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Your daily politics update, brought to you by Slate. Hear more Slate articles at Slate.com/Voice. Want to hear a daily selection of the magazine’s best stories? Learn more at slate.com/voice A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com
 
Edited by bestselling, award-winning anthologist John Joseph Adams, NIGHTMARE is a digital magazine of horror and dark fantasy. In its pages, you will find all kinds of horror and dark fantasy, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Every month NIGHTMARE will bring you a mix of original fiction and reprints, and featuring a variety of authors: from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven't heard of yet. When ...
 
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He looks at me, and I am his. A steady rhythm of flickering light cast from above, pursuing me like a shadow. I scurry through tunnels, crawl through gutters and across fields, and always he is there. Relentless, wearing me down, toying with me. I escape it, breathless and relieved. But when I look down into the puddle of water at my feet, he is me…
 
I would call her beauty “otherworldly,” but that doesn’t really describe her cheekbones like scalpels, the ice that rimes the bird’s nest knots of her hair, or her ghost-cold touch when she visits me. “Beauty beyond description” or “the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” just means the viewer, personally, finds her pleasing. What does a descripti…
 
You wake with a start, your dream cutting off like a break in the film. If you could just remember it, you’d be getting somewhere, but it’s gone, the screen in front of you blinding white, the film spinning on its reel, the trailing end going flip flip flip as it turns. With a sigh, you shut off the machine, take that trailing bit of film, feed it …
 
They didn’t find anything but the teeth. I heard somewhere that’s what pigs do, eat everything but the teeth. Except there were no pigs here. Just bloody molars strewn across the forest floor like a shattered pearl necklace. The parents of Mill Creek had already buried seven almost-empty coffins that summer. It was about to be eight. Me and Taylor …
 
Spitzbergen, 1881. The whaling station stinks, metallic and rank, even though it’s slap-you-in-the-face cold. David Grace---born and raised in the Welsh valleys---had thought he’d known cold. A thin layer of ice on milk left out overnight, his sisters tracing patterns in the frost on the bedroom windows. But the last few weeks in the Arctic seas ha…
 
You’ve enjoyed a few of his stories and you follow each other on Twitter, so when you see that horror and weird fiction author Gordon B. White has started a Patreon, you think, “Sure, I’ll throw him a couple of bucks.” You pick the $7 tier---Postcards of Lesser Known Haunted Houses---thinking it might be a lark to get a picture and a microfiction e…
 
He asks for a table by himself, in a quiet part of The Periphery. It’s late, nearly ten, and the pub is just about empty. Ali has twenty minutes left on her shift. She doesn’t care where he sits. “Anywhere you want is fine, sir,” she says. He slips into a booth full of shadows. One of the lights on the wall is gone. He’s a tall man, this man who sl…
 
I only know what you’ve told me. Around 11 p.m. while I’m checking yogurt expiration dates for tomorrow’s continental breakfast, you are pulling over to a man crumpled on the side of the highway. It’s a dangerous place to be, trapped between concrete and a road that’s iced over several times since the New Year. At any moment, a car could whip out o…
 
The new house had a lot of mirrors in it. Not, like, a freakish number---just more mirrors than I’d ever had before. They were in the usual places: bathrooms, closet doors, a nice-full length in the foyer so you could check your coat and shoes. But they were on the back of every door: bathroom doors, bedroom doors, even the odd little door that top…
 
“It’s a cabbit.” He wiggles his fingers through the grille of the hard plastic kennel. He is John or Tim, or maybe Jim: some name that means random white guy at a Midwestern college. It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t quite remember. Through one of the air holes, I glimpse something that swirls, dark and shining, like a galaxy. It speaks of h…
 
You’re sitting on a couch in a home that’s not yours. On the floor in front of you are three young children---two boys and a girl---playing with toys. In the corner of the room is a sparsely-decorated Christmas tree. On the wall to the left of the tree hangs a flatscreen television displaying images of the kids’ dead father. He looks at you, smiles…
 
To mark the first day of vacation, Jeff Caldwell, extremely jet lagged after a day of travel and two nights of little sleep, took a surfing lesson and broke his big toe by jumping off the board straight onto shallow reef. Rather than spend hours in a waiting room, he returned to their rental house, found an emergency medical kit, taped his big toe …
 
My reasons were selfish, but I hoped the dinner guest would succeed. She had made an effort to be presentable, even though that only amounted to plaiting her hair into a few coarse braids and shaking some of the filth from her clothes before she stepped out of the lightless passageway and into our home. But small actions carry great weight in the M…
 
It is a frequent yet mild aggravation to return to one’s car in a public parking structure and find stuck beneath the windshield wiper or in the door handle a postcard peddling Chinese delivery or Jesus, which is then folded angrily and left in the pocket of the driver’s side door until you remember to clean it out---but it is a sight more unsettli…
 
