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The New Guard at San Quentin Prison Isn’t Human

My eyes opened quickly as I heard the whisper. “Wanna see something, Charlie?” It happened last night. The newest prison guard on the block opened my cell, smiled, and informed me I was to gather my things and move to the end of our oldest cell block. He looked to …

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Officer Down

[Recording begins] “The date is November 1st, 2018. This is–” [coughs] “This is Detective Ray Sherman, excuse me. Badge number 13557, of the Internal Affairs Investigation Unit, number 334. We are investigating the night of October 31st, 2018, Case AF6H765, where Officer Pete Mendoza was found alone with five surrounding …

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Tempting Fate

Detective Martinez dragged on his filter-tipped cigarette, watching the fiery cherry rapidly descend to the orange paper. He heaved a deep sigh on the exhale, regretting having to work into the wee hours.  The spent cigarette tumbled from his hand, landing on the wet Tarmac with a fizz. He reached …

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They Need Help

Shawn took one last drag of his cigarette. He didn’t smoke regularly, but this occasion nearly called for one. It had been years since his last job interview, and it was all he could do to stop his hands from shaking. He looked at the cigarette and remembered the time …

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Dead Boats

I worked a shrimp boat called the Melissa on the gulf. Hot, sweaty work but all the shrimp you can eat, so there’s that. Captain Mike was my boss, a wizened old salt. Rough around the edges, but a good man and a good boss. I worked with him out …

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Let Me Go

“I can’t sleep,” she whispered as she crawled into bed and spooned against my back. “Jesus, you’re cold,” I murmured. She only snuggled closer, throwing her leg over mine. I lay there for a few beats, caught between my alcohol-induced sleep and wakefulness, until I realized whatever this cold thing …

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Why I’ll Never Work Security At Disney World Again

I work in security at Disney World, the happiest place on Earth. Typically, I wouldn’t say where I work as obviously there are some pretty strict rules about things employees can put online, but I just don’t think I can tell this properly without that context. And, honestly, I think …

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Something Happened During a Hostage Negotiation I Can’t Explain

The west side bank has three exits, thirty windows and nineteen air vents. And when I arrived at the scene, there were thirteen people being held captive by a man with a vendetta. “How bad are things?” I asked the officer in charge. So far no one had been hurt. …

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I’m a Cop, and I Institutionalized Someone I Knew Wasn’t Crazy

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Sarah Barkley. I’m a cop in a small, rural, Pennsylvania town currently stuck working the night shift. I work with a lot of older guys, so they tend to treat me like a rookie even though I’ve been on for a couple of years now. I work your normal patrol shift, driving around pulling traffic, responding to your usual domestic disputes and whatever other wonderful calls Dispatch sends my way. There have been a lot of unexplainable calls that I’ve responded to in this town. There are certain things that they just can’t prepare you for in the police academy, and this was one of those situations.

11 Bodies Hanging From 21 Trees

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.

The Ceremony

When you are met with the sort of anxiety which, ultimately, is there to make you consider the possibility that your own memory is a lie, it is only natural to face difficulty in recalling even things that happened a short time ago. If I was open to undertaking so thorough an examination of this then I am confident that I would identify a good few reasons for the acute nervousness I feel; even so, it should go without saying that I am not inclined to accept my emotion as fully justified: it undoubtedly rests on some sinister delusion.

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 12 Rules

I spend a lot of time doing contract work for the Army. They contract a hell of a lot of mechanic work out to civilians. Saves on overhead, I guess. But that means I’ll often be driving out into obscure training ranges out in the middle of nowhere to un-fuck a mission critical vehicle or piece of equipment that can’t be easily brought back into the shop.

You’re a Guardian, Not a Killer

I was 22 and a bored young woman with a nearly useless degree in French Literature. It was only natural that I worked at my mother’s bookstore until I found a “real job.” I preferred the afternoon shift because it consisted of some high school girls with big glasses window …

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Mommy Dearest

As Julie began to regain consciousness, she knew something wasn’t right. She started to panic as she realized she was strapped to a table. A big bright light beamed down onto her face, blinding her, as silhouettes moved silently around her. The silhouettes began to whisper. “She’s perfect, daddy, thank …

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The Last Body I Ever Cut Open

Craig Brockwell was found by his wife, dead on their living room floor, a plastic garbage bag tied off around his neck, and an empty bottle of Xanax on the kitchen counter, next to a suicide note. My initial external examination of the body revealed no indications of a physical …

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The Doom Tower Experiments

On Davidson Avenue, one mile east of Highway 164 and East Main Street Intersection, sits the entrance to Hillcrest Park, home of the now defunct Nike Missile Base, known to the Waukesha, Wisconsin locals as The Old Hillcrest Doom Tower. From 1956 to 1964 the active site was home to …

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Gray

The two men stood in the crisp, evening mountain air. The woodland that surrounded them on all sides was dense and deep. “So…” the first man turned to the other, straightening up his stab-proof vest. “Where do we go from here?” The other police officer clicked his radio off, and …

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The Artist

There’s this painting my wife loves, called “Death and Life”, by Klimt. I don’t know what she finds so fascinating about it. I made all the right noises when she showed me her beloved framed print when we were first dating, “oohing” and “ahhing” and making up some bullshit about warm …

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The Canada Geese of Lake Pleasant

I’m a researcher studying Canada Geese for the last ten years. I’ve never published my research. Specifically, my small team and I study a small population of Canada Geese that migrates to Arizona during the winter months from Alaska. This work mostly involves checking the new adults tagged during the …

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Werewolf Ears

“Did you hear about Sal?” Jimmy lifted his eyes from his work, looked at George’s reflection and replied, “Sal, no, what’s up with him?” He probably spent more time hovering over people, talking to their reflections in the large mirror on the wall than he did conversing with them face …

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Don’t Ever Look Back

You know that feeling you get when you walk down a dark hallway? The feeling you get when the lights are out in the room behind you, the feeling that someone, or something is right there behind you, inching its way closer to you? Well, whatever you do, don’t ever …

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