Prologue Joie slowly opened her eyes, tingles of numbing sensations prickled throughout her body. Not being able to focus on any one thought, she attempted to squint through the foggy blurred vision at what she could make out. The color green was predominant along with hues...

Chapter 1 Two Hundred- and Forty-Three-Miles Above Earth Ivan Babichev sat quietly staring through the portal, his blue eyes fixed on the distant planet he called home—Earth. His communication laptop sat blinking on the small desk next to his liquid-lock drinking cup of what I imagined was...

Part 1 A single white rose quietly fell from her slim young fingers. I looked down and saw it had landed on the dark walnut top of the casket. The beautiful wooden box somehow seemed out of place in the cold contoured hole in the soil....

Chapter 1 I pulled the door open and stepped inside Dutch’s Tavern, it seemed familiar, but I paused at the entry until carefully glancing over the bar’s interior. My eyes scoured the inside from the left side of the door completely around to the right of...

Chapter 1 I grew up being a bit of an explorer at heart. It hadn’t exactly come naturally, but instead through my family’s forced moves from army base to army base. I turned ten this year and I was on at least my eighth adventure to...

The Act The large metal plate was secured with long threaded bolts into the enclosure. These were applied and tightened down by two skimpily clad, dark-haired assistants, or vassals as they were called, and appeared to also be identical twins. The cage looked to be impenetrable...

Chapter One Tanner Lee Palper, or Tilper as people had called him even before he could remember, sat on the old rustic bench he’d put by the pond years ago. His pole sat leaning against the limb that jutted towards him from the water. It was...

Chapter 1: Man’s Best Friend The sound of Duane’s Dodge diesel pounded a steady thump with a deep cadence as it idled up the dirt drive to the barn. The sun was setting but it still hung just above the ridge that rose above their farmhouse....

Chapter 1: Blake and Dani’s Dark Tourism Welcome to Helltown, Ohio. The dripping letters and numbers appeared to have been spray-painted over the original town’s name and stats. Population: 3,000,000+ Elevation: -6666. A nice place to visit. A better place to live. I laughed out loud at...

Chapter 1 She sat in the window seat of the Allegiant direct flight from Springfield, Missouri to Tampa, Florida. Cruising at 42,000 feet above the earth, Elsie was dressed to kill, wearing a crimson red halter top and black yoga shorts so tight they appeared to...

Chapter 1 Vernon Hasker sat on the porch swing which had hung on the front porch of his old and now decaying farmhouse for many years. He’d spent many an evening looking at the tree that had started as a small volunteer sapling all those years...

Chapter 1 Tommy ruled. He was the commanding pilot you could count on when the shit went down. And believe me, it was always going down lately. We’d had more skirmishes in the last week and suffered more losses than I can remember. The weekends seem...

Chapter 1: Clyde and Rachel “Clyde, won’t you please come to bed with me—it’s late, honey.” My eyes ached from the strain of staring into the screen for hour after hour. The screen though—is my vehicle. My vehicle to the world I’d been creating and now wished...

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