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Children and Childhood

The Boy in the Window

She tried pulling herself back, but however hard she tried, however hard she pushed, she could not stop her feet dragging her towards the open window. She dug her heels into the wooden floor, feeling splinters coming off it as her feet dragged her onward. Her hands caught the window-sill, …

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Another Hungry Mouth

Constance would not tell anyone who the father was. Not when her mother cried nor when her father yelled. Not even when her older sister, Emily, sat on her bed and held her in her arms – rocking her gently. Constance was four-months pregnant when she told her family, and …

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A Child Like No Other

When I joined the case at 47 County Street, I didn’t know what to expect. As a social worker, I see all kinds of screwed up things from child abuse, to children abusing their parents. Yet, when I got the reports from that household, I wasn’t expecting much. The initial …

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Huggy

“Holy shit!  Is that what I think it is?”  Brandon’s eyes widened into saucers and, despite being filled with an unabated rage towards his older brother just a few hours ago, Michael couldn’t help but smile and nod at the expected reaction.  Even with everything that had happened earlier in …

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I Met the Monster in My Closet

Everyone has heard of the boogeyman. A creature, tall and dark who comes out at night and prays on fearful children. The story is a classic tale, one that every kid and their neighbor like to scare each other with during sleepovers. People have come up with several different versions …

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Something’s Wrong with Madeline

“No, Mama! Mama, no! Please, Mama, don’t let them take me! I’ll be good, I swear!” the girl screamed. Tears flowed from her eyes as she thrashed against the two-adult woman dressed in black. They held her arms firm and pulled her deliberately up a small set of stairs. “Now, …

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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.

An Unexpected Magi

“Donde Esta Santa Claus” was blaring on the radio as Gary crossed over state lines into…somewhere. He lost track of where he was hours ago. Somewhere… midwesty. He was driving back East for Christmas. Too cheap to fly, he thought he’d take the opportunity to get to see America, the …

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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. …

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Home Alone

Writing never had been of any interest to Patric. Throughout his life, it was his older brother, Sean, who had been the creative and artistic one, while Patric quietly had assumed the role of the unknown introvert. But for years now thoughts and ideas had been filling Patric’s head in …

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A Germaphobe’s First Love

Erica hated the lack of hygiene. Erica absolutely despised unhygienic people. Just thinking about the slightest chance of her physically touching a “dirty” person chilled her spine. She refused to drink from another person’s cup. She avoided sharing food with others. She would be utterly disgusted by people who talk …

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Her Silence

He turns the steering wheel in different directions, taking different roads when he needs to. He needs to go through the woods to get to his destination. He’s confused, but not about that. What confuses him is why his sister is being so silent as she sits in the backseat. …

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World’s Best School Psychologist

When I was twelve, I came to the conclusion that everyone in the world, including my own family, was against me. I was never a problem child, but my parents sure treated me like one. For example, I used to need to be home by 5:00 pm every day. This …

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Jesus Camp

I was raised Evangelical. Miraculous healing, speaking in tongues, God’s voice speaking through people, Jesus Camps, and Christian School. Yep. Christian School. My. Whole. Life. These were all realities to me- and my faith never wavered. You know what? That is a lie, and I cannot write that in good …

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If a Child With Black Eyes Comes to Your Door Do Not Let Them In

It started with three light knocks on our door. Tap, tap, tap. We seldom had visitors to our small apartment, especially not at this hour. “Are we expecting someone?” my wife asked. “No,” I said as I got up from our living room couch. I walked a few feet to our …

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The Shadow in the Lake

It was nothing new. Just a normal trip to the lake. My friends and I had gone to lake Thunderbird many times on weekends, it was our favorite retreat from college and family and everything else that stressed us. I was 19 at the time, fresh into college and fresh …

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Smuggler’s Creek

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 The dynamic of memory has confounded me for my entire life. Memory is itself a living being, eternally aging until it decays and fades away. Each memory lives through its life cycle. Full of vitality in birth and hollow and weak in death. Like the people …

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The Two-Headed Boy

Watching TV has always been one of our favorite things to do. In the early years, this proved difficult. Remus, being the stronger of our halves, would pull me until the remote was always within reach of his arm and out of that of mine. I didn’t usually mind, though, …

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Black Sap

We were having another lockdown drill when I found out about Holly Reyes. I was in Social Studies, third period, when Principal Weston’s muffled voice spat at us from the ceiling. We all sighed and ducked under the long tables, limbs shoving aside plastic chairs as we army-crawled into tucked …

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Why I Don’t Go Trick-or-Treating Anymore

My name isn’t really important, but for now, I’ll go by Monty. A little backstory, I grew up in a small town just outside of Hartford, Connecticut. Real nice place where everyone knew everyone, you never locked your doors, had a real charm to it. Nicest bunch of folks you …

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Spiderland

“Can we go on the roller coaster?” “Sure we can,” Kent assured his son, whose eyes brimmed with hope and enthusiasm. Little Brian ran ahead towards the ride as his father walked quickly behind. It was one of those old, rickety coasters that won’t keep you from falling out unless …

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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 …

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