’ve got all the money from the account,
back to Hades, where the money doesn’t count.

Back to Hades, to give it to their master,
so he can buy away some sheep from a pastor.
God works hard, but the devil does too,
but when you are dead it’s too late to sue!


Dweller in the Hidden Chamber
(The Great Pyramid, Giza)
By Frank Coffman

Ah! They have detected my cell as last!
Compared to the millennia I have lain in wait—
Now but a short time before they delve some gate,
Some doorway to this place that has held me fast.

Far blacker than the blackness of my tomb
Have grown my Dark Spirit and my Evil Will.
They hoped these walls of lead, these tons of stone
Would keep them safe—perhaps would be my doom!
But I, Apep-Asfet, Chaos, Champion of Evil,
Have grown my plans for eons here alone.

They have forgotten why this hidden hall
Was formed, this crypt of horror without a portal.
Now dead are all the priests and mages. No mortal
Can stop the Terror, the Darkness that will befall.


Death in a Graveyard
By Harris Coverley

It seemed so sane
It seemed so sane!

Get to the party—
Get to the party!
Cut through the graveyard
Take a chance—
Take the shortcut!

And who da thought?
Who da thought it?
The ‘yard was full!
But not of guys and gals—oh no, oh no!

Goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and imps!
Not in costume—for real, for real!

Dancing, fighting, puking, biting, screaming—the real party!

They wanted us to join ‘em—
And they wanted it rough and ready!

Nasty types the lot of ‘em
We got our cuts and bruises
And one finger nearly sheared off

But Jimmy—he thought he could out-party all of ‘em!
Out-party goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and imps!
The damn bloody idiot!
Bloody idiot!

It’s all too horrible to describe in detail
But ol’ Jimmy couldn’t take it—

Legs in the air
Arms outstretched
Brains on the tombstones
Teeth in the weeds

The end result would’ve been obvious to anybody
But still, but still—

Who da thought it?
Who da thought it?
A death in a graveyard!


From the Tomb
By DJ Tyrer

Unexpected stirrings
Behind heavy stone doors
Eased slowly aside
With ominous grating sounds
Inhabitants stepping forth
Into the grey light
Of misty day
Stumbling from the tombs
Where they were laid
Others clawing up through earth
Desperate for air
Or worse
A multitude of the dead
Marching forth
Revisiting their haunts of life


The Doorway
By Frank Coffman

ina qabri ba-a-bi iptu-uma-a inakitiba-a-bi iptetu-u”
In the tomb, they opened a doorway to the Netherworld.”
(Sumerian, from The UDUG HUL*)

From Uruk, the site was several miles to the east.
A wild-wind Shamal had cleared the ancient stone,
Revealing an entrance to whose tomb? As yet unknown.
Two days after that great dust-storm had ceased—
Despite the warnings of that Zoroastrian priest—
Our team went quickly to that House of Bone.
We found more cautions on the lintel stone
In Early Sumerian….They told that an Evil Beast
Had been sealed in behind a black stone door.
Indeed the “tomb” was but a hollow vault.
No mortal remains or funerary gear
Are in that chamber, etched on walls and floor
With horrid charms. The growling made us halt,
Fill in, and rebury that place of Primeval Fear.

*[The Udug Hul: tablets of text containing chants or charms to exorcise  the “Evil Udug” —literally “Udug Evil” or “Demon of Evil”])

Issue 36 – Monster Mash


Monstrous Meetings
By Frank Coffman

“See how these children mock us, avatars
Of we who would confound their foolish play
With horror if they met US ‘neath these stars,”
The Dead Undead vampiric wight did say.
“Truly, they are quite foolish This Night to tread;
Full moon, by chance. I will choose one to slay,”
The man-wolf answered. “His joy will turn to dread
When he beholds these fangs ere break of day.”
“Yes. Must know the truth,” said the assembled man,
Reanimated by the force of lightning’s might.
The three moved forward. The children screamed and ran…
But three young souls returned not home that night.
One gave his blood, One a beast’s maw sated,
One was crushed from life. Misguided play thus fated.

