Halloween ritual

Strange things happen when the moon is full, especially on nights like tonight—Halloween night—on Franklin Street.

Kevin is dressed as a devil. Interesting that the one night we can be whatever we want he chooses to take off his mask.

“You coming to Franklin tonight? It’s gonna be wild.”

The last time I attended a “wild” party with him, I woke the next morning with ripped panties. Post Roe v. Wade, I won’t risk fate again.

He shrugs. “Your loss.”

But he’s wrong. It will be his. I’ve waited a year for this revenge.

I bind straw bristles from my broom with twine, adorn the figurine with cloth I tore from his shirt last Halloween night, when I was nearly passed out, and hang it by a string outside my dorm room window.

On the news tonight, campus police report, “Demonic rapist levitates during attempted assault, snaps his neck. Body found at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia.”

I chuckle at how the moonlight illuminates the grisly scene.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Casting out demons

His dog is possessed. Sounds crazy—demons possessing pets—but if it can happen to pigs, it can happen to anyone.

“Your reasoning.” My sister sighs. “Not everything in the bible should be believed.”

I squint at her. “That sounds like something a devil would say.”

“God, now I’m possessed?”

Actually yes. It stands behind her as a looming shadow. but if I tell her, that’s another 72-hour psych hold.

So I silently pray and cast it into the black cat by her feet.

Tonight, it’ll have an accident. Over the cliff and into the sea. Just like the pigs.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons


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


Our first night we kissed
he bit my bottom lip
pierced it through
licked blood from his fangs
howled at the moon

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

© Nortina Simmons

Originally published October 13, 2017

Into the depressing woods…

person walking between green forest trees

I’m more curious than anything—not thinking about ending my life. Honest. But he’s skeptical, because of my depression.

They call it the suicide forest,” he says.

“It’s also rumored to be haunted.”

“Yeah,” he scoffs, “I can imagine.”

“I’ll go by myself then.”

“No!” he shouts. He doesn’t trust me alone. How many times do I have to tell him the knife slipped. I didn’t mean to cut my wrist.

I swear.

The next day, we follow the guide into the woods. He warns not to deviate from the path—otherwise the forest will consume us.

But a whisper in the wind welcomes me home, and I want to be eaten.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

How to Resurrect “Dark Universe” and Produce Interconnected Monster Movies the “Right” Way | Part 2

Good afternoon, fellow horror movie fanatics! In Part 1 of this series, I imagined myself as a studio exec at Universal in charge of reviving the prematurely terminated “Dark Universe,” our cinematic universe of classic monsters!

In step 1 of my plan, I established Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy as canon (pretending all subsequent Mummy movies never existed, similar to the endless timelines for Halloween). In step 2, the BIG bad made his terrifying debut: Dracula! Son of the Devil!

Next we’ll explore how this universe will continue and, if possible, search for a feasible ending…

Continue reading “How to Resurrect “Dark Universe” and Produce Interconnected Monster Movies the “Right” Way | Part 2″

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

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

Can a Cinematic Universe Featuring Universal’s Classic Monsters Really Work? | Part 1

Hello, October! It’s the beginning of spooky season and also International Coffee Day, so grab yourself a French roast (or whatever international flavor suits your fancy) and sit down for a chat, because I’m in a talkative mood today!

Continue reading “Can a Cinematic Universe Featuring Universal’s Classic Monsters Really Work? | Part 1”