All There in the (Monster) Manual are stories based on creatures from the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. Over 2022 I released a different story fitting the theme every single week and I’ve now expanded to Dungeons & Dragons’ Monsters of the Multiverse and even the Pathfinder Bestiary. Could be fantasy, science fiction, horror, or something else entirely! Check them out on the main page of the website.
This Week’s Inspiration: Smoke Mephit
Little remains to show that a leper hospital ever existed on the isolated spot Kensie and Sara come across while hiking. After all, the building burned down over seventy years ago and took a number of patients with it. Not everything, however, has moved on.
Little remained to show there’d ever been a building on the hilltop. Old brickwork revealed the lines of the original foundation, along with mounds and trenches too straight to be natural, but most of the materials must have been cleared away. Kensie tried to hide her disappointment as they reached the top of the slope. She’d been hoping for a mostly intact ruins, gutted by fire and further ravaged by time but with ashy rooms they could explore and maybe a basement full of antique medical equipment to probe. Instead, there were just a few low walls and bits of blackened stone poking out of the grass and weeds.
“This is it?” Sara asked.
“It did burn down,” Kensie said, a little defensively. “And that was, like, seventy years ago.”
“And all the patients burned up with it?”
“Just the kids, that’s the worst part. Well, it’s not worse than more people didn’t die, but it’s pretty messed up that only the kids did. The place was originally built before World War One as some rich guy’s mansion but in the 1920s it was sold and became a mental asylum. Then, in the ‘40s they turned it into a hospital for the treatment of leprosy. I mean, back then I don’t think they really treated it. I think they just kept them separate from everyone else.”
Kensie rebuilt the hospital in her mind over the old foundations. Picturing a kind of English manor, like from Bridgerton. Imposing brick walls littered with climbing ivy. Flat eaves and narrow windows, possibly with bars across them once the place became a mental asylum and then leper hospice.
“It’d be a beautiful place to-, well, it’s a beautiful place,” Sara said.
Woodlands bordered the old hospital grounds on three sides but it sat high enough above them that Kensie and Sara could see for miles and miles across the treetops. The track they’d just hiked wound through the trees along the remains of an unpaved service road. On the fourth side were rolling glens, grassy fields threaded with more trees, and in the distance glimpses of farms and the edges of the nearest town.
“It is pretty, and during the day the patients could walk around the grounds. But at night, there was a male dorm, a female dorm, and one for the child patients. The doors would all be locked so they couldn’t ‘roam around’ after dark. Then, one night in 1952 there was a fire, no one knows what caused it but the whole place went up. The doctors and nurses abandoned the patients. The adult men and women managed to break the locks or the windows and get out but the children weren’t strong enough, and none of the adults could get to them. So the whole building burned down and about a dozen kids burned with it. It was, like, a big scandal at the time.”
Kensie had read the story online while looking for attractions in the area where they’d be camping and hiking. Included were old newspaper stories with black and white photos of how the building originally looked, and the blackened ruins after the fire.
Taking off their heavy backpacks, Kensie and Sara poked around the ruins. The tallest remaining walls could be stepped over easily. The hospital had been a big building and the impressions left by the rooms and hallways looked like some kind of buried maze. Kensie couldn’t help feeling disappointed there was so little to find but she took a few pictures all the same. When she looked up from her phone, she noticed a dusky haze gathering on the horizon.
“We should camp here tonight,” Kensie said.
“The gate we passed specifically said no camping.”
“It’s public land, and I don’t think the police are going to find us all the way out here. And we’re not going to make it to that other campsite before dark.”
“Yeah? And who’s fault is that?” Sara smiled.
“We won’t camp right on top of this place. We’ll go down the hiking trail a little way and find a spot there.”
Decision reached, they continued to poke around the ruins but only found a few bits of blackened brick and ashen wood. Kensie was almost ready to admit the detour felt like a bust when something drew her to a mound in a corner created by two of the more intact walls. Some of the seventy-year-old debris appeared to have piled there and become overgrown by grass and weeds. She poked at it with her shoe and then raked her fingers through the crumbling dirt. With a gasp, she drew back as her fingertips brushed something.
For a couple of seconds, Kensie thought she’d touched a tiny skull. Her gasp was loud enough to draw Sara. A perfectly smooth, white pate protruded from the dirt, the size of a baby’s head. Beneath the curve, however, she saw a tiny face inscribed in porcelain. Its features had faded to almost completely colourless.
