Growing up I was always a curious child. I always wondered what was behind all the “Authorized Personnel Only” doors and in the “Classified” folders. It didn’t have to be anything secret to attract my attention; it just had to be out of my reach to get me wondering about. As I grew up my curiosity only grew stronger, so much so that when it was time to go to college I’ve chosen a computer engineering major, despite the fact that most IT and programing jobs are being outsourced. All that mattered to me was that being a programmer I would get the “behind the scenes” look at the biggest pool of information in the world- the internet.… Read the rest
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Artifacts & Objects
I had had enough of the running around, the missed calls, the signed cards: I had had it with the second guessing, hiding behind my curtains and hearing nothing but the busy signal. If they couldn’t deliver my package on time, I would simply go and collect it from the depot myself.
I had no idea what the package was. The whole ordeal had been going on for about two months now. A purple card had showed up on my doorstep, so I had gone online, filled in my details then waited in the next morning. Despite sitting in from 8am until 1pm, no delivery was even attempted.… Read the rest
Unsent email found in a fifth floor office of the Morpheus-Delta Research Facility. Account belonged to Cal Rooker, Security Chief.
– Subject: RE: back from vacation! –
Sorry I haven’t got back to you in so long. Been real busy over here.
Glad you had fun in Jamaica. We got your card all right. Ginny was tickled pink. She’s not used to people remembering her birthday (I’m a forgetful ass myself). I gave her a kiss for you. I think I’ll have to take a rain check on our golf game this weekend though.
How’ve I been? Oh, not so good.… Read the rest
“I don’t want to move away.”
The words hang in the air between them, like dust, slow and stuffy.
“I don’t want you to move away either,” says Toby. They’re both sitting cross-legged on the hardwood
floor of his bedroom, facing each other. Matthew pokes at a small bug crawling across the floor, so does Toby.
“You could leave, too,” Matthew says.
“You know I can’t,” Toby replies.
Matthew does know, but he likes to think it might happen, somehow. The thought of being torn away from his best friend hurts him, especially because someone like him doesn’t often earn the title of best friend.… Read the rest
It was just a painting… simply a creepy painting. That’s what I kept telling myself. Perhaps I should elaborate a bit. My name is Colin McFetridge and I come from a long line of McFetridge men. My father, Patrick McFetridge died in an unfortunate boating accident when I was young, leaving behind a small collection of paintings that still to this day hang in my room. My grandfather too was a painter and his father before him. This inheritance went all the way back to my great great grandfather, Bartley McFetridge. Just like Bartley, I too possessed various artistic talent. I have always excelled in art class and nearly every art teacher admired my “unusual art style,” whatever that means.… Read the rest
I’m sure if you’re a real horror fan, you’ve heard of the 1922 movie Nosferatu. It was one of the first real horror movies, made in Germany just after World War I. It had a large influence on vampire lore, because it made them vulnerable to the sun. Before, vampires were often weakened by sunlight, but exposure would not kill them.
The plot is based on the novel Dracula, but it takes a lot of liberties because the filmmakers didn’t have the license to make the film. It’s about a clerk named Thomas Hutter, who goes to Orlok’s (the vampire, or “nosferatu”) castle, and, blind as he is to the fact that Orlok’s obviously a vampire, even though he just read a book about it.… Read the rest
If you are interested in the weird and wonderful, then you might already be familiar with the strange case of the Uist mummies. Discovered in 2001, the mummified remains of two ancient residents of the Scottish island of South Uist have perplexed and puzzled archaeologists ever since they were unearthed.
Buried deep in the ground of that remote corner of the developed world, the most recent scientific data estimates that both corpses were placed there over 3000 years ago. Their skeletons were found to have been contorted into an unnatural foetal position, and the photos, which appeared in the national newspapers at the time, were enough to make anyone uneasy.… Read the rest
First test of Space-time Manipulation Device “Time Machine” with Human Subject
Abstract: This paper documents the initial test of the Space-time Manipulation Device carrying a payload of a willing human subject. Using methods detailed in this paper, the SMD is sent 1 year into the future, remains for 10 minutes, and is returned 10.0037 seconds after departure. Due to success of previous unmanned tests and new project parameters, a voluntary human test subject henceforth known as S7 was carried on the machine as a payload.
Orbital calculations were successful and well within error. Some concern is given to return time, being outside error predictions by 1.8%.… Read the rest
It’s so dark I can’t breathe, it’s filling my lungs I’m going to choke on it
He’s there I can feel him watching me, I wish I could see him
but I know he’s there he’s laughing at me just waiting for me to close my eyes
Someone please turn on the light.
I set the book down, it was getting late. The only thing illuminating my room was the cracked bedside lamp that occasionally flickered, casting my room into impenetrable darkness for a split second at a time.
I laughed nervously to myself. I knew there was nothing there. Of course I did, I had grown out of the tales of ghosts and ghouls and monsters that had been my favourite as a kid.… Read the rest
Does anybody here ever watch those online TED Talks? They’re short lectures given at an annual convention by intellectuals of just about every field or job description. They cover all kinds of interesting things from new insights into neuroscience to the latest business strategies to celebrating comic books. I discovered TED Talks about a year ago and I actually have learned a lot from them. I’ve even started to feel like I’m amassing a fine little store of knowledge on a lot of obscure topics.
