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...

There is thunder.  There is lightning.  Trent’s world ignites.  He’s flat on the ship’s deck, surrounded by an ocean of fire.  Rockets snap across the runway and explode–the horror.  He’s in hell.  Everything is burning. Trent gathers his thoughts as he pushes himself up from the...

“Hey, what’s the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?” “What?” Togs looks at me, irritated.  “You heard me, pal.  What’s the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?” I grimace.  “I don’t know, Togs.  What is the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?”  He grunts with...

I’ve seen a lot of things these last few years working security for the Twin Valley Behavioral Center.  For all its fancy wording, it is a long-term mental-health facility.  It’s not maximum security or anything, but we still get our fair share of crazy moments...

Nicholas Grime looked at the window at the neighbor’s house, watching the twitching form dangling from the rope in the tree, the smiling figure holding the axe, and the bloodstained plastic sheet covering the front door. He sighed and looked at his own front yard, where...

I watched the back of their feet as we all walked into the woods together.  Trailing behind and looking down to watch my steps, I could see their shoes leading the way.  Three sets of different colors pressing the forest floor.  For some reason, despite...

Have you ever laid awake at night, staring at the ceiling wondering what your life would be like if you had made different decisions?  If you had gone left instead of right, if you had said no instead of yes.  Do you wonder how big...

There’s this little flower shop on the way home from the office.  At least, I thought it was a flower shop.  The sign on the window says, “Granny’s Yarbs and Apothecary.”  I wasn’t sure what to make of a name like that, but since the...

I stay up later than most people, so I was still awake and playing computer games when the crash happened.  Tires screeched before I heard a tremendous crunching of metal.  I thought it was just a simple car accident outside until an emerald spray of...

I drink, not because I like alcohol, but because I’ve recently seen the horrifying underbelly of the world, and I can’t go back to blissful ignorance in any other way than through the bottom of a bottle.  I can’t sleep, either, so I’m writing this...

Grandpa Cobalt hated letting things go. Whether it was the wobbly chair he kept in his study or his favorite warped record he fed to the gramophone—looping the same groove over and over. He was a tall man with a frosty thin hairline and a nose capable...

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