Today marks the fourth release in a twelve-month series of short horror stories. Near Dark began as a one-liner scribbled into my journal for safekeeping, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. Eventually, I returned to it after receiving some valuable feedback on the previous three releases: Chasing Ghosts, Second Line, and Fortune’s Son. I was told: be more expository — tell the story, make it clear. So with that feedback in mind, I’m attempting a direct approach with less description. (Ultimately, this was the goal of Short Fictions project: try some stuff, succeed at some stuff, improve some other stuff.) So, having said that, permit me to take a crack at the direct approach to storytelling, and let me know what you think of the result.
Announcing “Near Dark”
I began the Short Fictions & Curiosities 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 dead are permitted to return between sundown to nightfall every fifteen years on the anniversary of their death. It’s a brief window of time, and a long drive, but Mara knows a few things about her mother: she’d never let Mara live it down if she didn’t make it back to her childhood home time to welcome her home. It’s the very least Mara could do — even though she doesn’t want to; even though she doesn’t really have the time. Worse, Mara doesn’t want to deal with a potential poltergeist, let alone her husband’s protests.
But Mara’s mother’s ghost has a secret, and she’s been waiting fifteen years to confess.
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.