Until recently, I was the head of the psychology department at a small, unassuming university.  To protect the privacy of those still working there, I will not tell you which university it is, though I suspect you can find it in the papers.  It depends...

“Tell me about the first time you remember being scared.” Duane hesitated.  “It’s stupid, you know?” “Nothing’s stupid, Duane,” Dr. Earles gently admonished.  Earles was a balding man in his early sixties, with thin glasses and a neatly-trimmed, mostly white beard.  He very much looked the part...

“And I looked, and beheld a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” – Book of Revelation 6:8 “Alert: traffic ahead.  Estimated travel time has increased by 15 minutes.” Simon sighed and drummed his fingers on his steering wheel....

911 gets three kinds of calls.  There’s the “someone needs help” call, obviously.  That’s the sort that most of our training deals with, and it’s the kind that everyone pictures first when they think of 911.  You could, if you wanted, subdivide these calls into...

“Rain fell on the roofs of the just and the unjust, the saints and the sinners, those who knew peace and those in torment, and tomorrow began at a dark hour.” – Robert R McCammon, “Mine” August 6th, 1982 was a day in Duxbury that no one...

I’m here to make a confession.  I don’t know if it’ll help, if anything’ll help at this point, but I’m out of ideas and out of time.  So here goes. A year ago, I was at a party, a decent-sized shindig, bunch of working folks letting...

I was seven years old when my brother Frank died in a fire. He was nineteen and a fireman and everything I ever wanted to be in the world. My parents told me that he’d died a hero, that he’d been inside a house saving...

The days all started with the briefing room—a wall-to-wall palette of aged pastels and stark, hospital grayness. In the center of our little room, an oval-shaped table dominated the space with every seat filled with a tired nurse. From one of the windows, a bar of morning...

I am going to tell you a story. This isn’t a pleasant tale yet it does contain elements of happiness and love. However, it is mostly and most unfortunately permeated with an abundance of terror and hopelessness. I do hope that you are not faint-hearted...

When children wish to go into the corn-fields to pluck ears or gather the blue corn-flowers, they are warned not to do so, for “the big Dog sits in the corn.”— The Golden Bough by James Frazer The detective stood leaning against the wall in the...

Part One Work from the comfort of your schedule while being paid well.  Apply for a census job. A website was printed on the bottom of the yellow sign sticking out of the ground as I drove by.  I’ve seen a lot of them lately.  You know...

I still get flashes before I open my eyes in the morning. The air was cold; it carried with it a moisture that seemed to settle right into your lungs with each breath.  At times, a strong gust of wind could feel like ice crystals settling...

It was all I could do not to vomit when my mother-in-law proudly set the roast down in front of us, its meat glistening brown on the kitchen table.  “Doug, are you alright?” my wife Maxine whispered, making sure her parents couldn’t hear.  She hadn’t...

I really, really hate Legos.  Their little nubs and sharp corners fit perfectly right into the center of the bottom of your foot, causing a stabbing agony that lingers for the rest of the day with every step.  I’d hoped I was done with them...

Karen woke in a sweat, the peripheral of her dream slowly dissipating.  Again, that smell.  She took a long deep breath and groggily massaged her nose though it did not help; it never did.  In fact, the nauseous stench of putrid flesh seemed to linger...

It was a late July night, and I once again found myself basking in the glow of my TV screen, a controller in one hand and a beer in the other. Empty pizza boxes, chip bags, and various other discarded remnants surrounded me as I...

I wasn’t sure what I was more surprised to discover: the ragged hole in my backyard, or the man stuck in it. The hole was a crack about eight feet long and maybe two feet thick at its widest point. It looked as if the...

It was an incredibly hot day when I heard the knock on my door.  One of those days where you close the blinds and crank the AC, trying to find relief in darkness.  It had been like that all week, each day growing more and...

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