Listen to Frank reading his poem on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association “Halloween” webpage


A Strange Night at Loch Ness
By DJ Tyrer

Hallowe’en on the shores of Loch Ness
Mist creeping steadily through the Great Glen
Something else creeping, too
A chupacabra over from Mexico
Having heard that Highland Cattle
Were tastier than goats to suck
And, that haggis might be to its taste
Past the still waters it went
Avoiding villages and trick-or-treaters
Hungry for its prey
When, suddenly, the waters churned
A long eel-like neck uprose
Two great eyes looked at the chupacabra
Uncertain what this foreign thing was
Not a nuckalavee, that was for sure
Nessie, for it was she
Decided the only way to resolve her dilemma
Was to have a taste
Bent low and swallowed it whole
The chupacabra becoming dinner
Rather than diner
Though Nessie was unimpressed with the taste
And, sank back down below

The Roof Party
By K. A. Williams

Count Dracula looked around the roof at people in their different costumes – vampires, goblins, ghouls, witches, warlocks, zombies, and werewolves. He saw a familiar hairy face and maneuvered through the crowd.

“Wolfy, I’m glad that’s just a costume.”

“Good to see you Drac, my friend. How have you been?”

“I am well. Van Helsing’s descendents still think I was staked over a century ago. How are you?”

“Okay, but I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes and shoes. Now I buy them used at thrift stores. What are you doing here?”

Dracula waved his hand around. “All this free food. How can I resist such a feast? I wasn’t going to kill anyone, just a few sips here and there. I don’t want to be noticed. But you, Wolfy, will find it impossible to restrain yourself. There’s a full moon tonight.”

“I’ll be fine. The weather forecast is for thick clouds with rain after midnight. So you see – ”

Wolfy stopped talking because light was now visible from the moon which the clouds had uncovered.

His clothes and shoes tore as his shape changed. Soon his outfit was rags. His body became furry and his human face with the fake hair transformed into a wolf’s head. Jaws filled with sharp teeth opened and he howled.

“I know you can’t understand me, Wolfy,” said the Count, “but you sure know how to ruin a party.” His food was now screaming and fleeing down the stairs. He sighed. “You can’t trust the weather forecast.”

The wolfman growled and sprang at Dracula who quickly changed into a bat and flew off to hunt for another Halloween party.



A Goblin Kidnapped by a Martian
By Celine Rose Mariotti

The two goblins
Daedalus and Icarus
Hid out in the moonlit night,
The sounds of witches and wizards
Was all about,
Vampires were coming
Out of their coffins,
And a light beamed from above,
The sky lit up
A spaceship landed,
The Martians came out,
Little green men with antennas,
And green hair,
Yellow eyes,
Big flabby noses,
Daedalus in his black and yellow costume,
His magic wand in his hand,
Shook the other goblin,
Icarus who was dressed in a blue and white costume,
With broken wings
Shook at the sight of the spaceship,
They hid behind a huge stone,
But the Martians spied them,
Seized them,
Dragged them out to their spaceship,
Shot them with a laser beam,
Before they knew it,
Up, up went the spaceship,
They awoke hours later,
Unaware of their environment,
They called out,
“Where are we?
Where are the ghosts?
Where is the candy?
Where are the horror movies?”
“We’re Martians and you’re on your way to Mars!
Happy Halloween!”

When Duat is Full…
By Harris Coverley

The moon and planets and stars at last aligned and allowed my rise from darkest Duat, not four thousand years too soon—yet when I exited my sarcophagus I found a most curious thing.

To break out of the crypt was simple enough, to walk out into the sun, to feel it even through my wrap of decrepit linen.

Nobody greeted me, but that was expected.

In the far distance I saw slaves panicking and running—indeed, panic and run!

Fear me!

But as I walked down the river it became apparent that something was amiss.

The people ignored me as they scurried about blindly, some in chariots of metal and crystal, while others, stumbling about, smelling fouler even than myself I must admit, took whatever chance they could to take bites out of the others as they fell screaming to the ground.

