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...

It started out as a perfectly normal camping trip. It was me, Rosie and Jonas, just like usual. The three of us have been friends since high school, and although there are often other people in our orbits, it’s always the three of us together...

When I was thirteen, I abandoned my best friend. It wasn’t intentional, not really.  I’d been the one that had been sure of what we had to do—telling our parents, convincing them to tell the police, and promising Virginia what no matter what, when it came...

It knows what you hate.  And it hates what you love. I originally heard about “Sack of Knives” in one of my medieval literature texts—the class had sounded interesting out of my options that quarter, but two weeks in I was already wishing I’d taken another...

Once a month, The Boneless arrives on the tide. It’s a force of nature—like quicksand. You can’t reason or argue with it. All you can do is barricade your home and stay indoors. We islanders know when it’s coming. We recognize the signs. Now and again,...

Part 1 The sharp click of a switch and a whirr of static on an old multi-band radio saturated a small Floridian claustrophobic one-bedroom apartment with a loud audio gradience – crawling from low to high back to low pitches of frequency. In a knee-jerk reaction,...

Nathan walked out of the church and into the bright Sunday morning light. The pastor had ended his sermon early, noon still a half-hour away. Nathan fished his keys from his pocket and made his way to his car, one of the last remaining in...

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