A book of short horror stories by artist David Steans.
Cover image and design by Stef Sadler.
First edition of 300 published in 2018 by Deptford X
as part of Deptford X 2018 Platform Commission.
For more information about the project see HERE.
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excerpt from ‘Introduction: Set in the Horror Bit’
“I’m looking for a book.”
“We have lots of those. Do you have a title?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“Do you have an author name?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“Do you have any information about the book that might help us find it for you?”
“It’s set in the horror bit.”
“So, it’s a horror book then?”
“No— Well, yes, it is a horror book, but what I mean is that the book is setin the horror bit. It takes place in the horror section.”
“The ‘horror section’? The horror section of what?”
“The horror section of a library.”
“Right. The horror section of a specific library? We could do a keyword search for you, if you can remember the name of the library.”
“You know the library.”
“I do? Which library is it then?”
“The book is set in this library.”
excerpt from ‘Saturday Shift’
Grenville checked that no-one was watching him and slowly took the wound—which he’d transferred into a freezer bag—out of his pocket. He fished the wound out of the bag and rested it on the side of the sink. He began rolling up the marigold on his left hand, past the wrist. When he got to the back of his hand, the rubber snagged, and pulled his skin sharply. Ow. He rolled the glove back down, took the glove off his other hand, and put the wound back in its bag. Take your time. Don’t rush. He pulled the glove off in one go with his right hand. Again, it snagged on his hand and pulled the skin. Oww. He looked at the back of his hand and saw that a wound had appeared. Not a fake wound but an actual wound. There was a deep gash in the back of his hand. The gash had a parting, wide enough to see fat and flesh beneath the skin. Blood trickled out of it. Grenville was sure he had not cut himself.
excerpt from ‘Four-Person Tent’
In its present state, it was still usable. They would be able to patch up the hole, at least. So they walked for another hour. When they came to rest again, they checked the tent first. More holes had appeared in the fabric, and the existing hole had grown wider. They did not understand what kind of rot could eat through the thick, synthetic skin of their newly purchased four-person tent. They reluctantly unpacked it and laid it on the ground, in the hope that they might find a clue as to the cause of the rot. They found nothing. No insects, no mould, no fungi. The tent was not even damp. They rolled it back up and continued walking.
As they walked, they reasoned that they could still use the tent, despite the holes, as long as it did not deteriorate any further. They had beaten the tent on the ground before rolling it back up again. There must have been something, a rot-causing thing, hiding in the tent. And they must have beaten it to death, or at least dislodged it from whichever seam it was hiding in. Another four to five miles, they thought. Then they would check on the tent again, and decide whether to walk through the night or set up camp. Presuming, of course, that they had not arrived at the festival by then.