Ever since I was a boy, I have always loved the woods. Well, had might be better word, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
As a child, I lived in a house right next to a heavily wooded area. Every day, I would go out into the woods with my friends. We covered nearly every inch of those woods. Hiking, camping, climbing trees, you name it. The woods were our playground and we controlled them.
Or so we thought….
Thinking back, I remember as we ran around the forest, out of the corner of my eye, I could see something quickly flitting between the trees next to us, next to me. I put it off as my eyes playing a trick on me.
Other times, when I was camping with my friends and we were sitting around the fire, just out of the fire light I could have sworn I saw a silhouette of something. When I turned away to get my friends’ attention to look at the thing, it was gone when we looked back, not a sound having been made. My friends laughed at me and joked that I was scared of the dark. I laughed with them, assuring myself that it was simply a trick of the light or something.…
“Houston, come in. This is UN Space Station Libra. Come in, Houston.”
No reply, just like every other time. I throw the receiver in disgust, the weightless environment causing it to float mockingly in front of my face at the end of its retention strap. I’m bathed in the soft red glow of emergency lights that serve to illuminate every inch of my tiny cell. I take a deep breath to calm my nerves before returning to fiddle at the maintenance panel. I’ve been in here for two weeks now.
Libra was designed as the successor to the International Space Station. Typically there is a minimum two crew on board at any one time. I was supposed to be out of here three weeks ago with the British and Chinese astronauts who came up with me, but unfortunately the replacements had some mechanical complications, and then nasty weather delayed the Moscow launch another week. Even so, they should have been here days ago.
–“You sure you’ll be all right up here by yourself, mate?”
–“Sure. Somebody’s gotta keep the lights on. Besides, the Russkies will be here soon. Just have a drink for me when you get landside, yeah?”
–“I expect I’ll have two.…
April 12th, 2013
I’ve always considered myself very logical. I never put myself into uncomfortable situations nor do I let emotions get the best of me. It wasn’t until today where I felt the stable structure of my mind shift a bit. It was all because of her, I’m sure of it. I only saw her for a brief moment in the crowded hallway of my school but what I did see was enough to make my heart skip a beat.
She was of average height, standing at what appeared to be 5 foot 4 inches. With each step she took, the curls in her short brown hair would bounce ever so slightly, as if they were in a renaissance dance. The purple frame of her glasses reflected the light of the fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling, giving off a faint yet distinctive glow. Behind the glasses were eyes of the softest shade of brown that could warm the heart of the coldest and most calculative of men. The bright floral pattern of her dress stood out from the crowd of bland and unoriginal styles, beckoning my eyes to fall upon the goddess-like figure the tight fabric was covering. Her head turned in my direction and she flashed me a welcoming smile, showing off her perfect white teeth.…
Now, when I think back to the excuses my parents used to make, I feel like an idiot. I remember being twelve years old, standing at the top of the staircase and watching all of the people filing into our basement. Some men wore white masks, some women wore bonnets. But they all had small suitcases, as though there was a bus stop beneath our house. And every one of them looked pale, frightened.
My mother would catch me watching from above and send me off to bed. But not before I could ask what was happening.
“We’re just going to talk about grown up things, baby.” Her voice was sweet and high pitched. She always sounded happy, regardless of how concerned she looked. “One day you will join us too. For right now though, you should get some sleep.”
But I didn’t sleep. I never could, with the images of those peoples’ blanched faces in my mind; men and women alike, all terrified. I would lie awake in bed with my ear pressed to the mattress, covering the other side of my head with a pillow.
From inside my shell, the heavy thudding from below was transformed into the sounds of marshmallows bouncing around.…
It’s Christmas Eve in snowy 1800’s London, England, and in a small house at the edge of town, there lived a lonely, 7-year-old boy named Isaac. Isaac was a sad child with not a friend to his name. While most children were spending time with their families and eagerly looking forward to opening the presents that were placed with care beneath a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, little Isaac spent this most holy of nights alone, in his cold, dusty attic room. Isaac’s parents were very poor, his mother was a strict crow of a woman who stayed at home and schooled Isaac. His father worked long hours down at the London harbour to support his family, although a large portion of his earnings went toward purchasing and consuming copious amounts of alcohol at the end of his shift. Sometimes, he would come home drunk, after being thrown out of every bar in London, and shout at his beloved wife, Isaac’s mother.
