Category Archives: Fiction

Kudzu House publishes “And Every Living Thing…”

My short story “And Every Living Thing After Its Kind” has made its published debut in the 2016 Winter Solstice Issue of Kudzu House Quarterly, a literary journal concerned with the human race and its place in the natural world.

Story excerpt:

In this land of looming cataclysm, a small enclave of academics had gathered to catalog one more speck in the staggering geological, anthropological, bio-botanical history of South America. Primary tests put the eruption which filled this valley, and stewed at least one Quichua village, between three and four hundred years ago. That range of time saw violent episodes from almost all the major peaks in the region, so any chance witness to Taquinarumi’s eruption would have seen it as a footnote. One more apocalyptic belch in the wind. How hysterical it would be if this tiny, isolated bowl of dry lava were to yield a discovery of historic moment on par with… well, maybe not Pompeii, but…

Click here to read the full story.

Sanitarium Magazine publishes “Jonathan Apples”

I am honored to announce that my Gothic novella “Jonathan Apples” appears in Issue #39 of Sanitarium Magazine, a UK-based journal for Horror Fiction and Dark Verse. I began the story as a style exercise – a rough riff on Poe, if you will – but it soon grew well beyond the scope I anticipated.

Excerpt from “Jonathan Apples”:

Until the day I took Cecily for my wife, I never suspected that I might be a wicked man. I did love her. I know that I must have. Her sweetness, piety and affection, in short her very decency, ought to have inspired my reverent admiration. It was just so at the beginning, yet almost from the hour of our union before God, I felt my heart assailed by base and sardonic notions. Her guileless face reminded me, above all, of how blindly we give our trust to strangers, heedless of their capacity to harm and deceive us.

Read the full story in your brand-new copy of Sanitarium Issue 39 (December 2015).

Fiction: Beyond Borderlands publishes “The Ruins Of Cynopolis”

My new story “The Ruins Of Cynopolis,” appears in the latest issue of Beyond Borderlands, a journal of weird, occult and paranormal topics. The story is a mythological noir inspired by ancient death rituals, taking place in a desolate city given over to perpetual night.

Excerpt from “The Ruins Of Cynopolis”:

In sleep, the city gave a long sigh. It was not so ancient a city as others he had known, but from certain angles it had a familiar aspect, the same sort of dreadful majesty as a Thebes, a Nineveh, a sprawling Babylon.

The quiet fell so deep that Jack Bainus heard only the dying wail of an ambulance, miles away and disappearing perhaps for good. The blue swirl of Marlboro smoke around his head was the only moving thing. Not so much as a working stoplight shone, but he knew the street well enough to stroll without light. Reaching with his keen senses into the dark, he scarcely noticed as the callused fingers of his left hand stole up his right forearm, scratching gently at the bandage there.

Bainus was tuned in for signs and signals, but the night withdrew from him the more he strained. He stood still long enough for the cigarette to burn out. The dead filter slipped from between his lips, dropping short of a sewer grate blackened with scum. It would not be the first time he had received a false or premature call, but pointless ventures into the night were a growing irritation to him. More and more now, he preferred a good sleep when he had the option. Still, when calls came, he answered every time.

The night air chilled the sinews in him. He had the amusing notion that his either his coat or his flesh had worn too thin for winter. Amusing because of who he was, and (little though he now resembled that long-ago self) how his peculiar constitution had secured his vocation. His ears, his nose and his discerning eye had been the key points, and while they endured nearly as well as always, hardly a thought had been given to his joints, his temperament, and his long-term tolerance to eons of cold moonless nights. If one were to say that Bainus had been doing his job forever, it would be as close to literal truth as the limited precision of human language allows.

Read the full story in Issue 2 (July 2015) of Beyond Borderlands

Fiction: Indiana Voice Journal publishes “Cachette”

Fields Point Review is undergoing a long-overdue broadening of scope. In addition to reviews and articles it will also serve as a platform for promoting fiction by your humble authorcritic, Dan Fields, and hopefully others in the near future.

The inaugural piece of this brave new age is a short story, “Cachette,” which appears in the February 2015 issue (#7) of Indiana Voice Journal.

See excerpt below:

As Marjan Radić lays out bills along the sloping kitchen counter, his eyes keep darting back to two little faces bordered in red. It is one of those circulars mailed out by the post office, with “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” printed at the top. He should be concentrating on the bills which, although steep, are manageable for the first time in a long while. Winter is on the way, six months of freezing his can trying to keep other tenants warm and dry, so any money he can put away for Sophie and the kids now is worth celebrating. Rounding off the totals, he creeps toward his monthly income, subtracting for bus fare and basic groceries, without quite going over, as far as he can figure it. This makes him practically a millionaire.

Still, the tiny MISSING face draws his eye away every few seconds.

Read the full story in Indiana Voice Journal