• B.D. Weiss

    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, & Horror

    Writing the things that keep me up at night, to keep you up at night.
  • About B.D. Weiss

    B.D. Weiss started writing at the age of twelve. He’d just read Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew and was too afraid to close his eyes. Through a logic that only makes sense to the sleep-deprived, he was sure that writing a story would keep the monsters away. He was right.


    After briefly selling his blood plasma for rent money, he spent the next two decades traveling the country: teaching English, selling knives, running analytics for a soap company, and fencing with Olympians. He met his wife by fencing her and has never been gladder to have a sword pointed at his throat. They now live in Ohio, in a house their dog has graciously allowed them to occupy.


    B.D. is currently working on a novel, and he’s still afraid to close his eyes.

  • News & Updates


    July 10, 2021
    Just published my short story "Platinum at Vocal Media. Here's the pitch: It's the late 21st century. Riley, a struggling health influencer, has come to the Bureau of Health Status to apply for the coveted Platinum status, which gives her access to free healthware. But nothing's truly free, and...
    July 10, 2021
    Deep Magic chose me as their featured author for their Summer issue! I'm honored and grateful to be in this incredible collection of stories. Here is the link for the feature. B.D.
    Hi All, It's finally here! The Summer issue of Deep Magic is out. My story is a Shelter in the Fog. You can read the full issue here. B.D.
  • A Noble Chain

    Genre: Epic Fantasy Novel



    Tanek, the Ageless Wanderer, must forge an alliance between the warring kingdoms of his world before the long-feared invasion of another. He enlists the help of Rina, a stage scribe turned indentured servant, to write the tale of his life.


    Here we learn Tanek's story: the rise of the warrior Isa from rebel to queen, the friendship that formed between them, the betrayal that led to her fall, and the ultimate choice which transformed Tanek into the Ageless Wanderer. What bearing this has on the present danger, and what Rina secretly hopes to gain as his scribe, culminates as the invasion begins, and both Rina and Tanek are faced with choices that will change the world, and themselves.


    This is a story about debt (known here as the noble chain): its power to enslave us, its potential to destroy us, and what we choose to become when we escape it. Do we become like our masters, and press our boot into the fingers grasping for the rung below us? Or do we become something greater, and reach out our hand to bring others up the ladder as well? For that is the noble chain--not what we escape, but who we bring with us.


    Length: 150,000 words   


    Status: Second Draft (if interested, inquire here)

  • A Shelter in the Fog

    Genre: Fantasy


    Pitch: Gazen, the First Mage of Baraath, and his servant are escaping the wreckage of their war-torn kingdom, but a deadly fog has trapped them in abandoned barracks. Their supplies dwindling and Gazen in desperate need of healing salves, they must put aside their resentment for one another and find help in a nearby town. But first, they must contend with a lurking enemy, and a shocking truth, that imperils the both of them.   This story is about generational failure. Gazen thinks his generation is so much harder working, so much more deserving than his servant's. And yet, he's part of a generation that has sent them into an endless war, while draining the magic from the earth to do it. But when he comes face to face with his part in all this, Gazen must choose between a hard redemption or an easy damnation.  


    Length: 5800 words  


    Written: Summer 2020     


    Status: Published at Deep Magic, Summer 2021.


    Genre: Dystopian Fiction

    Object: A heart-shaped locket




    It's the late 21st century. Riley, a struggling health influencer, has come to the Bureau of Health Status to apply for the coveted Platinum status, which gives her access to free healthware. But nothing's truly free, and the price for going platinum forces Riley to confront her deepest fear.


    This story is about a new kind of social credit: your health. When almost anything can be cured via an app (with a premium subscription, of course), health is the true measure of status...for those who can afford it.


    Length: 2,000 words


    Written: Summer 2021


    Status: Published at Vocal Media

    A Lot to Lose

    Genre: Horror



    Dev used to sleep well, but that was a long time ago. From the outside, he’s got it all—a strong, supportive wife, a renovated apartment in sleek Back Bay, and even a top-rated employee stipend—and he’s spent a lifetime pleasing people to keep it that way.


