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The Monster in My Building: Part 1

I’m about to head out to work, just putting my shoes on, when I hear the familiar creak of the elevator’s hydraulic system, and the clunk of doors opening on my floor. My apartment is right next to the elevator, and usually it’s just one of the other tenants. Still, I can’t help but tense a little. I hear footsteps shamble past my door. The scritch-clump scritch-clump of heavy, clawed feet, and then a guttural croak like the great-grandfather of all ravens. “Shut up, Bob,” I say. I hear a deep “awk,” and then nothing. No more footsteps. Bob heard…

Roots: Part Thirteen

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve I squirmed on the floral lazboy as my great-aunt Marie handed me a cup of tea. I still didn’t understand why I was growing a tail at all, never mind how to sit down with one comfortably. The first part, at least, I hoped Marie could help me with. Marie settled down on the equally soft and floral chair across from me. Hers creaked when…

Roots: Part Twelve

I sat at the desk in my room. Even after spending a relatively short time in the room, I found the floral wallpaper no longer seemed excessive and cloying. Instead, it seemed abundant, thriving. I liked it. The rabbit liked it too, I think, though my new furry companion still seemed concerned about me. I wished I could tell it not to bother. The whole thing had been a dream, after all. And if my rabbit was a bit different in the morning, well, for all I knew I was still dreaming.

Roots: Part Eleven

“You can let the rabbit out of the hutch now,” my great-aunt Marie said. Her eyes were glowing and a long cougar-like tail descended from her skirt and curled around her ankles. I realized I must be dreaming. “Right,” I said. The fact that I was dreaming didn’t bother me. I’ve had a few lucid dreams before, but I’m not good at it. Somehow, even though I know I’m dreaming, I can never really make the dream do what I want it to. So I figured I would just go along with whatever bizarre scenario my brain had concocted.

Roots: Part Ten

I woke up at sunrise the next day in a disoriented muddle. Not only because I’d awoken in a tiny tent in the middle of the woods, but because I didn’t remember setting up the tent. Well, I guess in a sense I did, but only in the strange dream I’d had. My rabbit sat on its haunches at the mouth of my tent, watching me. It had gotten out of its hutch. Which was really just as well, since it was now twice its original size, so the hutch would be a bit cramped now…

Roots: Part Nine

Despite my misgivings I found myself enjoying the festivities that evening. Anna and I, as well as several others, made sure the entire backyard was strewn, festooned, bedizened, decked, and otherwise decorated with the ribbons. I found that several of my distant relations, at the least the ones who had shown up to help with decorating, were lively and interesting people. We were well-supplied with lemonade and cookies, which didn’t hurt either. Decorating transitioned into the festival itself without any noticeable increase in creepiness; the last of those who showed up to help decorate became the first proper attendees as…

“You Can’t Kidnap a Baby” Published!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for some exciting news! The 21st edition of Scare Street’s Night Terrors anthology has been released, and it features my short story “You Can’t Kidnap a Baby.” Check it out here.

Roots: Part Eight

The trip into town to get the ribbons was…interesting, to say the least. We got a lot of stares and people whispered to each other, and otherwise acted weird. But it wasn’t the sort of attention you’d expect to get wheeling an ungodly amount of black, yellow, and red ribbons in a handcart down mainstreet. People seemed excited to see the preparations, for what I didn’t know yet. A few even came up to us and asked to touch the ribbons. We said yes; I couldn’t what harm that would do. Some even tried to inconspicuously follow us for a…

Roots: Part Seven

When I woke up I could already smell breakfast cooking and hear the clamor of my hosts, the four other house guests, and what turned out to be another half-dozen people who’d just dropped by for breakfast. I got lost in the shuffle, and nobody mentioned the cherry cobbler incident, or anything that came with it. I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed about this or not. Part of me would have liked to discuss it, but I wasn’t really sure it would help. What was there to discuss, really?

Roots: Part Six

I never sleep well the first night in a new environment, and this place seemed designed to enhance that unfortunate situation. The sounds outside were all wrong. Since it was summer, the sun was out until late, and so the children all felt the need to be running around screaming until the last vestiges of daylight were well and truly gone. When they did, however, it got way too quiet. Apparently the children’s noise had been scaring away various forest creatures who then came out and began making ungodly noises, particularly just as I was about to fall asleep. Not…

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