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disappearances

The Lake

Cryptozoology has always been a minor interest of mine. I say minor because it was something I’d only enjoyed casually: a few internet articles here and there, scrolling through a couple of pages on a Tumblr blog dedicated to it, maybe watching one of those Bigfoot documentaries. You know, that …

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Coming Home

Before I start I should mention that the names of the crew who worked on the movie have been either changed or omitted. That being said, in 2016 an up-and-coming film director started work on a film that he thought would get his name out there. He was already gaining …

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Why I Hate Scarecrows

I hate scarecrows. I have ever since I was little. I found something about the dolls stuffed with straw unsettling. I remember my parents tried to help me get over this fear by telling me things like, “They’re not scary, they only want to be friends” or some other lame …

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The Beckwith Show

Our twelve-year-old daughter loved the new vintage-styled TV that my husband and I bought the other day at the local pawn shop in town. She would sit there and stare at the round, blank dusty screen with her hazel eyes fixated on the glass as if there was something playing …

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Milk Carton Kid

“So why are you here?” she asked. Pretty standard opening for a psychologist sitting down with a patient for the first time. She was young, pretty and Shahrokh (an unnecessarily ethnic name) immediately felt comfortable in her presence. “Well, before I launch into what’s been happening recently I think I’d …

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Why I’ll Never Work Security At Disney World Again

I work in security at Disney World, the happiest place on Earth. Typically, I wouldn’t say where I work as obviously there are some pretty strict rules about things employees can put online, but I just don’t think I can tell this properly without that context. And, honestly, I think …

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The Wolves of These Frozen Woods

I can’t stand to be back here. This tiny, rural town I grew up in, it makes my skin crawl to see everything around me. I’m well into middle-age now, but it’s like this town has been frozen in time since I was a teenager. And the older I get, …

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KageKao

Mark sighed and looked out at the night sky. He was standing on the roof of his apartment building, four stories up. Sometimes Mark just liked to stay up here and reflect, it was quiet and peaceful. Looking down you could see the normal hustle and bustle of city life but if you looked up you could see the beautiful sky, and sometimes even a full moon or some stars.

Hands

The worst thing I’ve ever done in my life happened about twelve years ago, when I was a sixteen-year-old kid living in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the early fall, when the leaves were just starting to turn orange and the temperatures were starting to fall, hinting at the freezing chill that was only a few months away. School had just started, but it had been going on for about a month now, so all the excitement of going back and reuniting with old friends had been replaced by the realization that we were captives in a place that only wanted to load work upon us. Understandably, my friends and I were all eager to do anything that might remind us of the worry-free, responsibility-free days of summer.

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 …

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Gray

The two men stood in the crisp, evening mountain air. The woodland that surrounded them on all sides was dense and deep. “So…” the first man turned to the other, straightening up his stab-proof vest. “Where do we go from here?” The other police officer clicked his radio off, and …

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Where the Birches Lean

It was the last week of school before Christmas break. That meant that the students and teachers of Ridgecrest Christian Preparatory Academy had little intention of actually working. Most classes had become a social hour but Mr. Winthrop had decided to take this opportunity to give his senior English class …

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The Baptism

There’s a small village out in Alabama called Saint’s Glen.  You won’t find it on any map, at least not since 1965. But you can still find the remnants of the town.  If you follow the river southwest of Thomasville, you’ll find it, somewhere in the woods between Jackson and …

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The Unfortunate Life of Jamie Robert Mitchum

My mother always told me to stay away from Jamie Robert Mitchum. Maybe I should have listened to her. I guess I didn’t really understand why at the time. I guess children are more trusting. Sure, he was strange. Anybody could see that. Jamie was the type of kid to …

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Monsters Are Better Than Nightmares

I met my girlfriend’s nightmare on the night of our three-month anniversary. It might have just been that point in our relationship — the point when she had grown to really trust me — but it was probably the champagne. We fell asleep together on her couch and I woke …

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Mommy Sleeps in the Basement

“Speak louder, please.” I put my hand up next to my ear from the back of the room, signaling that she would need to raise her voice. She took a deep breath. I could see anxiety turning her cheeks beet red, as strands of blonde hair began to fall out …

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Everyone My Daughter Loves Goes Missing

When I became a father, my whole world started revolving around Marie. She was the most perfect, most treasured little thing in my world. We are kind of an unconventional family; my wife Taylor is a CEO, while I’m an artist and stay-at-home dad. Taylor and my parents are people …

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Give It Everything

Below are a selection of emails from Leonard Tomlins, a person of interest in two separate missing person cases in the North Sheffield area. It has been the conclusion of the writing officer, and his colleagues, that Leonard Tomlins has passed away since the writing of these emails. Until further …

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Drippy

I’m a grown woman, so it’s been years since I don’t live by my mother’s rules. But there’s one thing I will always respect: never go to bed with a wet hair. For my mother, it meant catching a cold, but for me, it was something else entirely. Last night, …

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My Students Are Disappearing

My name is Oliver Stricc. I’m a 52-year-old biology teacher from a small town in northeastern Nebraska, and I have been for almost 14 years. I’ll be the first to admit that lecturing to a bunch of uninterested high school students wasn’t what I had planned to do after getting …

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Dandelions

The first time I saw Bret, I was nineteen.  I’d found a job working security at Dave’s Storage Unit.  My duties included keeping vagrants and thieves from disturbing the 40 rental units that were laid out in five neat rows in the middle of downtown Atlanta and helping customers with …

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