    But one night, when he awakes to find a stranger outside his building’s door, calmly asking to be let in, Dev hesitates. He wants to make the right choice, but something about the stranger terrifies him, and instead of letting the man inside, Dev goes back to bed. Until an hour later, when the stranger knocks on Dev’s apartment door. And an hour after that, when he knocks on Dev’s bedroom door.


    Inspired by Stephen King’s “Gramma” and David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, “A Lot to Lose” is a story about a man’s inevitable unraveling in an event he’s spent a lifetime working to prevent. Now, with the thing just outside his bedroom, Dev must decide: does he ignore it and hope the door holds firm?


    Or does he face it, and risk oblivion?


    Length: 4800 words


    Written: Spring 2020


    Status: Currently in submission process (if interested, inquire here)

  • NYC Midnight Flash Fiction 2020

    Round 1 Submission

    Genre: Action Adventure

    Setting: Railroad Tracks

    Object: Starfish


    Trolley Problem



    Here’s the thing about the Trolley Problem: It’s all fun and games until some evil genius takes it literally.


    Catherine Starr—known to the world by her alias, Sea Star—learned that the hard way. She’d been pursuing Doctor Moray for days now, but each time she’d almost gotten him, he managed to slip away. This time, however, his trail led to an abandoned train depot far outside the city, where there was little chance he could escape. At last, she would catch her arch nemesis and bring him to justice.


    Avoiding the motion detectors, Catherine swung her grappling star over the depot wall. She’d fashioned it from Pycnopodia helianthoides, the Sunflower Starfish. Its rough skin and sixteen limbs made it perfect for latching onto even the most slippery surface. She tugged the climbing rope, felt the star catch hold, and climbed the length of the wall.


    Once at the top, Catherine hoisted herself over and came face-to-face with two of Moray’s henchmen. In one fluid motion, she drew a handful of throwing stars—Leptasterias pusilla, tiny but dangerous—and flung them at her attackers, catching one in the thigh and another in the neck. Within seconds they stumbled onto the floor as the tranquilizer did its work. Catherine had sworn an oath never to kill an innocent person, and while Moray’s stooges weren’t exactly saints, she saw no need to take their lives. Instead, she hopped over their bodies and entered the depot.

    Standing before her was Doctor Moray, known worldwide as the Eel, peering over a balcony at the train tracks below. He turned and smiled.


    “About time, Star.”


    “It’s all over, Doc.” She winced as the word came out. Corny, she thought, but effective.


    “No, Star. It’s just beginning.”


    Lights came on, illuminating the track below them. Four children were bound together and tied to the track. Just then, she heard the crackling of electricity as the third rail thrummed to life. She peered down the railway and groaned at the sight:


    A train.


    “I’m coming!” she yelled to the children, but before she could move, iron jaws clamped down on her shoulder. She tried to pull free, but the more she tugged, the deeper they sank.

    Moray sauntered forward. “You intrigue me, Star. On the one hand, you’re nothing but a silly girl in a costume. Yet in every one of our encounters, you emerge unscathed. No cuts, no bruises. So perfect, you don’t even bleed.” That was no accident—Catherine worked hard to leave no forensic evidence behind. It was the only way to ensure no one discovered who she really was.


    “But your real perfection comes from your moral code. Never kill an innocent person, blah-blah-blah. I’d like to test the limits of that code.”


    He brought a fifth child before her. Catherine reached for the boy, but he was just out of grasp.


    “Ever hear of the Trolley Problem? It’s simple, really. A trolley is on a collision course with a group of bystanders. You can save them by flipping the track. But doing so puts the trolley on a new course sure to kill a lone bystander.


    “An easy choice, right? Save the many at the expense of the one. But what if you had to push the lone bystander in the way of the trolley? Not so easy anymore, eh?”


    “You’re insane.”


    He tittered. “Your arms can’t reach the boy, but your legs can. Kick him off the balcony, and he’ll land on a switch below, saving the many. But the fall will place him directly in the train’s path.”


    Catherine reached for her grappling star, but it was too far away. So were her throwing stars, damnit. She was stuck in an impossible dilemma.


    “The clock’s ticking, Star.”


    The train sped closer. She looked at the boy and sighed. She hated to do it, but what choice did she have?


