“We’re gonna make this a tradition,” Jerry said confidently. The others in the back of the van could barely hear him over the music. “Arbor Day getaway.” “We’re not, Jer,” said Sarah. Jerry gave her a wounded look, and she reached over and put a hand...

“Ah, welcome!” The man who stood at the open door was painfully suburban. His thick-rimmed glasses were slightly too large for his face, even with the wide grin he was currently sporting. His pastel polo shirt was tucked into the belted waistband of his cargo shorts....

Nearly half a million children are reported missing each year in the United States. Averaged out across all of the cities, towns and the like, that comes out to about four missing kids per populated area per year. Fortunately, all but a tiny handful—about twelve...

THE FOLLOWING STORY IS A SEQUEL TO THE STORY: "Kill the Curdler" The funny thing about problems, Ackerman reflected, was that they never went away. They just changed into other problems. Sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, but never gone. Problems fed on each other, just like everything else....

Charles Walker Woods was a gentleman of means. In a city rapidly being subsumed by the dim fog of industry, he felt it was not just his right to stand out as a breath of fresh air—it was his duty. Were it not for people...

The poster was simple. Someone had done their best with it, but their best wasn’t very good. MONSTIR HUNTIRS WANTED, read the boldly misspelled words at the top. Below that was a drawing straight out of a child’s imagination. It showed a hunched creature with big,...

As a kid, I read a ton of sci-fi.  Pulp stuff, real trash, most of it, but it inspired me.  It told me that there were things out there to be discovered, that there were new worlds to open up.  No matter how far we’d...

Today’s my birthday.  That’s not generally something I bring up.  I don’t celebrate it.  Almost no one knows when it is, and I like it that way. I don’t like being put on the spot.  I don’t like the falseness of people wishing me a happy...

I was supposed to be at my friend’s wedding this weekend.  And the thing is, maybe I was there?  Only I’m pretty sure it was canceled.  I went to the bride’s funeral.  But—let me back up. I knew both Aldin and Petra from college.  They met...

I thought it was just like any other construction zone.  It looked the same: same cones, same signs, same trucks.  And honestly, if people would learn how to drive, I probably never would have noticed any differently.  But people get stupid in the face of...

It had been a whirlwind romance.  Hakamiah Morrison had been head over heels for Delilah from the moment he first laid eyes on her.  He was not greatly skilled in the art of seduction, or indeed even conversation, so it took a few tries to...

Obadiah had forty different words for fog.  From his fishing shack on the waterfront, he watched various fogs come and go, ebbing and flowing around the town.  He needed every one of the words to describe the varied types that ran their blurry touch over...

There were three things everyone could tell you about David.  The first, the one everyone noticed immediately, was that he was handsome.  Like, Hollywood handsome.  He had a roguish charm, too, a disarming smile that lit up his face and made everything all right.  Men,...

It’s nearly Hanukkah again, the Jewish winter holiday also called the Festival of Lights. To most people, that refers to the oil that miraculously lasted much longer than it should have, keeping the eternal flame burning until more oil could be made. For me, though,...

“Are we there yet?” Nicole asked sleepily, her eyes still closed. The car bumped along the unlit two-lane country road, its motion answering her question before Corso could reply. “Welcome back to the land of the living,” he teased gently. “Thought I might have to carry...

If I could’ve said one thing to covid-19, had one opportunity to deliver a message that the virus could understand, it would’ve been: please don’t destroy my life. No posturing, no tough-guy stuff from me. Just a plea. Not that I think it would have...

Daniel’s life was going nowhere. Not dramatically nowhere; he wasn’t failing, crashing or burning. Even a negative direction would have at least been going somewhere. He was just plodding along on a perfectly flat trajectory. No gains. No losses. No change. His siblings, meanwhile, were soaring....

I can’t touch people who are almost dead. It’s not a phobia, a religious thing or even a preference. I just literally can’t do it. My hands pass through them like they’re already gone. It’s horribly unnerving. You ever walk up a flight of stairs, but...

I recently bought a house in the country.  I wouldn’t quite call it a country estate, but if someone else did, I wouldn’t disagree with them, either.  The house covers a few thousand square feet, and it’s on 25 acres of land.  Honestly, it’s a...

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