Editor’s Note: This story contains suicidal ideation.
“I Am the Candle”
by Eric Del Carlo
I see your tears. And I know your lover has left you. The boy pigmented in autumnal hues? Or the raven-haired, much-tattooed girl? Who was here last? I try to recall if I heard harsh words. I can’t always understand what you and your paramours say to one another, but I often recognize tone, timbre. And know when emotions run high and perilous.
Continue reading Microfiction: I Am the Candle by Eric Del Carlo
“The Way You Look Tonight”
by Sonni de Soto
Your sightless eyes, covered in the blindfold you always tie tightly over them, are cast downward. “Are you sure about this?”
Continue reading Microfiction: The Way You Look Tonight by Sonni de Soto
And so the wheel has turned. Another year has passed and with it has come great change for many of us. I began my Circlet Press journey in 2008. It was a very dark time in my life and I needed something to hang on to. Cecilia Tan had put out a call for interns and though I was not a college student I applied anyway and she said yes. The lesson here? Don’t self reject.
In the years since, I have developed friendships that I hope last a lifetime. I have learned. I have failed. I have got up again. I’ve had the great honor of reading work from newcomers and pros alike. And the even greater honor of publishing those works.
As you may all know by now, Circlet Press has become an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books. My future involvement is unknown and this is likely the last of the Circlet Press Halloween Microfictions. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to Cecilia Tan for giving me a chance. Thank you to my fellow editors. I miss sitting up in that attic with you, drinking tea and laughing about love tunnels and popped blouses. And thank you to all my authors, the ones I said yes to, and even the ones I said no to. It was a privilege to read your words, to share in your fantasies, and to teach you, and learn from you. Some of you quite literally saved my life, and I wish nothing but the best for all of you in both your writing and in your lives.
Without further ado, here is a roundup of all the 2020 Halloween Microfictions. Do take a moment to treat yourself on this rainy November day, the first day of the next year of our lives. May it bring us all great pleasure and fortune.
Movie Lovers by Kaysee Renee Robichaud
Kindling by Ellis Sandry
On a Wing and a Curse by Eric Del Carlo
A Little Knowledge… by Avery Vanderlyle
Mid-Autumn Incense by September Sui
Never Broken by Morrigan Blackburn
Static by Fallen Kittie
Double Feature by Tom Cardamone
From Beyond the Veil by Jena Burne
“Hands of Glass Upon Her Onyx Flesh”
by Eric Del Carlo
The teleprez psychoanalyst turned to pixelated vapor, leaving Iona alone in her ‘down with the reassuring words: It is safe to go outside.
Continue reading Microfiction: Hands of Glass Upon Her Onyx Flesh by Eric Del Carlo
Halloween at home. Curled up on the couch with the lights down low. Mini horror movie marathons. Sexting with your partner(s) instead of Netflix and chill. It’s all going to look a little different this year. Too early, you say? Never. Halloween is every day for this editor. So in the spirit of getting a jump on things – pun intended – I’m putting out the 2020 Circlet Press Halloween Microfictions call for submissions a little early this year.
The same rules apply with one little twist. Since everything is a hell fire this year let’s try and keep things positive. That means every submission needs to have either a HEA (Happily Ever After), or at least hint at an HEA. But they must still fit into the theme of Halloween/Autumn/October/Horror, and also be erotic as well as story/character driven. If you are unfamiliar with Circlet Press please have a look around our website to get a sense of what we do.
As always, I especially encourage marginalized voices to send a submission. BIPOC, disabled, neurodivergent, and LGBTQ+ folks especially, though all are welcome to submit.
Word count limit is 1,500. No fan fiction. No reprints. All characters must be of legal age to consent and consent must be clear within the story. Multiple submissions are okay. Please send as a Word doc or RTF (or in the body of the email) and follow standard manuscript formatting guidelines.
The deadline is September 30th. Payment will be $5 for stories under 1,000 words and $10 for stories 1,000 words to 1,500 words. Author retains all rights. Please include a short bio with your submission. Send submissions to email@example.com
Pumpkin spice lattes. Autumn chills. Cemeteries by moonlight. Halloween season is nigh and that means it’s time for the annual Circlet Press Halloween microfictions. We want your best spooky and sexy flash fiction and microfictions. We strongly encourage diversity and would love to see that represented in both the stories and in our authors. Give us queer, non-binary, trans, aromantic/asexual, disability centered, neurodivergent, and people of color. Straight and cisgendered are welcome too, of course. Please don’t self-reject. We’re happy to read any story that fits within our guidelines.
So what are the guidelines? Glad you asked! Circlet Press publishes erotic science fiction, fantasy, and horror. For our Halloween microfictions we like to receive stories up to 1500 words. The Halloween theme is a loose interpretation. We want anything in the spectrum from hot monster sex to simple cozy curled up by the fire stories. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The stories do not have to be specific to Halloween but should at least fit in with the mood of autumn.
Horror stories and comedy are more than welcome but please make sure that consent between sexual partners is explicit. All characters engaging in sexual acts must be of legal age. A happy ending is not necessary however please note that I generally do not accept stories where one lover murders the other. Also, no fan fiction please. And no reprints.
The deadline for submissions is October 1st. Please include a short bio. Payment is $5 and the author retains all rights. You may send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org as either a Word doc or in the body of the email.
by Eric Del Carlo
The saving grace of Syd’s dingy studio apartment in a dilapidated building, which stood in a hardscrabble neighborhood was this: the enormous mirror. One wall of the single room was his “kitchen”; his bed went in the only space where it would fit; and the big sliding door of his closet was opposite the bed.
Someone at some point had faced that entire door in mirroring glass. It was as high as the ceiling and covered the whole wall.
Continue reading Microfiction: Mirrorman by Eric Del Carlo
by TS Porter
Pearl Gleam the Huntress led her pod on their yearly migration. She was one of the largest of the Sea Peoples, and where most decorated themselves with bright shells and pearls, she wore strange armor fashioned from the carapaces of giant abyssal crabs. She was as long as an oarfish, faster than a mako shark, and her notched fins and the many scars on her arms and down the length of her tail proved her prowess as a warrior. Her pod trusted her to protect them, and protect them she did on their long journey, more often breaking the current at the head of the pod than swimming in any easier position.
Continue reading Microfiction: Fathoms Untold by TS Porter
“Her Two Lovers”
by Lara Alsonso Corona
Rose caressed the newly formed scar across Del’s thigh, his finger making a gesture the equivalent of a deep sigh, gently prodding the new star in this familiar constellation to gauge the extent of the damage.
Continue reading Microfiction: Her Two Lovers by Lara Alonso Corona
“Black Hole-Bookshop Boy”
by Ellis Sandry
It’s been a tough day, but I’m becoming a good counselor. I try to hang on to that optimism as I weave between the High Street shoppers: a kid who crackles with crimson anger; a businessman who’s bearing a radiant golden grudge.
I pause to peer through the window of my favourite bookshop. Inside, a young man is unboxing hardbacks, graceful and precise. The satin back of his waistcoat is straining. He’s tweedy, floppy-fringed, tempting. My beautiful black-hole bookshop boy.
Continue reading Microfiction: Black-Hole Bookshop Boy by Ellis Sandry