At last I reached the largest city on the river, a magnificent polity of vertiginous towers, all aflame and crumbling, the mass alarm ongoing, the slaves in riot.

Was this all for me?

Had the terror of my awakening sent the whole realm mad?

I stood in a square and announced my presence: “I am Naarhotep the Boundless, most exalted wizard of Great Aegypt, and you will obey me!”

No response was given—the chaos continued, flesh was ripped, blood streamed, and the odd stumbler attempted to take a bite out of me—the insolence!—but I swiftly tore him in half and the others got the message.

However disappointing this was for the most powerful man in the universe, ruling the world was not as pressing an issue as was finding my love, sweetest Nauhet, her soul transmitted body to body through the centuries, her innate beauty always rising to her surface.

Across a burning realm I searched for her, incanting spells, tossing away these mindless dregs, until, across the sea, I found my dearest Nauhet reincarnated near the half-buried ruins of Troy—an insensible, staggering cadaver like the rest!

But…no matter!

With her chained at my side I can take her occasional gnawing on my dried flesh, and I will rule this earth where the dead now walk the way they do in Duat…the ma’at ruptured, the pharaohs of all nations vanquished, and I will take my chance, the moon and planets and stars permitting…

The End

Issue 35 – Seasonal Scare-Flicks!

Synopses For Some New Seasonal Scare-Flicks
By David Edwards

Dracula vs. Frankenstein vs. The Wolfman vs. The Mummy vs. The Thing

A ghoulish round robin tournament of blood and gore mayhem. Spectators beware!

To Be, or Not To Be?…Not!

Psychopathic stagewise dramaturge eliminates, scene by bloody scene, some of the worst actors at a Shakespearean Festival.

Days of the Dead Living

Ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, Terrifyingly mundane.


Scary Movie
By DS Davidson

Midnight on Hallowe’en
Popcorn ready, TV on
Shivering as slasher stalks
Screen flickers, changes
Stalker steps out
Hallowe’en just got real…


The Praying Mantis comes to View from Atlantis
By Mark Hudson

There was a gigantic praying Mantis,
who was interviewed on View from Atlantis.
D.S. Davidson interviewed the guest,
and he was nothing but a giant pest.

He came to Earth, and he was so green,
he came to Earth for Halloween.
As Halloween started to approach;
another space ship came with a roach.

D.J had assumed that giant insects,
was something no one suspects!
But on Halloween, with a full moon,
the giant insects are coming soon!

Was this it, a judgment day?
Rockets were filled with bug spray!
Zooming through space with insecticide,
the insect spaceships had nowhere to hide.

As the insects thought they owned the skies,
it was certain destruction of the fruit flies.
No insects left, not even a spider,
Autumn is here, let’s have some cider.

Then little Suzie went a trick or treating,
she bit into an apple, a worm she was eating!
Oh, no! The insects have come back again!
But which came first, the chicken or the hen?


Transylvanian Twist
By Cardinal Cox

The brides aren’t impressed as he twirls around
They’re sharp smiles as though at a private joke
He spins on the ceiling, down to the ground
They know he will get caught up in his cloak

At every party they’ve seen it before
Slightly bored, his pale and thin undead wives
But now bold Carmilla wafts through the door
And they’re animated – almost alive

They compare robes, funerial jewels
And debate the problems of graveyard dust
For there are certain ancient oaths and rules
When it comes to them satiating lusts

They must wait for the wolf to be away
Before – as they say – the small bats can play


Issue 24 – Cosmic Horrors

Tentacle twitches
Strange dreams haunt alien mind
Cthulhu’s nightmare

By DS Davidson


By Cardinal Cox

First our machine intelligences migrated out into the void – Mars, Alpha Centauri, Polaris. We thought them immune but they built temples in orbit around neutron stars, projecting prayers around the gravity wall-of-death into the distant future. Humans had to negotiate with the higher-dimensional hive-minds of Yuggoth via their harvested multi-species tanked brains so that the flimsy spacecraft might be allowed to participate in the wormhole ceremonies of Yog-Sothoth. The whisper in orbital ports is that every starman’s a little mad. Well, when you’ve seen (ruins (older than all life on Earth) beneath a star teetering on the verge of going nova… or realised that the formulae reveals Dark Matter to be just the weight of loneliness between galaxies; the mass of insignificance before nebulae; the pressure of the microwave background radiation (the cool, ever pervading echo of the big bang)…


