Last Requests

Mrs. Grady was the first to go. Then Mr. O’Toole and Mrs. Shafford. One after another, starting just after my night shift began at 10. I only knew because Bill, one of the nurses, came in with an abundance of bedding and towels. Being in the laundry room, I was usually one of the last... Continue Reading →

Just Beneath Her Skin

I’d seen a lot of unusual cases in my time as a dermatologist. The human body produces no shortage of strange and baffling conditions. Skin is no exception. When Flora Springs first sat in my office chair, however, she nor her skin seemed strange or baffling at all. She was a young woman, still in... Continue Reading →

The Bright Light Game

The bright light game was simple. All you had to do was draw a salt circle around a little homemade doll, usually nothing more than some cheap fabric stitched together in a vaguely human shape and filled with dry rice and a few strands of your hair, and recite the words of invitation. Nearby spirits,... Continue Reading →

If I Don’t See Them

If I don’t see them, they won’t see me. If I don’t see them, they won’t see me. If I don’t see them… It was my childhood mantra. I’d repeat it to myself whenever I was alone and afraid. It helped keep the monsters at bay. No one else seemed to know they were there.... Continue Reading →

The Vanishing Ground

I messed up bad It was the first thing I'd heard from my younger brother in over a week. When the screen lit up with his text notification, though, I just rolled my eyes and pushed my phone further away. He was prone to sending me that kind of message as a lead up to... Continue Reading →

Discarded Shoes

Whenever I see a shoe lying off to the side of the road, I think of my grandpa. He was terrified of them. During the school year when I was a kid and my parents were working, Grandpa would be the one to drive me in. We lived a few miles outside of town in... Continue Reading →

So Much Filler

Some people, I thought, are just meant to be filler. Background characters only created to decorate the world for the main players. We work, we have a few hobbies, a handful of friends, we exist, but we don't matter. It was true for me, anyway. Every day, I'd wake up at 7 am, shower, have... Continue Reading →

Fenced In

My mother tried her best to keep me and my brother, Miles, out of the woods behind our house. It was too dangerous, she’d say. We could trip and fall and hurt ourselves. We could get lost. Two little boys could get into all kinds of trouble out there. She went so far as to... Continue Reading →

An Unusual Collection

Never had the phrase “You can't be crazy when you're rich, only eccentric” been more accurate than when applied to my uncle. He'd made a fortune developing some kind of military grade software that I won't even pretend to understand and, after retiring at the ripe old age of 42, had decided to spend his... Continue Reading →

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