Welcome!

This page is meant to host Free short horror fiction.

I’m hoping to have new stories for Halloween and Christmas but for the moment I am focusing on the publication of Something In the Dark, a collection of 20 original short horror stories to be published as an Ebook December 2014.

See my official website for more information:

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html

Enjoy the story samples I’ve left up and keep checking the official website for info on Something In the Dark!

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New Paradigm

Frank was sitting on an overturned oil drum smoking a cigarette when the other members of the club arrived at the abandoned factory they used for meetings. It was almost midnight, early for a club meeting; but Frank had told them that he had found something special and they had to come and see it right away.

The club met in a windowless room with one doorway in the basement of the building, where they could not be seen or heard. Most other ultra-violence clubs changed locations frequently; but Frank thought they’d found the perfect place and they’d been using the old factory building for almost a year. As the others shuffled into the room – Mel, Jude, Larry and Bill – Frank grinned at them. Frank didn’t smile much so they knew whatever it was he’d gotten hold of, it had to be good. Bill shut and locked the big metal door behind him.

The others looked around the room and saw nothing but the same old junk they’d never gotten around to clearing out.

“What’s the deal?” Mel – the big mouth of the group – said.

Frank flashed the grin again and kept smoking his cigarette.

“Come on, just spit it out!” said Larry. “I could be bangin’ my old lady right now.”

“Yeah, I skipped a party for this,” Jude said.

“A party,” Frank said and the way he said it silenced the others. “Well, Jude, I’d hate for you to miss a party.” He tossed his cigarette and pulled his legs under him, watching them from his perch on the oil drum.

“You got something or don’t you?” Bill said. He was the biggest of the group, six foot tall and two hundred fifty pounds of muscle.

Frank imitated him in a whiny kid’s voice, “You got something or don’t you?”

The others knew Frank well enough not to push him. They’d seen what he was capable of.

“Well what is it?” Mel said, just to break the tension.

Frank shook his head. “You shit-heads don’t even deserve something this good.”

“You gonna show us or not?” Bill said.

“I’m gonna show you, alright,” Frank said, finally coming down from the oil drum. “I’m gonna show you a lot.” He wandered over to a corner of the room and switched on a second light, revealing a tarp laid over an object. “But if you want a piece of this you’re gonna ante up, understand? I’m not talking dues. I mean respect. You want some of what I’ve got here and this club’s mine.”

“You wanna be prez?” Mel joked.

“What if I do?” Frank said. “I’ve got plans. One day this whole chapter’s gonna be mine; first I’m gonna go national, then I’m gonna go mainstream. Why should we always be running and hiding? We should be on TV. In schools. We should be getting free money from the government. Any of you bozos gonna make that happen? Didn’t think so. I’ve got the key – the key to the whole beautiful thing – right here, under this tarp. And it’s mine. So no more bullshit outta you. You want in, you do what I say from now on, understood?”

“Sure, sure, whatever you want, just show us what you’ve got,” Jude said.

Frank wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “What I’ve got . . . what I’ve got.” He shook his head again. “Good lord, what I’ve got here.”

Frank pulled the tarp away and stood to the side so the others could see.

“Jesus shit!” Mel said, taking a step back.

The others just stared. Crouched in the corner, chained by his ankles and wrists, was a naked man. He was youthful, physically fit with close cropped dark hair. He was looking down at the floor but his whole body was tensed.

 

(C) 2014 Vincent Asaro

 

The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014.  For details visit my webpage:

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html

Anger

Meyer was only five years old when he learned that his anger could kill a person. He could hardly remember that first incident as an adult; it was like a dream, or a remote myth, Cain and Abel, something like that. But it had happened, he knew that. Of course, no one had believed him when he’d confessed to the murder. The other boy, slightly older, something of a bully, had suffered sudden and unexplained heart failure. Only Meyer knew and accepted the truth. He had killed that boy, with a thought, with his anger. It was not the last time it would happen.

The occurrences went on throughout his early life. He could not find a single person who believed him and he stopped telling others about his guilt. Whatever the doctors said had killed those people, Meyer knew the truth. He was a killer and he had to control himself or he would cause others to die.

