Issue Two – Horrifical

Dream Of Ceridwen
By J.S. Watts

Full moon tonight.
How the lunatics howl.
Dark shadows pass on four soft feet.
The dead sleep fitfully.

Tonight the walls of the world
are thin and words will come
knocking on my door
with a whisper of moonlight.

Idiots clank their imagined chains
and cackle in their sleep.
The silent ones creep on.
I am reborn.

Hecate’s Eucharist, my salvation.
I eat the moon’s crisp wafer
and drink from her grail of liquid silver,
cupped in Ceridwen’s dark cauldron.

Whiteness scours my veins
and repaints the world.
Clarity pulses and unnamed shades
pay pale homage.

Into this land of metamorphosis
the words will come.
Hesitantly at first,
then in an undeniable torrent,

demanding utterance.
They will have their way.
I can refuse them nothing.
The frenzy is upon me.

Moon passed,
passion spent. The incandescence
fades and the fools
laugh knowingly.

This mundane world is grey.
Grey of ash fills my skull.
The words retreat
with a rustle of moon dust.

A version of this poem was published in Twisted Tongue in December 2009

J.S.Watts is a British poet and novelist. She has published six books to date: two poetry collections, Cats and Other Myths and Years Ago You Coloured Me, plus a multi-award nominated poetry pamphlet, Songs of Steelyard Sue, all published by Lapwing Publications, and a shiny new poetry pamphlet, The Submerged Sea, published by Dempsey & Windle. Her poem, Steelyard Sue Builds A Baby, won the 2013 Data Dump Award and was reprinted in the celebratory booklet, Small Press Voyager, from Atlantean Publishing. Her two novels, A Darker Moon – dark, literary fantasy, and Witchlight – paranormal with a touch of romance, are published by Vagabondage Press. See for further details.

Blood donation
Technician smiles pointily
Takes more than a pint

By DS Davidson


Stories Knives Tell Us
By Cardinal Cox

Is the red wound deep or shallow?
Did the knife have one edge or two?
Will attacker go to gallows?
Be careful where you place your shoe
Is it a slash or maybe stab?
If a slash, right-left or left-right?
No, no, leave that spot, do not dab
Did it happen in day or night?
How did the fresh blood flow or fall?
Form a trail or die on the spot?
Was the attacker short or tall?
All crimson threads tied in a knot
Where is the knife? Where is the knife
That ends this particular life?


Witches’ Moon
By Aeronwy Dafies

Yellow moon leers a grin
Watches with crater eyes
As witches voyage astral skies
And Hallowe’en begins
Each witch carrying a curse
Nightmares, sour milk and worse
Spreading diabolical sin


The Mogollin Monster
By Richard Stevenson

Arizona’s Bigfoot from the Mogollin Rim…
Supposedly bipedal, and seven feet tall!
Has long black or reddish hair
and large wild red eyes. Stinks too!

They say he smells like dead fish,
decaying peat moss, the musk of
a snapping turtle. Could he be a Skunk Ape
on a walkabout? A meat eater who don’t brush

or floss his teeth? Maybe decaying meat
gets stuck in hard-to-reach places
and just rots away. Or maybe he swills
with swamp water, drinks from polluted streams.

His blood-curdling screams
sound like a woman in great distress,
but when a human hunter gets too close,
the forest goes silent. All ears cock

as he breaks tree limbs and thunders
crashing through the bush, throwing rocks
from spots he likes to hide behind.
You don’t want to find him in such a mood.

He’s rude and – Eugh! Eugh! Phew! –
tired of rotting veggies when he spies
dinner on the hoof. Best back off
in your own small footprints then.

Mogollin Monster, known to decapitate
deer, rip a victim open to get at
his entrails. Not one to sip blood daintily
with a soup spoon, or dab with serviettes.

Likes to chaw on limb bones, suck
the marrow out of ‘em for late
night snacks. Best not to be caught back-
packing in fluorescent gorey Gortex.

Cell phones get no reception and
might as well be crunchy beetles.
Small caliber bullets might as well be mosquitoes.
They annoy, but can’t kill this bad bandito!

Richard Stevenson has recently retired from a thirty-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College and has published thirty books and a CD of jazz and poetry in that time. His most recent books are Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders, a long poem sequence from Dreaming Big Publications in the US (2016), and A Gaggle of Geese, haikai poems and sequences from Alba Publications in the UK (2017).