We only keep the last three stories live on the site, for copyright reasons

Stephanie Lyttle

The garden was the first thing about this story that came to my mind. The initial draft of this is very different from the final version (Spike was once a girl, for example) but the description of what was in the garden never changed. Once I had this picture of the garden, it was a matter of asking myself who would be desperate enough to go there, and why. I quickly figured out that I wanted to write a horror story about love – about the depths we’ll go to for it, the destructive power of it, and how it can be selfish and selfless at the same time. 

I actually wrote the first draft of the Halloween section the night before Halloween, completely alone in the house. To make myself feel more like I was in the forest watching the ceremony, I decided to go the whole hog by turning all the lights off and lighting the only candle I could find. Unfortunately, because I was sitting in the dark with my back to the door and headphones on, I didn’t realise someone had come home until they put a hand on my shoulder. Needless to say, I jumped so much it’s a miracle I didn’t knock the stupid candle over and start a fire.