Sean’s house was covered from head to toe in family photographs. Some from family retreats to Ireland, others showing lost family relatives. Most of these photographs would include Sean in them, so it was only natural that he would look at them from time to...

Down around fourteenth and ninth, there's an alley between a parkade and a small office building. Unlike many downtown alleys, this one is clear of parking and transients. In fact, there never seems to be anyone in it at all. There's never a car cutting...

The snow rests pale on the naked metal of the shacks around me. The pastel paint stripped away in ugly patches, the rusted iron underneath leers orangish-red at my intrusion - like a thousand fiery eyes set in the suffocating whiteness that is all around...

Hello. Its nice to finally meet you. Finally? Oh, its uhh.. I'm just overjoyed to have someone to talk to. Oh, I cannot express how happy I am to have this opportunity. Oh? Why am I so happy? Its really quite simple. The last few years of my life have been torturous. I mean, god... Oh thats a funny saying. God. No loving god would let any of his children go through what I have. But now I have someone to talk to. Oh glorious day! Oh where to begin? I think it was a day much like this one. I went to the library with some friends to find something to do over the upcoming weekend. We got there just before the library opened and found an hourglass on the stairs. Real ornate looking. Gold encrusted and whatnot. We were pretty bored, so we turned it over, set it down, and got to talking. Few minutes later, the librarian shows up. As it turns out, he showed up at the same instant the last grains of sand ran out of the top chamber. We didnt find anything at the library, but did have a new hourglass. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out at my place. We talked, enjoying the entertainment the media provides. We figured out the hourglass lasted about forty-five minutes. I cant remember when we did this, but thats about how long. Before it got dark, we went to go for a walk. Nice, leisurely stroll. I remember turning the hourglass over before we left. I mean, not intentionally. We were just playing with it, and I put it down, sand on top. We left. 4.30 One of my friends asked me the time. I remember glancing down to my watch. I was about to say 5.15, but then I heard the screeching of tires. I heard a shriek, and looked up. A car was backing away from us while another of my friends lay crumpled and bleeding in the middle of the road. His neck was clearly broken. We spent the rest of the night at the police station filling out statements. They never caught the driver. Knowing what I know now, I doubt there ever was a driver. Just some car.

I am currently sitting in front of my computer, scared witless. Any moment now I am going to be killed. Today a friend of mine told me a story. His aunt had taken care of him since he was a small boy, and she told him last night about how his parents died. He did a very fair imitation of her (I knew them both pretty well): "They were doing mission work in some nasty little South American country when a man burst into the mission hospital one night, terrified out of his mind. He told them that his sister had been killed by a Muerta blanca, and that he was certain that it was coming for him next. What is a Muerta blanca? Apparently it was some sort of bogey-man, something like that dumb chupacabra or whatever. They called it the White Death or the White Girl, because it was the soul of someone who hated life so much that they came back in their shrouds to kill those who told of them. The man had been told about the vengeful spirit by his sister hours before her death. It was a girl with dead, black eyes that wept bile. The thing moved without ever actually moving its legs, and it stalked its victims back to their homes. Now, if you weren't already aware that this thing was following you, once it got back to your house, it would start knocking on your door...

I am Sam. I have reached the gates of Hell. I entered without fear. I met the Lord of All Evil, and we made a deal. I got back to Earth, with a task. I have to kill 665 people before I die. If I do so,...

Compared to most other towns, the one I live in is pretty high above sea level, and my house just happens to sit on the highest hill there. From my bedroom window I can look out and see the entire town, along with the surrounding...

I'm the easiest to talk to because I go by so many different names. Every person in every country has heard of me, and spoken of me when things are at their very worst. And I'm so easy to call upon. All you have to...

