Week one of our new Horror Story of the Week contest went well. We took in a fair number of quality submissions, not a single effort disappointing. A few HNR faithfuls submitted, a few resubmitted their Pieces of Everything submissions and a few new tales made it to the email as well. Really enjoyed these works, and I’m quite happy with our inaugural feature tale.
Jeff Jacobson is a talent on the rise, and his new tale, Afterbirth is a fine example of why the man is seeing his work published and his fanbase grow. He knows how to disturb the reader. Especially this reader.
Afterbirth is dark and descriptive, and if you’re a parent, it’s probably going to have your stomach in knots. Read a sample of the story below, or jump right in by visiting our Horror Story of the Week page right here!
By Jeff Jacobson
Marie’s insides squirmed as she tried to ignore the harsh whiskey that smelled like sweetened formaldehyde on Dr. Johnson’s breath. Excess saliva kept seeping into her mouth. She was used to the nausea, but lately the tips of her fingers had been going numb at times, and she worried that maybe her heart wasn’t pumping hard enough. It didn’t matter though. The sickness didn’t matter, the numbness didn’t matter, the pain didn’t matter. The only thing that did matter was her promise.
She had promised her sister that she would take care of it, no matter what.
Dr. Johnson, tall and angular, as if he was built of knobby sticks instead of flesh and bones, eased his long limbs into the creaking wooden chair behind his desk. He wouldn’t meet her eyes. His office was cluttered; books covered the walls from floor to ceiling and papers covered his desk. The clock read 1:28 A.M.
Marie sat quietly, a fourteen-year-old girl with a pinched, nervous face, her jaw set tight and determined. She held her backpack self-consciously on her lap, as if for protection. A light jacket covered her thick sweatshirt, and her long black hair was pulled back into an efficient ponytail.
Johnson turned on a small desk lamp. The light reflected off the dull wood and illuminated the room with a warm glow. He swallowed. “Did anyone see you?”
Marie shook her head.
“They’re at a church retreat. After the funeral… they said they needed to find out why God was angry with them. Won’t be back for another two days. At least.”
“Good, good.” The doctor stopped himself from sounding pleased. He fumbled in his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. “Mind if I smoke?”