“Ten Steps” is now live at ChiZine (The Chiaroscuro)

"Ten Steps"

My story “Ten Steps” is now up at ChiZine (Chiaroscuro) as part of their major new relaunch. I wrote this at the Jack Ketchum intensive at The Cult. So many other great voices here, in the previous, and coming weeks, I can’t possibly list them all but let me shout out at least a few names that I’ve seen up already, or have novels published at ChiZine, or may be part of this launch in the upcoming weeks.

First, I won a contest here at ChiZine back in 2009, the “Enter the World of Filaria” contest with my story “Maker of Flight”. It was quite an honor. My story was selected by the author of Filaria, Brent Hayward, and the Stoker winning man that runs ChiZine, Brett Alexander Savory.

I’ve been a long time fan of Paul Tremblay who has In the Mean Time at ChiZine, as well as Craig Davidson, who has Sarah Court there as well (I reviewed both of these at The Nervous Breakdown, too). These guys are two of my favorite authors there. I’d expect them to have a story up here as a part of this. Also, in the past couple of weeks, we’ve had stories by Stewart O’Nan, Tom Piccirilli, and Neil Gaiman.

So head over and check out my story, but also stay awhile, peep the other stories, and pick up a book or two. Exceptional artwork by Erik Mohr as well. I’ve never read a bad book from ChiZine. Donate some $$$ if you have it, every dollar helps. These are some of the good guys, putting out excellent work, supporting unknown authors like myself, and really on the cutting edge of literary dark fiction.

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Complete List of Online Stories

This is a Table of Contents for all of my current, LIVE fiction that is available online for FREE. Below are each of the stories, a brief synopsis, and a link to the site that hosts them. They are in reverse chronological order.

What do all of these stories have in common? I tend to write about the darker aspects of life, and am fascinated by what happens when things fall apart, how we handle life when it throws us a curve ball, the dysfunction in everyday life, how we rebel against the rules of society, and what goes on in the middle of the night.

Last Updated: June 19, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

“How Not to Come Undone”
THE WRITING DISORDER
SYNOPSIS: A pair of twins balance each other out, but that’s not always a good thing. In this dark magical realism we see how far family will go to save each other.
HOW NOT TO COME UNDONE

“The Offering on the Hill”
GAMUT
SYNOPSIS: When a man scours a dead land for his daughter, he’ll do anything to get her back. Inspired by The Dark Tower series, originally published in Chiral Mad 3, a Bram Stoker nominee. Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. (Subscription required to read.)
PART ONE / PART TWO

“Vision Quest”
NORWEGIAN AMERICAN
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST

“Repent”
GAMUT
SYNOPSIS: What would you do to save your son? Can a truly evil soul become anything else? Originally published in Gutted: Beautiful Horror stories, a Bram Stoker nominee. Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year. (Subscription required to read.)
PART ONE / PART TWO

“Rapture”
SOLARCIDE
SYNOPSIS: It’s not easy being a goddess these days. But there’s hope for Dia still.
RAPTURE

“From Within”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: In a slave state, how do you protect your son? What if he doesn’t need protecting? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
FROM WITHIN

“Little Red Wagon”
THE WRITING DISORDER
SYNOPSIS: What would you do to keep the human race alive? And what does being human really mean?
LITTLE RED WAGON

“Moving Heavy Objects”
STORYSOUTH
SYNOPSIS: A son tries to forgive his father for being so distant.
MOVING HEAVY OBJECTS

“Asking for Forgiveness”
MENACING HEDGE
SYNOPSIS: When the land yields nothing but abomination, how does family change, how do we survive? Long-listed for Best Horror of the Year.
ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS

“Gandaberunda”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: What happens when evil finds a young boy, an ancient creature, the signs all ignored?
GANDABERUNDA

“Sugar and Spice”
WEEKENDER
SYNOPSIS: A father comes to terms with the fact that his innocent daughter is growing up, and isn’t quite so innocent any more.
SUGAR AND SPICE

“Tinkering With the Moon”
GOREYESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a little boy misses his father, he’d do anything to reunite with him.
TINKERING WITH THE MOON

“Bury Me Deep”
THE BIG ADIOS
SYNOPSIS: Out in the wild west, there lurk shadows and dark deeds, all done under the blazing sun for God and all to witness.
BURY ME DEEP

“Love Letters”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: The things we do for love are often very destructive.
LOVE LETTERS

“Flowers for Jessica”
MAYDAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: How far would you go to bring your loved one back from the dead?
FLOWERS FOR JESSICA

“The Fix-It Man”
BLACK HEART MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: When a man falls apart, disconnects from his wife and son, what gesture can he make as he disintegrates?
THE FIX-IT MAN

