“Dr. Annelise Fowler,” “Annie, no one calls me Annelise.” “Alright then, Annie.” “You can call me Dr. Fowler.” Agent Romero slips a cigarette out of his pack, “You mind if I smoke, Doctor? Would you like one?” “I would mind, and no, I would not like a cigarette. Let’s just...

1978 With headlights off and through the rain-lashed windscreen and blackness of the night, Don didn't see the tree across his side of the road until it was nearly upon him.  He put his foot hard on the brake and instinctively yanked the steering wheel, sending...

I’m not sure if he knows how little respect I have for him. He leans back in his chair, slowly placing his hands behind his head—making a meal of it—as though what is to follow is going to bring him great pleasure.  The two rings under...

“Once upon a time, there was a big bad wolf–” “Mom!” Heather cried out loudly, cutting her twin sister off. “She’s doing it again!” The girls’ mother, Tracy, appeared at the door, flicking on the light and mock-glaring at the two beds across the room. Heather was...

Who else could’ve asked for a more perfect Christmas morning? The skies not quite dark yet not quite bright, snowflakes gently pelting against the windows, the fireplace giving a warm, comforting glow, and the tree itself sparkling with glitter and multi-colored lights (in this case,...

Aggie circled the address and folded up the paper. It had taken almost seven years for the Pittsburgh Observer to return listing real estate in their Saturday edition. Luckily with the recession having decreased enough to beckon a mini housing boom back to the Pittsburgh...

My great aunt Mildred absolutely adored yard sales. That woman could haggle a tortoise from its shell. I tagged along a lot because she kept me while my parents were at work. She'd let me pick random junk, and she was an expert haggler when...

I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to sleep. Sleep has eluded me for several days at this point, but to sleep is to give up and let guilt destroy me. That’s what I call it anyway, guilt. It was as plausible an explanation as any...

“Breaker one-nine, breaker one-nine.”  BOOLEEP. Nothing. “Breaker one-nine.  Anyone copy?”  BOOLEEP. Glen took a swipe at my hand as I attempted to key up the base station radio mic once more. “Give it up,”  he belched.  “You lost another one, man.”  He crumpled his empty can of MGD onto...

John began working in my office in late October. He started on a Thursday. He sat at the desk opposite mine, which had been empty since Julia had gone on maternity leave. He turned on the computer and slid his satchel, which had the name ‘John...

My wife and I were house hunting. We’d been saving for years to get the down payment together. A lot of struggling and cutting corners were finally going to pay off. We had visited five houses in various neighborhoods, trying to find the right fit...

“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...

I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life. It’s a beautiful place with endless wonder on land and in the depths beneath the water. I live in a small town, and I’ve never for a second considered leaving. I never honestly understood that phase people growing...

When children wish to go into the corn-fields to pluck ears or gather the blue corn-flowers, they are warned not to do so, for “the big Dog sits in the corn.”— The Golden Bough by James Frazer The detective stood leaning against the wall in the...

Karen woke in a sweat, the peripheral of her dream slowly dissipating.  Again, that smell.  She took a long deep breath and groggily massaged her nose though it did not help; it never did.  In fact, the nauseous stench of putrid flesh seemed to linger...

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