Give me something to sink my teeth into…”

I was thinking steak dinner, but she watches too many horror movies, screams I’m a vampire and pulls her collar to reveal the throbbing vein in her neck.

“I’ve waited my whole life for you,” she says.

“Cut it out. I’m starving.”

“Have a drink. Turn me too. Please,” she begs.

It’s unsettling how desperate she is. I almost feel guilty to disappoint. “I’m not what you think I am.”

Even I’m in denial of the fangs I trace with my tongue, but biting her would mean instant death.

For us both.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

The catch

grayscale photo of an abandoned concrete house

When he tells me he got the house for a steal, I ask, “What’s the catch?”

He raises an eyebrow. “Catch? No catch.”

“A house this size for that price in this economy? There’s always a catch. So what is it? $100,000 in renovations? Black mold? It’s in a flood zone.”

“No, nothing like that.”

“Then what?” A sudden movement of the curtains in one of the second-story windows catches my eye. “Is someone inside?”

“No,” he says, but it’s as if he’s asking a question.

I think I see something in the window.”

“Oh, about that…”

Ahh, the catch.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Haunted lovemaking

He invited me to spend the night in a haunted house. There was no electricity. It was colder inside than out. Every piece of furniture was covered in a thick layer of dust.

“This isn’t good for my allergies,” I said.

“I came prepared.” He shook the bottle of antihistamines.

My sneezing wasn’t the only thing he was prepared for. I saw the circular imprint in the front pocket of his skinny jeans.

“No one can intrude.”

But he was wrong. The ghosts would watch us silently as we rocked the bed in clouds of dust, wishing to be alive.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

White sheet

person standing in a hall completely covered in a white sheet, with large black circles for eyes

Tony was determined to scare the shit out of me by Halloween. His latest gimmick: hiding rubber spiders in my oatmeal.

“I could’ve choked on these,” I said as I plucked each out of the bowl and threw them at him.

“Not even a jump scare?”

“I told you!”

That night, as I headed to bed, he stood at the end of the hall wearing only a white sheet.

I don’t believe in ghosts!”


His unexpected emergence from the bathroom sent chills down my arms. When I looked back, the being had dissipated, the sheet flat on the floor.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

After the prom

a woman lost in the forest

We weren’t supposed to be in the woods. He told me he wanted to lie next to me and watch the stars. He even had a blanket in his trunk.

But when we lay on the ground, amongst the shrubbery and raised roots, I saw nothing but the tops of trees and a dense fog descending upon us.

“I told my mom I’d be home by 11.”

“Just a few more minutes.” He curled his finger around the strap of my dress and pulled it down my shoulder.

I saw in his eyes what he wanted, and it scared me.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Part of my “Prom Night Ghost” saga on this blog. Read previous stories here and here. The short story that all of this inspired was finally written last month! It was seven years in the making, but I did it! I still need to edit and revise, so I’ll talk more about it in a future post. Stay tuned!

So much blood

I felt nothing when I hit him over the head with the skillet, straddled his unconscious body with the pan raised above me, and brought it down five more times.

He was surprisingly light when I dragged him from the kitchen, kicked him down the stairs to the basement, and counted the thuds as he bounced off each step before reaching the bottom.


I was still in my trance as I wandered to the second-floor bathroom, flicked on the light, and stood in front of the mirror.

Then I blinked and saw the blood.

I couldn’t rinse it out.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons


interior of airplane with passengers

The voices over the PA system were not mechanical. They were human. Clear as day. And they were moaning in agony.

After the lead flight attendant announced that there was nothing to worry about, no one was hurt, Stephanie suggested the flight attendant and pilot were recently initiated into the mile-high club.

“It doesn’t sound like the pilot is in pleasure,” I said. “It sounds like he’s being murdered.”

She shrugged. “For some guys, they sound the same.”

When we landed, a pair of paramedics were waiting at the gate, a stretcher between them, and two officers clearing the way.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

This story was inspired by a news segment I watched recently about strange moaning sounds on an American Airlines flight. The airline claimed it was mechanical failure. You tell me—what do you hear?


After three attempts—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—my husband went to bed alive and well, even demanding sex before he eventually passed out.

Immediately, I dial the apothecary.

The poison didn’t work!” I say a pitch above whispering.

“These things take time.”

“But he’s not even sick!” I glance down to ensure he’s still asleep. His shoulders rise and fall at an even rhythm.

“A stronger dose may be necessary.”

“I’ve paid you a fortune!”

“Half-priced this time!”

Weary of her promises, I hang up, decide to take the matter into my own hands, press the pillow over his face.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

The bridesmaid

This is my sixth wedding this year. Apparently, all my girlfriends from university have found their ever after.

All but me.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

I’ll try not to be so cynical when I give my toast tomorrow. Besides, Janeane’s my best friend, and after the shit Marco put her through junior year, she deserves it more than anyone.

Still, I can’t help but wonder if this guy is the one.

Especially since he’s lying naked in my bed the night before the wedding.

Just like the others—before they rose the next morning and married someone else.

© Nortina Simmons

Foreign affair

As I board the private plane for America, I glance back at the medieval castle where I lived in luxury for nearly six months.

I guess I should thank him for banishing me in style, a departing gift as he exiles me back to a trailer in an overgrown lot, a drunkard grandfather, and a minimum wage job that will barely keep the two of us fed.

Three of us now.

The future queen is barren. I leave with the satisfaction that she will never give him an heir.

And when the time comes, my son will be a king.

© Nortina Simmons