State of the Dark

Cover art for State of the Dark created by William Pauley III

State of the Dark is a collection of stories and poems written by Brian Barnett, released February, 2010. Everything in the collection was written within a year of Barnett's first publication on November, 2008. The book was dedicated to his son, Michael.

There are 61 works in total, with most of them being previously published. However, five stories and the fifteen haiku had not been published.

Though the book is marketed as horror, there are some stories with a humorous touch, such as: The Penguins Revolt! and Don't Leave Home Without Them. The haiku were written with a humorous approach as well.

The book is divided into three sections: Stories, Drabbles, and Haiku Corner.

Short Stories Edit

  • A Vampire Scorned
  • Agoraphobia
  • Awaken to a Nightmare
  • Business is Murder
  • Curbside Service
  • Dead Man's Hand
  • Dia de Los Muertos
  • Dill Weed
  • Dog Eat Dog
  • Elmwood Hollow
  • Fluttering Parasites
  • Fun and Games
  • Joseph's Favorite Game
  • Kid's These Days and Their Stupid Games
  • Mr. Black
  • Never Leave Home Without Them
  • New Nurse, New Nurse
  • Practice Makes Perfect
  • Sleepy Head
  • Summer Wind
  • Sunday Drive
  • The Box
  • The Colony
  • The Good Samaritan
  • The Kentucky Taxidermist
  • The Penguins Revolt!
  • The Power of Man
  • The Sound of Treefrogs
  • The Syringe
  • Vincent Price's Gallery
  • We All Have Our Demons
  • Worms
  • You May Already Be A Winner

Drabbles Edit

A drabble is a story that is 100 words in length (not counting the title or byline), no more, no less.

  • BASE Jumping Gargoyle
  • Creature Chivalry
  • Dead Demon Hooker
  • Food on the Run
  • Plight of the Werewolf
  • The Man Who Held Hands
  • The South Will Rise Again
  • Undying Devotion
  • What Goes Around Comes Around
  • You Can Never Quite Get Them All

Haiku Edit

  • Backwoods Cannibal Thanksgiving
  • Boris Karloff
  • Dracula's Lament
  • Frustrated With Coffin Hair
  • Funny-Looking Stinger-Chick
  • Futile Effort
  • Get Some Floss
  • Next Time, Wrap the Legs Individually
  • Pet Werewolf
  • Pull Your Heart Strings
  • Remorseful Vampire
  • Stuck in the Labyrinth
  • The Witches Go Green
  • Ugly Skinny-Dippers
  • Werewolf Date

Praise for State of the Dark Edit

  • From William Pauley III, author of Doom Magnetic!: "Remember when horror used to be good? When it used to leave you breathless - as if you had just been punched in the gut? Brian Barnett remembers... and his stories will do more than just hit you in the gut, they will kick your ass! Whether you read his straight horror stuff or his lighthearted, bizarre stuff, his stories always leave you feeling a bit uneasy. This collection is best read during daylight! Horror fans, you cannot go wrong with 'State of the Dark'."
  • From author, Chad Case: "Brian Barnett delivers in this collection of twisted tales. He conjures up nightmares from the most unreal places, and his storytelling is magnificent. 'State of the Dark' is a must-read for any horror fan."
  • From author, Jodi MacArthur: "Brian Barnett delivers a ghastly collection of 60 short stories and handful of bedeviled haiku. Once you start reading, it’s literally hard to stop- the stories are so unpredictable. I enjoyed his modern style with classic suspense. My favorite story involves parades, clowns, and the ‘heartbeat’ of a dusty Kentucky town. I was giddy when I finished it. If you’re looking for a scare with a twist of weird, this collection is for you."