Early one autumn morning, when the chill of the bitter New England air bit my lungs and skin through all the layers my mother forced me to wear, the girl next door and I made the long walk through our densely forested neighborhood to the bus stop. She, blonde, one year my junior, sustained a sunny one-sided conversation about the promise and potential the sixth grade held. I, dreading another day of middle school – and unaware of how much worse high school would prove by comparison – did not have the heart to contradict or disillusion her. Instead, I let my mind and gaze wander, lighting on the frozen plants by the roadside and the memories of a lost summer that seemed ossified inside them.… Read the rest
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Beings & Entities
We moved out of our last house a week ago, and I’m glad we did. It was definitely not safe there, especially for a man like me who has a young family to take care of. I think if I hadn’t decided to get the hell out of there, I would have failed my family – and I would probably have lost them too, eventually.
There was nothing obviously wrong with the house, actually – I suppose it was just a regular detached family home in a suburban neighbourhood. I think the first thing that struck me as off about it is the fact that all the houses on that street had been built sometime in the 1980s.… Read the rest
I have a beautiful smile. Oh, how I miss it. This morning, I wake up and I smile at my bedroom mirror. I am disappointed at what I see. I kiss my husband, I send my two children off to school. I entertain guest friends. I show them all my lovely smile. But I look in the mirror and I do not see it.
“Are you ready?” Harry calls from the parlor.
“Yes, my love.” I reply as I clasp a string of polished pearls around my neck.
“Oh fantastic, the children are with Mrs. Knox, and the dinner reservations are all set for eight o’clock sharp.” Harry beams as he enters our bedroom.… Read the rest
I was in my bedroom, doing the typical at-home teenager thing: staying up late, digging around the depths of the internet, and generally not paying attention to anything other than what was on my monitor. It was the early morning, around 2 o’clock, and everyone in my house was asleep but me. The room was nice and warm despite it being the dead of winter, since we had the windows replaced last week. We had been losing heat, especially in my bedroom, through some old storm windows, but the bitter cold was now kept outside.
I don’t remember what I was doing; I think in the terror that consumed me I must have forgotten.… Read the rest
We began feeling sick after the rains abated, and the backyard remained a slick muddy mess where the grass hadn’t grown back, and the foundation for our new in-ground pool filled to the height of my shins even though the concrete hadn’t yet been poured. Dad wanted us to accept that the illness was a cold we all happened to contract around the same time. I believed him, at first. Then my older brother reached a point where he’d vomit nearly every hour, and couldn’t even keep water in his system. No cold could make you do that, I thought.
When Mom started puking all the time, too, Dad called in a doctor.… Read the rest
Back in college, I had a small one-bedroom apartment all to myself on the ground floor of a multi-building complex. The location was great. The complex stood at the end of a rural street seldom visited by cars, nestled in the woods near a large pond. Tributary streams snaked around the complex, and the soothing sound of flowing water could be heard from every building. It somehow cost a lot less than living in a dorm, so it wasn’t hard to persuade my parents to co-sign my lease. (State law said my landlord needed their signature, although I would be paying for the place with my own money.) The apartment’s main benefit was that I could stay in town after classes ended for the summer, and enjoy the freedom from my parents’ gazes that I’d been craving all throughout high school — a benefit well worth the part-time jobs I had to take during weekends and holidays to pay for my living arrangements.… Read the rest
It is just another day for anyone but me. Cars zip past on the highway just beyond my house. The sun is shining down and birds are singing the day’s glory just beyond my windowsill. I can see the leaves of an oak tree swaying in the wind outside. The entrancing deep green has my vision captive. Today would be beautiful, for anyone else. I desperately wish it was for me as well.
In my hallway, at my closed bedroom door, I can hear a scratching. It’s slow and meticulous, but ever-so constant and loud. It woke me up and it’s been going on for almost ten minutes now.… Read the rest
This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.
Additionally, for the sake of impatient types and/or those who find long credits unnecessary because they read quickly: the opening credits last until about the four minute mark. While I’m not trying to tell you guys to ignore the credits, I just don’t want people to miss out on the actual story because they got bored and closed the window during the prolonged credit sequence.… Read the rest
I know, little one. I know. You long to hunt, to kill. You hunger for hot blood and torn flesh. I know how long it’s been. But hush just a little longer, my child.
Yes, baby, I can see that he doesn’t know we’re here. But you still need to be quiet for a bit. It’s all about self-control, sweetling. You have to be able to control yourself. You’ve got to learn some restraint.
I know how delicious he smells, dear. I know.
