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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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My Father Punished Me When I Talked to Ghosts

I’ve been blind since birth. As I grew up, everything was described to me in such vivid detail that I didn’t even realize why it was that important to see, especially having no reference point to compare it. We lived in a single-floor ranch house, that’s what Father told me. …

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I Followed An Angel of Death and Read Her Diary

A couple of months ago, I found a diary written by a young girl, Florence Blackwell, who was a patient at the Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital on Long Island. Without telling the entirety of the story over again, there was one person who was instrumental in Florence’s survival of inhumane treatment at the hospital; a nurse named Mary.

I Found a Diary Tucked in a Brick at an Abandoned Psych Hospital

I grew up on Long Island, right outside of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center, home of the legend of Cropsey. I was always a good kid, never broke any rules, never really pushed the limits of what was and wasn’t “allowed”. But recently, I moved home after graduating from college, …

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My Sister Loves Minions

My sister loves minions. The yellow, banana-eating, overall-wearing, big-eyed things from a family movie called Despicable Me? Yep… that’s the kind. The things you see middle-aged women post memes on Facebook. My sister is obsessed. She eats bananas daily, watches the movies, probably has every plush minion made. I never …

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I’m a Vigilante Online Predator Hunter

I’m a vigilante online predator hunter, and I can’t explain the bizarre things that happened last night. I jolted awake in bed as my phone blared with a message. hey baby. we’ve been talking long enough. i want to meet you now. My blood turned to ice as I read …

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I Was Born on a Child Farm

“There is no free will.” Those are the first words I ever read. I woke to them every day for many years. They were written on a sign. The sign was hung above the opposite row of bunks in the Sleeping Barn. I have no memories from before the farm; I assumed I was born there.

Autopilot

Have you ever forgotten your phone? When did you realize you’d forgotten it? I’m guessing you didn’t just smack your forehead and exclaim ‘damn’ apropos of nothing. The realization probably didn’t dawn on you spontaneously. More likely, you reached for your phone, pawing open your pocket or handbag, and were …

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The Statues

I never liked going to my aunt Paola’s house. Honestly, I never liked her either. She’s a creepy bible-thumping Jesus fanatic and she’d always circle over me like a vulture. But none of that creeped me out like her house did. It was old, run-down and filled with weird religious …

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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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