The doorbell rings, and you get up from where you sat staring stonily into space. You already know who is at your door, and why he is there. You open it, nodding numbly to the man. You make a note in your head that the man looks… sneaky, but you assume that must be because he’s a lawyer. You show him into your living room, dreading what is to come. The man hands you a CD he produces from his briefcase, and sets what looks like a birdcage on your coffee table. You can not see what is inside the cage, as it is covered in a blanket of embroidered silk. The man sits as you put the disc into your stereo and press play. You hear the sound of stressed breathing from the speakers as you take your seat. The lawyer hasn’t said a word, but you know the breathing to be that of your late friend, the last breathes of your friend. You can hear something in the background, behind your friend’s heavy breathes, as if someone, or something, was scratching at a door. You wonder if you’re hearing things, as the sound is barely audible in the recording. You look up as you hear her voice, as if she was in the room with you, as if she was alive. “The date is September the first of two thousand eight.” Her voice is shaky, every word she speaks is saturated with fear, “This is my last will and testament. Now, I don’t have much time. They’re almost here, so I’ll dispense the formalities and get on with what I have to say. This is the last day of my life, as you have probably already figured out."

Do you know what a Cordyceps is? I didn't either until 20 minutes ago. It's a family of thousands of different types of fungus, grows all around the word in various rainforests and jungles. The awful thing about them is they're parasitic, they grow on other animals. An ant happens to run into some spores, and then it starts to colonize his insides, starting with his brain. At some point, the ant starts to act visibly ill; standing in place and shivering, or walking in circles. If a fellow colony member sees him in this condition, he will be dragged to the border of the colony and exiled. Then, when it's almost over, the ant weakly climbs as high as he can up the vines, and locks his body on tight. Finally, he dies, and the fungus emerges from the back of his head, bursting forth like a long and foul fruit. After a short time, the little stalk spews forth its own spores, leaving the mummified and broken ant clinging to the stalk, his eye cavities filled with drying fungus. I mention this because last night, when I was up on the roof of my apartment complex, I found my brother's body. He's been back from 18 months on duty in the Philippines for less than three days. This was the first I'd seen him. My parents called me up the day before yesterday to tell me that he was on his way up. They told me he'd stayed in his room since he got home, and then suddenly got up and announced he was on his way to see me. They thought he was drunk, I'd thought he'd never made it. He must have come straight up to the roof and died, by the smell of it. I was just finishing a cigarette, all torn up with anxiety and head throbbing, and when the acrid smoke vanished I caught a whiff of rot on the hot wind. It took me just a few minutes before I'd found him; face down behind the vents and fans. A slimy gray column rose up obscenely from the base of his skull, and a frozen waterfall of roots and tendrils was dangling from his eye sockets and mouth. At the top of stalk was small arrangement of feathery wisps, a white powder drifting idly from it tips.

In Beantown, Nebraska, a town with a population of just over 200, there lives a man named Jack Black. Not THE Jack Black, of course, but just a guy named Jack Black. At 10:06 PM on January 4th of 2014, Mr. Black's phone will ring....

In France, a young ambient musician by the name of Charles undertook an interesting new project. He was going to record the sound of himself sleeping, and release it under the name "La Nuit" (The Night). Charles lived alone in a rural area, which would...

As a child, I was always quiet, and my conversations with others would always end up awkward. Because of that, I always preferred to be alone growing up. Which probably explains my strange obsession with toys, being as old as I am. They never talk....

A university in Canada has two unusual things about it. One is a series of tunnels running under all the buildings. These were built for convenience in transporting things from one building to the next, and for students traveling from class to class during the...

10.7.2004 Jennifer, friends and family of Mark, As promised, here are copies of the correspondence I received from Mark over the course of the last month. For the most part, I have merely copied and pasted them from my email application. As you’ll read, he requested this, in...

If you ever are in an area of absolute quiet, still your breathing and move not a muscle. After a few seconds, you will notice that the silence has a sort of "sound" of its own, a kind of empty ringing tone. This is nothing...

A baby girl is mysteriously dropped off at an orphanage in Cleveland in 1945. "Jane" grows up lonely and dejected, not knowing who her parents are, until one day in 1963 she is strangely attracted to a drifter. She falls in love with him, but...

On the farthest point of Long Island, the last scrap of land that still counts as New York, there sits a tremendous, abandoned building. Protected by its own isolated location, there is also at any given time two to three Security Guards there. However, if...

