The Year's Best Horror Stories, Series XV
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THE MANY DIMENSIONS OF HORROR ...
From a back roads bar where Death takes a permanent holiday ...
to a seaside resort where a holiday romance can prove all too deadly ...
to a country estate where a young girl discovers an ancient evil masked by the power of wealth ...
to a carnival where a tattoo artist draws forth the most terrifying of truths ...
journey to these and other fright-filled domains made all too chillingly real in—
THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR STORIES: XV
when she looked back they had not moved. All stood in the same positions, staring at the spot she had just vacated, motionless again, and she giggled. “Silly me. They will not be hungry. Food and kitchens mean nothing to them. It is love they need.” She went back to them and bending down whispered the wonderful message. “Children, I want you to know you are mine—I am yours from now on. Do you understand? We now belong to each other. Your loneliness is over. So is mine.” The boy in black moved
time to time, and if the mood strikes them, they rise on their tails and push their heads near the tower and examine it. I keep expecting one to flop down on us, crushing us like bugs. But no such luck. For some unknown reason the whales never leave the cracked sea bed to venture onto what we formerly called the shore. It’s as if they live in invisible water and are bound by it. A racial memory perhaps. Or maybe there’s something in that cracked black soil they need. I don’t know. Besides the
scream she started came out a gurgle. I tried to help her, but when I got close, the vines whipped at me and I had to jump back. I looked for something to grab, to hit the damn thing with, but there was nothing. When next I looked at Jane, vines were stabbing out of her eyes and her tongue, now nothing more than lava-thick blood, was dripping out of her mouth onto her breasts, which like the rest of her body, were riddled with stabbing vines. I ran away then. There was nothing I could do for
teeth were very white. Oh, I hear you, Mr. Journal. I hear what you’re saying. And I thought of that. My first impression was that I was about six bricks shy a load, gone around the old bend. But I know better now. You see, I lit a candle and held it over my shoulder, and with the candle and the moonlight, I could see even more clearly. It was Rae all right, not just a tattoo. I looked over at my wife on the bunk, her back to me, as always. She had not moved. I turned back to the reflection. I
might have been imperceptible except in such a place of mirrors and light. The black-dot pupils of the Mirrormaster’s eyes, already small, narrowed as if to blind him to the sight of the photograph. He turned the photo face-down with a hand that might not have been seen to tremble, except for the unsteady glimmer of mirrored light against so many rings. Rawson flipped the picture—snap/slap!—again, to confront the Mirrormaster. “Her name was Lela,” Rawson said. “As femies go, I miss her