Recently, thanks to my job at the library and the encouragement and support of some writer friends there, I’ve returned to writing fiction, particularly horror fiction.

Horror stories were some of the first things I wrote as a kid. The writing bug bit me early: Six years old? First grade? I’m pretty sure I was stringing words together then. I’d cracked into the business with a few poems, cute ones about an egg that hatched into a weird little monster pet and another about some clouds that looked like two people dancing. I got my feet wet on the sweet stuff, then I dug into horror stories.

The first story I ever wrote was called “Mausoleum,” and it took place on Halloween night in my tiny Louisiana hometown. All of the dead people in the cemetery’s mausoleum came to life and started killing everyone in the neighborhood near my middle school, particularly the shithead kids in eighth grade who bullied me. Like Jason W. They died horrible, bloody deaths, and the story ended with the sun coming up on a lot of shithead corpses and a self-satisfied omniscient narrator.

These days, I’m trying not to rip off George Romero as much with my short stories. I’m more taking a cue from Stephen King.

The short stories I’m working on all take place in the same small town, affectionately known by its inhabitants as Deadtown. It’s economically depressed, culturally stalled, and situated as far from hope and opportunity as one can get. Maybe it’s an anthology? I dunno yet. The stories are fun to write.

They’re all works-in-progress. Enter so advised.

Extinguish. This is the first short story I wrote after my incredibly long hiatus.

The Man in the Blue Jean Jacket.This one was inspired by an old Twilight Zone episode called “No Time Like the Past.” It’s also a friendship story, which are my favorite kind of stories.

Repeater.This is the story of an event mentioned at the top of “Extinguish.” I was fooling around with a narrative structure that I thought might be cool.

If you dig em, let me know on Twitter (@abeardedfruit) or by email HERE