Part 1 Sol ran the red light at the intersection of Main and Marigold and tore down the road to Marigold Court. He’d outstayed his welcome at the poker game, and since the Dominicans knew where he lived, he’d outstayed his welcome at his own apartment....

It was a small village, a hamlet far off of the beaten path of the major towns and cities, but the people there were hard-working and friendly.  They never required walls because there was nothing to guard against.  They had nothing of value, there was...

Everybody loves the woods, until they follow you home. When my father came back from the military, we bought our first house—a boxy, two-story affair on the woodsy outskirts part of town.  I was twelve going on thirteen then. Our neighborhood was a little off the beaten...

It wakes you. Not the moan of a withered hag or the fleeting voice of a dead man, but the low trill of wind slipping past your window.  Air being pressed into a hushed breath. The shadows meld themselves back into your bedroom. You blink.  The blurred, hazy...

I arrived at the Kotirc Outpost at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon alongside three senior officers from HQ. We had been told nothing about the facility’s state or its staff, simply that we had lost all communication with them about three days before our arrival. Russell, the...

Flashes of lightning illuminated torrents of rain as they ran down our bedroom window like tiny waterfalls, lulling my wife Meryl and I into a contented slumber. We always seemed to sleep our best during the muffled maelstrom of a Florida storm. But no amount...

“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...

At one point in time, it was said Putt Putt Mini-Golf and Used Cars was among the top hotspots in Splittail. At some point in time, Sheriff Ron Ball figured, each of us gets a chance to be our very best. Now, however, seemed uniquely...

“This doesn’t look safe.”  I looked into the cave that cut into the side of the massive round hill.  Above it, a tree had grown roots downward trying to fill up the void, but it had instead simply created a fanciful framing, like something out...

I hated Ms. Granger’s collection from the moment I laid eyes on it. The old lady was the latest in my long line of patients.  I’m a caregiver, the live-in type. I’d been working in the field for a decade when I got to know Ms. Granger. She...

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...

Plummeting through the sky in freefall as fire licks up around you, trying its damnedest to erase you from existence, never gets easier. I was old enough to have forgotten more drops than I remembered, but that feeling of your stomach trying to crawl up...

Brent was killed by a slice of toast fired at high velocity from an evil, sentient toaster.  It blasted a hole right through his chest and took a huge piece out of the wall behind him.  We didn’t know what was happening at that point,...

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....

Doctor Luna Valdez swallowed nervously as the elevator descended into the heavily fortified sublevels of the Dreadfort Facility.  She was heading all the way down towards the bunker, and they didn’t keep anything good down there.  It was made entirely of thick, reinforced concrete and...

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...

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