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I Followed Her Home

For months, I caught glimpses of Claira from the safety of my cubical. So beautiful, faultless. Through innocent eavesdropping and pattern recall, I unknowingly learned almost every detail of her life; when she had lunch, who her friends were, and where she would be at any given moment of the …

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I Picked the Wrong Profession

Jobs come and go. That’s part of the beauty of living in America – you can change jobs freely if you aren’t happy. It’s a luxury not everyone in the world has. For years and years, my life was consumed by business – retail, specifically. It wasn’t my plan…I sort …

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I Met Someone Who Makes Me Feel Seasick

“The water is perfect at this time of night.” Shana lifted her long, white dress over her thin shoulders and dipped under the cool depths of Lake Diamond. “Don’t be such a baby, Freeman. We didn’t come out here at two AM for nothing.“ She smiled when she spoke. I …

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The Cat With Human Teeth

There I was, scratching my ninth scratch-off ticket in a row at my local convenience store. My eyes widened with hope, but also sank in with the anticipation of disappointment. The other eight representations of my gambling fuel rested in pieces inside the store’s waste bin. Revealing each number using …

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A Child Like No Other

When I joined the case at 47 County Street, I didn’t know what to expect. As a social worker, I see all kinds of screwed up things from child abuse, to children abusing their parents. Yet, when I got the reports from that household, I wasn’t expecting much. The initial …

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Voices

The swirl of voices awoke Jared from his troubled sleep. Vera, his wife, was disturbed only by his tossing and turning, she couldn’t hear the voices. They were in his head. A senseless drone of overlapping whispers, faint but present, troubled his mind. He could discern no sense or message, …

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The Song and Dance Man

There are few left alive who remember the Song and Dance Man. Time has claimed the ones that survived the long night and I’m sure they went willingly to meet their maker. Life takes on a strange tint after a night like that. The ones still left – Bill Parker, …

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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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Something’s Wrong with Madeline

“No, Mama! Mama, no! Please, Mama, don’t let them take me! I’ll be good, I swear!” the girl screamed. Tears flowed from her eyes as she thrashed against the two-adult woman dressed in black. They held her arms firm and pulled her deliberately up a small set of stairs. “Now, …

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An Unexpected Magi

“Donde Esta Santa Claus” was blaring on the radio as Gary crossed over state lines into…somewhere. He lost track of where he was hours ago. Somewhere… midwesty. He was driving back East for Christmas. Too cheap to fly, he thought he’d take the opportunity to get to see America, the …

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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 …

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A Strange Village

Mayuko’s Gameboy suddenly turned off. She rolled her eyes and let out a loud sigh: the stupid thing ran out of batteries, again. Mayuko shoved it inside her backpack and looked around. Surprisingly enough, the wagon was completely empty, aside from herself. Usually, the train would be full of exhausted …

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Rule 34

My first love was Misty from Pokémon. Those legs, that sass, she was absolutely perfect. No one else could ever compare. When I played the games, I’d hang around her gym and pretend that we were on a date. I built my team to be strong against her weaknesses so I could always protect her. I used to fantasize that she’d become intrigued by me when I had beaten her. That she’d become obsessed and fallen head over heels in love with me. It was just a silly fantasy, but I enjoyed it when I was younger.

He’s Killing Up There

Part 1 “So I’m in the cosmetics aisle, right? And I’m standing there reading this bottle of lotion. ‘Not tested on animals,’ it says. And I’m thinking: Really? Like, who the hell is rubbing lotion on animals? Anyone?” A modest amount of laughter from the audience. About as much as …

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Carrots and Whiskey

The alarm was horribly loud in his left ear, a persistent high pitched beep forcing him from his dreamless, alcohol-soaked slumber into a hangover-heavy wakefulness. Jim groaned, rolling away from the insistent machine and negligently silencing it with a lucky swipe of his arm. His head felt thick and fuzzy, …

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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 …

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Next Time, I’ll Summon a Smarter Demon

I drew the pentagram and symbols on the hardwood floor, lit the candles, and recited the spell that was written in the ancient leather-bound book. Squaring my shoulders and setting my jaw might have made me look more confident, but I was nervous as hell. I doubt anyone would blame …

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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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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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