Do you feel that? That deathly chill in your coffee, that cold boo. It can mean only one thing: It's Halloween Week here on Sprudge!

In what's become a beloved annual tradition here on Sprudge over the last half-decade, everyday this week we'll be publishing new works of original Halloween fiction. In previous years, we leaned on regular contributors to the Sprudge Media Network for the frights and delights, including Head Barista by Zachary Carlsen, A Cup Of Coffee To Die For by Hengtee Lim, and Michelle Johnson's The Panel, which was re-imagined as a radio play earlier this year:

But here in 2020 we are doing things a little bit different. Thanks to presenting sponsors Pacific Foods Barista Series, this year we put the call out to our readers, looking for six new writers to make their first contribution to Sprudge via tales of coffee terror. And after wading through more than 50 terrifying pitches from around the world, we're thrilled to death to be publishing these six stories this week, each with original illustrations by Laura Clark. Keep a look out for stories from Levi Rogers, Micah Gause, Darren Nelson, Niki Tolch, Olivia Laskowski, and Keith White.

Read The Siren And The Worm by Lizzie Derksen

And we've already kicked off this week with our first story, The Trade Secret by Levi Rogers.

  

Employee shall not witness, take possession, query, or otherwise investigate green coffee sourcing and storage practices while an official employee of The Company.

“Trade secrets and all I’m afraid!” the man in blue said when I asked about it. “Feel free to talk it over with your lawyer”—what lawyer?— “and in the meantime, please, don’t go in that door.” He motioned to a door with a padlock at the far end of the roastery. “The less you know the better.”

So keep an eye out in the coming days for more original Halloween coffee fiction. And if you can't get enough, check out Sprudge's archive of scary stories for more tales of the caffeinated and otherworldly.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.