The worst thing I've ever done in my life happened about twelve years ago, when I was a sixteen year old kid living in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the early fall, when the leaves were just starting to turn orange and the temperatures were starting to fall, hinting at the freezing chill that was only a few months away. School had just started, but it had been going on for about a month now, so all the excitement of going back and reuniting with old friends had been replaced by the realization that we were captives in a place that only wanted to load work upon us. Understandably, me and my friends were all eager to do anything that might remind us of the worry-free, responsibility-free days of summer. Earlier that year, about the time the last school year had let out, one of my friends from work, (McDonalds, which some people think is lame, but I always had a great time there), had taught me a technique to make yourself pass out with the help of an assistant. It worked something like this: One person would rapidly take ten deep, heavy breaths, and on the tenth, squeeze his eyes shut and hold his breath as tightly as possible while crossing his wrists over his heart. The assistant would then give the person a huge bear hug from behind and squeeze the person's wrists into his breastbone. Within seconds, the person holding their breath would lose consciousness. The assistant was then in a perfect position to make sure you didn't totally collapse and crack your skull open on the sidewalk. The effect only lasted for like a second or two--it wasn't like we were putting ourselves into comas or anything--but it felt like you had been out for hours, and when you came to, the disoriented feeling of not knowing where the hell you were and what you were doing there was awesome. Now I know some people are like "WTF, are you a fucking retard?" And yeah, I know, we were probably killing about a million brain cells each time we would knock ourselves out, and I think probably my memory has suffered for it. But to a bored-as-hell sixteen-year-old, I thought it was hella cool. All the effect of getting your lights punched out, with none of the pain of getting hit in the face. I'd tell you to try it to see for yourself, but after what happened; I would never recommend it to anyone.

Sometime during the third consecutive night spent huddled over the toilet, insides heaving and shuddering as I vomit forth seemingly everything I’d ever eaten, I realize what’s happening: He’s trying to poison me. It’s all so elegant, so perfect, and so clear, that I almost laugh, but another barrage of retching forces me into silence The next morning I throw everything in the kitchen away, wrapping it three times in black plastic and burying it deep in the apartments communal trash cans, to prevent an unfortunate transient from crossfire of His wrath. I am out the door of the complex and halfway to the corner store when I realize: He knows, must know, where I would shop. I pick a direction and walk, enjoying the chill winter air that soothes the ragged shreds of my inside. I turn at random intervals, following an improbable path out of my familiar neighborhood, until I find a small shop with an unfamiliar name. Once inside, I hurriedly fill a small plastic basket; brands that I never have eaten, strange tins of ethnic ingredients I can’t recognize, foods that I’d never thought of buying. Soy milk. Tofu. I can feel my stomach reborn in anticipation of an untainted meal. I prepare the meal in a fog of nervous anticipation, trying to focus on savoring the aromas and the grease spitting sounds of the frying pan. It tastes clean, but then, so has every other meal before this. I try to tell myself that the mounting pain inside me is simple fear and anxiety, but before the stroke of midnight, I am again crouched in the dingy bathroom, surrendering the days work into the porcelain mouth of the sewer. The next day, I pack up the remaining food and dispose of it with the same care. I eat out that day, layering debt onto the last of my credit cards at restaurants on the opposite side of town. He is more clever than I could ever imagined, and I am awash in despair as I spend another sleepless night gagging and sobbing on the tile floor. I imagine the Algorithm, the perfect predictive models at His disposal, brilliantly charting my every move across the city; every time I thought I’d outwitted Him, I was willingly walking into his web.

Some murderers see their work as an art form. If their piece is a success, they will continue on with their life, outside of jail. However, with the limited capability of understanding humans possess, combined with their narrow mindedness, the true secret of a killer can go entirely missed. The following is a video log of young man recording his last moments. It spends its time quietly residing in a dark, silent evidence room, calling out to whoever may hear its cry. Upon deaf ears will its shrill screams always fall. The video starts off recording the youth adjusting his camera. His room is entirely dark, not a single spec of light to be found. The camera records in night vision as the man looks directly into the lens and begins speaking. “Hello. My name is…” The voice pauses for a moment, deciding how he should start off. “Ugh. No, I’m not beginning it like this. It sounds too much like I’m recording my last words. That isn’t what I want this to be. Instead, I’ll just get straight to the explanation. I’ll describe to you the hell that has been nipping at me for god only knows how long now. It started the night of my 18th birthday. January’s cold held reign over our outside activities. It was just a small party, if you could even call it that. A few presents from my family, cake, the norm. All irrelevant. It was that night, as I was lying in bed, my lights out with my TV providing the only light for the room, that my story begins. My curtains and blinds were closed, which gave the room a nice ominous feel at the time. I liked that sorta thing back then.” The man takes a slow breath, looking away from the camera for the first time. His focus returns after a brief moment and once more he begins reciting his story.