Occasionally, it would escalate to violence and he would beat her savagely, then when he was done, he’d force himself upon her in a drunken, sexual rage. As it so happens, this particular night was one of those occasions. Isaac just remained quiet, quivering beneath his soiled bed sheets until the screams and loud bangs subsided.…
In 1347 the Black Plague had reached it’s peak. Across Europe thousands perished as this vile disease, festered in pestilence, showered the landscape with death. No one rich or poor, nor learned or simple, nor strong or weak were spare from it’s putrid touch. In the inner cities, so many had been wiped out that there wasn’t enough room to bury them all. Mass graves had become common as well as the unfortunate souls who had to collect the corpses. One such a man was Phillipe Deitre and this is his story…
A man of sorrow he was. Calloused and bitter. For there once was a time in his life when he had known better days, but not now. The ravenous plague had stolen from him his one true love and had left him in a state of continuous indifference. Originally a farm hand by trade, he now found himself carting off the numerous bodies left in the plagues’ wake. Ironically, it was a job he volunteered for. Each day was the same to him, as he did not care if he continued living or joined the dead. To each neighboring village he would walk with his death stained cart behind him.…
The hit television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran from 1988-1999, creating eleven seasons, 197 episodes, 1 movie and several holiday / award show specials. It started out on KTMV in 1988 and ran for 1 season, known as its ‘Zero Season’, before the channel went bankrupt, prompting the newly created Comedy Central to pick up the show for seven more seasons. The Sci-Fi Channel picked up for the show for its final three seasons before the iconic series came to an official end in 1999.
The first host of the show, Joel Robinson (real name Joel Hodgson), left in the middle of the fifth season. Michael J. Nelson, the head writer for the show took his place and remained the host until the series ended.
The final episode of the show revolved around the host, Mike Nelson, and the robots; Crow, Tom Servo, Gypsy and Cambot watching their final bad movie known as ‘Diabolik’. As the film ran their ship, the ‘Satellite of Love’ began falling from its geosynchronous orbit around the Earth and re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. Mike and the robots, were excited about finally being able to get to Earth and be free of the mad scientific experiments and their emotions were upbeat and excited.…
Wipe your feet when you come inside.
Cliché. Old school. Who does that anyways?
Well, the shit your grandmother tells you isn’t always bad advice. Quite the contrary really. I’m about to tell you a story you won’t believe. A story that will never leave me. A story about what exactly happens when you don’t WIPE. YOUR. FEET.
And please, whoever finds this, heed my advice. Read the story. It’s too late for me…
It was a cold and wet Sunday afternoon; the sky was grey with post-storm clouds. I had just gotten off work at the town grocery store and was walking home. The roads were horrible. Mud lined the streets, caking on to my shoes and soaking through to my socks. I just wanted to get home, take a warm shower, finally get dry, and pass out.
As I walked, I began to feel unnaturally cold (more cold than normal for the temperature, surely). It was a sensation that seemed to radiate from inside of me. “I must have a fever,” I thought. Some bozo at work got me sick. Soon after this thought I was torn from my pondering by a startling shout.
“HEY KID!” came the intrusive voice.…
Howdy. You can call me “Jack.” It’s not my real name, but that’s what I’ll go by for now. I reckon the time to tell my story has come. Believe it or don’t, but here it is. I suggest you take away the lessons it teaches, even if you dismiss it all as bullshit like 98% of the other stories on the internet.
But there’s more truth in this story than any one of you could know.
Now, I’ve been out of high school for three years, but that’s when this particular event takes place, so I’m going to have to wind my clock back a little here to tell the story.
Originally, for my first two-and-a-half years of high school, I attended a school in the deep Southern part of America, close to the gulf.
We had all kinds of ghost stories growing up and if there was one lesson our super-conservative parents taught us, it was this: Don’t go fooling around in things you don’t understand.
Now, I was really unpopular at my high school in the South. My first two years of high school were a real pain because I was a big dork and everyone made fun of me.…
I never regretted working in that charity shop. It was strictly volunteer stuff, only on weekends and a few solitary evenings. The shop was small and cramped, and we never got many visitors, so my lonely shifts were, more often than not, spent quietly sitting at an abandoned counter.
My stupor was roused one evening, by the sound of the door swinging open. A short man pushed into the shops shaded interior, carrying a small cardboard box. He was well dressed, in a casual shirt and smart looking pants, and a pair of thick glasses sat on his head, underneath a rats nest of curly greasy hair. By the looks of things, in his early thirties, judging by the thick mess of stubble that clung to his chin.
“Good Afternoon.” I greeted the man as cheerily as I could.
He nodded a polite acknowledgement to my greeting them slammed the box on the counter. Before I could say a word, he closed his eyes, uttered something under his breath, and jogged out of the door, hands firmly rooted in his pockets.
As the door slammed close behind him in the late autumn breeze, I wordlessly inspected the box. It was tattily masking taped close, and Chinese characters were scrawled on the side.…