After She Has Gone


Walking out into the woods there was no moon overhead to guide him. Bumping into the trees, he wound his way deep into the forest, tripping over roots that herniated through the dirt. The darkness wrapped around him and he went on walking, the gun dangling from the end of his right hand, and his legs kept moving. He thought it would be easy to give up now that everything is gone—the money spent, his job an echo, her essence reduced to a figment. It should be easy to just roll over and die. He found that at the center of this forest, the depths of his own morass of fear and remorse, that maybe he didn’t want to do that. There was a rustling in the bushes, a flutter of wings, and something expansive spread out against the dark sky, black on black, no discernible shape, only the feeling of movement and a sense of great speed, a brush of wind on his face, and he tried to breathe again.

~ fin ~

Richard Thomas is the author of three books—TransubstantiateHerniated Roots and Staring Into the Abyss. His over 75 publications include Cemetery DancePANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Pear Noir and Shivers VI (with Stephen King and Peter Straub). He is also the editor of three anthologies out in 2014: The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press), Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk and The New Black (Dark House Press). In his spare time he writes for The Nervous Breakdown, LitReactor, and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. For more information visit