I was exhausted. I had just gotten home from another day of forced monotony that we call a job. I wanted nothing more than to kick back with a cold beer and watch the hockey game. I walked to the fridge and grabbed a beer before shambling to the entertainment room. Still warm. Damn. I sat down in my comfiest recliner. The footrest sprung up, and I pushed the back down far enough so I could just see the TV. I grabbed the remote and hit the power button. The TV flickered on, filling the room with the sound of hockey. It wasn’t the same without the cold beer. I reluctantly sat back up and got out of my chair, and made my way to the stairs leading up to the attic. I pushed the door open and stepped into the dark, musty room, thick with the stench of mold. I grabbed the flashlight that I kept by the attic door and clicked it on. I made my way around all the boxes, coming to the back of the attic. There I found the fuse box. I set the flashlight down and began to tinker with the fuses. A bit of light caught the corner of my right eye. I thought nothing of it, being too predisposed with my task. I finished fixing the fuse and turned to my right to grab the flashlight. But it wasn’t there. I put the flashlight down with my left hand. That’s when it hit me. Where did that light I saw come from? I recollected the flashlight and walked to the right of where I was. It didn’t take me long. I came to the side of my attic, where a crack in the wall was shining a brilliant white. I thought that maybe this was the end of my house, and the crack led to outside. But that was impossible. There was way more house below this light, and it couldn’t lead outside. It was nighttime.

Still no messages on my phone. I guess he wasn't going to call me back after all. I can't really blame him, maybe I came on a bit too fast yesterday. I had noticed him long before he noticed me. His shiny black hair and unnatural blue eyes. I wasn't the only one watching him, that's for sure. His movements were elegant in a boyish way. And his smile...his smile. I would die for that smile. Still no messages... I thought about calling him, maybe apologize for going too fast yesterday. I'm a coward, I know, but I just couldn't bring myself to dial his number. Besides he'd promised he'd contact me when he's ready. So I'll wait. I'm patient. I know, I'll just casually stroll past his house. Just to see if he's home. Maybe he's out, that would explain why he couldn't call me yet. He only lives half an hour away anyway. Maybe he's shy and is scared to call me. Silly boy. I'll go to him and tell him that he doesn't have to be scared. That I don't mind if he needs time. He lives pretty secluded in a farm on the outskirts of town. I can hear the sheep in the stables as I approach. My heart skips when I see there's lights burning inside. He must be there, he told me yesterday his parents would be gone for the weekend. They left him to look after the sheep for those days. Poor baby, that must be hard work. He was probably just too busy to call me. I'll have to stay here until his parents come back and help him take care of all those sheep.

You're just sitting there, trying to fan yourself off from the heat as you wait for you mother to come back from inside the shop. By chance, perhaps, you glance over to your left where another car is parked, empty and probably even more sweltering...

While brushing your teeth in the evening, you catch a glimpse of your wall mirror, covered in fingerprints. Annoyed, you grab a towel and rub at them. They remain. Upon closer inspection, you realize that they seem to be on the other side of the glass....

As Jake trudged through the cornfield, he recalled the argument he'd had that morning with his Pa. "But they've only been up a month-- they don't need changin'!", he had yelled. "Yes, they do, Jake, everyone! And I want that first scarecrow replaced by sundown!" He shifted...

If you are reading this, then I am dead, and you are standing aboard a derelict Cyclone class patrol ship, the USS Mistral, with her engines dead and her electrical systems nonfunctional. I am, was, the XO of this vessel, Lieutenant Commander Ryan Simmons. Please read this carefully. If you are an officer or enlisted man in the United States Navy, this is an order: Scuttle this vessel, immediately. Do not finish this letter. Get off the Mistral at once, and send her down. Consider this a quarantine scenario; all hands are likely dead. God help you if they are not. We are eight days out of Kirkwall, tracking an intermittent and scrambled distress call from what appeared to be a Icelandic fishing vessel, the Magnusdottir, deep in the no-fishing zone of the North Sea. We found the vessel, or rather, we found a mile wide streak of oil and fragments, the largest of them still burning. The night before, the enlisted man on watch had reported seeing a flash of light on the horizon. The Magnusdottir’s crew was no where to be found, except for one lone fisherman, unburned and floating at the far end of the debris field. He had been shot in the forehead with a small caliber revolver. When we fished his pale blue corpse from the frigid water, he was still clutching a fishing knife in one clamped hand. What we were able to piece together from the fragmented and confounding evidence was that for reasons unknown, the crew had been in conflict, resulting in the murder of the of at least one sailor, and the eventual sabotage and destruction of the ship. Visibility was only a few hundred feet as we spent the next day drifting silently among the debris, in hopes of finding a survivor. The crew was already visibly shaken by the discovery; the grim dread of the fog, and lone smoldering pieces of the Magnusdottir that collided with our hull unsettled even the most seasoned of us. We had expected an easy cruise, and the simple retrieval of a dozen thankful Icelandic fisherman. What we got, at first, was a silent and oil-slick coated sea, a single corpse, and more than a few nagging questions. The Mistral had just been serviced, after an extended tour with the Atlantic Fleet in Bahrain before her transfer to the North Sea. She was in good running order, so I can only assume that the initial mechanical failure was an act of sabotage, or of some external force. It happened the first night, when our final sweep had been completed, and we returned to the site of the Magnusdottir’s first transmission.

