The Year's Best Horror Stories, Series XIV

FROM past THE GRAVE they arrive ...

For a kingpin within the Underworld, demise is not any excuse for lacking a last payoff ...

FROM THE DEPTHS OF the ocean, TERROR RISES ...

Even an deserted send can carry an unsuspecting sea captain’s doom ...

IN the home round the corner, HORROR HAS COME to name ...

When a military scan is going awry Willy is afraid to satisfy his associates head to head ...

THE YEAR’S top HORROR tales: XIV

Nineteen stories of beautiful terror. Be cautious if you happen to learn them after the solar is going down!

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Within the semi-darkness he tripped over a chair on his strategy to the captain’s table, yet there stumbled on a scrimshaw lantern and lit the candle nub inside of. Aided via the dim mild he eased subsequent into the captain’s head, empty, and the captain’s stateroom—which used to be now not. at the berth reposed the shape of a physique, coated thoroughly through a blanket that looked to be riddled with holes and blotched with darkish stains, which he fast famous as dried blood. A discharged pistol lay at the ground beside the mattress. whatever skinny and white protruded from the sting of the blanket. Captain Seabury reached down and jerked off the blanket. His abdominal clenched. It used to be a human skeleton, nonetheless clothed in just a tatter of rags, and one of many palms held a Bible to its chest. A conspicuous gap within the facet of the cranium indicated a suicide. Unwilling to tarry, Captain Seabury driven directly to the 1st and moment buddies’ cabins which have been either unoccupied. yet within the former he found the ship’s logbook. This, he knew, should still expose at the least a few trace as to what had happened aboard this secret send. The e-book was once opened to the ultimate access, dated simply days in the past. He was once going to test it there after which yet a unexpected noise within sight stuck his awareness, and he wheeled round, listening. but now there has been not anything, merely persisted silence. figuring out to attend until eventually later to peruse the magazine at size, he rummaged the pantry. There he came upon considerable reserves of smoked meat, salt fish, hard-baked rye bread, beans and rice, and different foodstuffs, in addition to kegs of cider and grog. No, it used to be no longer hunger that had doomed the lads of the Reaper. within the guidance the captain came upon a moment physique sprawled out close to the foot of the companionway ladder, this one a skeleton additionally. A small oil-lamp was once shattered underneath it, leaving a evenly charred spot. obviously the individual were wearing the lamp and stumbled or fallen upon it along with his chest, the flame quick smothering below his weight. “Captain! the place ye be? ” he heard the 1st mate calling. Mr. Cribb emerged from the entrance of the blubber room. whilst he espied Captain Seabury soaring over the skeletal is still, he nodded in acknowledgement. “Aye, I observed it as I got here down. ” one other of the lads met them and joined in, pointing a thumb in the back of him. “I came upon 3 of ’is pals within the fo’c’s’le—nothing yet bones, jest like ’im. ” The trio stood speechless a second, considering the macabre determine at their toes. Then Mr. Cribb broke the spell. “Sir, I been to the outlet ... i feel you’d most sensible take a peek. ” They him down the hatchway into the stinking, stifling carry, black as that of a slave send. within the wavering shadows they stepped rigorously, for the steps and gangways have been generally slick with oil and scum and will be detrimental. The captain lifted his mild excessive, and observed little need for rationalization as to Cribb’s discovery. The carry used to be stuffed to ability with whale oil—no under 2,500 barrels! the 1st mate drew his master’s recognition to the alarming point of water which lined the ballast and just about all of the ground rows of barrels.

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