“The Treehouse” (horror, short story, The Horror Society Presents Forgotten Places, The Horror Society, 2015) — A specter-shadowed tale of childhood love and loss.
“Shadows and Foxfire” (fantasy, short story, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, 2014) — In his earliest adventure, the newly-named samurai Hokage finds himself stranded at a mysterious inn inhabited by sinister strangers.
“The Roar of the Greasepaint” (horror, short story, Carnival of the Damned, Evil Jester Press, 2014) — A tale of a clown who has sold his soul to the more sordid side of show business.
“The Door, the Lock, the Key” (horror, short story, An Uncommon Collection, Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, 2012, reprinted from Bound For Evil (see below)) — An aging sorcerer learns that an old friend has discovered a long sought-after tome which is far more than mere words on paper…
One very kind Amazon reviewer of this tale wrote, ” ‘The Door, the Lock, the Key’ by R. Michael Burns–This is what ‘The Da Vinci Code’ could have been like if Dan Brown were a better writer, had read Lovecraft a bit more carefully, and had condensed his rambling tome into a single short story. A secret cult calling themselves ‘the Librarians’ (Free Masons, Rosicrucians, Templars, the wussy monks in ‘The Name of the Rose’–pah! What a bunch of amateurs!) have finally discovered the Ultimate Book of Evil. One of them attempts to draw back from the brink of the (admittedly Lovecraftian) Abyss, and a Battle ensues in one of the strangest libraries in all of literature.”
Windwalkers (horror, novel, Evil Jester Press, 2012) — When a nightmarish blizzard drives college students Nick Bookman and Robin Kelley to take shelter in a small-town Minnesota church, they are forced to confront the intimate secret that is tearing their friendship apart. The appearance of another storm refugee, Alicia Morgan, an attractive high school senior and self-described witch, arouses Nick’s interest and threatens to strain the old friends’ relationship past the breaking point. Then one of the men trapped in the church disappears in the deep of the night, and his young daughter stumbles in from the storm babbling about monsters. Only Alicia recognizes the creature from the child’s tale for what it must be—a wendigo, an ancient spirit that hungers for human flesh. Soon these monsters are on the hunt, and the refugees discover they must fight not only the menace that haunts the storm, but their own darkest desires. If they cannot control their hungers, they will be consumed by them. Only the strongest hearts among the strange band of storm refugees have any hope of surviving the long dark night.
“Shadows and Hellfire” (fantasy, short story, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, 2012) — The samurai Hokage attempts to rid himself, once and for all, of the haunted blade called Demon-Fang — an effort that will take him, quite literally, to hell…though not necessarily back.
“Demon-Fang” (fantasy, short story, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, 2011) — The samurai Hokage prepares to fight a nightmarish battle that only the sword Demon-Fang can win — but at what price?
“Gwailo” (horror, short story, Made You Flinch, Library of the Living Dead, 2010) — An Englishman returns to Hong Kong during the Ghost Month holiday in the hope that the line between life and death has indeed been temporarily erased…
“Shadows from Firelight” (fantasy, short story, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, 2009) — The first tale of the samurai Hokage, before the discovery of Demon-Fang. The newly-made samurai must protect his lord’s pregnant daughter from an unseen evil which is slowly draining away the young woman’s life…
“Animal Act” (horror, short story, Shroud #7, 2009) — When Teddy Meeker takes his children to the circus, he and the kids are in for the most horrifying show of their lives…
“The River Child” (horror, short story, Horror Library Volume 3, Cutting Block Press, 2008) — Tomiji Fukushima, a homeless man living under a bridge on the Sumida River, learns that the creatures of his childhood nightmares might really haunt the the Tokyo shadows.
“The Door, the Lock, the Key” (horror, short story, Bound For Evil: Curious Tales of Books Gone Bad, Dead Letter Press, 2008) — The original printing of my tale which was originally intended for (and finally found a second home in) the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group’s anthology. The book is a beautiful faux-leather bound limited edition with a fine mix of new and classic horror stories.
“Keeping Vigil at the Tree of Life” (science fiction, short story, Goodbye, Darwin, Apodis Publishing, 2006) — A scientist living under a theistic world government finds all of her beliefs challenged when asked to examine the carcass of a creature that shouldn’t exist.
“The Big Cheat” (science fiction, short story, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, 2006) — In a distopian near-future, a surly PI is hired to investigate an especially strange case of marital infidelity.
“The Nightmare of the Spheres” (horror, short story, Lovecraft’s Weird Mysteries #7, 2004) — An aging man discovers an innocuous slip of paper that unlocks memories better left forgotten…
“Alone Together” (horror, short story, City Slab: Urban Tales of the Grotesque, volume 1, issue 1, 2002) — Oscar Lone, a morbidly obese man, has been hiding from the world. But as Oscar finds out in the most hideous way, a man cannot hide from himself.
“Portrait in Shades of Black” (speculative, short story, Dark Regions #16, 2001) — A brilliant young artist with a unique vision tries to cope with sudden success and the fame that attends it.
“Celia” (horror, short story, Bell, Book & Beyond, Design Image Group, Inc., 2000) — A young man scours the world searching for the woman who stole a part of his soul. But what happens when he finally finds her?
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED, NO LONGER AVAILABLE…
“The Throwaway People” (horror, short story, Arkham Tales Magazine #6, 2010) — A young woman seeking only to help those in need finds herself in a strange part of town, where the locals have plans of their own for her…
“Taghairm Close” (horror, short story, Cthulhu Express, Rage Machine Publishing, 2006) — A young man visiting his on-again / off-again lover in Old York discovers that the ancient city is still home to some terrifying secrets. (Originally appeared in Lone Wolf Press’s limited-edition e-anthology Extremes 5: Fantasy and Horror from the Ends of the Earth.)
“The Gallery” (horror, short story, Dark Recesses Magazine, 2006) — A young woman finds herself in a world of nihilism and horrifying beauty when she goes looking for her missing boyfriend.
“Daddy’s Little Girl” (horror, short story, Dreams of Decadence #18, 2003) — A father hunts the horror that used to be his daughter.
“Gaslight and Shadows” (horror, short story, Dreams of Decadence #11, 2000) — A young actress must decide just how much she is willing to give to her art.
“The Eyes of a Stranger” (horror, short story, Dreams of Decadence #6, 1998) — An artist finds his ideal model, but neither is what they seem.