“What is it?” Sara asked.
“I found a doll!”
Kensie dug and dislodged the abandoned toy. Naked, its face, body, and limbs had once been snow white porcelain but it had been stained grey by its long stay in the ground. One of the doll’s legs was missing and loose soil tumbled from the gap left behind but other than that it seemed to be in shockingly good condition.
“Do you think this could have belonged to one of the kids? The ones that burned up in the fire?” Kensie said.
Kensie held the doll out to Sara but it was clear Sara didn’t want to touch it. Stepping over the wall, Kensie brushed more dirt off the toy. A souvenir like that would make the detour worthwhile after all.
“What are you doing? You’re not going to take that, are you?”
“I don’t know, it’s dirty and-, it’s awful! If it really is some kid’s toy from before the fire, it’s tragic.”
“I think it’s cool! And it’ll give us a story to tell.”
Kensie poured some water over the doll’s head and cleaned it as best she could. Ribbons of smoke seemed to paint their way through the doll’s porcelain skin. Sara frowned but didn’t protest as Kensie popped the doll into her pack.
As the afternoon lengthened, Kensie and Sara continued along the empty trail. As two young women camping alone, they were always careful about where they pitched their tent. Plus, if they weren’t actually supposed to be camping in the area then they didn’t want their lights to be visible from too far away. Shadows deepened under the trees. They heard a trickling stream down the bottom of a nearby slope and the air felt cool. After walking a short distance, they found a clearing off the path big enough to set up their camp for the night.
With practised ease, Kensie and Sara had their popup tent up in less than two minutes. Sleeping bags unrolled into the tent. Sitting on the loose leaf litter in front of the popup, Sara wrote about the day’s events in her journal and Kensie set up their battery-powered lantern and little electric grille.
“Can you pass me some more spray? I’ve got bug bites or something.” Sara scratched at some red marks in the crook of her elbow.
Kensie dug the bug spray out of her bag and rolled it to Sara before looking down at her own hands and forearms. Angry red bumps had risen on the undersides of her wrists and around her elbows. Some of them were quite large, the size of coins, and inflamed.
Sara sprayed herself, and inspected the bumps again. “Actually they don’t really itch, they feel kind of numb.”
“Yeah, same,” Kensie said. “I hadn’t really noticed them until now, but maybe we should put some cream on them?”
Once the sun set, their lantern was the only source of artificial light to be seen. A small pool of colourless halogen light in the middle of the dark woods. Overhead, the sky deepened and the moon and stars began to beam. Branches whispered to one another but the night was mild. Kensie heated up some ravioli on the grille and they huddled in their thick jackets since a campfire would be too dangerous.
After eating the ravioli and some crackers, Kensie and Sara divided a block of chocolate. Two small flashlights sat beside the lantern. Sara took one and retrieved a roll of toilet paper from her pack.
“I’m going to visit the little girl’s room,” Sara said.
Moving away from the camp, Sara was at the edge of the lantern’s light before she switched on her flashlight. Instantly, she let out a sharp shriek. Kensie shot to her feet.
“There-, there was something out there!”
“I don’t think so.”
Kensie grabbed her own flashlight, switching it on and sweeping through the trees. Leaves and tree trunks, nothing else. Even with both beams swinging back and forth they didn’t see anything move.
“What was it?”
“I don’t know, it looked like a person maybe? But, not really. It looked like a little kid, but the shadow of a little kid. I only saw it for a second, I probably just imagined it.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m just jumping at shadows.” Sara laughed weakly. “Can you come with me though?”
The two of them ventured a little further away from the camp. Sara was jumpy in spite of her denials. Their lights continued to probe at shadows without revealing anything.
Kensie stood with her back to one tree as Sara did her business on the other side. Idly, she flicked her flashlight across the woods. Nothing moved out there, and there was no sound other than insects and gently moving branches. And then, something out of place. It was so sudden that the beam of the flashlight had moved on before Kensie really processed what she’d seen. What looked like a pair of wizened arms wrapped around another tree, hugging the trunk as if climbing it from the other side.
Kensie flashed back to the tree but the arms were gone, if they’d ever been there in the first place. She must have imagined them, a couple of knots in the tree trunk, a trick of the light, that looked like small arms for a moment. Although there didn’t seem to be any knots or folds in the bark where she’d seen them. The arms had been child-sized with skin that was black and cracked. Some kind of haze surrounded them. But there was nothing there now, only in her memory of that brief second.
