cover image Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror

Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror

Edited by Nadxieli Nieto and Lincoln Michel. Black Balloon, $16.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-948226-62-2

In this masterful anthology, Nieto and Michel bring together 42 chilling works of flash fiction that capture terrors both supernatural and mundane. In Samantha Hunt’s “Rearview,” a single mother attempts to distance herself from her former drug abuse, even as her past self comes back to haunt her. Hilary Leichter’s “Doggy-Dog World” offers an unsettling portrait of a witch working a spell on an unassuming yuppie couple. “Lone” by Jac Jemc is a realistic and hair-raising exploration of a woman’s anxieties while camping alone. The choose-your-own-adventure-style “Marriage Variations” by Monique Laban spins scares from marital discontents. Helen McClory’s “Gabriel Metsu, Man Writing a Letter c. 1664–66” follows an eerie encounter between an art gallery docent and the “presence” within a 17th-century painting. “Downpour” by Joseph Salvatore is a truly terrifying tale about a rat on the New York City Subway, made all the more disturbing for its very real possibility. In fewer than 1,500 words, each of these vivid, visceral tales engages with horrors with striking immediacy. This carefully crafted and genuinely scary collection is sure to impress. (Oct.)