Mystery is manifold.  Nothing proved that more than examining Josh Black.  He seemed ordinary, but he most definitely was not. With glasses, Three Stooges Moe haircut, neighbor-hand-me-down jeans shorts, tennis shoes with more holes than shoe, and freckles like his face was splattered with blood, Josh...

Tatum had grown generous to a fault, giving away most of his fruit and vegetables to his neighbors and friends.  He thought it was a way to get more acquainted with all of them. Still, Tatum’s neighbors, up and down the street, remained standoffish, keeping their...

Young Charley Tillman was a mouse in a trap.  He thought the trap was a practical joke that he was playing on himself. It felt unreal the way he kept track of time.  He’d been reduced to measuring the levels of darkness in spoonfuls as it...

So I found this Santa Claus card last night. It blew right into my ankle as I was walking around the downtown area of my city. The colors were faded, but not enough to where I couldn’t make out the letters and numbers. The background...

Although stress and chaos are the natural order at a hospital, few things serve to rattle doctors and nurses more than death. The cold, procedural actions undertaken before, during, and after a passing, contrast heavily with the unrestrained drama surrounding the patient and their families....

No one in the support group thought recovery would be easy.  But Morrison couldn’t even get past step 1: I admit I am powerless over alcohol/drugs, and my life has become unmanageable.  Unlike most in the group, no one hadn’t been court-ordered to attend.  In...

Dr. Benjamin B. Forsythe was an odd scoop of orange sherbet, a cold, pasty, dour sort.  His whole life had been a matter of melting into something or nothing.  He’d become a successful psychiatrist over his long career.  Dr. Benjamin’s office was in St. Louis,...

Harris Wilson never considered himself particularly generous, especially around the holiday season.  He’d spent too many years concerned about the direction of his life and where he would find himself after several disastrous years at college.  But after a series of short-lived low-rent jobs, mostly...

Growing up, my dream was to be a journalist. Maybe I’d watched too many movies, but I loved the idea of chasing down big stories and going undercover to investigate huge scoops. Mingling with the rich and famous and being first on the scene of...

My job usually isn’t all that interesting, and that’s the way I like it.  I’ve done my time in the workforce.  A lot of people my age are retired by now, but I never really had money to step out of the working world.  My...

Ever since my wife Adalyn disappeared, it’s been just Charlie and me all alone.  I don’t mind it.  I’ve never much cared for company.  If I’d wanted visitors, I wouldn’t have tried to get as far away from civilization as I could now, would I? ...

His secretary had asked him if he’d had time for an interview today…some small-time reporter, looking to earn a few clicks out of a chat with an old businessman.  He’d declined, of course.  Told her to reschedule for next week, although even if he was...

Past As you probably know, Christmas is indeed a time for reflection. A time to revisit memory and times gone by with those you've loved and those you've lost. I should know. I am, as it happens, the ghost of Christmas past. Ugh, the ghost of...

Everyone in town knew my family, the Bowers. We are considered cornerstones by some. Never wavering in any community activity. Until this year. We experienced a tragedy, one that only now with the holidays past us I can talk about. It’s an event that changed the meaning of this...

Eggnog, the Guinness of dairy products, There are two types of people: those that hate it, and those that love it. I was born on December 22nd, just three days before Christmas Day. I can remember my mother talking about how she drank it by the...

My family still visits now and then. They check-in, a text once every so often, an email. I don’t blame them. They act concerned but keep just enough distance not to become wrapped up in the stench that follows me. My parents still hold onto...

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