My father grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. It is a place with few trees and even fewer people, and there has been little development since the place was settled many, many years ago. The people live in clusters of nearly uniform houses that were built by the government, and the only place to go shopping or see a movie is nearly two hours away. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and sometimes the wind blows for days without letting up. Even now, the people there have to be tough to survive. You look out for your friends, you help your neighbors, and you don’t forget your family.… Read the rest
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Murders & Deaths
I’d never flown before. It was kind of peaceful, staring out of the little oval window to my right. It was the perfect time to think. I thought about the fight with my step father, and my mom begging me not to take this trip, siting news articles about missing and murdered locals. I thought about how I had pointed out that tourists hadn’t had any trouble. I thought about how I might find happiness and never come back.
We landed in Cardiff International around 9 pm, on time, and I decided to walk to my small hotel. After getting settled I wasn’t ready for sleep, so I decided to walk around for a bit.… Read the rest
The Lewis’ moved into my home – our home I suppose, although it felt less than homely when filled with strangers – on November 16th without enough warning for me to adequately adjust to the change. The reality of the shifting number of occupied rooms hit forcefully and less than comfortably when I heard the sound of various carriages arriving on our driveway. I peeked out of my window atop the tower where I liked to seclude myself and watched as Father Lewis, both a paternal and occupational title, ventured forth from the transport accompanied by his wife, Violet, and their daughter, Clarissa.… Read the rest
Eliza was in her bed upstairs. Mother cleaned her up. She made her look very pretty. Like sheʼs sleeping.
I donʼt know why we didnʼt expect this to happen. Not because of the way she was. More because of what we did to her.
My brother James and I, we always knew tell there was something unusual about her. When she was born, she never once cried. Mother and Father thought she may have had scarlet fever. Dr. Coffett, our family doctor, made house calls regularly for the first four years of her life. I overheard him telling my parents what he thought was wrong with her.… Read the rest
The bitter cold of night’s sharp breath covered his grey skin in goosebumps, under the glow of the pale moonlight. He drew ragged breaths that were quickly expelled from his lungs, as if the air was poisoned. Every movement was heavy and his body ached. He reminded himself this was all temporary, and the discomfort of human life would soon end. After all, sustaining himself in this form was only for one purpose, and its time was swiftly coming.
He folded his great pearly wings close to his body and rose unsteadily to his feet, grimacing at the darkness of the deep alleyway around him.… Read the rest
One of my friends is a paramedic in New York. Don’t ask me why, but it was always his dream to become one, and New York being the big and wild city that it is, he has of course seen some crazy things. He doesn’t talk about his experiences much since they are always very personal and often disturbing, but I know that he has encountered his fair share of gruesome stabbings and gun shots. For example, he told us how one time some kids were playing with a shotgun, and one of them got his jaw blown off. The boy was still alive as my friend rushed him to the ER and eventually lived, but he is horribly disfigured now and has to eat through a tube for the rest of his life.… Read the rest
My grandmother grew up in the slums of Prohibition-era Chicago. Her family lived in a small house near the harbor, and one of her earliest memories was of a particularly hot summer when, seeking respite from the heat, she and her sister discovered a seldom-used section of boardwalk near an abandoned warehouse. Every night for several weeks, the two girls would make their way down to the docks and sit together on the edge of the pier as the sun went down. My grandmother vividly, and for a time fondly, recalled the feel of the seaweed between her toes as she and her sister dangled their feet into the murky water.… Read the rest
The submission is an interactive choose-your-fate adventure built with Twine, with music and illustrations:Read the rest
I visit my mother sometimes in the home that she’s in. She’s not actually old, she’s only in her fifties. But she hasn’t been able to take care of herself since we lost my sister. It’s difficult visiting her because I have a separate family now. I was raised by a nice childless couple after my mother became ill. I think of them as my parents now. But still, sometimes I do feel as though I should spend time with the woman who raised me till I was ten.
It makes me glad to see her looking clean and put-together in the home.… Read the rest
I froze; my feet became glued to the frost covered ground. My chest tightened in fear and anxiety. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears; my pulse could be felt in my fingertips. The sound of my blood rushing in my ears drowned out every other sound. It was so loud I could hear nothing else.
I willed myself to calm. With great effort, began to slow my breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. While it still came in shallow bursts but it was easier now, and my burning lungs began to no longer reject the cool autumn air.… Read the rest
A PROMISE OF THE HEART
My first love was a pretty girl
with golden hair and skin of pearl.
We thought our meeting one of chance,
our senses caught in that first glance,
and watched our love unfurl.
Our lives entwined at dizzying rate,
as if our love was set by fate,
and none were taken by surprise
when talk of marriage did arise
and soon we’d set a date.
