July issue of THE HORROR ZINE features “The Gloaming Hour”

Jeani Rector’s THE HORROR ZINE celebrates eight years of unsettling, chilling, and downright terrifying with the July 2017 issue, which features fiction from the magazine’s entire staff, including Jeani herself.


THE HORROR ZINE celebrates a double-Olympiad of weird and terrifying with the July 2017 issue.

My story, “The Gloaming Hour“, is set in another person’s childhood with another person’s great-great-aunt, but the similarities to my own are uncanny:

All the grown-ups were still outside playing softball in the field between the house and the apple trees, but night was on its way.  The sun dipped below the horizon, brushing the upper atmosphere with its farewell rays, sending dim but sufficient light fluttering into the earthbound sky as Kevin walked back to the house, trying not to cry. And he knew he’d better not.  He made a serious bid at being a big person when he told his mom and dad he would clean up the scrape on his forearm himself after that ill-advised slide into second base.

The screen door slammed shut behind him, and it surprised him. The screen door at his house always closed with a nearly-silent whoosh, but everything here was a relic of another time. Aunt Ann’s house was furnished in pre-Depression era furniture, from before Uncle Lloyd lost his Buick dealership when the stock market crashed.  It was a strange mixture of high-end walnut and weekend-home wicker. Aunt Ann was sitting in the chair under the buck’s head, her cheek almost touching the glass grape beads of the pull chain on the lamp next to the chair.  Kevin could barely see in the half-light, and he wondered for a minute if he should turn on the lamp.  She might be sleeping. Or…

“Should I get the iodine?” asked Aunt Ann, pointing at the blood on Kevin’s arm.  The knuckles on her hand looked like marbles under her skin.

“What’s iodine?”

“Good heavens!” she said, dropping her stockinged feet off the hassock. “Help me up and we’ll take care of that scratch. I remember what it was like to be ten, even if it was 82 years ago. You’ll need some iodine, and you’ll need my help.”

The bathroom looked like something out of that Honeymooners show Kevin’s grandpa liked to watch. He knew that show was old, shot in the black and white days. There was a rust stain the color of a skid mark running from the stunted little faucet into the drain—a drain that had a cracked rubber stopper to plug it. There was also hot and cold handles, which seemed like an awful lot of extra work to get the temperature just where you wanted it…

Click here to read the rest of the story for free, and while you’re visiting THE HORROR ZINE, be sure to read stories from the other staffers, including Kindle Coordinator Bruce Memblatt’s, Assistant Editor Dean H. Wild’s, and of course, Editor Jeani Rector’s.

This month’s anniversary issue of THE HORROR ZINE also features fiction by Liz McAdams, Jonathan Chapman, and Aspen deLainey; poetry from Teresa Frazee, John Frazee, Charles Gramlich, and Denny E. Marshall; and art from Claudia Gironi and Unearthly Demagogue, as well as oddments of the strange and creepy variety you have to read (and see) for yourself.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

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