Nightmare Magazine, Issue 121 (October 2022)

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NIGHTMARE is a digital horror and dark fantasy magazine. In NIGHTMARE’s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror.

Welcome to issue 121 of NIGHTMARE! One of the hardest things about writing horror is that everyone is frightened of very different things. For one person, the sight of a spider will send them running screaming, while someone else will launch into a long discussion of the environmental benefits of arachnids. Clowns terrify some, while others enjoy their fanciful makeup and oversized shoes. We all feel fear, but we each have our own triggers and responses to it. The job of a horror writer is to so deeply immerse the reader in the story that the reader fully understands the responses and fears of the characters. The stories and poetry in this issue are about those personal fears and responses. The disagreeable and frightening things inside this issue might not trouble you, but they have deep meaning for the narrators. We start with a new short story from A.C. Wise: “Sharp Things, Killing Things.” If you grew up in a small town, you will understand the narrators of this story, but even if you didn’t, you will understand their fear and despair. In “The Ghost Eaters,” Spencer Ellsworth crafts a tale from the perspective of a dog so good, they’ve kept working long after death. It would be adorable if it weren’t for the things that come after ghosts-even the good ones. In the Horror Lab, Carlie St. George has a flash story (“Tiny Little Wounds”) about exorcism and self-mutilation. Okwudili Nebeolisa is our poet this month, and he’s also tackling the subject of exorcism in his very unsettling poem “Ritual.” Our H Word column features an essay by Raja Abu Kasm about the way fictional lycanthropes have helped him live with bipolar disorder. Terence Taylor has reviewed some intriguing new novels, and of course, our spotlight interviewing team sat down with our short fiction writers for an insightful couple of mini interviews.

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