"Like many of life's unpleasantries, Nick had not noticed the stain until it was too large to ignore. He merely shuffled to his living room one morning to find the wall damp and streaked with the liquified remains of a quiet stranger. Not that Nick recognized his neighbour at first. His first instinct was to think it was a burst pipe, water discoloured by rust. But that theory didn't account for the consistency, the creeping viscosity of it."
Hypostasis is number fourteen of our announced features in The Needle Drops... Volume One. Within, an ominous - viscous - presence awaits... With Short Fiction, we explore the various subgenres of horror in creative and unexpected ways.
Nick awakes one morning to find the liquified remains of his upstairs neighbour leaking through the ceiling. When the stain left by his late neighbour persists against all efforts to be cleaned away, something begins to rot within Nick too. Something that has been buried deep within him for far too long. A guilty conscience, a Catholic upbringing, and a fear of filth all push Nick to a terrifying and numinous revelation. Hypostasis explores the claustrophobia of religion and modern living, and the queasy reality that everything, eventually, rots. Perhaps cleanliness isn't as close to Godliness as Nick once believed. Perhaps his salvation lies in decay.
Perhaps cleanliness isn't as close to Godliness as Nick once believed. Perhaps his salvation lies in decay.
Saoirse Ní Chiaragáin is an Irish writer living in Berlin, Germany. Though her writing background had been primarily geared towards television and film, she took to writing short stories as a way to escape the frustrations and fears of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her co-written feature film, Consentuality, received Screen Ireland development funding in 2020, and while the coming-of-age comedy project is incredibly close to her heart, she feels her true home is in writing horror. To date, Saoirse's stories have been published in Novel Noctule, Not Deer Magazine, and The Piker Press. Upcoming works will feature in the anthologies 99 Tiny Terrors from Pulse Publishing, and Blood and Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by Women from Ghost Orchid Press. Her first novella is slowly, painfully coming into existence. You can remind her to get back to writing it by tweeting her at @MiseryVulture. You can find all her published work on her website, saoirsenichiaragain.com.