You know how you’ll sometimes be driving, and it suddenly clicks that you spaced out for most of the trip and don’t recall a chunk of time on the road? That was what happened this morning as I pulled off the freeway and realized that...

The first time I saw it, I was exiting the final train that evening. The station was practically abandoned at that point and uncomfortably quiet. I try to avoid getting home so late, but I wanted to take Monday off so that I could go...

“I’m sorry, Mister Aching, but could I ask you to remember for me what was giving you trouble?” Remember?  Oh, yes.  I remembered.  It had been last night—not a good night by any measure.  Kyle had come home from work, and I’d forgotten our anniversary.  He...

Stretching through one of the United States’ largest deserts is highway 50.  Aptly nicknamed “the loneliest road in America”, it is indeed as secluded and desolate as one might imagine.  On this particular night, the western horizon was lit up again and again in spectacular...

“If the children come knocking at your door and ask to enter, you must never invite them in or they'll devour your soul.”   “Is that what she screams about?” I ask. “Shh, you’ll unnerve her.” Nurse Monro, the nurse who’s training me on how to handle difficult...

I was summoned from Calcutta to the heart of India to perform a difficult surgical operation on one of the women of a great rajah’s household. I found the rajah a man of a noble character, but possessed, as I afterwards discovered, of a sense...

That damn Sarah Hatley is dangerous. She’s been “dowsing” for dead animals ever since the last of the winter snow melted. The Hatley girl is always carrying that same crooked bit of a willow branch. Sarah holds it out in front of herself with her...

“Feeling down? Have a sinister sweet tooth? I have just the solution, Cordella’s Confections! Over on the corner of Brigantine and Salado Open every Monday through Friday, eleven to four.” A woman’s smile froze on screen. Cordella Joilee appeared perfect to the average eye. A gorgeous woman, about twenty-eight...

I never quite figured out who decides which lost souls have a right to be remembered and which ones don’t. I got a phone call while I was sitting next to my dying wife. I know that the medical equipment was supposed to be keeping her...

“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,...

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