Richard J. O'Brien has published stories in 13 Horror, Sinister Grin Press's Vicious Circle Season One, Disturbed Digest, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, and other magazines. His novel The Garden of Fragile Things was published in 2015 by Vagabondage Press. Infestation: Bud McCracken and the War Against the Bug Men, a horror novella, was recently published by Sinister Grin Press. Currently, Richard teaches writing and literature at Stockton University, Temple University, and Rowan College at Gloucester County. Visit Richard at


Letisia Cruz & Heather Lang

As we enter the final month of the year, our thoughts turn to winter, to celebrating the holidays and ringing in the New Year. The Winter Solstice signals the turning point when our days begin to lengthen again, and we welcome the hopeful return of the sun.


While different cultures celebrate different New Year’s traditions, we find common themes across geographic borders. Whether you believe in cleaning the house to reestablish order, eating 12 grapes at midnight for good luck throughout the year, jumping into the sea -- or your local fountain! -- to start anew, dancing in the street, or quietly toasting to good health at midnight, we believe the symbolic shedding of the old rings in new possibilities.

A broken heart, cage bars, and forgotten desires. ISSUE 45 of Petite Hound Press features poetry by Richard J. O’Brien and pinhole photography by our own Heather Lang. This pairing celebrates the essence of winter in all its glory.

As for the end-of-year superstitions, we stocked up on house cleaning supplies, an inflatable pool (as good as any ocean!), a boom box (for street dancing a la 1985), and a few cases of champagne. If dancing drunk in the street after soaking in a tub and gorging on grapes is what it takes to have a lucky year...


well then, we’re all in!

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