A person that looks suspiciously like yourself aggressively approaches you on the street. They are wearing concealing clothing, but you can see their face. They seem to be much older than you and have a scar on their face that is not on yours.

You begin to ask a question, but you are interrupted by the mystery person the moment you open your mouth. "No," they say. "I’m not." They hand you an envelope, then disappear into a vegan bakery you’ve never seen.

Inside the envelope is a message:

"Hey, everybody! This is Benjamin Gray, the author of The Wolf in the Woods. The book is now knocking on the door to fifth place in the Inkshares Horror Contest. All I need is a couple more orders to close the gap. When I do get into the top five, I’ll release another story. Please message me, reply to this email, or comment in the ’Discussion’ tab on TWITW’s Inkshares page to tell me which story you want to read!

I also still need reviews and recommendations on the "Review" tab on TWITW’s Inkshares page! This costs zero dollars, the scariest amount of money possible.

To the authors receiving this message: Stephen King says that a good writer spends at least four hours a day writing or reading. How about you get some of your reading in for the day by reading one of the free, complete stories offered on TWITW’s Inkshares page?

Thanks for your time. Go get a snack.


After reading, you try to find your doppelganger inside the vegan bakery, but they are nowhere to be found. What you do find, however, is an excellent eggless rye.

A postman knocks at your door. He asks too many personal questions, then hands you a package you didn’t order. Obviously, you shouldn’t open it.

After you open it, you find a yellowed letter inside, handwritten on paper that looks at least 100 years old. As you read it silently to yourself, a faint whispering voice reads it along with you. It seems to be intentionally mispronouncing some words.

"Dear Everyone:

I have a favor to ask that costs zero dollars, and you don’t even have to talk to anyone or put on a tie.

My follower count and my number-of-copies-sold count are pretty close, so most of the people reading this have already ordered The Wolf in the Woods. That’s great! But, right now I only have ONE review on the book’s page, and that’s hurting my ability to engage with other readers and writers.

If you’ve read at least one of the free stories from The Wolf in the Woods, please leave your honest opinion on the book’s Inkshares page, which should be linked below (it might be a pre-order button, go ahead and click that). I’m not even asking for people to necessarily recommend the book, or write good reviews. Any review will do. As a matter of fact, if they’re nothing but glowing, people might see that as disingenuous and untrustworthy.

Thank you for your time!


The letter crumbles to dust in your hands. This is very annoying to you, as it has made quite a mess.




The Wolf in the Woods broke into the top ten late last night in the Inkshares Horror Contest. Ten more pre-orders will put them in seventh place. The book’s Inkshares page has uploaded another story, "Because It’s Beautiful," presumably to incentivize this. It seems to be about the Vienna Plum incident at the art museum, the one with the "cursed" sculpture.

Obviously, this would interfere with DOF operations. Recommend filing and investigation, Class G urgency. Also, consider assigning a Fagent.

We may have to cut your vacation short.



I live in exciting times.

I mean, you live there, too, but I really only know my own experience.

The Wolf in the Woods is about to CRACK the top ten on the Inkshares Horror Contest. I need your help to be able to do that. If you’ve already purchased the book, then have another hearty "thank you!" from me. If not, you can decide if I deserve to win by reading two free stories from The Wolf in the Woods: "Dear Madeleine" and "This and Every Year." They’re under the "read" tab on The Wolf in the Woods’s page (they’re functioning as "chapters"). If you like it, throw down ten bucks for an e-book, or buy a paperback if you want a physical copy of my brother’s sweet, sweet cover art.

When I crack the top ten, I’ll upload another story. Tell me which one you want to see! I have descriptions for all 13 stories in the "About" section. I’m going to have to take "Of Sand" and "Family Recipe" out of the running, though, because they’re just too long (Of Sand is almost novella-sized). I’m also going to have to take "Friends" out because it has some special formatting that can’t be replicated on Inkshares. Anything else is fair game, though!

Let’s get weird!