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Artifacts and Objects

Never Use Cheat Codes on a Ouija Board

    In my hometown, there is a unique shop of oddities called “HexWorks” that I frequent. It’s an old-world boutique that specializes in niche products that I’d describe as being vintage-style with a modern spin. Their items include cloaks, pocket watches, lapels, bizarre art prints, lavish jewelry, and Victorian home decor, among other curiosities. …

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I Made a Monster Out of Clay

The top half of Councilman Jones’ body hung by a steel cable looped around his neck and tied off to an old oak tree on one end. It was still dripping blood, bones and veins and torn bits of intestines dangling down where the legs should start. The cable was stretched through the air, over to an ash tree ten yards away from where the other half of the body was hanging by the legs.

Colwin’s Corner

I usually like to watch TV with my little sister, Kimberly. She was only five, so of course, she watched all the cutesy kids’ shows. I didn’t really mind, though. They made her happy and I liked spending time with her. She watched shows like Dora, Blue’s Clues, and Arthur. We often had a lot …

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I Found a Disturbing Photo in My Family Photo Album

My mother never let me look at the family photo albums. I never knew why. Whenever I asked, she would tell me that they were old and fragile, and would break if we got them down from the shelf. They were so high that I could never reach them as a child, even if I …

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Never Stop At Roadside Memorials

You know those people who you tell the time of events to 15 minutes early because you know they would be late? The ones who would be late to their own funerals, as the saying goes? Well, that’s me. Prepare as I might. I can never seem to get anywhere on time. It’s the most …

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Acts of Vengeance

The bell above the door rang noisily as I entered the bookshop.  My hopes of just browsing through the books without attracting the attention of a well-intentioned but usually annoying clerk were immediately dashed.  I hate to be bothered while perusing the shelves.  But upon closing the door and getting my first glance at the …

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The Trunk

Moving day. A chance to start fresh in a new place. New opportunities, new community, new home. Home. Not just a house. To Eric Sherman, this was a place he could finally call home. No ex-wives to hound him for alimony. No disapproving parents to question his absence of faith and Atheist lifestyle. No bitchy …

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The Statues

I never liked going to my aunt Paola’s house. Honestly, I never liked her either. She’s a creepy bible-thumping Jesus fanatic and she’d always circle over me like a vulture. But none of that creeped me out like her house did. It was old, run-down and filled with weird religious art. Sure, there were the …

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Between Ice and Stars

The hull of the ship moaned and groaned under the strain of its frozen enclave. HMS Stargazer and its crew had initially set out into the deep unknown to map uncharted territories, but winter descended quickly upon them and they found themselves trapped between stars and ice for months. Supplies were running thin and the captain of the ship, a tall and clean shaven gentleman by the name of Gerald Northington, had assembled groups of hunters to venture out in search of seal meat. The most recent hunting expedition had yet to return and Northington was pacing anxiously up and down his quarters.

The Beast with Five Fingers

When I was a little boy I once went with my father to call on Adrian Borlsover. I played on the floor with a black spaniel while my father appealed for a subscription. Just before we left my father said, “Mr. Borlsover, may my son here shake hands with you? It will be a thing …

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The Monkey’s Paw

I. Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked …

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The Living History Project

One of my least favorite parts about being a middle school history teacher is the bullshit “Living History” assignments we give at the end of every school year. Kids are supposed to sit with their grandparents and video tape, voice record, or transcribe their oldest memories for posterity (and for an easy way to bring …

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The Old Lie of the Dead Lands

The Old Lie of the Dead Lands ‘frankness as never before, disillusions as never told in the old days, hysterias, trench confessions, laughter out of dead bellies. There died a myriad, And of the best, among them, For an old bitch gone in the teeth, For a botched civilization.’ – Ezra Pound (Hugh Selwyn Mauberley …

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I Met the Rat King

I found it three weeks ago, or rather, I found them. A knotted circle of fur, claws, and death. Six rats, tangled together by their tails, thrashed about my front lawn with little direction. Their shrieks pierced the air of what was normally a quiet street. I was going outside to get the mail when …

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