Aphelion Issue 265, Volume 25
September 2021
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Beggar’s Curse

by Alexis Child

He managed to sneak in somehow through
the restaurant door. The resident filthy beggar,
I assumed. A gaunt, ragged scarecrow of a man;
tattered clothes hanging loose as the skin on his
face. He smelled of old sweat, booze and broken
dreams. Coughing and spitting, his mouth was
coated in a black substance as if he'd swallowed
tar or something alive that wanted out.

Dirty hands a tangled mess of bones and veins
desperately reached out as if controlled by one
thought: to keep himself alive. The beggar leaned
over to spit in my spaghetti, knowing I'd lose my
appetite and give him my food. But that wasn't
what he was after. There was something he wanted
me to have: a taste of fear. Venom dripped from
his cruel eyes, darkening in anger.

Deathly wounded, they had seen too much and
wanted me to see the truth in myself. His eyes
searched for my soul, burning into me, searing
my flesh, scraping against my heart. Bolting for
the door, I ran as much from him as from myself.
Those evil eyes would follow me into darkness
until the sacrifice was understood: he would
soothe my hidden scars by offering his own.

© 2015 Alexis Child. All rites reserved until the worms crawl in…

Alexis Child hails from Toronto, Canada; horror in its purest form: A calculated crime both against the aspirations of the soul and affections of the heart. She worked at a Call Crisis Centre befriending demons of the mind that roam freely amongst her writings. She lived with a Calico-cat child sleuthing all that went bump in the night and is haunted by the memory of her cat.

She is currently signed to Nostilevo Records.

Her fiction has been featured in The House of Pain, Lost Souls, Screams of Terror, Sinistercity, SpecFicWorld.com, The Official Nephilim Site, and U.K.'s Dark Of Night Magazine. Her poetry has been featured in numerous online and print publications, including Black Petals, Blood Moon Rising, Estronomicon eZine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Death Head Grin, Midnight Lullabies Anthology, Sein und Werden, The Horror Zine, and elsewhere.

Visit her website: http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/alexischild/

Please also visit Alexis' YouTube Page for visceral spoken word poetry performances: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6S5u4yX73kA1ZWGnKaEBA/videos

Find more by Alexis Child in the Author Index.

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