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Mike Allen

Mike Allen is the editor of the magazine Mythic Delirium and the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies. His horror story “The Button Bin” was a finalist for the Nebula Award and his debut collection of short stories, Unseaming, was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. His other books include the novel The Black Fire Concerto and collection The Spider Tapestries: Seven Strange Stories. His poems and stories have appeared or will appear in places like Weird Tales, Best Horror of the Year Volume One, Cthulhu’s Reign, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Tomorrow’s Cthulhu, Transmissions from Punktown, and The Leaves of a Necronomicon.

The Quiltmaker

To a tiny part of you, this setting is familiar. These hard chairs built a little too small, with their desk flaps scarred by years upon years of pocketknife graffiti, rows on rows slanting down between aisles of threadbare carpet to the stage with its smooth-worn planks and its decades-old curtain and its faded elementary school logo marring the cinder block at the front of the stage platform.

The Button Bin

You know he’s the one who made your beloved niece disappear.

He’s come out of his shop now, fussing with gloves that look expensive, a match to his long glossy overcoat. Glare from the streetlight glints on his bare scalp. Above that light, impotent clouds wall away the moon, render the sky a blank carbon sheet.