Sign up for the latest news and updates from The Dark Newsletter!

Fiction

Feral

Kush led me into the bathroom on our wedding night. The white tiles and mirrors made me nervous. Then I saw he’d already laid out a steel tray on the marble counter containing syringes, needles, ampoules and packs of dressings. The scalpel looked small and innocuous. My lip curled, revealing my teeth. After Kush’s funeral […]

Read

Call Them Children

On this island we like to die slowly. Generationally. At the other side of the counter, Mamá stirs sancocho with the candlelight drawing tenderness onto her features. “I am lucky to have you,” she says, “Mi tesoro.” It is, really, all she ever says anymore. It worries her, the soundlessness when we go out. There […]

Listen Read

An Elegy for Childhood Monsters

Until I was twelve years old, my sister Cecilia read me bedtime stories about monsters. I sat up on the stained mattress next to her, my eyes wide and waiting. We were alone in the house, our father long gone and our mother at her midnight job or her midnight bar. “And what then?” I […]

Read

Great-Aunt Elsie’s Book of Bevies

Special Gin Fizz—gin, honey (replacement for simple syrup), soda water, lime juice and crushed juniper berries (Egg white if you can, but it’s just as good without) A change of seasons cocktail. I first tried this in the Cotswolds, in autumn. That year, spring barely whisked across the hills and summer was as soft and […]

Read

Painted Wolves

I’ve seen things few other people in the world have ever seen. And it’s a pretty big world, you know. The expression ‘small world’ is a bullshit expression used to explain coincidence, if you believe in that sort of thing. I know you don’t, Jenny. “Everything happens for a reason,” you said once. As if […]

Read

Bobbie and Her Father

As she’s done every morning for the past ten years, Bobbie sits on the living room couch, watches Forensic Files, and eats protein powder. Her father’s face puckers sour when he watches her eat the white mix straight from the plastic tub with a spoon, but Bobbie eats it industriously, happily. She just wants her […]

Listen Read

When Charlie Sleeps

Propped against the bathroom door, clutching an old guitar, Hanna sings Charlie another lullaby. Go to sleep, Charlie. He’s awake in there, still. The black beetles that come from under the bathroom door are his messengers. They walk ponderous circuits, antennae trembling, moving jerkily like windup toys. Sleep, Charlie, sleep. The guitar is held together […]

Listen Read

Agog

Agog sits naked upon a hump, a fort as was, battlements now ghosts, where once a beacon burned in celebration or warning of some foreign foe, his bare arse nestled in a soft cushion of brambles and blackthorn, evicted sparrows having scattered, his thighs as hairy and filthy as his history. Agog is the last […]

Read

Saudade

As his taxi raced toward the dock Lee could see the water between buildings and at the end of streets, filling the space around and beyond distant spits of unfocused land. The ocean smelled like a liquefied cellar. His last time near the ocean was that summer at Myrtle Beach when he was nine. He’d […]

Read

Needles

Mam sets aside the petticoat she’s hemming, makes a note in the piecework book, and unpicks the sleepy stitches in Maeve’s sampler. “Try again.” She passes the scrap of hessian back to her daughter, sighs. “Needlework teaches the virtues of patience, silence, and control.” Virtues. Maeve stabs new thread through the eye of her needle. […]

Listen Read