Love and Other Monsters in the Dark
by K.B. Jensen
genre: magical realism, dark fiction, short stories
releases July 1st
Strange Stories That Linger in the Shadows
Readers will encounter serial killers, alien creatures, and dark angels, as well as more “normal” narratives about the horrors of everyday love. Love and Other Monsters in the Dark features a genre-hopping blend of contemporary fiction, noir humor, speculative fiction, and horror, with an undercurrent of love and the relationships that bind us together in the darkness. Among others, the cast of characters includes a catfish and her victim, creepy dolls in prayer, an arsonist housewife, an elderly bank robber, and a “teacup” pig. Some just can’t take it anymore.
From an award-winning story of a woman who turns into her grandmother overnight, to a narrative about facing relationship complications during a zombie apocalypse, this collection offers laughter and tears, playfully packaged in and out of flash fiction.
Eating the Storm
Standing at the edge of the field, staring into the horizon, Sara swallowed the approaching storm. She unhinged her jaw and swallowed wide, dislocating it. A shooting pain crept up her face. The gray storm clouds tasted salty in her mouth. The condensation slid down the back of her throat, a downpour that threatened to drown her. Her belly swelled, swirled, distended with a hard rain.
A control freak, always trying to please other people. Now she was trying to control the weather. What would her therapist think?
Sara furrowed her brow, clamped her teeth together despite the shooting pain. She was afraid that it would escape. That it would hurt all the people she loved, so she held it in.
The hair on the back of her neck rose, the hair on her arms too. Tiny, fine, blond hairs. She stared at them with wild wide eyes. Afraid if she spoke, the opening of her mouth would release it. She whimpered slightly, but no one was there to hear her.
Sara pushed back the urge to vomit and felt the storm churn within her. Her shoulder-length hair now stood on end. She reached up and tried to pull it back down, to no avail.
Her arms and legs swelled. Her feet and hands bloated. Blood vessels blossomed red across expanding skin. The dress she was wearing stretched and constricted her growing frame. The threads broke, shredding across her chest.
Watching her arms and legs balloon, she was afraid she would pop.
She remembered what her therapist had said, “Depression is anger turned inwards.”
You’d think these words could have helped her stop it, to let it go, but they didn’t.
The thunder rumbled through her internal organs, shaking her liver like jelly, while the lightning sizzled her brain. When they found Sara later, she was never quite the same. Her jaw made strange clicking noises, for one.
About the Author:
Award-winning Author K.B. Jensen’s short story collection, Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, will be published July 2022. She has two novels, Painting With Fire, an artistic murder mystery, and A Storm of Stories, which veers literary. K.B. lives in Littleton, CO., with her family and enjoys skiing. She’s a publishing consultant at My Word Publishing. Visit www.kbjensenauthor.com.