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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 life, even as God and …

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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. In recent times I have …

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Pass It On

It’s quite an interesting concept: those little “pass it on” messages, I mean. Chain letters and people telling you, “post this in five different comments or else you’ll die tonight.” Interesting indeed, but the idea lacks originality. It’s the same story with each one. “Pass it on or die.” People pass it on, and they …

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If You’re Armed and at the Glenmont Metro, Please Shoot Me

If you’re armed and at the Glenmont metro, please shoot me. Make it a headshot. Shoot me in the temple, aiming slightly downwards. I need the bullet to travel the shortest possible distance through my brain before it hits my hippocampus. If I’m lucky, the sensation of the gunshot ripping through my skull will only …

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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 on time. It’s the most …

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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 what he was doing to …

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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 my first glance at the …

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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 for it to happen, it …

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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 paid any mind. I mean …

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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 officers dead in an apartment …

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The Man In My Bedroom Window

For as long as I can remember, there has been a man in my bedroom window. It seems strange to say, I know, but it is true. From the earliest, fuzziest memories I have all the way up to now, he’s been there. Looking at me. In my first memories of him, he was an …

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Dogwoods Grow in the Shade

Langley Archives: Gabriel Winters Interview with 60 Minutes, November 27th, 2015 I’ve been considering this interview for a long time.  For weeks I debated even allowing it to take place.  After that, I pondered the direction I would allow it to take.  You see, it has been decades since I’ve allowed myself to make a …

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Biting At My Heels

I enjoy running quite a bit. It might come off as a bit odd to say, but it really is important to me. I found my love for it back in high school, when I ended up drifting aimlessly onto the cross country track teams. Joining was less of an active choice on my part …

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My Boyfriend’s Dreams Are Starting to Scare Me

My name is Harley, and I’ve been with my boyfriend Dan for five years, lived with him for three. I love Dan more than anything in this world. He’s my best friend, my partner in crime, my biggest pest, and my number one supporter. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without him anymore. We both …

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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 me out, and the inky …

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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, the more things that in …

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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 world for a kid who …

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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.