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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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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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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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The Portal in the Woods

“Dad, you said you’d play catch with me!” I yelled as my father walked past me to his office, where he spent most of his days when he wasn’t at work. “I’m sorry, bud, I’ve gotta get these documents done for tomorrow’s big meeting. We’ll do it another day, okay?” …

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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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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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There's Something in the Fields behind my Apartment

There’s Something in the Fields Behind My Apartment

I’ve never really considered myself to be much of an explorer or even a particularly brave man, however that hasn’t seemed to stop me from getting in the predicament I’m in now. It was around 3 months ago that my girlfriend of 4 years left me for another man, and …

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forest awaken

Forest Awaken

His voice echoes through my conscience over and over again. I remember his face was a sickly, yellow color. The corners of his mouth were veiled with blood; the sound of the air- pacemaker was just as I’d imagined it would sound. The oropharyngeal airway stuck out from the corner …

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Scorpion River

I’d always been afraid of Scorpion River. Ever since I was eight, I’d gone with my aunt, uncle, and older cousin into the wilderness of southern Arizona where we’d spend two nights in their rickety, blue, camper. We weren’t alone. Around ten other families joined us for that December weekend. …

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There are Cruel and Fearsome Things That Prowl the Open Ocean

Mankind believe themselves to have escaped the horrors that preyed on them in bygone ages. Perhaps we are right. Mostly. The torch of scientific progress kindled by Newton and his contemporaries spread like wildfire in the centuries that followed, and drove the beasts that dwelt in our shadows scampering back …

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Bound

Paul pulled the envelope out of his leather attaché case and settled into an uncomfortable chair behind a large writing desk. Late afternoon sun filtered in through the bay window but couldn’t defeat the dankness of the old house, nor the dreariness of his mood. Luckily, he had had the …

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