By DJ Tyrer

Interstellar space
Strange horrors lurk in the void
Primordial things
Older than the galaxies
Incomprehensibly old


Alien Thoughts
By Aeronwy Dafies

Strange ideas, conceptions
Float within brains that
Float within fluid vats
Long since divorced from flesh
Long since gone far from home
So far they cannot even recall
Their home world, its star
Or even their own form
Let alone the alien beauty
Of silver skies, coral-like trees
Or strange crawling things
That once served them as cattle
Leaving a peculiar hole
In whatever passes for a soul
And an ache when they see
Blue skies, green grass, earthly trees
That boils into a cosmic rage

Originally published in Tigershark ezine


Interdimensional Ghosts
By K. A. Williams

Nightmares are caused by
interdimensional ghosts
that invade our dreams.


The Dream of the Worm
By Harris Coverley


Going through the Gates of Dzungaria
You come across the ruins of Gochen
Between the heights of Hyperborea
And tightly tucked within the blackened glen


Foolish mankind has long since been and gone
Not so much vanquished as destroyed in whole
Whether in Africa or in Ceylon
By the coming of the terrible Dholes


The worms ruled this world for a million years
The land stripped of all fair and nutrient
Other older races made clear their fears
As the megadriles acted prurient


But ev’ry civilisation declines
Falling from their arcologies of bone
Cultures decay, social orders unwind
Their slimy bodies were slowly dethroned


Now but an individual remains
Resting beneath that accursed city
Waiting eternally with frozen veins
The dreaming worm that still feels no pity


No fossilised corpses would dare to weep
While the conqueror worm so soundly sleeps


Originally published in Speculations: Poetry from The Weird Poets Society 2018 (March 2019, ed. Frank Coffman)


Arcane Stars
By DJ Tyrer

The arcane perturbations of the planets
Those wandering stars that dance through the sky
Mirrored by tiny, invisible movements of distant suns
And the more curious motions of dark stars unseen
Render a certain dread alignment
That coming together in blaspheming congress
Called by hidden savants the day
When the stars are right

Originally published in Spectral Realms issue 3

Issue 19 – Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treat

Tonight: Hallowe’en
Veil between life and death thins
Through the darkling hours
Children seeking their reward
Unheeding of true meaning

By DJ Tyrer

originally published in Sirens Call

Halloween is coming!
By Mark Hudson

The man was watching Halloween DVDS;
in his basement, with a pizza made of cheese.
He heard the kids ringing the bell,
He said to the kids, “Go to hell!”
The kids were screaming, “Trick or treat!”
He said, “I have no candy to eat!”
The kids burst in, and threw a bunch of eggs,
they landed on his arms and legs.
He said, “What is this some type of joke?
Here I am, covered in yolk!”
The kids replied,” Give us candy, you must!
Or give us the pizza, even the crust!”
The man retorted, “Get out, or I’ll call the police!
You kids are making my anger increase!”
The kids threw eggs at the TV set,
the TV looked like an omelet.
The man scrambled to chase the kids;
but he looked like scrambled eggs on the grids.
He tripped and fell and broke his spine,
his head split open like Frankenstein.
The kids approached, with fear and dread,
and one of them noticed,” I think he’s dead!”
They flew up the stairs in a total panic,
wondering if they saw something satanic.
Then a cop appeared, as if from the grave,
grabbed them all, and said, “You boys behave!”
He took them back to their mothers and fathers,
and that’s when he discovered the cadaver.
The boys went to the juvenile jail;
where they ate breadcrumbs so stale.
The moral of the story is on Halloween,
don’t do anything too obscene!

