“So… you’re trying to cash in on this whole ‘analog horror’ fad?  Is that it?” the eccentrically dressed yet curmudgeonly old shopkeeper asked as he disinterestedly pawed through the jumbled collection of off-brand VHS tapes I had brought for him. I couldn’t say that I blamed...

The stink of cigarettes and stale beer enveloped me as I pushed through the door of The Last Call. George Jones crooned from the jukebox and across the crowded room, Sherry Carter balanced a tray of drinks. She weaved between tables, her red hair like...

Nine Months Earlier A computer programmer working at Simitrek, a software development company, typed at his office computer.  He looked at the stack of forms on his desk, then looked back at his computer screen.  Suddenly, his stomach let out a gurgling noise.  He rubbed it...

Dallas skipped a stone as he sat on the bank of a tributary of the Elk River. His aluminum, two-man canoe gently bobbed in the lazy current. His gear already loaded, he waited for his partner. He yawned, stretched his lanky frame, and scratched an...

We met as we always did when Dr. Victor Monier returned from one of his grand adventures.  Our congregation was small yet fulfilling.  He called them sabbaticals or short excursions.  He never failed to bring back something tangible along with the most unbelievable stories.  But...

What awaits, is waiting for us all along.  There’s no changing that. The dug bore well had been on the property for 200 years, they said. It had been dry for over half of that, but folks would come by, toss a coin in and make...

I am as accurate as a bullet without discrimination.  I always have been.  I am the unpretentious sort with calculated intent.  I use big words, little words, sometimes no words at all.  I am not the type who likes a face-to-face chin wag.  Working the...

The night brings its phantasms, its lucid dreams and devilish nightmares, but it can also wake a sleeping man to sheer terror and mounting confusion, where reality is suffocating and the man prays it is a dream. Delusion; that is what it must be.  Peace was...

Aldous Woolfe was a man of means.  He was a doer and never procrastinated at anything.  If he was supposed to do something, you could depend on him to do it.  He prized his job as an accountant.  He always loved numbers because numbers do...

On Gallows Hill, that overlooked Witches Valley where the verdant Whispering Forest spanned the horizon, Delbert Denton lived alone in a very modest house in a cul-de-sac called Snake Den Road.  Delbert was a bachelor, never married and seldom, if ever, dated.  No woman had...

Evan Burr found himself out late sauntering down the sidewalk on a night where the weather couldn’t make up its mind if it wanted to rain or not.  A light drizzle just made being outside without an umbrella an unpleasant stroll.  He spotted a bar...

No matter where I go, there is always fright.  Like an alcohol burn in my throat, like an acid that burns like hell.  No matter where I run, I race into the cold iron bars of a closed prison gate.  I am then isolated, segregated,...

Business was slow at the Tavern last night. Now, that wasn’t REALLY anything new (especially with this past month). Unfortunately, that didn’t keep my nerves from essentially spiking all night. Of all nights, this was the worst one to have no patrons – bar none!...

“We got a serious unnerstandin’ gap here.”  Joe shook his head, fishing out a Marlboro from his shirt pocket.  “I don’t need th’ money that bad.” The shiny quarter gleamed in the late morning sun, “I give you quarter,” the Asian man insisted. “Nope,” Joe lit his...

Peace can be found even in times of war, thought Hershel Güterbach. Hunched before his rustic kitchen’s sole window, he placed his liver-spotted hands on the rim of a deep basin sink as his pupils reflected the picture-perfect spring day. A cloudless sky of radiant...

Chapter 1 Eli was startled by the sound of a key in the front door. He had been resting in the upstairs bedroom. He couldn’t sleep anymore and hadn’t been able to do so in weeks. He missed it. He hadn’t left the house in weeks...

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