    “Well, Doc, you got one thing right.”


    His smile faltered. “Oh?”


    “I don’t bleed.”


    She coiled her legs beneath her and sprang with all her might. Her arm tore off at the socket, freeing her from the jaws. With no time to spare, she hurled herself off the balcony, plummeting to the switch below. It flipped the track, sending the train bulleting her way. She had a second to close her eyes before it slammed into her.


    One of her legs sailed into the sky. The other tumbled down the track. Catherine, her body torn apart, lay motionless on the ground.


    Moray crowed in victory. But that’s when he noticed that there was no blood on the tracks. There was no blood coming from her torn-off arm, either. But how? Every living creature bled.


    No, he realized. Not every creature.


    He looked down from the balcony and saw the impossible: Catherine was standing, the legs beneath her as smooth as balsa.


    She had regenerated. Like a god-damned starfish.


    For Catherine, the choice had been difficult—not the one against the many (or whatever Moray had been blathering about), but to reveal what she truly was. She thought she’d feel vulnerable, but to her delight, she felt free. She beamed up at her nemesis, fully herself.


    Moray pounded his fist. “This isn’t over!” He pulled out a remote and pressed a button. Suddenly, the train switched back to its original track and came around for another pass.

    Catherine glanced at the children. Her legs were too weak—she’d never reach them in time. But then an idea struck her, and she reached for her grappling star.


    “Hey, Doc. What’s the only thing scarier than a Moray Eel?”

    Before he could respond, she swung the Sunflower up, caught Moray’s feet, and pulled. Moray came crashing down, landing exactly where Catherine intended: the third rail. He sizzled and popped, and the breaker exploded just as the train came around the bend. It stopped only inches from the children.


    “An Electric Eel.”


    Corny, she thought, but effective.



    NYC Midnight Flash Fiction 2020

    Round 2 Submission

    Genre: Horror

    Setting: A House Sale

    Object: Brie Cheese


    Grow into It


    The house was gorgeous.


    “I hope we’re not too late,” she said to Izzy. She’d been sick all morning—probably the labneh from last night’s meze—and they’d barely made it in time for the open house. She rushed to the door, was relieved to find it unlocked, and entered the house.


    Stunning. Original hardwood, vaulted ceilings, skylights. She wanted to post it on Insta, but if her parents saw she and Izzy were house-hunting, they’d ask about grandkids. The labneh was enough to handle, thank you.


    A man and woman of about fifty stood in the kitchen. They smiled to Hanna and Izzy, yet something about them struck Hanna as profoundly sad.


    “I’m Abe,” the man said. “This is Sara. We own the place.”


    Hanna shook their hands. “Hanna and Ishmael.”




    “Six years now,” Izzy said.




    Hanna gave her stock response. “Just a cat we spoil rotten.”


    Sara turned away. “Unfortunately we’re done for the day.” Hanna cursed her bad luck. “But if you’d like some Chardonnay, it’s yours. The brie as well.”


    Izzy didn’t have to be told twice. He grabbed a wine flute, then took the chef’s knife and sliced himself some brie. Hanna watched, nauseated, with a hand on her stomach.


    Sara eyed her. “None for you, dear?”


    “No, thank you.”


    Abe and Sara turned to each other, and something passed between them. Had her refusal offended them? Then Sara grinned, and the tension broke.


    “How about a tour?”


    Hanna sighed in relief. “That would be great.”


    “Start upstairs and work our way down?”


    “Sure. There’s three bedrooms, right? Two had photos on Zillow, but I thought I saw another door.”


    Abe frowned. “That room isn’t finished. Let’s save it for last, huh?”


    Hanna shrugged. “Works for me.”


    They started in the master bedroom, which was breathtaking, even with a comically large painting above the headboard. “Saint Colette,” Sara whispered. Hanna complimented it as she took mental notes on where her dresser would go.


    Izzy stumbled, almost dropping the wine flute. Sara offered him some more, and before Hanna could telepath a no into his brain, he took Sara’s offer.


    “It’s a lot of house!” he blurted as she poured.


    Abe winked at Hanna. “Fill it with children, and you’ll grow into it.”


