The Neck-Tie Party
Arizona Territory, 1879
The rowdy crowd
put the stranger on his horse and rode him out to the ancient oak tree outside
the cemetery walls. Threw a hemp neck-tie around his throat, flung the other
end over a sturdy branch, slapped his horse on its haunch. All because the
sheriff caught him suckin’ blood from a saloon girl. He dangled and danced in
the air until everyone got bored and went home, all righteous and satisfied
justice was served. Damn these small town vigilantes, the stranger
groused, they always leave the party too soon, and I have to cut my own self
The Hunting Party
Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland, 1979
“We no longer hunt foxes, or other small game,”
wistfully, gazing into the woodlands before him. “My niece, Beatrice, pointed
out how needlessly cruel and unsportsmanlike it was.” He loaded shells into the
hunting rifle draped over his arm.
“Wonderful!” Cody enjoined. He smoothed his
feathered hair as if
patting himself on the back. Being Beatrice’s American boyfriend, he’d convinced
her to convince her wealthy uncle to drop this archaic pastime.
Basil pulled out his pocket watch. “I’ll
give you a fifteen minute
head start, old boy.” Through his walrus mustache, he grinned at Cody. “You’d
Dallas, Texas, 2020
The maroon 1980 Thunderbird slid into the empty space
curb. The hand on the wheel was nothing but bone and dried sinew, with a
covering of flesh, ragged and flaking like the car’s leather upholstery.
The passenger door popped open. The driver leaned over,
cigarette clenched between gray teeth. “C’mon, Lisa, we gotta get this party
started!” he rasped. A gold medallion glinted on the serpentine chain laying
against his sternum. A disco anthem boomed from the car stereo.
The rusted cemetery gates creaked open. Lisa crawled
into the car,
jaw missing, but gibbering with joy, nonetheless.
With an MA in English
Literature, Hillary Lyon founded and for 20 years served as senior editor for the independent
poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. Along with her poetry, her crime, horror, and sci-fi
stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, as well as in multiple
anthologies. She is also an illustrator for horror/sci-fi, and pulp fiction sites. She’s
lived in France, Brazil, Canada, and several states in the U.S.; she currently resides
in southern Arizona.