Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! As the sun sets tonight, we open the veil between worlds to let those who’ve come before walk the world of the living once again. Set out your jack-o-lanterns and don your masks to save yourself from those unsettled spirits, or, open your homes and set an empty plate for your departed loved ones at the dinner table to remember them.

It’s a special night.

But also candy, and free short stories — the last free short story of this collection. 😀

That’s right: today marks the thirteenth and final tale in the Short Fictions & Curiosities project. I’ve written and released one free short story each month since last Halloween, and I’m pleased with the results and the progression of the work over the course of this project.

The last offering is really reflective of how I like to write a teenage protagonist: Aisling is a little snark, a little alternative, a little insouciant, and I see a lot of my former sixteen-year-old-self in her.

Jack is a Halloween story, set on the eve of All Hallows in the town of Briarghast where old world observances are kept in honour of the dead. When things go wrong, as they are wont to do, the consequences are pretty stiff for those involved who need to pay the price.

Short Fictions & Curiosities: Jack

I began this experiment partially for the love of the fantastic, and partially because I wanted to take mini-vacations from the novel I’ve been toiling over for the last year. I look at Short Fictions & Curiosities as a collection of oddities that didn’t quite want to fit anywhere else: misfit creatures that occasionally poked their heads out of the murky places where I’d hidden them.

As bizarre as they were, I still wanted to give them a home. And here we are.

About Short Fictions & Curiosities

Short Fictions & Curiosities are monthly offerings: a sample of short stories, wonders, terrors, and experiments in speculative fiction: small slivers of dark fiction and horror from the vault for your enjoyment. They are free to read, with the hopes that you’ll share with others on the social media platform of your choosing. Each story has been penned and designed by Kira Butler. They are formatted for ePub, Mobi, and PDF, and it’s at your discretion how you’d like to receive them.

You can read the initial announcement about the series here.

About the story:

The town of Briarghast plays close attention to the observances of All Hallows Eve. For a century or more they’ve lit the lanterns without fail as the sun descends. When Galen asks her grandmother why they never let the candles burn low, why someone must always keep the night’s watch until dawn, her grandmother tells her it’s to ensure that only their loved ones find their way home on All Hallow’s Eve. It’s Galen’s turn this year to keep the watch, but when Galen falls asleep and the candle burns out, she soon learns why her family tradition is so very important when something comes to her door in the dead of night.

Read “Jack” by Kira Butler

About Kira Butler:

Kira Butler is a speculative fiction writer and creative professional from Montreal. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Quebec Writers Federation. She has been writing fiction for over ten years, having produced over twenty short stories, and three novels. She haunts KiraButler.com, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook

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Free Short Story: Lady of the Grain by Kira ButlerKira Butler writes speculative fiction for young adults