“Are you okay?” Sara straightened and buttoned her pants.
Something rustled in the treetops. Kensie looked up and painted them with her flashlight. Nothing stirred except a few shifting branches. An owl, or a bat maybe.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Kensie laughed. “I’m jumping at shadows as well.”
“I’m going to go to sleep, I think,” Sara said, as they returned to the camp.
“Yeah, I’m just feeling a bit off. My nose feels stuffy, I think I just need some sleep.”
Sara removed her jacket and slipped into the tent, zipping it behind her. Kensie lingered, not really wanting to stay up by herself but not willing to give in to sleep just yet. The woods were quiet and calm and dark. It was easy to imagine civilization was all gone. That all that remained was them in their little pool of light and the glow of the occasional satellite flitting by overhead.
When Kensie finally saw the eyes, she wasn’t sure how long they’d been staring. Two orange orbs hovered in midair, in darkness, in the direction of the hiking trail. Kensie’s heart froze in her chest. She didn’t breathe or make a sound. Eyes, they were eyes, she thought, but they glowed like little pits of flame. Human eyes lacked the lenses or whatever that some animals had that made them reflect light, Kensie knew. Whatever was out there had to be an animal, and a big one judging by how high it was off the ground. There were no bears or wolves in these woods. Maybe a big dog? A wild pig? But even then, those eyes weren’t just reflecting light. They blazed, aflame. They actually glowed with their own heat and energy.
Kensie snatched her flashlight and switched it on. As she pointed the beam, the eyes disappeared. There was nothing on the trail. No animal, no eyes, just what could have been a slight haze. She couldn’t be sure but it looked a little like smoke, black and curling, and then it was gone.
“What the hell is going on?” Kensie whispered to herself.
The only logical explanation Kensie could come with was that she’d seen a pair of fireflies, and frightened them away with the flashlight. Or that was imagining things. She couldn’t make herself believe either explanation. Looking around, she didn’t see any more eyes in the woods but yet she felt watched all the same.
The tent wasn’t much of a fortress but it was all they had. Kensie crawled inside, zipping it behind her. Sara snored softly. Covering the flashlight with one hand, Kensie stripped out of her jacket and slid into her sleeping bag. Quarters were tight inside the little popup, and warm. The ground was hard underneath her and Kensie could feel every divot and stone through the floor of the tent. After a solid day’s walking, she usually had no trouble getting to sleep. Tonight, she stayed awake, her eyes roaming the darkness, her ears pricked for the slightest sound from outside.
Kensie wasn’t sure how long she lay there before she heard movement. Twigs broke, and she could hear footsteps in the leaves. With Sara sleeping peacefully beside her, undisturbed, Kensie felt herself regressing back to childhood. She wanted to hide her head in her sleeping bag and pretend if she couldn’t see anything then it couldn’t see her. She’d believed previously that if they were ever attacked while camping, she would spring into action. She had a small, multipurpose knife in her pack that she could go for. But in those imagined scenarios, the intruder had always been human. A faceless male figure. Right now, she wasn’t sure what was out there.
Kensie smelled smoke. And inside the previously lightless tent, she could start to make out shapes and contours. An uneven orange light filtered through the thin walls of their shelter. Before she could really process the information, Kensie saw several pairs of glowing eyes getting closer and closer, close enough to discern through the nylon weave.
“Sara? Sara?” Kensie’s voice was too soft to be heard.
From outside, a hand pressed against the tent. Kensie could see well enough to make out its shape, a human hand barely half the size of her own. With a smell of melting plastic, the tent began to smoulder, then burn. Flames spread quickly from the hand-shaped hole and illuminated the tent’s interior.
“Sara! Sara, wake up! There’s a fire!” Kensie yelled, able to articulate the very real threat easier than the previous, unknown one.
Sara rolled over and mumbled before her eyes shot open. Smoke rapidly filled the tent. Kensie rolled away from the heat and growing flames, pushing Sara.
“Fire! Get up, get out of the tent!”
The two of them scrambled for the front of the tent. Kensie found the zipper and yanked it open. Thinking of the knife in her pack, she grabbed the backpack and her flashlight. Sara followed her into the cool night air.
Behind them, flames ripped through the tent like a hungry animal. Molten plastic splattered the sleeping bags they’d left behind. Straightening, Kensie hunted for threats. Strange shadows flew like wraiths through the woods and around the edges of the clearing. Glowing eyes darted, attached to bodies that appeared to be mostly smoke. They stayed too far back for Kensie to make them out clearly.
