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  "A Hunting in the Taste of Gray"
      by Daniel Roy

      by Leah R. Pugh

  "Song of the Siren"
       by Ian DiFabio

  "Witch Trials"
      by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

      by Arthur Davis

  "Surprise Me"
      by Andrew Knighton

  "Thespan: A Tale of Tragedy and
  Redemption in Three Acts"
      by Kyle A. Massa

  "A Three Percent Chance He'll Ever"
  Know I Lied"
      by Jude-Marie Green

  "A Knight Most Valiant"
      by Laura Stephenson

  "Chroni Saturnia "
      Willem Myra

  "The Right Choice"
      by Nicola Lombaria
      translated by J. Weintraub

  "The Agreement at Clivemore"
  "Regional Hospital"
      by David Draper

      by Ty Drago

  "Novelette Preview: THE WRITING
      by Kelly Ferjutz

  "Novel Preview: CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS"
      by J.E. Taylor

  "Novel Preview: THAT ROOM AT
      by Kelly Ferjutz


  Resources for Writers
  Associations for Writers
  Writers' Sites


All stories/articles may be viewed

(1) By clicking on the title and displaying the text in a browser window;

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frenta / 123RF Stock Photo


End of the World"
Month9Books, March, 2016

Will Ritter vists a dark future in which the Corpses destroy the world. Can he somehow prevent it?

"Fright Before Christmas"
Leap Books, November, 2015

Thirteen tales of terror by thirteen different authors (myself included) thrill up this anthology published by Leap Books

Last Siege of Haven"
Month9Books, July, 2015

The Corpses have found Haven! Can the Undertakers end the war before the war ends them?

Secret of the Corpse Eater"
Month9Books, March, 2014

Trouble brews in DC as a mysterious monster haunts the Capitol, killing Corpses. Can the enemy of his enemy be Will's friend?.

Night of Monsters"
Smashwords, April, 2013

Will and the Undertakers spend a single night trying to thwart a terrifying new Corpse plot involving twins, maggots, and menace.

Queen of the Dead"
Jabberwocky, October 2012

Will and the Undertakers face a new and terrible enemy is this, the second book in the Undertakers series.

Rise of the Corpses"
Jabberwocky, April 2011

Will Ritter becomes relucantly involved in a war between children and an invasion of animated corpses.

"THE LITERARY HANDYMAN" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
I was honored to write the introduction to this collection of valuable essays on writing.
"Yesterday, I Will"
Fortress Publishing, 2010

Anthology Grandmaster
My story, "Yesterday I Will Remember Tomorrow" tells the tale of a young man who finds himself living his life backwards

Tor Books, 2003/2004

A critically-acclaimed SF "whodunit" about murder, mayhem, and a mysterious monster on Mars' largest moon.

Regency Press, 2001

An historical mystery centered around Ben Franklin's 1776 visit to Paris - a tale of intrique, betrayal and friendship.


Allegory has been around for a long time - more than 18 years! And, in that time, a good many people have worked on this ezine in various capacities. Each of them has offered their time and effort for zero pay, most simply for the editorial experience, the "joy" of reading slush, and the very real gratification of helping new authors find their way to what is often their first publication.

It's why I keep doing it.

Well, this issue's Name in Lights goes to the newest person to join the ranks of Allegory staffmembers. With this issue, Jessica Bayliss as become an Associate Editor. This means she welcomes piles of stories by total strangers, which she reads and evaluates and, if she feels they warrant it, recommends to me.

It's a tough job, folks and, aside from the endless gratitude that Yours Truly heaps on her, a thankless one. But she does it with enthusiasm and passion.

Welcome aboard, Jessica. Allegory is lucky to have you!




"A Haunting in the Taste of Gray"
by Daniel Roy

In death I cling to Mom as she drifts through life.

I remember the truck that ended me three weeks before my seventeenth birthday. We both lay in the intermingled liquids of our lives, the heat of the asphalt in August pressing against my shattered skull. When the first responders lifted me with a wet sound, I was already gone.

Mom was gone too, for a while. They brought her back in the ambulance.

Her last word to me was my name. Isabel. I followed its echoes to that place behind my mother's eyes where I shone the brightest, as my dying mind collapsed upon itself back in my own broken skull.
For weeks she was comatose. She dreamed of my father before he came back war-weary and broken.

She dreamed of painting. And she dreamed of me, smiling, alive.

I watched her from inside her head. I stood at the very edge of her vision, begging her to live again.

by Leah R. Pugh

“Now, Becka, tell me something. What sort of people come to zoos?”

“Families, mostly.”

“Yes! Exactly right, families. People with kids, yeah? Little kids. And what sort of people go to amusement parks?”

A WonderPark had opened just under a mile away last year. Gabe loathed it. He seemed to consider their proximity a deliberate slight, and most of his big ideas were centered on destroying them for it. “Families, sir.”