Witch’s Cat
By Aeronwy Dafies

Black cat wanders empty streets
Beneath bright Hallowe’en moon
Stops at each door in turn
Scratches, yowls, meows
Demanding treats from those within
Fearful of the curse it carries
Hand over treats
Hope the only trick it plays
Is a mess on the lawn

Black Cat

With Covid Trick-or-Treating
the most frightening disguise
any parent can devise:
small, ungloved hands outreaching
from unmasked children breathing!

By David Edwards

Hand sanitizer
Masks atop masks, protective
Strange Hallowe’en
Doors firmly shut without treats
In lieu of trick, hacking cough

By DS Davidson

By DJ Tyrer

Cheapest costume ever
Since the serial killer
(Who looks just like a regular Joe)
The mask-wearer of 2020
Doubles up as protection
Against unseen viral dangers.
One question:
Can it protect against the zombie virus

masked woman1

Trick or Treat Candy
By Mark Hudson

There is always a thing that comes in handy,
a friend with a bag of trick or treat candy.
Don’t waste your trick or treat candy on kids,
let’s eat Kit Kats and flip our lids.
The Reese’s cups are going rather quick,
why give the children the joy to get sick?
Stick a milk dud right down your throat,
it’s Halloween, let us sacrifice a goat.
Chocoholics get together and unite,
for a night of cavities and ghastly fright.
Kids can’t throw eggs when you’re home,
passed out on candy like an orgy in Rome.
Why let all the children have fun?
Chase them off and keep them on the run.
Don’t let the demons interrupt your sleep,
act like you’re Lurch, the ultimate creep.
Let candy fuel your greatest nightmares,
as goblins and ghouls appear with big sneers.
Ghouls are heading towards the cemetery,
with a leader who looks like he is unburied.
The dead will rise at a blink of an eye,
but some will appear with a frightening cry.
The trick or treat candy is yours to consume,
just avoid the witch who is riding a broom!

Trick or treat tonight
Pumpkin faces observant
Candy or egging
But not all who walk tonight
Are people wearing costumes

By DJ Tyrer

originally published in Scifaikuest


By Cardinal Cox

Harvest’s now in, nights are longer than day
Two bonfires been built upon the hill
Now distant hares on empty fields lay
Fat beasts are selected that men might kill
Pale turnips carved into grinning faces
Nuts are thrown into the embers that glow
Flickering lights dance round the dark places
Sleep and dream and the future it might show
Winds and snow lurk beneath horizons edge
Storm cloud black crows spread wide across the moor
Sleepy mice are nesting down in the hedge
Be hungry children if the crop is poor
The door rattles, take the beggars some drink
We might be thin, don’t want others to think.


Unholy Trickery
By Harris Coverley

Niles, being ten and therefore the taller child, opened the front door and graciously let Lilli in first, before pushing it shut behind him.

There was something pleasant wafting in from the kitchen down the hallway, but the two children were not interested in any home cooking. Between their Jack O’Lantern-shaped plastic pails they carried around five pounds of sweets, ranging from chocolate bars to gummy candies to bags of sherbet and liquorice—the imposition of an American holiday on their British nation had served their sweet teeth very well.

They went into the front room and saw their father from behind, sat through the archway in his armchair, facing the TV as a football match played.

We got lots dad!” called Niles, proud of their accomplishment.

That’s great kiddo,” his dad replied in a low groan, not bothering to turn around. This struck Niles as rather dismissive, but he was too happy with himself to care much.

He and his sister dumped their spoils onto the carpet and knelt before them, beginning to sort through the multi-coloured piles of glucose and lactose.

Their mother walked in from the hall, her apron on, stained with flour.

You’re back!” she exclaimed and kissed both of them on the head. “How did it go?”

Avalanche!” cried Lilli in excitement.

Avalanche!” responded their mother. “Ohhhhh, you are so cute!”

She gently shook each child in turn, Lilli in her ballet outfit with an exceptionally floppy royal pink tutu, Niles in his deep blue police uniform with its shiny fake gold badge.

