David Hartley


“You have to understand,” says the woman, “an incorcism is nothing like its counterpart. No bells and whistles, no drama. All it takes is willingness, which you already have in spades.”

Strange stories about strange things for strange people. Tales of possession and obsession. Of destruction and restoration. Of the demons we hold inside us, and those we leave behind in others. An odd apocalypse freezes a supermarket on Mother’s Day, a vanished village holds an ancient curse, an abandoned ice cream van tears a street apart. Rival rainbow setters, the woman who sowed a crop of elephants in her garden, and what happens if you keep on turning the clocks back. Perhaps you had a demon then lost it. Do you miss it?

Our time here is brief and so are these curious fables. But the smallest of splinters are the hardest to dig out. Come and be snagged. Come, be unsettled. To be strange is to be human.

David Hartley’s tiny fictions are elusive and teasing and true. They’re like the fading echoes of dreams you struggle to remember when you wake up in the morning – the bits that you know didn’t quite make sense, and made you feel strange and a little unnerved, but you knew were important, so important, if only you could hold on to them forever.

Robert Shearman

David Hartley’s dark stories carve out their own twisted shapes – wonderfully constructed tales that linger long after you close the book. Be prepared for an uneasy ride.

Liam Hogan

These sharply-written short stories are a spine-chilling delight: ingenious, unnerving, pitch-dark.

Naomi Booth
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Author's Republic
Arachne Press
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