It begins with a seed. A dream. An idea, planted and encouraged to grow. A thought that buries deep down inside and puts out monstrous roots. Until, at last, the bloom erupts and showers the land with life.

It begins with a seed… 

The menopause brings some unusual and unexpected changes, a woman wakes up after a party in a body that isn’t hers, a teen’s life changes forever when they embrace the truth about who they are, and a lone mother tries to bury her traumatic past but instead grows a terrible future…  

An unsettling selection of quiet horror and dark speculative fiction brought together in a brand new collection from Australian Shadows Award-winner, Tabatha Wood.

Cover art: “The Life Inside” by T. Wood © 2021


Collected Stories: (* denotes reprint)

SHOOTS (a burst of tendrils ~ flash fiction)

  • Bloom
  • Red-Eye *
  • The Path Between the Trees
  • Breathing Room

LEAVES (an unfurling of fronds ~ short fiction)

  • Becoming *
  • Just Deserts
  • The Nameless Ones
  • That Quiet Voice 

BUDS (a floret of promise ~ medium fiction)

  • Marian
  • The Box
  • Best Boy, Best Friend
  • Merry Christmas, Other You

BLOOMS (a blaze of petals ~ longer fiction) 

  • Night Wolves *
  • Birth Rites
  • In Loving Memory
  • Long Drop *

Red-Eye, first published in Midnight Echo #14, the magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association, 2019

Becoming, first published online at Divination Hollow Reviews, June 2020

Night Wolves, first published in Black Dogs, Black Tales: A Charity Anthology for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2020

Long Drop, first published in Outback Horrors Down Under, 2020

(For content warnings please see here.)

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