So, so cute!” she said, breaking into laughter, and then turned abruptly and left them.

How odd, thought Niles, getting back on his knees to sift. Their mother had been the one to perfunctorily dress them and send them out to trick-or-treat but an hour ago…why was she so enamoured with them now?

There was also…something else about the house. Something he couldn’t put his finger on.

Lilli had not noticed anything, and had made great headway separating her small bags of soft gummies from her chocolate bars.

Niles put his thoughts aside. He began to trade items with his sibling in what he believed was a fair and equitable manner, which Lilli largely accepted, although there were some quibbles over the distribution of hard lollies. Niles however at such an early age was quite the diplomat.

Their father remained stationary, his face averted, although Niles periodically heard giggling coming from his direction—very odd, guttural giggling, not like his father’s usual soft chuckling at all.

His mother re-entered the room, and that strange something returned to Niles’ consciousness—it was a smell. A strange smell, warm yet cooling, like something you sometimes got in summer, not autumn, and not in a house, but at an indoor market…

From his kneeling position he looked up. His mother had stripped off her apron and was looking down at him with a crooked grin, her hands on her hips. She was very tall. In fact, she was too tall. Taller than his mother had ever or could have been.

Mum, what’s wrong?” he inquired, suddenly very afraid.

His mother laughed, but it was not his mother’s laugh. It was too shrill, too gritted.

Both children got up and came together.

Their father, giggling away like a moron, at last turned from his TV screen and looked at them from his chair—his face was hideously grey, his short beard limp and hanging.

Niles stared into the eyes of both people: blackened and forbidding, so alien to their lives.

You’re not my mummy,” mumbled Lilli, looking down at the floor, her fingernails digging into the flesh of her opposing forearms.

The being shook her head, and then grabbed the top of it, digging her fingers into the short blonde hair. The skin of the forehead buckled and twisted, pulling away from an unseen hem. The mouths of the children dropped open in a silent scream as their mother’s face left the head of the imposter, revealing the blood-soaked visage of a woman with a long aquiline nose and dark, curled hair glazed in crimson.

Meat, thought Niles in his terror. That was the strange something: the smell of old, decaying meat.

The imposter leaned down inches from the children, and whispered through snarling lips: “Trick.”

At that both children fainted within a second of each other, the moronic giggling unceasing.

* * *

Batsara and Estragaal removed the remaining skins of their prey and left them in the kitchen, before washing off the blood, leaving one gory hell of a mess.

Good one,” Estragaal said, wiping off some loose flesh from in-between his toes. “I would never have had the thought of this family without you.”

Batsara was humble: “Please, it was nothing. Did you want to do anything else before we go?”

Estragaal reached out and grabbed her breast.

Well,” he purred, but she quickly slapped his hand away.

We could do that anytime, anywhere,” she snapped, genuinely annoyed.

Estragaal was crestfallen, but she was right, and she did have the seniority over him. Her Levantine beauty was such that he had to work hard to suppress his barbaric inclinations. It had been so much easier back in Old Rus’ under his Norse lord, but these days…

Besides,” she continued, looking at the clock on the mantelpiece, “the Day of Solemnity will soon be here. We’ve had our fun…it’s best to get going.”

To this he agreed. They put their rags back on and made their way past the unconscious children.

Should we do something about them?” Estragaal asked.

Nah,” Batsara replied, still walking towards the door. “I’m already full. Let’s just leave them to their inevitable descent into the dysfunction of insanity.”

The two went out the front door and into the street. They then took each other’s hand and ran, ran and ran and ran, off into the gaps between worlds. The next Hallows’ Eve was but a year away…



Issue 16 – Great Cthulhu

Cthulhu Dreams
By DJ Tyrer

Beneath the waves, misconstrued
Squid-like dragon alien god thing
Dead and dreaming, alive yet static
Awaiting the stars’ awakening call
Cthulhu is metaphor and myth
Yet also baleful ultimate reality.

