I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life. It’s a beautiful place with endless wonder on land and in the depths beneath the water. I live in a small town, and I’ve never for a second considered leaving. I never honestly understood that phase people growing...

At one point in time, it was said Putt Putt Mini-Golf and Used Cars was among the top hotspots in Splittail. At some point in time, Sheriff Ron Ball figured, each of us gets a chance to be our very best. Now, however, seemed uniquely...

“Tell me how it ends.” Again, the demand. Into the cherished sanctuary of her small ivy-covered cottage had come this monstrous trio, breaking through the door — locks and laws be damned! — clad in costumes of pantyhose masks and black outfits, bringing mean eyes, the...

My name is John Gray. I was once chief evidence analyst with the Oregon State Police. A half-hour past sunset on September 7th of 2013, a volunteer at the visitor’s center inside the Qualls Nature Education Park on the edge of the Columbia River Gorge...

“This doesn’t look safe.”  I looked into the cave that cut into the side of the massive round hill.  Above it, a tree had grown roots downward trying to fill up the void, but it had instead simply created a fanciful framing, like something out...

Jerold was sitting in the same chair, at the same window, staring outside, waiting. The first snow was falling, and he remembered the time when he’d played out there with the neighborhood kids all those years ago.  He remembered it so vividly that afternoon. The sun had...

I hated Ms. Granger’s collection from the moment I laid eyes on it. The old lady was the latest in my long line of patients.  I’m a caregiver, the live-in type. I’d been working in the field for a decade when I got to know Ms. Granger. She...

If I could’ve said one thing to covid-19, had one opportunity to deliver a message that the virus could understand, it would’ve been: please don’t destroy my life. No posturing, no tough-guy stuff from me. Just a plea. Not that I think it would have...

Plummeting through the sky in freefall as fire licks up around you, trying its damnedest to erase you from existence, never gets easier. I was old enough to have forgotten more drops than I remembered, but that feeling of your stomach trying to crawl up...

Brent was killed by a slice of toast fired at high velocity from an evil, sentient toaster.  It blasted a hole right through his chest and took a huge piece out of the wall behind him.  We didn’t know what was happening at that point,...

“Atlas, scan Paradise Station and give me a radio lock. Prepare for broadcast.”  The ship’s computer acknowledged my command with a couple blinks of light and then chirped when the com opened up. “Paradise, this is the captain of the heavy cruiser, Atlas.  We currently have...

I was twenty the first time I entered the Valley of Shadows.  It is a place that ruins what it touches.  Madness, desolation, violence, mayhem, they’re not words of description, but words of definition.  These are not the things which describe the valley.  They are...

Kraken class meteor miners were top of the line one hundred and twenty years ago when they were first launched into space.  The tech was good enough that all of them were still in service.  They’d had upgrades over the years and all of the...

Daniel’s life was going nowhere. Not dramatically nowhere; he wasn’t failing, crashing or burning. Even a negative direction would have at least been going somewhere. He was just plodding along on a perfectly flat trajectory. No gains. No losses. No change. His siblings, meanwhile, were soaring....

Entry 1 I don’t know if any of this is going to get through to anyone. If it does, it’s probably because they wanted it to, in which case, I’m really sorry. Maybe they just don’t even care; maybe it doesn’t matter because there’s nothing we...

The man found himself in complete darkness, but that’s not what concerned him.  He wasn’t alone in the darkness either, but that was also of no concern to him.  The others were captives, like himself, presumably bound with silk cords to a bolted-down chair, like...

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