Sex, Gender, and Other Social Constructs

social construct

(A horror story about social norms.)

Social norms dictate thought. It’s as simple as that. Take gender, for example. If the idea is that people are only men and women and there’s no room for anyone in between or outside, that’s what everyone will believe. That’ll be the foundation of their convictions. Their “common sense.”

It’s ridiculous.

It’s wrong.

My name is Sveta Azul. My deadname doesn’t matter. I learned long ago that I don’t have to conform to the idea of being a man or a woman. I’m me. I’m neither male nor female. And a lot of people hate me for that. Continue reading “Sex, Gender, and Other Social Constructs”

My Amazon Alexa does more than just laugh.


(A horror story about technology.)

Two nights ago, I was home alone when Alexa laughed. I’d read about the software issue the devices had been having all over the world, so it wasn’t that big a shock. Thank God for that, too, because I would’ve jumped out of my skin otherwise. Still, I was unsettled. It’s creepy to hear laughter when you think you’re alone.

“Alexa, shut up,” I instructed. The blue ring on top flashed, and the laughing stopped.

I went back to my book.

Twenty minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Alexa’s blue ring illuminate – as if she’d received a command. I studied her for a few seconds and shrugged it off. Continue reading “My Amazon Alexa does more than just laugh.”

A Message in a Bottle


(A horror story about the unknown.)

“Check this out!” Marcel called.

“What?” I asked, not looking over. I’d been trying to skip rocks, but all I could get were a few hops before the stones were swallowed by the waves.

“It’s a bottle with a note in it,” he replied. “An actual message in a god damn bottle.”

“So open it up,” I said, dropping the flat stones with annoyance. “Whatever’s inside’s gotta be more exciting than anything we’re doing.” Continue reading “A Message in a Bottle”

The Moose Hunt

Bull Moose Original

(A horror story about hunting.)

“We’ve been out here for four hours,” Red complained. I winced as whiskey and gingivitis breath wafted across my face.

“We’re getting this f*ckin’ moose,” I answered. “Dad said we wouldn’t be able to, so that means we’re gonna. I don’t care if we starve to death up here.”

Red belched out another complaint, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was thinking about bagging that son of a b*tch. It’d been tearing up Mom’s garden and sh*tting all over the yard. She’d missed out on being in the latest flower show after all her prize petunias got eaten.

No more. “Never again,” as they say. I’d be mounting that antlered head over the fireplace before the weekend was over.

“What’s that over there?” Red asked, pointing out ahead of us. I followed his finger. Continue reading “The Moose Hunt”

Beach Bodies


(A horror story about the ocean.)

“What is it?” Charlie asked. He was ten or eleven at that point.

“Not sure,” I replied. I turned my hat forward, hoping the brim would block out some of the glare on that sunny August afternoon.

Something was floating in the water about a couple hundred feet offshore. It looked big. Long, too. I assumed it was the carcass of a whale. They’d been known to wash up every now and again.

“Maybe a whale,” I remarked.


“Yeah. You think it’s gross now, wait until it reaches land and stinks up the beach for a couple miles in every direction.”

Charlie made a face. “I kinda want to poke it,” he said. I grinned. That’s my boy. Continue reading “Beach Bodies”