Rigor Morbid: Lest Ye Become is a collection of 12 horror/dark fantasy stories exploring the most terrifying parts of human and non-human nature. Journey into these worlds and face the foes our characters may -- or may not -- overcome.
Cover by Dyer Wilk
You are …
A woman, haunted through every reincarnation by a man who will not let you go.
A monster, fighting evil impulses that have guided your kind for centuries.
A teen rendered voiceless, forced to be somewhere you don’t belong..
A person conditioned with white supremacist masculinity, facing a situation where you must kill to survive.
You change …
Unknown curses are fused with your being and threaten to consume you.
Beings infect you with their horror and poison your soul.
The end of the world frees you from your obligations and gives you a second chance.
A villain steals you, piece by piece, until there is nothing left of you at all.
You can’t let go ...
You sacrificed your heart and life to salvage your pride.
You must have the answers you seek.
You’re loyal to your host to the end.
You love the person who asks you to do the unthinkable.
You are silenced …
By oppression. By bigotry. By hatred. By an evil that renders you voiceless and threatens to consume your soul.
You are invited …
Step into the worlds of Rigor Morbid: Lest Ye Become and face the foes our protagonists may or may not overcome ...
If you dare.
"These stories knock it out of the park ... The writing is tight, terse and so fully formed. The ideas just blew me away." Shamus, Macavity, Barry and Grand Prix de Literature Policiere award-winning author Ken Bruen
The Latin Queens of Mictlan
V. Castro is a Mexican American horror and speculative fiction writer originally from San Antonio, Texas that now resides in the U.K. She is the author of Maria The Wanted and the Legacy of The Keepers and The Erotic Modern Life of Malinalli The Vampire. Currently she is Co-editing Latinx Screams, an upcoming Latinx Horror Anthology. You can find book and film reviews at SciFi and Scary. She has also contributed articles for Ginger Nuts of Horror, Ladies of Horror Fiction, and Burial Ground.
Alicia Hilton is a writer, law professor, actress, and former FBI Special Agent. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her JD and MA from the University of Chicago. Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Akashic Books, ChiZine Publications, Dreams & Nightmares, Vastarien, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror 4, and elsewhere. Follow Alicia on Twitter @aliciahilton01.
I Will Make You Holy
V. Medina is a queer, non-binary, disabled writer throwing words into the woods outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Their fiction is forthcoming in Cast Of Wonders, Truancy, and Capricious. They reside with their partner as well as a pair of cats, many candles and more coffee cups than anyone really needs. You can find them erratically on Twitter at @howsweettheword and their website at www.howsweetthewords.com
"This story is a culmination of my fascination with loneliness, need, identity and the dead. I find that I work with these sorts of themes a lot and I still find myself drawn to them, no matter how often I explore such things in my work." - V. Medina
Lest Ye Become
Timothy Mudie is a speculative fiction writer and editor of many genres, from hiking guides to historical mysteries. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Escape Pod, and various other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and son. Find him online at timothymudie.com.
The Law of Conservation of Death & We All Scream
Hailey Piper is a transgender horror writer, author of An Invitation to Darkness and The Possession of Natalie Glasgow. Her short fiction appears in publications such as Black Rainbow, The Bronzeville Bee, and more. Follow her on Twitter @HaileyPiperSays.
Joanne Rixon lives in the shadow of an active volcano with a rescue chihuahua named after a dinosaur. She is a member of the Dreamcrashers and an organizer with the North Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup. Her short speculative fiction has appeared in venues including Fireside, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Liminal Stories. You can find her blogging about books at her website, joannerixon.com, and yelling about poetry and politics on twitter @JoanneRixon.
Ivan's Emporium of Curses
N. Sowers (they/them) is a new writer who has always had a love for the creepy. Just ask their definitely not haunted dolls or the surprisingly heavy clown statue they keep on their bedside table. N usually writes for Revellations, a student paper at UCSD, flexing their creative muscles in both fiction and poetry. Look for more work from N. Sowers on Medium (@nsowers) and Twitter (@lmbrjcksnckpck)
Unbeknownst to Robert Stahl, his body is an empty shell, which is telepathically controlled by a brain in a jar that long ago was buried under the floorboard of his home in Dallas, Texas. Consequently, his days are filled with the urge to write: stories, letters, articles, whatever. At night he listens to music and when he drifts off to sleep, the brain laughs, a humorless, pitiful sound, as it jiggles alone in the dusty darkness.
Angela Sylvaine still believes in monsters, both real and imagined, and always checks under the bed. She holds degrees in psychology and philosophy. Her work has appeared in multiple publications and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Disturbed Digest, and My American Nightmare. A North Dakota girl transplanted to Colorado, she lives with her sweetheart and three creepy cats on the front range of the Rockies. You can follow her on twitter @sylvaine_angela and you can find her online angelasylvaine.com
"Horror speaks to the little kid under the covers in all of us. Though some of us grow up with that fear still inside, and the only way to get out (of) that curse is to share it. Horror is also one of the genres that I find most revealing about society. What scares us says a lot about what we value and what we’re afraid to lose. Our societal need to find something real, plus our societal fear of losing our sense of self in the search, equals a story like Ivan’s Emporium. For me, it’s not the magic that’s scary, it’s the human part of any horror story that really gets to me." - N. Sowers
Jessica P. Wick
We Are Hungry, Whether or Not
Jessica P. Wick is a poet and writer living in Rhode Island. A recent transplant from the West coast, she misses dry heat, good elote, and the best outdoor bookstore anywhere; she enjoys the graveyards so much that when she visits people they always offer to take her to one as a treat. Some of her work can be found in Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, Through the Woods, Liminality, and Uncanny Magazine.
Patrick Winters is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and achieved membership into Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honors society. Winters is now a proud member of the Horror Writers Association, and his work has been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, Deadman's Tome, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles. A full list of his previous publications may be found at his author's site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Publications/List
Sandra Ruttan was a walking disaster in her formative years. She was hit by a car at age 8, had her foot partially severed just before she turned 9, almost drowned when she fell down a waterfall at age 10, and was hit by cars on two additional occasions in her teen years. Adulthood has added more scars, with a car accident in the Sahara Desert ranking as the most serious incident, closely followed by fracturing her spine in Ireland.
At age 13, Sandra had her first newspaper column. She studied journalism and special education in college. In 2005 she founded Spinetingler Magazine, a popular crime fiction magazine. She’s had six novels published to date, and her short fiction has appeared in several venues, including Crimespree Magazine, Shotgun Honey and Coffin Hop Press. She is the science fiction, fantasy, horror & YA acquisitions editor for Bronzeville Books and oversees the content for Bronzeville Bee. Keep up to date via twitter @sandraruttan
"We've each been betrayed by someone we trust, in ways great and small. It could be something as irrelevant as the ice cream man not having your favorite flavor back when your sense of disappointment was simpler. You get to wondering what other betrayals are waiting around familiar corners." - Hailey Piper
"Identity is the state and expression of the personal, and what’s more personal to each and every one of us than our fears? Whether we admit them to others in the light of day or try to hide them away in a safe, secluded corner, our fears (as individuals, or as a collective) can be some of the most intimate aspects of what defines us—both in our own eyes and in those of other people. Horror can let those fears out to air somewhat, as either a creator or a consumer of the genre; and through it, we can really show what makes us tick." - Patrick Winters