“They say that if you look into this pond, the dead who lie beneath its surface will stare into your soul, and see the secrets you’ve kept hidden.” “They also used to say that if you touch yourself, you’ll grow hair on your palms. Well, do...

29I leave dinner to pick up the phone, cupping my hand over my mouth in the hallway. “Who is it?” There’s a second of feedback, a high whining noise, and then a response. “Jim’s not here.” “Sorry? Who’s Jim? In fact, who is this?” I ask a flurry of questions,...

It was my fifth day in Gloaming, Nevada – an unincorporated township skirted on all sides by scorched barrenness. I had never been this far west before, and so the craggy, acacia-dotted desert was dazzling to my senses. I remember wishing that I could extend...

Let me just get the obvious out of the way first; yes, I’ve actually been to the future. No, don’t ask me about the Pandemic, or the Climate Crisis, or the next election, or next week’s lotto jackpot. I’ve been to the far future, long...

Hiking has always been a hobby of mine. Every year I try to find new trails, seemingly untouched by man. I’ll travel across the globe in search of the best, most scenic views you can imagine. Bangladesh, Fiji, and the alpines are some of the...

Emery let out an aching groan as she slowly ebbed back into consciousness. Squinting in the near-total darkness and coughing up dust, she scrambled to get some sense of where she was and what had happened. The sharp, uneven edges of shattered bricks and splintered...

I received the following email from Stewart, an old friend I haven't spoken to in years. At first I thought some spammer had gotten a hold of his address book. Within a few sentences, however, I knew it was written by Stewart himself. A long...

The terrible thing happened at night—as most terrible things do. While I click-clicked away at my home job as a transcriptionist, I’d often watch the boys playing in the backyard. They’d be at it for hours, acting out some scene with foam swords and plastic guns,...

My name is Noah Ryley, and I like to burn things. It had all started when I was nine, after my parents separated. Custody was granted to my mother since my father had taken the opportunity to jump ship. Probably to start a new family with...

I’ve owned Pinelawn Cemetery, the cemetery that serves the small town in which we reside, for going on 11 years now. Our land is a good size, but due to the size of the town from which our cemetery draws its...

I need your help.  I don’t know who you are, or how many of you I’m actually addressing.  That’s the problem with doing something like this, when you don’t really know your audience.  I just need to know if I’m going insane, or if I’ve...

My friend Shannon had been through quite a bit in the past few years, and that was the only reason that I didn’t immediately call the police when I stopped by her work and found her halfway through the process of climbing out of a...

Let me start my story by telling you something about me, the most important thing, in fact: I find things, and I fix them. That’s who I am. If you don’t know that, you don’t know me. I’m a second-generation auto mechanic, born-and-bred. I’ve been repairing...

Sickness overcame Emily without warning. While we strode, arms linked, through downtown after a late movie, taking turns trashing it—Emily became silent, and stopped walking. I thought maybe she’d stepped in gum, or forgot something at the theatre, but on her face grew an expression signaling...

When I first saw him standing out there on the sidewalk, I thought nothing of it. I certainly didn’t think he’d still be out there come September. I lingered at the window for just a moment, decided that the night-bound silhouette across the street was...

I don’t have a gambling problem. That’s the first thing I want known. It’s also what they all say, right? No, I’m not addicted to gambling, but I have a co-dependency issue with someone who is. I’m not the coolest guy on the block, and I’m...

Is Doctor Disrespect one of your heroes? I know he was one of mine. Yes, was. I guess I still respect the guy. But he went down one motherfucker of a rabbit hole and dragged me down with him. I’m seventeen and I wash windows. That’s why...

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