He sank into the cold lawn at the foot of the window and began tearing at the blackness, making no more dent on the outside than he did on the inside of his own. Instead of shredding the black lid he was shredding his own fingernails. With every scrape he tore off more nail from each finger, until it was down to skin and he was leaving smears of blood all over the dark canvas. Draynor felt nothing but a need to find someone. To help. To stop this from being his burden alone.
This is an excerpt from J.A. Tyler’s story Shine On which we published in the very first issue of Niteblade. That was quite a long time ago and I’ve read thousands of short stories since then, but this one still sticks in my brain. I find it… unsettling.
Unsettling is a theme we cover over and over at Niteblade, I’m proud to say. What We Give by BD Wilson, for example, has a scene with a hand… well, let’s just say it makes me a little bit ill every time I think about it.
BD’s story was from our March 2008 issue but make no mistake unsettling works pepper the pages of Niteblade all throughout our history, not just in the older issues. More recently, in the December 2012 issue we published a story entitled The House That Did Not Breathe by Gwendolyn Edward and Andrew Austin. I found many things about this story unsettling, from the atmosphere of the piece to the narrator’s prejudices.
Yes. Unsettling indeed, and well worth a read. (Hey, that rhymes!)
This post has been written as a part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is ‘Niteblade‘, which is the magazine I publish. I chose this theme to help draw attention to the magazine during this, it’s 2nd annual fundraiser.
My first post in this series was about choosing stories and poems to nominate for awards and I’ve gone through a similar process in deciding what to write about for these posts. Not only did I have to choose stories and poems I loved, but they also had to fit with the A-Z theme. Tricky!
|Blogging from A to Z 2013:
A: Award Nominations
B: Brenda Stokes Barron
C: Cato, Beth – The Pacifier
D: December 2011 (Giveaway open until April 30th)
E: Evil Bird
F: First Loves for the First Time
G: The Gnome’s Spectacles
H: Happy Halloween, It’s a Bloody Puppet Show
I: Incense Sticks
J: Jason L. Huskey, The Marionette
K: KV Taylor, The Silver Quarter
L: Lucien E.G. Spelman, Family Jaunt
M: Marge Simon
N: Dream Spinner
O: Oil Change
P: Poetry Editor, Alexandra Seidel
Q: Philosopher Quinn
R: Running Empty in a Land of Decay
T: For the Dead Travel Fast