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He lay there a long moment before the first boy ran down the hill and turned him over to his back, yelling, “Dad!” The man rushed down the hill, sliding before catching his balance and running to the boy. He knelt to check him as the other boy got the sled. They lifted the boy onto the tube and dragged him back up the hill, the man looking judgmentally at Mark. “We’re gonna go get an X-ray. You kids should head home.”

Snow Day is number nineteen of our announced features in The Needle Drops... Volume One. Coming 2021, and exclusively available in bespeckled, resplendent ink -- the icy terror of SNOW DAY! With Short Fiction, we explore the various subgenres of horror in creative and unexpected ways.

It was a normal senior year in their small Midwestern town. Mark had the pretty girl, the popular friends, but something . . .” The local news anchor announced the body of a young man had been found. “ . . . was deeply wrong . . .” A clearly insane woman in a nightgown rearranges photos on a coffee table, just rearranges them over and over, laughing to herself. “. . . just waiting to come crashing down.” A cabin roof collapses. Snow gusts out from under a door. Fire. The sounds of screaming. Mark says to his girlfriend Heather, “Come on. This could the last snow day of senior year.” Heavy breathing, with a slight gurgling. “It hurts.” The thwopping of helicopter blades as a violin reaches a screeching off-tune crescendo. "Coming this winter: SNOW DAY."

It was a normal senior year in their small Midwestern town. Mark had the pretty girl, the popular friends, but something was deeply wrong...

Allison Louise Miller has several published short stories and wrote book one of the Tool Trackers paranormal detective series (read the first twenty percent free with Kindle Unlimited here) while studying creative writing under Brian Leung and Paul Griner at University of Louisville. Having spent most of her life looking inward to explore imagination and creative play, the isolation of the past year forced her to develop self-acceptance as spiritual practice, a central tenant of her faith as a member of Unicult, a New Age Internet cult led by androgynous space angel Unicole Unicron. Her interests include cooking at a professional level, photography, and video production. She was inspired by a teaching creative writing class to develop her writing practice as a quasi-spiritual or ritual magic practice, a yoga of writing in and through the body that incorporates elements of clairaudient channelling and divination, which she’d like to one day teach in a classroom. In other words, a year of isolation has driven her utterly insane.

A long-time fan of dream-like weird fiction by writers such as George Saunders, Aimee Bender, and Kelly Link, incorporating elements of screenplay writing and pop culture as collective unconscious, as in Snow Day and other recent work, her stories could be described as mass media fairy tales. Genre tropes are given a reverence normally reserved for religious symbolism. The zombie apocalypse is the new Revelation. The final girl is the new holy virgin. She frequently posts hyperbolic 3AM notes about such matters on Twitter, over 50% of which she later deletes. Her works in progress under the pen name Downy Thornapple include YA novels The Patchwork Girl and All Parents Must Die, a hentai trilogy called Shinjuku Sex Wars, and a comedic men’s adventure novel series about a transgender private investigator called Candy Sapphire.


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