Originally published in Cyaegha magazine

By Harris Coverley

pre-human ruins
hidden at a distant point
Cthulhu calling



Death Has Raised Itself a Throne
By Cardinal Cox
(with lines from Edgar Allen Poe)

Lo! Death has raised itself a throne
Beneath Pacific miles deep
Fathoms down where lie timeless bones

Not dead but in eternal sleep
In slime grow skeletal flowers
And where alone ancient worms creep

Their shrines, palaces and towers
Where evil gods wrote their seals
Raised by unnatural powers

All undisturbed by ship’s keel
Where evil has this living tomb
Heeding mad hierophant’s zeal

Spawning nightmares in rotten womb
Promising humanities doom

No rays from high heavens come down
But light from out the lurid sea
Within this gulf where our hopes drown

Streams up the turrets silently
From lava bright in cracks below
Gleams up pinnacles far and free

Molten rocks bubble up and flow
From deeper yet, Earth’s very core
Affords to grant a hellish glow

Amidst ruins there stands a door
Locked, bolted by immortal hand
Forbidden by a timeless law

Forged by skills we’d not understand
Waves pound but not erode to sand

While from proud tower in the town
An idol with diamond eyes
Death looks gigantically down

Now you know that they were not lies
The whispers you heard in glades dark
While you stumbled brief how’s and why’s

Human vanity, wide of mark
We are but dust in sunlit beams
Meaningless as boson or quark

History never been what it seems
Toy-box of more powerful things
Civilisation – some god’s dreams

All doomed if it beats its great wings
Same fate for all – paupers and kings



Smile of Cthulhu
By DJ Tyrer

Cthulhu smiling
Unseen grin at cosmic joke
Tentacles twitching

Originally published in Tigershark ezine

By DS Davidson

Call of Cthulhu
Insane artists gain strange muse
Until stars align


Issue Five – Fungal

fungus 1

The fungosity of fungoid fungiforms
is something fungused fungivorous fungologists
find fascinating.

By David Edwards

elf on fungus

Fairy ring lit by moon
Tiny maiden on mushroom
Blows sweet-tasting kiss
Asks for a tune
Invites to dance
An alluring doom

By Aeronwy Dafies

Butterfly alights
upon a rotting corpse… both
of many colors

By David Edwards

mushroom 3

Fungal maiden’s kiss
Spores enter skull, bloom, burst forth
Transform to toadstool

By DJ Tyrer

sprouting underneath
Hiroshima’s fungoid cloud
something other than death

By David Edwards

fungus 2

With respect to Tiffany Morris and Theresa Krach
By Joseph Bouthiette, Jr.


A cello held fast by mycoid filaments.

Bitters and blues, the amphitheater pitches to and fro, leaning starboard, casting loose mist and torch and feathered spore; rusted swords unsheathed.

The cerulean light is listing and the infection is swelling and the orchestra is escalating and, perhaps, if there was once blood, there is none now.


“Be the man I planted, my warrior in the sea.”

Skinless and wet weeping, armored plates traced with dark corrosion driven into flesh. Knotted slabs where hands once were impaled with what once resembled weapons. A face like bleeding knuckles.

And, in the distance, what could be bowstrings, or the wet rattle of lungs overrun.


A gilded galleon lingers along the island shelf. The aftward sunrays are strangled in cloying clouds, a fungal storm reaching with brackish tendrils to split this flawless hull.

There is no entreating with the wasted mainland, its asperous surface desolate, pockmarked with jagged dunes. There is no egress from the oozing cirrus, its foaming teeth.


Slopping footsteps on bare stone, the warrior retreats from the husks in the hollow wake. All that remains of the skirmish are skulls fruiting bulbous shards; horse hair, agleam.

At the summit, the warrior chews the carrion landscape. Here, women could birth sagas, and sagas could birth storms.

A lilt in the air beckons, swelling.


A throne sloughs away as slag, dragged in the currents of molten vomit traced with magma hurtling toward the coast.

The skin blisters of a woman cradling an infant, she in tribal wear, he naked and exposed. The sand here still yields despite the churning eruption surrounding.

“Open your eyes, child, your sea is changing.”