“Kensie, what happened?” Sara, shocked awake, looked dizzy and confused.
“Look, they’re out there!”
“What? What are those?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know! Just, grab your boots! Grab what you can and let’s go!”
The burning tent lit the clearing. Kensie and Sara shoved their feet into their hiking boots. Kensie rummaged in her backpack and yanked out her knife. She pulled one of the bag’s straps over her shoulder. Sara couldn’t retrieve her bag from the fire and they left bits and pieces scattered across the campsite.
By the light of the flames, their attackers took shape. Shadowy silhouettes no bigger than children. Brilliantly orange eyes stared from featureless faces. Smoke streamed off their bodies as they moved. What patches of skin could be seen were purely black and cracked as if burnt. They massed along the hiking trail, cutting the women off.
Kensie pushed and guided Sara away from the wraiths, deeper into the woods. As the firelight fell away she switched on her flashlight.
“What are those things?” Sara repeated.
“Ghosts, I don’t know! I think they’re ghosts,” Kensie said.
“From the mental asylum, the leper hospital! They’ve got to be the children who burned up!”
“Are you kidding?”
“Well, what are they? You tell me!”
Ghosts, or whatever they were, pursued them through the trees. They moved in ribbons of smoke, their eyes glowing. Some clung to the trees like monkeys. They were children, or the size of children. Suddenly, Kensie felt hands, small and hot with gnarled fingers, clawing at the back of her neck. Crying out, she swiped backward with the knife and the hands fell away.
“Where are we going?” Sara said.
“I don’t know!”
They reached the top of a slope and started staggering down it, struggling with their footing. With the pack hanging off one shoulder, Kensie slipped backward and fell. She managed to keep a hold with his flashlight and sheathed knife, and scrambled immediately back to her feet. Ahead and below, they heard running water. The stream, fire and water didn’t mix. Kensie steered them both toward it.
“We shouldn’t have camped here, I’m sorry!” Kensie said.
Kensie’s flashlight glittered off a sheet of water as they reached even ground. The stream was shallow and could have been forded with a running leap. Clean, clear water travelled swiftly over a bed of smoothed stones. Kensie stopped beside it and whipped around, unsure of which direction to go.
“What do we do?” Sara said, shrill with panic.
“I don’t know! We need to find people, I guess? Let’s go this way!”
Kensie started down one side of the stream at random. Her flashlight painted the shore ahead. More eyes and smoky forms moved through the trees, rustling leaves. Kensie could smell them, and taste ash in her mouth. She’d never heard of ghosts you could smell before. Suddenly, one of the creatures apparated in front of them. Their bodies got more and more solid the longer they gave chase. This one looked like the silhouette of a seven or eight-year-old boy. Kensie could see the outline of clothing hanging off skinny limbs. Eyes flamed in the middle of an otherwise featureless face and Kensie could see fissures, orange fault lines that looked like molten lava, riddling the ghost’s body.
Without thinking, Kensie lunged forward and booted the ghost in the chest. Her foot went through the wraith but it wasn’t totally weightless, like air or smoke. It was more like kicking through jelly, or a hedge. Kensie stumbled and nearly fell. The ghost was launched backward. It fell in the shallow stream and immediately let out a shrill scream. Smoke and steam poured off its thrashing body. They weren’t exactly ghosts, Kensie thought. She wasn’t sure what they were, but they could be hurt.
“Come on!” Kensie said.
Both of Kensie’s hands were occupied but she hooked an arm around Sara’s wrist. The two of them continued along the stream with the ghosts following. The one they’d left in the stream exploded into smoke then rejoined the chase, ribboning into the woods. One of the creatures leapt from the trees and landed on Kensie’s backpack. Clinging to the pack like an animal, it clawed at her hair. Kensie stumbled and saw no choice but to let herself fall backward. The ghost child was crushed between Kensie, her pack, and the ground. Screeching, it erupted into smoke and flew in all directions before reforming in a nearby tree.
“Kensie!” Sara yelled.
Wraiths massed ahead. At least a dozen, all the size of children. Most looked to be about the size of seven or eight-year-olds but some were smaller, and at least one was taller and skinny like a twelve-year-old. Blackness and smoke, with firepit eyes and orange fissures laced through their bodies.
