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Chilling Second Person Stories

We love second-person stories. They bring something to the table that you don't see all too often and, when done correctly, a second-person narrative can have a striking effect. The stories and books listed below are written at least partially (and in some cases entirely) in the second person.

Short Stories

"We, the Girls Who Did Not Make It" by E.A. Petricone in Nightmare Magazine (Issue 101, February 2021)

"Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror" by Gordon B. White in Nightmare Magazine (Issue 106, July 2021)

"Strays" by Gregory Norris in Nightscript (Vol. 1, 2015)

"Mother of Stone" by John Langan in The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (Hippocampus Press, 2013)


Well, This is Tense edited by S.J. Townend (Bag of Bones Press, 2022)

From the publisher:

"An anthology of second person present dark fiction published by Bag of Bones Press. Fresh indie horror from authors across the globe. Collated and edited by SJ Townend. This book contains 30 original, unnerving short stories, all written in the second person present point of view. Are YOU brave enough to read this book? For adults only."

If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier (Berkley, 2021)

From the publisher:

"Sera loves true crime podcasts. They give her a sense of control in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She’s sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it’s time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts. Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel’s small hometown to begin her search. She’s convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won’t be the last… Rachel did try to warn her."

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones ( Gallery / Saga Press, 2020)

From the publisher:

"From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way."

We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson (Scribner, 2016)

From the publisher:

"When a nameless, struggling actor in 1970s New York gets the call that an enigmatic director wants him for an art film set in the Amazon, he doesn’t hesitate: he flies to South America, no questions asked. He quickly realizes he’s made a mistake. He’s replacing another actor who quit after seeing the script—a script the director now claims doesn’t exist. The movie is over budget. The production team seems headed for a breakdown. The air is so wet that the celluloid film disintegrates.

But what the actor doesn’t realize is that the greatest threat might be the town itself, and the mysterious shadow economy that powers this remote jungle outpost. Entrepreneurial Americans, international drug traffickers, and M-19 guerillas are all fighting for South America’s future—and the groups aren’t as distinct as you might think. The actor thought this would be a role that would change his life. Now he’s worried if he’ll survive it."

You by Caroline Kepnes (Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2014)

From the publisher:

"When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder."

[Image Credit: photo by Leah Kelley via Pexels]

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