The Drainage Ditch Dahlia

Before she was the drainage ditch Dahlia, she was someone’s daughter, a friend, maybe a sister or a wife. A person somebody had to have known. She’d been found in a ditch off a rural road a few days before by a trucker who’d pulled over to relieve himself. Naked, severed in two at the... Continue Reading →

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House of Spiders

I was being watched. At least, that's what it felt like, which was ridiculous, because I lived alone in a townhouse with my blinds closed and deadbolts on all my doors. Still, that didn't stop that cold, slow tingle from oozing across the back of my neck; the one you get when you're subconsciously certain... Continue Reading →

Everyone’s Invited

It wasn’t a surprise when Kaylyn started handing out invitations to her Halloween party before homeroom. What was a surprise was that I received one. I stared at the orange envelope she was holding out toward me and then up at her. “For me?” I asked uncertainly. Kaylyn and I had never been friends. Acquaintances,... Continue Reading →

Bad Feeling

Nursing is hard work for too little pay. You never feel it more keenly than when you’re getting off a double shift in the middle of the night. All the smells cling to the inside of your nose, you’re convinced you didn’t scrub your hands well enough to really wash off that last hour, and... Continue Reading →

Be A Good One

“Be a good one.” It was what my grandfather said to me when I told him I wanted to be a cop. I promised him I would. I’d been nervous, standing in front of him and the rest of my family and saying it out loud. They were all college educated and white collared. I... Continue Reading →

Stingy Jack

Jack O’Lanterns were never part of my Halloween. Gran didn’t allow them. She didn’t approve much of any modern All Hallow’s Eve traditions, but especially not the carved pumpkins. “A Devil’s gift to a damned soul,” she’d say. Her Irish lilt was always thicker when she was was reproachful. “As long as I’m under this... Continue Reading →

Knock Knock

Calum gave me the Alexa. He thought it was a sweet surprise. I thought of it as another “smart” device to listen in on conversations. I had barely gotten used to using an iPhone, already three generations old by the time I’d gotten it, to help keep our long distance relationship running smoothly. I had... Continue Reading →

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