Kensie ripped the knife out of its sheath as she got back to her feet. “Get in the stream! They don’t like the water!”
Kensie and Sara stumbled into the stream. Water lapped across their boots and climbed their legs, cold enough to shock. Kensie swung her knife and flashlight back and forth. She could see how the beam went right through the ghost children, illuminating trees and plants behind them. They massed along the shoreline but didn’t enter the water.
“It’s working! It’s working!” Kensie said.
One of the ghosts shot forward, blurring into smoke. It struck Kensie and sent her whirling. Another rose and fired toward Sara, knocking her into the stream. They hit with that strange mixture of substance and lack. They didn’t like the water but they could fling themselves over it.
“No, get away! Get away!” Kensie shouted.
When another ghost flew at her, Kensie slashed with the knife. It passed through, creating a line of flaming orange, but felt like trying to stab mist. The ghost hit her in the side, the sensation burning. Her hand released the flashlight and it spiralled into the stream. The LED didn’t die immediately but flickered as it sank to the streambed, and then went out. The woods plunged into darkness, lit only by the stars and moon, and the eyes of the wraiths.
“Kensie!” Sara yelled.
“Sara, where are you?”
Sloshing around in the stream, Kensie and Sara couldn’t see one another. Smoke forms filled the black air. They couldn’t see their own hands in front of their faces. Soon, they couldn’t breathe. Kensie gasped and started to hack, eyes bleeding tears. Her mouth filled with ash.
Covering her face, Kensie barrelled forward. Slipping and stumbling, she emerged into air clean enough that she could see the woods and the stars. She got glimpses of Sara being dragged away by a horde of ghosts. Their smoky bodies and glowing eyes surrounded her as she was pulled into the trees.
Kensie gave chase. The ghosts left her alone for the moment, surrounding Sara instead. No matter how fast she moved, she couldn’t catch them. Sara’s cries faded as she was dragged up the slope, deeper and deeper into the woods.
“Oh, my God! God!”
Still carrying her backpack and knife, Kensie slogged down the side of the stream. Her eyes adjusted as best they could but the woods were terribly dark. Sara was gone. Kensie was lost, she didn’t know where she was or which way to go.
If not Sara, she needed to find people. The wraiths gathered but kept their distance. Orange eyes flitted through the trees. Then, in the distance, Kensie spotted light. She wasn’t sure of the source but it looked big, maybe a sign of civilisation.
Moving quickly and without thinking, Kensie began to hike toward the light. She probed ahead with her knife, careful not to run into any branches that might poke her in the eyes or otherwise impale her. The shades stayed at a distance. Kensie failed to come across any sign of Sara even as she continued to cry out her name.
The light grew bigger, flickering between the trees. As she hiked, Kensie felt a numbness in her feet and fingers. Swapping the knife from grip to grip, she rubbed her hands against her arms as if to warm them. It was probably the stress, the adrenaline, now that it had spiked and wound down.
The orange light grew taller and brighter. As she got closer, Kensie heard crackling flames and smelled burning. It was a giant bonfire. Leaving the treeline, Kensie realised she’d emerged into the same clearing they’d visited that afternoon, the hilltop with the ruins of the hospital. Except the hospital was no longer just scattered foundations. The whole dark and imposing building had returned only to once more be engulfed by flames. Blazes poured from every window and consumed its upper floor. Smoke billowed from the inferno and blotted out the night sky. Nothing else stirred or made any kind of noise other than the fire.
“What is happening?” Kensie moaned.
Without any real motivation, Kensie staggered closer to the burning building. The structure looked like it was on the verge of collapse but the flames didn’t really progress, just burning and burning like the building was stuck in a feedback loop. Kensie felt a gentle heat and smelled smoke but both were minimal for a fire of that size.
Thirteen shadowy figures emerged from the treeline and started toward Kensie. They looked about as solid as they ever had, a variety of sizes and apparent ages. Their burning eyes all fixed on Kensie. Turning and spotting them, Kensie shrugged off her heavy pack to free her arms.
“Where’s Sara? What did you do to her?” Kensie yelled. “Where is she?”
The ghosts closed in without speaking. Smoke wafting off their shoulders, they created a half-circle around Kensie as she became more panicked and terrified.
“What do you want? What do you want?”
