When I was young, I spent a few years volunteering for a local natural science museum.  I worked my way up from general volunteer to reptile handler and eventually to the chemistry department doing all sorts of amazing experiments in live shows geared towards children. ...

When there was a chill in the air and there were more jack-o-lanterns than plain pumpkins on every doorstep, I got called out to investigate a fresh crime scene. Somebody thought that it would be real cute to firebomb a Catholic church. Now this wasn’t one...

Nicholas Grime looked at the window at the neighbor’s house, watching the twitching form dangling from the rope in the tree, the smiling figure holding the axe, and the bloodstained plastic sheet covering the front door. He sighed and looked at his own front yard, where...

I watched the back of their feet as we all walked into the woods together.  Trailing behind and looking down to watch my steps, I could see their shoes leading the way.  Three sets of different colors pressing the forest floor.  For some reason, despite...

Like everyone else, the pandemic had me sitting inside, bored out of my mind.  My job was considered non-essential, so for a while I was just sitting on the couch watching videos or playing video games.  I think what makes those activities so enjoyable, though,...

Have you ever laid awake at night, staring at the ceiling wondering what your life would be like if you had made different decisions?  If you had gone left instead of right, if you had said no instead of yes.  Do you wonder how big...

I was always so afraid of the dark as a kid.  I used to think that there was something wrong with me, the way I would tense up when I could no longer distinguish my bedroom’s wall from the floor, when it all became a...

There’s this little flower shop on the way home from the office.  At least, I thought it was a flower shop.  The sign on the window says, “Granny’s Yarbs and Apothecary.”  I wasn’t sure what to make of a name like that, but since the...

I am the one that the world left behind—at least until you finish reading this. It wasn’t that I was unremarkable.  Everyone has something about them that is uniquely their own.  It just so happened that my thing was floating through foster families, schools, and social...

I stay up later than most people, so I was still awake and playing computer games when the crash happened.  Tires screeched before I heard a tremendous crunching of metal.  I thought it was just a simple car accident outside until an emerald spray of...

I was skeptical when my online friends first linked me to the supposed “evil Kickstarter”  that was going viral on the less-than-wholesome forums we frequented.  We were an unmoderated haven for trolls, weirdos, and radicals, sure, but this Kickstarter was something else entirely.  It seemed...

I drink, not because I like alcohol, but because I’ve recently seen the horrifying underbelly of the world, and I can’t go back to blissful ignorance in any other way than through the bottom of a bottle.  I can’t sleep, either, so I’m writing this...

Woodard Hall was empty.  All the university workers were gone for the day, but it didn’t matter whether the building was occupied or not; it always felt empty.  The long corridors sprinkled with muted orange lights drained all the energy out of the building, like...

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