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Madness, Paranoia, and Mental Illness

Tapping at My Chamber Door – Only This and Nothing More

I don’t remember the first time I heard the tapping. As far as I know, it’s been there all my life. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been stirred awake a couple of times a month, still hazy with sleep and delirious with dreams to an almost imperceptible …

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The Farmer and the Scarecrow

I killed my best friend when I was thirteen. It wasn’t what I wanted, or what the others involved wanted, but that doesn’t matter now, he’s gone. Most people look back at their childhood and realize that there was a day they went out to play with their friends for …

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I Think My Psychiatrist Broke Confidentiality

Several months ago, I sought out professional help for a traumatizing experience I’ve gone through, and so my colleague recommended to me a local psychiatrist that was best suited for me and my experiences. It seemed at first I could trust this psychiatrist, but now after recent events, I’m unsure …

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I Must Have Gone Mad During Quarantine

…I give up.…This is my eighth day in quarantine. More like solitary confinement, because I have lost track of time and I live alone in a bachelor apartment. I am stuck ordering groceries online, getting food delivery—even succumbed to having my brother deliver some wine for me to get me …

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The Beatles Butcher Album Cover

This is a story that goes back to my time in college at the University of Oregon, back in the 1980s. Eugene then was the quintessential college town and well known as a refuge for the surviving hippy culture of the 1960s. The counter culture is part of the city’s …

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It Came From Above

It Came From Above

He could feel his stomach almost twist as the aircraft started its long ascent into the sky. He was already holding onto his seat, yet now he couldn’t help but tighten his grip even more. How long had it been since he’d last been on a plane? A good fifteen …

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Self-Portrait of the Dead

  My mom hates her father. Grandfather Jack’s name might as well have been a swear word when I was growing up. Dad told me the story once, on the condition that I never tell mom I knew. Jack was married to my Grandmother Kathy for 22 years before he …

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Let Me Take Your Picture

Guys, I need help. I’m posting this from my car parked at a truck stop just outside Keiser, Arkansas. My parents own a cabin in rural Tennessee. Since they’re getting older, we’ve been splitting the responsibility of caring for the property. I go down there by myself a few times …

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The Tree From Which Dead Things Grow

I had nightmares about the place for weeks. Every time, it was exactly the same. I stood before a large oak tree, alone, in a vast field of dead grass. Roots from the tree wove in and out of the dirt, far from their source, twisting in unnatural ways. Its …

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If Glass Could Scream

“Purgatory on Earth” read the flyer as it flapped unevenly in the wind, poorly stapled against the wooden post of a power line. It was an interesting title, not exactly the alluring intro phrase most religious recruitment ads used. For what I knew of Purgatory, it wasn’t exactly a place …

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What Lies Within the Hollow Tree

    I recently inherited my grandfather’s rural home. A log cabin buried deep within 100 acres of woodland— a picturesque scene untouched for decades and a perfect dwelling that I am now proud to call my own. I would spend the weekends here as a child. The wooded paths, …

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Of Beauties and Beasts

    Kenneth Mathers loved Beauty. He adored the very aspects that Beauty presented. Beauty was loved by all. Beauty was welcomed in every gathering, celebrated by the people and requested in all circles. Beauty was perfection, something that Kenneth valued and swore to protect with his life. Beauty was …

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Roommates

The second Darryl’s keys were rattling in the lock Katie was off the couch and racing to the front door. “Did you do it?  Did you do it?”  She was practically bouncing up and down with giddy anticipation and unwilling to give him a second to even breathe.  “Did you kill her?  Is it done?”  Darryl couldn’t help but to smile and shake his head.  She was such a bad influence on him.  He tried to remember the first time they had met but for some reason was unable to.  It just kind of seemed like she had always been there.  Tim and Jerry had been his roommates for close to eight years and somewhere along the way she just kind of fell in with the twin brothers.  Before Darryl knew what happened she was living in the little, two-bedroom house as well.

Old Hag Madness

When the leaves began to fall that first week in October so many years ago, I could not have been less prepared for what would ultimately alter the course of my life and any foreseeable future linked to it. Autumn was the time of year that I would spring to …

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Sisters

My name is Julien Serrault. It is the 7th of January, 1882. I am an innkeeper outside the mountain town of Briancon, at the base of the French Alps. The inn does not do much trade, and in the winter months I am sometimes alone for days at a time. …

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