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Late one night about ten months ago, I found myself rushing my daughter to the hospital.

I remember the morning. What time I woke up, the food I ate, and the sound of my girl’s voice yelling “See ya, daddy!” as she ran out the door to catch her school bus.

Everything was normal…average. But were there signs? Could I have expected to bring her home from school at twelve that afternoon? Could I have guessed the cause to be chest pains, or predicted that those pains would return again eleven hours later, causing her to cry out in pain and fear? Could I have been better prepared for the race to the ER that ensued just before her heart gave out?
I don’t know.

I remember that night: the heavy rain pounding against my car, creating a slick sheen on the streets that made driving over forty impossible, the images of streetlamps and traffic lights bleeding into one another on my windshield. I remember that franticness I felt as I gripped the steering wheel, swerving and slamming on the horn to warn the blurry shapes of pedestrians to “get off the fucking road!” before they ended up getting personal with the front of my car.…

Faith’s Game

((The following passage was found on an abandoned jump-drive two miles outside of Philadelphia. Though a somewhat longer passage, it has been passed on to, edited, and submitted by K.B. Miller. Original sources refused to disclose the exact location where such jump-drive was found. Therefore, certain names and events have been changed or redacted.))

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I can’t believe I’m doing this.

Let me begin by saying I don’t have much time. It could be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. I DON’T KNOW. I’ll try keep it short, to be as detailed as possible. The cowardice inside screams for me to get away, to not just sit here. But the author… she wants this written down, almost like a final verse in this sick play. All I just know is that the world needs to understand. They need to know the secret behind Spring Grove. I’m not good at writing this kind of thing. The more I speak of it, the more ridiculous it’s going to seem. But please. Just listen to me…

… I guess I should start where it counts: are you a fan of children? I was. I was never really fond of newborns, but any child beyond the state of toddler held a certain weakness of mine.…

Exploding Head Syndrome

Identifying Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS)

An uncommon phenomenon that causes a person–usually female–to suffer from sudden, loud, and unexplainable noises right on the verge of sleep.

Noises which are jarring and can sound like the popping of fireworks, gunshots, the bang of slamming doors, and even loud explosions. In some cases, violent screaming or sobbing is heard.

The most exceptional thing to note about the sleep disorder that is EHS, is that noises do not occur within the head. Sounds are out of body and can be heard anywhere up to a block away by both ears.

Although very little is known, psychiatrists speculate that EHS occurs when certain synapses in the brain fire off rather than settle down.

What synapses and why, however, is still unknown.

No one has proven this theory to be true however, and doctors aren’t even sure where to begin looking–let alone find an actual cure or remedy.

Many subjects have claimed that a little rest and relaxation can help, but EHS never truly leaves those afflicted–and those with insomnia experience it much worse. Some claiming to see flashes of light, even short bursts of unexplainable pain along with the noises.

In extreme cases, EHS can develop into a more serious mental illness.…

Pet Therapy

Sam loved owning pets for as long as he could remember. After his son and wife were killed by a drunk driver, he was left emotionally and mentally scarred. He tried seeing psychologists, but the medicine they prescribed did nothing to ease his pain. All the pills managed to do was make him nauseous and cloud his memory. However, Sam discovered that pets have helped fill the void that the tragic accident left in his heart. Sam had failed to protect his family, so the idea of caring for and protecting a pet gave Sam a second chance. Sadly his newest pet, April, had disappeared last week. Sam looked everywhere, taking off days at work in an effort to find her, but to no avail. Much to his chagrin and sadness, he decided that perhaps he wasn’t fit to be a pet owner if he couldn’t even keep track of one. April was his responsibility after all.

“She’s probably all alone, lost, hungry, or dead; and it’s all my fault” Sam thought to himself.
He decided not to get any more pets until he could prove to himself he wasn’t so irresponsible. However, he soon received a knock at the door.…

Who’s That?

My basement has never exactly been a welcoming place. It’s unfurnished; there’s no carpet and the walls consist of boring, exposed bricks. There’s a set of old wooden stairs on one end that creaks whenever anyone uses them. Behind the stairs is a storage area that begins about four or five feet off the ground and goes maybe fifteen feet further back underneath the garage. The place is a dump, as my brother NEVER cleans it, and toys and tools and random things are sprawled out across the entire basement floor—and that’s an accomplishment considering how huge it is. It’s not very wide but from one end to the other it’s at least eighty feet in length, including the storage space. However it is not easy to see from one end to the other since the water heater, furnace, and other appliances sit conveniently at the bottom of the stairs to make it impossible to carry large objects like the Christmas tree up and down stairs.

