I think most people are surprised when they learn one of my hobbies is taxidermy. I know what you probably expect when you hear that – some shady-looking Ed Gein kind of guy.  I’m going to clear this up off the bat.  Not everyone that practices...

Katie Watson gazed around at the vast, opulent room. For the first time in her professional career, she felt small and vulnerable. The world had changed in the last several years, but the building they were in had remained unaltered since its construction over a...

CHAPTER 1 Almost Free Tucker Correctional Unit – Pine Bluff, Arkansas August 15, 1995 3:55 a.m. CDT Dan Kincaid stifled a deep sigh, concerned any noise would roust his slumbering cellmates. His entire body ached from the vicious brawl hours before. He lacked the strength to withstand another, so keeping...

The following is transcribed from a collection of reel-to-reel tapes recently located in the basement of the long-abandoned St. Elizabeth of Hungary Hospital (location redacted).  The reels appear to capture a conversation between one of the hospital residents and an unknown individual (originally believed to...

My name is John Gray. I was once chief evidence analyst with the Oregon State Police. A half-hour past sunset on September 7th of 2013, a volunteer at the visitor’s center inside the Qualls Nature Education Park on the edge of the Columbia River Gorge...

It is with profound sadness and continued fear that I tell my story. I fear that I won’t have long and if you should chance upon my recording and I hope that you do – I’ll have explained enough that it may act as a...

There are sounds in the haze; you just have to be more alert to their subtleties to hear them.  The sounds travel between the thin line that divides the conscious from the unconscious, and when she woke up on the cold, hard ground, she could...

There were only a few select things in this world that Corbin Reef hated more than lazy college professors.  Give me a hardass who’ll break you down before midterms, he would say; at least that would show they cared about the class. Corbin was a first-year...

You know, when you hear the word ‘kidnapper,’ the most common culprit doesn’t come to mind.  You probably think of some creep with an unshaven face and sinister eyes sitting in a white van with dark tinted windows and the back seats ripped out, duct...

My family cottage in rural Maine has remained unvisited for eight years. We used to use it about every summer for two to three weeks when we were kids. Somewhere between June to the start of September, typically at this mosquito-infested spot in this fairly...

Part 1 The sharp click of a switch and a whirr of static on an old multi-band radio saturated a small Floridian claustrophobic one-bedroom apartment with a loud audio gradience – crawling from low to high back to low pitches of frequency. In a knee-jerk reaction,...

Part I London, 1982 Like a dog come running at his master’s whistle, I RSVP’d yes on an invitation to Vernon Copeland’s Halloween party to view his latest acquisition. A lost piece of cinema from the early ’20s, a screen test hitherto undiscovered, et cetera, et cetera....

For Elombe, at first, the night began like any other. Wakefulness came in a flash.  He sat upright in his straw mat, fingers clenched tight around his spear.  There had been a chui prowling through their village the last few weeks; it had already dragged away...

27For the past three weeks it was the same dream every night. Strangely enough, the whole scene is in black-and-white, with a grainy finish, like an old film. And I mean an old film, like, pre-1900s. Everything is faded, and seems to swim within itself. There’s...

I pulled into the bar parking lot and stopped the car. I sat there for a moment, letting the engine idle as I thought about what I was doing. I knew my wife and kids were at home waiting for me, but I just couldn’t...

Day had broken cold and grey, exceedingly cold and grey, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-traveled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland. It was a steep bank, and he...

Arnold Willis slowly opened his eyes, dreading what he would see.  The small alarm clock on the nightstand read a merciless 5:58 a.m.  The sterile hospital wall came into focus behind the clock, in sharp contrast to the brightly-colored balloons which floated at the edge...

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