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...

“Crow!” Eli called out to his companion in a hushed tone. He could see nothing beyond the faint ring of light their campfire was casting among the dense forest of pines. Eli’s friend,  Dead Crow, a Cheyenne Indian did not answer. He wasn’t terribly worried...

To understand the value of an hour, one must first cherish its passing, and what more profound a way than the slow, inevitable tick of minutes to measure the descent of your demise.  To understand why I cherish this hour above all else, I must...

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