This thing on? I guess it is. I can see the little light on the recorder and it isn’t flashing just yet. This is a…well, OK. It isn’t a last will of any sort. It’s a recording of the freaky stuff I just saw. Saw and ate. Oh god, that was bad. Not the previous phrase but the food. Well, OK. Let me start at the beginning. As in a few hours ago and what the hell I did at that café. If it was a café in the first place. Got a call from an old school friend. She wanted to meet me for a bite to eat. She’s a damn hot chick and I hadn’t seen her in a good long time. Course, I kept in contact over the ‘net – with a body like hers I’d have been stupid not to. Plus, I was hoping to get lucky with her. Oh man, I’m drooling. Uh…yeah, OK, so where was I? Oh yeah, I go to the meeting place and it’s something that looks like an abandoned building. All hollowed out. I think to myself this isn’t the place. Look at the address: 13 Kent Street. It synched with the numbers on the building. Funny thing is, this is a building in the middle of a busy city. Abandoned, but people were walking outside. Asking me what I was doing here and who was I meeting. Of course, I told them to fuck off – it’s my own business to be hanging around out here. Damn, if I only knew then…but damn, I wouldn’t have run. She was stunning. Came towards me and I knew then that I would be having fun soon. Of course…well, I shouldn’t say. Took my hand with hers and said that it was great to see me in the flesh again. I asked what we were doing here…and why everyone avoided it. She avoided the question by kissing me…and I can’t really remember what happened after that – except we were in the building.

The last storm was already on the horizon when I woke that Sunday morning. It hung in the south, a solid black wall of dust, churning and seemingly motionless. I’d every intention of sleeping late into the morning, as had been my Sunday custom since Adele and the girls had left, but the distant rumbling and crackle of lightning drug me from the bed just after sunrise. I shuffled drowsily around the farm in the early morning, lashing the doors of the barn, rounding up the two stubborn hogs, and shuttering the windows; but soon I found myself rooted in place, captivated by the writhing shape in the sky. It stretched impossibly wide across the open sky, rolling across the border from Nebraska. The air had a dry, electric chill, and already the sickly yellow wheat swayed in anticipation. I was in a trance, eyes locked on the distance when I saw a small light dust plume to the west, picked out in stark contrast with black beyond. The horse and rider at the base of the little dust devil approached the farm at a sharp trot, and my dust bleary eyes registered the silhouette. Carl Jordan had owned the farm next to mine for as along my family has been in the Dakotas, I grew up with his great booming laughter warming our home nearly every night. His usual broad, yellowing smile was absent beneath recently trimmed mustache and broad rimmed black hat; his dark suit was blotted with fine layer of grit that he brushed absently at. “Eddie.” His voice was tired and small as he looked down at me. “No church today?” I hadn’t been in months and he’d once admitted to envying me. I just didn’t see the need any longer, and I’ve relished the extra hours. I ignored the question. “What’s troubling you, Carl? Mattie all right?” I asked. He turned towards the south, to the storm and sucked loudly on his lower lip. After a few moments of thought he sighed deeply, with a phlegmy rumble. “The Hattersons are dead. All of them, ‘cept Saul.” He said evenly, not returning his gaze to mine. I drank this in for a moment, feeling the insides my sinuses beginning to burn in the cold and arid breeze. I briefly dwelt upon the image of the youngest Hatterson, a tow headed toddler with the dim looking smile I’d seen at the general store with Saul and Molly a few days prior.