Nuclear Option by Graham Robert Scott

Holding her breath, Ellen enters his lair. Makes her way through the chthonic dark by flashlight. Steps around teeth in the carpet.

“Go away,” he hisses.

“Sure thing, Nosferatu,” she replies. “But I can smell the mold and germs in here, and there’s only one way to kill them.”

When she whips open his blackout curtains, the sun storms in like an angel of rage and heat.

Her son howls, curling like a pill bug. Light gleams off pallid skin. He screams about smoke she cannot see.

Sighing, she leaves him to simmer, muttering that he knows nothing of pain.


Graham Robert Scott was born in California, but now resides in north Texas. A born scofflaw, he owns neither surfboard nor cowboy hat. His stories have appeared in Nature, Barrelhouse, and Pulp Literature. In addition to tweeting semi-regularly at @graythebruce, he blogs at