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Fantasy

The Zombie of His Early Days

Every morning Bobby visits Chuck. He goes down to the basement and rattles Chuck’s cage with his cane. Chuck only snarls and spits, and grinds the rotten stubs of his teeth — gnish, gnash, gnish, gnash. He’s a real codger, Chuck is. Should have seen him back in the day, though. World ain’t got zombies […]

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Alligators by Twitter

5:00 PM (one day ago) I can Twitter on my phone! No idea why I would, but it’s cool. Gives me something to do in the new house. 1:00 AM Found mysterious hole in new house today. In floor. No basement. Calling my realtor after my sister and her kids leave. 7:00 AM Building plans […]

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Candy Floss Time

The free carnival pass dropped through Penny’s mail slot on Wednesday, exactly ten months after her mother died, three weeks after her son was born, and seven days before she planned to drive her car off Myrtle Pier. Penny had shoved the stack of letters behind the door, along with other bills piling up since […]

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Fool’s Fire

It’s the cold mud that wakes me, and the taste of duckweed in my throat. In my mouth, my nose, my ears. It fills my lungs, creeps behind my eyes. I burst through the slime with a half-formed scream. I retch until I feel empty, hollow, withered. Stagger to my feet, knee-high in the sticking […]

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Memory

In the valley of Nis the accursed waning moon shines thinly, tearing a path for its light with feeble horns through the lethal foliage of a great upas-tree. And within the depths of the valley, where the light reaches not, move forms not meant to be beheld. Rank is the herbage on each slope, where […]

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The Numbers Game

“Fell Sorcerer, your evil reign is at an end!” Sathrus said. He flicked his long blonde hair to one side and raised the Sword of Khandalon above his head, rippling muscles ready to strike the fatal blow. “As sole heir to the ancient line of Khandar, I shall take my rightful place as King, and […]

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Now Open

I was walking through the mall when I saw a kiosk that claimed to be selling time. And I don’t mean in a “buy some labor-saving device” kind of way. I mean, little white boxes each labeled 10 minutes. I stopped and picked one up. The act of holding the box made me feel strange. […]

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Becoming Normal

I haven’t showered in ten days. My scalp fosters a family of bacteria, but the table of party food — chunks of chicken, weenies slathered in mystery sauce, and eyeballs — has been sitting there for two days. Its smell leaves mine in the dust. “Nance, we’ve practiced this.” Mom yanks on her matted clumps […]

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Childhood Fears

Charles took a moment to look at the houses on his street while the last bit of sun vanished. Broken windows and kicked-in front doors stared back across overgrown brown lawns. Rusting cars slumped on driveways. Weeds pushed through cracks in the sidewalks. He ran through his checklist: backdoor secured, garage door bolted, storm windows […]

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Despair

O’er the midnight moorlands crying, Thro’ the cypress forests sighing, In the night-wind madly flying,      Hellish forms with streaming hair; In the barren branches creaking, By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking, Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking;      Damn’d daemons of despair. Once, I think I half remember, Ere the grey skies of November Quench’d my […]

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