    It took all her will not to roll her eyes. Everyone who heard they were house-hunting assumed they were going to have kids. But Hanna had never wanted children, and for the life of her, she couldn’t understand why that mattered to anyone else.


    The next bedroom was pink and filled with dolls, tea sets, and unicorns. The room irked her. Maybe it was the decor, which she’d immediately filed under “P” for “Pointlessly Gendered.”


    Or, maybe it was that it felt too perfect. Too staged. But of course it was staged—they were selling the place. She shook off the feeling.


    Izzy stumbled again, spilling Chardonnay on her top. She glared at him, but his eyes were lolling in their sockets. Are you drunk? she mouthed to him, but he couldn’t seem to focus on her.


    “I need some water,” he muttered.


    “I’ll help you to the bathroom,” Sara offered, guiding him out of the room.


    Suddenly, it was just Hanna and Abe.


    “We prayed for a girl,” he said.


    “What’s her name?”


    “It would’ve been Rachel. But Sara miscarried.”


    Hanna’s felt her cheeks flush. “I’m sorry.”


    “It was hard on Sara. We always wanted to grow into this place, but never had the chance.” He grinned. “Until now.”


    Hanna’s stomach twisted. Suddenly she wanted to be with Izzy right now. Or at least not in this room with Abe, and whatever he meant by until now.


    “I think I should—”


    She was out the door before he could finish the sentence. There were two bathrooms on this floor. She tried the first, a Jack-and-Jill which connected to the master bed, but it was empty. So was the second. Except, she saw, there was a prescription bottle left open on the counter. She thought of the wine, of Izzy stumbling around.


    “Izzy!” she screamed. Where the fuck was he? She’d searched every room on this floor.


    Except one.


    Hanna turned to the final door. It bothered her, triggered some dark intuition. Her stomach lurched, but against her every instinct, she opened the door.


    There sat Izzy, cross-legged on the floor. Drool snaked down his chin, and he held a piece of wood in each hand.




    He craned his neck in her direction and showed her the pieces of wood, like an offering. A shadow move behind him. It was Sara, draped in a shawl (like Saint Colette, Hanna noticed) and stroking Izzy’s hair.




    Abe shoved her from behind, and she tumbled into the room. “I told you the room wasn’t finished yet. But it’s almost there, eh Ishmael?” Izzy fit two of the pieces together, and suddenly Hannah realized what he was making:


    A crib.


    “We thought an open house might get some young folks out here,” Sara crooned. “But none of them passed the test. Until you.”




    “The wine. The brie. Everyone partook, except you.”


    “What…” but then she understood.


    Alcohol. Soft cheese. They thought she was pregnant.


    “Don’t you see? It’s a miracle. That’s why you have to stay here.” Abe held the chef’s knife in one hand and a key in another. That’s when Hanna realized what had bothered her so much about the door: it had deadbolt.


    On the outside.


    Abe and Sara turned to leave, when Hanna screamed: “I’m not pregnant!”


    They paused.


    For a brief moment, Hanna thought that they would let her and Izzy go. Instead, Abe said: “Well, it’s the perfect time to try.”


    Hanna crawled toward him, but Abe raised the knife. She froze in place.


    “Please,” she whimpered. “I don’t want any of this.”


    “Give it time, Hanna. You’ll grow into it.”


    Then, as Izzy pieced the crib together, Abe and Sara left the room and locked the door.



    NYC Midnight Flash Fiction 2020

    Semi-Finals Submission

    Genre: Ghost Story

    Setting: Blood Bank

    Object: Bike Helmet





    As the nurse sanitized the crook of her arm, Rhea began her mantra.


    Breathe in…You are more than your fear…Breathe out…A journey of a thousand miles begins with your first step.


    The nurse tapped a vein. Rhea rummaged through her bag, found her bike helmet, and strapped it to her head. The nurse frowned.


    Rhea forced a smile. “In case I get woozy. Don’t want a concussion, right?”


    The nurse shrugged, then returned to his work.


    It was the truth, but not the whole truth. Rhea was hemophobic, and the sight of blood would cause her to faint. It started when she was a child, but she preferred not to think about that. Instead, she focused on the progress she’d made ever since starting exposure therapy, for which this blood drive was her crucible.


