Cyclopean is a new e-zine of weird fiction, run by Gavin Capener and Tami Brooks. I’m proud to say my novelette, “Old Haunts,” is included.
“Old Haunts” is a story about nostalgia and our compulsion to cling to the past for comfort. Leander is a man who has bedded himself in the familiar. He is afraid to leave his job at the local grocery store where he has worked since beginning college, spends his free time watching reruns of his favorite childhood TV shows, and, at thirty years old, still lives with his parents.
Leander’s wife, Christine, tries to be patient with him. They are newly weds, and she believes Leander just needs time to find a new job and get out of the rut he seems to have been in since graduating college. When Leander chooses Misty Peak for their honeymoon destination–a tourist town in the Smoky Mountains, where he spent his childhood vacations–Christine tells herself the trip will do them good.
But she couldn’t be more wrong.
On the day of their arrival, Leander becomes infatuated with a haunted house attraction off the main tourist strip. A ragged, rundown structure clinging to the back of a fudge stand. He remembers walking past it every year as a child and never getting a chance to go inside. His old, nostalgic impulses seem to be at work, as he talks about the haunted house constantly, unable to take his mind off of it. But as he becomes more insistent–and even violent–Christine begins to realize there is something more at work. A force beyond her comprehension has taken hold of her husband. A force originating in the the haunted house itself.
I’ve enclosed the link to this zine below. Please check it out if you can and let me know what you think of “Old Haunts!”