Requiem in Frost by Jonathan Fortin – Free Fiction Excerpt

by Emerian Rich


On this day of Mabon, is proud to present the next book in their eHorror Bites series. eHorror Bites 4: Requiem in Frost is the newest work of Next Great Horror Writer Contest winner, Jonathan Fortin.



Located in the deep frostbitten woods of Norway, Ingrid’s new home is old, spooky, and possibly haunted. Guttural screams wake Ingrid and her mother nightly. When they discover the shrieks belong to deceased former occupant and extreme metal musician, Skansi Oppegård, Ingrid investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. Hoping to exorcise Skansi’s ghost, she talks her mom into being part of a metal band. Oppegård’s last musical creation awakens forces beyond Ingrid’s understanding and causes Skansi’s murderer to resurface. In the battle between a madman and zombies, metal may be the only weapon she has.


Despite Mom’s distaste for the music, she let me buy the CD and a pair of cool headphones with skulls painted on them. Mom had a new window stashed in the back of the car, along with some groceries. We drove home in silence, but the heavy metal we’d sampled still echoed in my head, and I ached to hear more.

Entering the house again, a chill licked down my back, and it occurred to me that it was colder inside the walls than in the woods beyond. Mom seemed to sense it, too. Neither of us took off our coats, even while we fixed the window.

After lunch, Mom surprised me by pulling a ouija board out from one of the grocery bags.

“Found this at the antique store,” she said, putting it onto the table. “Thought it might help. Every ghost story has a ouija board!”

The ouija board didn’t do shit. After several attempts at communicating, the only words we were able to get were “ufdijedji” and “ehdusadj,” and we only got those because I got so bored I started pushing it myself. Disappointed, Mom threw the thing in the trash.

That night, I lay in bed listening to the Frost Prophet CD with my swanky new headphones. Maybe it was the music, but for whatever reason, falling asleep wasn’t as hard as it had been the night before.


When I opened my eyes, it was still dark—probably after midnight. When I took off my headphones, I didn’t hear screaming. However, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Someone was standing in the corner of my room.

He was tall and muscular, with long, ragged hair. Smeared skeletal makeup covered his face, mingling with open scars. His torso was splashed with a fresh coat of crimson, dripping all over the floor, but drippiest of all was the huge axe in his hand. As I considered the growing red pool at his feet, I found myself wondering where all that blood had come from…

Is Mom all right?

The thought hit me with the force of a speeding train. If the ghost had hurt Mom, he could hurt me, too. Perhaps it should have been obvious, but I’d never felt threatened until that moment. My heart stopped as I lay there, paralyzed in bed, fearing he would kill me, and that he’d killed Mom already.

The spirit approached my bed, his huge axe dripping a river onto the floor. I tried to muster up the courage to run, but my legs were frozen in place. All too quickly, he was right beside me, raising his axe high.

“Skansi…” It came out before I could stop it, the squeak of a girl much younger than myself.

The spirit halted, surprise in his bulging eyes. Perhaps he hadn’t expected me to know his name.

“Someone killed you, didn’t they?” I asked, my throat dry.

The spirit continued to stare, but he did not lower his axe.

“I have your CD.” I held up the CD player. “It’s really good.” I tried to sound calm, but I wasn’t. I could smell the coppery scent of blood. I knew if the spirit struck me with his axe, it would cut straight through me.

The spirit stared, saying nothing, and I couldn’t tell if he was disturbed or bewildered. Then he backed away and disappeared into the darkness.

I got out of bed and rushed to Mom’s room. Her eyes were closed, but judging by the rise and fall of her chest, she was alive and well. Relief rushed over me, and with it came a drug-like euphoria. Dangerous or not, living in a haunted house was so cool.

JonathanFortinAuthorPhoto_SepiaJonathan Fortin is the author of Lilitu: The Memoirs of a Succubus (coming December 2019 from Crystal Lake Publishing) and Nightmarescape (Mocha Memoirs Press). An unashamed lover of spooky Gothic stories, Jonathan was named the “Next Great Horror Writer” in 2017 by He attended the Clarion Writing Program in 2012, one year after graduating summa cum laude from San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing program. When not writing, Jonathan enjoys voice acting, dressing like a Victorian gentleman, and indulging in all things odd and macabre in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter.

You can also find Jonathan in’s Clockwork Wonderland and eHorror Bites 3: #NGHW Editor Picks.