With her sledge held under one arm Cassandra battled her way up the slope. Halfway up she paused to rest against the frost-crept trunk of a crooked birch and stood listening to her torn breathing, the soundless hush of the fields below filling up with...

Mystery is manifold.  Nothing proved that more than examining Josh Black.  He seemed ordinary, but he most definitely was not. With glasses, Three Stooges Moe haircut, neighbor-hand-me-down jeans shorts, tennis shoes with more holes than shoe, and freckles like his face was splattered with blood, Josh...

Tatum had grown generous to a fault, giving away most of his fruit and vegetables to his neighbors and friends.  He thought it was a way to get more acquainted with all of them. Still, Tatum’s neighbors, up and down the street, remained standoffish, keeping their...

Young Charley Tillman was a mouse in a trap.  He thought the trap was a practical joke that he was playing on himself. It felt unreal the way he kept track of time.  He’d been reduced to measuring the levels of darkness in spoonfuls as it...

Dr. Benjamin B. Forsythe was an odd scoop of orange sherbet, a cold, pasty, dour sort.  His whole life had been a matter of melting into something or nothing.  He’d become a successful psychiatrist over his long career.  Dr. Benjamin’s office was in St. Louis,...

My job usually isn’t all that interesting, and that’s the way I like it.  I’ve done my time in the workforce.  A lot of people my age are retired by now, but I never really had money to step out of the working world.  My...

Ever since my wife Adalyn disappeared, it’s been just Charlie and me all alone.  I don’t mind it.  I’ve never much cared for company.  If I’d wanted visitors, I wouldn’t have tried to get as far away from civilization as I could now, would I? ...

My first memory is of loneliness. Sitting forgotten on a shelf, detached from the world. Unloved and abandoned. I suppose it was sometime around 1934, although I couldn’t recall the exact day. Like anything else in this world, I don’t recall the start of my own...

Well, let’s get one thing out on the table, right at the start.  I recognize that this explanation here is likely going to be fairly difficult for you all to believe, and the last thing I want to do is make this even harder to...

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. For me, it has never been about the money spent, no, it’s about the love and joy you share with those around you. It's about charity and goodwill towards mankind, as the saying goes. Nothing is...

Trevor walked in his front door with a sigh. He shut the door like it weighed a ton and put the chain lock in place. In truth, it was life that weighed on him, exhausted him so. Working retail during the holiday season felt like...

He felt old and tired.  That was all he knew about himself.  He rose from his bed and washed his face while he waited for his mind to focus.  There was a gentle shifting of the floor beneath him.  “Am I on a ship?” the...

They were gone.  The call left me stunned, sick to my stomach.  How did people go missing in today’s world?  How did two perfectly capable adults vanish off the face of the earth in a place where everyone knew everything about the folks who lived...

“The first reported incident was an alleged homicide in which a man killed five people in the master bedroom, dissected them in a meticulous fashion and vanished with the lungs, vocal chords, and epiglottis of all five of the five victims.  The killer, a man...

Chapter 1: Costly Mistakes Saturday, December 27th – 5:45 a.m. – Rural Arkansas Confusion swirled inside his mind while trying to open his eyes. The lids were stuck. Did he drink too much after work? Take a tumble down the front steps? He didn’t remember having any...

She woke up again snared in a familiar nightmare.  The horrific content had always been the same, yet different somehow.  Gabby was fastened to this thick leather leash.  The leash was attached to a silvery spiked collar.  She’d been a shadowy tiger, a bear, even...

Part dream, part high, it was 4:30 A.M., again, that meant I’d been away from Jack Daniels and an iffy consciousness for a couple of hours.  R.E.M. sleep and I don’t get along. He’d been standing there, the hare, or rabbit, for some time, I’d been...

The Tawny Finger Trap: The Cat Never run away from an apex predator; running can trigger an animal’s killer instincts. Terrible decisions consumed Akum’s thoughts.  Having a difficult childhood hadn’t made him needy, quite the opposite, in fact.  It had made him too strong. He was hiking off-grid...

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