“For how long must we keep doing this?” the first lich asked the second. His dreadlocks were dry and had faded near to white, a smell not of fragrant oils, but of something long past due permeating the air around him. His eyes were tired and sucked back into his skull. “As long as it takes,” the second answered. Bent forth on his crooked staff, he …
 
Like the time you put the shoes on you hadn’t worn for maybe two years but you just saw there in the corner of the closet and you wondered why you’d stopped wearing them since you kind of liked who you were that summer or at least you remember that summer favorably, and these shoes were definitely part of it, so, trying to maybe live a little bit o…
 
We are not where we are buried. We are where they kept us. We float now, and see the low building in the woods from above, the long plates of rusted metal, the desiccated grass bundling against the sides like a pyre, the orb spider poised over a corroded edge. But when we were alive, we only knew the inside of the basement, where we had all the usu…
 
I watch the closet door. I watch around them as they pray above me, their eyes closed and their hands clasped in ecstasy. Their voices drown out all other sounds---like, for instance, the creak of a slowly opening door. So I can’t close my eyes, though my head is aching. I have to watch the door. Their prayers rise and fall and bleed into one other…
 
Javi is short for Javier. Javier is short for Has the Perfect Scam. He hasn’t told anybody about it yet. Especially not the hotels. It’s not the kind of thing you get rich with---one fancy watch or a pair of earrings doesn’t exactly pay the rent---but it is the kind of thing that’s good enough for a smile at three in the morning. | Copyright 2021 b…
 
“The problem is,” she says as she spears a piece of crispy bacon skilfully enough that it doesn’t shatter, “you’ve got a revolving door for a heart.” He doesn’t like hearing things like this, mostly because she’s generally right. Ilsa’s clear-eyed about him. and that makes their friendship remarkably unfraught (apart from these moments). Unlike his…
 
They lived on the last street that had been constructed before investor money ran out, and behind their row of seven houses was a long unfenced field marked KEEP OUT, within it a little hill and little retaining pond, and a row of three streetlights along an unpaved road that stopped abruptly at the foot of the hill. Trees rimmed the field, and the…
 
Welcome to Introduction to the Horror Story. This is an upper level course with extensive reading and writing assignments as well as a practical component. It has no prerequisites other than existence and consciousness, which I believe all of you possess, though I may be wrong. | Copyright 2020 by Kurt Fawver. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.…
 
Every day after school, Emmy feeds the tiger with her sin. Deep in the park’s brush, past poison ivy and a rotting lawn chair and dented beer cans, the tiger dens under a dead tree. No matter what time Emmy arrives at the park, it’s always late afternoon in the tiger’s grove, tired light decaying to dusk. Under the tree gapes a great black mouth ri…
 
Amber needed a book. It was The Estates of Sarah Holliday, a delicate comedy of manners following a young woman’s trials and tribulations in 1870s New England, and it was the most obscure novel by one Charlotte Winsborough, a fussy and now almost completely forgotten nineteenth-century author Amber had chosen for her dissertation. Winsborough had e…
 
When he comes home that evening, he wants to talk. He tells her about his day, about an argument with his boss, about the new contract. He relates a funny story narrated by a colleague. He wants her to react. She has difficulty feigning the correct demeanour, or even recalling what it should be. What does sympathetic annoyance look like on her face…
 
For the first week, she thought he belonged to the power plant; after that she knew better. She had read the obituaries. She saw him first as a silhouette, one more line of the industrial geometries overhanging the boardwalk of Broad Canal. It had been a wet, dispiriting winter full of gusts and mists, but with January the water had finally hardene…
 
You would have hated your funeral reception. Potato-nosed husbands clomping around our parlor in their cheap suits, stinking of naphtha and condolences. Wives with sweat-streaked powder caked in the creases of their necks, like flour-sacks brought to life by a pair of magic dentures. That’s what I kept staring at: dentures, bridges loose over gray …
 
I chew the leaf and spit out my red days. They splatter. You chew the leaf and spit out your hours of mad redder. They splatter. They chew the leaf and spit out the reddest moments they have ever seen. They splatter. This is a scene of crime, chalk me, morn me, eve me. My red life drying on my chin. Your red history a bitter powder crust. Their thi…
 
Our bones are cold. It is the type of cold that comes only after death, and it will never leave us now. We mourn what must have come before: hands holding ours. Sunlight warming the tops of our heads. Cats on our laps and nightclubs where we danced out of our minds and Pop-Tarts straight from the toaster. Life, pulsing hot and fat beneath our finge…
 
On Saturday afternoon we piled into Ben’s old Civic, the five of us and two dogs, and as we drove out to the edge of the state forest to hunt mushrooms, we all kept a hand on each other, in case someone vanished. Ben was driving as usual, and instead of me up front sat Hunter, his new girlfriend. They’d been together almost a year, but as a far as …
 
The early days of 2019—which is to say, the early days of the 2020 campaign—have been dominated by the Democratic Party’s left wing. Early big-name entrants Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand were all quick to plant their flags squarely on progressive soil.
 