Like most of my new internet discoveries though, I tend to spend my nights and days binging on them for a couple of weeks and then get sick of them for months afterward before the cycle repeats itself.… Read the rest
Ever since I can remember I have had a strange fascination with mirrors. The idea that there is a piece of glass which reflects everything you see. I still wonder what the first man thought when he was saw his reflection in still water. Did he instinctively know it was him? Or did he spend a few minutes moving his arms around until he realized that this other man matched his movements completely? Whatever the case, my natural curiosity for mirrors led to one of the most unbelievable moments of my life.
It was 7 years ago. I was a ten year old who had just moved from the cozy suburbs to a large ranch house, smack dab in the middle of 10 acres of land.… Read the rest
In today’s society, the advent of science brings an understanding of the world which puts people into a sense of security. We know what the world is made of, the way chemistry, physics, biology, and geology all fit in to the picture. There’s not much humanity doesn’t understand anymore. But we do not have it all figured out, not entirely. There is still mystery out there, darkness hiding in the cracks between human understandings. Monsters, spirits of nature, artifacts of extreme power, these entities act on the world without our knowing, but every once in a while, perhaps only for a moment, they are perceived, that moment where the blood goes cold and the skin shivers, when we are struck with the realization that there is a reality of things is beyond science and mathematics.… Read the rest
It was an expensive chair. The leather squeaked as I shuffled in it, betraying its purpose by failing to get comfortable. Disapproving eyes glanced up from the heavy mahogany desk that lay before me. After a pause the solicitor continued reading.
“And to my grandson, Alastair Kincade, I leave a sum of £30,000 and the following items…”
My grandfather Colin died of a heart attack in his sleep, after months of living in a home due to his alzheimer’s. My father tried to care for him as much as he could but towards the end he needed twenty-four hour attention. Dad was still years away from retirement and wasn’t able to give that kind of attention.… Read the rest
In my room, on my desk, sits a black, plastic casing which holds my glasses.
They have a power of minus 9 and they were very expensive to wear.
When I was younger, my mother used to warn me about sitting too close to the television. She used to tell me that my eyesight would get progressively worse and I’d either end up needing glasses or my eyes would simply be bad enough to make me legally blind.
Being an overly obnoxious nine-year-old, I never listened to her. So whenever my favorite cartoon or TV-show was on I would scurry to the living room and rest my head an inch away from the screen.… Read the rest
You know how it goes.
When you were a child, your favourite thing was your music box. It would play a soothing yet haunting melody that lulled you to sleep, or provided background noise for playtime.
You had it for years. You loved it, cherished it. You brought it everywhere. Kept it safe. It was your comfort item, one you were proud to show, unlike Billy’s baby blanket.
Your music box kept you safe.
Or so you thought.
Each night you would play it, falling asleep to its haunting tune. But what you didn’t know was that it was always there, poking and prodding at the edge of your consciousness.… Read the rest
You and Sarah rush through the doors as Rachel screams. Her cries abruptly cut off as the stone doors slam shut, though you can still hear a faint grinding coming from behind you. At the beginning, there were five, but now it was just you and Sarah. You catch your breath and try to get your bearings.
You don’t know how you and your friends found the cave, you’d been camping in this area dozens of times, but I guess this time your hikes had taken you farther than you’d thought. It was Katie that first discovered the cave, it seemed pretty cool and… why not?… Read the rest
When I was a child my father owned a janitorial company that worked almost every night at our local Showbiz Pizza Place/Chuck E. Cheese’s. He would often bring me to work with him so I could play all of the arcade games without having to wait in line. He’d even spark up the towering animatronics and let me watch them play their “Happy Birthday” songs and other quaint jingles. It was so much fun…until the curtains closed and it went dark.
A part of me hated not being able to see the fake animals, especially the wolf and big gorilla playing the keyboard.… Read the rest
NOTE: This is the prologue of The God Machine, submitted by the original author and hosted with permission from his publisher. I have to admit to not having read the book – I haven’t read much that isn’t pasta submissions lately! – but I really enjoyed this prologue and felt it stood well enough on its own that I could feature it as its own pasta. If you feel this will be a problem for you, you have been warned and nobody is “forcing” or “tricking” you into reading this. For everyone else, please do enjoy a prologue that, I think, stands on its own as a fun read.… Read the rest
We had found the dresser at a yard sale, beaten and broken, but it was an artifact of the 1920s and my husband insisted we bring it home and fix it up. I thought nothing of this aside from the fact to be noted that the dresser was not for sale – it had practically been forced upon us at the mentioning of our interest when the words left my husband’s lips that day, “How much do you want for this?” Pretty shortly after the previous owner was frantically helping us load the goliath into our van and stammered a hasty, “Thank you!” as he turned and retreated back to his yard sale stand.… Read the rest
Adam entered the living room and sat down with a glass of red wine, careful not to spill. He needed to have another talk with his wife. Things could get difficult. The wine helped him keep a level head.
“I’m glad you’re here. We have to talk.”
“Okay,” she said. “About?”
“Can you help me to understand why you did it? Why you hurt me like that?”
Clara was silent for a long while. Adam took a sip from the glass, remaining patient.
“I was hurting too. And confused. Please…forgive me.”
“It’s hard, Clara.”
“I know. But I don’t want to talk about it now.”
Adam stood up, paced around the room a few times, and sat back down.… Read the rest