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Introduction

A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

Jackson by Ash Wolf

“Hamster’s dead.”

Those were the first words out of my mouth when we reached the station. After Reverend Matts had called concerned about trespassers up at the old sanatorium, Officer Wilson had found me running out of the woods, shaking and crying as no seventeen-year-old boy wanted to be seen doing. He had kindly escorted me back into the warmth of a miniature interrogation. And now I sat across from him, staring at the scratches I’d put in his desk last time I was here. I’d gotten bored and started rubbing the handcuffs against the edge. Maybe that’s why Wilson hadn’t bothered with them tonight.

“Excuse me?”

“Ham... Harry. Harry Snyder.”

He rubbed his sweaty brow, his face screaming, I don’t want to know. He laid an arm on my file and tapped it with his finger.

I can’t say we were friends, but Wilson was certainly accustomed to me. What can I say?

Small towns created a certain pervasive boredom that caused the teenage populace to do stupid and illegal things simply because they wer…

Pumpkin Seeds by James Cannice

Tacita was an orphan who lived under the care of the minister and his wife in the town of Redbury. When she had been nine, her father died after coughing out blood until there was none left in his body. When the girl had been ten, her mother, who had missed her father deeply, disappeared from the village and never returned.
When Tacita was eleven, the village fell under a curse. Nobody knew why, but they soon came to know that when the full moon was bright enough to cast shadows, when all the nocturnes fell silent, and when the wind blew twice through the bristles then sang no more, the Burning Pumpkin would come.
***
The first night the Burning Pumpkin was seen in Redbury, Tacita was in the small bedroom given to her, sitting on her bed right next to the window. She had an old letter sent from one of the colony’s other ministers she had borrowed from her caretaker’s study set against her knee and a quill she had likewise borrowed in her hand. She was moving to drop the first dot of ink …

Little Pink Mammals by Zachary Ashford

“What is it?”
Jamal crouched to one side of the rushing water, gently poking at something with a twig. With the rain pelting down in its relentless fury, he shrugged. “Some sort of baby animal.” He wiped his hair out of his eyes. “What should we do with it?”
Completely hairless except for black fuzz around mouse-like ears, it wriggled like a worm on a hook. “It’s lucky it’s so wet. The ants would be all over it otherwise.” Chris pointed to the ant-nest the boys stirred up on dry summer days.
“What the fuck are you guys doing?” Dom, still pretending to be tied to the execution stick—a street-sign post now devoid of its sign—was never the most patient of people.
“Come look,” Jamal called back to him.
He ran the short distance across to his two friends. “Just kill it.” He prodded it with a finger. “It’s gonna die anyway.”
“What if its mum is looking for it?” Chris asked.
Jamal looked at Chris. “Dude. It’s not gonna last that long.” A crow cawed from the power-lines on the other side of the str…