We posted Joe Bonadonna’s Dorgo the Dowser novelette “The Moonstones of Sor Lunarum,” part of Joe’s first swords and sorcery collection, Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, way back in December 2011. It quickly became one of our most popular online stories, and it has remained so for nearly five years. We also presented an exclusive excerpt from Waters of Darkness, his supernatural pirate dark fantasy novel co-written with David C. Smith, in 2013. Since then, Joe has become one of our most reliable and popular reviewers.
We are very pleased to have the opportunity to present “Queen of Toads,” an old-fashioned pulp horror tale, for your reading pleasure.
In the marsh out back, these strange creatures. I’ve seen them at night, hopping back and forth across Venn Road, coming from and heading to the marsh. They must be going out hunting, though what they might prey upon sure has me stumped. Maybe fish or small game. Hell, they’re as big as some breeds of dogs. And the way those strange feathers of theirs glow in the moonlight — the same colour as the rocks! — makes me wonder how they could possibly sneak up on anything! Makes me wonder if they came here with those rocks, came from inside them, maybe. They look like frogs and toads, but like none I’ve ever seen before. I surely won’t be frying up and eating their legs! I told my Minerva to steer clear of the things, too. Told her not to touch or try to catch them. You never know where they might have come from and what sickness they might carry.
The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Mark Rigney, Michael A. Armstrong, C.S.E. Cooney, Vaughn Heppner, E.E. Knight, Jason E. Thummel, Judith Berman, Howard Andrew Jones, Dave Gross, Harry Connolly, and others, is here.
“Queen of Toads” is a complete 9,000-word humorous Lovecraft-pastiche offered at no cost.