October is a time for spooks and scares and…
It’s been ten years in the making, but I’m finally sharing my collection of thirteen thrilling short stories inspired by phobias with the reading world.
Fear is a complex emotion.
A phobia is fear on steroids.
Bigger. Badder. Brutal.
In these stories, you will read about phobias.
Some you know, some you don’t, some you suffer.
Some you enjoy.
We don’t judge.
1. A Nice Guy ~ A story that speaks to the esteem of the reader. Have you ever felt invisible? Unworthy? Afraid that no one will remember you? Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten.
2. Just Breathe ~ This one speaks to me! I get breathy every time I read it. Claustrophobia is the fear of suffocation.
3. Ready…or Not ~ To some extent, I believe this story reflects a universal fear. It’s one of my favorites–dark and deep. Eremophobia is the fear of loneliness, of being alone.
4. Twins ~ Geminiphobia is the fear of twins. Don’t laugh! People suffer from many a fear of ridiculous things. Well, they seem ridiculous to us. Of course, there may be a reader or two who didn’t have to catch their breath while reading the second story.
5. The Mighty Jinx ~ My research for this collection led me to believe that adding “phobia” to the end of a word makes it so. I may or may not have taken liberties with Jinxophobia and the definition that it’s the fear of making bad things happen.
6. History Lesson ~ This one doesn’t even end in “phobia” but the definition of Malthusianism is the fear of overpopulation.
7. Matticide ~ This is one of my original DAWGs prompts. I appreciate the play on the title. Mysophobia is the fear of germs.
8. Tying the Knot ~ Another DAWGs prompt. I like this one because it sets up as one thing but has a clever twist at the end. Pentheraphobia is a fear of your mother-in-law.
9. Lawnmower Blues ~ Several of these stories are based on my own fears. I do not go outside when anyone is mowing. My husband, my yard? Nope. Professional crew across the street at the neighbors? Nope. Gonna lose a toe. I did not have to make this up, Rasemaphobia is the fear of lawn mowers.
10. Strange Relationship ~ This story is based on an actual exchange I witnessed at a fast food restaurant many years ago. And maybe, just maybe, fact in action. How creepy is that?! Technophobia is the fear of technology. That covers a lot of ground. I may revisit this fear in future collections.
11. Get a Life ~ You can never be too careful in life…or can you? Thanatophobia is the fear of dying.
12. Popcorn ~ Short and powerful, I both love and am saddened by this story. Tokophobia is the fear of losing a pregnancy.
13. Exit Monsters ~ Another story based on a personal fear. Vehophobia is the fear of driving on highways.
All of these stories are inspired by phobias. Some are in yo face, others are more subtle, but I hope all haunt you just a little after you’ve finished reading.