The Spider Inside

Arachnophobes beware: Stephen Graham Jones’s story “Hairy Legs and All” (published in this month’s issue of Nightmare magazine) will make your skin crawl. Jones takes an act as mundane as slipping on a shoe found in the back of a closet, and turns it into an inciting moment of terror. The narrative’s impact is heightened by its structure: most of the 1500-word story is comprised of a single run-on sentence that creates a frightful sense of immediacy (in his Author’s Spotlight interview on the piece, Jones aptly describes it as “a burst of a moment, a string of clauses, a word snowball rolling faster and faster downhill, getting larger and worse”). And just when the reader might think that matters couldn’t possibly get any more nightmarish, the author offers a climactic twist that posits a fate even more awful than the one anticipated. Highly recommended for fans of short-form horror in general, and of Jones’s literary magnificence in particular.

 

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