Managing his anger became central to Meyer’s life. That trait – his unbreakable self restraint – became so pronounced that it drew bullies to him, like bees to pollen. Meyer was an anomaly: he didn’t run, didn’t beg, didn’t even defend himself. He just took it, never even crying. The bullies experimented on Meyer, pushing him as far as they could, finally stalking him down after school, stripping him naked and leaving him in the woods between the school and his house. He simply reclaimed his clothes from the tree they had been thrown in and went home. Eventually the imaginations of the bullies ran dry and they could think of nothing else to do to him. It wasn’t any fun, picking on a boy who showed no emotion.

In adolescence, Meyer discovered Eastern philosophy: Zen, Buddhism, Taoism, Krishna Consciousness. He practiced meditation, taught himself yoga, focused all his energy on self control. For the most part, he was successful. There were a few incidents when he came close to losing his temper but kept himself in check. Self discipline paid off in other ways: Meyer became successful at anything he put his hand to, and he required many distractions to keep his control from slipping. He excelled at music, painting, writing, mathematics, debate – he exhausted the school programs and took on extracurricular activities, all the time maintaining a perfect grade average. He would have been popular, if he’d socialized at all. The down-side of his accomplishments was that they threatened to pull him into the world of human interaction, a realm of dangerous chaos that he feared. People are unpredictable: if he ever allowed himself to get too close to them he might let his guard down, and if he let his guard down he might kill again, with a mere stray thought.

 

(C) 2014 Vincent Asaro

 

The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014.  For details visit my webpage:

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html

The Satan Suicides

I can remember the first of the Satan Suicides like it was yesterday; my high school was where it all started. His name was Herby Reynolds, a quiet kid with big braces, bad acne and no social skills, too obvious a target to even get picked on, most of us just left him alone. You’d think the devil would start with the President of the United States or a movie star or something. But he didn’t, he started with poor Herby Reynolds. Herb’s body was discovered by his mom: he’d chugged a bottle of bleach but that wasn’t the real sick part. Before he’d killed himself he’d taken a razor and carved a message into his chest: “I Am REAL” followed by a pentagram. Herby wasn’t known to be into the occult and the police investigation turned up zero evidence that he was dabbling in the black arts. It made no sense; but like everyone else, I just wanted to forget about it and get on with my life. Herby was a sad case who let the pressure push him over the edge. Shit happens, at least it didn’t happen to me.

Things were quiet for a few weeks before the next death happened. Sandy Inez, physical therapist, divorced. Sandy stabbed herself twenty-five times with a cleaver. On her arm she’d carved the same message that Herby had: “I am REAL” and a pentagram. Sandy had never been suicidal and had shown no signs of depression before ending her life

At first it seemed like a local thing, the outside world didn’t even notice; but it didn’t stay local for long. The suicides started happening outside of town, farther and farther out. The local papers wrote a lot about it but no one really had an explanation. Then the whole thing just exploded, happening in every major city. The media picked it up and for a while my hometown was swamped with reporters and news teams trying to figure out how it had all gotten started.

The phenomenon came to be known as the Satan Suicides. Within a few months, deaths totaled one hundred thousand and rising, spreading out to the coasts before picking up in Canada, South America and Europe. The suicides were always extreme: self mutilation, raw poisons, stepping in front of buses, electrocution, even baiting wild animals. Someone filled their bathtub with acid and climbed in, someone else rigged up a block of concrete to fall on their head. I heard about one guy who rolled around on broken glass until he’d bled to death. They all had the words “I Am REAL” and a pentagram cut into their body somewhere. That was the one part of their bodies they were always careful not to destroy. They wanted that message to be read.

 

(C) 2014 Vincent Asaro

 

The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014.  For details visit my webpage:

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html

Eden

The first angel appeared in outer space, between earth and mars. The earliest satellite photographs of the “object” made headlines worldwide and NASA confirmed that they were “studying” it and working up a report. The object’s familiar outline excited intense religious speculation and almost overnight an industry grew out of the “space angel” and what it meant for mankind: schlock TV documentaries, tabloid and magazine exposes, everyone from the Vatican to the latest self help gurus and leading atheists chiming in. Was it a blessing, or a sign of the end times? There was some hysteria but the whole circus was expected to die out once the object was identified.

Of course, that never happened. The “object” circled mars a few times and was joined by others. High resolution satellite photographs confirmed their outward appearance. They looked like angels and within weeks close to a hundred of them had congregated around mars. NASA and other space agencies would only acknowledge that the phenomenon was real and that science was unable to determine the nature of the objects without more data. For a full day the angels congregated in space, not moving; and then they left mars behind and started for earth. The circus was far from folding.

