There’s just something about those creepy kinds of critters that slowly but surely chew their way through walls and settle down to stay. Chances are there’s one in your house right now, sniffling at the wallpaper or scratching beneath the floorboards. In fact, there may even be more than one… and they might have more on their minds for dinner than the chip crumbs under the couch.
True crime meets its equally bizarre match when dark fiction authors pair up with original illustrations from the Victorian tabloid The Illustrated Police News in Firbolg Publishing’s latest release, The Rogues Gallery: The Illustrated Police News, which includes my flash fiction piece “No Hard Feelings.”
The second section in the collection is all about rats. But it’s what those rats get up to in the middle of the night that will keep you up along with them, listening for those tell-tale squeaks and scratches.
In “Rest,” Miriam H. Harrison presents a frightful twist on the concept of making new friends wherever one finds them; in “Dead Girl Found in Cellar!”, M. von Schüssler weaves a horrifying account of madness, murder, and mayhem in a family that gives new meaning to the phrase “skeletons in the closet”; find out how the course of true love–or was that “corpse” of true love?–can go very, very wrong in Alex James’ macabre tale “The Best Laid Plans of Rats and Women”; discover a most bizarre troop of rats given even more bizarre “marching orders” in “The Blackened Cadence or Squeak,” by J.D. Isip; in Troy Serverance’s “Simply Dreadful,” a woman learns that the hierarchy of “man above beast” can be turned horribly upside down; in “While the Cat’s Away,” by Canto Clarke, a town’s attempt to purge itself of sin backfires in the most diabolically ironic fashion; A. Carina Barry’s “Sweet Enough” presents the unthinkable consequences of being literally too sweet for one’s own good; and prepare for heartbreak with “Unrest,” by Joshua Skye, an account of the fine line between life and death, and the ravenous, pitiless creatures all too willing to cross it.
In addition to the modern authors, The Rogues Gallery includes H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Rats in the Walls,” originally published in Weird Tales magazine in 1924—once you read this unforgettable tale from the master of monsters, you will never look at rascally rodents in quite the same way.
Click here to read these stories and many more in The Rogues Gallery: The Illustrated Police News!
More featured stories coming next week…
Click here to find out how to get one of Firbolg Publishing’s anthologies FREE!