Our encounter with the Steubenville Ghost was very surprising because we didn’t believe in such phenomena. If I had imbibed, or been by myself, I would probably have turned to some professional for help after the experience. I say we, because I was not the only participant. The late Clarence R. Coulter, who’s family still reside in Akron, Oh. and I owned Halbert and Coulter Construction Co., Inc. in Wheeling W.Va. Early morning of December 30, 1948 he drove his new Hudson as we went into a small factory at 1817 E. High Ave. in Youngstown, Oh. It was an unusual day for that time of year in northeast Ohio. It was an overcast day with temperatures in the forties. I give you this because records can verify the accuracy of my memory. About 11:00 am. in the office of Storm Sash, Inc. a radio announced an extreme cold front was approaching carrying extremely hazardous icing conditions. It warned everyone to get off the roads and streets shortly. We went to a little greasy spoon nearby and prepared to leave earlier than planned to try to beat the severe weather. We concluded our business and left about 2:00 pm. As we proceeded south on Market St. we came to the south edge of town and Schotts Restaurant on the east side of the street. It was a well-known establishment that was only closed and torn down a few years ago. Neither of us was smart enough to be too afraid, and we were both great optimists. We couldn’t resist a feast. We ate with no drinks. We had parked about 20 feet from the front door. As we stepped out of the door, we almost fell on the predicted glare ice, so we held onto the car fenders and anything else for support to keep from falling. We were agile and very active young men. We saw no traffic moving. We entered his car and sat there debating if we should try to find some place to stay. Since New Years Eve was the following day, we preferred to be home in Wheeling for it. We decided since we were experienced drivers in inclement weather, and no traffic was moving, if we proceeded at 20 or 25 miles per hour and slid into something, we might bend a fender, but unlikely to be injured, so we decided to go home.

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of the End". Should a look of child-like fear come over the workers face,...

All this shit started when I found that little note. On a square piece of paper I found at the bottom of a box I was moving out of my basement, it read, "HELLO? PLEASE RESPOND". I had no idea how long the paper had been there, those boxes had sat in my basement since I moved in. I ignored it until the next morning, when I opened my coffee maker to throw out the grounds, and inside was a sopping wet piece of paper that read "PLEASE RESPOND! PLEASE HELP". I figured it must have been put inside my coffee maker by whoever was pulling this pointless prank, because it wasn't there when I put my coffee grounds in. I found more notes, under my mousepad, inside my computer tower while I was putting in some new RAM, between the layers of tissue of my toilet paper roll, under my DVD player's disc tray. Places that no one would ever look, places you'd never think of putting a note, places you knew no one would ever look and it would be foolish to put a note, because who knew when they would see it? But it kept happening, and they all said the same thing every time, begging me to respond and help them. Being the retard I am, one day I just got fed up when I found one inside a cup in my dishwasher (right after I had run it - the paper was dry) I wrote on the back of it "HELLO. I'M RESPONDING. PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR SITUATION!" and slid it under a crack in my bath-fitted tub.

Laura was woken by her father; something that he had not done since she was a child. As her thoughts slowly swam back into focus, she was suddenly sure that she had slept naked and he had seen her, but to her relief she was wearing her baby-blue pyjamas. God, what was he doing in here anyway? “Come on, you,” he said brightly, opening the curtains and letting the sunlight in. Outside, she could hear a lawnmower running, perhaps in the next street, and what could’ve been birdsong. “It’s Button Day, remember? Get dressed, put something nice on. We’re leaving in an hour.” Laura stirred, her voice groggy. “Dad, what the hell? Couldn’t you just knock? What if I’d slept nude?” He didn’t look at her, he was too busy admiring his garden from the window. “Oh, you’ve nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m your bloody father, I‘ve wiped your arse many a time before now.” “Not the point, Dad.“ Squinting, Laura sat up, rubbing her eyes, and remembered what he’d just said. “Dad, did you just say ‘Button Day’?" “Well, yeah. What, did you forget?” He laughed as he crossed the room to the door. “You were only talking about it last night.” “Wait - what?” She frowned, not understanding. Something was wrong here. A fine way to start the day, really. She hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet, and she was already getting weird shit. “What are you talking about?” He shook his head, still smiling as he left the room. “Get dressed. Breakfast is ready.” He left her sitting up in bed, holding the covers to her breasts, a look of confusion on her face. Eventually she got out of bed, and began to pull some clothes on that were to hand. Familiar sounds floated up to her from downstairs: pots and pans rattling, the TV on low, the muffled tones of her family talking to each other, a short, harsh laugh - her brother. No doubt laughing at the TV. She did her zipper on her jeans, and stood for a second before finally saying out loud, “Button Day?”