On Monday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in El Paso, Texas. He chose the location based on his claim, delivered in last week’s State of the Union address, that a border wall had rescued the city from rampant crime. By the time Trump arrived, fact-checkers had demolished this lie, pointing out that the wall had no effect. But Trump told …
 
The day that began with a media furor around Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent tweets did not end the way many on the left feared it would. While centrist Democrats and the party’s leadership predictably criticized the first-year congresswoman from Minnesota for her tweets about the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), most of …
 
President Donald Trump is not a fan of the border deal that congressional negotiators struck Monday night, the one that he would need to sign by the end of the week to avoid the year’s second government shutdown. While he said at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he would have to “study it,” he was “not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick.” Bu…
 
Three years ago, when Donald Trump emerged as the Republican presidential front-runner, critics decried his ruthlessness. Since then, they’ve grown numb to it. They think his State of the Union address on Tuesday night was long, trite, and boring. In reality, the speech was laced with authoritarianism. Here’s what Trump said and why it’s dangerous.…
 
On Tuesday night, in his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called for legislation to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” said Trump. On Thursday, at the National Prayer Breakfast, the president renewed his plea. “Every life is sacred,” he declared. “We…
 
We’re still 368 days away from the Iowa Caucus (Feb. 3, 2020), 532 days from the end of the Democratic National Convention (July 16, 2020), and a whopping 642 from Election Day (Nov. 3, 2020). It is understandable if you prefer to check out from the permanent campaign for at least a few more months.
 
In the days since a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook was published, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has resisted calls for resignation from all corners of his party. The Democratic caucuses of both branches of the Virginia state legislature have asked Northam to step down, as have Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, and multiple D…
 
Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, swears he’s telling the truth. On Friday, Northam confessed to appearing in a racist photo in a 1984 yearbook. On Saturday, after Democrats called on him to resign, he reversed himself and said it was a case of mistaken identity. “I will stand and live by my word,” Northam told reporters at an afternoon pres…
 
President Donald Trump says he has a mandate to build a border wall. “I was elected partially on this issue,” he declared at the White House on Thursday. Trump thinks that by claiming to have won the 2016 election based on his pledge to build a wall, he can bully Congress into accepting it. He’s bluffing. A close look at election results in 2016 an…
 
Conservative politicians and right-wing activists have targeted a Virginia state legislator this week and in the process reignited a nationwide debate about third-trimester abortions. Delegate Kathy Tran’s bill, which was tabled by a House of Delegates subcommittee this week, would have loosened some restrictions on second- and third-trimester abor…
 
It was most likely the airports that finally broke the dam. Friday afternoon, as news reports of disrupted flights poured in and the shutdown hit Day 36, Donald Trump finally announced that he would cave completely—if temporarily—on his demands for a border wall. The government will now reopen for three weeks, at the end of which time, he was caref…
 
How long must a government shutdown go on before Congress decides it can’t risk another one? We may soon find out if 35 days was long enough. The longest government shutdown in history just concluded with the instigator, President Trump, suffering the same fate as instigators past: humiliating himself for all to see, enraging elements of his base b…
 
President Donald Trump has yet to break ground on his great border wall, but already it’s proving to be a powerful deterrent. Republicans are running away from it. In TV interviews last weekend, Republican lawmakers bent over backward to avoid the word wall. “I happen to agree with the president on barriers,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. Sen. S…
 
Hillary Clinton said that she kept hot sauce in her bag when she was interviewed on black talk radio in April 2016. Jeb Bush released a Spanish-language Cinco de Mayo ad to celebrate the holiday in 2015 and sold a $75 branded “guaca bowle” on his campaign website during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. The person standing next to me immedi…
 
Last month, a 29-year-old woman who’s been in a persistent vegetative state since she was a toddler went into labor and gave birth. An employee of the Arizona health care facility where she’s resided for more than 26 years swears no one had any idea she was pregnant until she started exhibiting signs of physical distress during labor.…
 
I’d naively hoped that America would spend the anniversary of Roe v. Wade talking about what the future holds for the tired and embattled women of this country, some of whom have finally won a little political power. Instead (and as usual) the nation spent the day arguing over the inflammatory actions of a bunch of dudes. The inciting incident was …
 
These are devastating times for survivors of sexual assault. It is devastating to live through the constant barrage of new accusations, and it is devastating to have witnessed a credibly accused man like Brett Kavanaugh elevated to the Supreme Court. It is also devastating to have lived through the 2016 election, when credible accusations of sexual…
 
What does it look like for a legislative stalemate of four weeks, during which time zero progress has been made toward a conclusion, to actually begin getting worse? It looks much like the two central players in the stalemate trolling each other through the cancellation of the other’s plans.
 
Politics quickly eclipsed horror after Robert Bowers allegedly gunned down 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October. The shooting, the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history, almost immediately became intertwined with Donald Trump’s divisive presidency.
 
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