top of page

Betrayal, compassion, dark humor, friendship, love gone wrong, and the enduring devotion of family: Issue 4 of DARK YONDER highlights the range of human emotion in ten original, unforgettable neo-noir short stories:

  • Good People by Simon Berry

  • Quiz Bowl by Scott Blackburn

  • A Strange Request at a Piano Bar by Wil A. Emerson

  • Will I See the Birds When I Am Gone by Stanton McCaffery

  • Sweet Chin Music by Joshua Murray

  • Twenty-One Turquoise Beads by Estelle Phillips

  • No Voices in the Sky by Emilee Prado

  • Blunt Multiple Karma by Andrew Riconda

  • Burglary Down East by Austin Treat

  • The Least Interesting Man in the World by Mike Zimmerman


Issue 4 also features a special cocktail recipe for the Fall of 2023—The Black Widow—along with commentary by editors Eryk Pruitt and Katy Munger.

ISSUE 4: FALL 2023

DY Full Cover - Issue 4 - For Web_edited


Simon Berry is a recovering lawyer who calls Hong Kong home. He received an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in English literature from City University. His short stories have been published in CultureCult, Mystery Tribune, Meta- Stellar, The Chamber, The Apostrophe, and numerous Hong Kong Writers Circle Anthologies. His novels A Wasting Asset and A Debt To Pay are available on Amazon. He is currently working on his next novel. For more on Simon and his work, please visit 


Scott Blackburn is an English instructor and a graduate of the Mountainview MFA program. He is the author of It Dies with You, which was released in June 2022 and will be released in Germany in 2024. He has also contributed to publications such as Crime Reads, Mystery Tribune, Deep South Magazine, and Shotgun Honey. When Scott is not writing and teaching, he enjoys training in combat sports such as boxing, Muay Thai, and Ju-jitsu, in which he holds a black belt. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two children. For more on Scott, visit


Wil A. Emerson, a Registered Nurse turned full-time writer, resides in Raleigh, NC. She has lived and traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her stories encompass a variety of situations encountered during those journeys that are now in fictional form. She favors writing mysteries and suspense but women’s fiction has brought its rewards, too. Often her stories are laced with humor, and her characters could well be dead or deadly. Her work has appeared in multiple anthologies: Murderous Ink Press: Crimeucopia; Down and Out Books: Groovy Gumshoes; Pulp Cult; and Thrill Ride Magazine, to name a few. She has completed two novels of mystery and suspense that are awaiting marketing oppor- tunities. If she’s not writing, she paints landscapes and whimsical animals or dons a chef ’s apron. See her artwork at:


Stanton McCaffery’s short fiction has been featured in Mystery Magazine, Mystery Tribune, Vautrin, and Shotgun Honey. He has written two novels. Under his real name — which is not too hard to figure out — he is also the Editor- in-Chief of Rock and a Hard Place Press.


Joshua Murray is a graphic artist from Long Island, where he lives with his wife and two cats. They spend the bulk of their evenings watching old wrestling and professional Mario streamers. Graphic Design would be a better day job if he wasn’t colorblind, though, so let’s hope his writing can keep picking up some traction. His stories have been published with Shotgun Honey, The Molotov Cocktail, Rock and a Hard Place Magazine, and Close to the Bone. He’s currently shopping around his debut novel, hoping to find a home for it soon.


Estelle Phillips is a U.K. performance poet and writer whose short fiction has appeared in Rock And A Hard Place and Cult Of Clio. She was nominated for the 2023 Forward Prize in relation to her poetry collection Motherhoodlum (Jawbone) and her novel Hard Wet Sand was awarded second prize in the Yeovil Literary Competition (Novel) 2022. Her short stories and poetry are frequently broadcast by BBC Radio and her work is featured by the BBC on their website, including In Memory Of Annie ( programmes/p0dvn02l) and Dragon Child (https://www.b- For more on her fiction, nonfiction, performance, and dramatic work, follow her on Instagram (@estelle_writer44), TikTok (@estellephillips), or X (@legalimportant).


Emilee Prado’s recent neo noir appears in Vautrin and Rock and a Hard Place. Her eclectic writing crisscrosses genres and her short fiction and essays have also been featured in The Cincinnati Review, Wigleaf, Fractured Lit, CRAFT, and elsewhere. She received a 2023 Bacopa Literary Award in Fiction. Emilee was raised in a working-class family in Denver, Colorado. She has lived in Asia and South America and currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. Find out moreat or on social media outlets: @_emilee_prado_.


Andrew Riconda has published twentyish short stories in literary and crime fiction journals, with recent work in Mystery Tribune and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2022, and a novelette forthcoming at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He had a story anthologized in The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 and was a 2021 recipient of a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) literary grant from the Bronx Council on the Arts for fiction. He lives on City Island with one wife, three dogs, and five cats.


Austin Treat (28 yrs. young) writes literary and genre fiction. His short stories have been published all over the U.S. in print and online magazines, including Storm Cellar, Flash Fiction Magazine, Everyday Fiction, UCLA's Westwind, Pink Disco Magazine, and Roi Faineant Literary Press, among others. To read more of his work, please visit his blog, He lives up the street from Guff's Grub and Pub, as featured in Burglary Down East, and thinks Sebago is the cleanest lake in America. Follow his tastefully unmanicured Instagram @a.u.treat for photos of the author.


Mike Zimmerman (@zimwrites on X) sold his first short story to Gorezone magazine in 1989, took a 25-year break, then started writing short fiction again in 2021. These new stories have also appeared in Rock and a Hard Place (Issues 7- 9) and Shotgun Honey. His journalism has won multiple honors and he was a 2022 National Magazine Award finalist. His crime novels A Mosquito Over Sunset and Where the Sun Don’t Shine are available now and more are on the way. You can find him online at

bottom of page