It knows what you hate.  And it hates what you love. I originally heard about “Sack of Knives” in one of my medieval literature texts—the class had sounded interesting out of my options that quarter, but two weeks in I was already wishing I’d taken another...

Once a month, The Boneless arrives on the tide. It’s a force of nature—like quicksand. You can’t reason or argue with it. All you can do is barricade your home and stay indoors. We islanders know when it’s coming. We recognize the signs. Now and again,...

Nathan walked out of the church and into the bright Sunday morning light. The pastor had ended his sermon early, noon still a half-hour away. Nathan fished his keys from his pocket and made his way to his car, one of the last remaining in...

This is the story of how a novelty toaster ruined my life. First of all, I want to clarify that I’m not the kind of guy who buys a novelty toaster. I got it at a white elephant gift exchange a couple of years back. You...

On what would have been our fiftieth anniversary, I bought you a marble headstone.  Stone is the recommended gift for ninety years of marriage, but my being around another forty is a gamble for which the odds are too long.  Gold is the traditional gift...

7:35 pm, November 28. Sheriff Ron Ball and Deputy Ernest Dingle: On-duty. Unit 1, we got a 10-70 at Royalty Deluxe Luxury Mobile Estates. I repeat, a 10-70. Unit One, do you copy? Sheriff Ball looked at Dingle. No more than five minutes after they’d parked for...

The shivering Cro-Magnon man shifted uncomfortably in the dark. His back across the hard rocky surface was certainly an untenable reality for any decent sleep. He grunted and moaned and awoke with a start. Another nightmare. He wiped the sweat from his forehead. His back...

The midday sun stood at its zenith, bathing them in unforgiving heat. Brendan wiped sweat from his brow with the heel of his hand, then dried it on the edge of his shirt. “Christ, it’s hot,” Brendan said. “Remind me never to go to an amusement...

The Chicago suburb of Englewood is no stranger to murder.  In 1893, it was home to Dr. H. H. Holmes, who built a hotel with the sole purpose of murdering his employees and patrons.  A good hundred or so died in his gas-rigged rooms, their...

My father has always been somewhat eccentric, prone to tall tales of his childhood, keeping collections of old knickknacks and assorted antiquities he’d find at auction, and strict adherence to bizarre house rules.  Growing up in his home, the same home he grew up in,...

“I’m not going to let you do this,” said Eugene. “You’re the closest thing I have to a brother and I don’t want you to die.” His eleven-year-old knees shook and buckled on the sidewalk of Mountain Road, that cold night in November. The bracing...

I have slept six hours in the past eight days. Time is beginning to slow to a crawl, dragging my perception behind it like an anchor that just won’t pull out from the mud. The more I try to organize my thoughts the more muddled...

“So, you ready?” Will stands proudly at the bedroom door. His backpack is strapped on securely, but he still holds on to the straps, a ready and willing adventurer. His hoodie is zipped up to his neck but he keeps the hood down. He knows better...

After World War II, Russian agents descended upon German specialists habituating in the Soviet Occupation Zone, and forcefully deported them to the USSR to work on their own scientific projects.  This maneuver, dubbed Operation Osoaviakhim, included renowned astrophysicist Dr. Dietrich Volkov.  He performed cosmonautical operations...

A heavy mist rolled over the lush grass of the cemetery, muting the hues of green land and blue sky with a heavy veil of grey. The already morose atmosphere was exaggerated with the crowd of friends and family members swallowed in black clothes.  We...

My Aunt Mel was one of the strongest women I ever knew.  She stepped in to raise my little brother Keith and me after we lost our mother to ovarian cancer.   Not many other people would have done the same, especially having to step in...

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