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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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Sisters

My name is Julien Serrault. It is the 7th of January, 1882. I am an innkeeper outside the mountain town of Briancon, at the base of the French Alps. The inn does not do much trade, and in the winter months I am sometimes alone for days at a time. …

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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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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 …

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Acts of Vengeance

The bell above the door rang noisily as I entered the bookshop.  My hopes of just browsing through the books without attracting the attention of a well-intentioned but usually annoying clerk were immediately dashed.  I hate to be bothered while perusing the shelves.  But upon closing the door and getting …

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Something is Coming to Get Me

It all started after I had that damned panic attack. I am a calm person by nature, always have been. Small stuff never bothered me, even while driving. And I certainly had never been so negatively affected by something that I had a breakdown like that. Of all the places …

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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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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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Headaches

It’s a stabbing pain, really. It comes suddenly. Without warning. I don’t know how many doctors I’ve seen. Migraine? Migraine medications didn’t help. Tension headaches? Please. I’m fine most of the time. But then it hits. It hits right behind my eye. It attacks me. Like some tiny demon with …

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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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Thalassophobia

I hate the water. Always have, always will. Oh, sure, I’ve swum in pools and jumped off diving boards like any other person, but I have never once allowed my feet to leave the ground at a beach or lake. Something about not having solid ground to stand on freaks …

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The Thing That Will Kill Me

I grew up in a tiny town in Vermont. Tiny in terms of population, not size—there were huge sprawling farms and wooded areas, but almost no people. More cows than people, which is standard for a lot of small towns in Vermont. So, clearly, not the most fun in the …

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My Sister’s Hair

I wish I had my big sister’s hair. Hers is soft and light. Touching her arms is like touching peach fuzz. When she sweats her skin looks like melted butter. It’s not fair. My hair is thick, wiry, and black as spider legs. I’m only thirteen and I have thicker hair on my arms and legs than most boys on the Tanglewood Junior High football team.

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.

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.

Ooze

In the heart of a second-growth piney-woods jungle of southern Alabama, a region sparsely settled by backwoods blacks and Cajuns—that queer, half-wild people descended from Acadian exiles of the middle eighteenth century—stands a strange, enormous ruin.

The Devil is in the Details

It was the year 1992. Peter Ivankov’s life was never the same since then – firstly, because his home country had gone through a massive transformation following the dissolution of the Soviet Union the previous winter. Secondly, 1992 was the year Peter went blind. Early that year, Peter’s mother began …

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The Artist

There’s this painting my wife loves, called “Death and Life”, by Klimt. I don’t know what she finds so fascinating about it. I made all the right noises when she showed me her beloved framed print when we were first dating, “oohing” and “ahhing” and making up some bullshit about warm …

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The Valentine House

“Damn, Valentine shit already?” I asked my friend Gabriel as we were walking inside a Wal-Mart post Christmas. “Yeah, bro, and it’s still December. It’s like they’re completely ignoring the months in between the other months that have major holidays.” “True, true, annoys the shit out of me though, you …

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