“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
-The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether by Edgar Allan Poe (1845)
Poe’s classic tale told of a state of the art hospital boasting a curiously experimental treatment, but things were not as they seemed. In The Half That You See, twenty-six writers from around the globe share their literary optical illusions in never before seen stories of portentous visions and haunting memories, altered consciousness and virulent nightmares, disordered thinking and descents into madness. Take a walk down the paths of perception that these dark fiction raconteurs have tunneled for you, but keep a tight grip on your flashlight: the course twists and turns, and once you’re on route to your destination, there is no turning back. That which creeps about in the poorly lit corners of the human mind has teeth, and it’s waiting for you.
“Chalk” by Elin Olausson
A young man rents a room at a bed & breakfast and meets a girl who sleepwalks during the day and is only herself at night.
“Winnebago Indian Motorhome by Tonka” by Eddie Generous
Chasing down nostalgia, Josh Dolan buys a vintage Tonka Winnebago, but it isn’t quite like the toy he’d had as a kid; this Winnebago knows the future, and it knows Claire Dolan’s secrets.
“Sepia Grass” by Sam Hicks
A young man begins to question the recurrent visions he has always believed to be flashbacks to a childhood drug overdose.
“Prisoner “by T.M. Starnes
Kidnapped prisoners sometimes survive, but that’s when their terror truly begins.
“Turn a Blind Eye” by Kelly Griffiths
An explosion leaves an ornery pharmacist with shards of mortar in his eyes and disturbing changes to his vision, especially when he looks in the mirror.
“Falling Asleep in the Rain” by Robert P. Ottone
A man recounts his youth through a dream, revealing as a young boy his experiments with love for another boy, only to face the ire of his murderous father.
“Black Dog Blues” by Luciano Marano
In a story inspired by an actual urban legend popular among American truckers about a spectral black dog that appears to drivers just before a lethal crash, a haunted man recounts his own devastating encounter with the creature and sets out for revenge with a hapless hitchhiker reluctantly in tow.
“Imaginary Friends” by Nicole Wolverton
Julie Strawbridge is called in to see the principal of her nephew Augie’s school after he is expelled for selling imaginary friends to his classmates for a dollar.
“Boogeyman” by Susie Schwartz
One boogeyman; two perspectives, and the horror of mental illness that torments them both.
“Safe as Houses” by Alex Giannini
Carrie and Will moved into a new home, into a new phase of their lives. But every love story is a ghost story, and theirs is no different.
“The New Daddy” by Scotty Milder
A crumbling marriage and a new home is filtered through the eyes of its smallest witness.
“Cauterization” by Mack Moyer
A woman on a methamphetamine binge harbors a dark secret from her past that begins to manifest in vivid waking nightmares that may, or may not, be real.
“The Tapping at Cranburgh Grange” by Felice Picano
When an American couple leases and then buys a manse in England, they become aware of a strange noise only some people can hear.
“Elsewhere” by Bill Davidson
Colin lives a stressful life in an overcrowded flat with a sick daughter and a mother with dementia, in the middle of crammed and noisy London. More and more, however, he is elsewhere.
“Daughters of the Sun” by Matt Masucci
A retired homicide detective living in Florida finds that a past case investigating a dark nature cult twists into his reality.
“The Coffin” by Victoria Dalpe
A young woman still grieving a recent loss discovers an exhumed coffin on the street.
“Old Times” by Mark Towse
A man suspects his wife is cheating on him, and when she leaves for the evening, he considers the possibility over a bottle with an old friend.
“Lonely is the Starfish” by Lena Ng
Many people have pets, but one lonely young man becomes too close to his pet starfish.
“Hagride” by Justine Gardner
A cormorant speaks, and Josie tries not to listen as it begins to resemble ghosts from her past.
“Raven O’Clock” by Holley Cornetto
A man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.
“Officer Baby Boy Blue” by Douglas Ford
An eye injury and a grotesque gift from a police officer in a hospital emergency room ultimately leads a young man to special properties of sight.
“Alone in the Woods in the Deep Dark Night” by Edward R. Rosick
Trapped in his cabin by a howling snowstorm in the desolate wildness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Gary Chandler finds that freezing isolation is only the beginning of a descent into bloody madness.
“Mesh” by Michael W. Clark
A regular guy wants too much control in the modern global community: over both his home and his wives.
“Der Hölle Racht” by Laura Saint Martin
A victim of domestic violence embarks on a drug-fueled journey and rampage.
“The Red Portrait” by Mahlon Smoke
A frustrated artist spies a forgotten portrait in a shop and finds himself consumed by its beauty.
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