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Myths and Legends

The Legend of Carter Bale

The roaring twenties became a different time for all of America as the economy took a massive plummet. The depression sank about every industry like a stone and families of every class felt the impact. Throughout the Hoovervilles set up around Riverbend, there was one man who seemed prosperous despite it all. A master manipulator …

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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.

The Sounding of the Fifth Trumpet

You have been given a chance; one single opportunity. Just for you, little one. You don’t have to endure the tribulations about to be unleashed. You can escape all of that misery. All you have to do is listen to my voice. As before, it begins the same. A faint hum vibrates from the sky …

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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 what he was doing to …

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Stay Off the Ice

Ever since grade three, my friends and I could make Derek Zimmer believe anything. Anything. From Pop-Rocks and Coke will make your stomach explode; to earwigs actually burrow in your ears (and one’s on your shoulder right now!); to the typical urban legend of the babysitter and the killer upstairs – and that it actually …

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It Wasn’t a Reindeer

“Christ,” I muttered to myself, as the first flakes of snow started to fall.  They gathered in fuzzy clumps over the windshield before my wipers cleared them away.  I’d been waiting for fifteen — no, twenty minutes now — in my sister’s driveway.  Had I chosen to wait inside with her, I’d have been dead …

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Old Man Winter

Thank you for coming, doctor. I honestly didn’t think the renowned psychoanalyst, Jeffrey Gilland, would see me. Then again, it isn’t every day you are handed the opportunity to interview an insane colleague. And I am your golden ticket to a more profound reputation, aren’t I? Please, you don’t need that arched brow to impress …

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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 Witch of Arlena Falls

5:58 AM “There is an unexpected turn in the weather this morning, say our local meteorologists. Instead of seeing a warm day, we are getting a snowstorm that sources are saying could turn into the storm of the century.” Dad turned off the radio, grumpy as hell this early in the morning. “It’s always the …

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The Truth About Peter Pan

Peter Pan is not what most people think he is… or I guess I should say, would be, but honestly, he’s real. I have not only seen him, but have also… felt him. I met Peter Pan when I was about 11 years old. It had been a hard day with my family. I was …

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The Deef

We called it The Deef. It was supposed to be a joke. We had a game, the group of us. It didn’t really have a name. It was just the cryptid game. It was simple: every time we got together, one of us had to share a monster story. That was basically it. We’d started it back in college, and just sort of never stopped. There were more rules than that, of course. It had to be original. No more than one story introduced per get-together. Whoever had the best monster was winning.

Floor Zero

You’d finally done it. After weeks of digging around and bugging the lady at the front desk, you’d found it: the elevator code for floor zero. You make your way to the nearest elevator, trying your hardest to contain your excitement. You’ve been told so many rumors about the place that you weren’t sure if they were even fiction. Some said it was a dark room full of spiderwebs, some said it was full of old mannequins, and some said it was just a storage floor with nothing interesting to see.

Whistling

When people whistle, it kind of irritates me. Not like Axl Rose from “Patience” whistles, but just does so to pass the time. When people whistle or hum to themselves it’s always just kind of grated on me, but only when it’s been tuneless. When there’s a tune to it, a melody, it doesn’t get on my nerves, it just makes me… unsettled.

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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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 shopping. They would probably purchase …

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The Roots of Wewoka Cemetery

After a short time of exploring the Oklahoma territory where they were forced to go, a group of Native Americans stumbled upon a mysterious plant while hunting. This plant looked like a gnarled tree root, with so many twists and turns within its seemingly fragile length that one could barely tell it was not one …

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The Hollows and the Hills

Part 1 I am often asked how it was that I first became interested the true crime genre. It’s the sort of question I frequently get at conventions, book signings, panel meetings, and interviews, but the actual answer is fairly mundane. What I find more interesting is the source of that question, why people expect a compelling …

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Miracle Girl

“When is Miracle Girl coming?” I asked and got a stony look of disapproval from my uncle in return. If he read comic books, he’d appreciate my nickname for an immortal elementary schooler. Grandpa laid his good, gray eye on me. The filmy, unseeing one wandered off, like the old man’s mind often did. “Miracle, …

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I Drive for Cerber

My name is Jim. I’ve been in and out of construction contracts for the last seventeen years. Between those contracts, I do what I can to make a few extra bucks, since you never really know when the next contract will show up and unemployment pays you just enough to lay awake hungry at night. …

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The Blooming

“Millie, wake up! Come on, it’s your birthday! Today’s a very special day! You’re 18! Mum’s working so you get to spend the whole day with me. Meet me in the living room when you’re ready!” my sister Elena sings cheerfully at me while shaking my mattress. I get out of bed and stare in …

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