This book is dedicated to everyone who has supported Popcorn Horror

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1 This book is dedicated to everyone who has supported Popcorn Horror

2 About this ebook The following collection is the best of short horror from writers all over the world. A competition was launched by Popcorn Horror, challenging writers to create a unique horror story in 100 words or less. Along the way we read some fantastic scary stories, met some interesting people and had a lot of fun bringing this book to you. Popcorn Horror is a mobile phone app which screens the best short horror from around the world. We are dedicated to supporting independent horror content creators and their work. For more information, go to popcornhorror.com About the illustrator C.R.Murray is a freelance artist and photographer from England. Since childhood she has had an obsession with horror and this has stayed with her through the years, inspiring many of her works. She has produced a versatile range of artwork, specialising in photorealism and acrylic painting. C.R.Murray takes commission work for illustration and painting and can be contacted at

3 Chore by Louise Boyd My room is black but for the slice of amber light under the door. Mummy? Pulling the bedcovers tight, I listen. Mummy? A gentle hum. It's familiar. I run to the door, ignoring the dark corners of my room, release the handle and the golden glow floods over me. Padding downstairs, loud humming from the kitchen. Passing the front door, I count five locks. Lights on in the livingroom. Hummm...from the kitchen. The washing machine. Bloodied water splashes, her frozen screaming head batters against the plastic inside. Daddy's home. He grins, flicking his tongue to lick blood from the blade.

4 The Owl by VC Morrison What are you afraid of? Everything. This is so... Vampiric? What a plump, overloaded word. I raised the knife. Just a taste, he said. Then do it. Just a taste. A swallow. I wanted pretty red drops in the sink. No ugly smears. Do it! My arm bloomed a line of red. Taste. Warm copper spread across my mouth. Say it. Slatherous, silky, and soon. It's too early for the moon. 'Tween day and night they all take flight when the owl begins to croon. I stared into my reflection and waited, shivering. When would the Hatter take me?

5 Turnabout by Linnie Helpern He walked up behind her as she washed dishes. Slid his hands through her long red hair. Reveled in the sensation of squeezing his chubby fingers around her delicate throat. Lost himself in the pleasure as he choked life from her. Laughed as she gasped for precious air. Closed his eyes as he imagined her funeral, life as a widower. Didn't notice as she drew the knife from the soapy dishwater. She reveled in the sensation of his warm blood pouring over her hands. Laughed as he gasped for precious air. Walked outside, twirling the knife in her lithe fingers.

6 Mmmm...Yummy by Mike Berlin The unpleasant odor wafting from under the door of apartment 3-G, reminded Tom of his promise to feed Mrs. Wilcox's Cat. That was nearly three weeks ago. With a premonition of dread, he let himself in. Relief flooded over him when the tabby cat trotted over and rubbed against his leg. His relief was diminished by the faint smell of offal. He entered the living room to discover the fly covered remnants of the cat's last meal, now only well-gnawed gristle and bone. A curious thing the kitty's tidbit appeared to be wearing the old woman s wedding band.

7 The Elder Tree by Teresa Basset Tamara s husband positioned the chainsaw at the base of the tree. John, please! begged Tamara. They say Judas hanged himself from an elder. It s unlucky to kill one. Elders watch over us. For God s sake! thundered John. You re such a nutter. He pulled the chord. Tamara covered her eyes. As teeth bit bark, the chainsaw slithered from John s grasp. Blood spewed as man and machine embraced in a grotesque pas de deux. A severed hand flopped to the ground. Tamara surveyed her husband s body. You should ve listened to me, John. She went indoors and replaced the Vaseline on the shelf.

8 Knock at the Door by Matt Loftus Knock at the door The clock struck midnight as I remembered the lore about the knock at the door During the witching hour it comes Pray it passes the more, that knock at the door Lanterns on full to fight back the night Let no darkness loom over your person during that damned time Hold courage of faith at your core, if you ever hear that knock at your door But for he who would challenge the caller, on heed of these words You chance your life and soul May God take pity all the more, for answering that terrible knock at the door

9 Patchwork by Patrick Frost Will you help? The traveller found him sitting blind beneath a tree eyeless, but tears streaming from those black holes his whole body was deformed: no limbs the same size or colour. Ugly, he wept and begged. This thing was pitiful. Please? The traveller nodded. You ll help? As soon as yes was spoken the traveler found he couldn t move. I need blind hands searched across the traveller s face to his eyes. Blood ran. The creature cupped each eye into his own dark socket. Above, bodies hung from branches missing arms, legs, a tongue. Blood darkening the leaves.

10 Computing for the Terrified by Sarah Telford

11 One, Two by Stephanie Ellis One, two, I see you Three, four, I'm at your door Five, six, I'm in your midst Seven, eight, you see my face Nine, ten, you start to beg Eleven, twelve, resign yourself Thirteen, fourteen, no point in weeping Fifteen, sixteen, no point in pleading Seventeen, eighteen, no point in waiting Nineteen, twenty, your eyes are empty.