Anyways, one night we had some friends over. By “we,” I mean me and my parents. They had a little girl with them, maybe four or five years old, and since my brother was elsewhere—as usual—I wound up sort of babysitting this girl while the parents chatted over desserts or something.…

The Moons of Pluto

Up until January 12th of 2047, it was widely accepted that the ex-planet Pluto was accompanied by 5 natural satellites; Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx. The crew of the deep space exploration vessel Hermes discovered a 6th moon whilst photographing the distant planet as they orbited Neptune before their final journey home. When Houston was informed of the development, they were underwhelmed to say the least, as any mass as small as Hermes had described was far too small to be interesting in any way. It wasn’t until the second report came in that control showed any interest in exploring the new body.

I was in charge of navigation and system maintenance on the Hermes, which is why I was the first one to notice something strange with the moon. At first, I assumed a technical issue with the instruments, but not one wire or fuse was out of place, and after several diagnostic checks and 2 system reboots, nothing had changed.

Had the pilot known what the instruments were reading, he would have been just as perplexed as I. Every number and calculation pointed to one observation: the small moon had stopped its own orbit. It hadn’t even slowed down before halting.…

Jumping Castles

Craigslist was never intended to be used for disturbed and deranged individuals to fill their appetite for madness. A simplistic website that hasn’t evolved much since its incorporation in 1999, the usage of the website extends beyond buying and selling goods, even into a more insidious realm. Before Craigslist was used for these purposes, there have been internet killers. The term “Craigslist Killer” was first dubbed in 2007 and has since popped up on news bulletins periodically since. Usually stemming from a robbery or sexual interaction, killers like Philip Markoff have used the website to solicit murder by luring victims to them. There is, however, one man you have never read about. He has never been featured on the 6 o’clock news. You will not find a Wikipedia page on the man, nor will you come across a discreet reading on Cracked while you’re flipping through articles.

Until the summer of 2014 I had used Craigslist to advertise possessions I felt were less valuable than the cash I would pocket after selling them to a complete stranger. It was June when I was without a job and desperate for some money like many other of my high school’s newest alumni. Delivering fliers door to door was the first job I acquired through Craigslist.…

Dreaming

I remember I would wake up screaming and nearly drown myself in cold sweat. I’d try to turn on a light or get a drink of water, but I couldn’t even move. It was only a matter of seconds until my eyes would turn into old sepia camera filters, and “they” would appear.
   
You probably wonder what I mean when I say that. I mean, the figures that defined my childhood, and have stood the test of time. They appeared by my door like always, leaning slowly, stabbing me with those blank, obscured eyes. My lungs felt like they were decaying, and my heart felt like it was draining but keeping me alive long enough to meet the worst possible end. It felt like days would pass before a hand would clearly grasp the frame of the door, and one of them would come forward… but I’d never see it fully. I’d wake up. Then and there, I’d wake up.
   
I’d always run to the bathroom afterwards. Tonight, though, tonight is different as I have yet to wake up. Hell, I don’t know if it’s night anymore. I’d have the same dream maybe twice a week, but now, I lost track of how many times it’s repeated. …

The Real West Side Market

Almost everyone who has lived, or once been a tourist, in Cleveland, Ohio, has probably visited the West Side Market, an old-fashioned marketplace of generations-old stands selling fresh produce, meat, and spices. Do you ever wonder how the West Side Market was founded, or how the original West Side Market still operates? Officially, the market opened in 1840. A long time ago, but nothing compared to when it truly started.

I’ll preface this by saying that time travel is a very real thing, and a very old practice. It takes courage. You see, time travel helps one to understand things about the world, and themselves, that most people never experience. In short, learning when you will die is a harrowing experience, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone who wants a joyous, spontaneous life. However, through time, some in search of profit have taken that risk, and I suppose you could say that they’ve been rewarded.

The real West Side Market dates back, ironically, to the Middle East around the founding of the Ottoman Empire, about 1300. It was around this time that time travel was first recorded, but between the Arabs and Greeks and their requisite discoveries, this one slipped under the rug for reason that will soon seem obvious.…

Of Time and Life

Pardon the sloppy handwriting, but I’m doing this on the move.
We didn’t mean for it to happen this way. Bottom line is, we made a mistake, but there’s no going back now. The days, if you can call them that, have melted away into meaningless expressions of a life beyond our reach. Well, my reach. The others are gone now, leaving just me in this hell.
It didn’t seem like the best of ideas, sure, but in the moment it was pure curiosity that drove us to investigate the light coming from the woods behind the apartment complex. Pure curiosity that made me follow them to get closer to something bright enough to be nearly blinding during the daytime. Pure curiosity that instilled a desire to extend my hand and, ever so carefully, touch it.

It began to strobe, whatever “it” was, faster and faster… And then, everything was still. And when I say everything, I mean everything. Nothing moved. No birds chirped, no leaves settled, and no wind sighed through the trees. It was all very surreal. For a second we thought we had killed the forest, but we quickly ruled that out when we found a couple of squirrels hovering in mid-air, appearing to have just jumped off of a tree trunk.…

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