Shhhh, flower, he hears you. Look. See how he turns from his screen? I know he’s not looking at us, baby.… Read the rest
One hot summer, an unnaturally hot summer for my province actually, my friend Heather invited a few of her girlfriends out to her family’s cabin a few hours away from the city.
Going to the cabin in the summer is one of the most favored things for people who live on this rock in the middle of the Atlantic. Newfoundland is Canada’s most eastern province, and the most easterly point in all of North America. Heathers family owned a cabin on a little island about 5 hours away from the capital of St. John’s. A ferry ran twice a day across the bay to bring you over and take you back to the small community of less than 150 people.… Read the rest
Daniel Warrington leapt to his feet. The fire roared and crackled in the hearth and the wind gusted outside and for a second he doubted whether he had really heard it – a second, heavier crash, like a great clap of thunder swiftly relieved him of such foolish notions. He rushed across the drawing room, his plush burgundy smoking jacket billowing out behind him, shoving aside an armchair in his haste, and emerged into the entrance hall to see the stout oak doors rattling in their frame. He snatched the Sharps model-1874 from its stand above the fireplace and dashed across the brilliant marble floor, feeding a new cartridge from the stash in the pocket of his smoking jacket into the chamber.… Read the rest
Barbara was sure the ritual worked. She stood up from the pentagram as 5 wicks slowly swirled their smoke in the room. The weather seemed angry—lightning flashed and roared through the coastal home, and suddenly the lights went out.
“Damn the power. Let him come” she thought to herself as she calmly went downstairs in the dark. She prepared some tea on the stove, and waited.
As her chamomile steeped, she again thought about how unfair it had been to take him so soon, only 8 years old. Sure, things hadn’t always been easy, but… she had put the bottles away.… Read the rest
“Don’t look at it,” Kerryn whispers, tugging on my sleeve. “Leela, don’t!” I glance down at her, noting the concern in her baby blue eyes. She’s just a child, she doesn’t know what she’s saying.
“Don’t worry, Kerryn,” I whisper back. “Nothing bad is going to happen. It’s just the sunset.” I pry her fingers loose, closing my hand around hers and pulling her along gently behind me. “It’s beautiful,” I tell her. “I saw one in a picture once, when I was about your age.”
We walk up the grassy hill, leaning against the steep incline. The wind buffets us from all directions, trying to push us back, but I’m determined.… Read the rest
For as long as I can remember, strange things have happened to me. When I was young, my mother and I lived in my grandmother’s house; a big, drafty Victorian beast of a thing squatting in the middle of acres and acres of hilly country land. My grandmother was old and couldn’t take care of herself, and I often heard my mom whispering to her friends about how crazy she was and how she couldn’t wait to put her in a home and get on with her own life.
Me, being only three or four at the time, didn’t understand. I thought my grandmother was the most wonderful person on the planet, as little children do.… Read the rest
I don’t have much time to explain. You have to hear me out urgently, it’s very important that you do so. I have, for the past couple of weeks, heard of something being passed around on the internet. A simple message that you will stumble upon when you least expect it. According to the people that have been passing around the rumours, when you receive this message you will die soon after reading. Frozen with an intense look of horror upon your face, staring with clouded eyes at whatever attacked you. As any sane person would I believed all this to be nonsense, as you do.… Read the rest
On the 25th March, at 14:57GMT, the world stopped for 27 minutes and 54 seconds. No-one noticed at first. Those that eventually did were ordered to keep quiet.
There was no sudden jolt, no collapsing into unconsciousness, no transition into utter darkness and back again. Nothing.
For everyone, time had appeared to pass as normal, one second moving uneventfully into the next. Birds flew, people talked, the wind and the rain blew and fell respectively – nothing had occurred to indicate that anything untoward or unexpected had happened to the inhabitants of the Earth.
Only those who looked beyond our planet and its ring of constantly chattering satellites now found that the rest of the universe told a different story.… Read the rest
“HURRICANE WARNING – A hurricane is expected within 48 hours. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately”.
I never really took those warnings seriously. In the tropics, a little category 2 Hurricane is no big deal. When I first moved here, I made sure to head to higher ground and heed the warnings given to me by the local TV station, but after returning home with minimal damage to the surrounding area, I realized it was just a waste of time. Better to just board up the windows and wait it out.
So Hurricane Gloria rolled in one August afternoon. It started out the typical way, the wind slowly began to pick up and all the last-minute shoppers raided the local supermarkets looking for batteries, generators, water bottles, and food stuffs.… Read the rest