“Ah! But not just families, not this time of year. It’s October, Becka. Do you know what happens over there–” He pointed an accusing finger at the far wall. “—after seven o’clock?

“I’ll tell you what happens. They stop letting the families in. They shut down half the rides. Then they dress up the staff as zombies and werewolves and…and fairies or what have you, and people, grown-ass people, pay upwards of fifty bucks to be chased around. They call it The All Hallows Haunt,” he said. “I think we can do better than that.”

“What did you have in mind?”

He leaned in, eyes wild.

“Ever heard of the Vescatur Crab?”

"Song of the Siren"
by Ian DiFabio

“Hi Mr. Tod, I’m Fran, your new neighbor.” A chubby hand poking through an animal print sweater a couple of weeks ago. “Bout time we got to know one another.”

He winced. The short middle aged woman was strong—or was it his arthritis?

“Do you like birds?”

“Well I—”

“I love em, nothing more beautiful, don’t you think? But they can be a bit noisy, Hun, I’m just warning you. And smelly! You should get a whiff of my sun porch. See yah round!” Retrieving a big paper bag (birdseed no doubt) she closed the car door and bounced up her porch steps.

Bewildered, he’d gone back into his house and took the leash off Lucy. “You’re almost as old as me, girl.” He was almost glad the old English setter’s hearing wasn’t what it used to be, because a few years ago the chirping birds would have driven her crazy.

"Witch Trials "
by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

“No, honey, that’s not right.” I sighed as I checked Jerry’s paper. The other three small group kids were writing about Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, and Early Puritan School Days. Jerry was writing about the Salem Witch Trials. At least that was what he was supposed to be writing.

“I’m writing a story about the witch trails.” Jerry stuck out his lower lip.

“Jerry, hon, there’s no such thing as witch trails.”

“Ms. Peters! Ms. Peters! There is so such a thing as witch trails!” Mark blurted.


“Yeah. My mom won’t let me play on them.”

Yesinia nodded in agreement. “Lots of witch trails out there, Ms. Peters.”

Donnie chimed in. “You haven’t heard of the witch trails, Ms. Peters?”

by Arthur Davis

“Ok, Percy, how many words do you know?”

“Twenty-one thousand, two hundred and sixty-nine, Ms. Rogers.”

“Last week it was less than twenty thousand?”

Somewhat sheepishly, the hulking fifteen year old Percy Rider responded, “I studied over the weekend.”

“Didn’t watch any old world television, Ms. Rogers. Just like you said.”

“See that, all of you, what Percy accomplished with a little hard work and avoiding the evil of that ancient beast?”

"Surprise Me"
by Andrew Knighton

Yan patted down the coffee and slotted it into the machine. He put his hand on the emotional filter plate and tried to think gentle thoughts through the hiss of steam. The customer had asked for soothing, normally one of Yan's specialties, but it was hard to keep calm with the air conditioning broken and the orders rushing in.
He wrinkled his face as sweat beaded at the tip of his nose.

'Don't worry, she'll be here soon enough.' Bobbi nudged him aside, mug in one hand, hazelnut syrup in the other.

'Don't know what you mean.' Yan tried to keep his heart steady, to keep with the calm.

'Course you do.' Bobbi winked. 'It's half past one. Nearly time for Surprise Me.'

"Thespian: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in Three Acts"
by Kyle A. Massa

“We all like you very much, Joel. We’re all really happy with what you’ve done for this theater company. It’s just––it’s really nothing personal, okay? It’s the nature of the business.”

I glared at Garth Sharpe with an expression of withering contempt. It was the same withering contempt I’d been practicing in the mirror for the past three weeks, the glare I would have used when my wife revealed her infidelity in the second act. I did not blink and I did not look away, not for a very long time. Garth Sharpe, the blubbery coward, only added another perfunctory, “I’m really sorry.”

“You’ve ruined me, Garth,” I whispered. “You’ve ruined Joel Henry Desmond.”

"A Three Percent Chance He'll Ever Know I Lied"|
by Jude-Marie Green

I wonder when he’ll die. I wonder what I’ll do when he dies.

I keep the needle ready. It’s steely and tanged with a glowing cartridge of silvery chemical. The fluid inside will bring him back. “Use immediately for best results.” I wrote that instruction. I’ll follow it.

And I watch. Sleepless nights. The cancer will take him, no question. I’ll bring him back.

"A Knight Most Valiant"
by Laura Stephenson

“Start with this,” the knight says, “'He began in his quest to rescue the princess by scaling the unscalable wall.' Do you have that?”

“Yes, Sir,” the squire says. “Shall I pull the rope up, now?”

“Yes, very good. Follow that up with the line, 'The sun shone brilliantly off his armor, shining like a beacon for miles around.'”

“It better; I polished it an entire day.”

“What's that?”

“Nothing; my quill needs ink, Sir.”