    Rhea turned away as the needle went in. Her eyes found the woman next to her, who offered a polite nod. Rhea nodded back.

    Then she turned to the man in the chair behind the woman. To Rhea’s surprise, he was staring back. His gray eyes looked translucent in the waning sunset. He smiled, and though there was nothing menacing in it, it made her shiver. She turned away.


    Breathe in, she told herself. You are more than your fear.


    She looked back to see if the man was still staring, but he was gone. What the hell? Her balance tilted, her breathing became heavier. She forced herself back to her mantra. Suddenly, the woman next to her twitched. Her head snapped forward, as if someone had poked her skull from behind. She turned toward Rhea, and her eyes looked different. Lighter. She smiled, scrapping her lips against her teeth.


    Rhea looked the other way, but too far. She caught sight of her blood bag, half filled by now, and vertigo swept over her. The nurse looked up. “You all right?”


    She saw the look on his face, the same look she’d seen countless times since her first episode. But she preferred not to think about that.


    “I’m fine,” she called back. He returned to his work.


    She glanced back at the woman, who had returned to normal. Feeling her balance return, she resumed her mantra: A journey of a thousand miles—


    Someone tapped on her helmet.


    It came from behind, although she could’ve sworn no one was there.


    Tap-tap-tap. Harder this time, more insistent.


    “Take off your helmet,” a husky voice whispered. She tried to turn towards the voice, but the view of the blood bag stopped her.


    “I know you saw me,” he muttered. “I don’t like to be seen.”


    “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”


    He sighed hot steam on her neck. It smelled like wet leaves. “It’s nice here,” he said. “When people lose blood, it weakens them a little. Exposes them. I can come inside and live again, just a little. Most people don’t even know I’m there.”


    He pushed her helmet.


    “Just take it off. I won’t be long, I promise.” His voice was needy in a way too familiar to her.


    “No,” she hissed back. Again she caught sight of the blood bag, and again she turned away from it.


    There was a long pause, before the man (or whatever it was) said: “Let me in, or I’ll rip that bag open.”


    The earth became a gyroscope. She tried to breath, but it was like sucking fire through a straw.


    The memory she’d been avoiding sprung into her mind. She was only nine, enjoying a day at the park, when someone had grabbed her from behind. “I just wanna hug you,” he’d crooned in her ear. “It’s been so long, is all.”


    Panic had swept through her, and she’d kicked and clawed until he let go. Only she’d gone careening forward, tripped on the sidewalk, and fell on her face.


    It was a small laceration, but head wounds bleed. The stranger, seeing the damage, fled the scene. As she lay sprawled on the concrete, she watched the blood stream down her brow like a crimson waterfall.


    That was when she’d had her first episode.


    Now, fate had come around again. But what could she do? If that thing behind her opened the bag up, she’d revisit the hell she had worked so hard to avoid. But to let it in would mean reliving that awful day—the day that had created this hell in the first place.


    You are not your fear.


    Rhea closed her eyes, then ripped out the needle. She could feel the warmth tickle the peach fuzz on her arm, but she refused to think about it. She took a breath and stood from her chair.


    But before she could move, the thing snagged her. She opened her eyes, but no one was there. Yet it grabbed her all the same, twisting her and clawing at her helmet. The woman next to her called for the nurse, who yelled for her to return to her seat. But she couldn’t—wouldn’t.


    Suddenly, she remembered what it had told her: I don’t like to be seen.


    Rhea glanced down—the blood had traced its way to her wrist. The room spun, but she wouldn’t let it stop her. Instead, she snapped her wrist like a cobra, flicking blood into the air. The sight of it caused her vision to blur, and she knew that she had seconds before passing out.


    But then, twinkling in the sunset like pennies in a fountain, the blood drops stopped in midair. They sprayed against the shape of a chest, a chin.


    A face.


    The woman beside her gasped.


    Suddenly, the blood fell to the ground, and the thing’s hands released her. She looked at the red splatter on the floor, but she didn’t faint.


    Her vision cleared. Her balance returned.


    With that, Rhea turned toward the door. The nurse gawked at her, but she didn’t care. Instead, she breathed in, breathed out, and took her first step.



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