The engagement ring I slipped upon her hand
was an expensive golden band
topped in the centre with a ruby, sullen red
as if from some heart it had been fed
to suit the love she did demand.… Read the rest
A Cold Love Story by Liam Vickers
I sent the text to my friend max, reading, “Dude, are you at school?” The bus was already a good 20 minutes late.
It was late November, and it was cold.
So damn cold.
My eyes burned against the outside air, and each intake of breath was like swallowing razor blades. Everything was dim, tinted a dull blue, and all was eerily still, seemingly frozen in time. Mercury in the thermometers had settled to the bottom, refusing to budge.
I could see my breath as it shimmered against the thin air, warping and climbing upwards in despair before vanishing.… Read the rest
Hello. I’m Father Lucie and I’m a man of faith. I’m a man of the clergy and I believe in right and wrong, and nothing in between. I believe that a man’s soul is a precious thing; a fragile thing; and I’m self-employed in upholding that belief. I work in a private sector of the church; a sector founded and run solely by myself. The work I do is not unlike a legal conciliation service. I’m an arbitrator; I settle disputes of the soul.
I’m a SOUL man. And I’ve got a passion that burns for the job.
I’m here to share Jake Avery’s story with you, my most recent subject, for educational purposes.… Read the rest
My best friend was in Pompeii.
I wasn’t, of course, or I wouldn’t be standing here staring down at a museum display titled “A BLAST FROM THE PAST!!!” A kitsch red LED volcano flickering gently in the background, flinging deep shadows across expressions of abject misery behind a velvet rope for the small children to point sticky fingers at. Speakers rumble in the distance. One little girl bursts into inconsolable howling at the sight; or perhaps it’s the ruddy glowering threat that the same’s imminent to be visited on us. I like her immensely. Her father carries her out.
In fact, some years before Pompeii’s last days came about I had found myself dutifully lugging my scant possessions down the road with tail tucked between my legs; off to marry, of all things.… Read the rest
Of course everyone claiming residence in Arthur’s Wake knows tales associated with the Wicker House. It seems that every small province plays host to some structure of ill repute which, as if by supernatural magnetism, draws rumor of ghosts and bogies, wrapping the timber and stone of its foundation in a shroud of darkness and horror. In Arthur’s Wake, the Wicker House fills this odious task.
Scant days after arriving in town, while taking the time to familiarize myself with the local watering hole and its residents, I became introduced to the well known superstitions surrounding the Wicker House. As a man of science, I knew any truths to be found in these outlandish stories were likely embellished to points unrecognizable.… Read the rest
Hours have gone by, with nothing. I’ve typed the same shit over and over, which is getting me nowhere. It’s time to get something done…
Smith, before I go further with this, I want to establish how much I hate you. Although, in a sense, I’m proud of you. This trap is rather elaborate, and even uses my own idea against me. You’ve thought around every corner to ensure my suicidal demise in the end, and for that, I commend you.
How long you’ll go on is lost to me. I’m not sure how, but perhaps this log will be recovered, and someone else will want to dent your face in.… Read the rest
The town of Saluzar, Arizona existed in its own world, and its citizens liked it that way. The town was accessible only by way of a little dirt path, and if anyone had ever stumbled upon it by accident, they probably would have turned back, unaware that anything lurked behind the row of elm trees. And had anyone somehow come across the town, they probably would have felt uneasy, as if they were disrupting some sort of enchanted burial ground. They would have felt unwelcome. This isn’t to say that the people of Saluzar, Arizona weren’t friendly. It’s just that everyone in the small town knew each other, and their ancestors knew everyone else’s ancestors too.… Read the rest
Anna Hamilton didn’t see herself as a suspicious person but when someone’s been following her for quite awhile she gets a queasy feeling in her stomach. Guaranteed she was out late but she was strong and from taking the new karate classes she knew she couldn’t (and wouldn’t) be defeated. Anna picked up the pace, her legs and arms pumping as she turned her walk into a brisk one, looking back to see that the dark silhouette was still following her.
Anna had the strongest urge to spin around and smack the strangers face and demand them to answer why the hell they are following her at this time of night.… Read the rest
There were no words to describe how excited I was when I was told that I could go live at my grandmother’s house while I finished the last couple years of high school. My father was strict and had mentally abused me since I was old enough to remember and now I had the opportunity to break free from his chains of oppression.
My grandmother lived right on the outskirts of the city on Lake Sinclair. Her house was a 1970s raised ranch-style house that was built on a hill facing the lake. The house contained many traditional features of a rancher including: lowered roof line, open floor plans, and a separate living area that was located on the foundation of the house.… Read the rest