"Hunger" in The Dark

 

My new horror story, "Hunger", has just been published by The Dark magazine and is available to read online. (Though consider a subscription to help them continue to be a high-quality market that pays its writers.)

The story began from a moment of disappointment: I watched the recent movie The Dark and the Wicked and was annoyed that a film with lots of creative ideas would end up feeling shallow and pointless because its characters were so empty of history, personality, or purpose. What might such a story be like if its characters were more developed? That initial inspiration is still visible in the story, but, as often happens once you get writing, the characters and narrative went in new directions that I couldn't have predicted when I began.

I'm hugely grateful to Ann VanderMeer for commenting on an early draft and to Sean Wallace for seeing value in the story and publishing it.

Here's the first paragraph, for a taste:

It was only a few weeks after my mother’s funeral when my father told me not to come home again. If not for the coldness of his voice, I might have assumed he was passive-aggressively trying to shame me for having stayed for so short a time, having returned to my son and my husband. But my father’s aggression had never been passive. He was not a talker, never much of a communicator at all, and so, over the years, in order to understand anything from him, I honed the art of interpreting his every word, gesture, and intonation to a fine art. When he said, “Don’t come home,” it wasn’t a gentle reassurance, it was a warning. “Don’t come here,” he said. And then hung up the phone.

Read the whole story at The Dark.