“Something’s Broken”
FLYWHEEL MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: You fix it if you can, whatever’s broken. Because once somebody else picks the pieces up, once somebody else fixes it—it’s no longer yours.
SOMETHING’S BROKEN

“Vision Quest”
SURREAL GROTESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST (ISSUU direct)

“Charlotte Sometimes”
ZOUCH
SYNOPSIS: Charlotte needs to escape sometimes.
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES
[Sixth place winner of the Zouch Lit Bits Fiction contest]

“Jimmy Five Ways”
PUNCHNEL’S
SYNOPSIS: A wife, a son, a mistress, a partner and a man named Jimmy—five ways.
JIMMY FIVE WAYS
[One of the five winners of the Punchnel’s Hard-Boiled Down Noir Fiction contest]

“The Handyman”
CONJECTURAL FIGMENTS
SYNOPSIS: What makes us human and what makes us inhuman?
THE HANDYMAN (ISSUU direct)

“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave”
METAZEN (Defunct)
SYNOPSIS: When something tragic happens, do you stay or do you leave? Sometimes you stay for a long time, only to realize that leaving would be less cruel. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
TWENTY REASONS TO LEAVE AND ONE TO STAY

“Love Letters”
CANNOLI PIE
EXCERPT: “It started with the paper, tearing it apart into little pieces, pressing it into tiny balls and popping the crumpled words into her mouth.”
LOVE LETTERS (ISUU direct)

“Daybreak”
STEPAWAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes you walk away from it all. Or maybe you’re walking towards something. Either way, be complete in your transformation.
DAYBREAK

“After She Has Gone”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: When she takes it all, and you’re left with nothing but despair, what do you do? Suicide is an option—and as you wander the woods in search of a tomb, the darkness speaks to you the truth.
AFTER SHE HAS GONE

“Splintered”
PANK
SYNOPSIS: In real life, there are paths to take, sometimes you have a choice, some times you do not. In this adult “choose-your-own” ending adventure it’s up to you whether or not to be parnoid or to trust, to be innocent, or just a fool.
SPLINTERED

“Three Mistakes”
WORD RIOT
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes that’s all it takes, three mistakes to fall from grace, to lose it all, and maybe realize too late, that you had a pretty good life.
THREE MISTAKES

“Maker of Flight”
CHIZINE
WINNER of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest
SYNOPSIS: In this contest, we were given the challenge of adding to the vivid and futuristic world that Brent Hayward created. In 1000 words, you were to find a way to insert a short piece of fiction that could stand alone, and also add to the world of Filaria. In Brent’s words:“That was a really nice piece you wrote, and in my head now it’s somehow forever tangled up in Filaria.”
MAKER OF FLIGHT (no longer online)

(A number of other stores are no longer available as the websites and publications have since gone under. I have removed them from this list as they have disappeared. Gone are: Opium Magazine, Colored Chalk, Cause & Effect, Nefarious Muse, ChiZine’s Chiaroscuro, Cherry Bleeds, Troubadour 21, Carbon-Based Lifeform Blues, Leodegraunce, Metazen, Emprise Review, Conjectural Figments, Beat the Dust, Thickjam, Circa, The Dying Goose, Parable Press, Revolt Daily, Penumbra, etc. RIP. )

 

Praise for “Maker of Flight”

From the editor of ChiZine Publications, Brett Alexander Savory, via their Facebook update:

ENTER THE WORLD OF FILARIA CONTEST RESULTS
The winning entries for the Enter the World of Filaria Contest
have been posted at the site. Richard Thomas’s “Maker of Flight”,
a disquieting tale of what might be happening behind a closed door on the top level of the structure, won first place.

Brent also had some nice things to say to me about it:

“That was a really nice piece you wrote, and in my head now it’s somehow forever tangled up in Filaria.”

I thought that was the ultimate compliment

“Maker of Flight” is live – Winner of Filaria Contest

Maker of Flight at ChiZine

"Maker of Flight" at ChiZine

Well, the story is now live. Hope you dig it, I really had fun with it. I’ve had some fantastic conversations with the author Brent Hayward, saying that this story will now be a part of the world he created, which is really just the nicest thing I could hear about this short. Brett Alexander Savory at ChiZine has also been very supportive and great to work with.

I just won the ChiZine Publications “Enter the World of Filaria” fiction writing contest

ChiZine Publications

ChiZine Publications

http://chizine.com/chizinepub/announcements/filaria-contest-winners.php

It is finally, public. I am the winner of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest by ChiZine Publications. This is the first time I’ve ever won anything writing related. I get published online and $250 bucks! WOW! My first paycheck as a writer. The story, “Maker of Flight” will be posted April 1st.