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Children and Childhood

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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The Stars of Bigface Marsh

It was cold. Cold and dark. That’s all I could feel when I stared into the black abyss, that made up its eyes. There was a tingling sensation in my feet, that slowly rose up in my body like panic trapped inside of me. I felt changed. I don’t know …

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Spring Flu

The spring flu had been going around the school like usual, but some people were sicker than normal. They didn’t just have fever and headache – their faces were blotchy, their eyes bulged, and they all wheezed like they’d just run up ten flights of stairs without stopping. Cara McCormack …

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Santa’s Magic

The night of Christmas Eve 2008 is a blur, depending on how much medication I am given that day. I can avoid the nurses for a couple of hours, but not too long. I suppose you’ve heard about me in the papers or on your favorite serial killer show. No, …

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Snow Day

Jake Thomasson pulled the sleeve of his sweatshirt down, covering his hand, and wiped away the condensation from the window.  It was the third time he had done this in the past ten minutes, but he didn’t want to miss seeing if any cars drove by outside.  He was sitting …

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Pretty Paper

One contrary wheel wobbled erratically as Thomas Moon pushed against the weighted shopping cart. He looked down at the mountain of Christmas presents and imagined his poor wallet gasping for air and fainting in a huff. He smiled as his wife, Christine, waddled up to the cart carrying what seemed …

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The First Day of School

My father is a construction manager and because of his career, we have to move around the country every few years. In my 15 years, I have lived in six different states: New Mexico, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Louisiana, and now Kansas. This past summer, my father was hired to work …

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Tantrum

Let me just make something clear: I never get to go out somewhere nice. Like ever. My best friend and I struggle just to pay our bills every month, so anything fancier than McDonald’s is usually out of the question. We’ll save up for months to go on one of our “roommate …

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Toys in the Attic

Christmas has always been a hard time for me. Childhood memories of bickering relatives, drunken tirades, and hostile dinner conversations made me wince at the mere mention of the holiday. In the Christmas of 1989, I broke my collarbone on my new toboggan. In the Christmas of 1997, my brother …

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