"But I'm frightened of the things I might find" As always, there are some quite good free fiction links today.
Wild Blue Roses" by Jeff Suwak.
"Tiernan discovered the dead dogs outside the trapper’s camp at the base of Mount Storm. The animal’s frozen carcasses hung impaled upon the trunks of black oaks, branches bursting out of their flanks and eyes and mouths. The moment he saw the grim spectacle, the druid knew that Bril’s mind was too far gone. There could be no bringing him back, now."
All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past" by Howard Waldrop. Science Fiction.
"It’s all over for humanity, and I’m heading east. On the seat beside me are an M1 carbine and a Thompson submachine gun. There’s a special reason for the Thompson. I traded an M16 and 200 rounds of ammo for it to a guy in Barstow." Text and Audio.
• At Lightspeed: "A Hole in the World" by Matthew Hughes. Fantasy.
"'I’m taking Bodwon with me,' Erm Kaslo said. 'He’s handy.' Diomedo Obron did not look up from the ancient tome in which he had been immersed when his security chief entered his work room. 'All right,' he said."
The World Resolute" by E. Catherine Tobler. Speculative Fiction.
"The trees are growing hollow here. The trees are long dead, striping the snowy land with dark shadows. The hag sits among shadows and trees alike." Text and audio versions.
Beam Me Up # 414: Sojourn Chronicle book 1 chapter 1 part 1" by . Fantasy.
". . . Dale, a member of a large space fleet, who is marooned on a world similar to 18th-century Earth. He discovers very quickly that being stranded is the least of his problems; the world he is on is about to be destroyed and he's the only one that can save it. Without any clear direction, or the tools to do so, he sets out to try, encountering magic, mayhem and chaos at every turn"
EP454: Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One" by KC Ball, read by Dani Cutler. Science Fiction.
"Lori Meeker pushed her hair out of her eyes and leaned back against the sink. She squeezed the cold porcelain edge to still her trembling hands and focused on the pair of plainclothes cops shoehorned into the women’s can with her."
"big game hunters who find the terror tables turned on them gorily and ironically in the final panel-- but you ain't ever seen a bat shit crazy ending like this one" Originally presented in Mysterious Adventures #15, art by Doug Wildey.
• Audio at Protecting Project Pulp: “The Weight of Reputation” by Harrison R. Howard, read by Shawn Robertson. Western.
• Mythology at Project Gutenberg: Stories from Northern Myths by Emilie Kip Baker.