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Nature and the Outdoors

Old Seal-Eyes

We hauled our bodies through a gap in the stone, entering into a narrow chamber. The walls were lined with skittering insects, and from beneath the stone far under my feet I could sense the flailing of eyeless fish swimming blindly in pools of black water. A dim circle of …

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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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New England Residents Beware

One night outside Longfield, Massachusetts was all it took to never feel peace again. The little town is not too far from Thoreau’s famed Walden, and curiosity drove me and some like-minded friends to make the trek one hot summer. It’s a little place, and so secluded that you won’t …

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Monster Hunting and Other Inadvisable Behavior

3:30 p.m., 1-September: One three-person party entered the Rio Grande National Forest in Hinsdale County, Colorado. They consisted of Trevor Nyson (37 years old) and Matilda Nyson (33 years old), a married couple, and Benny Nyson (8 years old), their only son. 5:31 p.m., 1-September: Trevor and Matilda, highly distraught, …

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Mission

There’s an old, abandoned mission in the hills west of Tucumcari, New Mexico. It’s about a 3-hour hike from the nearest access point by car. It’s not marked on any map and there’s no clear trail to it, but if you had a day or two to spend searching, you …

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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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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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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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A Loving Ruination

I’m awoken by Rebecca’s sudden lurch upward. The whole bed’s shaking from it. My mind’s jumpstarted awake. Immediately, I’m feeling disorientated. Inactive for many hours, my brain now has to remind me where I am. The information floods in: I’m in my bedroom. In my house. It’s dark. I instinctively …

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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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White Christmas

Living in lower Alabama, we rarely receive snow. I spent most of my life wishing for a white Christmas, a white Christmas that never came. I have only seen snow twice in my thirty-three years here. I always wanted to share that with my two boys. I just knew that …

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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 …

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A Summer of Wolves

Part I Six years ago, if you’d asked me about the supernatural, I would have told you that it was a pretty entertaining show I’d seen on TV but none of that was or could be true.  I know there are plenty of skeptics out there, that’s fair – witches, …

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The Hiker’s Lapse

Maintaining a steady pace—placing one foot in front of the other, trudging along as he’d done for the past four months—Sam felt the distance growing between himself and the Creek. A crisp breeze came down from the mountain and Sam took in a slow breath, smiling at the scents of …

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Alone

Part 1: Good Will Hunting I’m a producer for Alone, the TV show on History. This story is about a participant we had in season 2, whose footage we had to cut. I’ve never felt comfortable talking about this before, especially because it opens me up for liability. After all, …

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The Holy Drinker

As Nick lifted the glass to his lips once more, he felt his shirt sleeve pull free from the sticky puddle of spilled cocktails that had accumulated throughout the night. He tilted his head back and tossed the remainder of the drink into the back of his throat. The burn …

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