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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!

Nabu Carnevale - The Festival of Conformity by Charles Wilkinson

This story was first published in Dark Lane Anthology 8, 2019.

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The rainbow made Trevidge forgot his hatred of the town and its inhabitants: its arc shone above the Bank, a white-washed edifice with unconvincing columns created at the moment the empire’s energy ran out. In certain conditions, he recalled, a rainbow can describe a full circle. The remainder of today’s colours must be curved bars stored in the vault, along with the deposit boxes crammed with deeds and dusty jewels. He felt a flood of joy so unfamiliar to him it might have belonged to someone else. Trevidge’s tragedy was his love of loneliness.
As he walked along the dry side of the street, the wind carried light’s drama: a flung curtain of glittering rain; the dark block of cloud moving behind the church tower; the sun’s dazzle on the cream cottages. The chiaroscuro could not last. A front built up from the west; crumbling clouds erased the rainbow. The rain turned from a drift of silvery threads to static grey cables,…

Nabu Carnevale - Works of Artifice by Edward Ahern

This story was previously published in Odd Tales of Wonder.

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The off-white tents of the exhibitors were lined up along a harbor front walkway—paintings and prints, wood and glass wares, pricy knickknacks, food stands. Art as fast food, Jason thought.
The paintings reminded him of what he’d tried to achieve and had to give up on ten years ago. She’d insisted on coming with him.
“Promise me you’ll just look, Linda.”
“What’s the point of just looking?”
Jason felt his face redden. “We don’t have the money to spend. You know how far underwater we are.”
His voice was too loud, and the tent vendor in front of them turned around and began fiddling with his display of pens.
“You miser. Just get a better job.”
“Please, Linda, I’m begging you, don’t buy anything, just look. We can’t even make minimum payments on the credit cards.”
She waved a plump arm. “You depress me. I’m going for a walk around on my own. You do the same. And get a life we can live.”
Jason’s skin felt like it was going to …

Nabu Carnevale - Clown Food by Joseph Watson

Thomas’ body began to contort. His stomach swelled out one moment and elongated the next, stretching out like a slinky as his waste became thinner and thinner. Any more and it looked like he’d snap in half.
“You look stupid.” Hanna said, between a mouthful of candy floss.
Thomas pulled a face and his mouth expanded to cover half of the mirror. Even Hanna couldn’t resist a smirk.
He let out a sigh and moved out of the way as a gaggle of school children pushed across to stand in front of the mirrors. He’d regretted agreeing the moment he and his sister had left the house. Coming here meant being on babysitting duty. His mum had stuffed some money into his hand and told them to be back before ten and given him the usual line about not getting into trouble.
Thomas snatched a lump of candy floss from Hanna; she gave him a half-hearted pout in anger as he shoved the candy in his mouth, licking at the sticky sugar that coated his fingers. The crowd of children behind him had finally given up…