The tallest of the wraiths stalked forward until they were almost touching Kensie. She slashed with the knife. It passed through the ghost’s chest bloodlessly, only leaving a burning orange gash that sealed itself shut almost instantly. Kensie went to cut them again but her hand felt suddenly numb and nerveless. The knife tumbled from her fingers and landed blade-first in the dirt. Kensie fell down as well, landing beside her pack.
“What do you want?”
The ghost children loomed over her. Suddenly, it hit Kensie like a bolt. Being back there reminded her about the baby doll she’d stashed in her pack. It was so obvious, but she’d been too wild with fear to think of it.
“The doll? You want the doll back?”
Kensie ripped her bag open and rummaged. She yanked the doll out, ribboned with black marks and missing one of its legs. Desperate, she held it toward the surrounding shades.
“Do you want this? I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
The taller ghost ignored her but one of the others came forward. Judging by its shadowy silhouette, it was a little girl with a dress and twin pigtails. The little girl ghost accepted the doll and hugged it to her chest. Kensie let out a choked laugh.
With the doll in her arms, the ghost circled Kensie and walked toward the burning building. She continued straight through the wall without hesitation and disappeared into the blaze. The others followed suit, filing around Kensie and walking toward the building.
“Is that it? Wait, what about Sara?” Kensie asked. “Where is she? What about Sara?”
The tallest ghost stopped but only stared, orange eyes burning into Kensie. It and the other ghosts all drifted into the building. After a few moments, Kensie realised the light was fading. Slowly, gradually, the building turned transparent and disappeared. The noise and smoke vanished with it. Kensie was left in silence, with nothing but the ruined foundations of the long-gone hospital and the darkness.
“Cases in the United States are exceedingly rare,” the doctor said. “And as advanced as this-, certainly I’ve never seen a case of it before, advanced or not. That’s why we have a specialist flying in to see you, he should be here this afternoon.”
Sitting on the edge of her bed in a flimsy hospital gown, Kensie stared at her hands. Angry red spots ran up and down her forearms, inflamed, eating away at the flesh. They looked like they should have been itchy but they were curiously numb. Her hands and feet felt numb as well, like they’d fallen asleep.
“It can be treated though, with a course of the right medications. I know people hear the name and they think it must be a death sentence. That sufferers need to be locked away from the rest of the world and just-, but that’s not the case with modern treatments. It’s not even as communicable as many people believe. Coming into contact with an afflicted individual is far from an automatic infection.”
However infectious it was, the hospital appeared to be taking no chances. Plastic sheeting enclosed the space around Kensie’s bed. Everybody she saw, every doctor and nurse, wore a full set of protective equipment. Gloves, gowns, masks, face shields, like they were going into surgery.
“With leprosy, however, the longer term effects can obviously be irreversible. With a strain as aggressive as this, it’s imperative we find your friend as quickly as possible. You really have no idea where she might be? Where she might go?”
Kensie had escaped from those woods but Sara hadn’t. When dawn broke that morning, Kensie found that angry red rash covering her arms and most of the rest of her body. Everyone she’d come into contact with since had been detained for observation, and when she’d told them that Sara was still out there they’d become desperate to find her. They asked again and again and again where to find her but Kensie hadn’t been able to tell them. She couldn’t tell them anything. Shaking her head, she buried her face in her numb, reddened hands.
Sean: I actually wrote this recently to send into a horror anthology, but I’m afraid it didn’t get accepted! Oh well, their loss, right? Right? And your gain I hope, assuming you enjoyed it. I’ve actually been looking for more and more markets that might be taking submissions. Largely I’ve been trying to get stuff I’ve already written out there but not a lot of sites or magazines or anthologies will take stories that have already been published elsewhere. I can’t necessarily blame them for that, but I will say some of the prices certain markets that only take original fiction will pay are insultingly, insultingly low. Like, honestly just don’t pay anything and say we should do it for the exposure low. A few do serve as a source of inspiration though. I took the inspiration for this story’s ghosts from the Smoke Mephit but the anthology I submitted it to was looking for camping stories, and that inspired the rest.
One place I did appear recently was the third issue of a horror fiction and review ‘zine called Hexie, very cool stuff! Some lovely artwork to accompany a story I released on this website last year, ‘Horny MILFs in Your Area’. It’s free to download so check it out if that’s your kind of thing! (The story and artwork is very much NSFW but it’s not as sexy as it sounds, I promise).
Trying to build back some momentum so check back in another couple of weeks, should have something for you then! For updates, check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even Reddit, I don’t know, maybe.