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White Christmas

Living in lower Alabama, we rarely receive snow. I spent most of my life wishing for a white Christmas, a white Christmas that never came. I have only seen snow twice in my thirty-three years here. I always wanted to share that with my two boys. I just knew that …

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It Wasn’t a Reindeer

“Christ,” I muttered to myself, as the first flakes of snow started to fall.  They gathered in fuzzy clumps over the windshield before my wipers cleared them away.  I’d been waiting for fifteen — no, twenty minutes now — in my sister’s driveway.  Had I chosen to wait inside with …

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A Summer of Wolves

Part I Six years ago, if you’d asked me about the supernatural, I would have told you that it was a pretty entertaining show I’d seen on TV but none of that was or could be true.  I know there are plenty of skeptics out there, that’s fair – witches, …

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Alone

Part 1: Good Will Hunting I’m a producer for Alone, the TV show on History. This story is about a participant we had in season 2, whose footage we had to cut. I’ve never felt comfortable talking about this before, especially because it opens me up for liability. After all, …

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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 …

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The Watching Woods

The trail was too quiet. I knew she was watching me from somewhere either up the steep slope to my right or from the tangle of undergrowth to my left. I would have welcomed the snap of a twig to alert me to her position but she was the apex …

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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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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 …

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The Whistlers: Bill’s Account

I’ve got calluses on my hands from burying my brother. If we’re rescued today, I’ll have to explain that to someone. Some search-and-rescue trooper, some forest ranger, will hold my palm to the light of a chopper window and want to know how I managed to rub the heel of my hand raw. I practice, sometimes. I practice what I’ll say to people when we get back home. Dr. Harmon, the department head, will need to know how I got Geoff and Lillian killed doing what was supposed to be straightforward field research. They were both his students, hand-picked for great things, led astray by the man who wrote his dissertation on the Russian Yeti, who taught a cryptozoology class disguised as a folklore survey. I got bumped off the tenure track for that. Harmon talked over me in meetings. Like I wasn’t there.

The Whistlers: Ruth’s Account

The man on the trail is dead and will need to be moved. It is a more difficult task than I would have guessed, and nearly impossible for a 5’ 4” woman with no help and no gurney. I tried to drag him toward camp right after I found him this morning, but only succeeded in pivoting him and twisting his legs around each other horribly. Bodies look so wrong once they stop feeling pain. I never thought I would have so much experience with death, but I haven’t cried over the loss of someone since the lighthouse. This man shit his pants before he died, and moving him made the smell worse. It will bring the animals in. Still no sign of Ira or Bill.

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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Beach

I still dream about the ocean, waves capped with foam, the whispered poetry of high tide, pools filled with brine-crusted treasures. I dream about storms and faces. A roar of thunder wakes me to a cold sweat and an empty room, and I try to fall back asleep. I try …

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Northern Lights

I never wanted to go on that stupid hike in the first place. Yet there I was, allegedly enjoying nature and getting healthy exercise while hiking from “cabin to cabin” in the Norwegian mountains with the devil spawn otherwise known as my class. Woohoo, right? For a misanthropic misfit like myself, it was a nightmare. Within half an hour of walking on the uneven path over the heather, I was at the back of the group.

The Animals On My Farm Always Kill Their Newborns

Before I take my life tonight, I need to write down what brought me to this point. Just for my own sanity, just as a catharsis. If I’m feeling brave I’ll post it on the Internet when I’m done. And if I do – if I’m actually talking to some …

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The Roots of Wewoka Cemetery

After a short time of exploring the Oklahoma territory where they were forced to go, a group of Native Americans stumbled upon a mysterious plant while hunting. This plant looked like a gnarled tree root, with so many twists and turns within its seemingly fragile length that one could barely …

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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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Cold Wind, Cold Earth

“With little evidence towards his innocence, he is to be hanged the Monday from next on charges of military treachery and murder…as for the state and whereabouts of Private Oswald Arthur Crane, they are still unknown.” – General George Crook (1877) This is the truth, sir. Flecks of gunpowder and …

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Bigger Fish

My friend and I have always known not to go into the woods around my house at night. I live in a really, really rural area. Like, the nearest house is about a mile away kind of rural. I love it; I grew up in suburban areas, so living somewhere so far …

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Caterpillar

Caterpillar

  I was playing with my hospital badge as I stood in line ‘Jonathan Villanueva’ Johnny V that’s me. I had just finished my shift as an emergency room nurse. Not my usual spot, but it was the Fourth of July, they were understaffed. So after ten-hour overnight shift of …

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slithers

Slithers

Arthur had just come home from a week of restful camping with his 2 best friends. The three of them had been planning the trip months in advance due to the increasingly toxic work environment that was created with their new supervisor. Arthur was particularly excited when the three of …

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