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Today is Thursday, March 24th, 2022, and this is our 19th short-story showcase for CHROMOPHOBIA. This month has flown by for us, and we sure hope you’ve enjoyed what we’ve offered as part of our sneak peek for the upcoming horror anthology. We only have SIX stories left to announce!
You can (and should!) pre-order the special hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.
Our second creature-feature is one of my favorite types of horror fiction: monster as protagonist. And, wow, does K.P. Kulski really deliver a magnificent story. All the makings of a fairy tale, and a wonderful nod to the HEA of the Romance genre, albeit a very (intentional) subversion of that particular trope.
“From These Cold Murky Depths”
by K.P. Kulski
When she dragged him from the ocean, it was under a blanket of darkness. Threatening storms blotted out the moon and stars, while coughing slow rumbles beyond the mountaintops. His home, just over the beach, jutted from the ridge, sketching a house-shaped void upon the sky.
She had already spent many days on this beach and despite the absence of light, knew how the sand glinted obsidian under the sun, belying its volcanic origin. From here she had spent long hours studying the once proud structure, imagining the lives of its occupants.
The man she caught in mid fall to sea bottom, lay still and perfect in her arms, beauty incarnate. She had glimpsed him on the ridge long before he threw himself off the edge, plunging into the liquid blackness. She had been a sinuous thing, cutting through the darkness, tail and fins parting the water, pushing back at the heaviness of the sea. He, an animal of the land and air, seeking to fly to his end. Why he would wish to end his life, she did not know and did not care. But she did know that she must have him. Possess him. Make him part of her.
Coveting, she coiled herself around his form, need coursing through her veins. She wished to consume him, to gnash at his soul with her pointed teeth, flicking blood with her tongue, sucking at the essence of his humanity.
Some might call it love.
For Areum, this was hunger.
She cut a path with her serpentine body, cradling him against her scales until she reached the shore. Still as a golden statue he lay, but soon his chest rose in slow steady breaths. Areum circled him, forming a nest against the chill air. Translucent appendages unfurled from her mouth, over pointed teeth, imbedding in the man’s ears until finally she found her way into his mind. Pulling at his soul, she began to sing.
K.P. Kulski’s “From These Cold Murky Depths” may just be a perfect short story. No surprise to those who have read and enjoyed her previous work. There’s a reason FAIREST FLESH was so well received, and Kulski is firing on all cylinders with her CHROMOPHOBIA contribution.
You can learn more about K.P. Kulski and her writing HERE.
Want to read the previous CHROMOPHOBIA showcases? Click a title:
Pre-order the special hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.
Check out part three of editor Sara Tantlinger’s CHROMOPHOBIA roundtable HERE.