Our beautiful Kathryn, My life was just about perfect, as close to it as it could be without actually being so. I was young, with a promising career ahead of me, the love of my life by my side, the whole world at my fingertips. I...

Grace Merritt almost choked to death on a Saturday morning, roughly 2 a.m. She awoke to a burning anger in her stomach, a sharp twisting feeling that felt as though her innards were looping into bloody knots. Ignoring it and falling back to sleep was...

My upbringing was about as traditional as an upbringing gets. My parents were married, I had a younger sister, we lived in a nice suburban neighborhood, I had friends at school, all the trappings of a normal, healthy childhood. But there was one thing. One rule. One rule...

The terrible thing happened at night—as most terrible things do. While I click-clicked away at my home job as a transcriptionist, I’d often watch the boys playing in the backyard. They’d be at it for hours, acting out some scene with foam swords and plastic guns,...

I’ve been here since I was two years old, and by all accounts, I had a normal upbringing. That’s owed to the fact that this is an altogether normal place. The people work in other nearby towns or craft wares here that they sell in...

My name is Noah Ryley, and I like to burn things. It had all started when I was nine, after my parents separated. Custody was granted to my mother since my father had taken the opportunity to jump ship. Probably to start a new family with...

I’ve owned Pinelawn Cemetery, the cemetery that serves the small town in which we reside, for going on 11 years now. Our land is a good size, but due to the size of the town from which our cemetery draws its...

“Alright, class, we have a new student joining us today.” Everyone straightened their backs and perked up, intrigued by the prospect of someone new the way only children can be. Only Michael remained slouched, head on one arm and playing at indifference, but still, he looked...

I need your help.  I don’t know who you are, or how many of you I’m actually addressing.  That’s the problem with doing something like this, when you don’t really know your audience.  I just need to know if I’m going insane, or if I’ve...

My girlfriend, Amber, shook several thick envelopes in my face as soon as I came through the front door. “Do you see these? Huh? Huh?” she snarled with her teeth bared and nose scrunched. “They look like junk mail to me,” I said. “They are junk mail! And...

My friend Shannon had been through quite a bit in the past few years, and that was the only reason that I didn’t immediately call the police when I stopped by her work and found her halfway through the process of climbing out of a...

Let me start my story by telling you something about me, the most important thing, in fact: I find things, and I fix them. That’s who I am. If you don’t know that, you don’t know me. I’m a second-generation auto mechanic, born-and-bred. I’ve been repairing...

Part One: Once a Butcher's Wife Calla Lily Cottage stood among the rose bushes and assorted potted plants atop of Willow Vale, basking in the mid-afternoon sun. White walls adorned with climbing ivy, a thick thatched roof, and aging lop-sided windows gave the building a distinct...

Some nights are worse than others. Some nights, I wake up alone in the dark with a cold chill settling upon me, seeping into my flesh. Other nights I toss and turn until I wake with a half-remembered image of my brother Aaron’s face. In...

Sickness overcame Emily without warning. While we strode, arms linked, through downtown after a late movie, taking turns trashing it—Emily became silent, and stopped walking. I thought maybe she’d stepped in gum, or forgot something at the theatre, but on her face grew an expression signaling...

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