AccessibilityAccessibilityAccessibility
pages in this section

Black Static

New Horror Fiction BLACK STATIC 78/79 DOUBLE ISSUE OUT NOW!

Current Issue

BLACK STATIC 78/79 DOUBLE ISSUE OUT NOW

15th Feb, 2021

Cover

Item image: Black Static 78/79

The wraparound cover art is by Richard Wagner

 

Long and Short Fiction

UPLAND WILDLIFE
RHONDA PRESSLEY VEIT 

Maybe someday – a nice fall day, neither too warm nor too cool, the sky in Carolina blue, the trees in their mustards and umbers – you’ll find yourself lost on a narrow road in the southern mountains, looking for something you can’t find. You might become uneasy. Where is it? Where am I? The road winds and undulates. You’ve been driving for a long time. Wherever you are is certainly remote. But look, there’s a sign up ahead, you have arrived. Now you are somewhere.

 

DELIVERY
TYLER KEEVIL 

On the same day he got the audition, Cal picked up the hitcher. It was three a.m. and tipping it down and he’d just started his route, driving his delivery truck north on the M32. Hardly any vehicles on the road. Rain-splattered pavement. The faint smell of cheap cologne lingering in the cab, from the day-shift driver. All typical. Like most jobbing actors, Cal took on other work to make ends meet, and this was the most recent. The hours were daft: he picked up his truck and load at two in the morning from the Bristol depot, and headed up to the Severn Bridge, across the channel – dropping off at the shops and markets in Newport and Cardiff. But he lived alone and working at night didn’t bother him. He spent the drives listening to plays or learning lines. He’d record his cues on an old dictaphone and play it back, reciting lines, holding a dialogue with himself.

 

OF WRATH
ZANDRA RENWICK 

I find churches difficult. The more joyous their soaring proportions, the more decorated and elaborate in celebration of praise and glory, the more they echo with pain. Suffering, martyrdom, abnegation and denial – these are the foundations of this beautiful cathedral, as much as any cornerstone cut from living rock. The psychic echoes of a thousand years ping against me, ringing me like a clapperless bell.

 

THE GREAT WEST GATE
ALEXANDER GLASS 

Years later, when he went to live in the city, Brand was shocked to discover that no one, it seemed, had heard of the Wall, nor of the Great West Gate. They appeared on no map, and he could find no trains that ran there. And yet he had seen the trains, howling past every few days, and sometimes more frequently. He learned not to speak of any of this, other than obliquely. Later, he decided not to speak of it at all.

 

SUBTEMPLE
ASHLEY STOKES 

You tighten your grip on the crowbar. He’s behind you. You didn’t hear his car pull up. You didn’t hear his footsteps scratch across the concrete. That tone he’s just used, like he was ordering a gundog to drop a pheasant. He’s never spoken to you like that before. You were looking forward to seeing him today, keen to crack on, reboot, get the pipes clanking and the fermenters fermenting again. But that tone, and using that name for you as well. Not seen him for a year, and all he can say is, “Put it down, Tattyhead.”

 

MOON-BOY
JESS HYSLOP 

Alison’s got herself a boyfriend. His name’s Charlie. He’s from that posh school on the other side of town, the one with the big iron gates and tall, redbrick tower. St Bart’s, it’s called. Boys from there, they call them Bart-Boys. You can tell a Bart-Boy from a mile away because they don’t wear school uniforms like normal kids; they wear suits, proper suits like businessmen wear. When Naomi’s mum drives her to school – not St Bart’s, obviously, because a) it’s a boy’s school, and b) it’s like super expensive, like you could buy the whole of Naomi’s house with what it costs to go to St Bart’s – they always see a cluster of Bart-Boys waiting for the bus in front of the newsagent’s. Naomi’s mum inevitably does this little tut of approval and goes, “Don’t they look so smart!” And after that she kind of side-eyes Naomi, who rolls her eyes and tucks in her shirt.

 

THE UNDULATING
STEPHEN BACON

I still dream of Twelvetrees.

Not actual events, you understand, just fragments of memories, oblique sensory snapshots from the times I spent there as a child. Shafts of sunlight pouring in through the drawing room blinds. Dust motes hovering in the sombre air of the hallway. Sometimes the view from the garret window as I marvelled at the morning mist creating dioramas of the Suffolk countryside, warping distance and tricking the eye. At Twelvetrees, magic was always close by.

 

THESE BIRDHOUSES ARE EMPTY NOW
JO KAPLAN

Over the many years since she lived there, my mother’s childhood home had fallen into disrepair. Broken windows gaped like missing teeth and water rot warped and bruised the floor. Cracks in the wood paneling wept mold like infected wounds, and plaster peeled from the dingy walls above cabinets with missing doors that yawned blackly. It wasn’t just the house, either: what had once been a lively urban neighborhood had deteriorated into a ghost town.

 

THIRTY-TWO TUMBLING TEETH
NEIL WILLIAMSON

In the small hours, Greg likes to put the machines on. When there’s no one using whichever of the Scrub Club branches he happens to be visiting, he sticks all the washers on for a spin, all the driers on a fast tumble. Their downtime health check, he calls it. You can tell a lot from the vibration of a machine running without a load. Sort a balance issue before it gets out of hand. Predict when a bearing is on the way out. Mostly, though, he likes to listen to them. Their grinding grumble. The white noise of hot air and draining water. It’s familiar. Companionable.

 

A PHANTASMAGORICAL BESTIARY OF THE LA BREA TAR PITS
MIKE BUCKLEY

Steve, the cashier in the gift shop of the museum that adjoins the La Brea Tar Pits. Steve rotates between three Pixies T-shirts and secretly revels in the ignorance most of the museum patrons have for the band. He smokes cloves. He is the oldest cashier.

 

PLEASE ORDER DIRECT FROM TTA PRESS NOW

We are no longer taking new subscriptions but please continue to support Black Static by buying this double issue from the TTA Shop now, and future double issues as they go up for pre-order. Current subscribers will of course continue to receive new releases as normal.

The prices on the TTA Shop include UK postage and overseas airmail is only £1 extra per item.

 

WHERE ELSE TO BUY BLACK STATIC

Black Static is available in good shops in the UK and other countries, including the USA where it can be found in Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and elsewhere. If your local store (in any country) doesn't stock it they should easily be able to order it for you so please don't hesitate to ask them.

You can also buy a version of the magazine for e-readers shortly after the publication of the print version, either direct from our own shop (cheaper for you, better for us) or from places like Weightless Books, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and so on.

 

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD

If you enjoy Black Static please blog about it, review it, or simply recommend it to as many people as you can. Thanks!

[Permalink]

Black Static issues by date:

Pages in this section: