Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 6
WELCOME TO THE MASQUERADE
2020 was a reality horror show. And like most obnoxious entertainment reality shows, this one had its own idiosyncratic rules and penalties. Call it The Big Lockdown. We were forced to go to ground, to hide in our holes. Some went underground and never came back. Uncertainty ruled because the rules kept changing. Were we following the science or the mad scientists? Was the light at the end of the tunnel the fiery mouth of hell? We couldn’t say for sure, so we ventured out for food, booze and sundries like scavengers in a slow-motion apocalypse, keeping our distance from fellow human beings because you never knew who might be carrying that heavy viral load.
And everywhere we went, we went behind the mask. So, it became obvious: The theme of our offering of extreme horror tales from 2020 had to be Masquerade.
Our masquerading storytellers nevertheless did what they do best. They went deep into the belly of the beast and sent up fictions reflective of these “trying” times. Their stories peel away the masks (or in some cases, the skin) to reveal the inner workings of darkest hearts and minds and deeper fears.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Nipples In Dad’s Tool Box - Ronald Kelly
Going Green - Christine Morgan
Whiskey To The Wound - Rachel Nussbaum
/thestrangethingwebecome - Eric LaRocca
Hey Valentine - Amanda Cecelia Lang
In Subspace, No One Can Hear You Scream - Hailey Piper
The Pogonip Fog - Sean Patrick Hazlett
Gunfire And Brimstone - Alicia Hilton
The Happiest Man In The World - Matthew Brockmeyer
Synaesthete - Melanie Harding-Shaw
Full Moon Shindig - Patrick C. Harrison Iii
The Drinking-Horn - Christine Morgan
Otto Hahn Speaks To The Dead - Octavia Cade
All The Stars In Her Eyes - Deborah Sheldon
The Village - Matias F. Travieso-Diaz
The Smell Of Night In The Basement - Wendy N. Wagner
The Saint - Alessandro Manzetti
Her Wounded Eyes - Robert Guffey