12 The End By The Blacklight Automaton I pulled my fist back and looked at him. He was momentarily stunned. When his neck snapped back to it's original position, it made a horrible popping noise. As his eyes struggled to refocus on me, I realized he was dead. Nausea hit my stomach like a warm, curdled wave. That thing had killed my brother and is now wearing him like some sort of human disguise. "What are you!" I screamed, cradling my aching hand. Looking down he yanks out the screwdriver Laura jammed into his leg with her dying breath. He then gurgles... "The end of your world..."

13 The Baobab by K.Z. Morano Whisper your troubles to the Baobab. The tree can keep secrets, her mother had said before she died. Putain de sorcière. The other kids teased her mercilessly. They said her mother was a witch and a whore. They threw stones at Fleurette and she would cry. She d carve a hollow in that tree, share her secret and cover it with mud. The tree was her only friend. The keeper of her skeletons. As the wood does not produce growth rings, radiocarbon dating today revealed it to be thousands of years old. The human bones inside, at least a hundred years.

14 Mrs Lewis by David Mackie The children were fidgety. Shaken-up bottles of coke ready to hiss and blow their tops. The teacher, Mrs Lewis, was just standing limply at the blackboard, back to her pupils. They could not handle her silence for long. They tittered and squawked. Some tried to calm their rowdier friends, but their earnest shushing only added to the babble. The noise reached a zenith. A strange hum started in the air vents and the lights flickered. Mrs Lewis turned. Her eyes sagged from their sockets, two slick bladders swollen with liquid, dragging her face downwards. There was silence in the classroom.

15 Carnival by Katelin Sentovic The carnival lights glow in the darkness. Strange melodies and excited shrieks are carried on the breeze. Beneath the ferris wheel children gather around a captivating clown. At the close of his performance he casts a glance to the distracted parents of his entranced audience. His painted smile conceals his true grin, something inhuman and hungry. With promises of continued fun, the children follow him into the crowd, unseen. Soon their parents call for them yet receive no answer. Distressed, they summon the manager. He tells them his carnival employs no clowns.

16 Ants by Ross McCleary You wake, feeling them crawl up your arm, across your face, beneath your feet. Ants. You scream, thrashing wildly, smashing apple pip bodies with your palms. You go numb and unconsciousness takes you. Hours later, you wake in hospital. Ants ate your hand. You were found before they ate more. A phantom hand? You ask. Why yes, such sensations are typical. Itching, tingling, all are normal, the doctor says. You feel your old hand itch. What the doctor didn't anticipate was that you'd feel, every night, tingling as tiny phantoms crawl up your arm, across your face, beneath your feet.

17 Confused by Death by Joanna Mackintosh Where am I? Chloe questioned as she adjusted to the unfamiliar surroundings. Don t you know? The voice was soft, and Chloe turned to look at an older woman standing over her. Your dead dear Erm, no, I was sleeping off a hangover, in my room.. Chloe sat upright, No you died, here drink this, it helps you pass over The woman handed Chloe a drink, Chloe drank it without question before suddenly succumbing to enveloping blackness. What happened? the police officer handed the coroner a plastic cup. Looks like suicide, seems she drank a cup of arsenic

18 The Watchman by Dan Camm The Watchman hunts but once a year, to reap his feed from their hideous fear. He wanders the woods by silver moonlight, hooded and ghoulish, a spook of the night. His envious eyes scout the verge of the meadow, with his cracked wooden frame hidden under the shadow. He groans and creaks in the billow of the wind, The Oaksman, his father, listens on, face grinned. Then up from the grass of the valley below A lost lonely victim comes calling; hello!? With a lurch, and a snap, limbs flail, twigs snap. Consumed.

19 Get Stuffed by Sharron Preston Nancy gazed upon the rigid bodies of stuffed cats and dogs being carried away by watery eyed owners who could not bear to be parted from them. She imagined the taxidermist yanking out their intestines like strings of fresh sausages bought from the butcher. Her thoughts were interrupted by the presence of the taxidermist carrying a well dressed female mannequin to his car and carefully positioning it in the passenger seat; its glazed eyes stared right through Nancy. The taxidermist kissed the mannequin full on the mouth before driving away. How tragic, Nancy thought, he must miss his wife terribly.

20 A Circle by Nick Harkins I crawl over the spoiled meat, tearing at the damp material protecting it with sharp, yellow incisors. Congealed blood fills my mouth, thick and cloying as I gnaw through the doughy flesh. I was fortunate to find this feast; buried under debris in a place I come to find discarded human food. I scurry upwards, eager to find more tender morsels, perhaps the eyes. The face, although decayed, is still identifiable; familiar, even. Lights and memories jolt my mind and I roll from the corpse, convulsing in horror as I remember. I m eating the man I once was.

21

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