New Orleans is a city alive with death. Things have a way of coming back from beyond. There’s something about the city that gives everything an extra spark. That sort of force can interact with the world in strange ways. One of those ways was the...

My brother Marcus was already dead before I came to Odessa.  He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer just six months ago, making him a walking corpse. When he got the news, it changed him.  He started to do crazier and crazier things, just to get...

Urban legends are the bread and butter of the American culture.  No matter where you go in this beautiful country, you will find whispers of these dark tales that often circulate around a campfire, and perhaps none as prevalent as the stories concerning crybaby bridges. A...

My name is Harry, and I’m dying. Less than a few weeks ago, I was in my car, sitting on a ledge.  Engine revved, looking toward the open lake.  I could hear geese calling out and looked toward the clouds to see they were breaking through...

I sat at the ornately filled table with an involuntary smirk on my face as I absentmindedly fiddled with the discarded paper wrapper that had once contained my plastic straw, wasteful I know. My mind drifted to each member of the table, all family members...

The old man’s eyes were cobalt. Deep blue as the North Atlantic and just as stormy. Effortless would it be to imagine an old and proud 44 gunship skudding under topsails with the wind, Wandering Albatrosses gliding with ease above the ship’s wake, the great...

(This story is part of the Grey Michael series. For the first part in the series, entitled Grey Michael, click the preceding story's title) Let me set the scene for you. The room is dark, enclosed, underground. The floor is smooth stone, chalked with a dizzying array...

The scarecrow stands around twelve feet tall. A lone, misshapen sentinel in the midst of a dark field, beneath the blood of a clotted red sky. His shadow is long across the crops. Comprised not of two simple poles and a sack of straw, this monstrosity is...

When people told someone like Chad Hoftrand to get a life, they didn’t realize that meant a death sentence for someone, somewhere. He was in the market for a new life sooner than expected.  He could usually hold onto one for at least a few years. But...

Gabriel Larson walked up to Colby Pittman on the playground at recess and kicked him square in the nuts.  The heavyset, bug-eyed redhead crumpled to the ground.  Then Gabriel kicked him in the stomach with the force of a raging bull.  Nobody stopped him.  Everyone...

First, Grant Bateman found out that he had lost his job.  He showed up to work and was told to clear out his desk. When he got home, he found his wife in a flurry of activity that looked a lot like packing her things.  She...

Grande Nonno died making a living, like Papa. He was born with his blue denim sleeves rolled up. He and Grande Nonna are buried just a few miles south of the Apuan Mountains on the Alps’ Italian side. They’ve been rotting away in a small village...

If anyone ever asked me to name the best three people I know, Russell Allison would be the first name out of my mouth.  We’ve been friends since high school, and in the twenty years since, I’ve never had any reason to doubt his honesty,...

“Please let me in.  I’m so cold.” Growing up, my best friend was Matthew Ramsey.  He was a year older than me but still in my grade—not because he was stupid, but his father had died when he was in the fourth grade, and for a...

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