Chapter 1 “Hey, Donovan!” Colin yelled as he walked into his corner office with his hand held out for a shake. “My man! I cannot believe you brokered that deal! I didn’t think there was any way Richard would sell.” Donovan smiled as he reached out to...

“Peter?  Oh, Peter?  It’s time to wake up, sleepyhead.”  The quiet voice drifted through the blackness of the small enclosure, like a fall leaf looking for a place to land. Peter lay sprawled across a concrete floor.  His eyelids fluttered as the sing-songy voice pulled him...

Annabelle awoke to complete and impenetrable darkness, as she did every evening, although that was perfectly normal for a Vampire Lady of the Forsaken Coast. The Hematocrats, as they were affectionately known, did not hide from the sun in coffins, but in ornate inner sanctums...

When I was growing up, we had an amazing toy store in our town. It was designed to resemble a medieval castle with multiple floors and took up an enormous portion of a nearby strip mall. You wouldn’t find national toy brands like Mattel or...

Chapter 1 A loud screeching noise interrupts my shower. Reaching for my towel, I hear it again, only louder. I get out of the shower and towel off quickly. Listening carefully, I don’t hear the screech I heard earlier, and think to myself it must be nothing....

Blue.  Life is blue.  Existence, awakening sentience, all of it is blue.  Not black, nor shining brightness or anything, but blue.  True blue.  Once in a blue moon.  That’s a saying, right?  The blue of ignorance, wafting like…oh, what are they?  Those lovely warbling mountains...

Growing up in Lenora, nobody died.  Not in that quiet, dust-flavored hamlet.  Even with a humble town like ours, the small sadnesses you’d see every so often were gone, however young, old, or misfortune.  The hospital beds lay empty, aside from the drunks resting off...

Friends like Quinn Perser were hard to come by, especially in Stonedirt County.  He was one of those spectacular people, the kind you meet once in your life, if you’re lucky, that knew how to complement every aspect of you.  Held a good conversation, shared...

The first time was probably the least tragic, or at least, the least painful.  The least haunting, as well.  It was three years ago; my health had taken a nosedive.  Cancer, stage three.  I’d been a chain smoker since the end of freshman year of...

“And a double with cheese, please.” Patrick leaned in close to me from the passenger seat.  “Can you add a Coke to that, too?” I leaned out.  “Can we have a Coke, too, please?”  I looked back at Patrick, who made a hand gesture, pulling his hands...

The following is transcribed from a document located in an unmarked grave discovered and exhumed on the island of Skellig Michael.  The document is of particular note, because not only does it predate the monastic orders that would come to dominate the culture of this...

I’ll never forget the Halloween I moved to Westport. It was a rough year for me—just barely 12—moving in the hottest summer months to a new town in the middle of nowhere. Coming from the big city, the endless fields and forests were definitely new...

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...

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 was just after dark, and I was standing by myself at an abandoned bus stop on an almost equally abandoned street, waiting in near pitch-black conditions for a bus that logically would never come.  Most of the streetlights didn’t work anymore, and the derelict...

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