Josh Darling is an award-winning bestselling author. In addition to writing fiction, he has worked as an editor and ghostwriter. The main focus of his work is horror, with a few entries in the crime genre. His short works have appeared in The Book Ends Review, The Horror Zine, and numerous anthologies.

Born on Long Island, he traveled the US extensively searching for experience. He currently lives in Bennington, Vermont.



Last night,
while you were sleeping,
a spider crawled into your ear.
Don’t worry,
it’s not living there…
It only needed
a place to lay
its eggs.


There is the ocean,
the sun and salt on the lips.
There is the sand under foot,
on the beach and under water.
And please, let me hold your hand.
There is the fall,
beneath the run of waves.
A place where the toes no longer touch,
and the waves lift you off your feet.
And please, let me hold your hand.
There is the sky,
and the lights above signal safety.
Cold rushes with the currents,
darkness looms with asphyxia.
And please, let me hold your hand.
I’ll take revenge,
on all those who never came.
I’ll take revenge,
on those who watched the undertow pull me to death.
And please, let me hold your hand.

And in spectral waves,
take you to the deep with me.


It’s a nice boat.
We’ll go out.
And you and I,
We’ll have a good time.

I know you’re nervous,
the night air is cool,
and you’re sweating bullets.
Don’t worry,
the gun is for emergencies.

It’s a nice boat.
We’re so far from the shore.
It’s important,
to chum the water.
If you don’t chum the water,
we won’t catch any fish.

Could you be a chum
and get in the water?
No matter what happens,
it’ll be over in 10 to 20 minutes
at the most.

You’ll bleed to death from the bullet wounds.
You’ll die drowning in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.
You’ll be eaten by sharks, drawn by the mess.

And I’ll be heading home
on my nice boat.

(written in a Japanese form called Haibun)

I was in a restaurant, laughing with friends. During our meal, I saw it –for only a second. A shadow of a person. Its edges uncertain. It stood in the corner, watching. Then it faded. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Enjoying a walk in the park, something was off. The sun warmed me, but my core felt chilled. Under a tree, the light between the leaves touched it. The same form without substance. Without eyes, it focused on me. Looking at it, it dissipated. I was in the shower. The water went cold. I figured the circuit for the water heater tripped. I put my robe on. I headed to the basement. The circuit was fine. I’d call someone to fix it. It waited by the heater. I ran up the stairs. It followed.

In my home,
it reached out
for me.