"Chroni Saturnia "
by Willem Myra

It was still dark outside when uncle Aldo came to our house to ask Dad for permission to take me dragon hunting.

"That's why you bother me at such an early hour?" I could hear Dad bark from my room. "Fine, get 'im. He ain't gonna be much help anyway, an' you know it."

I was still drowsy when I got into the car, not quite understanding what was going on. Mom stood in the doorway, clutching the robe around her midriff.

"Be safe, boys," she said. Then, only looking at uncle Aldo, "Please."

It didn't take long for uncle Aldo's old sedan to start, but by then Dad had already gone back to sleep.

"The Right Choice"
by Nicola Lombardi

It wasn’t so much the realization he was immobilized in that metal armchair that bothered him as much as the fact that he still found himself in utter darkness, although he had already regained full consciousness. They would’ve been able to do anything to him, this he knew. Was it so serious being caught shooting microfilm in the holy files of Templia, Inc., just to take a couple of souvenirs home with him? Riccardi believed, deep down, that it was. But enough to have him killed? Well, that he could not know. Naturally, he hoped not, and the fact he found himself still alive could be interpreted as a favorable sign. As for the rest, on the other hand, it could indicate that there was something special in store for him, and he was not very much thrilled by that prospect.

Well, old man, this time you’ve really gone and done it. You’re certainly not a novice. Maybe you’re just getting old . . .

"The Agreement at Clivemore Regional Hospital"
by David Draper

The Doctor paused and then reached into a drawer of his desk and brought out a single sheet of paper. The paper seemed faded and stiff and Burgos continued, holding the delicate piece of paper between two fingers as if it might break.

“This next page. I go over this page with everyone. You will, too. You’ll have to.”

At this point, Burgos paused and almost laughed, but then didn’t. He didn’t mean to almost laugh, he meant to breathe. Take a breath. He leaned backward slightly into the leather of his chair and spoke.

“It’s strange. I’ve had this job for thirty seven years. A long time.” He took in a breath. “And now someone else will have to do this. Explain page six of the agreement.” Echols nodded back, whatever impatience he had was now replaced by a curiosity.

“How much do you know about Clivemore Hospital? The history. Its beginnings.” Burgos paused but didn’t wait for Echols reply. “No, you don’t know,” said Burgos, “You couldn’t. I didn’t. But I’ll tell you now what you need to know.”

Staff Showcase

In this issue we're doing things a little differently. Instead of short stories,
a number of ALLEGORY staff members are highlighting their published
or soon-to-be-published novels. We hope you'll take a moment to see
what we've been up to -- besides this e-zine!

"Novel Preview:

by Ty Drago

"Novelette Preview:

by Kelly Ferjutz

"Novel Preview:

by J.E. Taylor

"Novel Preview:

by Kelly Ferjutz

Honorable Mentions

Allegory deals with submissions in the way that, as far as I know, remains fairly unique in the publishing world. Each story is individually reviewed and, if considered publishable, is placed in our "Maybe" pile. At the end of each submission period, these "Maybes" are reviewed, and the best eight chosen to appear in the next issue. This final cut is made on the basis of issue balance, and does NOT reflect the overall quality of these stories.

That said, here - in no particular order - are the "Maybes" who just missed publication in Allegory. Each one is a fine tale that we would have been proud to publish. Remember these names, friends and fellows. You'll be hearing from them in the future. I guarantee it!

The Long Walk by Mike Driver
Void by D.A. D'Amico
Regression by Tyler Marable
Tears Upon the Cheeks of a Now Sentimental Head by Stephen Wack
Recipe: 1 Universe by Effie Seiberg
The Dragon's Dinner by Lindsey Duncan
The Deal of the Century by David Smith
Connected by Karen Heslop
Special by Michael Cacciatore
Werewolf Therapy by Patrice Sarath
Swiping Stations by Holly Riordan
Shimmering Scale by Jay Requard
The Orb of Uber by Gregory Clifford
Two Car-Lengths Behind by Joseph Rubas
Man's Best Friend by Allen Saslaw
Connected by Sherry Welch
In the Garden by Michael Haynes
He Sensed Future Folly by Jenean McBreaty
The Blue Man by Dawn Lloyd
Diamond Ice by Tommy Smith
There's No Gadget Heaven by Diego Reymondez
The Meakrous Carrier by Kevin Greene
Look Inside by Melanie Rees
Version Four by Brandon Crilly
Things Plants Hear by Timothy Mudie
Shaky Grounds by Michael Tuggle

Editor for Hire!!!

Allegory's own Kelly Ferjutz, who has lent her editorial talents to this ezine since its inception in 1998, is now offering her expertise to writers out there looking for professional editing services.

Kelly is a veteran editor, a published author in her own right, as well as a "blogsman".

Click HERE to discover more about Kelly's offered services.

Or, better yet, consider redeeming the following coupon! Trust us, it's worth it!

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