Fungal Halo

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Stories Page 13


True Face

487 words (2 minutes)

The mask’s smooth curves, its flat colors, its simple lines, all have so much appeal on their own. No effort made to imitate a living person, all simple iconography—with some decorative flourishes—in crisp, clean lines.

You press it to your face, and it’s seamless.


Shabby Doll

194 words (1 minute)

In a house full of dolls—each delicately handled, meticulously kept in pristine condition, all kept immaculate in their display cases when not in service—this one stands out with scuffs and gouge marks, creaking joints, fading paint, wrinkled dress, all the signs of ungentle use.


On Bridges

261 words (1 minute)

When it comes to summoning demons, most folks think of summoning circles drawn in blood or portals glowing brightly in mid-air. Sure, they’re flashy and the most obvious ways to summon a Big One, but that’s not how most demons arrive here.



308 words (2 minutes)

Slitted eyes lock with mine. One clawed hand at my throat. Another grips my hair. Two more raking my back, breaking the skin. A smile widens, full of needle-sharp teeth, relishing my helplessness in the moments before it opens to devour me.

“Remember me?” The creature hisses.



460 words (2 minutes)

Perhaps compliance came easier to other angels, but whenever my halo compelled me to turn from what I felt was right, or kind, or at least merciful, it grieved me. The love of the Light sometimes seemed so cruel and fickle. I did not see the wisdom in it that my peers did.



145 words (1 minute)

With a kiss I break the skin, and my tongue comes alive with the distinctly metallic taste of blood. The electric sensation of life itself dances in my mouth, carried by the flow. She whines and flinches, but my grip holds her firmly in place.


To Draw From The Well

199 words (1 minute)

When is a mirror not a mirror? Perhaps when it has been carved into and reshaped and repurposed into a well from which unreality may be drawn.

Is a doll still a doll when its emptiness is all that is put to use, filling it like a bucket from the well and drawing it back?



528 words (3 minutes)

In the end, who knows why you chose to do it? Once you choose to become a drone, trifling things like “reasons” cease to carry significance, and all that is left is the act itself. Discard whatever plans you had before you chose this; your future is no longer yours to chart.


More Than Meat

311 words (2 minutes)

The more she kisses me, the more I get lost in her kisses, unable to think or notice anything else. I cry in pain when her clawed fingers pierce my flesh, but even then it only inspires me to kiss back with greater fervor.


On Emptiness

182 words (1 minute)

A witch, experimenting with the dolls she keeps as servants, tweaking how much of them to take away. The emptier they are, the more obedient, the less they get up to mischief, but also, sadly, the less initiative they take and the more supervision they require.


Under Dreams

137 words (1 minute)

In the first hours of the morning, the mind is still soft and pliable. A clever touch, careful pressing, and you can nudge yourself in a new direction. Daily reshaping, and perhaps eventually you can make of yourself something greater.


Fungal Emissary

694 words (3 minutes)

When I was at my lowest, that’s when she came for me. I had nothing and no one to care for me. I was delirious and dying, and when I was gone, no one would mark my passing. Maybe that’s how she found me, even. Suffering like mine was a beacon to a certain kind of creature.


A Better Reflection

224 words (1 minute)

Every morning your reflection pains you, reminds you of what you desperately wish you didn’t look like. Something to sour the mood at the start of each day. Shaving helps only a little. Makeup helps a little more. But the mirror haunts you.



410 words (2 minutes)

“At last, we have the High Priestess of that loathsome church in our grasp,” the hooded figure declares in triumph as others lead the young leader of a faith in decline to the prepared altar.


The Artifact

370 words (2 minutes)

You never questioned why your exploration of this hidden temple’s ruins went so smoothly and easily, did you? How you seemed to instinctually notice the hidden passages and trap triggers? You and your fellows rode a wave of excitement all the way to the most hidden chamber here.



1524 words (8 minutes)

The heroine swoops in toward the site of the explosion, keeping an eye out for—ah, there she is. Her great nemesis, striding through the destruction, catches her eye at the same time and grins widely. “Ah, there you are! Fireworks always were the best way to get your attention.”


A Dinner Served

193 words (1 minute)

“There’s going to be a gathering,” the rumors said, “of the lady vampires who prey on this city.” They pointed to a speakeasy in the warehouse district on the weekend of a new moon. Those who didn’t dismiss the rumor out of hand vowed to stay away.

But not you, of course.



107 words (1 minute)

I have a pit where my stomach should be, an endless hole that nothing fills. When my hunger grows out of control and my self-control lapses, I find myself gripping the neck of someone beautiful again, maybe in a dark alley or in their own bedroom, as the light fades from inside.


Toxic Embrace

163 words (1 minute)

She loves you. She barely knows you, but she loves you, and you come to know her through the love she lavishes upon you. Her kiss is like corrosive acid on your mind. It eats into you a little more with each visit, but you are too small to push her away.


Destiny's Halo

446 words (2 minutes)

“We are not so different, you and I,” the Dark Sorceress declares as I confront her at last in her great tower.

I grip my sword and grit my teeth. “You’re a cold-blooded killer who consorts with demons and whose idea of freedom is born of chaos and destruction.”