Dark Fiction

All posts in the Dark Fiction category

New Fiction: Miss Brompton Falls 1938

Published October 26, 2018 by Philip Ivory

For years I’ve been interested in Menacing Hedge, which identifies as “a quarterly journal of poetry, fiction and artwork, which is committed to fostering access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose.” This month, I”m excited that Menacing Hedge is featuring my 11th published piece of fiction, a short story called “Miss Brompton Falls 1938.” 

I’m not really sure if this story is a feminist fable, or an old-timey stew of sex and violence. Maybe you can let me know.  Either way, it’s my third published piece that originated from my participation in the NYC Midnight online challenge, which requires you to concoct a story within a limited time frame based on a number of parameters that are arbitrarily assigned.

 

In this case, I was given drama for my genre, a beauty pageant for a setting, and a cash register as an object that had to be included. Sometimes it’s really difficult to incorporate all these elements, but in this case they came together in a fairly organic way.

The cash register suggested a general store, and that made for an odd but interesting setting for a beauty pageant. I hit on a Depression-era setting, which brought with it associations with economic desperation and the era’s fascination with outlaws. As I continued to revise the piece, the original parameters became less important, and the story took on a life of its own.

I had fun writing a period piece, trying to make sure the slang and the cultural and consumer references were as true as possible to this era. Mostly, though, I was concerned with the idea of portraying a woman whose inner state is in deep conflict with the situation she finds herself in, although circumstances make it impossible for anyone but the reader to understand why.

Click on the picture above to read it. You can also choose to listen to the audio file of me reading the story. 

My thanks to Menacing Hedge, NYC Midnight and a number of loyal writing friends, including Alice Hatcher, Bryn McFarland and Renee Bibby’s Writers Studio Master Class, who provided invaluable feedback that helped me fully develop the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Scary Fiction: Keep Me Company

Published October 12, 2018 by Philip Ivory

 

In keeping with the season, I have a new scary story published. It’s called “Keep Me Company,” and it’s about an emotional bond between brothers that endures beyond the divide of death. And it features walkie-talkies!

The story’s featured in the 2018 Samhain edition of Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly, a literary magazine “dedicated to folk religion, spirituality, and paganism of all paths and stripes.” 

This issue showcases ten tales of terror, including mine, which were entries in the journal’s 2018 Spooky Samhain Contest. (My story tied for third place.)

My thanks to the Horror Writers Association, which ran a competition earlier in the year which I didn’t win but which inspired me to write this story.

The Samhain issue of Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly, which features other spooky content including ghost hunts, interviews and recipes, should make for great Halloween reading. So please check it out.

 Click Here to Order through Amazon today.

 

 

Spooky Samhain 2018 Contest

Published September 24, 2018 by Philip Ivory

I’m excited to announce that a scary short story I wrote earlier in the year called “Keep Me Company” has tied for third place in the Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly’s Spooky Samhain 2018 Contest.

Click on this partial list to see all the winners:

My story will appear in the fall issue of Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly, which should be available soon in print and digital form. I’ll post more when the issue is available.

My thanks to Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly for selecting me as a winner and publishing my story. Consider buying an issue or — best deal! — getting an annual subscription.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Story: Dr. Marsh’s Final House Call

Published September 8, 2018 by Philip Ivory

skylinesketch

I have a new short story appearing at Two Cities Review, titled “Dr. Marsh’s Final House Call.”

Read it here

Some back story: This piece originated from my participation in the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest earlier this year. In this contest, you are given a random challenge and deadline to complete it by.  The challenge includes three randomly assigned elements that you need to use to create your story: a genre, a thing or object, and a person.

The genre I was assigned was Ghost Story. The thing was a Power Outage, and the character was a Physician. You can judge for yourself how well I integrated these diverse elements.

If you subscribe to the philosophy, as I do, that limitations and parameters force a writer to be more creative, the NYC Midnight contests (short stories, flash fiction and screenwriting) are fun and useful. I didn’t win with this story. But by participating, I have produced two stories that have gone on to be published, which more than makes the contest worthwhile. (The other story was “How We Cured Racism,” published late last year.)

My thanks both to NYC Midnight and to Two Cities Review. I’ve written dark fiction before, but never a ghost story, so this was a great challenge for me and a lot of fun.

 

WYSa