Vacated Atmosphere

She knew alcohol was a bad prescription for the depression that ailed her but it was a necessary evil to chase away certain demons.

What wasn’t necessary was the incessant song of nightingales that dragged her from a drunken stupor and even though she was barely lucid, Priscilla knew her husband was gone. The vacated atmosphere of the tiny one bedroom apartment was undeniable and final.

It was the exact same feeling as when her father abandoned her as a young child which forced her into the foster care system that shattered her brittle spirit.

Crime Scene Shoes

It was going to be one of those cases.

The air reeked of sulfur as the last drops of brimstone fell through the shattered skylight, creating puddles in the remnant of the shag carpet that ruined Det. Elodie Arcement’s shoes as she stepped into the apartment of the smote.

She hated biblical crime scenes.

Behind The Veil of Perfection

All we had ever known was happiness, but Willa, not content with this, decided to peek behind the veil of perfection to see if there was more to life. That was the day the garden began to crumble to dust all around us, ruining paradise for everyone.

Thanks a lot, Willa.

Disappearing Act


I only realized Melanie Houdini was related to the famed magician and entertainer Harry after I asked her to marry me and she disappeared in a puff of smoke like a fart through hemp pajamas.

It Wasn’t Always Like This

It wasn’t always like this.

I wasn’t always like this.

I remember a time when I wore a younger man’s face, when I discovered what true happiness was, when the word love took on a whole new meaning, when the world finally made sense.

When you were still alive.

Moppet Forest

If any patch of land was truly haunted, it was Moppet Forest. According to legend, the woods were originally purchased by a plangonologist before it was part of any U.S. state or territory in the post-Civil War years but during the Westward Expansion, the government seized the land after the dolllmaker met his end under mysterious circumstances.

Near the dollmaker’s house, land surveyors discovered a doll nailed to one of the trees and beneath it, carved into the bark was a phrase written either in sigils or an indecipherable language that many believed to be a curse.

Over the subsequent decades, horrible fates befell every owner of the property until the forest eventually became ownerless and it remained unoccupied to this very day. Those foolish enough to venture into the dense woods on a dare, for social media views, or as a satanic cult tourist destination, claimed to have seen all manner of eerie apparitions, such as floating human corpses dismembered and stitched back together to resemble stringless marionettes, a transparent man carving a child-sized effigy from wood, and paths of mysterious doll footprints that led to the dollmaker’s home; as well as hearing the pull of a drawstring followed by the echo of a tinny, almost childlike voice, saying, “We shall bring the vengeance of hell upon those who trespass our home.”

Beatrix’s Lament

It was truly a shame that she remained unable to make a single friend in her neighborhood or at school because Beatrix Hortence Willow was quite a kind, caring and loving child despite the resting witch face she inherited from her sorceress mother.

Recipe To End A Sibling Rivalry

“If you want your life to be better, you need to take action to begin the process of transitioning into a more positive state of being,” the therapist said.

John mulled over this piece of advice and decided since he enjoyed preparing food above all else in the world, he would tackle his current problem the same way he would a complicated meal, so he wrote:

Recipe To End A Sibling Rivalry

Ingredients:

1 Treasure Map (rendered as detailed as possible on parchment or a leaf of crumbling yellowish-brown pulp paper to add authenticity)
1 Fantastic Tale based on a local urban legend detailing the account of some nefarious criminal who needed to bury their ill-gotten riches while evading authorities (don’t make the story too far-fetched and be sure to include the fact that the criminal met their untimely demise before retrieving the loot or revealing its location)
1 Gullible sibling
1 Shovel
1 Sports drink
1 Lighter or book of matches

Directions:

Approach the gullible sibling in a frantic state, babbling about the urban legend and how you came to be in possession of the map and invent a sense of urgency (ie. someone else made a copy of the map–make it someone your sibling despises–and they’re gathering supplies to head to the location at this very moment). Grab your sibling, the lighter, the sports drink and the shovel and set off. Follow the map directions until you reach the X, where you will discover a hole roughly 36 inches wide by 8 feet long and 6 feet deep (some prep work is involved in the fact that you will need to dig the hole ahead of time).

Exclaim, “Oh no! That bastard got here before us! Did they leave anything behind by mistake? Maybe something fell and they didn’t notice it?” (rephrase this to make it sound authentic to the way you speak, naturally). When your sibling peers into the hole, grip the shovel like a baseball bat and follow the instructions Mel Gibson gave to Joaquin Phoenix in the movie, “Signs” and “Swing away, Merrill!”

With your sibling situated in their new resting place, fill the hole as quickly as possible. When completed, burn the map entirely and scatter the ashes, consume the sports drink to replenish your electrolytes and return home confident in the knowledge that you are Daddy’s favorite, now.

The two things John forgot to add to the recipe instructions were to burn the recipe as well and not discard the empty sports drink bottle containing his DNA at the gravesite, mistakes that eventually led to his arrest.

Stormy Relationship

I was once foolish enough to fall in love with a water elemental, Aquanetta was her name, and we were happy, mostly. The only problem, the major problem, was our difference of opinion which sparked arguments. Little rows created thunderstorms, full-blown domestic fights resulted in maelstroms. When I finally ended the relationship, she called forth a tsunami that changed the city, and my life, forever.

The Need To Be Free

Yes, she was an antisocial, oddly shaped peg that didn’t fit into any hole but was Florence evil? Not a chance. She was actually chaotic neutral, which meant she pursued the ideals of her personal freedom in defiance of authority and societal harmony.

Good and evil? That came in a distant second to a determined 8-year-old’s need to be free.