Kids can say the creepiest things.
27 New Zealand and American authors delve into the strange, the unexpected, and the downright terrifying things that kids say in this collection of all new flash fiction. From the mouths of babes come 37 stories, from the haunting to the hilarious to the horrific.
Leave the lights on tonight. So you’ll see them coming.
Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Edited Publication, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: Debbie Cowens, “Caterpillar”
Finalist – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: JC Hart, “The Dead Way”
We couldn’t destroy the monsters, so we enslaved their minds. But when a monster is found dead, detective Jay Escobar must uncover the truth before humanity is plunged back into an unwinnable war. Sam Spade meets Godzilla in a gripping mystery of monstrous proportions.
Bookstore owner and novice antiquarian, Sebastian Kaine is proud of his new profession and even prouder still of the collection of antique books on the occult that he keeps locked away in the basement of his bookstore. But his little utopia implodes when he wakes up in that same basement, bound and bloodied, and his prized collection all but destroyed.
In 1875, after Rufus de Hunte is challenged to an illegal duel, his father, to avoid scandal, banishes him to New Zealand. During the voyage, he meets the intriguing Serafina Radzinskaya and finds himself falling in love with her, only to discover she is a vampire. Torn between love and horror, Rufus becomes embroiled in an ancient vendetta in an attempt to save the love of his life.
Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night – the one night he can’t remember – changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him – and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
“Back in the black old days, we called it the Bone Plate. Wasn’t worth your life to touch the Bone Plate. It made men kings, back in the black old days. Mine was a trashcan lid, piled high with gnawed, soot-stained remains, the bones of rats and cats and stray dogs and pigeons. Only the bones of that which you had killed and stripped clean with your own biting, smiling teeth were allowed on your Plate, and whoever had the biggest Plate ruled the windswept world of trash and frost that sprawled beneath the overpasses. I remember jamming more and more bones on top of each other, wrapping them up with wire and twine and whatever else I could find amongst the trash, until mine towered taller than anyone else’s under the ‘pass. It had made me king, and Hania my queen.
Mansfield once wrote, “don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath—as terrible as you like—but a mask.” While we may never know Mansfield’s true face or fate, Matt and Debbie Cowens are proud to draw back the public mask of one of our most beloved authors to reveal the more chilling one beneath.