Global pandemonium broke out. New religions, religious revivals, reprisals from rationalist groups and the scientific community, arguments without end everywhere. The media forgot everything else. The angels were coming: to save us or destroy us? A few things were known: angels (even the scientific community was calling them that, although they always enclosed the word in quotes – “angels”) were thirty feet tall, angels could survive in the vacuum of space, angels moved faster than the fastest spacecraft. The public ate up and obsessed over every detail, as little information as there was.

Figures for adult baptism exploded, it was impossible to calculate, repentance was on the mind of millions. The “Angel Countdown” preoccupied everyone on earth, ticking off the hours, minutes and seconds to their arrival. They were expected to reach the earth in fewer than thirty days. As they made their journey, they were joined by others of their kind. The final number was something like three hundred thousand but it was difficult to calculate for certain.

An international conference was assembled and protocols for greeting were worked out. I won’t go into any of that because it turned out to be both unnecessary and impossible. Whatever means, technological or spiritual, arranged to attempt communication, when the angels arrived it was clear that they had no intention of taking notice. As they approached, some were sent out in advance and they destroyed all of our satellites. They regrouped and then separated again when they breached the atmosphere; they spread out evenly over the globe and got to work immediately . . .

(C) Vincent Asaro 2014

The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014.  For details visit my webpage:

 

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html

 

Nothing In The Dark

Greer was crawling through darkness on his hands and knees; he had no idea where he was or how he’d gotten there. He could remember his name and nothing else. He knew he wasn’t dreaming; in fact, he had the distinct feeling that he had woken from sleep and was now wide awake. The ground beneath him was solid and flat. He crawled along for a while and then stood up. He felt a disoriented for a moment but that passed. He turned around a few times but could see nothing in the darkness. He searched his pockets for a keylight or a book of matches but found nothing. He bit back on panic: there had to be an explanation. Perhaps he had been in an accident and was trapped underground; perhaps he was blind. He listened but heard nothing, sniffed the air but detected no scent or aroma of any kind. He felt no warmth of sunlight on his skin, no cool night air. He called out but no one responded. What could he do? Staying put didn’t appeal to him. He started walking but fear of tripping over an unseen object put him down on his hands and knees again and he felt his way over the featureless ground, helpless and lost.

Greer might have been crawling for hours or days, he couldn’t tell. He felt no weariness, no urge to sleep, no hunger or thirst. As he crept along he entertained theories of where he might be, what might have happened to him; but there was nothing to test his theories against; and his lack of memory made it impossible to press beyond the most obvious questions. Fear was the feeling closest to him as he made his journey and he was ashamed to think that it took no more than darkness to make him afraid. It was this thought that triggered his first memory, something his mother had told him when he was a little boy, afraid to put the light out at night, “There is nothing in the dark that is not there in the light.” He stopped moving, hoping that more memories would follow but nothing more came. He tried to picture his mother, to picture himself as a boy: his mind remained stubbornly blank. He went on, for no other reason than that there was nothing else for him to do.

The sensation that he was not alone, that he was being followed, informed his senses slowly. He stopped and listened and at first heard only silence; but the third time he could faintly, but distinctly, hear a low panting somewhere in the dark behind him. He listened until he was certain that it was real. Robbed of sight he did the only thing he could think of, he sniffed the air. An acrid, animal musk tweaked his nostrils. Whatever was behind him, it stayed put until he started moving again. He could hear it coming closer, the sound of claws on the hard ground, tip-tap, tip-tap, and panting underscored by a low growl. Greer stopped again and his pursuer stopped with him. The animal was panting more rapidly now – it was in pursuit. Greer kept moving, rising to a crouch and running, feeling his way forward with his hand, keeping his ear cocked for the animal that hunted him. It had almost caught up to him when it stopped. Greer stopped too but only for a moment. Perhaps he had crossed an invisible barrier and the animal could go no farther; if that was true, then he had the advantage. He pressed on, putting distance between himself and the thing that hunting him.

Greer tripped over something and fell on his face. He heard voices, hissing whispers, and felt a body wriggling underneath him. He scrambled over the body and stood, ready to defend himself; but no attack came. He heard a man’s voice say, “Another one.”

 

(C) Vincent Asaro 2014

 

The complete story will be included in my upcoming short story collection Something In the Dark, to be published December 2014.  For details visit my webpage:

 

http://vincentasaro.weebly.com/something-in-the-dark.html