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...

Until recently, I was the head of the psychology department at a small, unassuming university.  To protect the privacy of those still working there, I will not tell you which university it is, though I suspect you can find it in the papers.  It depends...

“Tell me about the first time you remember being scared.” Duane hesitated.  “It’s stupid, you know?” “Nothing’s stupid, Duane,” Dr. Earles gently admonished.  Earles was a balding man in his early sixties, with thin glasses and a neatly-trimmed, mostly white beard.  He very much looked the part...

“And I looked, and beheld a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” – Book of Revelation 6:8 “Alert: traffic ahead.  Estimated travel time has increased by 15 minutes.” Simon sighed and drummed his fingers on his steering wheel....

911 gets three kinds of calls.  There’s the “someone needs help” call, obviously.  That’s the sort that most of our training deals with, and it’s the kind that everyone pictures first when they think of 911.  You could, if you wanted, subdivide these calls into...

I’m here to make a confession.  I don’t know if it’ll help, if anything’ll help at this point, but I’m out of ideas and out of time.  So here goes. A year ago, I was at a party, a decent-sized shindig, bunch of working folks letting...

I was seven years old when my brother Frank died in a fire. He was nineteen and a fireman and everything I ever wanted to be in the world. My parents told me that he’d died a hero, that he’d been inside a house saving...

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