Aly Markland


I wrote this story for submission to a short fiction anthology with the theme ‘New beginnings’. Length: ~4,000 words Previously published as Aly van Limbergen

When the power went out, I learned just how little it takes for your whole way of life to be turned on its head.

At first, of course, nobody believed it. We thought it was a normal power cut, over in a matter of hours; then, when that didn’t happen, that it’d be days. It was only when the first nomads started coming, and bringing with them the news—no power in Chippenham, Cirencester, Newbury—that we started to understand this was something different. Something serious—since what was there these days that didn’t use electricity?


I wrote this short story for submission to a horror-themed web series. Length: ~2,000 words Previously published as Aly van Limbergen

The Vase

My mom loves junk. My whole life, she’s been bringing home crap from antique stores and yard sales—handmade quilts, creepy knick-knacks, enough kitchenware to put Martha Stewart to shame.

But she’d never brought me anything like this before. A porcelain vase painted with a scene of waves crashing over a rocky shore, beneath a roll of steel-colored clouds. When I gave her a baffled look, she shrugged and said, “I thought the place could use sprucing up a bit.”

“What, you don’t like my Kill Bill poster?” I joked.

A small wooden hut was set back from the shore a ways; as I looked, I noticed the figure of a man leaning against the side of it, his head bowed. The whole scene was profoundly depressing. I wondered why someone had painted this on a vase.

Mom said, “It’s funny…I don’t know why, but it made me think of Andrew.”