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the hand that bites

The Hand That Bites

Mark dutifully pulled his car up to the curb and checked his Super ride-share app. Seeing that the address was correct, he yawned as he drew his hand back through the thick tangles of his hair. He had made the mistake of staying up too late and now he was …

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i need somebody

I Need Somebody

I This wall once held a chalkboard. The one behind me displayed a map of the United States with big red stars indicating state capitals. In the corner to my right, there was an old-fashioned, spinning globe – it was the type that my grandfather had in his furnished basement. …

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the quakes of mount olympus

The Quakes of Mount Olympus

I’ve been deployed on assignment to a new fracking well installation on Mount Olympus, on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington state, for the last week, of what is expected to be a month-long job. It’s hard being away from my wife and two kids for so long, but it’s what …

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The Buzzards

Need a crime scene clean-up? How about a crime scene clean-up up in a hoarder’s house? Well, free-market problems get free-market solutions. It only makes sense I ended up with Cesar. I guess you could call me the President and Cesar the VP but those are pretty prestigious titles considering …

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Code

As a code enforcement officer, I’m not well-liked by the citizens of Winter Garden, Florida. Most of the time people tend to get upset when you tell them something about their property violates the standards of the City. I’ve only been doing this job about six months now, while most …

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I Saved the World

You have to listen to me, this isn’t right. You can’t do this. You can’t let this happen! Okay… hold on, let me try again. Something different this time, calmer. Explain what’s happening. Okay, my name is Nic. And as of right now, I am the last person on earth. …

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World’s Best School Psychologist

When I was twelve, I came to the conclusion that everyone in the world, including my own family, was against me. I was never a problem child, but my parents sure treated me like one. For example, I used to need to be home by 5:00 pm every day. This …

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The Flasher

Officer Sparrow walked down Jenkins street in a stride of confidence, though was trying to hide her strong authority beneath a mask of indifference. She was wearing her casual clothes and a thin face of makeup, fit for a Saturday night raver, or a particularly plain Sunday night hooker. Her …

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The Problem with the Drains

“Man, that shift sucks!”  I hear it all the time.  I can understand why people say it; I used to think the same thing.  I still do some days.  I’m one of the lucky people that go to work while everybody else is sleeping soundly in their nice warm bed.  …

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The Reason I Don’t Do Cold Readings Anymore

I don’t do ‘cold readings’ anymore. I don’t tell fortunes. I don’t read tea leaves. And I do not do contact ‘the other side’. Look, don’t judge me alright? It was an easy gig. I mean, the first time I did it, it was a joke. I did it just …

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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 Coworker Showed Up For His Opening Shift, the Day After His Funeral

This happened to me a few years ago when I was working for a small-time administration office as a security guard. The building had just been purchased by the company and was in a sad state of disrepair, so while there were no actual employees working in the building at …

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The New Guard at San Quentin Prison Isn’t Human

My eyes opened quickly as I heard the whisper. “Wanna see something, Charlie?” It happened last night. The newest prison guard on the block opened my cell, smiled, and informed me I was to gather my things and move to the end of our oldest cell block. He looked to …

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Tempting Fate

Detective Martinez dragged on his filter-tipped cigarette, watching the fiery cherry rapidly descend to the orange paper. He heaved a deep sigh on the exhale, regretting having to work into the wee hours.  The spent cigarette tumbled from his hand, landing on the wet Tarmac with a fizz. He reached …

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They Need Help

Shawn took one last drag of his cigarette. He didn’t smoke regularly, but this occasion nearly called for one. It had been years since his last job interview, and it was all he could do to stop his hands from shaking. He looked at the cigarette and remembered the time …

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Dead Boats

I worked a shrimp boat called the Melissa on the gulf. Hot, sweaty work but all the shrimp you can eat, so there’s that. Captain Mike was my boss, a wizened old salt. Rough around the edges, but a good man and a good boss. I worked with him out …

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Let Me Go

“I can’t sleep,” she whispered as she crawled into bed and spooned against my back. “Jesus, you’re cold,” I murmured. She only snuggled closer, throwing her leg over mine. I lay there for a few beats, caught between my alcohol-induced sleep and wakefulness, until I realized whatever this cold thing …

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