We haven’t had one of these in a while. Releasing tomorrow, Down on the Playground by Jeffrey Lyman, one of the authors in our eSpec eShorts series of releases.



Elsi fears for her own sanity as she comes to grips with horrors both seen and unseen. How much of what she faces is in her own mind and how much of that will it take to destroy her? Some forces are better left alone, but Elsi isn’t given a choice. Sometimes you have to stare into the face of madness to find your own strength.


Elsi Latchka curled up at the head of her assigned bed, knees drawn up, headphones on, Iron Maiden loud, eyes closed. Not moving. Hoping her cocoon of darkness and white noise would hold. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t drown out the uneasy chattering of the dead. The voices grew louder every day while the doctors purged her system of old medications.

She hated the drugs and hated that she needed them, but she desperately hoped the doctors would find a new, working combination soon so she could go home. She had voluntarily come to the hospital after freaking out at work, but she didn’t like being here longer than she had to.

She was twenty-five, with deep-set eyes and a shock of black hair that betrayed her Slavic ancestry. During the last five years of being in and out of hospitals, Elsi had vacillated between believing in ghosts and believing they were paranoid hallucinations. She was perfectly sane when she was on her drugs. She could hold down a job and keep an apartment. When the drugs inevitably lost their efficacy, she saw and felt things no one else did, thing that could see her back. Then she didn’t believe they were hallucinations. Every night she stared at the ceiling in the dark and told herself it wasn’t real.

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